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Mountain Biking

5 Reasons Your Next Mountain Biking Trip Should Be To Trentino

From entry-level runs beneath beautiful cliffs to technical downhill madness...

Photo: Archivio Foto Trentino Sviluppo, R. Kiaulehn

Trentino boasts thousands of kilometres of mountain biking trails perfect for all kinds of riding.

From tailor-made bike parks to jaw-dropping rides beneath the stunning cliffs of the Italian Dolomites, there’s just as much to enjoy for beginners and families in Trentino as there is for experienced downhill riders.

With so many options in the province though, it can be hard to know where to start. Would you be better off in the mountains of Val di Fassa, on the trails of Val di Sole or setting off for the shores of Lake Garda? We’ve put together a digestible guide to mountain biking in the area to help you decide just that.

Have a read below and who knows, you might just find the inspiration for your next two-wheeled getaway…

1. Get an e-bike and let the motor do the work

Photo: Archivio Foto Trentino Sviluppo

E-bikes have become commonplace in the mountain biking scene in the past few years and are great for allowing anyone who’s interested easy access to the outdoors.

Trentino has seen a soar in the popularity of e-bikes in Valsugana-Lagorai and Val di Non in particular, where the bikes can be rented and re-charged easily. Popular destinations like the Dolomiti Paganella, Madonna di Campigilio and Terme di Comano are also now part of the e-bike initiative.

The shores of Lake Garda have also become a popular area for renting e-bikes and the bikes are also commonly seen on the 400km of paved cycling paths in Trentino specifically designed to give easy-riding access to the stunning scenery.

2. Dive into downhill history in Val di Sole

Photo: Seb Schiek

Val di Sole has become world renowned for its downhill mountain bike trails, and not without good reason.

The setting played host to one of the most dramatic moments in the history of professional mountain biking back at the UCI World Championships in 2008. Aussie racer Sam Hill had cruised the start of the course and looked a sure-thing for the win before bailing hard just before the finish line…

More recently, Val di Sole was host to the 2016 edition of the World Championships, which saw British favourite Danny Hart run in a spectacular win:

Enough of the past though! You can also watch the future unfold in Val di Sole from August 25-27.

The Trentino hot spot is the final stop on the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup circuit this year – the elite tour of professional mountain biking – so there’s a good chance that the crown for the season will be won and lost in Val di Sole.

Photo: Seb Schiek

A lot of fanatics will be making the pilgrimage to Trentino for the race this summer and sticking around after or arriving a few days before to schedule in some riding themselves.

3. Get the whole family Involved in Passo del Tonale

Photo: Seb Schiek

If it’s serious downhill drops you’re after, Val di Sole is the one for you – but there’s plenty to fit all the family needs in the area as well. In Passo Tonale for example, you’ll find the site of the first family bike park in Trentino.

A chairlift gives you access to three routes, each of which leaves from the same spot at 2,200m. One of the routes is designed specifically for beginners, one for those with a little experience and one is a more challenging track great for accomplished riders. It’s the perfect place to introduce your family or children to riding and to progress your skills and theirs on trails tailor-made to do just that.

While you’re there, make sure that you don’t miss out on the local delights. Taste the world famous Casolet of Val di Sole – a cheese unique to the area. The dairy products from Trentino come highly acclaimed, with local farmers saying that the secret is in the mountain pastures their cows feast on!

You’ll no doubt see a couple of vineyards on your journey as well. Give the Groppello di Revò wine a try when the riding is all done for the day.

4. Go full throttle in an enduro heaven

Photo: Archivio Foto Trentino Sviluppo, R. Kiaulehn

Enduro is the buzzword of the moment in mountain biking and has been now for the past few years. The wild environment, soil type and nature of the slopes in Trentino make the province perfect for the riding style.

The Bear Trails on the Paganella plateau, the Tour della Malghe in Madonna di Campigilo and the Valsorda Enduro Trail near San Martino di Castrozza are just a few prime examples of this and good suggestions for where to start.

Lake Garda also has extensive enduro options. You’ll find bike trails pretty much any way you turn around the shores of the lake, but Torbole and Riva are among the most popular mountain biking towns on Lake Garda.

There’s a mountain bike festival every May in Riva and the views from the trails looking on to the water are a sight to behold.

5. Explore as many bike parks as you possibly can!

We’ve mentioned a few of the options for riding in Trentino so far, but there really are an abundance of options in the area.

In addition to the Val di Sole trails, the aforementioned enduro tours at Paganella and near San Martino di Castrozza are backed up with downhill trails at the park in Fai della Paganella and the San Martino Bike Arena.

In Val di Fassa the riding will take you in front of the 3343m Marmolada, the biggest mountain in the Dolomites. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful bike parks in Europe and offers a mixture of open, wide trails and more challenging freeride routes.

You’ll find plenty of family-run restaurants in Fassa offering authentic cuisine worth getting excited about as well. The bread dumplings prepared with bacon, cheese, spinach and ricotta are a particular local favourite, and they can be served with apricots and strawberries if you’ve got a sweeter tooth!

Photo: Seb Schiek

There’s also the new Brenta Bike Park which boasts the Sfulmini trail, a 4km ride filled with jumps, drops, brilliant views and flowing trails – with the added bonus of a lift to bring you back up when you’re done.

Brenta is just the latest bike park to pop up in Trentino, with Bike Park Lavarone in the heart of the Alpe Cimbra dedicated to downhill and freeride and the Val del Diaol also popular because of its long stretches of downhill runs. Wherever you choose to visit in the province, it’s safe to say that you’re not going to run out of options in a hurry.

For more information on mountain biking in Trentino, click here to have a browse of the official website for the province.

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