Escaping the cold and wet weather
Biking in central Europe can be challenging during the cold, wet and mostly dark winter months. Therefore, a lot of riders who want to bike in the cold season head south in search of dry and dusty trails.
In winter, destinations can be divided into two groups: One with a high certainty that there will be good constant conditions and the other where the conditions can change depending on the current weather situation.
You can expect good, mostly save biking conditions in Portugal, Spain, the Canary Islands, in the South of France and Italy. If you are based in central Europe, this usually means getting on a plane or driving for a while until you arrive at your preferred destination.
Make sure to check the current weather, webcams and the forecast before travelling to central Europe with destinations such as Switzerland, Northern Italy and Germany as there can be snow and ice or maybe you are lucky and will be able to ride in shorts.
In well established winter biking locations there will be larger groups of bikers, especially in the off season. A prime example of this is Finale Ligure and Massa Marittima. If you are looking for destinations less travelled have a look at our Hidden Bike Treasures article.
If you travel to a location where regular tourism peaks during another season there is a good chance that you will not have access to all amenities as they are closed. Especially in coastal regions in Southern Europe, you might find that some restaurants, bars, etc. might be closed during the winter months.
Top Shuttle Destinations
Get a head start into the downhill season and head to a location with shuttle assisted uphills.
Finale Ligure: The perfect setup if you have basic skills and like larger groups. As this is a well known winter destination, you can expect to find the full package for a perfect bike vacation.
L’Appenino del Nord: Two small Parks with the possibility to shuttle off the beaten track. Great trails that are maintained well.
Madeira: Scenic Trails with year round good temperatures. If you are looking for a pedal only location, you eiher have to be Lance Armstrong or look elsewhere.
Top Beginner Destinations
Find easy trails for families, beginners or just to have fun on less challenging terrain.
Massa Marittima: There are a good handful of easier trails in Massa and Puntone. For less fit riders, you can do super short runs or use the shuttle on Monte Arsenti.
Pfälzerwald: Even though, there are easier trails here, make sure to bring some basic fitness as you will have to pedal up yourself.
Destinations with a Little Extra
When you look for a place with a special touch (for bikers).
Digne les Bains: Ride on the amazing black Earth in this little gem in the south of France. Not a region for beginners or food enthusiasts.
Ainsa: There a few places where you can ride amazing ridge lines for THAT Insta picture. Big and vast network of trails.
Elba: Some of the best views combined with a huge variety of trails.
All winter destinations
The content of this website is just an opinion of a few individuals. It is not based on scientific research and some facts may have changed since the last visit. Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for anything we have covered on this website.
You might be riding on shared trails! Yield to other trail users and animals! Control your speed, leave no traces and don’t shortcut corners! Thank you!