There’s nothing quite like cycling in autumn! Refreshingly cool riding temperatures, picturesque routes with vibrant foliage colors, dramatic evening sunlight, and quieter cycle paths make cycling in autumn a wonderfully enjoyable experience. In fact, we think it’s probably the best time of year for biking.
If you’re addicted to the ‘flow’ and looking for some seriously good trail action this autumn, book your ideal mountain bike now at one or more of our 5 best autumn MTB destinations Europe!
From sharp valley climbs with stunning views of the Dolomite mountains, to thrilling downhill forested trails, the South Tyrol has some of the best mountain bike routes autumn has to offer. In fact, there are more than 500km of cycle paths in the region to explore!
South Tyrol is a real melting pot of languages, cultures and cuisines – it’s part Italian, part Austrian – and its main town, Bolzano, is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly towns in Europe. It’s a great area for beginners, too, who can become more confident in riding mountain bikes before attempting larger tours, thanks to the region’s many specialized mountain bike training parks.
Brixen is the geographical centre of South Tyrol, and there are a huge variety of dramatic valleys and forests for awe-inspiring trail riding. Its warm mountain climate guarantees a long biking season until the end of November.
For any mountain bikers looking to test themselves, riding on the Sellaronda is a must, with its jaw-dropping views of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Alpe di Siusi, the most beautiful high alpine meadow in Europe, should also be experienced.
Many bike hotels in the region are specially adapted to the needs of cyclists. For example, e-mountain bikes can be charged, repairs are offered, and you can relax in spas before getting back on the saddle the next day.
Sun-drenched trails, action-packed downhills, stunning mountain vistas, and a widespread cable car and ski-lift network make the French Alps a ‘must-go’ mountain bike destination. And Chambéry in particular is a perfect starting point for a cycling holiday in the French Alps.
Before heading into the mountains, you’ll find the historical city has plenty of sights to visit, with the Place Saint-Leger, in the Old Town, a great first place to explore, featuring the beautiful Fontaine des Marmousets, as well as lovely cafés. Also not to be missed: Chambéry Cathedral, with Europe’s largest collection of trompe d’oeil paintings, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts’ impressive Renaissance art collection.
Outside Chambéry, you can choose from hundreds of cycling routes for all kinds of cyclists, from road cycling, to gravel biking and mountain biking. There are challenging climbs over the mountains for hardened road cyclists, such as the Tour du Lac du Bourget, a tough-but-exciting 51-km route up and down and around the largest glacier lake in France.
And with e-mountain biking taking off in the past few years, as e-mountain bikes become more widespread and accessible for all, many of the stunning (but naturally very strenuous) mountain bike routes can be tackled by cyclists of all abilities.
Mountain bike riders from around the world should make a pilgrimage here! Finale Ligure is one of the best mountain bike destinations in Europe, and one of the very few places where fantastic downhill MTB trails end down at the sea.
You’ll find plenty of routes to challenge everyone, regardless of skill level – a real variety of adrenaline-fuelled trails for all different levels, ranging from landscaped bike park-style runs and technical rock sections, to long, smooth single trails with rolling features where you can really go with ‘the flow’. And when you’ve finished riding, you’ll find Ligurian food to be some of the best in all of Italy.
The region has an astonishing 400km of quality mountain bike trails, so whether you’re looking to ride flow trails, or take on technical rock-riding challenges, there’ll be something to leave you with unforgettable memories. What’s more, if you don’t always fancy riding all the way up, there are lots of bike shuttle services that will take you to the starting points of the best trails.
With quick and easy access to world-class mountain bike trails, plus some of the best pizza, pasta and coffee in Italy, it’s little wonder that so many mountain bikers of all nationalities get together here.
Rijeka and its beautiful surrounding region of Istria is an outdoor adventurer’s dream, and one of Europe’s best mountain bike and gravel bike autumn destinations. There are thousands of gravel roads and trails that wind through a diverse landscape of hills, valleys, forests and beaches, so you’re always cycling with amazing views of the area’s natural beauty.
Some of the most popular routes for heading out on a gravel bike or mountain bike autumn in the Istria region include the challenging loop climb from Rijeka to Mount Vojak and back, as well as the Parenzana Trail – an old railway line converted into a biking trail.
The fascinating Lynx Trail bikepacking route leads you from the Dina Pivka Center of Large Carnivores over the border with Slovenia, down to the coast and Rijeka. Traversing remote mountains and dense forests all the way to the sea, you’ll enjoy cycling and learning about endangered carnivores in the area, such as the lynx.
Madeira’s famous mild weather and breathtaking scenery makes biking on the Atlantic island enjoyable all year round. With jaw-droppingly high sea cliffs, dramatic limestone peaks, and lush, forested valleys, the island is not only one of the best mountain biking islands, but also one of the best autumn road cycling destinations.
And because Madeira enjoys such a diverse and rapidly changing topography, with many unpopulated and undeveloped areas, you can quickly find yourself biking on remote roads or trails, well away from the crowds. It’s definitely one of the best places to come for a sense of raw mountain biking adventure!
For hardcore cyclists, climbing from Funchal up to the spectacular viewpoint at Cape Girão is a challenge not to be missed. At 580 m tall, you’ll climb to the top of the highest sea cliffs in Europe. It’s a tough and relentless climb to get there, but the magnificent views will be worth it.
Taking things a little easier, cycling the 20-km route from Porto Moniz is a great way to explore Madeira’s beautiful northwest coast. While riding on quiet roads, you’ll discover plenty of amazing sights along the way, including the volcanic saltwater swimming pools of Porto Moniz, and the awe-inspiring viewpoints at Garganta Funda and Capela do Cabo.
It’s natural to be worried about your hire bike being damaged or stolen while you’re on your trip. But don’t worry – all ListNRide’s bike rentals in the European Economic Area (EEA) are covered by Laka bike insurance, including coverage for e-bikes, plus there’s emergency cover of up to 200 euros in expenses. So you can have peace of mind, while you’re out enjoying the trails.
Do you fancy cycling in warm and spectacular locations, well into October and November? Then get ready to rent a bike at one of Europe’s best autumn cycling destinations!
Simply choose your destination, and rent your ideal bike or e-bike, in four easy steps.
And by the way, if you own a bike at a popular autumn mountain biking destination, here’s how you can make money by renting out your bike on ListNRide.