The Mountain Biking - Introduction
Please Note: This is a sample itinerary. The guides will select the best order of the rides for each day, depending on the group, the weather and other factors.
- Luxury apartment with breakfast included
- Fully guided by multilingual, professional leaders
- Uplift shuttle included for all riding days
- Airport transfer to and from Nice airport, France.
- Italian food, wine and hospitality
If you want to find out more about the mountain biking, the guiding or anything else about the Finale Ligure tour , then please contact us and one of our team will get back to you.
Day 1 - Flight transfer from Nice Airport
Transfers are included for all arrivals between 15:00 and 19:00 local time. We will pick-up after the last arrival flight (if you arrive early there are bars and cafes at the airport).
Our accommodation is in Finale Ligure, Localita San Bernadino, with views over the town, sea and valleys. Depending on arrival times, we'll build up the bikes if you are bringing your own and make sure everything is working well. For those renting bikes we will set up the bikes for your weight and riding style. We hopefully have time for a quick spin to familiarise yourself with the local area.
This evening we can walk to a great nearby restaurant with stunning views from its terrace over the valley. for your first taste of the great Italian food, wine and hospitality on this trip.
Day 2 - Nato Base - Piano dei Corsi
In the morning after the sumptuous breakfast, we will load the bikes on to the shuttle and head straight to the famous Nato Base area up to around 1100mtrs ASL. This was an active base in the cold war era and has now become a street artists canvas with incredible designs on the derelict buildings. It creates quite an atmosphere ahead of the riding and great photo opportunities. There are loads of trails heading out from here and it's the perfect area for riders to acclimatise to the terrain on smooth fast flowy trails.
You can expect a mix of natural and hand-cut trails that have been designed to flow beautifully. Hardpack earth, roots and bedrock, a few drops, starting off easy, always with an escape lane, It's the perfect place to be able to adjust the riding to the group so that everyone gets the week off to a great start.
After each run down a trail, the shuttle is waiting for us to take us back up to the top again. Then we can repeat the same trail again, now that you know what it's like or head to the next one and steadily progress to the more challenging trails.
We'll need to refreshment after several trails and we'll head for lunch in one of the local hamlets to sample the local cuisine. It's delicious, plentiful, fulfilling and served with typical Italian pride in hospitality and freshly prepared with local produce, delicious! They love their food and drink for sure!
Back up in the shuttle for the afternoon runs. One of the amazing things about Finale is that there are so many trails, we can really fine tune the riding to the group. We'll end the day with a ride to the beach and a well deserved aperitivo where the bar owner is so tuned into the bikers that there is a bike stand on the beach. If you feel the need to burn the calories consumed at the beach then you can always pedal up to the accommodation instead of using the shuttle! After shower and changing, we'll head out to the old town, a medieval borgho and the great selection of restaurants in the quaint old alley ways that make you feel like you've gone back in time several hundreds of years.
Day 3 - Monte Grosso
We'll use the shuttle again to get the bulk of the height in the bag, but we are going into the wilds a bit more today, so there is a bit of pedalling after we get out the shuttle, about 20 minutes. It's well worth it as we venture into territory rarely ridden by the majority of visitors to Finale.
It's an old abandoned trail that still rides perfectly while giving you the feeling you are the first to ride it! It starts off slow, as you pick your way along the various lines that appear in front of you. It's as natural as you can get, so we might be ducking under fallen trees and then traversing over slick rock before dropping down a narrow valley back to flowy, leafy trails through silent woods.
The trail then changes character completely as we join a section, hand-cut by trail building professionals, it's a roller coaster built for MTB, rolling compressions and crests, one after the other, switchbacks and rollable drops. If there was MTB Nirvana, this is a serious contender! The comments are always the same at the end... "when can we do that one again!"
Well, the shuttle is waiting for us at the end of the trail so let's see! We'll have the shuttle with us all day, so the options are unlimited!
There is a famous trail not so far away actually called "Roller Coaster" - that could be on the agenda in the afternoon! Lunch will be in a another local village followed by an afternoon of more shuttling and new trails. We might start talking about the Cavatappi trail! The last trail of the day will take us back towards the coast where the beach awaits those that want to cool off in the warm ocean waters, the ever famous Italian aperetivo always to hand.
Day 4 - EWS qualifier day
Finale is famous for hosting the last round of the Enduro World Series. There is a good reason for this and by the time we get to day 4, you'll no doubt be appreciating why.
So, today, we'll venture into some of the stages used over the last years. We'll start with the easier ones, you'll be surprised perhaps that some of them are not as difficult as you might expect. We will ride straight out from the accommodation today and meet the shuttle later. A few of the EWS trails start just a few minutes pedalling up the road so we will head there to start the day off with a bit of climbing. The shuttle will meet us at the end of the trail once again to take us up to the start of the next trails.
One of the beauties of this area is the vast choice of trails means we can make it easy or as challenging as people want as we head to a few of the other EWS stages.
Today we might take lunch at a local Trattoria, we will get 4 courses of local cuisine and drinks all included for the price of a starter in a London restaurant! The food is fantastic for sure, and this type of Italian lunch has to be savoured at least once during the week.
In the afternoon we'll head to another new area, new trails, including another EWS stage, though maybe not Cavatappi yet..... Who mentioned aperitivo and ice cream by the beach again at the end of the day?
Day 5 - Rest day !
Yay! Finale Ligure can offer you complete rest or a whole host of other activities. Take to the beach and recover and soak up the sunshine or maybe try the surfing that is available if the wind is right, or maybe some rock climbing? Via ferrata? Trekking? Stand up paddling? Wine and cheese sampling? A visit to one of the many cantinas that make wine in the area or to a frantoio where olive oil is pressed. Waterfalls, hidden valleys and rivers, the walking trails are just as spectacular as the bike trails!
Climb up high to the many castles that dominate the hills with spectacular views over the sea and surrounding area. The area has some of the most famous beaches in Italy also. Lots to do if you want more adventure.
Did we say rest day?
Day 6 - Le Manie
A new area, new terrain. Finale trails are a mix of natural marine limestone and old mullitiere (mule trails) mixed together with hand-cut single track from the experienced trail builders who live in the area. Le Manie is the area that hosts the 24-hour MTB race that runs each year. A labyrinth of trails are on offer.
We'll start with the Briga trails, that give a flavour for what's to come later in the day. There is fast and flowy, leading into off-camber grippy bedrock, slotting into narrow single track rolling over undulating terrain, weaving down to the coastline.
The most famous trail is perhaps the DH Uomo, frequently used as the final stage on the EWS, it has the most spectacular backdrop you could imagine, plunging steeply to the ocean side and giving photographers one of the most famous of MTB panoramas. This is a tough trail for sure but it's one for your bucket list and if walking some of it are part of the experience, it's worth it to get to the parts that everyone can ride.
Bring your swim shorts and a towel on this day as we'll finish right by the beach and take a swim and a bit of time reflecting on what we have just come down with the well earned after ride aperitivos! These trails are a favourite with riders every time we visit. Was one of those Cavatappi? Not yet.....
Day 7 - Monte Alto
After the adrenaline rush of DH Uomo, we'll head for trails of a completely different nature on Monte Alto. The shuttle will take us up high to start with. We'll still have some climbing to do after that. The general rule for the Finale area is the higher you go, the more flow you find as we reach the plateaus. These will be longer runs, each trail taking us around 2 hours to complete. There might even be a few minutes of hike a bike, but it's well worth it as it takes us into areas that are rarely used.
As we all know, some of the best trails are also the best kept secrets! Beautiful flowy trails in silent woods, the only noises are the tyres crunching the ground and leaves and the whoops and giggles from the riders, especially the guide who knows what's round the corner!
Lunch is carefully planned to make the best of the network of trails and we'll stop at a small locale run by a family and eat on a terraced veranda overlooking the valley below with views to the sea.
During lunch we'll talk about Cavatappi... which translated means "corkscrew" - and it is very aptly named. It's a hard one, not for the faint hearted. It is a steep, winding bedrock gully, chiselled out by flood water, but it is dry in normal conditions. It's the bucking bronco of trails and riders have to berm the sides of the gulley, switching constantly from one side to another as it winds tightly down the mountain. Maybe, just maybe, if the conditions are favourable, we might take a look at it! Well, the start at least.
The last trails of the day will take us into Final Borgho, the medieval village with the maze of alleys, where we savour the local hospitality and ice cream before heading back to the accommodation to shower and change, ready for the last night out where we can enjoy yet more Italian cuisine and reflect back on the week, the trails we did, the ones we didn't (so you'll want to come back!).
Day 8 - Departure day
On our last day, we pack up our bikes and start our transfer back to the Airport for a flight home. Once again our expert guide will help with any packing issues, if you have any. If you would prefer to spend more time in Italy, either staying in the Ligure area or breaking the flight home to spend a few days exploring Nice, please let us know as we can help with these arrangements.
For departures, we like to allow 2 hours for the transfer and suggest that people book flights leaving Nice after 10:00am. We set off in time, for the earliest flight.