The 5 Best European Bike Parks for Your Next Vacation

By Martin Atanasov

Yes, we are aware it’s already past the prime of the downhill season and most bike parks are already closed. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for our summer vacation next year. And is there a better place to spend your free time than in a bike park where awesome people gather to do awesome stuff? While we are sure you already know many of the best parks around the world, let us give you our humble opinion about 5 of the best spots in Europe where to spend your summer vacation on two wheels, speeding down a narrow mountain trail.

Vallnord Bike Park, Andorra

Huddled in one of the smallest countries in the world lays one of the most picturesque, well-designed and famous European bike parks. It’s actually much more challenging to find Andorra on the map of Europe than the Vallnord Bike Park inside the country. Andorra is deep in the heart of the Pyrenees, right between France and Spain, which gives the bike park some unique views and opportunities. Knowing this, it’s no wonder Vallnord is home to several World Cup events both in DH and cross-country races.

The Vallnord Bike Park offers 40 km of outstanding trails, which descend from up to 2,354 m. There are 21 descent circuits, 2 enduro tracks, 4 cross-country trails, 1 Four-Cross and one e-bike circuit, as well as a pump track and a practice area. The best part is that you can go with the whole family since there is also a kids’ bike park. The Vallnord Bike Park is open from mid-May till mid-October, the prices of accommodations and the park itself are relatively cheap for the European standard, and the drinks and food are outstanding. So, if you think that’s your destination for next year’s summer vacation, Vallnord Bike Park’s website will let you know all the details you need for this outstanding adventure.

Åre Bike Park, Sweden

Åre Bike Park proves that a relatively low mountain can become a world-class bike park. The 1,274 m high-point of the park might be a dwarf compared to others, however, the view from up there is simply breathtaking. Thousands of lakes scattered across the horizon with small villages dotted here and there. And intricate, efficient and outstandingly maintained tracks right beneath your wheels.

Åre Bike Park offers 50 km of pure adrenaline, separated into 34 trails. The 7 green tracks will allow beginners to feel secure while exploring MTB for the first time. At the same time, the 8 black tracks will accommodate all the riders trying to prove that gravity is nothing but a concept. There are also 8 blue and 9 red trails to cover everyone’s needs, no matter their skills. The best part is that the whole region around Åre is astounding and you can easily combine it with some cultural, hiking, leisure or culinary tourism or other adrenalin-infused activities. So, it’s the perfect place if your other half is not so keen on spending their whole vacation on two wheels.

Mottolino Bike Park, Italy

Ah, Italy. Lovely food, endless culture, outstanding wine, beauty, football, and stunning nature. It’s no wonder that some of them are just as crazy on their bikes. Mottolino already is the mecca for ski and snowboard freerides in winter and when the snow melts, though, the mountain beauty doesn’t go to waste. Mottolino is home to one of the biggest and best MTB parks in the world.

With its 14 unique trails, everyone can enjoy their time. First-time enthusiasts can take the relatively easy but long “Take it Easy” and “Enduro Natural Trail” while the pros simply must try the “Black Eye” with its 31.9% gradient slippery trail. Getting out of this trail without a black eye is really only for the pros. The park is open from mid-June to the end of September, and the prices are mid-range. The daily pass is €34, and it includes unlimited use of the gondola car. However, we would suggest going there for at least five days, in which case you will pay only €89, and you can enjoy all the adrenaline-infused delight that Mottolino Bike Park offers.

Chatel Bike Park, France

Chatel is one of the biggest bike parks in Europe, which offers endless joy for those who seek thrills and chills on two wheels. With its 21 green, blue, red and black trails, Chatel Bike park covers almost every skill level and tenacity. Chatel is definitely not a place to come for a day. It’s the perfect place for a summer vacation. With its proximity to Lake Geneva, Geneva itself and the picturesque French and Swiss Alps, it can be fun for the whole family, no matter if they are just as avid riders as you are.

Probably the best thing about this park is its maintenance. The trails are always in top condition, with nine maintenance teams working around the clock to ensure everyone’s safety and pleasant riding. The nearby city of Pré-la-Joux offers excellent accommodation, outstanding food, and wild parties, although, for the past two years, the nights were not that flamboyant during the pandemic. The prices are relatively friendly. You can also rent a bike, an e-bike, use the pressure washer in Pré-la-Joux, and for an additional fee, you can also get to the oh-so-awesome Les Gets and Morzine bike parks.

Saalbach/Hinterglemm/Leogang/Fieberbrunn, Austria

This is quite confusing, we know. Initially, those were four different bike parks up until a few years back when they joined forces to form Europe’s biggest bike park. With 400 km of trails, 9 gondolas servicing them and 7 mountain tops from which you can speed down, without a doubt, this bike park should be on your bucket list.

A lot of the trails are just single tracks that crisscross down the mountain and are just like typical mountain paths. However, there are more than 70 km of purposefully built features that can offer a lot of fun and adrenaline for several days. In addition, all the lengthy freeride trails and a very tempting table-top section will keep you entertained maybe even for weeks. When it comes to the trails, there are all sorts and anyone can find something that fits their skills and mood.

With all these options and different entertainments for kids, you can even make it a family vacation.