How shall we put it ? You love good single trail tracks, chasing your mates through the forest in a unique atmosphere such as magnificent villages or olive tree orchards with a sea view ? You love good food, riding from the mountains down to the sea ? You'd love to have a spritz on the beach beside your bike with mud-spattered calves ?
You love the sensation of fulfillment, and the feeling of being in the right place at the right moment ? Then this long weekend enduro mountain bike is for you !
Add to that a local guide and a french teacher, a comfortable accommodation...100 % fun !
- Mountain biking from mountains to sea in a relaxed Italian atmosphere
- A shuttle service with private trailor for drop offs on the best bike runs and for luggage transfer
- A local mountain biking guide
- Italian gastronomy with beautiful villages, setting and views
- A comfortable hotel with twin rooms and private bathrooms
- Easy access: we transfer you to Liguria from Oulx (on the Paris-Milano TGV line)
We meet you either at Briançon or at Oulx-Cesana train station. Departure for Finale Ligure (approx 2h15 on motorway). You meet your driver and mountain bike guide, and will grasp what Italian hospitality is all about, he's quite a good bloke ! Smiles, warmth, motivation... nothing's missing !
After checking the gear, reviewing some basic skills such as the position on bike, brake techniques, and other security features... time to get going !
Our first drop off will be at Col Melogno for a gentle warm up on playful trails crossing historical hamlets. We head South West and cross 3 valleys riding on trails through woodlands with magnificent viewpoints. Seaviews, castle views, views of villages and medieval bridges...in just a few hours we are totally disconnected from day to day life. We end up in one of the most charming villages of the area, Colletta di Castelbianco, all rock and tiny terrasses. Let's take it easy, debrief let's get rehydrated, possibly a beer made in the backyard.
We settle in at our basecamp for the next two nights, and get ready to taste some local delicacies.
Ascent/descent : + 1000 m/- 1800 m approx
Distance: 40 km riding / 20 km shuttle
Meals included : lunch - dinner
Accommodation : hotel
You want to feel the strength of a piece of wilderness, forests and deep green, where you feel so small and really great at the same time ? That's what you're in for today, a magnificent loop in Val Pennavaire. We leave our base on our e-bike, via an unused road to gradually ride up to the pass. That's where we start exploring on trails and bridges that were used many many years ago by the inhabitants and traders, and have nowadays become peaceful retreats to ride and make the most of small inlets with crystal clear water. This is a perfect opportunity for those who want to polish up their techniques and riding skills...for others, this is maybe simply a chance to enjoy the present moment, a good idea too !
Coffee ? Ristretto, macchiato ? Let's take it easy and enjoy the end of the afternoon, after a great days riding with lots to share and heaps of nice future memories [pictures].
Ascent/descent : + 1100 m/- 1100 m approx
Distance: 30 km
Meals included: breakfast - lunch - dinner
Accommodation : hotel
Had a good breakfast and ready to hit the trails ? That's a good thing as we're starting off with a descent from Mont Galero (1708 m) where we get dropped off. Another varied single trail not much ran, though great fun. We arrive at Garessio, then Valcasotto, so close to the ultra-touristy places yet so little known, only the passionates know such places. We plunge into the hazel tree forest on a natural "pump-track", an easy going and playful trail, real wasteland with some easy banked turns, rollers and berms... The shuttle picks us up, we take a quick look at the majestic castles around, and meet Danila and Alessandra, our hosts of the charming locanda where we stay tonight, a charming old restaured mill. Just to make sure all is well, let's go and taste the cheeses in the neighbouring factory !
Ascent/descent : + 900 m/- 2100 m approx
Distance: 40 km riding and 25 km with shuttle
Meals included : breakfast - lunch - dinner
Accommodation : hotel
#1 Casotto mountain pass: first drop off. We start with a long mixing historical paths used by mule drivers and natural trails, we end up above Garessio.
#2 Quazzo mountain pass: second drop off. We head off an exceptional single trail that winds down to Bardineto.
#3 Giogo di Giustenice mountain pass: third and last drop off. Let's keep on moving, this time with fantastic seaviews down the Pietra Ligure trails, the latest not to be missed place to go riding. The locals have done their utterbest to shape perfectly thought single trails to have great fun and improve your riding.
Our last drop off takes us to the lively Finale Ligure. A nice evening along the coast await you guys!
Ascent/descent : + 1000 m/- 2500 m approx
Distance: 40 km riding and 20 km with shuttle
Meals included : breakfast - lunch
Last morning of biking, full of colours. The shuttle takes you to the guide's favorite spots. You will love it!
After a lunch and a gelato on the seafront, unfortunately...it's time to set sail...or rather hit the road after an incredible and unique adventure. Transfer back to Briançon or Oulx for those who wish or those who have to go back to work...
Ascent/descent : + 200 m/- 1500 m approx
Distance: 20 km riding
Meals included : breakfast - lunch
Please note this itinerary is an example of a mountain biking trip and course in Finale Ligure and surroundings. The guide may adjust certain itineraries according to weather conditions, cable cars and mountain hut accessibilty as well as participants' abilities. We kindly ask you to respect such decision.
In case practices and customs defined by the local authorities change, estimating the reasonable number of clients per guide, for safety reasons, Azimut respects these, even last minute, decisions and recommendations. Such cases are rare and mostly related to exceptional conditions in the mountains. Therefore some compensation may be requested from your side due to less participants per guide.
Please wear your cycling clothes on day 1.
We always do our best, but can't guarantee the exact time of arrival at the train station (due to traffic or weather conditions). Therefore we strongly recommend you to buy train tickets that can easily be modified. If you're travelling by car, we'll meet you at one of the indicated meeting points, or at one of the drop off points where you'll be able to leave your car for the entire trip.
Train & TGV access: www.oui.sncf
Make sure the train you plan to catch welcomes mountain bikes.
Car access: www.mappy.fr
Car sharing: www.blablacar.fr
Public parking free of charge can be found in Briançon and Oulx (both unattended).
Skill level **
You're all into mountain biking and already have previous experience. You master gear shifting and are capable of dosing with you brakes, hop over small tricky sections, and ride up and down short technical sections. You want to progress on downhill single trails, rarely steep, but sometimes technical with easy obstacles (rocks, tree roots, ...) but never exposed. Ideal to get prepared for more technical riding, and getting you all set for level 3 !
Stamina level **
For keen and passionate mountain bikers or sporty people, who enjoy making efforts and regularly do an outdoor activity. We will ride on progressive 4x4 tracks and may encounter some steep sections. Expect ascents between + 900 m & + 1100 m approx per day, easily feasable on an e-mountain bike.
Good to know: if you don't have the skills and stamina required, the guide may ask you to leave the group for the well-being of the rest of the group. If any doubt, please do not hesitate to ask us !
4 to 7 participants
Bring a small day pack large enough (for more detailed advice see gear section) to carry your personal belongings for the day such as (extra) layers, a few snacks, your picnic and a repair kit. All other personal gear not needed for the day will be transferred to our accommodation.
A shuttle is at our disposal for logistics and technical assistance during the entire trip. Our shuttle drops us off at the start of rides, takes us back up for more descents and takes us back to our accomodation... What more could we ask for ?
No ski lifts on this trip.
A 30% deposit, as well as the insurance cost if you choose to subscribe the latter, is required to secure your booking. You will receive a reminder email 35 days prior to departure for the outstanding balance that is due latest 30 days prior to departure.
We strongly recommend you to be properly insured for the chosen activity. You should be covered for medical expenses, personal accident & liabilité, third party risks and rescue (helicopter), as well as trip cancellation or curtailment.
Repatriation and research insurance are mandatory when booking a trip with Azimut. We have a full range of Europ Assistance insurances on offer to suit the trip you select and the risks that it may incur (beware, such insurance only covers European citizens).
Tipping is no obligation. However participants usually hand round an envelope for those who wish to tip the guide.
Azimut's minibuses are used throughout the trip. Not only does this make the trip easier, but it also makes it more pleasant and less binding: we can chat, take a nap and listen to our own music. If luggage transfers are necessary, you have the possibility to use the transfer if you're tired and for any other reason.
In case of emergency or delay, you can either contact your guide (a phone number will be provided before departure) or contact Azimut on: (+ 33) 04 92 23 07 24.
Please inform your friends and family with these details before departure.
Free Wifi is available in most places.
Mobile & 4G coverage can be unreliable.
Don't forget to
- Leave our contact details with your friends and family
- Bring your papers and I.D. (passport and visa if necessary)
- Bring your insurance contract number and documents (if you've chosen not to have insure coverage with us)
- Bring your “carte vitale” or your European health card (for EU citizens) - if you don't have one you can order one for free online www.ameli.fr
- Check that you have the right equipment
- Take spare batteries and a charger for your electronic devices such as camera, video recorder, tracking devices
- Bring some cash and your credit card
- Bring a delicacy from your home country or area to share with the group
- Leave in a good frame of mind: we're going to have a great time even if we may not happen to not make it to the summit !
- Before leaving: water the plants, empty the rubbish bin, turn off water and gas, and tell your partner that you're going to have a good time (please not by text message), that you've well deserved... If you don't follow the latter recommendation, you'll most probably kick yourself when you get back!