Where for first Alps trip?
Thinking it’s time I got myself out to the Alps for some riding next year.Posted 5 months ago
Where’s a good ‘starter’ place?
Not sure if the Family will be coming – but family friendly places also welcome as suggestions.
Not into super gnarly stuff so more flow trails really.
Would probably look at flying instead of driving, so somewhere with a decent air port link.
Jump on the Morzine thread.
Fly to Geneva, plenty of cheap transfers, massive riding area etc.Posted 5 months ago
Are you wanting guided riding or just turn up and ride? I suspect a lot of people will recommend Morzine, and for good reason given how much riding there is there, it’s close to Geneva and you don’t need a guide for the way marked trails. The town is great in the summer and not a ghost town like some other places.
Other options I’d throw in are Bourg-Saint-Maurice or possibly Deux Alpes.
Edit. @sharkattack beat me to it.Posted 5 months ago
In my experience Morzine wasn’t great for flowy trails. The areas around Bourg and Les Arcs were much more more fun in that regard.Posted 5 months ago
Verbier was excellent but more techy than flowy, I thought.
That’s the limit of my personal experience.
Chatel was the first place I ever went and it has anice variation of trails – you can get over to Morzine and Les Gets if you fancy it and you can also go over to the Swiss side. Morgins is excellent.Posted 5 months ago
Unless you like standing in lift queues avoid morzine. Tinges and val disere are great or pila just one the boarder. We found les Deux alpes quite limited in the number of trails but the campsite at vensoc is great with lift access into the resortPosted 5 months ago
Morzine will have lots of people around and is very friendly. Queues aren’t that bad (try comparing it to somewhere like Whistler!), Tignes is nice, friendly but definitely quiet and more chilled (we’ve been spending time there pretty much since they opened to bikes in the summer, I miss the free lift passes and quiet drinks in The Marmot pub) but you’ll struggle to find riding buddies.
Not been to Alpes D’Huez or Les 2 Alpes in ages so can’t comment on what they’re like nowadays.Posted 5 months ago
Good thing with Morzine is stuff for families whilst your off riding. loads to do in the valley, and/or over a Lake Montriond.Posted 5 months ago
If flying, then Morzine/Les Gets really is the best option. Yes, it can be busy, and yes it is sort of expensive when compared to Italian resorts, but ease of access from Geneva and the shear size of the area you can access by lift i think trumps the others. And to avoid the lift queues in Morzine, just get out early and don’t come back down until the end of the day – heaps of places to get lunch that aren’t Morzine. Les Gets tends to be quieter to stay in too, but less going on in the evening.
But if you decide to drive, then I’d go elsewhere, and I think i’d probably head to Italy. La Thuile is great – not the biggest area to easilly access, but with a bit of additional pedalling its perfectly easy to do a few runs in La Rossiere on the french side. La Thuile trails are fantastic too, plus the town is really quite nice. I’ve done Pila too, but found the resort itself to be a bit dead – i suspect a lot of people stay in the valley in Aosta and get the bubble up.
If your family are coming, the Tignes is probably the best family orientated resort – heaps of non-bike stuff to do. Access area is pretty big when you take into account the Val trails, and there’s a wide variety of skill level trails. There’s also a free bike shuttle from Brev if you end up dropping down past the bottom lifts. If you like a pedal or can persuade someone to uplift, the other side of the valley below the Grande Sassiere has the most amazing natural trails – and if that’s your thing then the guys at the White Room are worth spending time with and know the area like the back of their hands.Posted 5 months ago
There’s a flow side of the valley and a gnar side of the valley and the whole of the Stelvio national park on your doorstep. Duty free also.
Accommodation direct with myholidaylivigno.comPosted 5 months ago
Good point – are you DIYing it or open to a catered/guided trip?
I haven’t been with them for 10 years now, but I’d second the White Room for the kind of riding you’re after. Friends still go and enjoy it.
Otherwise, I’d say either Morzine for the easy access to the PdS trails, Bourg St Maurice, Alp d’Huez or Aosta Valley (see CX monkey’s post) – which has the big benefit of being in Italy and therefore being sunnier, cheaper and more friendly – with better food.Posted 5 months ago
We’ll definitely be going to Livigno and the Stelvio area with year, but that will be on a long, driving road trip. It isnt an easy place to fly to unfortunately.
Great place though, I’d always choose it over MorzineTrackWorld for several reasons, but it does help if you hook up with a guide and shuttle company for at least a couple of days. As said, the bike parks are good and very different to each other, but the more natural riding is limited without a lot of climbing or an uplift. There’s a few xc/enduro trails off the lifts, but not like most of the popular French resorts.
I never really saw much evidence of the duty free status when it comes to prices, but as it’s Italy, it’s on the cheaper side anyway (and with better beer, coffee and food (arguably) than the French resorts).
In answer to zerocool, Alpes D’Huez has opened a few new trails in the last year – ie added them to the official maps so they are easy to find. A couple of extra lifts now take bikes, including a brand new one from Allemond to Oz Station, which is a real bonus if you are staying in the valley.
Have fun wherever you go. Morzine probably is a decent option for a first trip, flying, with family ; )Posted 5 months ago
I’d also suggest White Room – our first trip to the Alps with them got us to sample some great spots including over the border (La Thuile, Pila).
EDIT – just read family friendly, and non-technical so maybe not White Room.Posted 5 months ago
Morzine is a great place to start. Loads of trails, all very accessible from well connected lifts, a great mix of terrain to suit all kinds of riding. No need to over think it, you can just go out for a day and ride whatever takes your fancy (or you can plot some more creative routes or book a guide). Pretty decent town with heaps of other stuff for non bikers and family or a rest day. Easy access too. Not far from Geneva for a flight or a manageable drive from Calais. Its busier than other places but hardly packed, and its popular for a reason.Posted 5 months ago
Thanks all – some good advice.Posted 5 months ago
Will check the suggestions out.
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