Winter MTB holidays – Your suggestions please!

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  • Winter MTB holidays – Your suggestions please!
  • Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    Seeking help from the STW hive mind for ideas on destinations and providers for winter guided mountain bike trips. Ideally 3 -7 days, the drier the better. Feedback on personal experiences of any also much appreciated.

    So far I have the following…

    Madiera – Freeride Madiera

    Ainsa – Basque MTB

    Sierra Nevada, Spain – Pure Mountains

    Lavatrax – Tenerife

    Your turn, Go!…..

    smashit
    Member

    Define ‘winter’…..?

    We (Saddle Skedaddle) have a few trips to Portugal, Spain and Morocco between now and the end of March. WINTER TRIPS

    Premier Icon stewartc
    Subscriber

    Rotorua, flipping excellent with a lot of different stuff to explore guided and unguided

    Chiang Mei, Thailand, prime time between October and March, there a few mountain bike guides there but I tend to use X-Biking. Its cheap while there and there’s a fair few things to do off the bike.

    Note: There’s an Enduro race in Chiang Mei in later November, if you can get a place might be worth putting that in your itinerary (http://www.thailandenduroseries.com/index.html)?

    Since leaving the UK winter has become prime riding season for me, difficult to enjoy summer riding in Honkers….unless you are a sadist.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    South Africa. Cape Velo can probably sort something out

    Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    Define ‘winter’…..?

    The crappy bit here in the UK, usually, but not exclusively limited to, anytime from late November up to the end of March, when the days are short, it’s cold, wet and most natural trails are a boggy mess.

    Looking at those winter Saddle Skedaddle trips, some have potential :0)

    Rotorua, Chiang Mei, Tazmania etc…

    All great, but not really practical for a week or less.

    South Africa has potential. Long flight but no jet lag!

    Keep ’em coming…..

    La Gomera. Went there in January this year and it’s marvellous. Complete mixture of riding: loamy, sandy, rocky, technical and very steep downhills, rock gardens, roots, jumps, you name it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and probably progressed more in that week than I had in the 5 years previous just doing the usual local stuff.

    Tenerife government is apparently cracking down on where you can ride, never been there on MTB so don’t know how much this would affect a biking holiday there, but our guide in La Gomera had moved from Tenerife because of this.

    Can’t find the website but the guy we used is on FB as Fab Ulous MTB.

    Buzzard
    Member

    I second South Africa and have heard good things about Cape Velo, Ive just booked my 5 days for January (note that I’m not using Cape Velo however). Guaranteed weather outweighs the longer flights for me (to be honest I have access to accommodation so that balances out the costs which also makes it an easier choice)

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    South Africa is a long flight but it’s overnight and as you say no jet lag. It’s pretty cheap once you’re out there as well with a big mtb community

    johni
    Member

    Switch-backs.com worth a look for Spain.  I’m heading out to Bubion tomorrow for 4 days with them and have been with various groups there for the last 14years.

    In the winter they move to the mountains around Malaga which we did last year.  Great trails, guiding and van assisted uplifts mean you spend more time descending and less time pedalling up.

    vmgscot
    Member

    Whoever does Morroco these days, been a couple times a while back and it gives you chance to experience a different culture as well as dry dusty trails.

    Premier Icon danti
    Subscriber

    Ciclo Montana for Sierra Nevada. Great holiday for the money. They also do a few trips to Morocco which are great but may be later than you want.

    Premier Icon Potdog
    Subscriber

    La Gomera is mostly national park so riding off road is pretty much out of the question there. You’re not getting mixed up with El Hierro are you? One of the guys from the North of Tenerife moved over there to continue his guiding.

    EDIT: Just seen the FB page of the guy. He moved from FreeMotion in Gran Canaria according to his page. Still not sure how he’s getting away with guiding MTB in a national park though. That’s something they are all pretty hot on and the fines if you get caught are pretty steep!

    The Canaries as a whole have the same laws, but each island seems to decide whether to enforce them or not. Even districts of islands have slightly different views. It’s a pain in the ass, and the reason we have less trails available in North Tenerife than in the South.

    Gran Canaria have just recently stuck up a load of No Biking signs, La Palma seem to be embracing MTB, El Hierro too. Tenerife is currently undertaking a review of cycling as a whole, in MTB terms the proposal is to fully legalise shared use senderos (paths less than 2m wide) to bring them in line with areas in the mainland (Zona Zero for example). Only time will tell.

    The Canary Islands are always 5 or 6 years behind the rest of the world!

    Onzadog
    Member

    You’ve already got BasqueMTB on your short list. Stop messing about and get it booked!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Sierra nevada is great, but will be snowed in for most of the winter.

    I went with Switchbacks to Malaga, the riding is fantastic but it turned out I don’t ‘get’ uplift riding. It’s a novelty for a day, but I was craving longer descents (there are a few but most are DH track length, not mountain trail length) and the sense of accomplishment from doing a big loop.

    I’ve only heard positive stuff about Morocco.

    Definitely La Gomera potdog. Base was Valle Gran Rey, cycled all over the place. Met with park rangers every day, they were cool with what we were doing. The national park bits right at the top of the island were the only sections we were not allowed to ride.

    Morocco – Atlas Mountains. I’ve been 2 times and always recommend it when this type of question comes up – I’m thinking of going again this year. Both times I’ve gone around xmas new year and the weather’s been great, sunny but not too hot, had the odd day of rain. A week of guided, supported, all food, different place to stay every night and flights used to be about £1k. Good to experience a different culture, different food etc. and not too far away.

    Based right on the beach with plenty of Winter sun to enjoy.

    Beachside accomodation,great breakfasts and a free bar.

    Stunning singletrack rides with plenty of bus uplift during the day & fun après-bike on the coast at night.

    Just 560 Euros for a packed week.

    Reviews?

    http://www.guestbookcentral.com/guestbook.cfm?guestbook=52342

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g315915-d2540144-Reviews-Sierra_MTB-Fuengirola_Costa_del_Sol_Province_of_Malaga_Andalucia.html

    Checkout http://www.sierramtb.com

    Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    Hi all,

    Quick update: Thanks for all your suggestions, in the end I decided to book the Basque MTB ‘Ainsa Enduro’ week. The chance to ride some proper EWS stages was just too good to miss. Having just got back, I can happily say it was fantastic. Incredible trails, stunning scenery, brilliantly well organised. I highly recommend it!

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