Guide to Mountain Biking in Verbier
Verbier is renowned throughout Europe for being a mountain biking hotspot thanks to its tremendous bike park, which features trails extending hundreds of kilometres, as well as a very handy lift system which gets visitors around with the minimum of fuss.
Throw in some breathtaking Alpine scenery, a large range of bike stores, and its location as the start point of the mountain bike marathon Grand Raid Cristalp and it is easy to see why Verbier is the dream destination for many mountain bikers.
Why is Verbier a Great Place for Mountain biking?
Verbier’s trails make it truly world class when compared to any other mountain destination for biking on the planet. Aided by the efficient and reliable lift system, you can enjoy the tracks and then head back up for another go in double quick time, seeing if you can beat your previous attempt. Verbier’s trails take riders through woodland and rock gardens during summer, with many fast single tracks, many of them taking you 2,000 metres downhill – pure excitement! The cross country trails are famous for their valleys which appear from nowhere, and the sheer vastness of the area, which means riders can be in the saddle all day and not spot another bike.
How does it work?
Most rides for package groups will be based on ability level, meaning you can ensure the right itinerary for your requirements. More experienced riders with a knowledge of the landscape may choose to plot their own way along the trails. Biking holidays range from a one day schedule to a number of weeks, and providers are happy to cater to the timings of their customers. Many companies provide all in one packages that offer guiding, coaches, bike hire, bike maintenance and the best chalet rentals Verbier has to offer.
It is up to the group to decide if they want to enjoy all the services or stay independent when it comes to where to stay. Typically groups will be prepared a hearty breakfast, and take a packed lunch with them on the trails before returning to their chalets for lunch. A bike wash service is also provided commonly, and this is a valuable addition, considering the huge amount of mud you can sometimes pick up on a day through the mountains!
Where to go?
Access to the trails in Verbier is usually available from June to September – prime time for mountain bikers’ Verbier seasonal rentals – with a little leeway either side. One of the most popular packages is the ‘Tour de Mount Blanc’, which takes a few days to wind its way around Europe’s highest peak. It is also possible to ride part of the Grand Raid route itself, and this itinerary is usually broken up into two days for the Verbier to Grimentz journey.
The story of the Enduro Trails
After battling against Swiss legislation for six years, the area around Verbier is now the largest ridable area in the country for bikers. Fabrice ‘Trifon’ Tirefort is the designer and head of Bikepark Verbier, and the man responsible for the addition of over 60 jumps onto the trails, making it an irresistible attraction for adrenaline seekers. Trifon is a former professional that raced in the World Cup Downhills, and is responsible for leading the push to make Verbier a world-class mountain biking destination, using the very same slopes that attract skiers and snowboarders in the winter.
The village itself offers a vibrant resort culture with events such as the International Classical Music Festival taking place on an annual basis. There are a large number of regular celebrity visitors that might be spotted enjoying their holidays at different times of the year, from the British Royal Family to Diana Ross. A range of luxury Verbier accommodation options and noted restaurants are also located in and around the village, giving visitors a wealth of evening activities after a day on the trails. Local delicacies include Bagnes cheese and Entremount sausages, as well as dried meat.