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Chances are the weather has or is turning pretty crap!, and one or two trails may still be closed to you due to some sort of restrictions, even now. So why not go biking abroad with your mates?.

Now we are talking .. !
Pick just about any country, and someone somewhere will be running mountain bikes trips there. All you have to do is hand over your cash, turn up with or without your bike a few pairs of shorts and hit the trails.

Almeria Australia Alicante Austria Barcelona Cote-D-Azur
Crete Ethiopia France Greece Iceland Majorca
Morocco Nepal Spain Pyrenees Sri Lanka New Zealand
Swiss Alps Tanzania Tenerife P P P


Benidorm Cyprus Ibiza Gran Canaria Lanzarote Menorca
Malta Gozo Mallorca Fuerteventura Lincolnshire Peak District
Lake District Scotland P P P P

  If you have a week to spare, try here, flights are cheap, package deals are affordable and plentiful, you can eat and get drunk for about 10, and it rarely rains. Out of season is the best time to go for mountain biking, as the temperatures are bearable around the low 20s and you'll enjoy long sunny days. It's also the best time for cheap deals, and there's usually plenty of them. Anywhere in land and north of Alicante is ideal for riding. There are miles and miles of good dirt tracks straight out of Benidorm itself, and inland towards Tarbina and Finestrat. Just get yourself across the motorway and your on your way.
Bicyclemania.co.uk trails for
On/Off Road Cycling Around Benidorm
How to get there:
Try Thomson, Airtours or your local T.A. flights to Alicante are about 100. Or better still, take a cheap late package deal to Benidorm about 150 self - catering. It's not that bad out of season.

  Another Spanish trail heaven. This semi - desert region of southern Spain has possibly Europe's sunniest climate. It was the setting for many westerns. Head north - east from the airport and you'll reach the coastal region around the resort town of Mojacar, which makes a great base for out of season trail riding. You can ride straight out of the small coastal town and into the surrounding Sierras. The weather is glorious, the trails plentiful, and everything is close at hand. During the winter months, this area is fairly quiet and many of the tourist facilities close down. Flights to Almeria also become harder to find, but Alicante is less than four hour's drive away.
How to get there.
To Almeria or Alicante about 120. Car hire for one week is about 90. Head to Majacar, many small sea front hostels for about 15 p. p. night.

  For exotic riding through rainforest on red earth trails, head for Cairns. The riding can be tricky-tight and twisty single-track. Take off in either direction up the coast from Cairns and you'll find marked trails, peppered with warnings about dangerous plants and animals to be avoided that adds extra frisson to the biking.

Explore the base of Uluru  [Ayers-rock] in the heart of Australia's red centre.
Or head on north to King's Canyon where the 100-million year old Finke river has cut gorges that beg to be ridden fast and hard. It's one hell of a wicked place to live with your mountain bike.

  If you like your creature comforts, Chalet Levett is just outside St, Anton in the Austrian Alps. There are about 60 km of good marked trails on your doorstep. Austria has tons of great trail riding to keep you happy all day along, with fantastic mountain scenery around every twist and turn.  

  For a short break Barcelona takes some beating. It's amazingly cheap and easy to get to for a start. The weather is nice for most of the year the winters are generally mild and sunny, while summers are very hot and dry. The city is also a major centre for culture, if that's your bag. There are plenty of great rides to do within minutes of the city. To the north are the wooded hills around Mataro, where there's some great riding. To the west there's Montjuic, which has a whole load of superb trails. Keep heading inland towards Montserrat and things just get better.
How to get there:
Try Easyjet, Debonair, B.A, or Span-air flights for about 50 - 120 return. Take the train from the airport into town and check-in to a small hostel or Formula 1 chain hotel at about 10 - 15 per/room per/night.

  Go to Crete in the summer and you'll be heading very cheaply to trail paradise. The weather is almost always warm and sunny, although it does snow inland in the winter. The bike riding is superb, stay on or off road, there really isn't that much difference. Fly to Iraklion, from there head east wards to the Dikti plains or south towards the famous white gorge. Trail finding is not that easy, most of the trails end up in some old blokes olive grove. That said it's still a great place for long distance riding.
How to get there:
Get a cheap charter flight or go self - catering from about 100 - 200. Accommodation is basic adequate and cheap. about 10 per/night see your local T.A. or Teletex.

  Very chic, arguably the world's most richest coastline, play ground for the rich and famous it may be, but you can do it on the cheap. Catch a flight to Nice, then just head inland - or stay in Nice if you fancy it. Try to eat outside the main resorts, it's better value. Just head anywhere inland and you'll find good trails, the biking is typically Mediterranean, with loads of pine forest dusty tracks that tend to be dry all year. Try east from Nice towards St, Tropez and you'll find the rolling trails used for the famous Roc d`Azur race. Turn inland to Apt and there are masses of trails. or head north to Capd`Ail and test your metal on the finest downhill in Europe.
How to get there:
Try Easyjet to Nice about 60 - 100 return, or check with your local T.A., stay in a small budget hotel chain from about 15 per room.

  Dramatic biking with more than 6,500 meters of descending is in store for you if you head here. The remote Bale Mountains of Ethiopia have everything, dirt roads and gravel pistes to test your MTB skills. Explore remote villages, you could be the first foreigner the children have ever seen.  

  Morzine is the best place for summer mountain biking. Most trips here focus on down-hilling, but if you want to explore more, try asking the owners of the local chalet, they know the area very well. In the summer they run guided trips, including some big epic rides into Switzerland. There are more than 500 km of paths and single-tracks, more than 20 lifts to take you and your bike to the top, and 6 world class downhill course to play on.  

  Normandy's Calvados country makes a good long weekend for newer bikers. On forest tracks, with challenging descents and river crossings you'll soon work up an big appetite, which is just the thing to enjoy the French food. The Cathar trail is a ride for any level it's in the foothills or the Pyrenees {it's not that technical} The Luchon Valley is renowned as one of the worlds best areas for mountain biking, with hundreds of miles of first class trails.  

  How about cycling through the land of ancient legend, from the shores of the Med to the mountains of Arcadia in the Peloponnesian peninsula. This area has non - technical routes following forest roads and rocky tracks that take in some of the best ancient sites. Lefkas in the Lonian islands has a reputation as one of Europe's top MTB destinations, trails lead inland through citrus groves towards the mountains. How about a surf, sail and cycle combo ?, you can do them in several places.  

  Why not go and ride among the geysers and icecaps in Iceland's volcanic landscape. A good place to start from is Reykjavik, you will soon be among the stunning scenery, well off the tourist trail. 80 per cent is off-road and it can be challenging due to the weather changing all the time. Not for the faint hearted.  

  Only two hours form the U.K. the Island has tons to offer you, road riding or mountain biking it's all here. Winter is the best time to go, the weather is a hell of a lot better than home. Some times it can be chilly so be prepared. You can ride down quiet country stone walled roads, hit the many dirt tracks that head of into the mountains or just stick to tarmac. The North of the Island is very good for riding, as well as the West, in fact anywhere in Majorca is good for biking. Out of season is the best time, and cheaper.
How to get there:
Fly from your local airport, lots of airlines fly to Majorca, check with you local T.A. or Teletex. There are lots of package deals to be had and cheap too. Self - catering is the best bet, food and beer is cheap too.
Cycling trails: Bicyclemania Mallorca

  The Tuareg trail in Morocco's Anti Atlas Mountains makes for great winter mountain biking, with plenty of descending. you could ride through remote villages surrounded by green terraces, explore canyons and visit palm-filled oases. There are top down-hills with wild scenery in the Atlas Mountains, rocky, steep and good dirt tracks. It's only four hours away, but the lifestyle is a million miles for Europe.  

  You need a few days acclimatising before tackling the famous Annapurna circuit by bike. Travelling along high ridges and over rugged mountain passes among the highest mountains in the world is not for the faint-hearted, but the awesome views make it worth the effort. In fact 75 per cent of the ride is downhill and it is virtually all off-road through a fascinating landscape.  

  The Swiss Alps offer some fantastic riding and scenery, from May to September, head for the French / Italian border area [Valais] where there's easy access to areas such as Verbier, which has fantastic riding. The cheapest way to do things in Switzerland is to camp in the valleys, there are lots of decent sites around. The train are the best way of getting around.
How to get there:
Fly to Geneva with Easyjet, British Airways or KLM. Check with your local T.A. return trip about 135. Then take the train to Martigny, ride or take the bus to Chablis, Sion or Brig, and camp. Or drive down and check into some of the small hotels from about 25 - 30 per/room/per/night.

  The tea estate tracks and scenic jungle paths of Sri Lanka are the perfect setting for an mtb adventure. Travelling by bike, 90 per cent off-road, is the best way to see the country and maybe even some wildlife, elephants and leopards in the parks. This holiday takes in the main cultural sites, including the rock fortress at Sigiriya and Kandy's Temple  of the tooth, and the last two days are spent chilling-out  on a gorgeous beach.  

  This epic ride goes from Mount Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar. You won't ride to the top of the mountain, but you'll get a good view of it, plus the chance to go on safari in the famous Ngorongoro crater, with the largest concentration of game anywhere. Dirt roads and rocky tracks make up 90 per cent of the riding, through amazing scenery. Cost from 1,695 Exodus biking adventures.  

  Four and a bit hour's flight from the U.K. The British head here in there millions. The weather has something to do with it, warm all year round, the summers can be very dry and hot. The best time to go for biking is the winter, when it's very pleasant, long sunny days with great biking trails. The Island is dominated by mount Teidi, the biggest mountain in Spain.

The climbs are massive, but the roads are good. Be warned though,, mountain biking is not permitted in certain areas of the Teidi national park. Stick to the pine forested foothills and you'll have a wicked time. Be-warned, on the downhill hairpins, lots of loose gravel waiting to bring you off.
Bicyclemania.co.uk trailfinders
'Do not recommend skin contact with Volcanic laver rocks!! .... our body testify to that.'
How to get there:
Try your local T.A. or Teletex, loads of cheap deals to be found. All in package deals from about 190 - 250 self - catering. Flight only from about 90 - 120. Car hire for one week from about 70 - 90. Stop in small hostels from about 15 per/room/per/night.

  The Picos de Europa, northern Spain, has never ending descents, sweeping forest trails and tricky gorge riding. No wonder Picos is one of the world's top 10 mtb destinations. You can't beat Andalucia in southern Spain for a sunny biking break. there are trails for all levels. For off - season breaks in the sun, fly to Majorca. In the North of the island there are trails through olive groves and along some beautiful coast lines, plus mountains to bust a gut on.

Don't forget Tenerife, head for the North of the island where the riding is wicked. The down-hills on the Macizo de Anaga peninsula are among the best anywhere.

  Billed as the world's best one day ride, the 42 Traverse is worth crossing the world for and that's just one of many top rides in arguably the world's best mtb country. To explore the Tongariro area of the North Island's volcanic plateau, fly to Auckland, hire a car and drive South until you reach the live volcanoes.

Queenstown in the South Island is known as the extreme sports capital of the southern hemisphere and the mountain biking here is nothing short of crazy. Straight out of town are cool technical descents and swift single-track loops in gorgeous scenery.

The southern Alps have waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and the most accessible glaciers in the world, a must see. There's stunning technical trails near to Queenstown at the South end and Nelson further North, plenty to keep the serious riders happy.

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