Bike trip from the Provence to Finale Ligure
I use every occasion as an excuse to go mountain biking. Wedding, biking. Some weeks off, biking. Lack of snow, biking. Overcoming my emotions, biking. Doing the dishes, biking. The unknown and forbidden trails behind my apartment are not enough to keep me occupied all summer. So this year I found the perfect excuse: A wedding in the Gard department in France. My girlfriend was all too happy to pack my Giant Reign, E-Reign and surfboard and go explore the Provence for once.
It started on the wedding day, we had to wait a bit before the feast happened. Just outside this picturesque village, a fun trail went down to Remoulins. After the wedding, we made our way to Bagnols en Foret in Provence in France. Bagnols en Foret, rolling mountains, home of enduro motorbiking and trails beyond the eye can see. A real gem that needs some trail maintenance, if you don’t want to come home looking attacked by a nervous cat that put his claws in your arm. A great place to explore and do some big tours. Both Rookies & Intermediates will have a blast. As a passionate chef, I finally got the chance to see where all the Provencal herbs come from and pick some on my way down. The landscape is breathtaking and guides you through all sorts of pines and cypresses.
We are leaving the Provence behind and swapping them for the Ligurian Alps. Our first stop is Bordighera, a village on the Ligurian coast, bordering the San Remo trails. This time, we are camping in a little village 3,5 km from Bordighera. On the first day, I explored some well-known trails. I climb about 760 vertical meters and find sandy rock slabs, with shapes that remind me of Moab (USA). All this includes an ocean view. On the second day, we explored together. It takes us deeper into the Ligurian Alps. After a delicious Italian espresso in Seborga, we make our way to the saddle between two valleys. Between Monte Caggio & Monte Peiga, we descend “the Slipperino”. Its nickname does it justice. We had a very dry day, so it wasn’t slippery at all. I guess it is called that way as the trail is covered with leaves. The next town you’ll find is Perinaldo, where we had gnocchi for lunch. Finding the descent to the next mountaintop is tricky, but we found stairs to ride down to proceed with our journey via a normal road.
We rode a naturally shaped trail called Biamonti with smooth wavey gravel. The fire road parts are pretty boring if you ask me. The Cadillac trail had some cool sections, but also not super great. Overgrown for the most part. Last but not least, a lovely forbidden trail that's called Santa Croce Bassa, which was actually a fun trail to ride.
Vallebona, a sight for sore eyes! A Medieval village shaped like a cross. For culture and food lovers a great place to visit. Overall the surroundings in this area are exceptionally beautiful. We also explored on foot and found numerous cool little pathways everywhere.
With an upcoming trip to Finale Ligure, I couldn’t help myself and wanted to experience new trails there. My favourite place to stay is Finalborgo. This biker community town kept its Italian charm. It is not as touristy as Finale Ligure itself. Of course, there are lots of tourists, but when you get up the mountain to go biking you understand why. Without a doubt, a world-class bike destination!
Trails vary from smooth as butter, loamy flowy, and super gnarly to rocky. Insanely long descents of more than 20 km. From the shuttle, you can instantly ride crazy trails, combining this with little climbs, the area expands to several other trails and mountains. Leading you back to the sea or further into the wild. Passing towns like Mallare, Bardineto, and Berrioli. If you really want to ride some specials I would recommend trails around those towns.