Our destination, the Maira Valley, is situated to the west of Cuneo, Piedmont in north-western Italy. Piedmont’s name comes from the Latin ad pedem montium, “at the foot of the mountains”, and mountains they are. As we travel through the valley we are constantly accompanied by the Maira river, its flow complemented by brief stops in some of the profoundly remote villages along the way. Outside of summer, the valley is stunningly quiet and presents a kind of simplicity that manages to be subtly spectacular.
The valley is loved by ski tourers, who fill the place with energy during winter. Mountainbiking is also starting to become more popular – accommodation providers are responding by meeting the specialist needs of twowheel guests. A veritable jewel amongst them is the Locanda Mistral in Ponte Maira – we’ve been visiting the owners Manuela and Renato there for many years, enjoying their magnificent welcome each time. They’ve also proved to be an excellent source of tips for lesser known but truly spectacular routes to ride.
We’ve been to the Maira Valley many times, and now it has an important place in our hearts as mountainbikers. It’s a special land, that calls us back at least once a year. And each time we’re surprised afresh at the variety and quality of the routes available. Join us in this thrilling corner of the Alps and experience the very best in both mountainbiking and hospitality.
- Day 1: Circling Monte Buch, ↑1.900 m, ↓1.900 m, 37 km
- Day 2: Colletto Serasin and Passo della Gardetta, ↑1.050 m, ↓2.220 m, 30 km
- Day 3: Colle San Giovanni and Napoleonica, ↑1.170 m, ↓1.700 m, 29 km
- Day 4: Monte Bellino, ↑1.100 m, ↓1.650 m, 25 km
- Day 5: Monte Tibert and Lottulo, ↑360 m, ↓2.040 m, 24 km
- Day 6: Gardetta plateau and Colle de Mulo, ↑760 m, ↓1.580 m, 28 km
Depending on the weather, we choose our routes at short notice when we’re there, also taking the abilities and preferences of the group into account. We generally make use of the minivan, but we can sometimes go “allbike” if the group prefers. Each fullday ride that uses minivan support starts at altitude, with a lengthy ride back to our accommodation. Above and then through forested areas, sometimes very much into high-alpine territory, a wide range of types of terrain that will totally blow your mind.
- 7 nights accommodation including halfboard at Locanda Mistral
- All shuttles services
- Qualified bike guide(s) or mountain guide for six days
- Personal travel to/from the meeting point at Locanda Mistral
- Drinks during the evening meal
- Single supplement € 225,-
Sufficient strength and endurance to be able to cope with the kind of riding mentioned above. Solid bike skills for S2 routes. Experience with riding trails in high mountain areas (balance, choice of line, etc.), and also with pushing/carrying a bike in these conditions. Descents are mainly on singletracks. An all-mountain full-suspension or an enduro bike, with min. 140 mm travel, is recommended.
- Wellmaintained mountainbike: enduro full suspension with at least 140 mm suspension travel
- MTBspecific protective clothing (helmet, eyewear, gloves, knee protectors, other body protectors if available)
- Waterproof gear and multiple changes of clothing
- Rucksack for day rides (drinks bottle, spare inner tube, pump, energy bars, lights for riding on the road, …)
- Appropriate and sufficient spare parts.
We'll bring a tool box with a lot of tools and some spare parts as well. But remember, the next bike shop isn't close.
A detailed kit list will be provided after booking.
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Unless otherwise stated, all our trips need to be booked at least two weeks before the day of departure. At that point it will be ascertained whether the minimum number of participants has been reached and the trip is able to take place.