Feel the burn: 5 of Europe’s toughest climbs for mountain bikers

There’s more to mountain biking than riding downhill.

Not many riders plan their adventures aiming to find the toughest climb. But for those of you who are always on the look out for the next challenge, it’s here. We went searching for Europe’s toughest trails and grueling ascents…

Soller Valley, Mallorca

The west coast of Mallorca is home to some of Europe’s most challenging mountainous climbs.

Of the routes around Soller Valley, mountain bikers tend to favour the 4-5 hour ride starting in Soller, making their way through Cala Dei and Puerto Soller. You’ll be tested against several technical climbs. As soon as you set off on the 30km trail from Soller, you’ll face a tough ride up along a remote road before embarking on the tiresome dirt trail.

Once you’ve tackled the rocky single trail in Cala Dei, you’ll take on the most challenging climb up Deia road to the top of Soller. With breathtaking backdrops and exciting descents, you won’t even notice the burn in your legs…

Ascent: up to 500m

Nearest airport: Palma Mallorca Airport

Highest temperature (av): August, 25℃

Lowest temperature (av): February, 4℃


Corsica, France

Corsica recently exploded onto the mountain biking scene and has been a hit ever since!

Rugged, unpredictable terrain is just the warm up. Wait until you come face to face with the extremely steep mountain climbs – exceeding 2700m! There are over 100 peaks that rise to over 2000m. Some sharp. Some slow. Some just out right nasty. The unpredictable terrains make an ‘easy’ ride in Corsica feel like a ride across Death Valley, California.

Ascent: up to 1000m

Nearest airport: Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport

Highest temperature (av): August, 27℃

Lowest temperature (av): January, 3℃

Carinthia, Austria

Why not try The Nock Five? A crazy 4 day route which combines five of the country’s most beautiful and exhilarating summits. With several intense, rocky climbs – each challenging your physical capabilities and psychological fortitude – comes the reward and thrill of powerful descents.

Nearest airport: Klagenfurt Airport

Highest temperature (av): July, 25℃

Lowest temperature (av): January, -1℃

Dolomites, Italy

The Dolomites make the perfect final climb.

The Seceda mountains boast the steepest climb in the region. It might not be the most technical route in our list, but it will certainly put your skills to the test with a brutal climb! This ruthless route will force you to break through some tough pain barriers. But, with the 2000m downhill onto the NR6 singletrack makes it all worth it!

Ascent: up to 2500m

Nearest airport: Milan Bergamo Airport

Highest temperature: August, 29℃

Lowest temperature: February, -1℃