Whiteride's guide to mountain biking in the Tarentaise Valley
The Tarentasie Valley has an unbelievable amount of single track covering numerous resorts and mountains, making it one of, if not the best place to mountain bike in the Alps.
Where is the Tarentaise valley?
Situated in the east of France in the Alps in the Savoie region, the Tarentaise Valley runs all the way up to the Italian boarder.
The Valley floor stretches from Albertville, Moutiers and up to Bourg Saint Maurice which is the last main town in the valley.
Which mountain biking resorts are in the Tarentasie Valley?
There are 3 main mountain biking area’s in the Tarentaise Valley:
Les 3 Vallées which consists of the following resorts:
- Val Thorens
- La Tania
Paradiski mountain biking areas, which consists of the following resorts:
- Les Arcs
- La Plagne
- Montchavin-Les Coches
Espace Killy, which consists of the following mountain biking resorts:
Other MTB resorts within the Tarentaise Valley:
- Saint Foy
- La Roisere/ La Thulie
All the above listed Alps mountain biking resorts offer maintained downhill MTB trails, plus other easier trails. Lift access to the top of the mountains is available during the summer months.
Mountain biking lift pass prices range from 20 – 30 euros per day throughout the summer months.
Some resorts are more mountain bike ready than others. Whiterides shares our top picks!
Our top picks for Alps mountain biking
Mountain Biking in Les Arcs
Les Arcs, Peisey Vallandry has lift access for mountain biking over 2 months during the summer, July and August.
There is a total of 8 lifts open over the resorts, all of which you can take your bike on.
Access is easily gained from one resort to another, and even to La Plagne with the famous Vanoise Express, that takes you and your bike right across the valley.
A funicular train from Bourg Saint Maurice gives access to 1600 from that side.
Les Arcs has a variety marked of runs to suit all levels, from complete beginners to experts. You’ll find easy cruising green runs, blue runs, red runs, and black runs for those more experienced riders.
Even though Les Arcs has plenty of marked MTB trails, you’ll also find endless single track that is not marked and these are some of the best, more advanced, trails in the area.
For these MTB routes you’ll need a guide with local knowledge. Some of these trails are hard to find and you really do need to know where you’re going.
Some trails descending all the way to the valley floor, giving a vertical drop of 2000 meters plus!
A day pass in Les Arcs costs €20 for a full day / €65 for a week. Les Arcs MTB prices.
Transfer time to Les Arcs from Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble is approximately 2.5 hrs.
Check out the Les Arcs Bike Park, and click here for the Les Arcs MTB trail map.
Mountain biking in La Plagne
La Plagne is linked to Les Arcs and Peisey-Vallandry via the Vanoise Express cable car, this spans the valley between the two resorts to create a huge area of manmade and natural riding terrain.
The Vanoise Express is a huge double deck cable car that can carrier upto 200 people.
On the bottom level is a section of glass floor, aptly named Vertigo. You can see right to the bottom of the 385 metre valley floor.
La Plagne, like Les Arcs, has a number of lifts and marked trails. Although not yet as established as the Les Arcs side it is getting better year after year.
A new pump track and bike park area opened in summer 2017.
The best trails are again, the unmarked single tracks in La Plagne. As before, you will need a MTB guide. These are hard trails to find.
A La Plagne MTB day pass costs €15, or €30 for the week. More information on the Bike Park and MTB La Plagne.
Transfer time to Les Arcs from Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble is approximately 2.5 hrs
Mountain biking in Tignes
Tignes is suited to those looking for more bike park style riding. Tignes has loads of manmade runs that include berms, jumps, wooden features and lots more.
With Tignes station being at 2100 meters above sea level most of the trails are well above the tree line offering great open views all over the resort.
That said you can find woodland trails that run down to Tignes Les Brevieres and even down into Val d’isere.
From smooth rolling berms to technical rocky sections and woodland descents there’s something for everyone in Tignes. For experts riders there is a huge jump line with massive features.
And the best thing about Tinges is that the lifts are FREE all summer.
Transfer time to Tignes from Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble is approximately 3 hrs
Click to view Tignes bike park.
Mountain biking in La Rosiere and La Thuile
La Rosiere & La Thuile are situated on the French/Italian boarder. La Rosiere is on the French side and La Thuile is on the Italian side. The two make for a great day out, venturing between the two countries, and there are some great mountain bike trails.
La Rosiere side is limited in terms of lift access but it does have some awesome single track the goes all the way back to Bourg Saint Maurice.
Over at La Thuile side there are a handful of lifts, but the marked trails are awesome. Be prepared for some fast, steep technical single track runs from the top back down into La Thuile village.
La Thuile is a regular stage on the world enduro series calander - www.enduroworldseries.com.
Transfer time to La Rosiere and La Thuile from Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble is approximately 3 hours.
La Thuile Bike Park
La Thuile Trail Map
Mountain biking in the Alps off the beaten track
If you want to get away from the lifts and man-made trails to head out on an adventure then you don’t have to go far.
Find a network of awesome single track that runs all over the Tarenataise Valley.
We at Whiterides always recommend you take a local guide to get the most out of your days riding.
Mountain bike tours
Many of the best trails in the area are not marked and you would struggle to find where they start. We recommend you take a local guide to show you around.
Emily Horridge, of The Insideline MTB is a very experience and competent guide who offers guiding and coaching in the Tarnetaise area. Visit the website at theinsidelinemtb.com.
Up lifts for mountain bikers in the Alps
Want to get off the beaten track?
If your group consists of 4 or more, and you would like to experience untouched alpine single track then book a Whiterides self guided uplift day!
With a 8 seater minibus and a specific mountain bike trailer we will take you up to our local trails give you a map and then pick you up at the bottom.
Prices starting from €275.00.
4 persons minimum, 8 people maximum. An average of 5 runs in one day, depending on the speed of the group.
If you wish to ride in an alternative resort for the day we can arrange this too.
Email us direct for more info or to book - [email protected].
Bike hire and maintenance
Bike Hire/ maintenance – need bike hire, your bike fixed or just some spares then look no further than a partner Gravity lab, offering great prices on great rental bikes, like The NORCO RANGE and you can hire E –bikes by HAIBIKE as well.
They have hire shops located in both Bourg Saint Maurice and Tignes.
Prices from 69 euro per day.
Gravity Lab - www.gravitylab-tignes.fr
Or visit Startline MTB:
Startline MTB - www.startlinemtb.com
MTB School/ Coaching (Startline MTB) - www.startlinemtb.com/bike-school
Where to stay for Alps Mountain Biking
There are handful of chalets offering mountain biking holidays in the Tarentaise area, and plenty of hotel and self catering options too.
Here is are a few of Whiteride Transfers top picks.
Getting to the Alps for Mountain Biking
The Tarentaise Valley is approximately 2.5 hours from the airports in Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble.
There are plenty of options for flights from the UK with airlines such as Easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and Swiss air.
Whiterides offer transfers all year round from Geneva, Lyon, Grenoble and Chambery.
Bike carriage is free with Whiterides. We can take up to 8 passengers in our minibuses, plus bikes with a special trailer.