Arguably home to the best Enduro trails in Europe, Finale Ligure is typically the next step destination after exploring Morzine, offering dusty and wild trails. 

Being home to an Enduro World Series round shows just how much good riding Finale Ligure has to offer, which is some of the techiest you’ll find. After heading to Morzine for the first time, our UK-based Atlas Ride Co staffer Lewis was heading to Finale Ligure to experience what Italy has to offer. You can read about Lewis’ Morzine trip HERE to get a feel for what the French MTB Mecca is all about. 

The purpose of Lewis’ trip to Finale Ligure was not only to ride some of the finest trails in Europe, but also to assist with capturing content of the social media phenomenon and super-quick Jono Jones. A long-time friend of Atlas Ride Co, we love getting the opportunity to work alongside Jono, creating Instagram bangers and video content. 

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Arriving in Finale Ligure

As we left Morzine and made our way through Mt Blanc tunnel, the first stop was for coffee, and truly, it just hit differently in Italy. For a coffee-lover like myself, Italy and Finale Ligure is onto a winner already. 

After driving through the epic Aosta Valley (see our tour HERE), we wind our way down to sea level and along the coast getting closer to Finale Ligure. Finale Ligure is a properly functioning town sitting on the Mediterranean coast. With a promenade running the length of the town and past a central square, it’s a stunning town to spend a few days by the sea, let alone on a mountain bike too! We arrive at Villa Arcelli, which is very close to the town centre (about a 2-minute drive). The villa is over 3 levels, has huge high ceilings and is full of awesome Atlas Ride staff. We get unpacked, change into riding gear, quick bike set up (luckily there’s a Specialized Enduro from our hire fleet waiting for me), and load the trailer up ready to head up to NATO Base. 

As a side note, usually, our Riders Week guests arrive via Nice airport, a short 1h30 journey across the border into France. Guests are picked up by Atlas Ride and driven to Finale Ligure. Other options include flying to Genoa or getting the train from Nice, which is an absolutely stunning train ride. 

First laps at NATO Base

Mountain bike trails in Finale Ligure

Day One - NATO Base

NATO base is, as the name suggests, a disused NATO base. The buildings are covered in graffiti and it’s the highest trailhead, located about 40 minutes in the van from the centre of Finale Ligure. The trails are a bit more chill than most in the area, so it’s a good place to start and where we take all of our Riders Weeks’ group to find their feet. The trails are long and flow through the forest. 

Like all of the trails in Finale Ligure, even the easier ones have tough sections. As the trails are so natural, it’s almost impossible to give a consistent grading like you might find in the bike parks of Morzine, however with the right attitude, Finale is so much fun and you’ll be able to navigate most features you find - there are barely any jumps in Finale Ligure, let alone big gap jumps!

After a couple of hours at NATO Base, we finish up at a little village outside of Finale Ligure and roll down the hill on the road back to the main town. You can jump back in the van at this point, but as it’s all downhill, it’s nice to cool off and enjoy the scenery. 

Once we arrive, it’s straight to the town square for something to eat and drink. More on the town later…

Fast and Loose in Finale Ligure

Day Two - Pietra Ligure & Spotorno

As most mornings do in Italy, day two starts with an espresso and a pastry. The villa is so close to the town making a morning walk and a dip in the sea a perfect way to set yourself up for the day ahead. Of course, if you’re staying with us breakfast is provided. 

After loading the van, we head to the hills above Pietra Ligure, a town a little further along the coast. Even after a night of heavy rain, the trails are dusty and dry, thanks to all the rock and their exposed location. There are flat-out sections, tight woodland sections and plenty of rocks. 

Before Jono arrives, it’s the turn of Atlas Ride Co head honchos Rich & Ben in front of the camera. The cameras are operated by Scott (@scott_windsor), who captures some great trail riding content from Pietra Ligure, with Rich and Ben pulling out the stops and riding loose. 

After a couple of hours of riding it’s time for lunch. And what a lunch! Costing about €10 and served in a local restaurant, we had 2 pasta dishes, wild Ligurian rabbit (a delicacy of the area) and followed by sorbet and espresso. Wow.

After lunch, we head along the coast in the other direction to Spotorno, which is my favourite riding spot of the trip. With views over the ocean and flowy trails, Spotorno is just perfect. The time passed by quickly, with lots of stoke, and then back to the villa for a seafood dinner prepared by Chef Tony. Have I mentioned the food? Bellissimo.

You can check out the edit from the day below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MTBBEDS (@mtbbeds)

Day Three - Spotorno & Roller Coaster

Day Three sees Jono join us for the day. It’s a pretty packed schedule to capture all the footage. We start by heading back to Spotorno in the morning to try one of the EWS stages. High above the Finale area, the views are incredible, matched by the stunning trails. Fast, rocky, loose and long, Spotorno is SO MUCH FUN, especially watching Jono hang it out and smash through the gnar.

After several hours at Spotorno sessioning trail sections to get that perfect shot, we head to Roller Coaster, one of the trails that everyone talks about after a week in Finale Ligure, and part of the EWS roster. With undulating compressions, flowy corners and not too technical or steep (by comparison to what else is there), Roller Coaster will keep you on your toes as the tight twists can easily catch you out and you’ll be off the side of the trail in no time. Easy in theory, it also offers fun features to shoot on. Scott captures probably the best shots of the trip ready to edit into a true banger. 

The day ends with a roll down the tarmac to a waiting van as the sun starts to set, and although it’s the end of a short trip to Finale Ligure, everyone’s buzz is high. But filming doesn’t stop there…

We love working with Jono not only for his riding but his willingness to go the extra mile, like eating pizza underwater… 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MTBBEDS (@mtbbeds)

The Town of Finale Ligure - Bikes, Beers and Pizzas

A review of Finale Ligure wouldn’t be complete without a section on the town itself. The riding is superb and the town lives up to the lofty expectations the riding puts on the destination. Sitting on the Mediterranean in the Ligurian region, Finale Ligure has beachside vibes, amazing gelato, out-of-this-world seafood and the best frozen Limoncello I’ve ever had. The town square is buzzing with mountain bikers and Italians watching the football in harmony. And the best part? The bars do free buffets while you’re enjoying the local beer - perfect to replenish and nourish after a day of riding!

If you get some downtime in Finale Ligure (which we schedule for in our riders week), check out the old town of Finalborgo, a walled ancient town a short ride from the Villa. With cobbled narrow streets and a bustling piazza, it’s very traditionally Italian. 

Oddone Bici is a staple of Finale Ligure. A bike-shop-come-bar is one of the coolest little spots to check out. You can get craft beer or good coffee all while browsing high-end bikes and gear - how good!

So there you have it; Finale Ligure, heaven for enduro riders wanting natural trails. The riding is superb and there are over 100 trails to discover, plenty to keep you coming back for more year after year. Backed up by an incredible town and Italian hospitality and food, Finale Ligure is as much a holiday destination as it is a mountain bike holiday destination, and I think that is what makes it so special. 

WANT A HOLIDAY LIKE JONO?

With spaces filling up fast, get booked in for Finale this Spring. Bookings are almost full for our Spring Finale residency, so make sure you GET BOOKED to secure your spot. 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in our stunning villa located only metres from the beach and town square of Finale Ligure.
  • Return airport transfers with bike carriage (Nice)
  • Amazing, locally sourced food, served five nights of the week alongside continental breakfast on six mornings.
  • Five full days of uplifts with professional guides riding the best trails in Finale Ligure. 
  • Bee Kind Toiletries with fresh, crisp cotton linen, towels and beach towels. 
  • Experienced, passionate, professional and knowledgeable staff
  • Onsite mechanic, bike wash station with Peaty's Products and work area with Park Tool stand, brushes, tools, pump

Enquire now

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