Mountain Biking in Meribel
Arguably Meribel’s strongest selling point for its summer activities, 2014 saw Meribel chosen for the finals of the Mountain Biking World Cup. In one of the biggest nods to an Alpine resort, Meribel has capitalised upon the opportunity to identify itself as one of the premier mountain biking resorts in Europe.
For the World Cup course itself (the Roc de Fer), one can hurtle down the 2.1km long trail that starts at an altitude of 1980m and finishes down in Meribel Chaudanne 550m lower!
However, mountain biking in Meribel is far more than that. For families wishing to explore the area, there are some ‘enduro’ trails perfectly designed for all ages, abilities and fitness, coupled with more challenging tracks and trails for improving intermediates whilst not holding anything back for expert riders.
If you need more information to inform your decision then for the 2016 season Meribel’s vital MTB statistics will read:
- 25km of downhill trails
- 39km of Enduro trails
- 12km of cross-country tracks
- 77km total of trails
- Designated freeride areas
- Descent height range 1100m – 2738m (Meribel valley)
- 14 total trails
- 7017ft vertical
- 3 wash stations (Meribel-Mottaret, Les Allues and Saulire gondola station)
Those who’ve already sampled the mountain biking opportunities in Meribel rave about how quiet it is compared to more saturated competition such as Morzine and how relatively unspoilt the singletrack is here.
With a good mixture of blue and green runs for those looking to build confidence or simply starting out, there is also a selection of reds and blacks with tight, steep, technical sections through narrow trees. The French Mountain Biking Championships are being held here for the next 3 years – again outlining the pedigree of what Meribel has to offer.
So if you are looking to get tooled up with your downhill gear, you won’t be disappointed. Equally, if you’re just looking for more enduro and trail based riding then you’ll feel perfectly at home as well.
As in the winter, Meribel connects into the larger 3 Valleys area. So where we’ve outlined the perks of mountain biking in Meribel, a short lift ride away will see you atop one of the mountain ridges, swooping down into Courchevel, Les Menuires or Val Thorens – opening up even more terrain.
You can easily purchase a lift pass for you and your bike with the cost being €55 for 6 days. This also includes access to the swimming pool and ice rink in Meribel. Meribel MTB trail map
Road Cycling in Meribel
Situated in an attractive part of the northern French Alps, Meribel nestles nicely amongst some of the famous climbs of the Tour de France, Dauphine Libere or Paris-Nice road cycling races.
With 2 of our chalets located conveniently in Meribel town centre, and the third a little further down the mountain in Meribel Les-Allues, we are perfectly situated for you and your group’s cycling holidays.
All 3 chalets benefit from generously sized, secure, lock-up garages, from which you will have a perfect base and space from which to head out on your daily rides. Moreover, they all benefit from external space whereby you can perform your daily bike cleans if desired or required.
Within a 20 mile radius of Meribel, one is treated to the climbs of the Col de l’Iseran (the longest Alpine climb in Europe), the Col de Madeleine (located in the next valley along), le Col de Saisies, le Cormet de Roseland, and the famous Col de Petit St Bernard.
For a variation on one’s day in the saddle, a 25 mile pedal will take you out to the shores of Lake Annecy where the Massif des Aravis mountain range provides le Col de Semnoz (where Chris Froome cemented his 2013 Tour de France victory), le Col de Tamie as well as the Col des Aravis. The attraction of these climbs is they aren’t as busy as some of the other alpine giants such as Alpe d’Huez, allowing you and your friends to cycle up them in peace, and focussing on an almost traffic free descent.
Perhaps you just want to spend the day finding your Alpine legs and cycling around the edge of the lake – a 40-mile ride in itself! Either way, you won’t be disappointed… With many of the cols within striking distance of Meribel, the cyclist benefits from less aggressive gradients, typically between 3 and 12% and almost ice rink like smooth tarmac to ride on. A welcome relief from the pot-holed, heavy tarmac of back in the UK!
In addition, due to cycling’s stature in French culture, nearly all of the significant cols are earmarked with professional distance and altitude markers along the road, to help one gauge their efforts on the climbs. The council of the Savoie region of France have made a yearly commitment to closing some of the roads up these famous climbs, which really makes you dream as if you could be riding in a solo breakaway at the front of the Tour!
All in all, Meribel is an ideal location to base yourself for your cycling holiday – a short minibus transfer from Geneva, a drive from the UK or a journey on the train with your bike bag/box.