Guide to Biking in Verbier
If you’re a fan of biking, you’re probably always on the lookout for the best places you can explore. And there’s really no better place to do so than in the magnificent Alps. Or to be more precise, in Verbier.
There are different areas in and around Verbier where people who love to bike can go exploring, there are amazing routes you can take, and even some great hotels and camps for cycling. So, if you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime, grab your bike and head to Verbier.
Cycling in the Alps
The first thing you need to know about cycling in the Alps is that the terrain is quite challenging and it will require you to be reasonably fit. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to be as strong as Superman, but you should be able to ride without issues for at least 3-4 hours on normal terrain.
Before you make your way to a Verbier bike park, you need to ensure your bicycle is in good working condition and well lubricated. This will help reduce friction and make the climb less difficult by the equivalent of a 1% incline. This doesn’t sound like much, but after hours of biking, it will mean a lot.
Before you set off to cycle, you need to check your bike’s chain, brakes, tyre pressure, derailleur, and wheel mountings. If you happen to discover an issue with your bike when you’re in Verbier, don’t worry since you’ll be able to visit one of the bike shops in town and find an experienced mechanic there.
When you finally find yourself on the road, make sure to set off slowly. If you’ve never been mountain biking before, you might find the Alps challenging. The climbs are long, the summits are high, the air gets thinner the higher you go, and if you’re biking during the summer, the sun can be scorching.
When you’re ready to descend, get ready for a fast and sometimes bumpy descent and keep an eye out for cars and other cyclists. While the roads are usually quiet and the drivers you meet on your way will be considerate, it’s still smart to keep a close eye.
And finally, know where you’re going. While there are signposts posted in multiple places, it would be smart to bring a map with you.
There are many different biking routes in Verbier and the one you choose will depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re a fan of downhill biking, you need to visit the Verbier Bike Park that has 6km of downhill tracks that stretch from Ruinettes to the Médran.
This park is best suited for hardcore downhillers and speedsters at it has a vertical drop of 700m, but that doesn’t mean people who are just starting to learn can’t have fun. The Verbier Bike Park has four different gradients of trail – green for beginners, blue for intermediates, as well as red and black for experts.
In total, there are four downhill tracks that stretch for over 20km and that consist of 10% green, 20% blue, 40% red, and 30% black trails. The park is open every summer season in Verbier from early June to late October and to enter it, you can buy a day ticket or a half-day ticket.
If you want to bike at a more leisurely pace, you can explore Verbier by yourself or take one of the free guided bike tours which are organized by Verbier’s Tourist Office every summer. There are some great Verbier summer bike tours you wouldn’t want to miss.
Hotels and camps for cycling
Since cycling is very popular in Verbier, there are many tourist companies that offer tailor-made holidays specifically for bikers. There are a few chalet companies and apartment rentals based in Verbier that offer packages for cyclists you should look into.
If you stay at a hotel or camp that has special cycling packages, the staff there will be happy to show you where the nearest and best trails are, and some will even organize a guided tour for you. You can explain your expertise and what you’re comfortable with so they can send you in the right direction.
And all of these accommodations are located near some great trails and beautiful sceneries you will enjoy exploring, no matter if you’re a beginner or expert cyclist. No matter where you choose to stay, you can be sure you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
There are multiple bike guides in Verbier to choose from:
- Alternaski VTT. Great guides for those who are looking for a more challenging ride for all skill levels. They offer 360° bike experiences and activities for all seasons.
- Haut Vélo. Choose one of their customized cycling holidays with a full itinerary that will cater to all of your needs.
- Pure Biking Verbier. Discover the most beautiful trails in Verbier and choose between an enduro, all-mountain, or e-bike for your ride.
- WATTS UP. Take a specialized e-bike tour and discover the beauties of the Bagnes valley and its surroundings.
- MTB Verbier. This guide will give you an amazing experience and take you through beautiful trails while taking your discipline and skills into consideration. The company also offers complete mountain biking holiday packages.
- Singletrail Verbier. A bike guide with a touristic experience that provides you with the chance to learn all about the local culture while testing your endurance.
- Rad Biking Switzerland. No matter if you want a simple region’s discovery tour, an intense experience, or a personal lesson, this company is ready to provide you with a unique experience.
Renting a bike or bringing your own?
You can choose between renting a bike when you get to Verbier and bringing your own along on the trip.
If you choose to rent, you will be happy to know that Verbier has a number of specialized bike rental shops that cater to both professional and casual cyclists, offering half-day and full-day rental options. These shops will also help with mechanical repairs if your rental breaks.
If you want to bring your bike with you when you fly to Verbier, you will probably have to pay a standard charge for bringing your bike onboard the plane. Airlines such as Aer Lingus and KLM will charge you anywhere between $20 and $30 for bringing your bicycle on board, one way.
Just make sure that the weight of your luggage combined with the weight of your bike doesn’t exceed the air company’s allowance. If it does, you will have to pay a penalty for every excess kilogram. Also, bear in mind that there are certain conventional airlines such as Swiss Airlines and British Airways that won’t charge you for bike transport as long as they fit within the free baggage allowance.
The rules are a bit different if you’re traveling by train. The Eurostar train company allows you to take your bike aboard a train for a fee but only if it’s in a bike box or bag. This is to preserve space and if you don’t have your own box or bag, the train company will provide you with one.
When you arrive in Switzerland, you’ll be able to take your bike onto most domestic, regional, and tourist trains for free. However, you will have to place it in a bike compartment, hang it from a hook, or fold it up so you can carry it as hand luggage.
Bonus safety tips
Finally, here are a few bonus tips you should keep in mind to stay safe while biking in Verbier:
- Stay at the hard shoulder of the road.
- If you’re cycling in a group, don’t have more than two people abreast.
- Comply with all traffic regulations and be mindful of the traffic around you.
- Don’t set fires in the woods, don’t litter, and respect the nature surrounding you.
- If you’re cycling during the summer, make sure to take water, a hat, and sunscreen with you.
- Make sure your bike is in good condition and has working lights before you head out.
- Before you go cycling, tell someone you trust what routes you’ll be taking and when you expect to return.
- Bring a puncture repair kit for quick fixes in case of emergency.
If you’re looking for a cycling challenge that brings you to the great outdoors that allows you to witness amazing scenery and provides you with an experience of a lifetime, you need to visit Verbier. Even though this place is best known as a world-class ski resort, it has a lot to offer to cyclists.
No matter if you choose to come during the summer or winter months, you will certainly have an unforgettable experience. And if you want to make your trips to Verbier more frequent and make sure you have a place to stay, you should check out Verbier real estate for sale on our list of exclusive chalets and apartments.