Finale Ligure is a historic town by the Mediterranean Sea, mountain biking destination with an Italian twist, and home to numerous EWS races. Instead of watching for poison oak you will be emptying your helmet of olives at the end of the ride, I kid you not. Finale Ligure is also a great destination to bring your non-biking family or friends along. Brush up your practical Italian and let’s go! Attenti al cane!
Let me offer a couple of practical tips for how to get the most out of your valuable time in Finale Ligure. We had to revert to a lot of improvisation after Air Berlin lost our bikes for ten days, and some of our lessons learned could be helpful to others.
1. Bike hotel
We randomly booked with Hotel Deutsche Familien, were actually expecting to see a lot of Deutsche kinder, but were happily surprised that they are a “bike hotel” and make a special effort to cater to mountain bikers. Milena, one of the owners, is a power figure in the local mountain biking scene, and you should contact her already prior to your trip. Deutsche Familien serves delicious breakfast and coffee, yum!
Finale Ligure riding works well for shuttles. Book one for the morning and one for the afternoon to maximize your riding time. Book in advance. By no means shuttling prevents you from completing your daily climbing quota, too, but it is maybe easier to cover multiple separate trail systems if you have the gravity helping you. A big shout out to Ultimate Bike Shop who got us on bikes and to a trailhead within an hour from arrival the first day, and there are other shuttle providers, too.
3. Bike rentals
Okay, short persons, this is serious. If you are a size “small” rider like myself and want to rent a full suspension bike you are very limited in options. We finally located one in Oddone Bici but they literally had one available. Even if you ride a more popular size, do not dream of carbon bikes. Bring your own bike with you if you can.
Bonus tips for Finale Ligure
- The trails are poorly marked. Bring a GPS and be sure to have the tracks of what you are planning to ride. Also having the climbing sections covered would be very helpful.
- Traffic and parking is impossible in the downtown. Come in a car as small as possible or with no car at all. Three centimeters longer and our rental Mazda would have been left without a spot.
- Notice that businesses may close between noon and 4pm