Have you looked outside the office window lately and noticed those grey skies and the pouring rain? Then, it’s time for a holiday, a mountain biking holiday!

If you are feeling the winter blues creep in already, then it’s the perfect time to book something to look forward to next spring/summer, and everybody knows there’s no better holiday than a mountain biking holiday.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites. We started close to home for a weekend away, and move on to the big timers, the bucket list places you’ve always dreamed of riding. From Wales to New Zealand and every option in between, there’s something for you on this list of 10 of the best mountain biking holidays.

1. Coed Y Brenin, Wales

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To begin, we’ve got the closest one to your doorstep, Coed Y Brenin in Wales. Load the bikes onto the back of your car, get the ferry across from Rosslare Harbour, and you’ll be hitting the trails within Snowdonia National Park in a few hours. Coed Y Brenin was the UK’s first dedicated mountain bike trail centre and the excellent singletrack network through natural forest trails still maintains an awesome natural old school vibe.

2. Glentress, Scotland

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Less than an hour outside of Edinburgh is Glentress Forest, the gateway to the Tweed Valley Forest Park. With 80km of purpose-made trails and over 400m of elevation its pretty much a must do. There are trails for all levels but the 30km black route is the main attraction, a hand-cut, natural trail that’s technical and offers up some stunning scenery.

3. Sierra Nevada, Spain

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The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the region of Andalucia, Spain. Its highest peak, Mulhacén stands at an impressive 3,478 metres, holding the title for the highest point of continental Spain. At its foothills is the city of Granada to unwind in after a day carving trails. The Sierra Nevada National Park encompasses parts of the range so there’ll be plenty of rivers, gorges, scree slopes, glacial lakes and summits to whet your appetite.

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4. Alpe d’Huez, France

The French Alps is every adrenaline junkie’s favourite playground. The Alpe d’Huez is a firm favourite among the biking community, with glaciers, moorland, rocky singletrack and forest trails to choose from. The emphasis is on physically challenging natural lines and the main attraction is the somewhat infamous Megavalanche, a descent which drops from the highest lift on the hill, with over 2,500 metres of an altitude drop!

5. Lake Garda, Italy

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Lake Garda is well known worldwide for its beauty, but the area around it also happens to be a haven for mountain bikers, with its 2,000m high mountains. There are uplifts for the two highest mountain rides to take the pain out of the ascent. From vertical peaks to cobbled streets, you’ll find terrain to keep you entertained.

6. Maritime Alps, Italy/France border

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The Maritime Alps are a wonder to behold, with so many testing trails to choose from you’ll need more than a weekend to explore this often overlooked destination. They are the southernmost part of the Alps, and with peaks of 3000+metre, you’ll have plenty to challenge you.

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7. Saint-Luc, Switzerland

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Switzerland has a ton of trails well worth exploring. Saint-Luc in the Anniviers valley is one of them. It is the perfect Swiss singletrack holiday, with an uplift that opens really early in the season so you can get your fix the minute the ski season is over. Nearby Zermatt also has some serious backdrops and singletracks to test you.

8. Whistler, Canada

Whistler needs no introduction, it’s firmly cemented itself as of the best mountain biking destinations in the world. With over 190km of trails and over 50 way-marked runs, you could spend a year here and still discover something new.

9. Moab, Utah, U.S.A

Utah is pretty much a mountain biker’s dream. With Canyonland and the Arches, you aren’t going to find scenery like it anywhere else. If you are looking for something different to the ski resorts, Moab is where it’s at. Heat, no chairlifts and stunning orange rock, it’s the perfect adventure. The best-known trail is the Slickrock Bike Trail, a 15km ride of your life.

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10. Rotorua, New Zealand

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If you are really splashing out and thinking of heading to the other side of the world, then Rotorua, New Zealand is the place to go. It hosted the 2006 world championships and since then it’s on every rider’s hit list. With a network of over 100km of trails built in the Whakarewarewa Forest, you won’t be bored.

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By Orla O'Muiri

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