Finale is a true mountain bike mecca. After a long ride down from the NATO-Base I met up with my family in one of the countless beach bars. After he had served a deliciously cold beer the bar keeper asked me whether I had already a trail map of the region. I denied and he came back smiling with two maps in his hand and requested to pick one…
Of course, I came back to Finale Ligure – and the Palm Beach Bar – more often. Finale Ligure has become my favourite mountain biking mecca in Europe and fall is the perfect season to be there. The temperature is still warm but not as hot as in summer. And as well the water temperature at the beach is still decent for a refreshing swim after a long ride. The combination of awesome singletrack trails, scenic landscape, culture and beach is unique.
Most of the trails are built by mountain bikers and are pure fun. You can pedal up to Pian dei Corsi or Melogno or you take a shuttle up there, if you can’t find pleasure in longer climbs. The downhills are a blast, rolling up and down with jumps, drops and tight turns. All very smooth and rideable, letting you get into the flow immediately. The trails from Melogno, Pian dei Corsi and Terre Rosse are rollercoaster-like. At least 3 trails in Finale are named roller coaster – for good reason.
The 3 Trails, you should not miss:
1. Melogno Roller Coaster
No matter how you get up to the little village of Melogno. The bar/osteria close to the trail head is always good for at least an espresso. If you have pedaled all the way their spaghetti carbonara gives you back some of the calories you lost on your way up. The trail is easy to find: just follow the dual track from the parking lot and bear left when the forest road divides. After a short climb you will find yourself on beautifully smooth single track trail that is starting to wind down gradually. The further you go down the trail the tighter turns and the steeper the drops will get. You feel like on a roller coaster and gravity seems to loose influence until the trail ends at the road up to Melogno.
The best way back to Finale Ligure is via Capra Zoppa and Pietra Ligure.
2. NATO-Base, Sentiero H (Pian dei Corsi)
Pedaling up all the way to the old NATO-base to access the fantastic downhill runs to Orco Feglino and then up again to descend to Final Borgo is an epic ride of 46 km and 1750 meters of elevation gain.
3. Le Manie, Bric dei Crovi/24H + Downhill to Varigotti