Getting to Finale Ligure, there are two ways to get to Finale although flying is what we would suggest in terms of cost & ease of travel. However if you are in a large group or fancy a road trip there are plenty of amazing riding destinations on the way down such as, Pila, La Thuile and Morzine. Driving also allows you to bring more gear and bikes should you have them.
Flying from the UK to Finale Ligure
When flying to Finale Ligure there really are only two airports to consider. In terms of frequency of flights we suggest Nice as there are plenty of airlines and flights each day. If however you are looking for a slightly closer airport Genoa would also be work well.
It's about a 1 hour transfer from Genoa airport to our Villa in Finale Ligure. From Nice it is about 1 hour 40 minutes .
Costs - Nice - £270
With flights costing £75 each way with £35 each way for your added bike this comes to £220 return. Depending on how lightly you pack another £50 return for an extra bag brings the total to £270.
Transfers are included with our Riders Weeks MTB holiday packages however if you are staying in our partner hotel Medusa our suggestion would be the train from either airport to Finale the cost of this is around €20 return and takes around 3 hrs from Nice and 2 from Genoa. If you are not fond of trains then a Taxi costs around €360 return. To book a train check out https://www.trainline.eu.
Costs - Genoa - £220 - £250
With flights from British Airways coming in at around £75 - £85 each way and then your added bike costs this comes to about £220 however with British airways you get a bag of 23kg in with your flight so this could work out cheaper depending on how much baggage you bring. As mentioned however the flights are more infrequent so might mean you have to leave early or late in the day.
Driving from the UK to Finale ligure
Hotels en route
Should you wish to stop overnight before making your way to Finale Ligure, two good hotel stops, just off the motorway can be found just outside Reims (Tinqueux).
Both of these options allow you to leave late before your day of arrival, check into a 24 hour hotel for rest before the 9 hour (Reims) and 6 hour 30 min (Dijon) drive onto Finale Ligure.
If you are driving down our suggestion would be to extend your holiday and check out some of the sweet riding spots on the way down. This breaks up the journey and stops you feeling drained after a long 13 hour drive all at once. Morzine is 8 hours 30 from Calais and splits the journey up nicely. Alternatively you could visit La Thuile or Pila bike parks which are about 10 hours drive from Calais.
Costs of Driving - £680 (Return)
Based on a £1.21 per litre Fill up cost and averaging 40mpg the cost in fuel will be approx £120.22. This when added to the £120 in tolls to get down to Finale Ligure means the total cost for driving would be £240. The advantage to taking a car is you are not restricted on the amount of luggage you bring nor the amount of bikes and should you be into road riding there are some incredible climbs and descents to be done in the surround areas of Finale Ligure.
Although this is a pretty epic journey some of the views and roads that you will find yourself on are akin to those found on the Grand Tour and other such driving programmes. This can also prove a cheaper option if there is a large group of you as you can share the driving and split this costs accordingly.
Crossing the Channel
There are two options for crossing the channel by car, the ferry or the channel tunnel. Principally, the difference is one costs a little more, but is much faster, one costs a little less, and is slower. Whether or not you get excited by boats or trains is down to the individual. There are multiple crossing options though even from the North, however Dover or Folkestone remain the most popular. Overnight ferries from Newcastle or Portsmouth are often used.
Journey time - 1 hour
The crossing itself takes 35 minutes, however the real speed in the tunnel crossing is in the check in. Your car registration is noted electronically on arrival, and you will usually be offered an earlier train if it’s available. They like move the cars through the terminal quickly, get them onto and off of the trains efficiently. There are several platforms meaning you do not need to wait for inbound rain to empty, before embarking the outbound. Folkestone is likely to save you half an hour from the trip on the English side, as it is further inland from Dover.
Costs - £150 return (standard car with bikes on the roof)
A return trip on the tunnel can cost considerably more depending on the time of day you travel. The terms and conditions do stipulate that the same day return loop hole, where a ticket will be considerably cheaper, can carry a penalty should the return trip not be taken.
Journey time – at least 3 hours
The journey time for the ferry is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. It does however take much longer to load, as you have to wait for the inbound ferry to fully disembark. The wait at the terminal in both your car and on the boat will usually be up to an hour. The timings are less flexible so you will most likely be on the ferry you have booked. They can also run into timing difficulties due to rough seas.
Costs - £100 return (Source dfds.co.uk)
The ferry is a cheaper alternative to the tunnel, and you have the benefit of a break from the car. How much you spend on coffee and questionable fish and chips on board is up to you!
The first thing you need to do however is book that holiday in Finale Ligure as there is some of the best mountain bike trails in the world out there, from Mountain to Sea with dust, sun and beer in-between. Finale Ligure is home to the Enduro World Series and has some incredible riding, a week is never enough. It's not all about the riding out there however as the food, wine and culture make a great riding holiday also an amazing adventure.
See you in the dust!!