1.ALPS 2 OCEAN TRIAL, NEW ZEALAND
The trail cascades through the foothills of the Southern Alps with its great lakes and rivers. The trail starts at Aoraki and reaches the Pacific Ocean 301km futher at Oamaru. There are camping facilities along the route.
Amid a volcanic landscape fringed by fire and snow Iceland is ideal for epic off-road sagas. With the elements in charge, your plans can change on a daily basis. An excellent loop links the Fimmvörðuháls and Laugavegur trails between Landmannalaugar’s hot springs and the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, via the stunning Skógafoss waterfall. There are huts and campgrounds along the route.
3.DARTMOOR AND EXMOOR, UK
Dartmoor and Exmoor in Southwest England boast brilliant biking trails and beautiful views. Link by a multi-day meander along bridle paths and across open terrain shadowing the Two Moors Way, a long-distance trail from Lynmouth on the North Devon coast to Ivybridge. Dartmoor is the only part of England where wild camping is officially permitted.
4.KOKOPELLI TRAIL, USA
This 240km rocky route mountain-biking meccas between Colorado’s Fruita and Utah’s Moab is a roller-coaster ride across the desert plateaus and mountain passes of the American West. Expect leg-crushing climbs and rubble-rousing descents.
5.MUNDA BIDDI TRAIL, AUSTRALIA
From Mundaring on Perth’s outskirts right down to Albany this trail is an off-road odyssey that cuts a serpentine route across 1000km of stunning hinterland. The three week trail will take you through river valleys, aromatic eucalypt forest and beautiful bushlands. Avoid summer. Cycle-friendly campgrounds and huts line the route.
Scotland’s outdoor-access code allows you to rough ride and wild camp anywhere, including Highland mountain passes. Stay in Corrour Bothy or camp.
7.MONKEY PUZZLE TRAIL, CHILE
This stunning 233km trail of dirt roads and aorta-busting Andean ascents can also be done with horses. Walk under the colorful umbrellas of Araucanía’s monkey puzzle trees in Reserva China Muerta, before climbing above Chile’s Lake District and traversing an alpine pass on the high flanks of Volcán Lonquimay in Reserva Nacional Malalcahuello-Nalcas. Allow approximately 4 days.
8.DRAGON’S SPINE, SOUTH AFRICA AND LESOTHO
The epic 3840km trail is across South Africa and the highlands of Lesotho to the Zimbabwean border. The route consists of 58 stages from Cape Town and the Western Cape vineyards, past Swaziland to the great grey-green Limpopo River.
9.BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN
The multi-day mission around 450km of hinterland and hills beginning in Bilbao along the coast and Camino del Norte to San Sebasian, then turning inland to explore Aralar, Urbasa and Gorbea National Park is one of Europe’s tastiest trails. Allow approximately 8 days.
Famous for free-range horse-trekking adventures the land of Chinggis Khaan also offers backcountry bikepacking - between friendly yak-and-yurt villages and you can put up your tent wherever you please. A 480km route loops around Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur in the Khangai Mountains near Tariat Sum in the Central Mongolian aimag of Arkhangai.Allow approximately 6 days.