- Mountain bike center with international allure
- More than 1000 kilometers of routes of all levels
- Well maintained tracks
- Signposted routes
- Own app with routes available
The Success of Zona Zero
The story of Ainsa, found at the foothills of the Pyrenees, is a success story. Several local entrepreneurs, just after the turn of the century, decided to turn the town (2000 inhabitants) into a top destination for mountain bikers. Nowadays there are many places in Europe with such ambitions, but few have done it as well as the people of Ainsa. They created a mountain bike network with 1000 kilometers of trails under the name Zona Zero. The area attracts mountain bikers from all over Europe and is the backdrop of major international competitions.
Zona Zero is the new gold for Ainsa. The arrival of mountain bikers provided a major economic boost. MTBs of all levels can find suitable routes here; from simple laps around the village to epic descents in the surrounding mountains. All routes are well maintained by volunteers and are signposted. There are very adventurous routes, but you are never too far from civilization. What makes this area even more remarkable is the tremendous amount of variation in the landscape in such a relatively small area.
The Town and the Area
Ainsa consists of two parts. At the top of the hill lies the old Ainsa with its medieval streets, castle, and central square. The modern part of Ainsa, down below, is where the majority of shops, hotels, and restaurants are to be found. There is almost a tangible bike culture feeling in the town. The food is cheap and the coffee is strong. You will find hotels, bicycle shops, and outdoor sports companies that organize guided MTB tours.
Ainsa is not located in the highest part of the Pyrenees. In the winters it does not snow often and it is therefore not a winter sports destination. It has a particularly mild climate with lots of sun and little rainfall, which makes it a good place to cycle year-round. Ainsa is part of a very sparsely populated region called Sobrarbe. It is located in the central part of the Pyrenees. If you drive north, you will enter France through the Bielsa tunnel. If you are flying, you can best fly into Barcelona or Reus.
From Ainsa you can easily make a trip through the Ordesa y Monte Perdido Nation Park, which is one of the most beautiful national parks in Spain. The spectacular canyon in the park is referred to as the “European Grand Canyon.”
The Official Zona Zero Website
Video about the story of the Zona Zero: click HERE (Spanish with English subtitles)
HERE is another beautiful video about the Zona Zero made by Dutchman Jaap Mojet de Koe.
Not far from Ainsa, in the village of Perrarue, the Dutch couple Jochem and Judith run a beautiful outdoor sports center, Chill Outdoor.
Even More Ambition
Following the example of Zona Zero, neighboring regions also started to focus on MTBs. The wish is to connect the areas to create one mega mountain bike area. To the east of Zona Zero is an area that has been named Puro Pirineo > http://www.bttpuropirineo.com/en/. Places in this area include Benasque and Castejón de Sos. In the latter is a good bike rental company: Verdebikes.
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