These days, its becoming more and more difficult to be able to do exactly this. Now with the introduction of mtb trails in Ireland we are becoming confined to these, which is great for people just getting into the sport and developing some basic skills but there is a hugh difference is skill level between a trail rider and a more natural mtb rider. I personally run mountain bike training days here in Ireland and around Lake Garda in Italy, so I see it alot. One of the biggest advantages of riding in different areas is developing your own technical skill level, so I fully recommend people testing out as many trails at home and abroad as possible. Its such an excellent way to see the world. I have ridden in Gran Ganaria, Spain, France, England, Germany, Austria, Sweden ,Norway, Belgium, Luxemburg, Nederlands, Poland, Czech Rep, Turkey, Israel, Russia, Greece, South America, Canada, USA, Australia, NZ, Switzerland and Italy but there are a few places that stick out in my head as being memorable. Of course I would be biased in my opinion in saying that I think Italy has some of the most amazing natural trail around, as I live there for 6 months of the year running mountain biking holidays, in fact if you want to see what others say about the area check out here:
In Italy you can go ANYWHERE over the mountains, and the locals love it, they love cycling and they love people using their mountains. There were 500,000 german bikers who visited lake garda alone last summer...all those people cant be wrong!! But to be honest, the type of biker I am means that I prefer to quiter areas of the Alps and Dolomites, seeing the emence buildings from the first and second world war and wondering how the hell did they build them up that far!!.. So i suppose I have grown to love the region of northern Italy for biking more than any other place that I have been to, because I am now immersed in the local culture, history and cuisine and I get the chance to ride any place I like with the locals shouting "Brava" as I pass and not "get off these trails"! Happy biking where ever you are!