Arrival & Departure Point: Tirana, Albania (TIA)
Destinations Covered: Tirana, Ohrid Lake, Pogradec, Korcë, Germenje, Permet, Gjirokaster, Saranda, Himara, Berat
Distance Covered: 400 km
Elevation: 6311 meters
Cycling season & Weather
Albania has a temperate, Mediterranean climate. March 15th is officially the first day of spring and things. really start to hot up toward the end of the month when clear skies and balmy temperatures provide a nice way to ease into the heat of summer. Summer brings sunshine and maximum temperatures of between 20-35 degrees Celsius. Summer days are long with sunrise before 6:00am and sunset after 8:30pm. Cycling season starts on April 15th to end of June and beginning of September to end of October.
About the Albania
Some say that visiting Albania is as close as you’ll get to travelling back in time. Until the dissolution of the People’s Republic of Albania, it was rare that foreigners had a chance to visit this mystery-shrouded country. Since the borders opened in 1991, anyone visiting Albania quickly realizes that this is a very special place. Unlike Croatia, just a few hundred kilometres up the coast, Albania has remained undiscovered by mass tourism. People in many isolated areas are still filled with excitement and curiosity to see visitors in their villages, especially those travelling by bicycle. You will be welcomed with open arms and warm, sincere hospitality. The history of Albania is long and complex. This area has been populated for over 4000 years, and has been conquered by the Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Normans, and Serbs. In 1468 Albanian came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which remained the case until 1912, when they declared independence. The country’s economy has seen an upturn since 2002, resulting in significant upgrades in infrastructure, which you will surely appreciate. The roads are mostly paved, and although at times quite steep, you will be distracted from the climb by stunning views, and rewarded by adrenaline pumping descents.
Duration: 9 Nights & 10 Days
Tour Leaders & Support Vehicle
What makes our bike tours exceed your expectations are our world-class guides. Chosen for their charisma, expertise and passion for the good life, they turn a good tour into an unforgettable experience. Multilingual with plenty of skills and know-how. Each tour has two leaders, one cycling with the group and one driving the support van.
Accommodation and meals
We use the best accommodation standard that exist here at the moment. When something better opens we will use that. So far the Albania infrastructure allows us to use 4 star hotels in big cities and 3 in small ones, or family owed guesthouses at remote locations. Accommodation will be in 3-4 star hotels of the Albanian Tourist Board grading system having en suite facilities. Rooms are shared two people per room. Meals are full board (breakfast, lunch and evening meals) throughout.
Day 1: Arrival in Tirana
(Driving distance : 17 kms / 25 min)
Rendezvous at Tirana airport and transfer to hotel in Tirana city centre.
Day 2: Transfer from Tirana to Ohrid Lake
(Driving distance : 120 kms / 2hr | cycling distance : 30km | elevation : 406m)
After 2 hr long transfer we will reach the northern side of lake Ohrid from which we will start cycling for 30km to Pogradec. Lunch at a waterfront restaurant before arriving to Pogradec. Afternoon activity is optional between relaxing at the beach in front of the hotel or cross over to Macedonia by bike and visit the monastery of St.Naum.
Day 3: Cycle from Pogradec to Korcë
(Cycling distance : 51 kms | elevation : 453m)
A climb out from the lake into another high plateau bounded by mountains. Continue following the gorge for awhile until the hills open up leading to a vast plain, a patchwork of individual farms and colours.
Day 4: Cycle from Korcë to Gërmenjë
(Cycling distance : 71 kms | elevation : 1466m)
Leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korce, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wild flowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass(1159m) to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley.
Day 5: Cycle from Gërmenjë to Përmet
(Cycling distance : 54 kms | elevation : 1146m)
A climb out from Germenj to a high grassy plateau surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. Continue descending to Cashare and then follow the corniche route high above the river to Permet situated on a bluff above the river. Famed for its cuisine and its strong raki.
Day 6: Cycle from Përmet to Gjorokastër
(Cycling distance : 70 kms | elevation : 661m)
Continue along the valley towards Kelcyra the distant shark’s tooth peaks, which guard a further gorge. Ride between them to the confluence of the Drinos following yet another gorge. This opens out into a wide plain with the town of Gjirokastra (city of 1000 steps) high above on the right. A chance to explore its narrow cobbled alleys and Ottoman houses.
Day 7: Cycle from Gjirokastër to Saranda
(Cycling distance : 74 kms | elevation : 1330 m)
The gateway to southern Albania, Saranda lies along the Ionian coast, sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and close to the ancient remains of Butrint. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is one of the county’s most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans.
Day 8: Cycle from Saranda to Himarë
(distance : 52 kms | elevation : 1335 m)
A roller coaster of a ride leaving as the mist is burnt off by the sun, climbing steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau. Then it’s over cols into bays and around headlands, always with the stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left before descending to the long beach and the bay of Himarë.
Day 9: Transfer from Himarë to Berat
(Driving distance : 166 kms / 3 hrs)
Berati is perhaps the most beautiful town in Albania, being a ‘museum’ town. Explore the cobbled alleys between the white walled houses and visit the citadel high above. In the afternoon we pay a visit to the Onufri Iconographic Museum, located in the sanctuary of St Mary’s Church in the inhabited quarter of Berat Castle. Home to a remarkable collection of religious paintings, the museum is named after a famous 16th century icon painter whose works were characterised by post-Byzantine and Venetian influences.
Day 10: Departure – Transfer from Berat to Tirana Airport
(Driving distance : 125 kms / 2 hrs)
Early transfer to Tiranë. Depending on the flight we have time to visit the capital and the Nation Museum. Transfer at Mother Teresa Airport.
- Arrival transfer to hotel,
- 8 nights’ accommodation with all meals,
- Bicycles for the tour with necessary accessories,
- Tour leader/guide Cycling with the tourists,
- Support vehicle for the tour,
- All intercity transfers,
- Everything as per the itinerary,
- Multilingual guide service,
- Departure transfer to Tirana airport,
Price as per Request