Cycle the Balkans

Cycle the Balkans

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15 Days |
From
$3305
$3148

Cycle the Balkans

15 Days Starting and ending in Tirana

Visiting:

Tirana

,

Lake Ohrid

,

North Macedonia

,

Monastery of St. Naum

,

Ohrid

,

Albaniasl

,

Mavrovo Lake

,

Mavrovo

,

Shar Mountain National Park

,

Popova Šapka

,

Prizren

,

Maja e Pejes

,

Montenegro

,

Rozaje

,

Berane

,

Andrijevica

,

Mojkovac

,

Žabljak

,

Niksic

,

Kotor

,

Shkodra Lake

,

Shkodër

Tour operator:

Exodus

Physical rating:

Moderate / Challenging

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Trip Styles:

Activities:

Tour code:

MVU

Group size:

6 - 16

Age range:

16 to 99

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

Recommended For:

From:
$3305

$3148 (USD)

including Flights from the UK

EXTRA tourhub discount: $157

See local operators tour description
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Tour Overview

The Balkans offers an intoxicating mix of beautiful countryside, fast-developing cities and historic towns. Our first ride ends at the UNESCO town of Ohrid on the vast lake of the same name, from here the route leads up towards the border with Kosovo. Small towns and villages dot the route as we wind our way across into Montenegro and through the heart of the imposing Durmitor Mountains. As the route suggests, there is a good mix of climbing and flat riding, with a few stops along the way to visit or see places of interest. Sunshine and sea come in the form of the Bay of Kotor on the Adriatic, a dramatic setting to end the ride. Few other regions offer such cultural and natural variety along with a true sense of discovery.

Highlights

  • UNESCO Town of Ohrid

  • Magnificent Mavrov Lake and National Park

  • Breathtaking Durmitor, part of Dinaric Alps

Itinerary

Expand All
icon Day 1 : Start Tirana
Location:

  Tirana


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Austria or similar 


Meals Included:

  Dinner


The group flights usually arrive in Tirana in the early afternoon and the
group will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients
should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. In the evening our guide
will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the
local area and answer any questions, before we all go out for our welcome
dinner.

icon Day 2 : Transfer to Lake Ohrid; cross the border into Macedonia; visit St Naum monastery before ending in Ohrid Town.
Location:

  Lake Ohrid, North Macedonia, Monastery of St. Naum, Ohrid


Accommodation:

  Villa Royal View or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we start with a transfer to the northern side of Lake Ohrid.
Upon arrival, the bikes will be unloaded and adjusted to everyone’s
comfort. Our ride starts with cycling along the scenic shore of Lake Ohrid
towards Pogradec. After reaching Tushemisht, just 4 km east of Pogradec,
lunch will be served at a waterfront restaurant. We will continue cycling in
the afternoon, crossing over into Macedonia, and visiting the monastery of St
Naum. The road then takes us through Galicica National Park to Ohrid Town.

Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lakes in the world, came into existence during
the Pliocene epoch as a result of tectonic shifts. It is home to unique flora
and fauna and the lake is one of the largest biological reserves in Europe;
with 212 known endemic species and a surface area of 358 km2 it is probably
one of the most diverse lakes in the world.

icon Day 3 : Climb to a high plateau bounded by mountains; continue following the gorge to Debar.
Location:

  Albaniasl


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Leon or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Leaving Lake Ohrid behind, we start today by climbing to a high plateau
bounded by mountains. We continue to follow the gorge for a while until the
hills open up, leading to a vast patchwork plain of individual farms in the
Debar region. Our ride finishes in the city of Debar where we rest for the
night.

icon Day 4 : Cycle towards Lake Mavrovo. 
Location:

  Mavrovo Lake


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Radika or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we cycle toward Lake Mavrovo. Spreading over an area of about 780
square kilometres (300 sq mi), the Mavrovo National Park features deep
canyons, snowy peaks and blue lakes as well as dense forests providing a
habitat for an array of wildlife. We enjoy cycling through this diverse
National Park, we reach our hotel in the afternoon at the foot of the Bistra
mountains.

icon Day 5 : *Transfer from Mavrovo to the *Kosovo border; continue through Brezovica and Sharri National Park.
Location:

  Mavrovo, Shar Mountain National Park


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Pine or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Transferring out of Mavrovo National Park, we reach the border crossing with
Kosovo. We will ride through Brezovica, an area frequented by skiers in the
winter. We continue into Sharri National Park, which was recently established
in 2013. It is still relatively undiscovered with huge areas of intact
ecosystems home to several threatened species in Europe, making it an
important ecological area to protect.

icon Day 6 : Climb up to Prevalle through the forest of Kodra e Diellit; descend to the historic city of Prizren.
Location:

  Popova Šapka, Prizren


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Theranda or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


From the ski resort of Brezovica, we cycle up to Prevalle through the forest
of Kodra e Diellit before a long descent to the historic city of Prizren,
Kosovo's cultural capital. Kosovo's second biggest city is rich with history
and traditions and is surrounded by incredible nature. Throughout history,
Prizren has played a vital role in the region. The city is known in this
region of the Balkans for its gastronomy and wines, traditional handicrafts
and wonderful mix of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. This afternoon we go
on a city tour to explore the old town. 

icon Day 7 : Free day in Peje
Location:

  Maja e Pejes


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we transfer from Prizren to Peje where we will overnight. Today we have
the opportunity to visit another beautiful city in Kosovo before heading to
Montenegro tomorrow. 

icon Day 8 : Transfer to border with Montenegro; cycle from the border to Berane via Rozaje.
Location:

  Montenegro, Rozaje, Berane


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Berane or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we transfer to the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. We
start cycling from the border and enter Montenegro. We will cycle down to
Rozaje, the city is surrounded by magnificent mountains and we will see both
Hajla and Turjak mountain. The area is covered in large forests and
abundant with flowers. We then continue to Berana, located on the Lim river
where we spend the night. 

icon Day 9 : Pedal to Andrijevica and on to Kolasin; magnificent views of the rugged Albanian Alps.
Location:

  Andrijevica


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Cile or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Leaving Berane behind, our ride this morning is along a flat road to the
small town of Andrijevica. From here we take a magnificent narrow road with
spectacular scenery all the way up to Kolasin. On our left hand side, we will
have impressive views of the Albanian Alps and we should be able to spot the
mountain of Jezerca, the second highest peak in Albania, on a good day. This
evening we spend the night in Kolasin, a ski resort during the winter months.

icon Day 10 : Short transfer to Mojkovac; cycle through the Tara Canyon before reaching Zabljak.
Location:

  Mojkovac, Žabljak


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Enigma or similar 


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


After a short transfer to Mojkovac, we start cycling through the Tara Canyon,
one of the deepest river canyons in Europe. We will also have the chance to
see the famous Tara bridge before reaching Zabljak our final destination for
the day. The town is in the centre of the Durmitor mountain region at an
altitude of 1,456 metres, it is the highest situated town on the Balkans.

icon Day 11 : Morning climb out of Zabljak through the Durmitor region; descend to Pluzine/Rudinice.
Location:

  Žabljak


Accommodation:

  Etno Selo Izlazak (guesthouse)


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Our day starts with a long climb out of Zabljak. As we ascend through the
Durmitor region we see the magnificent mountain ranges with its dramatic high
peaks. After our challenging ride this morning we are rewarded with a long
descent to Rudinice village where we spend the evening at a small quiet farm
stay.

icon Day 12 : Cycle towards Nikšić, Montenegro’s second largest city.
Location:

  Niksic


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Trim or similar 


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we have an easier cycle toward Nikšić, the second largest city in
Montenegro, situated at the foot of Trebjesa Hill.  It is the largest
municipality by area and second most inhabited after the capital Podgorica.

icon Day 13 : Short transfer to Vilsu; cycle to the Bay of Kotor.
Location:

  Kotor


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Marija 2 or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


After a short transfer to Vilsu we cycle to the picturesque Bay of Kotor.
Medieval towns encased by dramatic mountains surround the lake and have been
inhabited since antiquity. In the afternoon we will have time to visit the
old city walls. For dinner take the opportunity to enjoy a meal on the
waterfront and sample the fresh seafood on offer.

icon Day 14 : Transfer to Bar; cycle close to Lake Shkodra; Finish Shkodra.
Location:

  Shkodra Lake


Accommodation:

  Hotel


Accommodation Name:

  Hotel Tradita or similar


Meals Included:

  Breakfast, Dinner


This morning we drive to Bar. From here we cycle close to Lake Shkodra and
cross the border back into Albania. This evening we enjoy a well-deserved
farewell dinner in Shkodra!

icon Day 15 : End Shkoder
Location:

  Shkodër


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


End Shkoder. Those on the group flight will be transferred to Tirana Airport
(approx. 1.5hrs drive). 

What's Included

  • All accommodation

  • Local bike hire

  • All breakfasts and 2 dinners included

  • Transfer for group flights

What's Not Included

  • e-bike available on request

  • Single supplement

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas and vaccinations

Accommodation

Throughout this tour, we stay in a variety of accommodation in both cities and rural areas. We use hotels that are of a comfortable 3 and 4-star standard, all with ensuite rooms. At some points of the trip, we stay in more remote areas, here we stay in locally run guesthouses where you will experience a very warm welcome. Rooms here tend to be more basic. Single accommodation is available on request. Please note, single rooms are not available in the guesthouses in Rudinice due to a limited number of rooms.

Food

All breakfasts and 2 dinners included. Food in the Balkans is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country and particularly Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes. Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt are present in almost every meal, usually locally sourced. Due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistence culture and show very little signs of changing. In the countryside expect your food to have been reared/grown not too far from your plate. Breakfasts are typically eggs, fresh bread, jam, honey and coffee or tea. For lunch and dinner, meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, salad, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. Your guide will recommend the best options when in the towns.

Check out our Q&As

What is the maximum group size?

16

Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

Yes

What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

3 and 4-star standard

Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

16+ age people can go on this tour.

Are airport transfers included in this tour?

Transfer for group flights

    What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

    How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

    What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

    Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

    Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews

Read all 12 reviews

Brilliant Balkans!

Exodus has done well to allow us to cycle the best bits of 4 different countries in 2 weeks. Some epic climbs but all manageable and the grading at 'moderate/ ....more

Exodus has done well to allow us to cycle the best bits of 4 different countries in 2 weeks.

Some epic climbs but all manageable and the grading at 'moderate/ challenging' is about right.

You always got to enjoy the downhills as well.

The accommodation was fine except for one guesthouse which I believe has now been removed from the itinerary.

Remember, this is a new trip and Exodus are still ' fine tuning' it.

Food was excellent and the group as a whole gelled well together.

If you want to cycle 4 countries that are uncommon to cycle in, I would not hesitate in recommending this trip less....


Stunning scenery

Having completed a number of Exodus cycling trips this is up there with one of the most stunning for scenery. There are a number of long tough climbs which we ....more

Having completed a number of Exodus cycling trips this is up there with one of the most stunning for scenery.

There are a number of long tough climbs which we completed in very hot weather but you are rewarded with fantastic views and great descents.

less....


Do it

This is an opportunity where you get to see and absorb four countries in one trip, lots of uphill’s, but there is always a downhill on the other side. ....more

This is an opportunity where you get to see and absorb four countries in one trip, lots of uphill’s, but there is always a downhill on the other side.

If you like cycling, good food, beautiful scenery and an adventure, I would recommend this trip.

less....


4 counties in 15 days!

The Balkans cycle trip has magnificent, spacious mountains and lakes. It's an adventure, not knowing exactly what the weather or the mountains will challenge you with. A discovery each ....more

The Balkans cycle trip has magnificent, spacious mountains and lakes.

It's an adventure, not knowing exactly what the weather or the mountains will challenge you with.

A discovery each day, staying in high alpine mountains or by the spectacular Lake Ohrid.

Likewise, the sea at Kotor and absorbing the cultures and religions of each country.

less....


Excellent trip

Beautiful weather and scenery in a part of Europe that gets easily overlooked. Lots of uphill cycling but you do get the long downhills as compensation. The guides Dhimitri and ....more

Beautiful weather and scenery in a part of Europe that gets easily overlooked.

Lots of uphill cycling but you do get the long downhills as compensation.

The guides Dhimitri and Juli were great - always helpful and Juli (also the driver) scuttling back and forth to ensure everyone was OK and had enough water.

Would recommend this trip and the local provider Cycle Albania.

less....


Great way to discover the Balkans

Great trip and fantastic itinerary going through 4 countries ( crossing the borders by bike, was a lot of fun!). This trip is more on the challenging side with long ....more

Great trip and fantastic itinerary going through 4 countries ( crossing the borders by bike, was a lot of fun!).

This trip is more on the challenging side with long climbs and several days spent in the mountains.

The views from the mountain roads were fantastic and made us forget about the climbs.

It was also a fantastic way to discover the history of this region going form Ottoman empire to Communist / modern era.

The food was really good, a lot of local cheeses, grilled vegetables and olive oil.

Great to refuel after a day spent cycling! The hotels selected were great and some of them even features a hot tub and a sauna to relax in the evening.

less....


June 2022

Great scenery especially Montenegro

Great scenery especially Montenegro


4 x magnificent countries

Awesome canyons, mountains rivers and lake views whilst cycling through 4 Balkan Countries. A great variety of scenery and some challenging hills and satisfying downhills make this an excellent ....more

Awesome canyons, mountains rivers and lake views whilst cycling through 4 Balkan Countries.

A great variety of scenery and some challenging hills and satisfying downhills make this an excellent choice for those who enjoy great views and cycling.

less....


Great introduction to Balkans with cycling most days.

Met expectations - 4 countries in 2 weeks. Well constructed itinerary for the two weeks. Centrally located Hotels were good. This is a cycling trip with quite long well graded ....more

Met expectations - 4 countries in 2 weeks.

Well constructed itinerary for the two weeks.

Centrally located Hotels were good.

This is a cycling trip with quite long well graded uphills and downhills most days.

Sturdy (heavy) bikes handled the down hills confidently.

Cultural visits were limited to a couple of hours in Ohrid, Peje & Prizren and Kotor.

We did get an afternoon in Tirana to explore by our selves.

Food was good - lots of cheese and seasonal veg.

Friendly locals smoke a lot! Weather went from hot and humid to very wet to cool and then back to hot.

Roads were generally quite but some sections were busier.

Roads surfaces were mainly better than the UK, driving standards were variable - very few other cyclists on the road.

less....


Beautiful Balkans, an epic jouney

A challenging and beautiful journey through Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro with breath-taking scenery. The cycling was challenging with lots of climbing, but the bikes that we were provided ....more

A challenging and beautiful journey through Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro with breath-taking scenery.

The cycling was challenging with lots of climbing, but the bikes that we were provided with were perfectly geared for and suited to the terrain.

There were regular re-groups on the hills as everyone climbs at their own pace and is able to enjoy the holiday at a pace that suits them.

Delicious healthy and reasonably priced meals were provided in the hotels and cabins that we stayed in.

Our guide Joshua was knowledgeable and efficient and provided us with information each day about the route and some background history.

He arranged for a local guide in each country we visited to give their personal perspective and an opportunity to ask questions about the complex history of the region.

less....


Dates & Availability

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Friday

Apr 28, 2023

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May 12, 2023
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Apr 28, 2023

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May 12, 2023
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May 12, 2023

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May 26, 2023
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May 12, 2023

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May 26, 2023
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May 26, 2023

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Jun 09, 2023
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May 26, 2023

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Jun 09, 2023
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Jun 09, 2023

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Jun 23, 2023
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Jun 09, 2023

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Jun 23, 2023
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Jun 23, 2023

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Jul 07, 2023
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Jun 23, 2023

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Jul 07, 2023
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Aug 25, 2023

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Sep 08, 2023
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Aug 25, 2023

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Sep 08, 2023
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Sep 08, 2023

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Sep 22, 2023
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Sep 08, 2023

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Sep 22, 2023
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Sep 22, 2023

Friday

Oct 06, 2023
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Sep 22, 2023

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Oct 06, 2023
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Apr 26, 2024

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May 10, 2024
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Apr 26, 2024

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May 10, 2024
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May 10, 2024

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May 24, 2024
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May 10, 2024

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May 24, 2024
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May 24, 2024

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Jun 07, 2024
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May 24, 2024

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Jun 07, 2024

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Jun 21, 2024
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Jun 07, 2024

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Jun 21, 2024
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Jun 21, 2024

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Jul 05, 2024
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Jun 21, 2024

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Aug 23, 2024

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Sep 06, 2024
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Aug 23, 2024

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Sep 06, 2024

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Sep 20, 2024
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Sep 06, 2024

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Sep 20, 2024
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Sep 20, 2024

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Oct 04, 2024
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Sep 20, 2024

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Oct 04, 2024
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    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: 100% of booking price.

Cycle the Balkans

15 Days Starting and ending in Tirana

Visiting:

Tirana

,

Lake Ohrid

,

North Macedonia

,

Monastery of St. Naum

,

Ohrid

,

Albaniasl

,

Mavrovo Lake

,

Mavrovo

,

Shar Mountain National Park

,

Popova Šapka

,

Prizren

,

Maja e Pejes

,

Montenegro

,

Rozaje

,

Berane

,

Andrijevica

,

Mojkovac

,

Žabljak

,

Niksic

,

Kotor

,

Shkodra Lake

,

Shkodër

Tour operator:

Exodus

Physical rating:

Moderate / Challenging

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Trip Styles:

Activities:

Tour code:

MVU

Group size:

6 - 16

Age range:

16 to 99

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

Recommended For:

From:
$3305

$3148 (USD)

including Flights from the UK

EXTRA tourhub discount: $157

See local operators tour description
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