Cycle Albania

Start: Tirana Airport Finish: Tirana Airport

Visiting: Pogradec, Korçë, Gërmenj, Gjirokaster, Sarandë, Qeparo, Berat, Ohrid, Tirana


Duration: 7 Nights

Physical rating: Moderate to Challenging

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour Operator: Explore!

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: Adult

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $1292

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Tour Overview

Discover the highlights of Albania while cycling through stunning scenery along peaceful, almost traffic-free roads in the mountains and along the turquoise coast. Albanian Riviera - Picturesque trails and villages Archaeological ruins and UNESCO sites - Gjirokaster, Butrint and Berat Food and drink - Mouth-watering local delicacies and great value beer.

Highlights

  • iconArchaeological ruins and UNESCO sites - Gjirokaster, Butrint and Berat
  • icon Albanian Riviera - Picturesque trails and villages
  • iconFood and drink - Mouth-watering local delicacies and great value beer.

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cycling to Germenj
Berat old town
Cathedral in Korca
Lake Ohrid
Beautiful landscape in Albania

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Join trip at Tirana Airport. Drive to Pogradec on Lake Ohrid

Location: Pogradec

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

Our trip begins at Tirana International Airport (TIA) at 1.30pm. The latest your flight can arrive is therefore 1pm. We will travel together as a group in a private bus to our hotel in Pogradec on the shores of Lake Ohrid. The journey will take approximately three and a half hours including a comfort break. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may have time to wait ahead of our group transfer to Pogradec. You can make the most of this time by taking the public bus to Tirana, which takes approximately 35 minutes and buses leave every hour, however, there are no left luggage facilities at the airport so you would need to take your bags with you. Alternatively, you may wish to change some money at the airport and wait in the restaurant outside the terminal opposite Arrivals.

icon Day 2: Cycle from Lake Ohrid to Korça

Location: Korçë

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Once equipped and fitted with our bikes we start cycling from lake Ohrid, climbing to an elevated plateau with some great views over the blue waters of this splendid lake surrounded by mountains. The road then continues towards Korça pedaling alongside vast fields and past small farms. We check into our hotel upon arrival into Korça. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 50 kilometres (Total 382 metres ascent and 217 meters descent)

icon Day 3: Climb into the heart of the Gramos Mountians to Germenj

Location: Gërmenj

Accommodation: Cabins

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning when we retake to our bikes we leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korça, 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 Gramos Mountains and over the Barmash Pass (1159m) to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley. We spend the night in wooden bungalows with shared bathrooms in Germenj and enjoy a traditional home cooked dinner. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 72 kilometres (Total 1160 metres ascent and 1041 meters descent) The Sotira Farm Guesthouse is a collection of two bedroom cabins located in the woods around a central farmhouse and salmon hatchery. Each cabin has a bathroom shared between the two bedrooms, in addition there is a communal washing block cabin. The main farmhouse house building where you have your dinner and breakfast is warm and welcoming with a log fire, and serves delicious local fare.

icon Day 4: Ride through Vjosa Valley; drive onto Gjirokaster

Location: Gjirokaster

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

We climb out from Germenj on our bikes 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. The route continues with a 15km descent to Çarshove before following the cornice route high above the river to Permet situated on a bluff above the river. A short but dramatic drive of about one an a half hours will bring us to the historic town of Gjirokastër, another UNESCO Heritage site that is home to some truly stunning Ottoman architecture. Gjirokastër is magnificently set between the towering Gjerë Mountains and the Drino River, providing us with a beautifully scenic arrival by vehicle from Permet as we pass through the Drino Valley and the Kelcyra Gorge. After checking in to our hotel, we have a chance to explore its historic heart, taking in its beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings and the dominating presence of its Ottoman citadel, believed to be the second largest in the Balkans. If you are travelling in October, we may visit a traditional house instead of inside the citadel as it operates shorter opening hours at the end of the season. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 58 kilometres (Total 691 metres ascent and 1431 meters descent)

icon Day 5: Cycle to Saranda via Butrint archaeological treasure

Location: Sarandë

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

A short drive after breakfast will bring us to the beginning of the cycling section that starts with a downhill ride from Muzina Pass to the Blue Eye, source of the river Bistrica. The ride then encircles the lagoon of Butrint National Park where we will visit the archaeological site. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is one of the county's most important archaeological treasures, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans. In the afternoon we continue our ride onto Saranda and spend the evening at the waterfront. 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. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 67 kilometres (Total 560 metres ascent and 1089 meters descent)

icon Day 6: Ride the Albanian Riviera to Qeparo

Location: Qeparo

Accommodation: Guesthouse

Meals: Breakfast

A roller coaster of a ride awaits us this morning as we make our way along the Albanian Riviera passing through the small villages of Piqeras and Lukova en route to Qeparo. Leaving as the mist is burnt off by the sun, climbing steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau. From here we pedal 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 bay of Qeparo where we spend the night in the seaside village of Qeparo on the Albanian Riviera. The afternoon is left free to enjoy the beach and relax. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres (Total 965 metres ascent and 918 meters descent)

icon Day 7: Cycle to Dhermi then drive to Berat

Location: Berat

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

We continue our route into the valley heading north before climbing two short but steep cols, through woodlands, little gorges, forests and around hairpin bends. Along the way we pass the old fortress of Ali Pasha of Tepelena, Palermo Bay, the Monastery of St. Theodore and Gjipe Bay and the coastal town of Himara. Our cycling adventure ends with a descent to the picturesque village of Dhermi, nestling amongst the rocky slopes of the Ceraunian Mountains. After lunch we drive 120 km (about 2 and a half hours) to Berat, enjoying the great mountain and sea views of Llogora National Park enroute. Home to black pine, Eurasian otter and golden eagles, the park is a scenic expanse of protected woodland that encompasses the forests on the northern side of the Llogora Pass. Berat is perhaps the most beautiful town in Albania. Explore the cobbled alleys between the white walled houses and visit the citadel high above. Staying in a traditional hotel in the historic neighbourhood of Mangalemi, we should have some time to explore this World Heritage site before dinner. Time permitting, there is an optional 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. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 33 kilometres (Total 809 metres ascent and 812 meters descent)

icon Day 8: Drive to Tirana Airport where our trip ends

Location: Tirana International Airport

Meals: Breakfast

Departing Berat this morning we drive to Tirana International Airport (TIA) where we will arrive at about 11am and this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 1pm.

What's Included

  • icon
    Meals

    Breakfast: 7 Dinner: 3

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    Airport Transfers at Destination

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    Fully Guided

  • icon
    Accommodation

What's Not Included

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    Tipping and Gratuities

  • icon
    Country Entry Visas

Why Book this Tour

Unlike many other operators, we include the hire of your bike in the overall cost of the holiday: you don't need to bring your own or pay extra to hire one locally. We also provide a support vehicle, spare parts and take care of day to day bike maintenance. All you need bring is your own helmet.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a deposit of 10% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Reviews

Read all 0 reviews
Cycle Albania
Good holiday, and great peoplemix of people. Good holiday, and great peoplemix of people.

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James

30-Oct-2017

Cycle Albania
We were pleased with the accounting done by the group leader for the tip money at the end, since we've not had this before and it'sod to see how the ....more We were pleased with the accounting done by the group leader for the tip money at the end, since we've not had this before and it'sod to see how the money is accounted for.

; ....less
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Hilary

29-Apr-2019

Cycle Albania
Another great Explore holiday Another great Explore holiday;
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Richard

10-Jun-2018

Cycle Albania
Great trip, Bledi was a reallyod guide and kept 16 of us under his wing for the week, He managed all the coffee and lunch stops and booked several evening ....more Great trip, Bledi was a reallyod guide and kept 16 of us under his wing for the week, He managed all the coffee and lunch stops and booked several evening meals, I was impressed that the price included 3 dinners; ....less
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Cathy

28-Apr-2019

Cycle Albania
The trip was really enhanced by our guide Bledi - he looked after us extremely well. The trip was really enhanced by our guide Bledi - he looked after us extremely well.

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Natalia

28-Apr-2019

Cycle Albania
A superb week cycling in the Albanian countryside. Expertly looked after by our wonderful guide Bledi and bike mechanicsupport driver Claret. Highlights were; seeing this beautiful country by bike, quiet ....more A superb week cycling in the Albanian countryside.

Expertly looked after by our wonderful guide Bledi and bike mechanicsupport driver Claret.

Highlights were; seeing this beautiful country by bike, quiet roads, relaxing in the hot (warm!) springs, great bikes, the satisfaction and feelod factor from cycling place to place, and relaxing at the end of the day over aod meal and few drinks with a lovely group.

Couldn’t have asked for a better week!; ....less
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Alison

02-Dec-2018

Travel, Your Way

Good reasons for travelling privately

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    Personalise your trip

    Make changes to the itinerary, accommodation, or transport method

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    Increased safety during COVID

    Spend the majority of time amongst your group to reduce exposure to others

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    Travel more exclusively

    Your tour guide can focus all their attention on your group

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    Travel for a special occasion

    Celebrate an important event by only travelling with your friends or family

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Friday Sep 03, 2021

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Friday Sep 24, 2021

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Friday Sep 23, 2022

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Friday Oct 14, 2022

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