Suggested Dates: Apr, May, Jun, and Sep
Duration: 7 nights / 8 days
Accommodation: Small hotels, Country lodge, B&B
Daily Mileage: 45km / 28 miles Average
Activity Level: Level 3 | Advanced
Tour Interests: Cultural travel, Photography, Unusual destinations, Low traffic rides
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Our Albania bike tour will lead you from the tranquil beauty of Lake Ohrid, via picturesque mountains and sparkling rivers, to the inviting beaches of the Albanian Riviera.
DAY 1 - Arrival in Tiranë
Rendezvous at Tiranë airport and transfer to hotel in Tiranë city centre. Meet the rest of the tour group over a relaxing dinner.
DAY 2 - Tiranë to Lake Ohrid
Transfer 120km from Tiranë to Lake Ohrid | Cycle 40km to Pogradec.
Morning transfer to the northern side of Lake Ohrid, from where we will start cycling along the scenic shore towards Pogradec. Lunch at a waterfront restaurant before arriving in Pogradec. The afternoon can be spent either relaxing at the beach in front of the hotel or crossing over into Macedonia by bike and visiting the monastery of St Naum.
DAY 3 - Pogradec to Korcë
Pogradec to Korcë Ride of 51km.
Leaving Lake Ohrid, we climb to a high plateau bounded by mountains leading to a vast plain and a colourful patchwork of farms. Day ends with a short walking tour of Korcë, climbing cobbled streets and steps to a viewpoint overlooking the town and surrounding countryside.
DAY 4 - Korcë to Sotirë
Cycle from Korcë to Sotirë Ride of 71km.
We leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korcë, ascending 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 at 1,159m. Overnight at Sotirë farm, nestled in its own tranquil valley.
DAY 5 - Sotirë to Përmet
Sotirë to Përmet Ride of 52km.
A climb out from Sotirë 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 Çarshovë and then follow the corniche route high above the river to Përmet, famed for its cuisine and strong raki. Option of a 4km excursion to thermal pools accessed via an ancient bridge.
DAY 6 - Përmet to Gjorokastër
Cycle from Përmet to Gjorokastër Ride of 70km.
Continue along the valley towards Këlcyrë, 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 Gjirokastër which is perhaps the most beautiful in Albania. Explore the charming cobbled alleyways between the white-walled buildings, visit a fascinating traditional house and climb to the citadel.
DAY 7 - Gjirokastër to Saranda
Gjirokastër to Saranda Ride of 70km.
After a brief transfer, we cycle to Sarandë. This is the gateway to southern Albania on the Ionian coast, sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea. A short ride on a rustic ferry brings us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint, one of the country's most important archaeological treasures, where the influences of various ancient peoples including the Greeks and Romans are clearly visible.
DAY 8 - Saranda to Himarë
Cycle from Saranda to Himarë Ride of 53km.
A rollercoaster ride, we leave as the early morning mist is burnt off by the sun, climbing steeply out of Sarandë to a rocky plateau. Then it's over cols into bays and around headlands, always with the stunning mountain scenery to the right and coastal views to the left before descending to the long beach and the bay of Himarë, where there’s plenty of time for a swim in the clear blue water.
DAY 9 - Himarë to Vlorë
Cycle from Himarë to Vlorë Ride of 63km.
Today’s ride is not only the most challenging but also the most spectacular in Albania. You will gradually climb from sea level up to 1,000m through forests, gorges and hairpin bends. After lunch in the beautiful national park of Llogara we will descend towards Vlorë for an afternoon’s relaxation by the Ionian sea.
DAY 10 - Departure Berat to Tirana
Departure - Transfer 160km from Berat to Tirana.
Depending on flight times, we may have the opportunity to visit the city of Vlorë before our transfer back to Tiranë and Mother Teresa Airport.
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