Pass some truly stunning scenery on this Albanian cycle tour
Enjoy a moderate-challenging road cycle in Albania
Feel a sense of accomplishment as you get to the top of the pass (or jump in the van - or rent an e-bike!)
See ancient ruins and sites of significance on this adventurous bike tour
Warm welcomes and friendly waves on a joyful bike tour
Soak up the pristine surroundings as you enjoy meals with new friends

Cycle Albania

Duration
8 days
Site savings
$34
From
$1,635 USD

Immerse yourself in this previously isolated country by bike over 8 days. Some say that visiting Albania is as close as you’ll get to travelling back in time. It wasn’t until the collapse of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1991 that the world got its first glimpse of the country within. Huge snow-capped mountains, inviting beaches, rural villages, a genuine subsistence culture and an exceptionally friendly welcome are what you will find here.

  • Category
    Road Cycling
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    8 days
  • Culture Level
    Adventurous
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    4 - Challenging
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Hilly
  • Distance
    228 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    37.9 miles
operated by
Exodus Travels
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    The tour starts in Pogradec, at the hotel on the shores of Lake Ohrid. You can arrive at any time on day 1 - there will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it, the trip leader will update you.

    Fly in/out of Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza (TIA). The start location is approximately 3 hours from the airport. The options for arrival are:

    - A transfer by the ground operator is planned to coincide with a group arrival (from the UK). If you wish to join this transfer contact us and we can give you details of when this will arrive.

    - A taxi from the airport to the start hotel costs around €120 euros and takes around 3 hours.

    Public transport can be complex so either of the 2 options above are recommended.

    The tour ends in Vlore, at the hotel, after breakfast.

  • How long is the tour? How many cycling days?

    The tour is 8 days long with 6 days of cycling.

  • What sort of visa do I need?

    Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Albania. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

    Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.


    Australia:  www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/albania

    Canada:  www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/albania

    United Kingdom:  www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/albania/entry-requirements

    USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Albania.html



  • What's the tour like?

    This trip is classified Road and Activity Level 4 (Moderate/Challenging) with an average daily distance: 37mi (60km) over 6 cycling days. There is vehicle support (with limited seats).


    Terrain and route: 100 percent paved, where some sections are in a poor condition with potholes and some unsurfaced areas. The terrain is undulating with some long, gradual climbs. The optional climb on Day 7 (3,422ft/1,043m) is the most challenging, although there is always the option of the support vehicle to get you up to the pass. The aim is to use quiet roads where possible, although on one occasion you'll need to pass busy sections to reach quiet roads beyond.

     

  • What's the weather like?

    Albania has a temperate, Mediterranean climate. The first day of spring is 15 March 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 between 20C and 35C (68F and 95F). Summer days are long with sunrise before 6am and sunset after 8.30pm.

  • What's the food like?

    All breakfasts and two dinners are included.

    Food in Albania is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country and particularly the Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes. Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt, are present in almost every meal, usually locally sourced.

    Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha (the communist leader of Albania from 1944 to 1985), Albania became a self-sustaining country due to its isolation from the world. However, owing to the fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistence culture and show very few 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, while fish dishes might include trout or whitebait. Courses often come in meze form, complemented by a variety of vegetables, salad, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and, of course, raki. Your guide will recommend the best options when in the towns.

Overall Rating:
4.9/5
Wonderful introduction to the beauty, culture and history of Albania
David Laming
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Wonderful way to explore Albania aboard a bike saddle will be for us less fit people pretty challenging cycling, but the rewards for one’s efforts were great incredible views, fantastic mountain scenery, beautiful coastline and rural landscape. Once again, having a local guide made a massive difference introducing us to a wonderful range of Excellent local food much of it, organic locally grown and us very tasty and nutritious. The history and culture of Albania is fascinating. Although it’s difficult to burp watch while cycling, it was wonderful to hear the gold orioles singing, and the bee aters calling above your head as you rode for a beautiful rural countryside


Most Inspirational Moment

Soaking up the stunning mountain landscape, especially at the end of a long, hard climb


Thoughts on Group Leader
Erlis Our local guide was simply outstanding in every way. He and his support driver mechanic Klodi made the trip for us. They are truly wonderful ambassadors for their country. Both of them keen and enthusiastic throughout the day and evening, ever ready to help and guide. Erlis’s organisational skills are 2nd to none, despite having a relatively large group and on occasions arriving at quite busy restaurants we never waited long for food and always received superb service. Superb presentation, superb food at a very reasonable price. He clearly has a very good relationship with all his contacts out there. Travelling alone it’s a real lottery to Find a nice place to eat or have a coffee and in some areas. These places were few and far between but he and the locals didn’t let us down. He made himself available, 24 hours a day and hand with everybody and every situation with total competence and superb people skills. His command of English was exceptional and one evening he gave us a talk on the history and culture of Albania up to today and explained how the Albanian people of moulded and why they are as they are today. Also why some of the younger generation are leaving for other countries. Even though the talk lasted over an hour it seemed far less.On occasions, I looked around and everybody was transfixed he was constantly gauging, the level of interest from the people around him, and accurately detected. They were all fascinated by his presentation of his country’s history.He Deliver this presentation, which included many small details in an incredibly eloquent way, applying chronology of events throughout. I don’t believe he has had any training as a teacher, but I wish my history teachers had been as good as him. He came across as someone who genuinely loved his country. and wanted others like us to be aware of its history warts and all so they could understand his culture. It’s sad that so many people in the UK make generalisations about the Albania And the flood of your legal immigrants. Throughout our time in Albania, we were greeted with friendliness and given wonderful full hospitality. The Albanians, we had contact with warm hard-working people.

Fantastic trip to Albania
Elizabeth Logan
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our cycling holiday in Albania with [the tour operator]. Booking the trip was easy and communicating very straight forward. We booked 4 months in advance in order to guarantee our places and to book flights when they were cheaper. We were met on arrival by Erlis our guide and the transfer to our first hotel and start of the trip was seamless. The trip itself was very well planned and executed. We didn’t have to make many decisions and great accommodation and restaurants, coffee stops were all arranged for us in advance. Accommodation ranged in quality but on the whole was really good. The food was excellent always and plenty of it. We cycled in September so it was mostly very hot and we needed to rehydrate often. There were 2 days of really tough cycling, 1st and last but there were plenty of stops and options to go on the bus. I hired an electric bike which was a godsend on the difficult days especially due to the heat. It was an incredible trip; Albania is a fascinating country with a diverse history and beautiful landscape. We feel privileged to have travelled there at this time.


Most Inspirational Moment

Reaching the summit on the last day; 5 switchbacks in 30 degree heat. The view was worth it ! Great company and brilliant tour leader.


Thoughts on Group Leader

Erlis was amazing. Really welcoming and very well organised as well as being informative and helpful. He is a great tour leader with a lovely sense of humour. You would be lucky to get him.


Advice for Potential Travellers

Take plenty of suncream, seriously consider an electric bike, don't take too many snacks as they are provided, take earplugs as the Albanian dog howling committee comes out in force at night.


Suggestions

Thank you for a great trip !

Stunning views, lovely group and difficult climbs
Vaughan Sheward
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Absolutely loved this trip. I am more of a runner so I found the mountain climbs quite hard at times, but once at the top, I had the most fun cycling down towards the ocean. Had no idea that Albania was this beautiful!!


Most Inspirational Moment
The entire group making it to the top of the most difficult climb on the last day of cycling, then celebrating with an incredible group lunch at the mountain restaurant.


Thoughts on Group Leader
Very passionate about Albania and it's history. Very proud of his country and very good at his job. The group was quite mixed, which he managed well.


Advice for Potential Travellers

Make sure you have a good fitness/experience level with mountain climbs. Otherwise, you may just decide to use an E-bike.


Suggestions

You can use both the local currency as well as Euros to pay for food and drinks in cafe's and restaurants. You will receive the local currency in change.