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
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    8 days
  • Main Destination
    Albania
  • Distance
    228 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    37.9 miles
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Hilly

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Start Pogradec

    You'll start in Pogradec, at the hotel on the shore of Lake Ohrid. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy this lakeside location.

     

    • Hotel Millenium (or similar)
  2. Day 2Transfer to Korçë; steady climb through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wildflowers; cycle towards Grammoz Mountain and over the Barmash Pass to Gërmenj

    You'll begin with one of the most demanding days of the tour. After a quick transfer to Korçë, you'll begin cycling and leave behind the agricultural plateau, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wildflowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing towards Grammoz Mountain and over the Barmash Pass (3,802ft/1,159m) to Gërmenj, lying in a tranquil valley. Here you can relax at your accommodation, Farma Sotira, which is also a working trout farm. Meals here consist of organic produce reared or sourced from the farm itself. Once you’ve finished your hearty dinner, sit and relax by the open roaring fire in the dining area with a glass of homemade wine or a bottle of Korçë beer (the most popular in Albania).








    • 44.7 miles
    • 328.1 ft
      3,773 ft
      3,444.9 ft
    • Farma Sotira Hotel (or similar)
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  3. Day 3Cycle through high grassy plateaux surrounded by soaring peaks before descending to Carshove and on to Benje; ride to thermal springs for a swim

    In the morning, there is a climb out from Germenj to a high grassy plateau close to the Greek border, surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. You'll continue descending to Çarshove and then follow the corniche route high above the river to Benje situated on a ridge above the river.

    After lunch at the guesthouse, you'll take a short ride to the thermal springs to relax and soothe aching muscles. Both lunch and dinner will be served on the peaceful terrace.





    • 37.3 miles
    • -2,181.8 ft
      2,253.9 ft
      4,435.7 ft
    • Guesthouse Coli (or similar)
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  4. Day 4Valley ride towards Kelcyra; after lunch at Tepele Waterfalls transfer to Gjirokastra for afternoon city tour

    Today is one of the easiest days. You'll continue along the valley towards Kelcyra with its distant shark-tooth peaks, which guard a further gorge. You'll ride between these gorges until the two rivers meet.

    After lunch at the waterfalls of Tepelene, you'll drive (approximately 30 minutes) through the wide plain toward the town of Gjirokastra (City of 1,000 Steps). The well-preserved town is perched on the steep side of the Drino Valley, overlooking snow-capped mountains.

    In the afternoon, you'll take a cultural tour through the city and explore narrow cobbled alleys and 18th-century Ottoman houses. You'll also visit a 13th-century castle and learn about the fascinating history of this town, which has seen many rulers and has inspired poets, authors and artists.







    • 28.6 miles
    • -557.7 ft
      1,148.3 ft
      1,706 ft
    • Hotel Cajupi (or similar)
    • Breakfast
  5. Day 5Transfer up the Muzina Pass, long descent to Sarandë via the coast and the Unesco site of Butrint

    After breakfast, you'll load the bikes onto the support vehicle and transfer up to Muzina Pass (approximately 45 minutes), the gateway to southern Albania, for a spectacular downhill ride to Sarandë. On the Ionian Coast, Sarandë is sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and is close to the ancient remains of Butrint, which you'll visit on the way. A Unesco World Heritage site, Butrint is very close to the Greek border and is one of the most important archeological sites in the country, with origins back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. You'll have lunch at the site and continue along the coast to Sarandë.








    • 43.5 miles
    • -1,837.3 ft
      2,378.6 ft
      4,215.9 ft
    • Hotel Nertili (or similar)
    • Breakfast
  6. Day 6Spectacular coastal ride to the long beach of Himarë Bay

    Climbing steeply out of Sarandë to a rocky plateau, you'll enjoy a spectacular coastal ride over cols into bays and around headlands. Always with the mountains to the right and sea to the left, you'll continue along before descending to Himarë, a small Communist-era fishing village with a small promenade filled with cafes, restaurants and ice cream stands. There is plenty of time for a swim in the Ionian Sea, and your hotel is a short walk to Potam Beach.



     



     

    • 33.6 miles

    • 3,490.8 ft
      3,490.8 ft
    • Hotel Rondos (or similar)
    • Breakfast
  7. Day 7Ride towards Vlorë; optional climb to the Llogara Pass; long descent through Llogara National Park finishing by the coast

    Today’s route is as challenging as it is spectacular as you cycle the most demanding ride of the tour; it will show you how strong you have become. In the morning, there is a climb out of Himarë, which naturally is rewarded with an enjoyable downhill. You'll then have another climb before the coffee break. That’s followed by a nice downhill, but you must climb again before regrouping.

    You'll then face a long, steady ascent to the Llogara pass. At 3,422ft (1,043m) above sea level, this climb is optional, so if you think it is too much then you can jump in the support vehicle. However, if you are looking for an extra challenge, this climb comes with a real sense of achievement, and the views are fantastic.

    At the pass (which you will also see if you take the van), it is possible to see across to Italy on a clear day. The tour operator recommends taking a warmer layer for reaching the top of the pass. From here you enter Llogara National Park, home to black pines, Eurasian otters and golden eagles. The park is a scenic expanse of protected woodland that encompasses the forests on the northern side of the Llogora Pass. You'll begin to descend and have lunch in the national park.

    In the afternoon, you'll continue descending towards the hotel, which is by the sea just outside the city. Here you can relax and take a dip in the sea, the perfect reward for a hard day’s cycle.








    • 40.4 miles

    • 5,347.8 ft
      5,347.8 ft
    • Hotel Coral (or similar)
    • Breakfast
  8. Day 8End Vlorë

    This cycling tour of Albania comes to an end after breakfast. But if you’d like a muscle-soothing post-trip break, speak to us about extending your stay in a hotel by the sea in Vlorë.


    • Breakfast