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Across the Adriatic Sea from Italy there is a country still unexploited by touristic mainstream. 
For 50 years after WW2 that country has lived a self-inflicted isolation from the rest of the world but today, 
thanks to its natural beauties and genuine hospitality, is becoming a preferred destination for lovers of the great outdoors and cycletourers looking for unbeaten routes.
This biketour will show you, from mountain to sea, some of its most spectacular roads and landscapes,
ancient villages lost in a pristine nature and UNESCO sites witnessing its millenary history.
In case you haven't guessed it yet the name of that country is Albania.

The BEST of ALBANIA by BIKELlongare Pass

 Guided Tour

Difficulty: 3 Biketour difficulty rate
6 rides averaging 64km and 900mts of climb

Dates 2020: May 8-15 and Oct 16-23

Tour Price: €960 (minimum 6 pax)

Included:

  • 7 nights in double room in hotel 3-4 star and Guesthouse
  • Full Board , All Breakfast , Lunches and Dinners
  • Bike hire
  • Attraction Site Fees
  • All Transfers on the tour
  • Guide cycling with the group
  • Maps
  • Support Van + Driver
  • Thermal bath in Benje

Not Included:

  • Snacks
  • Drinks with meals
  • Single supplement = €120
  • Ebike rent = €130

 

Day by Day Rides description:

Albania biketour donkeyDay 1 – Arrival at Tirana Airport – transfer to Pogradec (bike fitting ride to St. Naum) – 10KM
Arrival in Tirana (preferably early morning). Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Pogradec, situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid (approx. 3hr drive). In between we stop for a snack and coffee break. Upon arrival, bike fitting and test ride across the border to Macedonia to visit the monastery of St. Naum.

Day 2 – Transfer to Korca by van – Cycle to Farma Sotira – 65KM - (1145M elevation gain)
After a quick transfer to
Korce, leaving its agricultural plateau behind, we enter more remote areas and villages, alongside the green border with Greece where the Gramoz Mountains lie on our left hand side the whole time. The scenery is beautiful and varied, from agricultural lands to high snow peeked mountains, depending on the time of the year. After stopping for lunch at the highest town in elevation in Albania, Erseke, we will climb even further towards the Barmash Pass situated at 1,160m above sea level to end the day in Sotire. In the thick forest a guesthouse with trout farm awaits us, filled with animals and local wine to be served. For dinner, a delicious trout freshly caught from the pond, don’t miss it!

Day 3 – Farma Sotira to Permet – 68KM - (660M elevation gain)
We exit Sotire to a beautiful pine forest plain surrounded by towering peaks before reaching the old town of Leskovik. But wait, the beauty comes after, a fantastic 14km downhill on a completely paved and new road that sends us only 50m away from one of the Greek borders with Albania. That is where we meet for the first time the longest river in Albania, river Vjosa, a beautiful, crystalline coloured river that we will follow for the next two days. After reaching the second guesthouse of the tour, an additional 4km of cycling towards the most famous natural thermal springs in Albania, free of charge, where warm pools await for you underneath a 18th century ottoman bridge, or if you feel like hiking, hike towards the Langarica river that flows from the mountains towards one of the most gorgeous canyons in Europe.

Biketour of Albania GjirokasterDay 4 – Permet to Gjirokaster – 70KM - (427M elevation gain)
After leaving Benje, the soaring peeks of the Nemercka mountain range reappear again in front of us as we follow the Vjosa to Kelcyre, where the river has created an outstanding 20 km gorge in between the mountains of Trebeshina and Golika. Following the road is where we say goodbye to the river Vjosa to meet and follow the Drino river, which will lead us to the Drino Valley alongside the Lunxheri mountain range where right in front of it, hanging on a cliff, is situated the first UNESCO protected city on our tour, Gjirokaster. After checking in, a city tour is in the plans to visit the Citadel on top of it, the Bazaar, where tourists usually shop for authentic gifts, and at the end visit the historic Skenduli House.

Day 5 – Transfer to Muzina Pass – Cycle to Butrint towards Saranda – 68KM - (525M elevation gain)Biketour Albania Sarande
The day starts with a 30min transfer at the top of the Muzina pass, situated at 550m, where the actual cycling begins, followed by a beautiful downhill all the way to sea level approaching Saranda, the first coastal city on the tour. Upon entering the city, we detour to complete a loop ride alongside the National Park of Butrint reaching the southern tip of the country. Hop on a wooden ferry to cross the Vivari channel, which connects the Ionian Sea with Lake Butrint and have lunch near the UNESCO site of Butrint. After lunch, a guide will be waiting for us to visit the ancient Grecian-Roman ruins of Butrint, declared a World Heritage Site in 1992. Following, a brief cycle to Saranda accompanied by the view of Corfu Island on our left hand side for the rest of the day.

moufflon at the biketour of AlbaniaDay 6 - Saranda to Himare – 52KM - (1064M elevation gain)
A rollercoaster ride is waiting for us as we leave Saranda to follow the Albanian “Riviera Road”, as we pass by some of our most beautiful villages and crystal clear beaches that the Ionian Sea has to offer. The view is dazzling, surrounded by mountains on one side and the sea on the other as the climbings are paid off by stunning downhills in between villages and alongside the sea. Brief lunch in Porto Palermo, in front of a fascinating Venetian Castle to end the day in Himare, an old fisherman’s village, where there will be plenty of time to relax by the beach and/or go the town centre to enjoy a refreshing ice cream.

Day 7 – Himare to Vlore – 60KM - (1590M elevation gain)
Here it is, the most beautiful, varied and challenging day of the tour. We gradually climb through forests and gorges, passing by old villages leading to the most famous beaches in Albania, Jale and Dhermi. As we cycle, on the far distance we get a glimpse of the extraordinary Llogara Pass (1060M), where a gradual climb towards its top is waiting for us accompanied by stunning vistas of the mountains surrounding the Ionian Sea. Upon reaching the top, we descend towards the National Park of Llogara to complete the tour in Rradhime at one of the most famous hotels in the area. Relax by the sea and enjoy a mojito while admiring the sunset over the Peninsula of Karaburun.

Day 8 - Transfer to Tirana Airport or Vlore Port to Brindisi, Italy (Red Star Ferries)