Balkan Express

5 customer review

The Balkan Peninsula for many is one of the last undiscovered corners of Europe. Cultural and natural variety abound here, forged over the centuries by numerous political changes and imperial influences from the Byzantine to the Ottoman. We contrast Tirana, Skopje, Prishtina and Podgorica with traditional towns, villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places of untouched natural beauty. Each country offers a different culture, cuisine and tradition to discover, each growing as an independent nation in its own right and taking its place in the modern world. This is a rare chance to see the re-emergence of places kept off limits until relatively recently.

East meets West and new merges almost seamlessly with old. Over the centuries people have travelled to this region for its fertile soil, natural resources and healing waters. This enchanting land, which has remained virtually untouched by tourism, boasts rich tradition, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. With vast historical attractions, nightlife costal towns, countless national parks and 11 UNESCO sites, this adventure tour is delightfully different.



  • 4 UNESCO World Heritage cities visited
  • 6 riding days with 100% vehicle support
  • 2 Contries Visited : Albania & Macedonia
  • Total distance : 1200 km | 100% tarmac

Arrival

Day 1

Rendezvous at Tirana airport and transfer to hotel in Tirana city centre. Meet the rest of the tour group over a relaxing dinner. After checkin in at the hotel, depending on the arriving flights, we will have the chance to do a tour of Tirana and visit the nuclear bunker of Enver Hoxha, the fruit and vegetable market and the national museum of history next to the newly build city centre of Tirana. Before the welcome dinner, your tour guide will go with you, through all the tour details and tell you everything you need to know about the amazing tour you are about the journey.

Lively, colourful Tirana is the beating heart of Albania, where this tiny nation's hopes and dreams coalesce into a vibrant whirl of traffic, brash consumerism and unfettered fun. Having undergone a transformation of extraordinary proportions since awaking from its communist slumber in the early 1990s, Tirana's centre is now unrecognisable, with buildings painted in primary colours, and public squares and pedestrianised streets that are a pleasure to wander.

Trendy Blloku buzzes with the well-heeled and flush hanging out in bars and cafes, while the city's grand boulevards are lined with fascinating relics of its Ottoman, Italian and communist past, from delicate minarets to loud socialist murals. Add to this some excellent museums and you have a compelling list of reasons to arrive a day earlier here.

Tiranë-Ohrid

Day 2

We will start the morning with a two hour transfer to the northern side of Lake Ohrid. From where, after we have unloaded the bicycles and fitted them to everyones comfort we will start cycling along the scenic shore of lake Ohrid towards Pogradec. After reaching our hotel in the town of Tushemisht, just 4 km east of Pogreadec, for lunch. We will cross over into Macedonia, and visiting the monastery of St Naum before arriving in Ohrid. Lake Ohrid, one of the oldest lakes in the world, came into existence during a remote geological ages as a result of tectonic shifts and with its unique flora and fauna the lake is one of the largest biological reserves in Europe and with 212 known endemic species and a surface area of 358 km2 it is probably the most diverse lake in the world.




Ohrid-Debar

Day 3

Leaving Lake Ohrid, we climb to a high plateau bounded by mountains. Continue following the gorge for a while until the hills open up, leading to a vast plain and a colourful patchwork of individual farms. Day ends with a short walking tour of Korcë, climbing cobbled streets and steps to a viewpoint overlooking the town and surrounding countryside.







Debar-Mavrovo

Day 4

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.







Mavrovo-Tetovo

Day 5

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.







Tetovo-Prizren

Day 6

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 (city of 1,000 steps) high above on the right. Gjirokastër, a ‘museum’ town, 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.







Prizren-Pejë

Day 7

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.







Pejë-Rozaje

Day 8

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.







Rozaje-Kolasin

Day 9

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.







Kolasin-Zabljak

Day 10

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.







Zabljak-Pluzine

Day 11

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.







Pluzine-Niksic

Day 12

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.







Niksic-Kotor

Day 13

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.







Kotor-Bar

Day 14

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.







Bar-Shkodër

Day 15

Skoder is one of the oldest cities in Abania, located on the bank of Skadar lake within 20 km from the Adriatic coast and 120 km from the countries capital. The city is an important cultural and economical and is also known as the center of the Albanian Catholicism and a perfect proof of the fact that all different religions can adjoin in one country.





Departure

Day 16

Farewell

Guided Tour

2250

Self-Guided Tour

1620

Electric Bike

370

Single Supplement

375

What's included
  • 9 Nights Accommodation
  • Bicycle & H2O Bottle
  • Multilingual tour guide
  • Support van


  • All Lunches and dinners
  • All breakfasts
  • All attraction site fees
  • Snacks on the road
What's not included
  • Single supplement
  • Electric bike
  • Transport to/from Albania
  • Riding gear or helmet


  • Drinks with meals
  • Albania cycling jersey
  • Gratitude for guides
  • Airport shuttle service
Tour Date Tour Status
June 16 - June 30 Available
  • Airline Lost & Found
  • Riding Gear
  • How much money do I need?
  • Medical conditions and food allergies
  • Motorcycle Models and Sizes
  • Crossing Borders
  • Ferry ride into the Fiords of Albania
  • Riding in Albania
  • Food and Meals
  • Riding Style
In the event that your flight has lost you luggage please give the following information to the lost and found office that unless there will be another flight the same with your luggage on it, you will be traveling the next day and the destination for your luggage to be delivered should be determined by calling Motorcycle Albania at +3556730000. Motorcycle Albania and Lost & Found will make further arrangements to bring the luggage to you as soon as possible.
It is important to layer your clothing for different climates, as our tour may go through cool high mountain passes on one day and warm valley lowlands on the next. Rain in the mountains can occur unexpectedly, so you should bring a rain suit. Helmet is a must unless you have made further arrangements with us. In the event of lost luggage we will provide you with a helmet and riding gear until the arrival of yours.
You will need money only for meals and drinks. A typical dinner cost between 5-10 € and a litter of house red wine from 3-7€. Coffee is 50cent and beer 1€. Although ATM machines are common in most cities and towns there will be days where finding on could be challenging. But more challenging is trying paying with a credit card. Cash in the most easy form of payment and luckily, because of the prices in Albania, you don’t need much of it.
Because of the remoteness this tour will take us, is quite neccessary that you let Motorcycle Albania know in advance of possible medical conditions of food allergies that you might have. All our guides are competent first aid responders and will do everything to sort out the situation in the most professional manner.
We have updated our motorcycles by providing 2017 model for all our tours. On top of that, all our models now have motorcycles with lowered chassis for shorter riders. After you make you booking make sure to talk to us about the most appropriate size for you.
Crossing borders is easy and straight forward. Everyone must have their passports and driving license on them at all time. Because of our agremenst with Border Custom Controle, you can cross any border independent from the rest of the group and don't need to do any customs paperwork.
Because of limited accesabilito to most mountainous vilages this is the only way in or out for a lot of people and because of tourism and water level of the lake loading/unloading of the bikes on the ferries can be challenging. Therefore your guide might have to do that job for you.
All the roads exept for big citys are free of trafic and very well maintained. The drivers are quiet patience and forgiving.
Organic food is still the standart in the Albanain cousine. All the farmers grow their own heirloom varieties and because of the cost of chemicals used in developed countries they have followed more natural methods of agriculture. Combine the good flavor with the rich variety of traditional dishes and low prices and you landed on food paradise.

Because of the cheep prices of meals we decided that everyone should have the abundant option of choosing their own dish. Nonetheless your guide will suggest the best places and dishes and make reservations beforehand. If it is favorable to you, you can let the guide choose and order the best at each destination.
Every group is different but the most common style of riding is where the guide leads and you all make the same stops and rests to which we came to know from our long experience. All the helmets will be equipped with an intercom, where you can listen the guide telling stories and histories of the traveled area or interact in private conversations with other riders from the group. There is usually two coffee stops, one before and one after lunch stop as well as common regroups in attractions sites and beautiful view points.

Nonetheless with our GPS and and easy to follow route, you are free to ride at you own pace and enjoy the ride from your own prospective.
Luka Fernando

This was my first trip to the Balkans and it was a good introduction to this misunderstood area. From great cities to great landscapes! We saw it all… It was an inspiration to see how this war torn countries have repared their infrastructure as well as their souls! I hope to return very soon.

Bob Richardson

A very enjoyable trip to 5 countries. The trip varies a lot and at the end of if it is though to remember it all. So much to see and do. I highly recommand it before this reagion becomes full of tourists.

John Lancaster

A very well organised tour from the moment we were met at the airport. Thoroughly enjoyed Albania, bikes were good, hotels were of a good standard, people were friendly and prices were low. Highlight was the rides through the mountains, lovely quiet roads and superb scenery.

Stewart Aylesbury

This was my first visit to Albania and also my first bike tour.It was an excellent introduction to both.The local tour leader and bike mecanic were very professional and ensured that everyone's needs were looked after. All the towns we visited were unique and the accommodation was of generally high standard.We ate well and were made welcome at every location. There were so many highlights.

Lucy Findlay

I was the only female rider on the group, but I never felt left behind even though I rode at my own slow pace. This trip is great for those that want to see a large area of the Balkan countries. We thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a huge variety of landscapes from remote rural backwaters in the mountains, historical cities and ruins to the beautiful coast with it's clear water and white sands. The group was great too. Our leader Armand was very professional and paid attention to numerous details. He had strong views about things, but is clearly committed to providing context and understanding of his country and reagion.

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