Accursed Mountains0 customer review
Welcome in the new millennium in the less traversed corner of Europe, the Accursed mountain of Albania. Ride and see what few people have seen: an untouched coastline, hidden valleys, and rugged mountains. Receive one of the warmest receptions in all of Europe. The people of this tiny country are known for warmth and hospitality. From the mountains in the north to the archaeological sites in the south, from the growing city to the rural villages throughout the country, there is surprising diversity for travelers to discover. An adventure worth living for. This tour, includes a world class journey through outstanding fjord-like scenery, which deserves to be one of the world's best boat trips. You will travel back in time and see the traditional lifestyles carried by hardy souls who work their land and build their haystacks as their ancestors did before them with the peacefulness.
This diverse 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, providing a taste of all the very best Albania has to offer. This incorporates visits to UNESCO heritage sites, as well as fascinating glimpses into an untouched subsistence culture. A challenging route, providing a feast for the senses and plenty of opportunity to experience the hospitality of the friendly Albanian people.
- 6 riding days with 100% vehicle support
- 2 Contries Visited : Albania & Macedonia
- Total distance : 563 km | 8628m Total Assent | 100% tarmac
Arrival | Shkodër
Rendezvous at Tiranë airport and transfer to Shkoder in Northern Albania (approx. 1.5hrs drive). At 16:00 pm we will organise a transfer with the group from Tirana to Shkoder. It is therefore advised that unless there is flights arriving to Tirana before that time, you should plant to come a day earlier in Tirana. Two meeting points will be provided for the transfer. One at Tirana centre and one at the Airport. During your drive toward Shkoder, your guide will inform you about the trip and give all the details about you amazing journey.
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.
The city was founded in the 4th century B.C. and for a long time had an important protecting role protecting the trade routes on the rivers of Drin and Bruna. It became the capital of Illyria in the 3d century B.C. Than it was conquered by the Romans and than was a part of the medieval Serbian principality till it was gained by the Turks in 1479. It became a part of the young state ofAlbania in 1912 after the first Balkan war.
After an early transfer to Komani we take a ferry to Fierze across the beautiful Komani Lake (which takes about 3 hours). The ferry ride allows you to take in the spectacular scenery, winding its way between high cliffs and towering peaks. From here we get on our bikes and the climbing begins as we ascend from the lake up to a high plateau. Following the line of an ancient trade route, along which the Romans built one of their great arterial roads, the Via Publica, we cycle up through spectacular gorges, forests and lakes towards Dardhe.
Albania is almost totally dependent on hydropower for electricity generation; nearly 100 per cent of the country’s domestically produced electricity comes from hydropower. The mountainous nation is home to eight major river systems. The Drin river, located in northern Albania, is the largest river in the country and hosts three hydropower stations: Fierzë, Komani and Vau I Dejës. Work for their construction began in 1970 and the plants were fully operational in 1980.
Today we will cycle one of the most spectacular roads in Albania with high mountain peaks on your left and Fierza Lake, 800m down on your right. We continue along Fierza Lake until we reach the dam, which is part of a huge hydro-electric system constructed in the 1970's.
The old Kukës was located at the confluence of the White Drin and Black Drin. In 1976 the town was submerged beneath the Fierza Reservoir, which is held back by a Chinese-built dam. The new town was built in the 1970s in the plateau nearby which is 320m over the sea level. New Kukës is surrounded by the artificial lake of Fierza and it looks like a peninsula from the above. Illyrian tombs were found at Këneta and Kolsh nearby Kukës. It was a small Roman settlement, a stopping point on a branch road leading to the Via Egnatia, and a minor Ottoman market centre and trading post on the road to southern Kosovo. It was there, where Albanian resistance stood up against retreating Serbian army in 1912.
Today we cycle along the Black Drin Valley from Kukes to Peshkopi, following the river. The Black Drin River originates at Lake Ohrid and meets with the White Drin River at Kukes. This is one of the toughest day of the trip and includes a 12km climb.
The region now known as Dibër was inhabited in pre-Christian times by the Illyrian tribe known to the Romans as Penestae, in Ancient Greek. The name of Peshkopi is derived from the word peshkop meaning bishop in Albanian. The region of Dibër was subsumed under the Orthodox archepiscopate of Ohrid in 1019, and one year later received the status of an episcopate with its center in the Bulke ward of Peshkopi, located in what is now the neighborhood of Dobrovë. The central church of the Dibër Episcopate was that of St. Stephen. The seat of the Episcopate would later be relocated, but the town of Peshkopi retained its name. Peshkopi is referenced as early as the fifteenth century under the name Peskopia.
After riding past farms and villages our route passes over into Macedonia. We then continue through the it's countryside until we reach the beautiful UNESCO town of Ohrid. In the afternoon we will head out for a city tour through the town famed for its 365 churches, one for each day of the year.
Sublime Ohrid is Macedonia's most seductive destination, with an atmospheric old quarter cascading down a graceful hill, crammed full of beautiful churches and topped by the bones of a medieval castle. Its cobbled streets are flanked by traditional restaurants and lakeside cafes, but it's not a complete tourist circus just yet and still has a lived-in feel, particularly in the upper reaches of the Old Town. Best of all is that you can be skipping through historic monuments one minute and lying on a deck chair with your toes in the water the next. I'ts location right on the edge of serene Lake Ohrid is hard to beat, and a lovely little town beach and boardwalk help make the most of its natural charms.
In the morning we start cycling along the lake before another 12km climb to a rocky plateau with wonderful views of Lake Ohrid. We then have a long descent to the shores of Lake Prespa, and the Albanian border. We follows the shores of the larger Prespa Lake and also the smaller Prespa Lake that borders three countries (Albania, Macedonia and Greece). Once past these lakes on the southern side and a long descent we will reach Korçe, the Paris of Albania.
Korcë became an important trading and handicraft centre in the 18th century due to the development of trade with neighboring regions. It has been an important religious center for Orthodox Christians and Muslims for centuries. During the Ottoman period it became one of the centres of the growing Albanian identity. The first school teaching in the Albanian language was established there in 1887, followed by Albania's first school for girls in 1891.
We cycle to a high plateau bounded by mountains, following the gorge for a while until the hills open up, leading to a vast plain and a colourful patchwork of individual farms. We will reach the river Devoll at the town of Maliq, point from which we will follow the it’s mighty flow through one of most dramatic gorge in Albania.
Gramsh is a small, loving, peaceful, generous, hospitable and full of culture and is not recognized as a tourist destination. But Gramsh is full of hidden gems, which you need to strive a bit to reach and enjoy. It is the perfect place for nature, culture and adventure. Canyons, glacial lakes covered by water lilies, spectacular waterfalls and hidden caves filled with ruins of ancient Illyrian settlements, and many local myths and legends. An area full of mystery and adventure, worth visiting.
We continue our jurney through Elbasan, an important place during the Ancient and early Byzantine periods and it’s abandoned metallurgical complex, built with Chinese assistance in the 1970s.
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 stay a little longer here.
Depending on your flight, you might have some more time to relax and explore some more of Tirana’s bazar, museums and it's hidden secrets. If you have made other arraignments to prolong your stay in Albania, by joining other trips or self exploration, please let us know. We will be happy to advise and to facilitate your plans.
- 8 Nights Accommodation
- Bicycle & H2O Bottle
- Multilingual tour guide
- Support van
- All Lunches and dinners
- All breakfasts
- Transfer to Shkoder
- Koman Ferry Ticket
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 24||Available|
|September 1 - September 9||Available|
- Airline Lost & Found
- Riding Gear
- How much money do I need?
- Medical conditions and food allergies
- Motorcycle Models and Sizes
- Off road difficulty level
- Ferry ride into the Fiords of Albania
- Riding in Albania
- Food and Meals
- Riding Style
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.
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.