UNESCO Tour7 customer review
This part of the world is hotter than hot right now, and we aint gonna lie, this trip's name says it all. Sunshine, sunsets, and sights are served up left right and centre, with a nature fix dotted in-between to keep every explorer tuned in. 10-days of life changing experiences are yours for the taking.
Some say that visiting Albania is as close as you'll get to traveling 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, pretty rural villages, a genuine subsistence culture and an exceptionally friendly welcome is what you will find here. We ride through the very best of Europe's beautiful unknown.
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.
At a glance
- 9 Nights, 3-4* hotel accommodation with breakfasts
- 9 riding days with 100% vehicle support
- 100% tarmac
- Group size 6 to 16 bikes plus local leader
- Contries Visited 2 : Albania, Macedonia
- 473 km / 5972m total climb
- Enjoy wild landscapes in this undiscovered country.
- Journey through the beautiful Albanian Riviera.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage citys of Butrint and Ohrid.
- Get lost in the UNESCO city of Gjirokaster and its history.
- Relax in the thermal waters of Bënjë.
- Visit Enver Hoxha's nuclear bunker in Tirana.
- Discover the local cuisine where organic food is a standart.
- Witness Bënja's bridge that has spanned the river for centuries.
Rendezvous at Tiranë airport and transfer to hotel in Tiranë city centre. Meet the rest of the tour group over a relaxing dinner.
Driving distance : 17km / 25min
Tiranë - Pogradec
After a two hour transfer we will reach the northern side of Lake Ohrid, from where we will start cycling along the scenic shore towards Pogradec. Lunch at a waterfront restaurant before arriving in Pogradec. The afternoon can be spent either relaxing at the beach in front of the hotel or crossing over into Macedonia by bike and visiting the monastery of St Naum.
Driving distance : 120km / 2hr | cycling distance : 40km | elevation : 62m
Cycle from Pogradec to Korcë
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.
Distance : 51 km | elevation : 412m
Cycle from Korcë to Sotirë
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.
Distance : 71 km | elevation : 1171m
Cycle from Sotirë to Përmet
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.
Distance : 52 km | elevation : 615m
Cycle from Përmet to Gjorokastër
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.
Distance : 70 km | elevation : 412m
Cycle from Gjirokastër to Saranda
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.
Distance : 70 km | elevation : 525m
Cycle from Saranda to Himarë
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.
Distance : 53 km | elevation : 1064m
Cycle from Himarë to Vlorë
Today’s ride is not only the most challenging but also the most spectacular in Albania. You will gradually climb from sea level up to 1,000m through forests, gorges and hairpin bends. After lunch in the beautiful national park of Llogara we will descend towards Vlorë for an afternoon’s relaxation by the Ionian sea.
Distance : 63km | elevation : 1658m
Departure - Transfer to Tirana Airport
Depending on flight times, we may have the opportunity to visit the city of Vlorë before our transfer back to Tiranë and Mother Teresa Airport.
Driving distance : 160km / 2.5hr
* Prices above are sharing room
- 9 Nights Accommodation
- 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
- Hard case panniers
- Gratitude for guides
- Airport shuttle service
|Tour Date||Tour Status|
|April 8 - April 17||Guaranteed||June 6 - June 15||Guaranteed|
|August 22 - August 31||Guaranteed|
|October 10 - October 19||Guaranteed|
- Airline Lost & Found
- Riding Gear
- How much money do I need?
- Medical conditions and food allergies
- Bicycle Models and Sizes
- Crossing Borders
- 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.