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Cycling in Albania

From £1099 for 8 days
Trip Overview
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, pretty rural villages, a genuine subsistence culture and an exceptionally friendly welcome is what you will find here. We cycle through the very best of Europe's beautiful unknown, beginning our tour on the border of Macedonia, biking towards the ancient town of Gjirokastra passing soaring peaks and lush green valleys. From here we begin our descent to the Albanian Riviera passing the UNESCO site of Butrint and Llogara National Park, before relaxing by the sea at our hotel in Vlorë.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Pogradec.
Ends: End Vlorë.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Cycling
Trip Code: EMVA
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Albania
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts and 2 dinners included

Transport

5 nights hotels, 2 nights guesthouses 6 days cycling with full vehicle support

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Immerse yourself in a previously isolated country

•    Cycle from mountain plateaux to the Albanian Riviera

•    Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 17th Apr 2020
Returning: 24th Apr 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 24th Apr 2020
Returning: 1st May 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 1st May 2020
Returning: 8th May 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 15th May 2020
Returning: 22nd May 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 22nd May 2020
Returning: 29th May 2020
£1,099pp
G
Availability: Good
Departing: 29th May 2020
Returning: 5th Jun 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 5th Jun 2020
Returning: 12th Jun 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 12th Jun 2020
Returning: 19th Jun 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 19th Jun 2020
Returning: 26th Jun 2020
£1,099pp
Availability: Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
Start Pogradec. 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). The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy this lakeside location. *Comfortable Hotel*
   Print Trip Notes
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Reviews
       
I loved every minute of this adventure. Albania is somewhere I've not been to before, nor had any of my friends, and it did not disappoint. It is a beautiful country with welcoming people and cycling is the best way to see it. It's as yet unspoilt by too much modern development and is like stepping back in time but in a good way.
       
This trip more than satisfied my curiosity and interest in Albania. We cycled in lots of different regions facing different countries and seeing Albania in all its beauty. Each day offered a different type of ride, the scenery forever changing and the views always spectacular and breath-taking.
       
A fabulous trip that surprised us from day one. Great food, wonderful people and fantastic scenery. Albania was the winner and we will all recommend going there as soon as you can.
       
Every part of this trip was wonderful, from the people, to the rides, to the organization, to the food, etc. I loved it.
       
Albania is incredibly beautiful. It has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery that will forever be etched in my memory. Cycling is a fantastic way to see a country and visit lesser touristy places and this trip was certainly no exception. The people are very hospitable and the Cycle Albania team were simply amazing. The food was a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish meze style and every meal was a feast in itself!
       
Beautiful country with a mixture of forest, coast and mountains. Our group bonded really well; we had lots of laughs and lots of encouragement for each other up the hills. Food was good; mezze style shared between the group which worked really well. Lots of snack stops to keep us fuelled.
       
A fantastic way to see this wonderful country. The first part of the trip is mainly inland in more rural mountainous areas and the second part along the Albanian riviera. Great hospitality and food, considerate drivers on the roads and friendly people as we passed through the smaller places. The cycling has some challenging climbs on the first and final days but is as described on the trip notes and classification. Nice to have some shorter cycling days to be able to do the tours in Gjirokaster and the Roman site at Butrint.
       
A week in which you will challenge your fitness, enjoy delicious and healthful food, meet welcoming communities and see the beauty of unspoilt countryside.
       
It says it's challenging and it is - but the effort is worth it. The scenery is fantastic - at times it felt like "cycling through a postcard"... hard climbs and fun descents. The food is great - really fresh and vibrant; lots of good fish, local vegetables, cheese and meat - delicious and plenty of it! An interesting and beautiful country - I'd definitely recommend it - if you are up for some long steady climbing!
       
Excellent week, great guide & support, great group of people, lovely country, well maintained bikes. Food was very good at all of the stops and the although some of the accommodation was a little basic it's all you need as you are only there for the night and there isn't much time spent around the hotels / guesthouses as we were always busy with activities. There seems to be a lot of money being spent on new roads and the 14km descent on a brand new road was fun :) , I do wonder if these roads will become busy in time, but at the moment we saw very few other vehicles on a large percentage of the rides.
       
So many 'oh wow' moments as I was riding through Albania. Beautiful country to cycle through with the first half of the trip more rural, snow capped mountains, lakes, gorges, warm friendly locals giving you a wave as you them passed by, through to the second half of the trip being more coastal, spectacular views of the Albanian Riviera across to Corfu, pretty coastal towns and the stunning blues of the Mediterranean Sea. Albania is definitely not flat but each day was different and equally enjoyable. The quality of the food was a real delight - delicious!
       
This is our 10th Exodus cycling trip and because we were both very busy in the summer, we didn't have a lot of time preparing and read up about the trip. We knew next to nothing about Albania and just managed to read the trip notes once so that we know how many days to pack for and that was it. The trip turns out to be a great pleasant surprise. We thought Albania will have poor infrastructure with lots of pot holes (like Cuba or Romania) but the back roads that we rode on were great. Most of the cars are Mercedes (surprisingly) and the hotels were great European standard (most have good fast WiFI except in the mountains). The food and drinks are cheap (even with the £ being so low because of Brexit) and the old city of Gjirokaster and Butrint were amazing. The quality of cycling is also very good. There are quite a few climbs (especially the one on the last day) but we are never in a rush and with our keen leader encouragement, we managed most of them.
       
This tour of Albania was incredible from the contrast in scenery between mountains and coast and our expert organisation from our guides, Erlis and Oni.
       
I did enjoy the cycling in those desolated monutain regions, with practically no traffic in company of our joung enthusiastic guides, as well as the way along the coast, with lot of ondulation. The hotels at the coast were nice, although concerning the meals there was room for improvement. It would have been nice to dine a couple of time in a restaurant instead of staying always at the hotel.
       
This was a really great cycling holiday. The moutain scenery was amazing and hardly anyone around except the odd cattle and motorist here and there. Food and accommodation were all excellent and guides were very professional, friendly and helpful. Great bikes with front suspension. Road a little bit bumpy in places but on the whole fine for cycling. Great tour leader, trainee tour leader and driver.
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