Cycling holiday Unesco heritage tour

Southern Albania

Cycling along UNESCO World Heritage

À partir de € 950,-
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Summary
  • 10 Days
  • 60 km average per day
  • Arrival Tirana Tirana international airport
  • Departure Vlorë Tirana international airport
Highlights
  • 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 8 Riding days with support van
  • Multilingual cycling guide
  • Bike rental included
Cycling Albania
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Hotel
  • Bikelevel 4

    Daily distances 50 - 85 km Daily elevation 800 - 1200 m. The landscape has a mountainous character. Suitable for anyone who regularly cycles longer distances.

Lively colourful cycling tour in Albania, guided

So unknown and closer than Greece. Albania was closed to the rest of the world because of its regime until the beginning of the 1990s. Now you can ride a bike and explore this area. 

Ever since the country has opened you meet the culture of the Ancient and special atmosphere of the Mediterranean and a hospitable population. At the same time because of the isolation that is unprecedented, you will be back in time. The time you may know from your own childhood. A splendid combination therefore. Add to that all cultural treasures, we call this trip the Bike Holidays Albania UNESCO World Heritage Tour and the wonderful climate, and Cycletours once again has an inviting new cycling destination.

Daily Program

  • Journée 1 Arrival in Tirana

    After checking in at the hotel in Tirana, we will go for a tour in the mystery shrouded capital. Tirana flourished as a city in 1614 but the region that today corresponds to the city's territory has been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age.

  • Journée 2 Tirana - Qafe Thane - Pogradec, 40 km

    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, lunch will be served at a waterfront restaurant at Drilon national park. After checking in the hotel we will continue cycling in the afternoon, crossing over into Macedonia, and visiting the monastery of St Naum.

  • Journée 3 Pogradec - Korçë, 51 km

    Leaving Lake Ohrid, we climb to a high plateau bounded by mountains. We continue following the gorge for a while until the hills open up, leading to a vast plain and a colourful patchwork of individual farms. Depending on our arrival at the city, we will have the time to visit the old market and its quaint cobblestown streets run between and behind the main streets. Day ends with a short walking tour of Korcë, the Paris of Albania.

  • Journée 4 Korçë – Gërmenjë, 72 km

    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. We will stop for lunch in the town of Ersekë, the highest city in Albania at about 1000m above sea level. Overnight at Sotirë farm, nestled in its own tranquil valley with all kinds of animals a family farm can have. After checking in one of the wooded bungalows, relax by the fish ponds with a glass of families special red wine made from grapes growing at 1000m of elevation.

  • Journée 5 Gërmenjë – Benje (Permët), 52 km
    Groepsfietsvakanties | Cycletours

    A climb out from Sotirë to a high Pine forest plateau surrounded by soaring peaks, before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. The 17km long descend to Çarshovë is both a pleasure and a thrill to cycle in one of the most scenic rides of the tour. We follow the corniche route high above the river to Përmet, famed for its cuisine and strong raki. After arriving at our guesthouse for lunch, in the village of Bënjë, we will there after continue cycling for another 4km to the thermal pools of Langarica and its canyon. A 16th cantury ancient ottoman bridge marks the spot and the end of the road. If you feel adventurous and want to swim alone in one of the more secluded pools, build every spring by the locals, hike upriver through one of the most magnificent canyons in Europe.

  • Journée 6 Benje – Gjirokastër, 72 km

    We 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. After checking in our hotel we will go on exploring on a guided tour, visiting the charming cobbled alleyways between the white-walled buildings and the fascinating traditional houses and with a little bit of luck and good timing we might witness one of many cultural festivals, organised by the city. The most famous of which is Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival, held since 1968, and regarded as the most important event in Albanian culture.

  • Journée 7 Gjirokastër – Sarandë, 70 km

    We will start the day with a brief transfer, skipping some road and starting our cycling at the top of Muzina pass towards Sarandë. 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 people are clearly visible. After a guided tour in Butrint, we will make our way along the coast heading north with the island of Corfu always at your site.

  • Journée 8 Sarandë – Himarë, 53 km

    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 waters of the Albanian riviera.

  • Journée 9 Himarë – Vlorë, 65 km

    Today’s ride is not only the most challenging but also the most spectacular. 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 coast.

  • Journée 10 Departure Tirana

    Farewell day. Depending on your flight, right after breakfast we will transfer for two and a half hours to Rinas airport in Tirana. A separate transfer will be offered to those staying another night in Tirana or continuing on other adventures.

Cycling in Albania

  • Day 2 You ascend 70 meters and descend 299 meters
  • Day 3 You ascend 478 meters and descend 319 meters
  • Day 4 You ascend 1236 meters and descend 1117 meters
  • Day 5 You ascend 611 meters and descend 1286 meters
  • Day 6 You ascend 521 meters and descend 532 meters
  • Day 7 You ascend 574 meters and descend 1133 meters
  • Day 8 You ascend 1054 meters and descend 1040 meters
  • Day 9 You ascend 1656 meters and descend 1592 meters
Tirana square
Ohrid
Burint
Cimb to Vlore
Groepsfietsvakanties | Cycletours

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person 2021

€ 950,-

Not included
Surcharge single room € 135,-
Surcharge E-bike € 160,-

Reservation costs € 20,- per booking

Included

  • 9 Nights accomodation
  • Bicycle
  • Multilingual tour guide
  • Support van
  • All lunches and dinners
  • All breakfasts
  • Road maps
  • GPS-tracks

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

Special details

  • Please take good notice of Terms & Conditions
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 50, – per week

Arrival Information

Upon arrival at the airport of Tirana, the representative of Cycletours welcomes you. The transfer takes place by car, taxi or bus. Meet the rest of the tour group over a relaxing dinner. After check inn 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 built 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. Panniers will be given to you at this point that you will use for the duration of the tour as well as a set of maps with details about each riding day.

Return Information

If you have booked the flight, we kindly ask you to ensure that our representative has received all the information about your flight (flight number, departure time, plus the airline that issued your ticket). The tour guide will inform you about the return transfer and your return flight. Always compare this information with the information on your flight ticket and in case of ambiguities please contact the tour guide. In general you are required to check out of your hotel room in the morning, also in case of an evening flight. Although in the event of an evening flight, you are still allowed to use the facilities of the hotel to take a shower / freshen up before departure. When you extended your holiday in Albania on your own, you must ensure the reconfirmation and transfer to the airport yourself.

Stay in 4-star hotels in the larger cities and in 3 stars in smaller places, and some guest houses in the countryside. Please be informed that the mentioned hotels are only examples. Changes are possible depending on availability. Your final hotel list will be included in your travel documents, sent to you prior to departure.

Please note that the listed hotels are only hotel samples and subject to change. You will find your definite hotel in the hotel list, which you receive after booking/before departure.

  • Tirana

    Offering a garden, Hotel Austria offers accommodation in Tirana, 400 m from Skenderberg Square and 1 km from Sky Tower. Among the various facilities are a shared lounge, a bar, and an on-site dining. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, and a cash machine.

  • Pogradec

    Hotel Millenium is 1 minute walk from the beach. Featuring a playground, Hotel Millennium offers accommodations in Pogradec. The hotel has a terrace and views of the mountains, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. All rooms include a private bathroom.

  • Korçë

    Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, Grand Hotel Palace Korca offers accommodations in Korçë. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free private parking is available on site. Every room has a TV. Each room has a private bathroom.You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property.

  • Gërmenjë

    Showcasing a sun terrace and views of the mountains, Farma Sotira is located in Gozhdarazhdë. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Some rooms have a sitting area for your convenience.You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property.

  • Permët

    In Benje you will stay in a guesthouse that is only a few kilometres from the thermal springs and Ottoman bridge. Run by a local family, dinner will often be taken out on the veranda where you will be served their own homegrown produce. Again, rooms here are a little more basic than hotels, each with an ensuite bathroom.

  • Gjirokastër

    Hotel Cajupi is located in Gjirokastër. The hotel has a terrace and views of the mountains. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is fitted with a TV.  Each room has a private bathroom equipped with a bathtub or shower.There is a 24-hour front desk, an ATM, room service and a gift shop at the property.

  • Sarandë

    Porto Eda Hotel offers accommodations in Sarandë, just 29 km from Corfu Town. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. All rooms have a private bathroom equipped with a shower. There is a 24-hour front desk and gift shop at the property.

  • Himarë

    this hotel is 1 minute walk from the beach. Located in Himare, 32.2 km from Sarandë, Rondos Hotel features air-conditioned rooms and free private parking. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. The rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms have views of the sea or garden. Every room includes a private bathroom.

  • Vlorë

    This hotel is 1 minute walk from the beach. Featuring a restaurant and a terrace. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels.Every room includes a private bathroom with a bidet and shower, with slippers and free toiletries provided.

By this tour you can rent the following bikes:

  • Rental bike Roam/Rove

    Size: 37 cm - 58.6 cm
    Shimano deore 30 speed
    Lockout suspension
    Hydraulic discbrakes
    Rack for pannier

  • Rental E-bike Albania

    Size: 45 cm - 56 cm
    Shimano 10 speed
    Lockout suspension
    Hydraulic discbrakes
    Rack for pannier

Your travel guidance

What makes our bike tours exceed your expectations are our world-class guides. Chosen for their charisma, expertise and passion for the good life, they turn a good tour into an unforgettable experience.? Multilingual with plenty of skills and know-how.Each tour has two leaders, one cycling with the group and one driving the support van.

Meals

Meals are full board (breakfast, lunch and evening meals) throughout.

Accommodation

We use the best accommodation standard that exist here at the moment. When something better opens we will use that. So far the Albanian infrastructure allows us to use 4 star hotels in big cities and 3 in small ones, or family owned guesthouses at remote locations. Accommodation will be in 3-4 star hotels of the Albanian Tourist Board grading system having en suite facilities. Rooms are shared two people per room.

Rental bikes

All our bikes are Giant, lightweight hybrid with disk brakes and 30 speed gears and waterproof Ortlieb panniers. Bikes come in 5 sizes: XSmall, Small, Medium, Large and XLarge.

Luggage transport

On this tour there will be a support vehicle for luggage, capable of carrying up to 7 riders if required. Our support vans are new 2013 VW Caravelle with 8 seats, each towing a trailer for 20 bikes.

Clothing

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.