Cycling through the natural beauties of southern Albania

Booking code SBHG42

7 Days € 640

Travel dates:2017-05-20 to 2017-05-26           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-06-10 to 2017-06-16           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-09-16 to 2017-09-22           Reservation

Tirana – the vibrant capital and cycling through its surroundings.
Cycling through the remote areas of Progonat, Kuç and Pilur.
Sightseeing tour along the Ionian Coast: Borsh, Himara, Dhërmi, Llogara National Park.
Visit of the archeological site of Apollonia.
Sightseeing tour of Tirana.

Southern Albania has many sunny days, wonderful white beaches, crystal clear sea, characteristic villages and a very diverse landscape. The bike trails run through intact nature, remote villages and on a terrain which sometimes is flat and sometimes steep with many obstacles, making the tour very interesting.

Day 1. The vibrant capital city Tirana and its surroundings. G2 +, 8 km, 2 hours.
After arrival at noon, transfer from “Mother Teresa” airport to the hotel in downtown Tirana. Tirana is located in Central Albania, at the western foot of Dajti Mountain at an altitude of 110m.
After a short break we will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to the south of the city. On the edge of the park with the lake of Tirana we will start our bike trip. At the starting point where you will get the bikes, your bike guide will be waiting to welcome you. For today an introductory tour through the prepared Bicycles tracks of the park is planned.
Dinner will be provided at a traditional restaurant, where you can choose between various dishes on the menu. Then, you will be accompanied to the hotel. (-/ -/ D)

Day 2: Mountain biking along the river Bença to Lekdush and Progonat. G3, 22 km, 4 hours, Am↑750m, Dm↓ 30m.
After breakfast drive to Tepelena, where the activity of the day begins. We follow the gravel road riding for 8 km along the river Bença. Then, leaving the river on the right, we ride further in the direction of the village Lekdush and from here follow the only trail that leads to Progonat. The mainly exposed trail, widens and narrows and sometimes becomes challenging.
Bença valley is part of Vjosa river valley in the district of Tepelenë and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. All the typical karst-formations such as canyons, caves, natural bridges, springs and waterfalls are to be found here. It offers a great diversity of flora and fauna. In Bença lies an interesting architectural structure: the Aqueduct of Ali Pasha Tepelena. The construction has 20 bridge legs and arches built of stone and it is among the only constructions built by Ali Pasha Tepelena that is still functional. Overnight stay in tents. (B/ L/ D).

Day 3: Mountain biking from Progonat to Kuç. G3, 17 km, 4,5 hours, Am↑150m, Dm↓ 580m.
The day begins with the ride for 5 km, on a gravel and exposed trail, in the direction of Gusmara, a village that lies at the west of Progonat. Then we turn sharply left following the trail that ends at the bed of the river Shushica. We will ride parallel to the river bed following the flow for 7 km up to the village of Kuç. The last part of the trail is particularly challenging because sometimes it is necessary to cross or ride on the river bed. Overnight in tents. (B/ L/ D).

Day 4: Mountain biking to Borsh. G3, 20 km, 4 hours, Am↑60m, Dm↓ 400m.
Departing from Kuç we follow the sometimes exposed road that winds down around the slope of the mountain for 20 km, until we arrive at the village Borsh. Here we’ll have a break and then hike up a 300 m hill, on top of which the ancient castle of Borsh, which dates back to the 4th century BC, is situated. In the village we’ll have dinner ‘à la carte’ and will be accommodated in a hotel with a very beautiful view over the coast. On demand we can ride to the beach of Borshi and take some time for a swim in the clean water of the Ionian Sea. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Mountain biking from Borsh to Pilur and Himara. 26 km, G3, 4 h, Am ↑600 m, Dm ↓700m.
Today’s trip includes up-and downhill cycling on unpaved roads. The road is mostly exposed and sometimes quite steep. Early in the morning we leave Borshi, ride in the direction of Qeparo and then head north by the stream of Kudhës. Close to the village with the same name, we turn right and ride uphill until we arrive at the village of Pilur at 700 m above sea level. Here we’ll stop and have lunch. A short visit of the village and a breathtaking view of the coast from this altitude will be a rare experience. Then we’ll ride downhill to the town of Himara, a small cradle of history and heritage in southwestern Albania. Here we’ll visit the old town and have a walk by the waterfront of Himara. Dinner "A la carte" and accommodation will be in a hotel in Himara. (B/L/D)

Day 6: Ionian coast, Apollonia and Tirana.
The day begins with the drive along the coast up to the National Park of Llogara. It is one of the most beautiful places in Albania with woods, beautiful valleys, countless natural resources, as well as numerous species of plants, animals and birds. After a short coffee break, drive to Vlora, where is planed a short guided visit of the city and lunch at a restaurant at the seaside. Drive to Apollonia and visit of the archeological site. It was one of the largest cities on the Adriatic, an important and international centre of learning and trade. The city was originally founded in 588 BC as a Corinthian colony and was named after the god Apollo.
Transfer to Tirana, where we will have time for a short guided visit of the National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque, clock tower, "Tanners’ Bridge" and the Mosaic of Tirana. Dinner at a traditional restaurant in Tirana. (B/L/D)

Day 7: Transfer to the airport, after breakfast according to the flight schedule. (B/-/-).

Additional information

If you are coming in a prearranged group, you can pick the date of this tour yourself.

On days 2 and 3, it is impossible to stop for lunch or dinner in restaurants. Thus, you will be given a daily lunch-packet with you.

Biking will be accompanied by an off road vehicle that will transport your luggage and will be at your disposal to resolve problems with the bikes. You may carry only your personal backpack.

This journey starts around noon on the arrival day. If you arrive in Tirana in the evening of this day, it is impossible to participate in activities scheduled for day one. All saved expenses will be reimbursed.

The journey begins immediately after landing at the airport in Tirana where reception is scheduled. If you enter Albania through other border checkpoints and via other routes, we can pick you up against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel. If this is the case, you should carefully fill in the appropriate field of the reservation form.

If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your stay by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your journey according to your wishes. All related services and costs are not included in the tour price and as such will be additionally calculated. For this purpose you should carefully fill in the field "Comments" in the booking form and explain in detail all your desires through an e – mail sent to us.

Number of participants: 8 - 10 people

The price includes

  • Transfer from and to the airport and any kind of land transport according to the program.
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room, with facilities and 2 nights in tent (no shower facilities).
  • 5 x full board (lunch packet for 2 x lunch, 2 x dinner, 2 x breakfast).
  • Dinner on arrival day and breakfast on departure day.
  • Selected restaurants a la carte in Tirana and places along the coast.
  • Luggage - and bike transport during the entire journey.
  • Accompaniment by an English or German-speaking bike or culture guide.
  • Accompaniment by a support vehicle during the bike trips.
  • Possibility to rent a mountain bike for € 90,–/Week.

The price does not include
Any type of insurance.
Any beverages in hotels, restaurants and bars.

Additional cost
A supplement of € 20 /day for a single room.
Tips of about € 30.

Equipment list

Front or full suspension mountain bike
Cycling helmet
Cycling gloves
Water bottles for bikes or drinking system
Backpack, approximately 25 l
Rain cover for backpack
First aid kit
Shoes/Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing
Sleeping bag
Sweater/Jacket (Recommended Fleece/Wind stopper)
Waterproof jacket
T-shirts / shirts
Insect repellent