Neenan Cycling Logo

Cycle Macedonia & Northern Albania

Cycle through Macedonia and North Albania, the last hidden gems of Europe.



At a glance

* 5 nights hotels, 2 nights guesthouses
* 6 days cycling with full vehicle support 
* Group normally 4 to 16, plus local cycling leader and driver. Min age 16
yrs
* Trip can be combined with Cycling in Albania
* E-bike hire available on request

Cycle through Macedonia and North Albania, the last hidden gems of Europe.

The border lands of Northern Albania and Western Macedonia are truly one of
the last hidden gems of Europe. Sweeping gorges are carved by crystal blue
waters that flow into tranquil lakes, whilst rocky peaks and plateaux rise
high above the lush green landscape. Ancient villages, rarely visited by
tourists nestle themselves into the valleys, some of which retain a way of
life that has been unchanged for centuries. Our carefully chosen route heads
through some of the best scenery these fascinating countries have to offer,
complimented with some really exciting cycling that equally challenges and
rewards.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mvo.jpg?t=1DlbfY

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

* All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners included
* All accommodation
* Transfer for group flights
* Local bike hire

Food:
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners included.

Under Enver Hoxha (the communist leader of Albania from 1944-1985), Albania
became a self sustaining country due to its isolation to the world. However
due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean
climate, they are still very much a subsistence culture and show very little
signs of changing. In the countryside expect your food to have been
reared/grown not too far from your plate.

Breakfasts are typically eggs, fresh bread, jam, honey and coffee. On some
days lunches are picnic style eaten en route outside, whereas on other days
we will eat in restaurants. Meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish
dishes ranging from trout to endemic species from Lake Ohrid. Courses often
come in mezze form complimented with a variety of vegetables and salad,
freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses and local wines. In the cities there
are a number of restaurants to choose from with an array of Mediterranean
cuisine. In Macedonia you will find a similar Balkan cuisine that reflects
its Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. A typical Macedonian dish is
tavce gravce, a baked dish of beans, onions red peppers and parsley. It’s a
delicious dish worth trying.

Start destination: Shkoder

End destination: Pogradec

Cycling profile

Day 1

Start Shkoder in Northern Albania. Those on the group flight will be met at
the airport and transferred to Shkoder, one of the oldest and most historic
cities in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic center
(approx. 1.5hrs drive). Please note that due to the remoteness of this tour,
Shkoder is a good opportunity to make any last minute purchases, such as bike
equipment or items you may have forgotten to bring with you.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

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.

Cycle approx. 40km, ascent 1175m, descent 500m.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 3

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.

Cycle approx. 81km, ascent 1500m, descent 1950m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

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 the toughest day of the trip and includes
a 12km climb.

Cycle approx. 73km, ascent 2000m, descent 1700m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

After riding past farms and villages our route passes over into Macedonia. We
then continue through the Macedonian countryside until we reach the beautiful
UNESCO town of Ohrid. After checking in to the hotel we will head out on a
city tour through the town famed for its 365 churches, one for each day of
the year. Ohrid itself is situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, with winding
cobbled streets and traditional Macedonian architecture that you will find in
the old town. There is the option to take a city tour with a local guide for
approximately €3 per person (price dependent on the size of the group).

Cycle approx. 93km, ascent 900m, descent 900m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

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, where there’s time for a swim.

Cycle approx. 52km, ascent 1350m, descent 1200m.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 7

Our route today 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 we reach Lake Ohrid and
eventually Pogradec in Albania. There is then a chance for a relaxing
afternoon at the bay in front of the hotel.

Cycle approx. 75km, ascent 900m, descent 1050m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

End Pogradec. Those on the group flight will be transferred to Tirana Airport
(approx. 3hrs drive).

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-06-082018-06-15

Trip code: MVO180608

Availability: Available

Price: €1075

Book now

Date: 2018-06-152018-06-22

Trip code: MVO180615

Availability: Available

Price: €1075

Book now

Date: 2018-06-222018-06-29

Trip code: MVO180622

Availability: Available

Price: €1075

Book now

Date: 2018-06-292018-07-06

Trip code: MVO180629

Availability: Available

Price: €1075

Book now

Date: 2018-08-242018-08-31

Trip code: MVO180824

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Date: 2018-09-142018-09-21

Trip code: MVO180914

Availability: Available

Price: €1075

Book now

Date: 2019-06-072019-06-14

Trip code: MVO190607

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Date: 2019-06-142019-06-21

Trip code: MVO190614

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Date: 2019-06-212019-06-28

Trip code: MVO190621

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Date: 2019-06-282019-07-05

Trip code: MVO190628

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Date: 2019-08-232019-08-30

Trip code: MVO190823

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2019-09-132019-09-20

Trip code: MVO190913

Availability: Available

Price: €1115

Book now

Customer Feedback

Northern Albania and Macedonia August 2016

Summary:
After riding the southern Albania trip last year I had to go for this one. It
was a fantastic trip over the mountains with beautiful views every day, the
lakes, the mountains, the valleys. It was a bit tough going at times but it
was worth the effort. The scenery was quite different to the southern trip.
I’m glad I did both.
Macedonia was different again. Lots of small farms with their goods on
display by the roadside. Ohrid, UNESCO town was very picturesque overlooking
lake Ohrid.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Climbing out of Ohrid to the plateau overlooking the Lake and seeing the tiny
villages bellow.
Also for me it was making it up the steep sections on days 2 & 3 without
getting off.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Our leader was very fit, he often had to drop back to help someone with a
problem, then ride up to the front again.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Yes, you need to get fit riding up 10% hills (1 in 10) and be able to ride up
long hills before you take the trip or you may not enjoy the tough sections
so much.
Some of the shorter gradients reached 14-16% (indicated on my Garmin).
You do get some good down hill bits to recuperate, and there are stops for
people to catch up.
Age is not the problem it’s the fitness that counts. Ride at a speed your
comfortable with, don’t try to keep up.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Our trip was in late August and the weather was great, sun every day with
morning rides starting at around 19deg to 30 at the end of the days ride.

Read full review

Northern albania and Macedonia cycling

Summary:
Wow – certainly a challenge, but so worth the sweat of the uphill
undulations! Stunning scenery, beautiful lakes and very comfortable
accommodation all the way. Go do this trip – it will push you – but it is
worth it.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Getting off the bike at the end of each day knowing I’d done my best and it
had been good enough. I genuinely thought I’d be in the bus, but I made it. A
great team from Exodus motivated us all the way and the company was such fun.
Standing on the top of some of the hills and looking down at where we’d
started from was a great feeling of achievement.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Great giggle! He could out cycle everyone and make it look easy!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Get fit……………..do lots of uphills in heat!

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
Don’t expect the countries to be behind the rest of Europe – they most
definitely are not. Be prepared for some children to be very capable of
knowing rude words in English and also throwing sticks. The vast majority
were lovely and friendly, but the odd ones were nasty – to women and men.

Read full review

Albania June 2016

Summary:
Great trip – challenging but very rewarding.

Rating: 5

Question:
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Answer:
Stunning scenery throughout- way beyond expectations.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Excellent- a relatively new trip but well organised and suitably flexible
where necessary.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Albania is as safe as anywhere in Europe – don’t be put off by any reports to
the contrary.

Question:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

Answer:
If you are thinking about it – do it. You will not regret going.

Read full review


Activity Levels


Activity Levels range from Leisurely to Tough, the grading takes into account the daily cycling distances and terrain, as well as any technical riding skill required. We also consider the number of cycling days as there can be a cumulative affect from tiredness on a longer trip and the type of accommodation used, as this can also influence your day to day recovery.

If you are in any doubt, please give us a call on +353-1-607 9900 or email us.


Activity level 1 - Leisurely Activity level 1: Leisurely

If you can ride a bike and enjoy gentle exercise, these are an ideal introduction to a cycling holiday. No routes are entirely flat, so expect some short climbs and descents. Maximum daily height gain is approximately 250 metres and daily distances rarely exceed 50kms (32 miles), any longer days are often optional.


Activity level 3 - Moderate Activity level 3: Moderate

Most people who enjoy a weekend riding at home will enjoy a Moderate trip. You need to be in good health and reasonably fit. Ideal for occasional cyclists, or as a more relaxed trip for fitter riders. Moderate off-road trips require no previous experience. Distances rarely exceed 70kms (43 miles) per day.


Activity level 5 - Challenging Activity level 5: Challenging

For any ride at this level, fitness is important. Challenging trips require confidence in your ability and physical condition. They are equivalent to an extended period of cycling at home. Previous mountain biking experience is essential for Challenging off road trips as they will involve some technical riding.


Activity level 7 - Tough Activity level 7: Tough

Previous experience of the cycling style or surface is a must as these routes have long cycling days and tougher terrain on both road and off road trips. You need complete confidence in your fitness and technical ability to cope with difficult or steep terrain, rough surfaces and longer distances. Ideal for those seeking a challenge!


Split grades

In order to provide more accuracy, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or ‘split’ grade, for example 2: Leisurely/Moderate.


Facebook
SHARE