Neenan Cycling Logo

Cycling in Albania

Discover the beauty of this previously isolated country by bike



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 Cycle Macedonia & Northern Albania
* E-bike hire available on request

Discover the beauty of this previously isolated country by bike

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, 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.

https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/itinerary/images/mva.jpg?t=1Dlb4Y

Type: Land Only

Flight prices available from NeenanCycling. Contact us for details

What’s included

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

Food:
All breakfasts and 2 dinners included.

Food in Albania is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country
and particularly Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes.
Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt are present in almost every meal,
usually locally sourced.

Under the leadership of 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 or tea. For
lunch and dinner, meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes
ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form
complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, salad, freshly baked
bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. Your guide will
recommend the best options when in the towns.

Start destination: Pogradec

End destination: Vlore

Cycling profile

Day 1

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*

Day 2

Today is one of the most demanding days of the tour. After a quick transfer
to Korçë we begin cycling and leave behind the agricultural plateau,
climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren
rock interspersed with wild flowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead,
climbing towards Grammoz Mountain and over the Barmash Pass (1159m) to
Gërmenj, lying in its own tranquil valley. Here we relax at our
accommodation, Farma Sotira, which is also a working trout farm. Meals here
consist of organic produce that is reared or sourced from the farm itself.
Once you’ve finished eating your hearty dinner, you can sit and relax by
the open roaring fire in the dining area with a glass of homemade wine or a
bottle of Korçë beer (Albania’s most popular).

Cycle approx. 72km, total ascent approx. 1150m, total descent approx. 1050m.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 3

In the morning there is a climb out from Germenj to a high grassy plateau
close to the Greek border, surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the
source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to
Leskovik. We continue descending to Çarshove and then follow the corniche
route high above the river to Benje situated on a ridge above the river.
After lunch at the guesthouse we take a short ride to the thermal springs to
relax and sooth aching muscles. Both lunch and dinner will be served on the
peaceful terrace.

Cycle approx. 60km, total ascent approx. 687m, total descent approx. 1352m.
*Standard Hotel*

Day 4

Today is one of the easiest days. We continue along the valley towards
Kelcyra with its distant shark-tooth peaks, which guard a further gorge. We
ride between these gorges until the two rivers meet. After lunch at the
waterfalls of Tepelene we drive (approx. 30 mins) through the wide plain
toward the town of Gjirokastra (city of 1000 steps). The well-preserved town
is perched on the steep side of the Drino Valley, overlooking snow-capped
mountains. In the afternoon we take a cultural tour through the city and
explore its narrow cobbled alleys and 18th Century Ottoman houses. We also
visit the 13th Century castle and learn about the fascinating history of this
town, which has seen many rulers and has inspired poets, authors and artists.
Cycle approx. 46km, total ascent approx. 350m, total descent approx. 520m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

After breakfast we load the bikes on to the support vehicle and transfer up
to Muzina Pass (approx. 45 minutes), the gateway to southern Albania, for a
spectacular downhill ride to Sarandë. Located on the Ionian Coast, Sarandë
is sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and is close to the
ancient remains of Butrint, which we visit on the way. A UNESCO World
Heritage Site, Butrint is located very close to the Greek border and is one
of the country’s most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins
back to the Greeks and the Romans. We have lunch at the site and continue
along the coast to Sarandë.

Cycle approx. 70km, total ascent approx. 725m, total descent approx. 1285m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

Climbing steeply out of Sarande to a rocky plateau we enjoy a spectacular
coastal ride over cols into bays and around headlands. Always with the
stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left we continue along
before descending to Himarë, a small communist era fishing village with a
small promenade filled with cafes, restaurants and ice cream stands. There is
plenty of time for a swim in the Ionian Sea; our hotel is a short walk to
Potam Beach.
Cycle approx. 54km, total ascent approx. 1064m, total descent approx. 1064m.
*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

Today’s route is as challenging as it is spectacular. This day is the most
demanding ride of the tour and will show you how strong you have become. In
the morning there is a climb out of Himarë, which naturally is rewarded with
an enjoyable downhill. We then have another climb before our coffee break.
Our break is followed with a nice downhill, but we must climb yet again
before we regroup. We then come face to face with the long steady climb to
the Llogara pass. At 1043m above sea level, this climb is completely
optional, so if you think it is too much then you can jump in the support
vehicle. However, if you are looking for an extra challenge this climb comes
with a real sense of achievement, and the views are fantastic. At the pass
itself (which you will also see if you take the van) it is possible to see
across to Italy on a clear day. We recommend taking a warmer layer for
reaching the top of the pass. From the top you enter Llogara National Park,
home to black pine, Eurasian otter and golden eagles. The park is a scenic
expanse of protected woodland that encompasses the forests on the northern
side of the Llogora Pass. We begin to descend and have lunch in the National
Park. In the afternoon we continue descending towards our hotel, which is
located by the sea just outside of the city. Here we can relax and take a dip
in the sea, the perfect reward for a hard days cycle.

 Cycle approx. 65km, total ascent approx. 1630m (including the optional
climb), total descent approx. 1630m.

*Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

End Vlorë. Those on the group flight will be transferred to Tirana airport
in the morning (approx. 2.5hr drive).

Prices & Dates

Date: 2018-04-132018-04-20

Trip code: MVA180413

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2018-04-202018-04-27

Trip code: MVA180420

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2018-04-272018-05-04

Trip code: MVA180427

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2018-05-042018-05-11

Trip code: MVA180504

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-05-182018-05-25

Trip code: MVA180518

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-05-252018-06-01

Trip code: MVA180525

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-06-012018-06-08

Trip code: MVA180601

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-06-152018-06-22

Trip code: MVA180615

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-06-222018-06-29

Trip code: MVA180622

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-06-292018-07-06

Trip code: MVA180629

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-08-312018-09-07

Trip code: MVA180831

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-09-072018-09-14

Trip code: MVA180907

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-09-212018-09-28

Trip code: MVA180921

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2018-09-282018-10-05

Trip code: MVA180928

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2018-10-052018-10-12

Trip code: MVA181005

Availability: Available

Trip status: Fully guaranteed

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2018-10-122018-10-19

Trip code: MVA181012

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2019-04-122019-04-19

Trip code: MVA190412

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2019-04-192019-04-26

Trip code: MVA190419

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-04-262019-05-03

Trip code: MVA190426

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2019-05-032019-05-10

Trip code: MVA190503

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-05-102019-05-17

Trip code: MVA190510

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-05-172019-05-24

Trip code: MVA190517

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-05-242019-05-31

Trip code: MVA190524

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-05-312019-06-07

Trip code: MVA190531

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-06-072019-06-14

Trip code: MVA190607

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-06-142019-06-21

Trip code: MVA190614

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-06-212019-06-28

Trip code: MVA190621

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-06-282019-07-05

Trip code: MVA190628

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-08-302019-09-06

Trip code: MVA190830

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-09-062019-09-13

Trip code: MVA190906

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-09-132019-09-20

Trip code: MVA190913

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-09-202019-09-27

Trip code: MVA190920

Availability: Available

Price: €1205

Book now

Date: 2019-09-272019-10-04

Trip code: MVA190927

Availability: Available

Price: €1175

Book now

Date: 2019-10-042019-10-11

Trip code: MVA191004

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Date: 2019-10-112019-10-18

Trip code: MVA191011

Availability: Available

Price: €1145

Book now

Customer Feedback

Cycling Albania

Summary:
Didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t disappoint. Really excellent tour
guide. Fantastic scenery. One of those trips that just went smoothly, almost
certainly due to the guides organisation. The cycling is described as
moderate to challenging. At the time I would have said it was more
challenging. However, upon reflection, I was pushing myself, which almost
certainly made it feel more challenging. However, the last day of cycling was
definitely challenging. It was also very rewarding and as with all of the
Exodus trips I’ve been on, there’s always the option of the bus, which for
various reasons, some of our party took. The food was really good. Plenty of
choice for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. There are plenty of mountain
springs for water top-ups which was brilliant – tasted great! A fantastic
trip which I won’t forget with a guide who really did look after everyone!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
I like the challenge of a hill climb, so I would have to say the last day,
cycling up and over the pass.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
The group leader was truly amazing and really did go the extra mile. As
previously mentioned, a trip doesn’t run that smoothly without a lot of
planning. He was also without a doubt a group leader you would want in any
unexpected situation that might occur!

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
The mountain spring water is fine to drink. You get a bit of a taste for it.

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

Answer:
Another tick for Exodus! Really excellent! I knew very little about Albania,
which has now changed. A beautiful friendly country with fantastic scenery
and food! Did I mention the spring water 🙂

Read full review

‘Albania’ why go there!

Summary:
‘Albania’ why go there? was something we heard many times from friends and
family when we told them of our plans. Well firstly its off the beaten track,
it isn’t full of mindless tourists and its got some sense of mystique still.
But mostly it is such an interesting place with such lovely people.
My third Exodus cycling trip and the most challenging, it is more challenging
than moderate in my opinion. We went in September and it was still fairly hot
so the long climbs were a bit of a ‘push’. I was tail end Charlie for most
days, partly due to my frequent stops to take photos and I was not going to
be rushed, all at my own pace. The point is that this trip allows this to
happen, no pressure whatever you capability. The rear-guard van is never far
behind so you are not on your own.
The scenery here is amazing, both mountains and the coast. Albanians we met
were lovely and you always felt safe and welcome.
Bikes were good and days were planned well. Hotels were varied but all were
more than adequate.
There was a bit of culture thrown in which was interesting but not overdone.
We were a large group of 16 but in no time at all we had all gelled and were
supportive of each other and had many laughs and shared experiences. We have
all shared our photos so we have a great bunch of memories.
Most of my memories are of quiet roads, no people anywhere and incredible
views made more amazing by people still living in a bygone age.
Apart from start and end there are no significant transfers so this is a
positive.
Food was excellent and plenty of it too.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
The first and last days are the most challenging climbs and so to finish them
(last) I did feel I had achieved the challenge I knew lay ahead when I
booked.
Also to see real Albanian subsistence farming in action, people actually
supporting themselves without food imports, selling food at the side of the
road.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dhimo was 1st rate, very friendly, easy going and good at communicating.
He was well organised and had all the food/snack stops well organised.
Seamless all the way!
He has a good knowledge of Albania in many ways and answered all kind of
questions put to him.
He worked well with our van driver as well. It was nice they both ate and
socialised with us, something I didn’t always witness on other trips I have
done.
Safety and accommodating everyone’s wishes was always top priority.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Go with the Group Leader suggestion to pool money for group meals, it saves
so much time and works out cheaper too.
Waterproofs may well be needed and long sleeve top for down hills.
If you are partial to white wine then perhaps take a couple of bottles as
there is none available on a couple of nights early in the trip. Also black
tea is a rarity in some places so bring you PG Tips!
Agree with Exodus/guide up front to go to Tirana for a short tour and lunch
after arrival. This is a real bonus. Either bring £cash with you and change
a lot on first day or use an ATM in Tirana.
Food and drink is relatively cheap in Albania so for a ‘full on’ week week I
only spent £200!

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

Answer:
Don’t be put off by the challenging nature, but try to be as fit as you can
before arrival, spinning classes helped me. Remember its a holiday, take your
time if necessary.
Padded shorts a must as are gloves. they will provide a pannier if wanted but
a small handle bar bag would be better for phone, camera and money etc.
We arrived a couple of days earlier and hired a car and went to Berat, well
worth the effort. We then met the group at the airport for the transfer.

Read full review

An excellent way to see Albania

Summary:
My husband and I have recently returned from cycling in Albania. What a
fantastic adventure it was. Prior to going on this trip our bikes came out
of the shed about once a year and since we are not in the flush of youth we
had to go out cycling every weekend for the previous 5 months to make sure we
were fit enough and boy were we glad we did. It was a challenging trip but
we loved every minute of it. The scenery is fantastic, we could not fault
the food and the hotels were a lot better than we anticipated and even quite
luxurious at times. Armand is an excellent guide with plenty of local
knowledge. He offered to run a kitty for meals and drinks and ordered a
variety of food at every meal which made meal times so easy and enjoyable.
It is a fast paced trip and we had to be up early every day for breakfast and
be ready to leave by 8.30 every morning but we were glad of this because at
least it was cooler when we set off and we always had a nice stop for coffee
to look forward to after a couple of hours. It is a great way to see Albania
and it was great to start inland and then move to the coast offering
different scenery and a chance to have a swim in the sea. We enjoyed the
cultural stops and the chance to learn about the history of Albania. The
minibus driver was always there with extra water, bananas and snacks when you
needed them and greeted us with a smile at the top of every climb. I would
strongly recommend this trip to anyone but to enjoy it make sure you do
plenty of hill training. We hired the bikes offered by Exodus and these were
of good quality although we took our own saddles. We used the pedals on the
bikes ie. no clip ons and managed it okay so if you fancy it go for it – you
won’t regret it.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Getting through the first day without hopping on the bus and actually
thinking I might be able to actually cycle the whole route – I had been
panicking before we went that maybe we had overstretched ourselves. it was
harder than I imagined but we had trained enough and so were able to do it.
A great feeling!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Armand was a good leader. He made sure we always knew what time we had to be
ready, where we were going and when the next stop was. He ordered all our
food for us and made excellent choices at every meal. We have never enjoyed
food so much on holiday before.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Make sure you are fit enough to cycle up hills and for consecutive days.
Take energy drinks and snacks as you definitely need these as well as the
Zero sports drink tablets to stop you getting dehydrated. We didn’t have
these and had to beg, steal or borrow some from the rest of our group.

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

Answer:
Don’t hesitate – just go ahead and book this. It’s a fantastic trip. Not
sure how we are going to top it next year!

Read full review

Definately a challenging cycle!

Summary:
We signed up for this trip having done a few other cycle holidays and always
finished feeling more cycling would have been good. Not so on this one! It’s
certainly a challenging route, with many long hills and often some long
climbs before you get to the start of the days longest climb! But the bikes
are good, the roads are mostly in good condition, with very little traffic
and we were very well looked after along the way. As always, cycling is the
best way to see a country and this tour certainly gives you an insight into
way of life in the Albanian countryside, how things are developing and a
lovely few days in Macedonia too.

Rating: 4

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

Answer:
A few moments of relief on reaching the top of some big climbs – and the time
in Macedonia around Lake Ohrid, including visiting the old town (UNESCO
site).

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Vimo (maybe not the right spelling, sorry) was excellent. Managed the group
really well, gave a good briefing about the next day each evening, set out
meeting points so that people could cycle fairly large chunks at their own
pace and was always on hand with snacks at the re-grouping point.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared for some long tough climbs. If that’s what you like and what you
are expecting then you’ll will have a great time! Do consider the impact the
weather, particularly the heat, might have on your cycling and ability too
when deciding to go. August in Albania is HOT!!

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

Answer:
Great trip – some people in our group were combining it with the Southern
Albania cycling trip the week after too – this also looked good but a bit too
much in one go for me, might go back another time to try that one!

Read full review

Fantastic country and cycling tour

Summary:
The country was wonderful – everyone was very friendly, the views were
stunning, and the new roads made it perfect for cycling around. Don’t be put
off by preconceptions about Albania – we were all delighted to find it much
more pleasant to be in than many other European countries, and will no doubt
be full of tourists in the next 5-10 years. Definitely go before everyone
else realises how good it is. It’s very cheap too, especially in the more
rural parts.

My only complaint would be the repeated promises of ice cream, which
mysteriously never materialised!

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The long descent on the second day, speeding down a mountain with amazing
views, a new road surface, and no cars!

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Very sociable, organised, and clearly passionate about his country.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Withdrawing 30,000 LEK at the airport should be sufficient for the whole
week.

Read full review

Embrace the unknown!

Summary:
Don’t let the fact that you almost certainly know nothing about Albania (and
if you do, it’s probably wrong) put you off this trip. If you like cycling,
embracing the unknown, don’t mind a few steep hills, and are prepared to take
things as they come, then this is the holiday for you! So many positives
about this holiday: fantastic fresh, local food and drink (and outstanding
coffee), exploring new cultures, mountains, beaches, and above all a great
adventure.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The Llogara Pass was definitely challenging (especially in April, when it got
very very cold – though apparently it can be just as challenging in
mid-summer when it’s very very hot) but making it all the way to the top
without walking or getting in the bus (even if at the pace of an injured
snail) and the support from everyone else was fantastic. We didn’t hang
around long enough to enjoy the view at the top as it was so cold, but I’m
sure it was lovely (the views on the way up were awesome, in between the
rain).

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Literally could not fault Junid – he was super organised, friendly, sociable,
and always happy to try to find a solution to any problem.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared! Around Easter, the temperature can vary between factor 50
suncream and 4 layers of clothing in the course of a single day (and at night
it can get quite chilly, since some of the hotels had no heating). be
prepared for things to not work and roll with it (e.g. power cuts, dodgy
showers etc.) If that’s not your cup of tea, then you may want to reconsider.
The trip isn’t hard for the grading, but there are a couple of challenging
hills in there, so have a practise on a few first, or hit the gym. Packing a
few energy gels will help also. Also, get enough money for your trip at the
airport, as there are few opportunities to use a cash machine along the way.
On the other hand, there’s almost no opportunity to buy anything, so you
won’t spend much.

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

Answer:
For more info, I wrote a couple of blog posts about the trip:
https://expandyourlimits.wordpress.com/category/europe/albania/ [1]

[1] https://expandyourlimits.wordpress.com/category/europe/albania/

Read full review

Stunning scenery and epic hills in extreme heat

Summary:
This was our 5th cycling trip with Exodus and the most surprisingly fun.
Despite an uncharacteristic heatwave in early July, which meant our first day
took us up very challenging hills in 37 degree heat and forced some cyclists
to abandon their bikes for the van, we all bonded as a group and had as much
fun in the evenings as we did pedalling through the stunning scenery of
Albania.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The sense of achievement on reaching the summit of the final day’s epic climb
towards Vlore.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dhimo was delightful. Coped calmly with all the usual dramas of a cycling
holiday despite his youth (26).

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Make sure you’re hill-fit as it’s a very challenging trip, especially in the
heat.

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

Answer:
Probably best to choose the Spring or Autumn departure dates as July was very
hot – although we were unlucky to experience a heat wave so struggled with
the heat more than probably usual.

Read full review

Fun travels in Albania

Summary:
My first Exodus trip and already planning more. A well organised trip to a
beautiful, unspoilt country. Yes, the cycling was tough at times with some
long climbs but the roads were not busy, the Albanian drivers very
considerate of cyclists and my travelling companions very supportive.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Seeing those mountains, villages and coastlines plus of course being able to
complete all rides.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dhimi was great, professional, caring and fun.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Be prepared for some tough climbs, enjoy the downhills but treat with
caution, embrace the country and the lovely people

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

Answer:
Thanks to my wonderful travelling companions. A mixture of couples and
singles of varying ages.

Read full review

Cycling in Albania

Summary:
What a fantastic trip! Superb cycling on quiet, scenic roads in beautiful
Albania. Three of the days are quite challenging, but none the worse for it.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
The hotels and guest houses are all in great locations – waking up in the
mountains in Benje and looking forward to another (easier) day of great
cycling, good food and sunshine.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dhimi was good fun with a great sense of humour. The whole trip was very well
organised and well thought out. We all contributed towards a kitty at the
start which worked really well. At every coffee stop Dhimi would organise
drinks and snacks, which meant we could sit down straight away and still get
served quickly, which can be challenging in a group.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Dhimi took us to a lovely restaurant in Tirana after meeting us at the
airport, so don’t worry about food on the flight or for the transfer. It’s
worth mentioning that you’ll see a few goat herders on the trip and some of
them have dogs that are fond of cyclists. If you go faster, they go faster –
the trick is to stop pedalling and slow down and they soon lose interest.

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

Answer:
I’ve been on a number of cycling holidays with Exodus that have all been
great, but this one stands out as one of the best. The cycling, scenery,
food/drink and accommodation were all fantastic. You won’t lose any weight on
this trip, but you will come back from it with a fondness for Albania and a
sense of satisfaction.

Read full review

Scenic splendour and cycling endeavour

Summary:
This was a splendid trip, made all the better by the staggering beauty of the
Albanian mountains and countryside and the excellent company of all on the
tour. The cycling was immense, challenging all of us on the tour with the
long and arduous climbs and then providing thrills and big smiles as we sped
down the long, winding descents with endless views stretching ahead of us.
The first half of the trip is in the mountains but then descends to the coast
for a day or two before climbing once again for more mountain scenery and
finishing with a long descent to the final hotel, once more on the coast. A
good variety of scenery and culture that provides an excellent taster of life
in present day Albania as the country moves from its communist past and trys
to adapt to modern day capitalism and all the challenges that this poses.

Rating: 5

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

Answer:
Undoubtedly the accomplishment of tackling and overcoming the serious climbs
on this trip. All of the tour were experienced cyclists, yet none found
climbing in the heat anything but a challenge. However, the splendour of the
Albanian mountains all around us as we climbed eased the task of reaching the
summits on every occasion and the camerarderie of the group was much in
evidence throughout. Probably most inspirational were two of our travelling
companions, 78 and 79 years old respectively, who tackled the climbs without
complaint and earned our utmost respect.

Question:
What did you think of your group leader?

Answer:
Dhimo was a good leader, calm and amusing, and he soon joined in with the
generally humourous and irreverent conversation of the group. He organised
snacks, group lunches and dinners every day which made everything very
convenient and easy. Together with our driver it was a good team and added
greatly to our overall enjoyment of the trip.

Question:
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Answer:
Don’t rely on credit cards – we did not find any hotel or restaurant that
would take them. Exchange a small amount of money in the airport (the
exchange rate was 155 Leke to the Pound) to last a few days in the mountains
and then use an ATM in one of the larger towns. In practice, our leader paid
for everything food related and we reimbursed him at the end of the week, but
this may not be the same for every trip or tour leader in Albania.
Note that the cycling really does have some challenging climbs and you will
definitely benefit if you are cycle fit before arrival. There are three days
of very serious climbing (the first day and the final two days – approx 5000,
5200 and 6750 feet respectively) but the views are spectacular and the
downhills immense. Very enjoyable but tough.
The panniers provided are excellent and our tour (all experienced cyclists)
made good use of them, so a rucksack is not needed when cycling.

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

Answer:
The quality of the food on this trip was always to a very good standard but,
probably as should be expected in a country such as Albania, became quite
“samey” – if you don’t like most meals consisting mainly of goats cheese,
simple salad and bread (this included many breakfasts, but fried eggs were
added to this meal) then the cuisine may not be for you. Having said that,
this is the staple food of the common man in Albania so we were very
accepting of it. At the end of the tour when we reached larger towns, the
dinners had greater choices. Our leader provided snacks from the tour kitty,
and these supplemented our fuel intake.

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