A bike-tour through Albanian mountains is a journey back in time – and probably the last adventure in today’s Europe. Touching is the hospitality, impressive are the traditional villages, and of stunning beauty the mountainous landscape.
On wild dirt roads we bike through remote valleys, over passes of solitude and past mysterious hamlets. Latest at dinner in the guesthouse of a family, the table full of home-made food, you realize: Sometimes it’s worth to leave the beaten path and take a new one. Here in Albania, this last adventure of Europe. As everything subject to change, so grab it as long as it still exists.
In a nutshell: One week bike tour in a mixed group of 6-10 guests, daily average stretches of 40km and 1100m total elevation gain, equalling approx. 5-6h of pure cycling time. Mostly wild dirt roads, with some rougher rocky sections. Our quality hardtail bikes as standard, or your own full suspension for more comfort.
Pickup transfer from airport to hotel and welcome-dinner.
"When I told a good friend who went to Albania before about my travel plans, he went pale and said: “You can impossibly cycle there.” To make it short: It is possible, and I experienced one of my best bike journeys ever." - Peter from Germany, guest with us on a small group Central Albania tour autumn 2017
Approx. 35km, 950m+ / 500m-
We get on our bikes and start directly from the edge of the capital city Tirana. Suddenly a very different, rural world appears. Welcome to Albania, land of contradictions! Along gentle hills, green meadows, small lakes and sleepy villages, we bike on this first day to the historical important city of Kruja, birth place of Albania’s national hero and located spectacularly in the mountains. We sleep and eat in the best hotel of the area, with good food, comfort and a great view.
Approx. 60km, 1200m + / 1600m- or optional mountain transfer, after that approx. 38km, 500m + / 1400m-
Today we climb on a spectacular and nearly traffic-free asphalt road into the mountains. The highest point of the day is in the middle of pine trees and part of a national park. Here begins the natural world of central Albania, far from the beaten path, with even more tradition and the literal hospitality. A 20km long downhill over wild natural roads, built a hundred years ago by the Italians and today what nature has left, brings us down to the central Albanian region of Mat. The last section we bike relaxed along a pleasant river, characterized by farming and subsistence agriculture.
We sleep and eat in a 300 year old guesthouse of a once powerful family of the region, built majestically on top of the village. Here we are proudly shown traditional costumes in a small exhibition, before receiving a welcome with coffee & home-made spirit.
Approx. 43km, 1100m + / 1300m –
We start the day with a short transfer, which takes us half way up the mountain area. Soon after we are biking over earthy natural roads into a high plateau, seemingly from another time: Old houses built of stone, horses pulling ploughs, as good as never a car – and everywhere friendly greeting people. Another great and long downhill brings us to the "black river" , from where we receive a last short transfer to the small regional city and our final destination for today. We sleep again in the best hotel of the town, newly renovated and with modern comfort.
After three bike days behind and another two ahead of us, today we treat ourselves to some sweet relaxation. We`re in the rural town not far from the border with Macedonia, and today offers different options: Doing sweet nothing between hotel, café and the pedestrian area, a small bike excursion to a village with nice old houses, or a swim in the nearby clear mountain river (seasonal).
The night we spend for a second time at a comfortable hotel in town.
Approx. 52km, 1500m + / 1550m -, or optional transfer followed by approx. 28km, 1100m + / 1000m-
Cherry trees welcome us on the first stretch of this day, which takes us over asphalt away from the farming town and down to the black river. Here a dirt road starts and we bike into a remote mountain valley. The trail takes us along one of the most authentic villages of Albania, with fences woven from branches, cattle in the alleys, and local youngsters rather perplexed by us bikers. The highest point and the following downhill past alpine huts we earn by a walking section – for once the other muscles in action.
The accommodation on this day is a memorable one. We are guests at the Hupi-family in their centuries old defense house, where rather simple conditions are compensated by far with warmth and authenticity. The sister cooks delicious food, the son entertains enthusiastically – and we dive deep into Albanian life.
Approx. 27km, 400m + / 750m -, after that transfer to Tirana
Todays last day of the tour is a relaxed ride – mainly downhill – over a great asphalt road with scenic views. Pleasure pure, and some pride for your achievements of the last few days!
From here a bus transfer brings us back in approx. 2h to the capital Tirana, where we celebrate our common tour week with a farewell-dinner in a delicious fish restaurant. A week full of lasting impressions – from this so positively surprising country, full of adventure, wild nature and friendly people.
Individual travel to your home country.
Alternative we are happy to organize you an additional week of after-tour relaxing on one of Albanias un-spoilt Mediterranean beaches.