At a glance
Snow-capped mountains, inviting beaches on the Albanian Riviera, a genuine untouched subsistence culture, and exceptionally friendly people are all part of the allure for cyclists in Albania.
Some say that visiting Albania is as close as you'll get to travelling back in time. Until the dissolution of the People's Republic of Albania, it was rare that foreigners had a chance to visit this mystery-shrouded country. Since the borders opened in 1991, anyone visiting Albania quickly realizes that this is a very special place. Unlike nearby Croatia, Albania has remained undiscovered by mass tourism setting it apart from other destinations. People in many isolated areas are still filled with excitement and curiosity to see visitors in their villages, especially those travelling by bicycle. You will be welcomed with open arms and warm, sincere hospitality.
The history of Albania is long and complex. This area has been populated for over 4000 years, and has been conquered by the Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Normans, and Serbs. In 1468 Albanian came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which remained the case until 1912, when they declared independence. The country's economy has seen an upturn since 2002, resulting in significant upgrades in infrastructure.
Size: 11,100 sq mi/28,748 sq km - slightly smaller than Maryland
Border countries: Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece
National tourist office: www.albaniantourism.com
Highlights of this tour include four UNESCO sites, picturesque trails and villages, the beautiful beaches of Lake Ohrid and The Bay of Himare, and an optional visit into Macedonia. The roads are mostly paved, and although at times quite steep, you will be distracted from the climb by stunning views, and rewarded by adrenaline pumping descents.