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Albania’s UNESCO Sites with Rivers, Valleys, and Gorges

  • 5

    (8)

  • 9 nights | 37 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 4
  • Guided from: €950
  • Self-guided from: €780
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

Highlights of this tour include four UNESCO sites, snow-capped mountains, inviting beaches on the Albanian Riviera, a genuine untouched subsistence culture, and exceptionally friendly people.

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 Croatia, just a few hundred kilometers up the coast, Albania has remained undiscovered by mass tourism.

We feel that this sets it apart among our 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, which you will surely appreciate. 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.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival in Tirana
Individual arrival to Tirana.
Overnight in Tirana.

Day 2: Ohrid Lake – Pogradec (25 miles/40km; elevation gain: 203ft/62m)
After a transfer (2 hours) we will reach the northern side of Lake Ohrid from which we will start cycling to Pogradec. We will enjoy lunch at a waterfront restaurant before arriving to Pogradec. In the afternoon, you can choose between relaxing at the beach in front of the hotel or crossing over to Macedonia by bike and to visit the monastery of St.Naum.
Overnight in Pogradec.

Day 3: Pogradec – Korcë (32 miles/51km; elevation gain: 1352ft/412m)
We'll star the day with a climb out from the lake into another high plateau surrounded by mountains. We then continue along the gorge for awhile until the hills open up leading to a vast plain, a patchwork of individual farms and colours.
Overnight in Korce.

Day 4: Korcë – Sotire (44 miles/71km; elevation gain: 3842ft/1171m)
Leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korce, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wild flowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass (1159m) to Sotire farm lying in its own tranquil valley.
Overnight in Sotire.

Day 5: Sotire – Përmet (32 miles/52km; elevation gain: 2018ft/615m)
Climb out from Germenje to a high grassy plateau surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. Continue descending to Cashare and then follow the corniche route high above the river to Permet situated on a bluff above the river and famous for its cuisine and strong raki.
Overnight in Permet.

Day 6: Përmet – Gjorokastër (45 miles/70km; elevation gain: 1352ft/412m)
Continue along the valley towards Kelcyra under the distant shark's tooth peaks which guard a further gorge. Ride between them to the confluence of the Drinos following yet another stunning gorge which opens out into a wide plain with the town of Gjirokaster (city of 1000 steps) high above. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to explore its narrow cobbled alleys and Ottoman houses.
Overnight in Gjorokastër.

Day 7: Gjirokastër – Saranda (45 miles/70km; elevation gain: 1722ft/525 m)
The gateway to southern Albania, Saranda, lies along the Ionian coast sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and close to the ancient remains of Butrint. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is one of the county's most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans.
Overnight in Saranda.

Day 8: Saranda – Himarë (32 miles/52km; elevation gain: 3491ft/1064m)
Today's route is a roller coaster of a ride as you climb steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau. Then it's over cols into bays and around headlands, always with the stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left before you descend to the long beach and the bay of Himarë.
Overnight in Himare.

Day 9: Himare – Vlore (39 miles/63km; elevation gain: 5439ft/1658m)
Today’s ride is not only the most challenging but also the most spectacular in Albania. You will gradually climb from sea level up to 1,000m through forests, gorges and hairpin bends. After lunch in the beautiful national park of Llogara we will descend towards Vlorë for an afternoon’s relaxation by the Ionian sea.
Overnight in Vlore.

Day 10: Transfer to Tirana Airport and departure
Depending on flight times, we may have the opportunity to visit the city of Vlorë before our transfer back to Tiranë and Mother Teresa Airport.

Dates

Apr 6; May 3; Jun 30; Aug 28; Sep 24; Oct 9, 2018 (minimum 6 participants; all departures guaranteed)

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€950
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€135
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike, Giant Explore E+
€200
Extra Nights, Tirana
Per person, double occupancy
€35
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€56
Transfer
Tirana airport to tour start, per person (1-3 persons)
€20
Discounts
Child, ages 0-12 (on base package price)
50%

Dates

Daily, upon request: Apr 8-Oct 10, 2018 (minimum 2 participants)

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€780
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€135
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike, Giant Explore E+
€200
Extra Nights, Tirana
Per person, double occupancy
€35
Single room (1 person/1 room)
€56
Transfer
Tirana airport to tour start, per person (1-3 persons)
€20
Discounts
Child, ages 0-12 (on base package price)
50%
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

CYCLE ALBANIA'S TERMS AND CONDITIONS

We look forward to taking you on one of our tours through wonderful Albania.
To minimize misunderstandings, please take note of our terms and conditions (bike hire terms further down):

STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS

CANCELLATION
1 The Client shall be entitled to cancel the Reservation, on written notice to the tour operator no later than 30 days prior to the provision of the Services by the tour operator, provided that such cancellation notice shall only be valid if the tour operator acknowledges receipt thereof.
2 In the event that the Reservation is cancelled on written notice after the period referred to in paragraph 5.1 or in terms of clause 4.5, the Client shall be liable for a cancellation fee equal to 80% (eighty percent) of the Fee.
3 In the event that the Client fails to give notice of cancellation less than 7 days prior to the provision of the Services, or fails to give any notice or leaves the Tour prior to its completion, the tour operator shall be entitled to the total Fee.
4 Notwithstanding anything contained in this Agreement, the Client shall not be liable to pay any cancellation fee in the event that the Reservation is cancelled as a result of the hospitalisation or death of the Client.

1 INTERPRETATION
1.1 In this Agreement, unless inconsistent with or otherwise indicated by the context, when written in capital letters and used in this Agreement –
1.1.1 “the/this Agreement” means the agreement as set out herein, together with the Reservation Form completed by the Client or on behalf of the Client;
1.1.2 “the Client” means the individual to which the Services are to be rendered as indicated in the Reservation Form, it being recorded in the event of the Services being rendered to a minor, such minor shall be represented by his/her legal guardian;
1.1.3 the tour operator, a private company with limited liability duly incorporated in terms of the laws of the Republic of Albania;
1.1.4 “Tour” means the cycle tour, including all activities relating thereto, which the Client has selected in the Reservation Form, and in the event that the Client has selected to participate in more than one consecutive cycle tours, all cycle tours shall constitute the Tour for the purpose of this Agreement;
1.1.5 “Services” means all the services rendered by the tour operator to the Client in respect of the Client’s participation in the Tour, more fully described in the Reservation;
1.1.6 “Reservation” means the reservation made by the Client in respect of the provision of Services by the tour operator, upon completion and submission of a Reservation Form;
1.1.7 “the Reservation Form” means the reservation form submitted by the Client upon request for the rendering of the Services;
1.2 The rule of construction that the contract shall be interpreted against the Party responsible for the drafting or preparation of this Agreement, shall not apply.
1.3 This Agreement shall be governed by and construed and interpreted in accordance with the law of the Republic of Albania.
1.4 The expiration, cancellation or other termination of this Agreement shall not affect those provisions of this Agreement as expressly provide that they will operate after such expiration, cancellation or other termination or which of necessity must continue to endure after such expiration, cancellation or other termination, notwithstanding that the relevant clause may not expressly provide for such continuation.
1.5 Each and every provision of this Agreement (excluding only those provisions which are essential at law for a valid and binding agreement to be constituted) shall be deemed to be separate and severable from the remaining provisions of the agreement. If any of the provisions of this Agreement (excluding only those provisions which are essential at law for a valid and binding agreement to be constituted) is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid and/or unenforceable then, notwithstanding such invalidity and/or unenforceability, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall be and remain of full force and effect.

2 RESERVATION AND AGREEMENT
2.1 The Client shall make the Reservation by completing and submitting the Reservation Form, electronically and making payment of the amount referred to in clause 4.1.1.
2.2 This Agreement shall be concluded between the Parties upon the submission of the Reservation Form by the Client. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Client shall be required to sign the Reservation Form and these standard terms and conditions before being allowed to participate in the Tour.
2.3 In the event that the Client fails or refuses to sign these standard terms and conditions and the Reservation Form, it shall be deemed to be a cancellation of this Agreement by the Client in term of clause 5.3.

3 OBLIGATIONS OF THE TOUR OPERATOR
3.1 The tour operator shall provide the Services to the Client on the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
3.2 The tour operator shall provide the Client with its standard safety regulations before the commencement of the Tour.

5 CANCELLATION 
5.1 The Client shall be entitled to cancel the Reservation, on written notice to the tour operator no later than 30 days prior to the provision of the Services by the tour operator, provided that such cancellation notice shall only be valid if the tour operator acknowledges receipt thereof.
5.2 In the event that the Reservation is cancelled on written notice after the period referred to in paragraph 5.1 or in terms of clause 4.5, the Client shall be liable for a cancellation fee equal to 80% (eighty percent) of the Fee.
5.3 In the event that the Client fails to give notice of cancellation less than 7 days prior to the provision of the Services, or fails to give any notice or leaves the Tour prior to its completion, the tour operator shall be entitled to the total Fee.
5.4 Notwithstanding anything contained in this Agreement, the Client shall not be liable to pay any cancellation fee in the event that the Reservation is cancelled as a result of the hospitalisation or death of the Client.

6 TRANSFER
6.1 In the event that the Client is unable to participate in the Tour, the Client shall be entitled to cede and assign its rights and obligations in terms of this Agreement to a third party, subject to the following –
6.1.1 the Client shall obtain the approval of the tour operator, upon request of the Client in writing no later than 10 (ten days) before the provision of the Services, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld;
6.1.2 the Client shall make payment to the tour operator of a transfer fee in the amount of R500 (Five Hundred Rand); and
6.1.3 the third party shall be the Client for all purposes set out in this Agreement and shall be required to sign the Reservation Form and these terms and conditions prior to the commencement of the Tour.
6.2 In the event that the Client obtains the consent of the tour operator, but fails to make payment of the aforementioned transfer fee, the Client shall be deemed to have cancelled the Agreement in terms of clause 5.3.

7 CANCELLATION BY THE TOUR OPERATOR
7.1 It is recorded that the minimum number of participants on a Tour is 6 (six) people. In the event that the tour operator is unable to obtain a minimum of 6 (six) people to participate in the Tour, the tour operator shall be entitled to cancel the Tour on written notice to the Client, subject to clause 7.2.
7.2 In the event that the Tour is cancelled by the tour operator, it shall arrange alternative dates for the Tour, subject to the availability of the Client. In the event that the Client is unable to participate in the Tour on such alternative dates, the tour operator shall refund all amounts paid to it in terms of this Agreement, provided that the tour operator shall not be liable to refund any amount paid by the Client in the event that the Reservation was not the tour operator.

8 EXCLUSION FROM TOUR
8.1 The tour operator shall be entitled to exclude the Client from participation in the Tour, without refunding the Client, on the happening of any one of the following events –
8.1.1 a breach by the Client of his obligations in terms of this Agreement on more than 3 (three) occasions;
8.1.2 in the event that the tour operator determines that the Client’s bike is not in a good order and condition, the tour operator shall be entitled to request that the Client depart from the Tour;
8.1.3 the Client being charged with the commission of an unlawful act within the Republic of South Albania, which in the opinion of the tour operator justifies such exclusion from the Tour having regard for the safety of the other participants in the Tour;
8.1.4 it comes to the attention of the tour operator that the Client is not in a suitable physical or mental condition to participate in the Tour; and
8.1.5 having regard for the safety of the other participants and their personal items, the tour operator determines that it will be prejudicial to the other participants in the Tour to allow the Client to participate in the Tour.
8.2 For the avoidance of doubt, the Parties agree that the tour operator shall be entitled to retain the Fee in lieu of damages, in the event of such exclusion from the Tour.
8.3 The Parties agree that the exclusion of the Client from the Tour, on the happening of any event referred to in clause 8.1, is reasonable and fair having regard for the nature of the Tour and is necessary to protect the safety of the Client and the other participants in the Tour. The tour operator, in exercising its discretion in terms of clause 8.1, shall at all times have regard for the nature of the Tour and the requirements of all participants in the Tour.

9 RESPONSIBILITIES AND WARRANTIES OF CLIENT
9.1 The Client shall –
9.1.1 ensure at all times during the Tour that his bike is in a good order and condition for participation in the Tour;
9.1.2 be responsible for the maintenance and repair of his bike at all times during the Tour;
9.1.3 whenever he/she is on his bike, wear a suitable helmet and appropriate riding attire;
9.1.4 be responsible to obtain adequate insurance in respect of his goods and his/her person in the event of any damage or loss suffered by him/her howsoever arising, as a result of theft, loss or damage to his property and/or personal injury howsoever arising during his participation in the Tour;
9.1.5 ensure that he/she is in possession of a valid passport, visas and all relevant travel documentation in the event that the Client is not a Albanian resident;
9.1.6 comply with all rules relating to the use of public roads and comply with all the safety regulations issued by the tour operator;
9.1.7 follow the route provided by the tour operator and obey the directions of the tour operator’s tour guide;
9.1.8 not trespass on land which is not open to the public, unless the tour operator has obtained the express consent of the owner to enter such land;
9.1.9 not litter or damage any property during the Tour; and
9.1.10 ensure that he is in possession of sufficient water and nutrition necessary to sustain himself during the Tour.
9.2 The Client warrants, at the time of making the Reservation and at commencement of the Tour, that -
9.2.1 he acknowledges and understands the nature of the Tour and the physical and mental requirements and ability necessary to participate in the Tour;
9.2.2 he possesses the necessary experience and knowledge to participate in the Tour;
9.2.3 he is in a suitable physical and mental condition to participate in the Tour and is in possession of any medication which he requires to maintain his condition; and
9.2.4 no qualified medical practitioner has advised the Client against participating in the Tour or in any way cautioned the Client against participating in any physically demanding or strenuous activity.

10 MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
The Parties record that the tour operator is under no obligation to provide the Client with any medical assistance required by the Client during the Tour. The tour operator shall nonetheless, in the event of a medical emergency, undertake all reasonable efforts to contact medical emergency services, provided that all costs of medical treatment shall be for the account of the Client.

11 EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY
11.1 It is recorded that the risk and dangers posed by the Client’s participation in the Tour are beyond the control of the tour operator. It is further recorded that the Client may suffer loss or damage as a result of the actions of third parties. The Parties accordingly agree that it is fair and reasonable to exclude the liability of the tour operator for any loss, injury or damage suffered by the Client as a result of the provision of the Services, specifically including his/her participation in the Tour.
11.2 The Client understands and assumes all risks and liability relating to the conclusion of this Agreement and in particular his/her participation in the Tour.
11.3 The tour operator shall be under no liability to the Client whatsoever by reason of any loss, injury or damage whatsoever sustained by the Client or any third Party, arising in any way whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly, out of provision of the Services by the tour operator, including but not limited to the Client’s participation in the Tour, accommodation arranged by the tour operator, any meals, snacks or refreshments supplied or arranged by the tour operator, and the transportation of the Client and his goods.

12 INDEMNITY
12.1 The Client hereby indemnifies the tour operator against and holds it harmless from any claims, liability, damage, loss, penalty, expense and cost of any nature whatsoever which the tour operator may sustain as a result of or attributable to a breach of or failure to comply with any of the warranties, representations or obligations contained in this Agreement or the failure of any of the warranties contained in this Agreement to be true or correct.
12.2 The Client hereby indemnifies and holds the tour operator harmless against any and all losses, injury, damage or claim of whatsoever nature and howsoever arising from or in connection with the provision of the Services, whether or not such claims are caused by any act or omission on the part of the the tour operator, its agents, representatives or employees.

13 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The Parties agree that the intellectual property rights in respect of any photographs, video recordings, drawings and written or oral material which are created during the course of the Trip shall vest in the tour operator and the tour operator shall be entitled to use such photographs, video recordings, drawings and written or oral material for the purpose of advertising and publicity of the tour operator.

14 BREACH 
In the event of any of the Parties (“the Defaulting Party”) committing a breach of any of the terms of this Agreement and failing to remedy such breach within a period of 7 (seven) days after receipt of a written Notice from another Party (“the Aggrieved Party”) calling upon the Defaulting Party so to remedy, then the Aggrieved Party shall be entitled, at its sole discretion and without prejudice to any of its other rights in law, either to claim specific performance of the terms of this Agreement or to cancel this Agreement forthwith and without further Notice, claim and recover damages from the Defaulting Party.

15 FORCE MAJEURE
Neither Party shall be under any liability to the other in respect of anything which, apart from this provision, may constitute a breach of this Agreement arising by reason of force majeure, namely circumstances beyond the control of either Party which shall include acts of God, fire, flood, civil commotion, acts of local government and parliamentary authority, breakdown of power supplies and of communication lines.

16 NOTICES AND DOMICILIA
The Client chooses as its domicilia citandi et executandi the address, including e-mail address, set out in the Reservation Form for all purposes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement at which addresses all processes and notices arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, its breach or termination may validly be served upon or delivered to the Parties.

17 GENERAL

17.1 Each of the provisions of this Agreement is separate and severable and enforceable accordingly. If any such term or condition is or becomes unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, that term or condition is severable from and shall not affect the validity of any other term or condition contained in this Agreement.
17.2 The Parties undertake at all times to do all such things, perform all such actions and take all such steps as may be reasonably necessary for the fulfilment and implementation of this Agreement in accordance with its spirit and intent.
17.3 No alteration, cancellation, variation of, or addition to this Agreement shall be of any force or effect unless reduced to writing and signed by all Parties to this Agreement or their duly authorised representatives.
17.4 This Agreement cancels and supersedes the terms and conditions of all prior negotiations and agreements between the Parties.
17.5 This document contains the entire Agreement between the Parties and no Party shall be bound by any undertakings, representations, warranties, promises or the like not recorded herein.


BIKE HIRE STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1 INTERPRETATION
1.1 In this Agreement, unless inconsistent with or otherwise indicated by the context, when written in capital letters and used in this Agreement –
1.1.1 “Accessories” means any accessories or spares provided to the Client together with Bike which shall include 1 (one) spare tube and patch kit and any other accessories requested by the Client in the Reservation Form;
1.1.2 “the/this Agreement” means the agreement as set out herein, together with the Reservation Form completed by the Client;
1.1.3 “Bike” means the bicycle defined in the Reservation Form;
1.1.4 “the Client” means the adult individual defined in the Reservation Form as the person that shall hire the bike in terms of this Agreement;
1.1.5 The tour operator means Iride Albania Tours (Pty) Ltd, registration number 2010/006575/07, a private company with limited liability duly incorporated in terms of the laws of the Republic of South Albania;
1.1.6 “Rental” means the daily rental payable by the Client in respect of the hiring of the Bike;
1.1.7 “Reservation” means the reservation made by the Client in respect of the Tour, upon completion and submission of a Reservation Form and payment of the Rental;
1.1.8 “the Reservation Form” means the reservation form submitted by the Client upon reserving the hire of the Bike in terms of this Agreement;
1.2 The rule of construction that the contract shall be interpreted against the Party responsible for the drafting or preparation of this Agreement, shall not apply.
1.3 This Agreement shall be governed by and construed and interpreted in accordance with the law of the Republic of South Albania.
1.4 The expiration, cancellation or other termination of this Agreement shall not affect those provisions of this Agreement as expressly provide that they will operate after such expiration, cancellation or other termination or which of necessity must continue to endure after such expiration, cancellation or other termination, notwithstanding that the relevant clause may not expressly provide for such continuation.
1.5 Each and every provision of this Agreement (excluding only those provisions which are essential at law for a valid and binding agreement to be constituted) shall be deemed to be separate and severable from the remaining provisions of the agreement. If any of the provisions of this Agreement (excluding only those provisions which are essential at law for a valid and binding agreement to be constituted) is found by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid and/or unenforceable then, notwithstanding such invalidity and/or unenforceability, the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall be and remain of full force and effect.
2 HIRE AND PAYMENT
2.1 The Client shall make the Reservation by completing and submitting the Reservation Form, electronically and making payment of the Rental and deposit in terms of clause 2.4.
2.2 This Agreement shall be concluded between the Parties upon the submission of the Reservation Form by the Client and payment of the Rental and deposit. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Client shall be required to sign the Reservation Form and these standard terms and conditions upon delivery of the Bike.
2.3 The Client shall hire the Bike subject to the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement.
2.4 The Client shall pay the Rental plus a deposit equal to the amount specified on the Reservation Form upon demand by the tour operator prior to delivery of the Bike to the Client.
2.5 In the event that the Reservation is canceled by the Client, for any reason whatsoever, except as a result of hospitalization or death of the Client, the tour operator shall be entitled to retain the Rental in lieu of a cancellation fee.
3 DELIVERY AND RETURN
3.1 The tour operator shall deliver the Bike and the Accessories to the Client on the date and at the time and address indicated in the Reservation Form, provided that any address shall be within a 25km radius of Cape Town, and provided further that the Client shall not be entitled to take possession of the Bike if the Client has not provided the tour operator with the following details –
3.1.1 the Client’s identity number or passport number;
3.1.2 the Client’s bank account details and credit card details; and
3.1.3 the Client’s residential address.
3.2 The Client shall, on the date of delivery of the Bike and the Accessories, inspect the Bike and the Accessories and, unless the Client advises The tour operator of any defaults, the Bike shall be deemed to be in good working order and condition. In the event that the Client uses the spare tubes provided to him as part of the Accessories, he shall make payment to the tour operatora in the amount of R50 (Fifty Rand) for each spare tube used by the Client. The tour operator shall be entitled to deduct such amount from the deposit referred to in clause 2.4.
3.3 The tour operator shall collect the Bike together with the Accessories from the address, being within a 25km radius of Cape Town, specified in the Reservation Form and at the time and date specified in the Reservation Form and the Client shall ensure that the Bike and the Accessories is available for collection as aforesaid. In the event that the Bike and the Accessories is not made available as aforesaid, the Client shall be responsible to return the Bike and the Accessories to the tour operator and shall be charged the Rental in respect of each day, or part thereof, for which the Client was late in returning the Bike to the tour operator.
3.4 The tour operator shall, upon return of the Bike and the Accessories, inspect the Bike and the Accessories. In the event that the Bike and/or the Accessories is/are not in the same condition in which it was delivered to the Client, fair wear and tear excepted, the tour operator shall be entitled to charge the costs of repairing such damage, as determined by the tour operator, against the credit card account of the Client, the details of which have been provided to the tour operator. The Client hereby authorises the tour operator to debit its credit card account with the total cost of repairing any damage to the Bike and the Accessories, fair wear and tear excepted, provided that the tour operator has provided the Client with the quote in respect of such costs of repairs.
4 TRANSFER
4.1 The Client shall be entitled to nominate any person to use the Bike in terms of this Agreement, provided that such nomination is made in writing on the Reservation Form and provided further that such nomination shall in no way absolve the Client of its obligations in terms of this Agreement.
4.2 In the event that the Client is unable to hire the Bike in terms of his Agreement, the Client shall be entitled to ceded and assign its rights and obligations in terms of this Agreement to a third party, subject to the following –
4.2.1 the Client shall obtain the approval of the tour operator, upon request of the Client in writing no later than 13 (thirteen days) before the date on which the Bike is required to be delivered, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld;
4.2.2 the Client shall make payment to the tour operator of a transfer fee in the amount of R500 (Five Hundred Rand); and
4.2.3 the third party shall be the Client for all purposes set out in this Agreement.
4.3 In the event that the Client obtains the consent of the tour operator, but fails to make payment of the aforementioned transfer fee, the Client shall be deemed to have cancelled this Agreement, and the tour operator shall be entitled to retain the Rental in lieu of a cancellation fee.
5 RESPONSIBILITIES AND WARRANTIES OF CLIENT
5.1 The Client shall –
5.1.1 maintain the Bike in perfect order and condition and return the Bike to the tour operator in the same condition which it was in upon delivery to the Client, fair wear and tear excepted;
5.1.2 at all times ensure that the Bike is operated properly and safely and in accordance with all laws, regulations and by-laws applicable to the use of the Bike on a public road;
5.1.3 not ride or cause the Bike to be ridden on the beach, it being recorded that in the event that the tour operator discovers that the Client has breached this clause 5.1.3, a minimum amount of 100€ (One Hundred Euro) shall be payable to the tour operator in respect of damages, provided that this shall not in any way prejudice the tour operator’s rights in terms of this Agreement;
5.1.4 shall at all times keep the Bike in his/her possession and under his/her direct control and shall take reasonable care in the use of the Bike; and
5.1.5 take all necessary steps to protect the Bike against theft, loss or any damage whatsoever.
6 CLIENT’S LIABILITY
6.1 The Bike and the Accessories shall, from the date of delivery to the date of return of the Bike and the Accessories, be solely responsible for the Bike and the Accessories.
6.2 The Client shall be liable for any theft, loss or damage to the Bike and the Accessories and any other expenses incurred in recovering the Bike and the Accessories, however the theft, loss or damage is caused and whether or not is attributable to fault or negligence on the part of the Client.
7 EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY
7.1 It is recorded that the risk and dangers posed by the Client’s use of the Bike are beyond the control of the tour operator. It is further recorded that, while using the Bike, the Client may suffer loss or damage as a result of the actions of third parties. The Parties accordingly agree that it is fair and reasonable to exclude the liability of the tour operator for any loss, injury or damage suffered by the Client as a result of the Client’s use of the Bike.
7.2 The Client understands and assumes all risks and liability relating to the conclusion of this Agreement and the use of the Bike by the Client.
7.3 The tour operator shall be under no liability to the Client whatsoever by reason of any loss, injury or damage whatsoever sustained by the Client or any third Party, arising in any way whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly, out of the use of the Bike by the Client.
8 INDEMNITY
8.1 The Client hereby indemnifies the tour operator against and holds it harmless from any claims, liability, damage, loss, penalty, expense and cost of any nature whatsoever which the tour operator may sustain as a result of or attributable to the loss or theft of or damage to the Bike, howsoever arising.
8.2 The Client hereby indemnifies the tour operator against and holds it harmless from any claims, liability, damage, loss, penalty, expense and cost of any nature whatsoever which the tour operator may sustain as a result of or attributable to the failure of the Client to fulfil its obligations in terms of this Agreement.
9 BREACH
In the event of any of the Parties (“the Defaulting Party”) committing a breach of any of the terms of this Agreement and failing to remedy such breach within a period of 7 (seven) days after receipt of a written Notice from another Party (“the Aggrieved Party”) calling upon the Defaulting Party so to remedy, then the Aggrieved Party shall be entitled, at its sole discretion and without prejudice to any of its other rights in law, either to claim specific performance of the terms of this Agreement or to cancel this Agreement forthwith and without further Notice, claim and recover damages from the Defaulting Party.
10 NOTICES AND DOMICILIA
The Client chooses as its domicilia citandi et executandi the address, including e-mail address, set out in the Reservation Form completed by or on behalf of him/her upon making the Reservation for all purposes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement at which addresses all processes and notices arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, its breach or termination may validly be served upon or delivered to the Parties.
11 GENERAL
11.1 The Parties undertake at all times to do all such things, perform all such actions and take all such steps as may be reasonably necessary for the fulfilment and implementation of this Agreement in accordance with its spirit and intent.
11.2 Each of the provisions of this Agreement is separate and severable and enforceable accordingly. If any such term or condition is or becomes unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, that term or condition is severable from and shall not affect the validity of any other term or condition contained in this Agreement.
11.3 No alteration, cancellation, variation of, or addition to this Agreement shall be of any force or effect unless reduced to writing and signed by all Parties to this Agreement or their duly authorised representatives.
11.4 This Agreement cancels and supersedes the terms and conditions of all prior negotiations and agreements between the Parties.
11.5 This document contains the entire Agreement between the Parties and no Party shall be bound by any undertakings, representations, warranties, promises or the like not recorded herein.

All photos used by permission. ©Cycle Albania

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 8
  • 4 Star 0
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    5

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.3
  • Value 5
  • Included meals 4.9
  • Bikes & equipment 4.8
  • Hotels or boat 4.8
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 5
  • Tour documents 4.8
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 5
  • Guides (if applicable) 5

Reviews

riverhiker October 16, 2017

Best of both worlds, self-guided but with an accompanying driver

The scenery was amazing. I highly recommend this company and this trip. The roads varied from recent resurfaced smooth pavement to a slalom course of potholes. However, since on the pothole roads the traffic amounted to maybe seven cars an hour, there was plenty of space to dodge the holes. In all but a couple of stretches, the busier roads had good shoulders. And there were some roads that had both a good surface and little traffic. How often does that happen?Do be prepared to climb. Those elevation profiles don't lie.
Hotels varied from high end to very basic depending on the locale. If you are in the middle of nowhere and have great scenery and no traffic, there are going to be compromises. When I rate the accommodations a four instead of five, it is because of the limited options out in the countryside. This is through no fault of the tour company but it would not be fair to readers of this review to have them think everything is up to US standards.
Since we were self-guided, breakfast was the only meal provided. In all cases it was totally adequate and a couple of times, outstanding
The bicycles were quality and in good shape.
We did a self-guided trip and had thought that would involve just having the luggage moved for us. They gave us a driver that was with us the whole time. Not only did he transport our luggage, if the route out of town had any turns, he led us out and also waited at any tricky turns along the way. Great job Elvis!!!!
I can highly recommend this trip. Do go in the off season like we did so the coast is not crowded and go now. They are improving a lot of the roads which I am sure will lead to more traffic. Also, as the country becomes more affluent there will be more cars on the road.

Ashley A September 3, 2017

My favorite trip ever!

This was an incredible trip! I can't say enough how wonderful the guides were, and how much I loved seeing Albania. The meals were amazing (if you love grilled veggies and cheese as much as I do, you'll be in heaven), the accommodations were better than I expected, and the bikes were fantastic. The hills and mountains made the biking pretty challenging some days, but in a great way. Make sure you train before this trip, but don't miss the opportunity! If I could rate it a 12/10, I would.

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson, founder and president February 18, 2018
Ashley, thanks so much for the rave review! I'm delighted you loved the tour as much as I did last year. It ranks among my favorites--and I'm sure always will. I hope others will take the opportunity to explore Albania soon, while it remains the amazing gem it is today.
Jim Johnson, founder and president February 18, 2018
Ashley, thanks so much for the rave review! I'm delighted you loved the tour as much as I did last year. It ranks among my favorites--and I'm sure always will. I hope others will take the opportunity to explore Albania soon, while it remains the amazing gem it is today.
Wendy June 15, 2017

First bike tour & trip over seas!

A wonderful way to be immersed in Albanian culture, history, foods and drink! Guide was thoughtful, anticipated all our needs and was a wealth of information. Riding provided ample opportunity to experience changing topography and breath taking views. Wonderful meals of locally sourced foods. A great international group to ride, eat and relax with. This tour was outstanding!

Lilia October 26, 2016

The time of my life.

It was my first bike tour. And this is the perfect way to explore the country. I am really impressed. Wonderful country, breathtaking views, warm friendly people and really helpful professional guides. I am absolutely happy that I chose Albania. And of course will continue bike tours to other places as well.

Ray1 September 8, 2016

lovely country, great guide and driver..Junid and Nick were terrific hosts for their country

We saw the poorest country in Europe up close but one filled with hardworking, friendly people determined to build an economy and a tourist industry. Awesome scenery, and a running commentary from trip leader Junid. Great meals, and a wonderful group from a half dozen nations.

JimI August 11, 2016

Great Trip Great Biking

The Guide was fantastic. The bikes were excellent. The hotels and guest houses were excellent' The food was excellent and plenty o it. The scenery was varied and all beautiful. The towns and villages on the tour were very interesting and beautiful. This was a great tour. Can't say one thing bad about it.

Anne and Bob July 18, 2016

Albania: best unheard of destination in Europe!

If we had any concerns about choosing an unusual destination in Europe for our first international cycling tour, it was quickly put out of our heads as soon as we landed in Tirana. All arrangements were taken care of by our local tour company, Cycle Albania. A very friendly Albanian man picked us up promptly at the airport and took us to our hotel. We met our group and guide (Junid) for the next 2 weeks and set off on the adventure of a lifetime. A van transferred us to our starting point and we began to see a country that has a long difficult history of oppression, but is fully alive and growing into the 21st century. From carts pulled by donkeys, goatherds in the middle of the road, young boys shouting out greetings to us, fields of crops, vegetables, flowers, magnificent mountain views, wonderful seacoast panoramas, and visits to UNESCO world heritage sites, we are totally convinced that bicycle tourism is the way to go Some members of our group chose to ride e-bikes and that was helpful in maneuvering the many hills/mountains of our routes, but still giving the complete bicycle experience.
Junid was the best guide ever.....his knowledge of his country and ability to translate for us gave us a complete Albanian experience. He was ever eager to accommodate us in all ways. We stayed in hotels which were top of the line to the best that was available...always clean and adequate. All our meals were in restaurants along our route and more than adequate. We ate so much, we were never hungry!! Junid chose dishes that were Albanian and locally grown and prepared. Always lots of fresh vegetables.
After 8 days of cycling and 3 days of kayaking and relaxing on the Albanian Riviera, we returned home completely satisfied with our experience and will now be looking for ways to find another adventure off the beaten path.

Bowsermania April 29, 2016

Don't Wait For Albania To Be "Discovered"

Don't listen to anyone who would have you believe that Albania is not ready for cycling. I've ridden all over North America, Europe and Asia, and I may have found a new favorite.
Cycle Albania, the tour operator, is run by Armand and his brother Junid, who I was fortunate enough to have as my guide. He is fluent in (at least) German, Italian, and English, and has encyclopedic knowledge of the very complicated history, culture, politics and religion of this fascinating place. Ever patient with a diverse group of cyclists, Junid ensured we were treated to some of the best meals I've ever had on tour, and overnights were at some of the best and most unique lodging I've ever experienced.
Beautiful Lake Ohrid, with a side trip to a lovely monastery in Macedonia, then on to spectacular mountain vistas, historic Korce and UNESCO World Heritage city Gjirokaster, on to Butrint, (another World Heritage city), along the beautiful Ionian Sea and the Greek border, and then over the Llogara Pass and down to the confluence of the Ionian and the Adriatic.
There are some challenging climbs, but plenty of time to conquer them, and the always-available SAG vehicle close (but not too close) behind. And the views from above make them each accomplishments to savor.
Better than expected roads, with only limited time on rough surfaces, great bikes, respectful drivers, and incredibly friendly locals---what more could you ask for? Oh, yeah, probably the best value for your money anywhere in the world.
Don't wait for everyone else to experience Albania and tell you about it. Just go!