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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.