UNESCO Sites of Albania

4.7/5 (41)
9 nights
37 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 1190
Self guided from EUR € 950
Bike tour in Albania
Rider Level: Enthusiast Electric bike tours

UNESCO Sites of Albania

4.7/5 (41)

Rider Level: Enthusiast Electric bike tours

9 nights
37 miles/day

Guided from EUR € 1190
Self guided from EUR € 950
Bike tour in Albania

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Discover Albania's Mountains, Valleys and Gorges

    The highlights of this magical bike tour include three UNESCO sites, snow-capped mountains, inviting beaches on the Albanian Riviera, a genuine, untouched subsistence culture, and exceptionally friendly local people.

    Some say that visiting Albania is as close as you'll get to traveling back in time. Until the dissolution of the People's Republic of Albania, it was rare that foreigners had a chance to visit this country shrouded in mystery. Since the borders opened in 1991, the full beauty of Albania has been available for all to behold, and curious tourists have quickly realized that this is an incredibly special country. Yet, Albania still remains undiscovered by mass tourism, unlike Croatia just a few hundred kilometers up the coast.

    We feel that this sense of discovering secret treasures is what sets Albania apart among our touring destinations. Locals in the more isolated areas are still filled with excitement and curiosity to see visitors in their villages, especially those traveling by bicycle. You will be welcomed with open arms and warm, sincere hospitality.

    The history of the country 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, Albania came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, which remained the case until 1912, when independence was declared.

    The country's economy has seen an upturn since 2002, resulting in significant upgrades in infrastructure, which you will appreciate as you ride. The roads are mostly paved, and, at times quite steep, but you’ll be distracted from the climb by stunning views and rewarded by adrenaline-pumping descents.

    • Shopping in Gjirokastër, Albania. Abenteuer Albanien@Unsplash
    • Lake Ohrid borders Albania & Macedonia. Milana Jovanov@Unsplash
    • Tirana, Albania. CC:Valter Zhara
    • Albania UNESCO World Heritage Sites Bike Tour
    • Historic city center of Gjirokastër, Albania. Abenteuer Albanien@Unsplash
    • Orthodox Cathedral - Resurrection of Christ in Korçë, Albania. CC:joepwijsbek
    • Baklava - a very Mediterranean dessert! Encal Media@Unsplash
    • Albanian food! Antti T. Nissinen@Flickr

    View more photos

    Highlights

    • Albanian Riveria - Picturesque trails and villages
    • Gjirokastër & Korce - Walking tour of historic UNESCO towns
    • Butrinti - 2,500 year-old UNESCO archaeological site
    • Lake Ohrid - Beautiful beaches
    • Macedonia - Optional visit to the monastery of St. Naum
    • Grammoz Mountains and Barmash Pass - Impressive panoramas
    • The Rivers Vjosa and Drinos - Spectacular gorges
    • Saranda or Sarandë - Gateway to southern Albania on the Ionian coast
    • The Bay of Himare - Tranquil stretches of beach

    Learn More

    Not sure whether to book a guided or self-guided tour? Learn about the differences between guided and self-guided tours.


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

    Photos 

  • Traveler photos

    •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
    •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
    •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
    •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
    •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
    • Lake Pogradec (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    • On the way to Korce (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    • On the way to Farma Sortira (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    • Our first view of the sea (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    • Himare (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    • Our first rest on the way to Sarande (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
    •  (photo by Richard Radonis)
    •  (photo by Richard Radonis)
    • Ionian sea (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
    •  (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
    •  (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
    •  (photo by David Hodgson)
    •  (photo by David Hodgson)
    • On the road to Sotirë (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • On the descent to the Vjosa River (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • Along the road to Gjiroikastēr (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • The countryside on the road to Sarandë (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • A view of the Albanian Riviera coastline (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • A view of the climb to Llogara Pass on the last day (photo by Karen Norlin)
    • on way to Permet from Sotire, great routes (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    • Leskovic range (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    •  (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    • on route to Permet, very good road conditions (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    • on route from Pogradec to Korcë (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    • on route from Korce to Sotire, biking through mountain ranges (photo by Roxana Miranda)
    • Time to enjoy an evening in the historic city, Gjirokaster. (photo by Bill P)
    • Great local meals and camaraderie throughout 8 days. (photo by Bill P)
    • Our amazing tour leader, overall historian and guide. (photo by Bill P)
    • Plenty of local flavor on this trip. Albania is fascinating! (photo by Bill P)
    • Looking at mountains separating Albania from Greece. (photo by Bill P)
    • Looking across the Ionian Sea to the island of Corfu. (photo by Bill P)
    • View from hotel (photo by Lady Di)
    • Photo 2 (photo by Lady Di)
    • The coolest place we stayed. Watched the fish swim and then had fish for dinner. (photo by Lady Di)
    • Korce. During communism many places of religion were torn down or used for other purposes. (photo by Lady Di)
    • Getting ready to enter the main bunker. Very interesting. (photo by Lady Di)
    • Beautiful scenery. Hard day of riding. (photo by Lady Di)
    • Photo 1 (photo by kath)
    • Photo 1 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Photo 2 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Photo 3 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Photo 4 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Photo 5 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Photo 6 (photo by Ashley A)
    • Beautiful start Lake Ohrid (photo by Wendy)
    • Last day descent (photo by Wendy)
    • Cabin neighbors (photo by Wendy)
    • Gjirokaster (photo by Wendy)
    • Up from the sea! (photo by Wendy)
    • Lovely ending to a wonderful tour (photo by Wendy)
    • Excited to begin our cycle tour of Albania! (photo by Anne and Bob)
    • Very typical of Albanian countryside. (photo by Anne and Bob)
    • Ate more seafood in 3 days, than we have in a lifetime! (photo by Anne and Bob)
    • Chugging up a hill was more than rewarded with spectacular views! (photo by Anne and Bob)
    • Good looking roadblock! (photo by Anne and Bob)
    • The view from the hotel at Lake Ohrid (photo by Bowsermania)
    • Beautiful mountain passes...... (photo by Bowsermania)
    • Enver Hoxha, dictator in Albania for 40+ years, built over 700,000 of these to "protect" Albania from invasion. (photo by Bowsermania)
    • Beautiful, historic Gjirokaster, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites you will visit.... (photo by Bowsermania)
    • Follow the switchbacks to the top.....your tough last day of cycling over the Llogara Pass....you WILL make it! (photo by Bowsermania)
    • Your reward at the end of the ride..... (photo by Bowsermania)

    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Tour Description Daily Program 

  • Daily program

    Day 1: Arrival in Tirana
    Individual arrival to Tirana.

    Overnight in Tirana.

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

    Overnight in Pogradec.

    Day 3: Pogradec – Korçë (32 miles/51 km; elevation gain: 1352 ft/412 m)
    You'll start the day with a climb up from the lake into another high plateau surrounded by mountains. Continue along the gorge for a while until the hills open up, leading to a vast plain - a picturesque patchwork of individual farms and colors.

    Overnight in Korçë.

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

    Overnight in Sotire.

    Day 5: Sotire – Përmet (32 miles/52 km; elevation gain: 2018 ft/615 m)
    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, then follow the Corniche route high above the river to Përmet, situated on a bluff and famous for its cuisine and strong raki.

    Overnight in Përmet.

    Day 6: Përmet – Gjorokastër (45 miles/70 km; elevation gain: 1352 ft/412 m)
    Continue along the valley towards Kelcyra under the distant shark's tooth peaks standing guard over 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 Gjirokastër (city of 1000 steps) high above. In the afternoon, you'll have a chance to explore its narrow cobbled alleys and Ottoman houses.

    Overnight in Gjorokastër.

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

    Overnight in Sarandë.

    Day 8: Sarandë – Himarë (32 miles/52 km; elevation gain: 3491 ft/1064 m)
    Today's route is a rollercoaster-like ride as you climb steeply out of Sarandë 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 Himarë.

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

    Overnight in Vlorë.

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


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Photos Accommodation 

  • Accommodation

    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.

    Accomodations are a mix of guesthouses and 3- and 4-star hotels.

    Hotel Sky Tower, Tirane
    www.sky2hotel-al.com

    Hotel Millenium, Pogradec
    www.hotel-millennium.com

    Hotel Life Gallery, Korçë
    www.lifegallery.al

    Guesthouse Farma Sotira, Gërmenjë
    www.farmasotira.com

    Guesthouse Coli, Bënje, Përmet

    Hotel Cajupi, Gjirokastër
    www.cajupi.com

    Hotel Porto Eda, Sarandë
    www.portoeda.com

    Hotel Rondos, Himarë
    www.rondos-hotel.com

    Hotel Coral, Vlorë
    www.facebook.com/Hotel-Coral

    Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Daily program Bikes 

  • Bikes

    Bikes available on this tour, and included in the tour cost (reserved in advance at the time of booking):

    • Standard bikes

    Bikes available to rent:

    • Electrically assisted bike, Giant Explore E+ (50.5-55.5 cm)

    Bikes come equipped with:

    •  Pannier rack
    • Handlebar bag 

    Bike Protection:
    Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. You may bring your own SPD pedals, but be sure to bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are available for rent free of charge, but must be reserved in advance. Please indicate in your booking request if you would like to book the helmet. However, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Accommodation Dates & Prices 

  • Dates

    Self-guided: daily, upon request Apr 1 - Jul 1; Aug 25 - Oct 25, 2024 (minimum 2 participants)
    Guided: Apr 5, 11, 21, 30; May 12, 15, 20, 23; Jun 1, 6, 22; Jul 1; Aug 24; Aug 31*; Sep 9, 10, 19, 20*, 27, 29; Oct 6, 8, 15, 17, 2024 (minimum 6 participants) (* Fully Booked)

    Prices

    Tour package

    Self-guided tour Guided tour
    Per person, double occupancy €950 €1190
    Single use room (1 person/1 room) €1160 €1400

    Bike Rentals

    Electrically assisted bike, Giant Explore E+ €200

    Extra Nights, Tirana

    Per person, double occupancy €35
    Single room (1 person/1 room) €60

    Transfer

    Tirana airport to tour start per vehicle (1-3 persons) €25

    Included services

    Self-guided package includes:

    • 9 nights hotel accommodation in double rooms
    • 9 Breakfasts
    • Luggage transfers
    • Navigational App
    • Local support by phone
    • Transfers from tour end to airport
    • Standard bicycle rental with other bike accessories

    Guided package includes:

    • 9 nights hotel accommodation in double rooms
    • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
    • Luggage transfers
    • Professional, English-speaking cycling guide
    • Transfers from tour end to airport
    • Support vehicle
    • Standard bicycle rental with other bike accessories

    Tour Company


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Bikes Other Details 

  • Map

    Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

    Surface and terrain

    The roads are all sealed and have a very good surface, some being totally new. Heading into the more remote villages, there are some that are not sealed but have a good base. There is only one day on a lower-quality road, from Përmet to Corovoda, and this road is necessary for visiting one of the most beautiful places in Albania.

    Approximately 70% of this tour is on quiet roads, 20% on roads shared with traffic and 10% on dirt or gravel roads.

    This tour has considerable climbing on nearly every day, and electrically-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) are also available.

    The guided tour also offers a support van, available at most times.


    How to get there

    Nearest airport and train station: Tirana (TIA), Albania

    Transfer from the airport to the start of tour is available for €25 (booked in advance). Transfer at the end of the tour back to the airport is included in the tour price (at specific times only).

    Tips on getting to and from your tour.


    UNESCO Sites of Albania

     Dates & Prices Tour Reviews 

    • Stephanie H 4 hours ago

      Such a beautiful country!

      We had wonderful support from our guide and our driver. The food was delicious and it was a treat to experience the amazing terrain and sights. The hills could be strenuous at times and the diesel fumes unpleasant.

      What was the date of your tour?
      May 2024
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Julane Anderson 2 weeks ago

      Amazing tour!

      An excellent introduction to the beauty and charms of Albania. Our guide, Arjan, and driver, Enes, went above and beyond to keep our group of 17 cyclists safe and comfortable. Family-style meals were delicious with a variety of foods chosen for us.
      I recommend arriving in Tirana one to two days before the start of the tour to experience the offerings of the capital and to learn about the country's history with communism. I also recommend that cyclists be familiar with riding with traffic and riding on different road surfaces. My husband and I were glad to have rented e-bikes as the promised climbs were challenging!

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 2024
      How many tours have you completed?
      10+
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
      •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
      •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
      •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
      •  (photo by Julane Anderson)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • John Koester 2 weeks ago

      Great Tour of Albania!

      The guided tour of Albania was awesome. The cycling was really good, maybe a little harder than expected in the mountains. But well worth it. We climbed Llogara Pass which was an epic ride, followed by a 20 mile downhill.
      The food and accommodations were really super good. No complaints at all there.
      But what made the tour standout was our guide Arjan, and the van driver Enis. Those guys were great and we were all family right off the bat. They took good care of us every day we were with them. We can’t recommend this tour highly enough. Albania is a beautiful country with super cool people.

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 2024
      How many tours have you completed?
      2
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Susan Cleary 2 weeks ago

      Amazing!

      My friend and I did the UNESCO Albania tour (self guided)and it exceeded all our expectations.

      The routes were breathtaking. Riding through the mountains, even in the rain,
      I felt like we were in a virtual reality ride.

      Our tour guide, Aldo was fantastic.
      Every morning he checked our bikes and made sure we had everything we needed. He would also be seen in the hotels mornings and evenings helping serve meals and drinks.

      The sag driver, Fitim, was wonderful too.
      He would wash bikes after rainy days, make sure we had water and occasionally give a whistle if we happened to take a wrong turn and he was in the vicinity.

      The hotels were great with one exception, however, the others certainly made up for it especially the first and last night.

      Thank you for such a wonderful experience!
      Thank you Aldo and Fitim!

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 19
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Lisa Luyckx 3 weeks ago

      A Don’t Miss Tour

      We just completed the ten day Albania UNESCO self-guided tour and I can’t say enough good things about it. Our tour guide Aldo made our experience in Albania all the more richer. He was available always for any help we needed, from servicing our bikes, to serving food, to making sure we were all set with our hotels to answering any questions we had. He did all of the above with a smile on his face. Our sag driver Fitim, who also helped keep the bikes clean and serviced, was always at the ready with water and a smile. We were in awe of the beautiful countryside and the friendliness of the hard working people of Albania. We truly felt like we saw the real
      Albania on this beautiful route. I would recommend this tour whole heartedly.

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 2024
      How many tours have you completed?
      4
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Lake Pogradec (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • On the way to Korce (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • On the way to Farma Sortira (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • Our first view of the sea (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • Himare (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • Our first rest on the way to Sarande (photo by Lisa Luyckx)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Richard Radonis 7 months ago

      Albania unleashed

      From sea level to 7000 feet, Ionian Sea to hairpin mountaintop switchbacks, beautiful countryside abound.
      Lodging was so different from the day before with local cuisine 3x a day. Vineyards, olive orchards, apple orchards, etc, fruit trees everywhere. Ebikes made it all possible for the average biker, but doable for the hard-core pedal pusher. Arjan, our guide, was awesome. He made it so much more enjoyable and seamless

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat easier
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
      •  (photo by Richard Radonis)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Richard Radonis 7 months ago

      Majestic Albania

      Wow, we biked 300 miles in so many different terrains, saw how the rural Albanians live. They were very friendly. Seeing castles, monasteries, historic homes and beautiful countryside. One particular day we coasted downhill for about 20 miles
      What a rush. Tour guide Arjan was awesome, fun, personable and knowledgeable.

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      2
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      •  (photo by Richard Radonis)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Sharon Charpentier 7 months ago

      Only One Road - biking in Albania

      Great 10 day cycling vacation in Albania. Our Guide, Arjan was amazing. He thoroughly reviewed each days bike route the night before and morning of to be sure we understood the plan for the day. He would tell us “only one road”. That was pretty accurate in the country side. I loved seeing the locals living a simple life with their mules or donkey with a hand made saddle, or the Shepard with his flock of sheep and sheep dogs to corral them in. The Mountain Views were incredible as well as the lake and sea views. The food was plentiful and served family style. Wine and beer for purchase was very reasonably priced. Most accommodations were nice and comfortable. One night we stayed in cabins on a farm! We saw so much- toured ruins from 400 BC, toured a castle and homestead as well as a monastery. The ride was well supported. Our van driver was always close by should we need assistance with our bikes or a fill up of water. I chose to rent an e-bike and glad I did as many roads had a steep incline. The e-bike allowed me to enjoy my vacation and not struggle to make it through the day. I’m glad I chose this tour!

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      5
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Ionian sea (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
      •  (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
      •  (photo by Sharon Charpentier)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • David Hodgson 7 months ago

      Challenging cycling

      Physically challenging; 14 of 18 folks on our tour used an e-bike and were glad they made that choice. The guide was excellent and I would recommend the guided package rather than self guided, especially as the meals were included. Excellent scenery. We traveled in mid-September and the weather was comfortable, not too hot. The bikes were of good quality compared to those provided on other European bike tours.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      10
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      •  (photo by David Hodgson)
      •  (photo by David Hodgson)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Betsy Alles 8 months ago

      Way Beyond Our Expectations

      From start to finish this Albania tour was excellent in every way. The guides. The support van. The itinerary. The details. The hotels. The food. I could go on an on! What made it great were the guides first and foremost. Dimitri, Mateo and our van driver VC...all were friendly, professional and made sure every special request was granted. Even the coffee stops were at magical places -- all selected for their views, their historic significance and the culture. I just can't even describe what a wonderful time we had...and the group we traveled with were wonderful too! No whiners!! I had suffered a compression fracture in my back a few weeks prior to the trip so had to occasionally ride in the support van and Dimitri let me know if there were any rough roads that day. There were very few gravel sections, btw. The e-bikes we rented were top quality too! I say GO...before Albania is crowded with tourists!! We have traveled around the world and Albania was among the most gorgeous countries we have experienced! And you cannot beat the price of a guided trip!!

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      12
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Patricia ONeill 8 months ago

      Albania September 2023

      Good guides and routes. Somewhat unsatisfactory accommodations because on Day 5 and Day 9, there were not enough reserved hotel rooms, so 2 x I and another solo traveler had to share a room [and bathroom] because the hotel had given 1 of our rooms away. One night was tolerable, but not really acceptable 2 x. It was a large group with the majority of people on e-bikes but we spent a lot of time [sometimes almost an hour] waiting for the non-e bikers [no fault of theirs]. This put pressure on the non-e bikers, guide, and meant that we arrived at the hotels later than expected, with less downtime to enjoy the destination. Our guide was very good, but our group would have enjoyed more cultural and historical conversations since this was billed as the UNESCO tour.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 4/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 3/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 3/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 4/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Guy Levy 8 months ago

      Great trip with some annoying snags

      We were a group of 8 members who did a self guided tour with e-bikes. the route of the tour exposed us to Albania's beautiful landscape, heritage and lovely and warm people. The route is quite challenging due to the mountainous terrain and we were glad that we chose to use e-bikes. All in all we really loved it. Yet, we encountered a few troublesome matters that with due attention can be solved.(i) we had numerous problems with the e-bikes, mostly related to chain falling w/o any reason, back cog-wheel that became loose etc., that ended with replacing two of our bikes and a number cases where on road assistance was required. We understood from comments made by the local agents that these had been common problems with the type of bikes we had been given, hence either bike maintenance needs improvement or a different bike brand should be used. (ii) A much greater portion of the tour then described in the website was on main roads with heavy traffic, which we felt made cycling not very safe and certainly not relaxing/enjoyable. (iii) The maps provided together with the e-files of the routes were not always consistent with actual conditions. A more frequent adaptation, of especially the e-routes, to actual roads conditions seems in order. (iv) the hotels provided could be somewhat upgraded. In many cases they were not up to a par with 3 star hotels in Europe (this had been our 9th cycling tour in Europe so we do have some experience).

      What was the date of your tour?
      August-September 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      9
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 4/5 Value
      • 2/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 3/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 3/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
    • Michele Smith 10 months ago

      Loved it!!

      It was the perfect mix between challenging, beautiful, educational and pure enjoyment!! Our guide was extremely knowledgable and entertaining. There was great a mechanic for bike maintenance when there were any issues. Not only did I learn a great deal about the country I met a number of wonderful people throughout the trip. Food and lodging was great.

    • Kevin Pazaski 11 months ago

      Outstanding Tour of Albania!

      Seven of us arranged a private "semi-supported" private tour. We had a wonderful Albanian guide, Nicu, assist us with shuttling our luggage, providing van support, giving us dining recommendations, and helping us navigate Albania's beautiful landscape. No significant issues along the route, zero mechanical problems, and well-designed routes.

      What was the date of your tour?
      May 9-17, 2023
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Karen Norlin 11 months ago

      Albania is a wonderful destination!

      The tour was great!. The bikes were in excellent condition. I didn't realize that the terrain was so mountainous, so I'm really glad I went for an e-bike. I really liked that most days included a side trip by bike or walking to explore the area. Each day had just the right amount of stops for coffee, snacks and lunch. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and courteous, and went out of his way to accommodate special requests. The food was great, all local, fresh, and authentic. Accomodations ranged from nice hotels in the cities to rustic cabins in the countryside to seaside resorts, which made me feel like I was experiencing the diversity of the country. One negative is that our group had 20 participants, which is the maximum for this trip. Although our guide and driver were able to easily handle this large a group, I would probably prefer being in a smaller group. I also would have liked a rest day in the middle of the trip, to allow some time to recover before the last 2 big climbing days, and provide an opportunity to spend a day exploring outside of the tour itinerary. I have been raving about this trip to my friends and family, and would not hesitate to recommend this trip to anyone looking for a biking adventure in Europe.

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 3, 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      This was my fourth group bike tour
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • On the road to Sotirë (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • On the descent to the Vjosa River (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • Along the road to Gjiroikastēr (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • The countryside on the road to Sarandë (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • A view of the Albanian Riviera coastline (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • A view of the climb to Llogara Pass on the last day (photo by Karen Norlin)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Jeff Pinkerton 12 months ago

      .

      For half a century—in our lifetime--Albanians lived in a society not dissimilar to that of North Korea today—no freedom of speech, freedom of religion (in fact, Hoxha declared Albania to be the first “atheist state”) or even freedom of movement. People were encouraged to spy—then report—on their neighbors (even family members) who were subsequently detained and tortured; many executed. Factories were demolished; their education system was mostly just indoctrination. The citizens had little-to-no awareness of the outside world. The President convinced the citizens that they were under threat of attack, so they armed themselves and built defensive turrets pointed at the (ostensible) enemy. It’s only in the past quarter-century that the country emerged from darkness. Today it is a member of NATO but not yet a part of the EU; it is working its way back into the sunlight. Albania has a strong affinity for America. They thank Woodrow Wilson for ‘creating’ it following WW I and Bush I and Clinton for supporting their membership into NATO. We saw quite a number of American flags here.

      My image of the country was something more ‘basic’ than has presented itself here in the capital of Tirana. First example: When arriving at the airport in any foreign country, you go through immigration. Typically, it’s cumbersome, lengthy and heavy on the bureaucracy. Here, you approach a ‘gate’, and scan your passport; then that gate opens, and you move forward a couple of steps to a camera. The image from your passport matches the photo from the camera and you’re in. Nothing to it! The US could learn from them.

      The capital, Tirana, is fairly modern with notable architecture.

      Looks like there’s nothing behind Are there warts Did someone take a
      The façade growing alongside bite out of this one?

      Traffic moves swiftly, there are bike lanes and charging stations for taxis on the main drag downtown.

      I spent quite a bit of time wandering around town. As Anthony Bourdain says when visiting a new place: “Get curious, get hungry, get lost”. I did—especially the latter.

      We certainly don’t see these in Denver.

      They sell things in the capital of Tirana—but apparently you have to know what you’re looking for.

      Shoes Purses Jewelry

      This is a pop-up library in the middle of a park downtown. And this fellow is guarding a bakery.

      Why Albania, you may ask
      Actually, Kathleen found it; we were scheduled to come here last year, but her skiing accident postponed that by a year. That fall spooked her, so she hung up her biking helmet. My interest in coming is to offset some of the recent experiences in Asia. This time I wanted a ride that was, shall I say, ‘civilized’ unlike the stupidly long days in Thailand, the humidity of Borneo, the challenging trails of Madagascar, the ineffective guide of Vietnam or the absolutely stupid obstacle course of Laos. Albania—being European—seemed to be more civilized’ and promised to be none of those. It’s also a place I’ve never been and heard that it had great scenery and great food. Both of which were born out.  SHOW MORE 

    • Roberta Lowe 12 months ago

      UNESCO Sites of Albania

      Both the guide and the driver/mechanic/doer of countless other chores were superb. Had to van much of each day and they were totally supportive about this. Route showed off the lovely and impressive southern part of Albania. The food was unfailingly delicious and the overnight accomodations were all good, ranging from charming to grand for the final night. Much uphill and long distances. Most of the miles of road surfaces are good but there are sections that are no problem with a hybrid but not really suitable for a road bike.

      What was the date of your tour?
      May 2023
      How many tours have you completed?
      15
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Much harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Bob Anderson October 25, 2022

      Best Albania bike group!

      This was our first group bike tour and we could not have been happier. Albania is an amazing country to visit.

      Biking- the daily biking takes you through outstanding scenery ranging from lake views, forest, mountain views, rural agriculture farms to palm tree lines views of the Ionian Sea. The roads were generally great with some rough spots in the mountains. Traffic was light, just needed to share the road with goats, sheep and horse drawn wagons.

      Food- the meals were served family style giving us the opportunity to try lots of different thing we would not normally be able to do on our own. We were served lots of fresh vegetables, cheese and bread. No one ever went away from the table hungry. Would love to get recipes for several of the dishes we were served. We visited several outstanding restaurants with service and awesome decor.

      Lodging- the hotel selection was very comfortable with good beds and pillows. Location and views very good. One area that could use improvement is the shower facilities in a few of our lodging locations. The service provided by our Albanian lodging owners was very friendly and helpful.

      Guides- our biking guide was Demetrie and he did a fantastic job, I can not say enough good about his job performance. His historical knowledge of the country was outstanding. We really appreciated the personal insights he contributed every day of our tour. We learned so much about the country that we never would have without taking a guided bike tour. The support vehicle driver, Bato, was always there when you needed him. Constantly filling water bottles and helping with luggage all with a smile.

      I encourage you to take advantage of this outstanding tour. It was great to met fellow bikers from around the world and share time and make new friendships.
      Tour time- first week of October, 2022
      Bob Anderson
      Iowa - USA

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 2022
      How many tours have you completed?
      This is our third European bike tour.
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Roxana Miranda September 21, 2022

      Great adventure to be discovered, amazing places, people and food

      The tour is perfectly described online and the guides are excellent; same for food which was above average at every location; accommodations are perfect. Suggest renting e-bike unless you bike 7/365 on uphills; we had very hot weather (up to 37C) and it was hard even on e-bike just because of the heat, hard to find shade! We were 19 people in our tour and the guides (Erlis and Rimi) were wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable. Albania is waiting for you to discover, laid back people, excellent food and very cheap compared to other European cities. Highly recommend.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 3, 2022
      How many tours have you completed?
      first one
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • on way to Permet from Sotire, great routes (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      • Leskovic range (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      •  (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      • on route to Permet, very good road conditions (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      • on route from Pogradec to Korcë (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      • on route from Korce to Sotire, biking through mountain ranges (photo by Roxana Miranda)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Rhonda Aliah August 3, 2022

      Fantastic adventure!

      The perfect way to experience Albania from the saddle of great bikes. Erlis and Tani were wonderful, caring, capable and very courteous. I was the slowest cyclist and their reassuring presences made the trip very enjoyable. Had a great time! Would love to explore more someday.

    • Bill P November 1, 2019

      Better than I ever imagined.

      This tour is a great way to experience the beautiful country of Albania- a fascinating country I knew very little about. Our local tour leader was resourceful, knowledgeable, and passionate about both biking and his native country. The bikes were very good; I had and e-bike; even so, the biking was challenging, but definitely worth the challenge. Very good local meals with lots of camaraderie with my fellow travelers- an interesting and lovely mix of people from all ages, countries, and biking abilities. I have long been a passionate biker, but this was my first organized bike tour, including first one in the mountains! It won’t be my last. I can’t wait to go on my next one! Kudos to both Bike Tours and Cycle Albania.

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 12-20, 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      First organized tour.
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Time to enjoy an evening in the historic city, Gjirokaster. (photo by Bill P)
      • Great local meals and camaraderie throughout 8 days. (photo by Bill P)
      • Our amazing tour leader, overall historian and guide. (photo by Bill P)
      • Plenty of local flavor on this trip. Albania is fascinating! (photo by Bill P)
      • Looking at mountains separating Albania from Greece. (photo by Bill P)
      • Looking across the Ionian Sea to the island of Corfu. (photo by Bill P)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Elaine October 28, 2019

      A Fabulous Trip

      First time biking as a way to visit a country and it was fabulous! I chose Albania as it was still untouched by tourism, the reviews were good, and it looked beautiful. Experiencing this beautiful country and its people while biking through its landscape fufilled my expectations beyond what I could imagine. The scenery was spectacular! And biking is a way to go! Our guide, Arijan and his assistant, Bato, were organized, patient, helpful, informative, and fun! We were in good hands! We had a group of 4 Americans, 4 Brits, and 2 Germans, which resulted in good exchanges and great conversations. I was thrilled with the variety and challenges of the varied terrain, but at age 70 an electric bike made the trip possible and enjoyable. The climbs would have been very difficult without one. I had read some reviews before signing on and took the good and necessary advice of training before going. Without training, this trip would be difficult. The bikes were in good condition and worked well considering a few of the rough roads we encountered. Our guides handled the varied paces of the group very effectively. The hotels were quite adequate with the exception of one mountain guest house, which was minimally adequate. The food was
      abundant and very good. I highly recommend this tour company and the tour of Albania specifically! You will not be disappointed! It was a most memorable travel experience!

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 12-21, 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      First one!
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Timr October 27, 2019

      Beautiful Country, Great Cycling Excellent Value

      So much fun. Friendly people, great food, some challenging rides and bumpy roads, but that just made it more interesting. Learned so much history of this area. Tour provider was very attentive and helpful. Bikes were excellent touring hybrids (all were new or nearly new Giant bikes. Bring your sunscreen, appetites and climbing legs!

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      8
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • WSTraveler October 22, 2019

      An Unusual Experience Not to Be Repeated

      The sag driver was great despite limited English in that he was always available to help in any way possible. The tour guide was good and worked very hard but was not good at listening to understand problems with the bikes and was at times totally dismissive. The difficulty of the ride was enormously underrated and BIkeTours was evasive about providing advanced information. The road conditions were in areas extremely poor and the advertised grades were just lies. BikeTours advertised the trip as a max of 16 riders, although there were 20, considered a small group by the guide. Again, less than honest disclosure.

      The experience of the country was worth the trip. It was a fun collection of international participants. The accommodations were varied but appropriate to the locale and part of the fun. Food was good and the guide worked to arrange options for dietary restrictions. The sag support was excellent and eager to support the riders. The guide did a good job of keeping the group together and providing navigation guidance despite lack of any cue sheets or gps routes.

      What was the date of your tour?
      Sept 23 - Oct 2
      How many tours have you completed?
      lots
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Much harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      No
      • BikeTours.com staff reply from Chloe October 23, 2019

        Thank you kindly for this review. Overall, we're glad to hear that the experience of the country was worth the trip. We appreciate you sharing with us details regarding the guide and that information provided to you did not match up with your experience. We will follow up with the tour operator regarding the road conditions, grades, and group size to ensure the details provided to future clients are accurate. Thanks again for your feedback.

      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 2/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 2/5 Ease of navigation
      • 1/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 3/5 Route selection
      • 4/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Lady Di October 9, 2019

      Interesting trip

      We had a wonderful international group with ages from early 40es to one man turning 78 on the trip. Learning about the history of Albania was very interesting and cycling to sites from BC era was fascinating. It was like someone turned the clock back in time. We stayed in a wide variety of places and all okay with several being very unique in a good way. Food was very good but watch out for the wine in small towns as it’s homemade and not very good but the beer was good. Bikes were okay and front shocks very appreciated. If in doubt get an ebike. Our leader,Ted, and the sag/bike driver were very skilled at leading us and taking card of the bikes.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 23-October 1st.
      How many tours have you completed?
      8
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • View from hotel (photo by Lady Di)
      • Photo 2 (photo by Lady Di)
      • The coolest place we stayed. Watched the fish swim and then had fish for dinner. (photo by Lady Di)
      • Korce. During communism many places of religion were torn down or used for other purposes. (photo by Lady Di)
      • Getting ready to enter the main bunker. Very interesting. (photo by Lady Di)
      • Beautiful scenery. Hard day of riding. (photo by Lady Di)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Pedal October 7, 2019

      Wonderful surprise

      Beautiful country, great food. We had a wonderful guide, Ted

      What was the date of your tour?
      Started on Sept 23
      How many tours have you completed?
      A number in the US
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Helayn October 7, 2019

      More than I expected

      What was the date of your tour?
      October 23
      How many tours have you completed?
      15
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 3/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • psteckler September 15, 2019

      Excellent tour with lots of climbing

      This was my second tour booked with biketours.com. My first one was a self-guided tour in Slovenia, which was great, so I thought I'd try this one, which reviews raved about.

      The route and scenery were just great. We had superb meals with Mediterranean-style cuisine, either in restaurants or in our hotels. Each day featured a coffee stop, where we snacked on peanuts, bananas, and chocolate.

      The tour guide was very knowledgeable about his home country, super well-organized and thoughtfully attended to the needs of the participants. The support van was there when we needed assistance.

      There were a couple of thrilling long descents with stunning vistas. The price of those descents was lots of climbing, some of them long, some a bit steep.

      A few of the days were extremely hot, around 100F. I had heat stroke symptoms one day, and had to get a lift in the van for the last part of the ride. We had only a few minutes of light rain on our side trip to North Macedonia to see the monastery on Lake Ohrid. Not much the tour operator can do to control the weather, of course.

      The bikes had front suspension and a rear rack with an Ortlieb pannier. We did have some gravel and cobble sections where a road bike would not have worked. These bikes were on the heavy side, making the climbing more difficult than it could have been. My one suggestion to improve the tour would be to use lighter bikes. I think the current generation of "gravel bikes" with fat tires, without suspension, would work well, and save a few pounds. Instead of the rack and pannier, a frame bag or seatpost bag would have enough capacity and also save some weight.

      The participants on e-bikes seemed to be having a good time of it, though, as they passed me up the climbs!

      What was the date of your tour?
      August 26, 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      20+
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • BabyBoomer June 27, 2019

      Albania-Review by a Baby Boomer

      I feel that the trip was right on he money as described. Cycling is a great way to experience a country. The food was terrific and the accommodations ranged from adequate (but best available) to reasonably decent. The bikes were well maintained, and I appreciate that the disks were replaced on the major downhills for the last few days. The route is challenging, and, if you have any doubts on your capability, go for the ebike option. Made all the difference for me. The support for water and sag, if required, was superb.

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 13
      How many tours have you completed?
      10
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 3/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 4/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • kath November 12, 2018

      Albania, who knew!

      A beautiful country with fresh farm to table food and mountain spring water. Our guide Tedi was friendly and knowledgeable and taught us about the history and culture of Albania as well as the beautiful sites. Hotels and guesthouses were neat and clean and comfortable. We would like to visit again to spend more time at the historical sites around the country.

      What was the date of your tour?
      Oct 2-11, 2018
      How many tours have you completed?
      3
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Photo 1 (photo by kath)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • David19 September 29, 2018

      A vigorous adventure

      This is an excellent tour for anyone who wants to do a lot of climbing far from the beaten tourist path with the leadership of an excellent, superbly organized cyclist.
      On the other hand, it is not a great way to get to know a lot about Albanian culture or history. Even though we went to some sites of great historical and cultural significance, we didn't have much time there, and promises that we would have a guided tour were not always kept. I'd have liked to have had a rest day in Gjirokaster; it has a lot of history to explore.
      This tour has lots of climbs, some of them quite steep. The bikes provided by the operator didn't have low enough gears, so most tour members walked some of the climbs. The tour operator has told me he has recognized this problem and has already ordered more suitable bikes for 2019.
      The food was excellent in both quality and quantity, with very few exceptions. Most eating was family style. There were vegetarian options.
      Our group was large--22 participants, six more than advertised--but so well organized that meals moved briskly.
      All 22 of us regrouped several times each day on the road. This, plus the attentiveness of the guide and the sag driver, made it almost impossible to get lost, but it also meant the faster riders often waited for the laggards to arrive.
      I liked the other riders. I think few whiners choose tours in the mountains of Albania.

      What was the date of your tour?
      Sept. 13, 2018
      How many tours have you completed?
      More than ten.
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 2/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 2/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 4/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Elmo September 12, 2018

      Albanian wonderland

      Amazing country. Wonderful riding. Best guides Eerlis,Yuli and Ted. Recommend highly. Maybe best ever bike trip. 4 Americans. All else Canadians,Brits,Hollanders Aussies and Germans

      What was the date of your tour?
      August 38
      How many tours have you completed?
      8
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Jim n Anne June 30, 2018

      Not To Be Missed

      Albania is a wonderful cycling destination, and the tour company did an excellent job with the route, rental bikes, support, accommodations. The hotels/inns were amazing; comfortable, beautiful, excellent locations. The bikes were well suited to the terrain and conditions. It's impossible to overstate the beauty of the country, and a bicycle is the best way to appreciate the magnificent scenery. The roads are in good condition, but the inclines can be steep; it is necessary to train for this trip. But don't put off a visit to Albania; it's a complex, exotic country with easy-going, proud citizens who are eager for visitors.

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 2018
      How many tours have you completed?
      Several dozen
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      Oct 3rd
      How many tours have you completed?
      seven
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      27 August
      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Photo 1 (photo by Ashley A)
      • Photo 2 (photo by Ashley A)
      • Photo 3 (photo by Ashley A)
      • Photo 4 (photo by Ashley A)
      • Photo 5 (photo by Ashley A)
      • Photo 6 (photo by Ashley A)
      • BikeTours.com staff reply from Jim Johnson, founder and president September 4, 2017

        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.

      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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!

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 7, 2017
      How many tours have you completed?
      This one only
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Beautiful start Lake Ohrid (photo by Wendy)
      • Last day descent (photo by Wendy)
      • Cabin neighbors (photo by Wendy)
      • Gjirokaster (photo by Wendy)
      • Up from the sea! (photo by Wendy)
      • Lovely ending to a wonderful tour (photo by Wendy)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      11 -20 October 2016
      How many tours have you completed?
      1
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Ray1 September 7, 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      Aug 2016
      How many tours have you completed?
      8
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      April 2016
      How many tours have you completed?
      20
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      July 1 - 13, 2016
      How many tours have you completed?
      Only 1 international
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Excited to begin our cycle tour of Albania! (photo by Anne and Bob)
      • Very typical of Albanian countryside. (photo by Anne and Bob)
      • Ate more seafood in 3 days, than we have in a lifetime! (photo by Anne and Bob)
      • Chugging up a hill was more than rewarded with spectacular views! (photo by Anne and Bob)
      • Good looking roadblock! (photo by Anne and Bob)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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!

      How many tours have you completed?
      10+
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • The view from the hotel at Lake Ohrid (photo by Bowsermania)
      • Beautiful mountain passes...... (photo by Bowsermania)
      • Enver Hoxha, dictator in Albania for 40+ years, built over 700,000 of these to "protect" Albania from invasion. (photo by Bowsermania)
      • Beautiful, historic Gjirokaster, one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites you will visit.... (photo by Bowsermania)
      • Follow the switchbacks to the top.....your tough last day of cycling over the Llogara Pass....you WILL make it! (photo by Bowsermania)
      • Your reward at the end of the ride..... (photo by Bowsermania)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)

    UNESCO Sites of Albania

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