Highlights of the Balkans: Gems of Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania

    5/5 (2)
    7 nights | 29 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1038
    Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours
    5/5 (2)

    7 nights | 29 miles/day
    Self guided from EUR € 1038

    Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours

    Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

    • Highlights of the Balkans

      7 night self guided bike tour in Albania, Croatia and Montenegro

      This cycling tour takes you the star of the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik , and to hidden gems in Montenegro and Albania. On small side roads, you'll experience the diversity of nature, culture, and food of these three countries.

      A vehicle supports you to climb some of the steepest ascents and will bridge sections of main roads so you don't face significant traffic. In the evenings, enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle in cozy seaside towns. Overnights are in small hotels and private accommodation.

      Highlights

      • The biggest lake of the Balkans – Lake Skadar
      • Cycling down the popular Ladder of Kotor
      • Skadar in Albania
      • Local cuisine
      • The UNESCO sites: Kotor Bay, photo collection of Marubi (Shkodar), Dubrovnik
      • Konavle Valley in Croatia

      Learn More

      Learn more about self-guided tours.

    • Daily program

      Day 1: Arrival
      Individual arrival to Dubrovnik. From Dubrovnik you will transfer across the border to Bosnia & Hercegovina, where you will stay in the historic town of Trebinje. Tonight you'll have a welcome, bike fitting, and short briefing session about the program.
      Overnight in Trebinje.

      Day 2: Trebinje – Herceg Novi, Montenegro (27 miles/42km; total elevation gain 1969 ft/600m; total descent 2953 ft/900 m)
      You start your cycling tour right from the doorstep of your hotel. You cycle first across the villages in the Trebinje Valley, and then later you start a slow descent towards Herceg Novi.

      After 35 km you reach the border of Croatia/Montenegro. After passing into Montenegro, you roll into Herceg Novi. The last few kilometers you'll follow an old railway track, which once connected Herceg Novi with Dubrovnik and is now the town's seaside promenade.
      Overnight in Herceg Novi.

      Day 3: Highlights of the Bay of Kotor (27 miles/44km; total elevation gain/loss 272 feet/220 m)
      Cycle to the highlights of the Bay of Kotor. Continue to follow the old railway line until Zelenika. Along the very shoreline, you cycle to Risan and then Perast, the pearl of the bay. Take your time to explore the picturesque historical town and its beautiful church islands ( by shuttle boat).

      You'll have a transfer (1.5 hours, included in tour cost) along the beautiful coastline via Budva and Sv. Stefan in front of the old town of Kotor (you will return there on Day 7!). You'll arrive in Stari Bar for your evening.
      Overnight in Stari Bar.

      Day 4: Above the Adriatic – Skadar (29 miles/46 km; total elevation gain 984 feet/300 m; total descent 1,345 feet/410 m)
      You start directly from your accommodation. Along the road you can visit more than 2,000-year-old olive tree. On a secondary road above the Adriatic, you'll ride through the olive groves around Bar, the "oil capital" of Montenegro. You enjoy beautiful views riding through a vast valley until you meet the road between Ulcinj – Skadar, which you will follow until Skadar.
      Overnight in Skadar.

      Day 5: Albanian cycling experience (distance varies depending on which option you choose; see below)
      Both options give you time to explore the historical center of Skadar.
      Option A) Cycle to Drin river and reward yourself with a lunch at one of the best restaurant experiences Albania has to offer, the Slow-food restaurant “Mrizi I Zanave” (“Garden of the Fairy”). En route, you pass the mighty dam of River Drin and experience Albanian village life. Either choose to return the same way, or we can organize a return transfer for you (upon request, fee may apply). (20 miles/32km/ +492 feet/150m or, if you cycle back, 40miles/64km/ +984 fee/300m)

      Option B) Cycle the shores of Lake Skadar. Nice easy tour to fish restaurants at the shore of Lake Skadar. (14 miles/22km; total elevation gain 164 feet/50m)
      Overnight in Skadar.

      Day 6: Albania to Montenegro – Monastery route in Skadar Lake National Park (25 miles/40 km; total elevation gain 1,969 feet/600m; total descent 3,609 feet/1,100m)
      Meet your transfer in front of your accommodation. We shuttle you 1 hour across the border into Montenegro and cover the first major ascent (transferincluded in tour cost). A wonderful, but challenging panoramic tour awaits you today--you'll face three major ascents.

      You will follow a narrow road above Skadar Lake. While cycling across vineyards and through villages, you'll be struck again and again wonderful views of the lake and the dramatic Albanian Alps in the background. Ride through centuries-old majestic chestnut groves around the village of Ostros. Near the village of Murići you can see the small monastery islands, and in front of the village of Godinje there is Montenegrin "Alcatraz," a former prison dating back in the time of King Nikola. In Godinje, a traditional wine region, you can regain your strength before the last ascent on your way to Virpazar.

      You will be picked up in Virpazar and transferred to Cetinje (approximately 1 hour, included in tour cost). Explore the historical center of Cetinje before you are transferred to your hotel in National Park Lovćen.
      Overnight in Lovćen National Park.

      Day 7: Lovćen National Park – Serpentine road to Kotor (19 miles/30km; total elevation gain 118 feet/190m; total descent 870 feet/1400m)
      Today's tour takes you directly from the mountains to the sea along the famous Austro-Hungarian serpentine road, with the most beautiful panoramic views in the Bay of Kotor. You start from your hotel in the National Park.

      If you like, and for those who are really fit, you can also climb the last 200 altitude meters to the mausoleum of the most important historical personality of Montenegro, Petar Petrović Njegoš, before the descent. From the observation platform, you enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of almost the entire country of Montenegro.

      As soon as you have conquered the initial ascent, you roll downhill for more than 30 km. Along the road there will be several great spots for photo stops. You finish your tour directly in front of the Old Town of Kotor in front of your accommodation. Enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere in the Old Town of Kotor.
      Overnight in Kotor.

      Day 8: Departure
      Following breakfast, your cycling trip concludes. We'd be thrilled to help you extend your travels if you wish to add one day and return by another route on bicycle to Cavtat (or extend two more days and return via Bosnia/Hercegovnia to Cavtat).

      Surface and terrain

      This tour takes place on old railway track paths and side roads with low traffic. The terrain is rolling hills and includes regular climbs each day. Day 6 includes 3 significant and challenging climbs. Each day you will also enjoy thrilling downhills!

      While there is not a regular support vehicle for you on this self-guided tour, you will have a few scheduled transfers throughout the program to bridge the most difficult sections or to avoid heavily-trafficked roads.


      Hotels

      The following hotels are provided only as samples and may vary based on availability.

      You will have 3-star accommodation on this tour. Overnights are in small hotels and private accommodation.

      Hotel Cavtat or Haus am Meer, Cavtat
      www.hotel-cavtat.hr
      www.hausammeer-cavtat.com

      Guest House Villa Stari grad, Herceg Novi
      www.bedandbreakfast.eu

      Guest house Kula, Stari Bar
      www.kulastaribar.me

      Hotel Tradita, Shkoder
      www.hoteltradita.com

      Hotel Monte Rosa, Lovćen
      www.hotelmonterosa.me

      Hotel Babylon or Hotel Marija 2, Kotor
      www.apartments-babilon.hr
      www.hotelmarija.me

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


      How to get there

      Tour start
      Nearest airport: Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Tour end
      Nearest airport: Kotor, Montenegro

      Transfer from the airport in Dubrovnik to your first hotel and transfer from final hotel to the airport are available through the tour operator for an additional fee. Or you may arrange private transfers on your own.

      Tips on getting to and from your tour

    • Dates

      Daily, upon request: Apr 1-Oct 31, 2023

      Season 1: Apr 01, 2023 - Apr 30, 2023

      Season 2: May 01, 2023 - May 31, 2023, Oct 01, 2023 - Oct 31, 2023

      Season 3: Jun 01, 2023 - Jun 30, 2023, Sep 01, 2023 - Sep 30, 2023

      Season 4: Jul 01, 2023 - Aug 31, 2023

      Prices

      Tour package

      Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
      Per person, double occupancy €1038 €1163 €1213 €1288
      Single use room (1 person/1 room) €1263 €1388 €1438 €1513
      Solo traveler (1 person in party with single use room) €1613 €1738 €1788 €1863

      Bike Rentals

      Trek FX3 touring bike, 27 speed €120
      Road bike €160
      Electrically assisted bike €180

      Transfer

      Per vehicle/per way(up to 3 people), Dubrovnik Airport to Trebinje €50
      Per vehicle/per way(up to 3 people), Kotor to Podgorica airport €90
      Per vehicle/per way(up to 3 people), Kotor to Tivat airport €30
      Per vehicle(up to 3 people), Kotor to Dubrovnik airport €120

      Included services

      • 7 nights accommodation in 3-star hotels
      • Breakfast each morning
      • Luggage transfers
      • Roadbook and maps
      • Local emergency support by phone
      • First aid kit
      • Local cell phone
      • Transfers as listed in the Daily Program*

      *While there is not a regular support vehicle for you on this self-guided tour, you will have a few scheduled transfers throughout the program to bridge the most difficult sections or to avoid heavily-trafficked roads.


      Bike rentals

      Bikes available to rent on this tour include (must be reserved in advance at the time of booking):

      • TREK FX3 touring bike, 27-speeds
      • Road bike, Specialized Allez Elite

      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. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

      Helmets:
      Helmets are available on this tour; however, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.


      Tour Company

      • susan25 October 28, 2019

        Way better than we even anticipated!!!!!

        This tour is truly a collection of "gems"! Here's why we rated the tour a 5 star.
        1. the level of support from the tour guide was amazing! The tour includes being transported to several different locations so that all of your time is spent on truly beautiful rides. Our guide was very patient, informative and friendly!!
        2. We were on the extended version so we got to be in four countries in 8 days! we learned so much about the politics and history of the region.
        3. All of the accommodations were great but a couple were outstanding! Again we learned so much about the culture and cuisine of the different countries through these experiences.
        4. The routes deserve special mention. We were amazed to discover beautiful scenic rides day after day.
        5. The rides were quite easy, especially for seasoned riders. This did not bother us because the overall experience was so rich.
        6. We relied primarily on an app for directions. this was supported by written materials. we thought this was a great way to tour.
        7. Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina have yet to be discovered by most tourist. They are gorgeous, safe (for the most part) and inexpensive by the standards most Westerners are used to. This is a great time to see those incredible countries!
        We absolutely loved this trip. If you are considering, my advise is sign up! You will thank yourself!

        What was the date of your tour?
        October 6-14.
        How many tours have you completed?
        6
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        Somewhat easier
        Who is this tour suitable for?
        Solo travelers, Families with teens
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • BikeTours.com staff reply from Chloe October 30, 2019

          Susan- thanks kindly for the review. We are so, so glad that you enjoyed the tour - we too think that these countries are undiscovered gems!

        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 5/5 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)
      • Soloist October 7, 2019

        The most amazing cycle route

        What an amazing experience. This was my first self guided solo tour on a bicycle and I admit I was very nervous before the trip that I would get lost! The guides Drazen and Zoran ensures that did not happen talking me through each day and providing maps and detailed instructions. The scenery is phenomenal and I was blessed with perfect weather
        Prior to the trip the office team were quick to respond to any questions I had , in particular Brittany was a real gem.
        The only thing I would say if I had to list a negative would be the hotels. When I reviewed them online they seemed great but the room I actually got was often the worst one in the building. The first night in Cavtat I do believe the bathroom had been a former closet judging by the door and size. Not that i spent much time in a hotel room so it wasn’t a major concern.
        I wiould definitely recommend this company and now I’ve gained confidence in touring solo I’ll most likely use them again.

        What was the date of your tour?
        Sept
        How many tours have you completed?
        3
        Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
        Much easier
        Do you recommend this tour?
        Yes
        • 5/5 Value
        • 5/5 Included meals
        • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
        • 2/5 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)