Albania  Bike Tour Reviews

  • UNESCO Sites of Albania
    (5/5) Bowsermania April 29, 2016

    Don't Wait For Albania To Be "Discovered"

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Anne and Bob July 18, 2016

    Albania: best unheard of destination in Europe!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) JimI August 11, 2016

    Great Trip Great Biking

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Ray1 September 7, 2016

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

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Lilia October 26, 2016

    The time of my life.

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Wendy June 15, 2017

    First bike tour & trip over seas!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Ashley A September 3, 2017

    My favorite trip ever!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
    • 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
    (5/5) riverhiker October 16, 2017

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

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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
  • (5/5) Jim n Anne June 30, 2018

    Not To Be Missed

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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
  • (5/5) Elmo September 12, 2018

    Albanian wonderland

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) kath November 12, 2018

    Albania, who knew!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Pedal October 7, 2019

    Wonderful surprise

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Timr October 27, 2019

    Beautiful Country, Great Cycling Excellent Value

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Elaine October 28, 2019

    A Fabulous Trip

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Bill P November 1, 2019

    Better than I ever imagined.

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Rhonda Aliah August 3, 2022

    Fantastic adventure!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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.

    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
  • (5/5) Roxana Miranda September 21, 2022

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

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • UNESCO Sites of Albania
    (5/5) Bob Anderson October 25, 2022

    Best Albania bike group!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Roberta Lowe May 27, 2023

    UNESCO Sites of Albania

    · 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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (5/5) Jeff Pinkerton June 6, 2023

    .

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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 

    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania