Albania  Bike Tour Reviews (page 3)

  • UNESCO Sites of Albania
    (4/5) David19 September 29, 2018

    A vigorous adventure

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (4/5) BabyBoomer June 27, 2019

    Albania-Review by a Baby Boomer

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (4/5) psteckler September 15, 2019

    Excellent tour with lots of climbing

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    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
    • 4/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • UNESCO Sites of Albania
    (4/5) Helayn October 7, 2019

    More than I expected

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (4/5) Lady Di October 9, 2019

    Interesting trip

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (4/5) Guy Levy 10 months ago

    Great trip with some annoying snags

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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
  • UNESCO Sites of Albania
    (4/5) Patricia ONeill 10 months ago

    Albania September 2023

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • (4/5) David Hodgson 9 months ago

    Challenging cycling

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    •  (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)
  • (4/5) Stephanie H 2 months ago

    Such a beautiful country!

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    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
    • 4/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • Balkan Treasures
    (4/5) Andres Volosin July 16, 2023

    Is all about Montenegro!

    · Balkan Treasures

    Overall was a good trip.
    Organizer lack on some details and punctuality.
    Hotels are OK. Request upgrades for locations and quality since is a small $ difference but big jump y confort. Albania part should be removed. Not the best routes.

    What was the date of your tour?
    July 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    Croatia, Albania, Montenegro
    • 4/5 Value
    • 1/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 3/5 Route selection
  • Balkan Treasures
    (4/5) Mark Mering 9 months ago

    Nice trip through the Balkans

    · Balkan Treasures

    Very beautiful country. Nice people in all of the countries we visited. Hotels were nice. Too many transfers . Some of the roads had no shoulders and a lot of traffic and were not fun to ride on .

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    No
    Countries included in this tour?
    Croatia, Albania, Montenegro
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 4/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • Balkan Treasures
    (4/5) Mary Lynn Griff 2 weeks ago

    Our Balkan Adventure

    · Balkan Treasures

    We really enjoyed our bike tour of Croatia, Montegreno and Albania. The hotels were great as were the transfers. My notes of caution; first I suggest bringing mirrors and/or suggest they be provided. This tour was entirely on narrow roads with little or no shoulder so being able to see what is coming behind you is better for your safety. Drivers were very patient for the most part but a few of our patty were not used to riding on roads with traffic however after a few days they adapted well. The first day was the most difficult in my opinion but none of the days were as difficult as I had myself mentally (and physically) prepared for but for the casual rider I suggest the e-bike option. Otherwise, prepare for long climbs of 8-10%. I am 6'4" and my road bike was a bit too small but workable however the tires were not worn but had very little trend and were very slippery on some surfaces especially the decent into Kotor. If it had been raining it would have been very unsafe. I suggest tires with a bit more tread to provide better footing. Lastly, a couple of our hotels had live music that normally would have been great however it was very hot during our tour (100 degrees) so we were up and out early before the heat set in making the live music at 11:00 pm not as fun. The navigation was spotty on my android but others had better connections on their phones. All in all, a great trip. We loved finding our own way and being in control of our time and pace. We look forward to doing another trip sometime soon.

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 2024
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Countries included in this tour?
    Croatia, Albania, Montenegro
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
  • (3/5) WSTraveler October 22, 2019

    An Unusual Experience Not to Be Repeated

    · UNESCO Sites of Albania

    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
    Countries included in this tour?
    Albania
    • 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)
  • Balkan Treasures
    (3/5) Kenneth (Doug) Mering 10 months ago

    Good trip but issues

    · Balkan Treasures

    Trouble with maps provided. Map did always start and stop at lodging location. Not always clear on th route on the map. Did not always feel safe on the road. Scenery was great. Enjoyed it but may not do another biketours trip without a lot more research on the routes safety.

    Countries included in this tour?
    Croatia, Albania, Montenegro
  • Balkan Treasures
    (3/5) Julia Bouchard 9 months ago

    Beautiful countryside

    · Balkan Treasures

    The countries we visited were awesome. The local tour operator left a lot to be desired. Before leaving the US we tried multiple times to download the gps routes onto our phones. Biketours.com stated they do not support the app we were supposed to use…..when we arrived in Trebinje our first day, none of us were able to see the routes…after phone calls with local operator, he walked us through using an app with his username and password-less than ideal. We eventually had the routes on our phones,but no way to mount phone on handlebars. Eventually we got one phone holder that immediately dropped the phone while spinning around!
    Initially I was given a bike that was way too small. Tour operator wanted me to use it for the first day which had the longest climb of the week. Eventually he did supply a proper fitting bike that night. We never had anyone to check the bikes with us….
    Many of the hotels were quite nice but when we were transferred to Stari Bar, the hotel owner said we did not have reservations. He gave us awful rooms, over the kitchen noisey, sink that didn’t drain…..husband got food poisoning from the restaurant. Albania was disappointing because the lake was so dirty and riding in the city was dangerous The Balkans are awesome but the local tour operator was not up to the standard I expected and received on previous bike tours.com trips

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat easier
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Families with teens
    Countries included in this tour?
    Croatia, Albania, Montenegro
    • 3/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 1/5 Ease of navigation
    • 1/5 Tour documents
    • 1/5 Local tour company services
    • 1/5 Route selection