Day 1. Arrival, transfer to Pogradec, 140km / 2.5 hr
We will meet in Tirana from where we will have a transfer to Pogradec, a small city in the east of the country situated at the magnificent lake of Ohrid.
Free time to make a walk along the boulevard in the afternoon before dinner.
Overnight: hotel in Pogradec.
Day 2 . Cycle to Korçe, 50 km
This morning we leave the lake behind us, and climb to an elevated plateau enjoying some great views on the blue waters of the majestic lake surrounded by mountains. The road then continues towards Korça pedaling through vast fields, and small farms. Upon arrival in Korca there will be some time to make an evening stroll in the center along the highlights of the city before dinner. At dinner you might want to try a glass of the famous locally-brew Korca beer.
Overnight: hotel in Korça.
Day 3. Cycle to Germenj, 78 km
After a good breakfast we will leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korce, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a diverse landscape. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass(1159m) to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley. Upon arrival there will be some free time until we have a dinner of local specialties.
Overnight: wooden bungalows, Germenj
Day 4. Cycle to Permet, 60 km
Our final destination for today is the picturesque village of Permet. We will climb out from Germenj to a high grassy plateau surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the Vjosa River. Then we’ll coast down through a spectacular gorge, which we will follow until we reach the village of Permet, situated on a bluff above the river.
Overnight: hotel in Permet
Day 5. Cycle to Gjirokaster, 70 km
We will start the day by continuing our route along the valley towards Kelcyra (the distant shark's tooth peaks), which guard another gorge. Ride between them to the concourse of the Drinos river, following yet another gorge. The gorge opens up into a wide plain near the town of Gjirokastra, also known as the city of a thousand steps. We will wander through the narrow cobbled streets of this UNESCO World Heritage city, famous for its Ottoman architecture, until it is time for dinner.
Overnight: hotel in Gjirokaster.
Day 6. Cycle to Saranda, 65 km
We will head South and climb steadily through woodlands, wee gorges, forests and hairpin bends, after which we will descent until we will finally reach Saranda at the Ionian sea. This city is considered the gateway to southern Albania, sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and close to the ancient remains of Butrint. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is one of the county’s most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans. We’ll cycle out to the site this afternoon to pay a visit, before returning to Saranda for the evening.
Overnight: hotel in Saranda.
Day 7. Cycle to Qeparo, 70 km
We start climbing steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau. Then it's over hills and into bays and around headlands, keeping the stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left before descending to the long beach and the bay of Qeparo.
Optional evening walk to the old village of Qeparo on top of the hill to enjoy a wonderful sunset.
Overnight: Guesthouse in Qeparo.
Day 8. Cycle to Dhermi, 40 km | Transfer to Berat, 120 km
Today we will head further north along the coast, climbing over several cols through woodlands, wee gorges, forests and hairpin bends and on the descent to the most famous beach in Albania, Dhermi beach. After a lunch at the beach we will have a transfer to Berat, "the city of a thousand windows".
This is perhaps the most beautiful town in Albania, with its cobbled alleys between the white-walled houses and the old fortress. We will enjoy the rest of the afternoon wondering through the old streets before dinner.
Overnight in hotel in Berat.
Day 9. Transfer to Tirana, Departure 100km / 2hrs
Before we head back to Tirana this morning, we pay a visit to the Onufri Iconographic Museum, located in the sanctuary of St Mary’s Church in the inhabited quarter of Berat Castle. Home to a remarkable collection of religious paintings, the museum is named after a famous 16th century icon painter whose works were characterized by post-Byzantine and Venetian influences.
We will then return to Tirana where the tour ends.
If you wish to do this tour on a different date, please contact us via the enquire now button. We have guides who can speak Albanian, English, Italian, French, German, Italian, Dutch or Spanish.”