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Overview

UNESCO Cycling Tour

This tour is for fit people who enjoy cycling into the nature and history of the southern coast, known as the “Albanian Riviera.” We will pass through scenic natural parks, home to some of Albania’s most astounding landscapes. We will visit fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stop in picturesque villages, and most of all enjoy the active adventure of Albania by bike. 

Itinerary

UNESCO Cycling Tour

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.


*Private tour
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.”

Essential Info

UNESCO Cycling Tour

Participant guidelines
These tours can be physically challenging, and demand you to be in good physical shape. The roads are not always in the best of conditions and may contain some big ascents and descents.
Prior cycling experience is an advantage, but not necessary for those who are in good shape. You must remember that you will bike with a group of people, partially in city traffic, so you will be moving in single file formation and proceeding quite slowly in the pedestrian area. Also, you must remember that it's always better to stop when you are not sure how to interpret the signs or moves of other vehicles on the street.

What to bring:
Breathable lightweight waterproof gear (gore-tex, sympatex, etc), fleece/wool pullover, wind-stopper jacket and gloves, small backpack with rain coverage, cap, sun block, mosquito repellent, head lamp, water bottle, sunglasses

Land only
The “OA” tours are Land Only; the prices do not include your flight, nor transport to and from the airport to hotel. You must make your own way to the starting point of every tour. If you would like us to arrange a transfer for you from the airport to your hotel or from your hotel to the beginning point of the tour please let us know at booking or contact us via the enquiry form.

FAQs

UNESCO Cycling Tour

Are Airport transfers included in the tour?
Our set departure tours do not include the airport transfers, if you wish to book an airport transfer,
please mention this at your booking form. The price from the airport to Tirana is 30 euro (max 3
pax).

With whom will I share my room?/
Our set departure tours are based on twin sharing rooms. We will make sure that you will only
share your room with a person of the same sex. In case you want to share your room with a specific
persons you know, please let us know at booking.

Can I bring my own bike?
You can either bring your own bike, or rent a bike from us.

What is the cost for a rental bike?
A rental bike cost 15 euro's per day

Does this tour has a guaranteed departure?
For the cycling tour Accursed mountains we need a min number of 7 participants to guarantee a
departure. You can check our departure dates and see what departures are guaranteed or contact
us for further information. 48 hours prior to departure we will let you know if there are enough
participants to run a tour, in case there are not enough participants you can either choose to cancel
or pay a small group supplement.

What is the beginning time of the tour?
09:00 o'clock in the morning we will meet in central Tirana

Can I bring my kids along?
Unfortunately we do not have small bikes and therefore children need to be big enough for an adult
bike. The min age for set departure tours is 18.

How will the luggage be transported?
This tour has a support vehicle to carry the luggage and, when needed, up to 4 bikes and riders.

In case your question is not answered yet, after reading the FAQ, please feel free to contact us via
the enquiry form

Availability & Prices

UNESCO Cycling Tour

Included
- 8 nights hotel accommodation, based on shared twin rooms
- Breakfast and dinner each full day of the tour
- A professional English-speaking guide riding with the group
- Transfers between the airport and hotels (at specific times only)
- Transfer to the historical city of Kruja on the last day
- Support vehicle with bi-lingual driver, to carry luggage and up to 4 bikes and riders
- Entrance Butrint

Excluded
- Drinks
- Snacks
- Lunches
- Breakfast on Day 1
- Dinner on Day 9
- Bicycles (2011 Giant Roam 1, X-Road) Helmets and other bike accessories (€15,- p.p. per day)
- Entry fees at any attractions other than Butrint
- Bank transfer fees
- If you wish to pay by credit card there is a 4.5% service charge over the paid amount.

Online bookings

All bookings and reservations are handled by our whl.travel partner websites:
Albania Hotels
Tirana Hotels
Shkoder Hotels
Whl.travel offer total online security for your booking.