East to South
Day 1: Arrival
After checking into the hotel in Tirana, a nice introduction to the Albanian capital will follow.
Day 2: Transfer from Tirana, to Pogradec.
After the morning transfer to the Albanian-Macedonian border you will start to drive to the lake, stoping for lunch at the UNSCO town of Ohrid. After lunch, the tour continues
along the shore all the way to Tushemisht, the other Albanian-Macedonian border. (Elevation: 62 meters/203 ft)
Day 3: Pogradec to Korcë, 32 mi. (51 km)
Morning the group leads from the lake to a high plateau bounded by mountains. You will follow the gorge for a time until the hills open to a vast plain, a patchwork of individual farms and colors. Final destination today is Korcë, high in the Albanian hinterlands. The locals are quite influened by the close proximity to Greece in more than one way. Many are fluent in both Greek and Albanian. (Elevation: 412 m/1352 ft)
Day 4: Korcë to Gërmenjë, 44 mi. (71 km)
Leaving behind the agricultural plateau of Korcë , the route climbs steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wild flowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass (1159 m) to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley. (Elevation: 1171 m/3842 ft)
Day 5: Gërmenjë to Përmet, 32 mi. (52 km)
Cycling out of Germenj the tour leads to a high grassy plateau surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. The descent continues to Cashare and the route then follows the corniche route high above the river to Përmet situated on a bluff above the river, famed for its cuisine and its strong raki. After lunch, you can take a short ride to the thermal springs for a swim! (Elevation: 614 m/2014 ft)
Day 6: Përmet to Gjorokastër, 44 mi. (70 km)
Your Albanian bike tour continues along the valley towards Kelcyra and the distant shark tooth peaks, which hide a further gorge. You will ride between the peaks to the confluence of the Drinos following yet another gorge which opens out into a wide plain with the town of Gjirokastra (City of 1000 steps) high above, perched on the steep side of the Drino Valley. This is a UNESCO World Heritage comprised of hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies, and whitewashed stone walls.You will want to explore the narrow cobbled alleys of this magical city. (Elevation: 300 m/984 ft)
Day 7: Gjirokastër to Saranda, 43 mi. (70 km)
The gateway to southern Albania, Saranda, lies along the Ionian coast, 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. (Elevation: 725 m/2379 ft)
Day 8: Saranda to Himarë, 32 mi. (52 km)
The morning brings a roller coaster ride that begins as the mist is burned off by the sun, climbing steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau, through cols into bays and around headlands. You will cyle with the stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left before descending to the long beach and the bay of Himarë. (Elevation: 1064 m/3491 ft)
Day 9: Himarë to Vlore, 40 mi. (65 km)
Today’s route is as challenging as it is spectacular. Cycling up to the Llogara pass 1000m above the blue water of the Ionian sea and its National Park , home to black pine, Eurasian otter and golden eagles. The park is a scenic expanse of protected woodland that encompasses the forests on the northern side of the Llogora Pass. After lunch we cycle downhill all the way to Vlore. (Elevation: 1658 m/5440 ft)
Day 10: Departure – Transfer from Vlore to Tirana Airport
Early transfer to Tirana. Depending on the flight you may have time to visit the capital and the Nation Museum. Transfer to Tirana Airport.