Day 1- Arrival in Tirana
Transfer from Tirana airport to your hotel in Tirana. Today is a rest day to get over jet lag, but does include your tour orientation and bike fitting.
Day 2 – Cycle to Pogradec
2 hour transfer out of the city of Tirana to Ohrid National Park where you begin a lovely ride to Pogradec. Due to its historic culture and unique flora and fauna, in 1980, Pogradec was declared by UNESCO as a place of worldwide natural and cultural heritage. Tonight’s hotel overlooks the lake. (cycling distance: 28 km)
Day 3 – Cycle from Pogradec to Korçë
A climb from the lake into a high plateau bounded by mountains. Continue following the gorge for awhile until the hills open up and lead to a vast plain: a patchwork of farms and colors. (cycling distance: 52 km)
Day 4 – Cycle from Korçë to Gërmenjë
Leave behind the agricultural plateau of Korce, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wildflowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, as the route climbs into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass to the tranquil valley of Germenj. (cycling distance: 72 km)
Day 5 – Cycle from Gërmenjë to Përmet
A climb out from Germenj 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. Today’s route continues descending to Cashare and then follows the Corniche route high above the river to Permet situated on a bluff above the river. (cycling distance: 65 km)
Day 6 – Cycle from Përmet to Gjitrokastër
Continue along the valley towards Kelcyra, the distant shark’s tooth peaks, which guard another gorge. Ride between them to the confluence of the Drinos following yet another gorge which will open out into a wide plain containing the town of Gjirokastra (city of 1000 steps) high above on the right. Here you have a chance to explore its narrow cobbled alleys and Ottoman houses. (cycling distance: 70 km)
Day 7 – Cycle from Përmet to Gjitrokastër
Today you will cycle down into the valley heading south before climbing over several cols, through woodlands, gorges, forests, and hairpin bends on the beautiful descent to the sea. You will spend 2 nights in Sarandë. (cycling distance: 65 km)
Day 8 – Cycle from Sarandë to Butrint
Your final ride is a lovely loop ride to the archaeological wonder of Butrint, after which you’ll return to Sarandë for your last dinner in Albania.
Day 9 – Transfer to the port for a hydrofoil (25 minute) ride to Corfu, Greece. You can purchase the hydrofoil tickets an hour before you board.
We have chosen to depart from Corfu to avoid the 8 hours of driving back to Tirana. The airport in Corfu, Greece is a short distance from the port. You may choose to spend a night or two enjoying Corfu, or there are inexpensive flights to Athens and you can book your return flight home from Athens that evening.