Albania

E-bike Across Southern Albania

Trip code: C07AB

Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

Headwater
Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • A wild escape in Europe's rising star - Nat Geographic on Albania in 2024's top 30 destinations
  • E-bike the dramatic mountains around Lake Ohrid to the coastal beauty of Albania's Riveria
  • Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint and visit Korce, fondly known as the little Paris of Albania
  • Stay in the intriguing cities of Pogradec and Gjirokaster with their well preserved Ottoman architecture and Old Bazaars

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Headwater navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

If you're searching for something a little different from your next European adventure, the contrast of the jagged Albanian Alps against the clear Ionian coastline is attracting more and more visitors to its relatively quiet tourism scene.

Our 7 night e-bike trip takes you on a journey through Southeast Albania, an area renowned for its scenic beauty and historical richness. Starting from the shores of Lake Ohrid, you wind along the rural mountain roads that border Greece, passing the wild Vjosa River surrounded by the peaks of the Gramoz, Trebeshina and Nemercka ranges. You'll find UNESCO World Heritage sites aplenty including the Ottoman town of Gjirokaster and the archaeological marvel of Butrint. As you grow ever closer to the inviting turquoise waters, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas as they welcome you to the pristine beaches of the Albanian Riviera.

Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to visit traditional Albanian villages where you can immerse yourself in the culture, interacting with local people and enjoying authentic Albanian hospitality. Taste regional delicacies, from hearty mountain cuisine to fresh seafood along the coast, of course accompanied by the local wines and raki (a traditional Albanian spirit); these are a must-try!

This two-wheeled journey through Southeast Albania is a perfect blend of adventure and discovery. From the serene mountains to the captivating coastline, and from historical UNESCO sites to archaeological wonders, this trip promises an unforgettable experience filled with natural beauty and cultural richness whilst avoiding the larger crowds.

Terrain

This route is mostly on roads with low traffic density. There are some stretches on roads with traffic, especially near the coast.

READ MORE

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Tirana

After arriving in Tirana, enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Pogradec on the shores of Lake Ohrid. The old town, known for its Ottoman and Balkan architecture, is a treasure trove of historical charm. Notable landmarks include the 2400-year-old castle, the royal tombs of Selca, and the settlements of Lini.

You stay at Hotel Millenium.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotel Millenium, Pogradec

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, Hotel Millenium features a large terrace overlooking the lake from which you can enjoy the scenic backdrop of the Drilon National Park. The on-site restaurant serves a mix of traditional Albanian and Italian cuisine. All rooms are equipped with A/C, TV, Minibar, and hairdryer.

Day 2: Pogradec to Korce (50km/31.1mi)

Cycle along the shores of Lake Ohrid into the countryside surrounding Pogradec. Following the road that connects the lake with the city of Korce, you'll pass a collage of fields where local farmers attend to their crops. Often referred to as the little Paris of Albania, Korce has a rich history of artistic traditions showcased by its array of museums. The Old Baazar is a highlight with its well-preserved architecture, characterised by low-lying houses and picturesque cobblestone streets.

You stay at Hotel Vila Mano.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotel Vila Mano, Korçë

WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Once a private residence to the ancestors of the current owners, the Vila Mano has been lovingly restored to its former glory. The property was returned to the family at the end of the last century having been seized and used by the communist dictator Enver Hoxha. Located in the centre of Korçë and within walking distance of the major sites. All rooms are equipped with A/C, TV and Minibar.

Day 3: Korce to Sotire (69km/42.9mi)

Leaving behind the city of Korce, you cycle along quiet roads through remote countryside hugging the Gramoz Mountain range which borders Albania and Greece, passing traditional Albanian villages where time seems to have stood still.

You stay at Farma Sotira.

hotel details

 equivalent

Farma Sotira, Sotira

Hairdryer
WiFi


Experience authentic Albania at Farma Sotira farmstay in Germenj-Shelegur National Park. Located at an altitude of 1,000m and surrounded by the untouched forests of south-eastern Albania, enjoy peaceful surroundings as you discover local traditions and speciality organic dishes. The on-site restaurant sources more than 70% of its ingredients from the farm itself. From fresh fish, meat, and dairy products to locally grown vegetables, every dish is prepared with the freshest and tastiest ingredients.

Day 4: Sotire to Permet (65km/40.4mi)

Cycling through pine forest, you descend to the Vjose River, which runs untamed from source to sea. Cycling along its banks, you will experience the serene and unspoiled beauty of one of Europe's last free-flowing rivers. Along the Vjosa River, the countryside is dotted with small farms and expansive vineyards. Now close to the southern tip of Albania, the mountains, and villages in Greece ever-present on the horizon. On arrival in Petran, you have the option to explore the nearby thermal springs of Benje renowned for their therapeutic properties. Continue to the city of Permet, where you'll be captivated by the delightful aromas of local fruit and can sample the unique and excellent flavours of the region's wine and raki.

You stay at Villa Permet.

hotel details

 equivalent

Villa Përmet, Përmet

Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon
Safe


Villa Përmet stands as a testament to the rich architectural heritage of Përmet, classified among the Albanian 'Historical Houses'. The hotel is an 1800s villa completely restored by the owners adorned with 54 windows and features striking stone arches and dual entrances. Enjoy a drink on the terrace or dine in the villa's restaurant, which serves traditional Përmet family recipes. All rooms are equipped TV, air conditioning, minibar, safe, telephone and free Wi-Fi.

Day 5: Permet to Gjirokaster (62km/38.5mi)

Today is an easier ride, leaving Permet you continue along the bright blue waters of the Vjose River. Cutting through the Trebeshina and Nemercka mountain ranges via the picturesque Kelcyra Gorge you reach Gjirokaster. Known as the 'Stone City' due to its distinctive Ottoman-era architecture, Gjirokaster is a UNESCO World Heritage site that captivates visitors with its historical significance. Home to the second largest fortifications in the Balkans, Gjirokastra Castle rises on the hilltop overlooking the city offering panoramic views of the Drino River valley. Wander the cobblestone streets and visit the old Bazar, a vibrant place to experience local culture.

You stay at Hotel Cajupi.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotel Cajupi, Gjirokastra

WiFi
TV
Aircon


Built in 1964 by the communist regime, Hotel Cajupi has remained a significant landmark in Gjirokastra. The hotel’s interior is rich with cultural and artistic touches, including wood-carved tables and chairs crafted by local artisans and original paintings by Gjirokastra's famous painter, Bashkim Ahmeti. The hotel has been recently renovated to provide modern amenities while retaining its historical charm. All rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, A/C, TV and private bathroom.

Day 6: Gjirokaster to Sarande (68km/42.3mi)

A short transfer will bring you to the Muzina Pass. From here you cycle through countryside to reach Butrint National Park, where you have the opportunity to visit the best archaeological site in Albania. Crossing the Vivari Channel on a short ferry ride you reach the UNESCO site of Butrint. Over the centuries, Butrint has served as a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric. Walk through the ruins of theatres, temples, and basilicas, and marvel at the blend of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian influences that have shaped this region. As you continue your ride, enjoy views of Lake Butrint, the Ionian Sea, and Corfu. Arrive in the coastal city of Sarande on the Albanian Riviera.

You stay at Hotel Nertili.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotel Nertili, Sarande

WiFi
TV
Aircon


Affording a seafront position, the Hotel Nertili features a private beach area and restaurant with terrace boasting sea views. The Restaurant showcases both traditional and international flavours, with a selection of classic favourites and creative dishes. All rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, A/C, TV and private bathroom.

Day 7: Sarande to Himare (53km/32.9mi)

Leaving the city of Sarande, today begins with steady climb northwards following Albania's beautiful coastal road along the glistening Ionian Sea. Descending to the long beach and bay of Potam before arriving at the fishing town of Himare. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the pebbled beach where both locals and tourists come to enjoy the beautiful turquoise water.

You stay at Hotel Dhima.

hotel details

 equivalent

Hotel Dhima, Himare

Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon


Adjacent to the pebbly Guma Beach, Hotel Dhima features a beach bar with a selection of refreshments as well as an on-site a la carte pizza restaurant. Rooms offer a private balcony either with mountain or sea view and free Wi-Fi, A/C, TV and private bathroom.

Day 8: Depart Himare

After breakfast, leave Himare and the beautiful Albanian Riviera.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £142.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £142.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from London Luton to Tirana with Wizz Air
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Extra legroom seats available
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: Wizz Air London Luton to Tirana, then private transfer to hotel in Pogradec (2hrs 30mins).

Return: Private transfer from hotel in Himare to Tirana Airport (3hrs 30mins) then Wizz Air Tirana to London Luton.

Extra legroom seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am tomorrow) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Luke was very helpful

22 Jun 2024

Excellent service from Lauren.

18 Nov 2023

Very helpful and knowledgeable lady assisting me. No pressure and responded as promised. So far so good.

26 Oct 2023

Megan is excellent

Karen Trogstad, 16 Jul 2023


Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2+
Moderate plus

Headwater
Navigation App

7 nights from £1329

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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