|Departure Date: from 01-03-2016 to 31-10-2016||Status: Open for booking||Price: 653 €||Duration: 7 days|
Explore one of Europe’s most remote and exotic destinations on bike. The tour combines a round trip of Tyrana’s scenic outskirts with a further mountain biking experience through the Albanian countryside. Getting in touch with the local culture and witnessing the beauty of a unique landscape will make you truly feel the spirit of Albania.
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Warming up around Tirana’s home mountain
The first biking day takes us with the cable car up to Tirana’s home mountain, which we cross through an old communist foot path, before riding its back side with a breathtaking view on a rocky donkey trail. After lunch in a peaceful garden restaurant with its own spring water, we continue over the pass of Qafe Priske, where the downhill descent through the remote valleys and rolling vineyards of Lunder brings us back to Tirana. Welcome to Albania, land of 77% mountains!
(Cablecar – behind Dajti Mountain – Qafe Priske – Lunder – Tirana, pure riding time 4.5h, approx. 35km, 800m + / 1400m -, single trails, dirt/gravel road, little asphalt, technical level: medium)
Day 3: "On the old trade road into Albanian countryside"(Overnight stay in Shulbater)
On the second day we start a 2 day-trip (with overnight stay out of Tirana) into Albania’s countryside, showing a stark but tranquil contrast to the modern world of Tirana. On the old trade road "Rruga Arberit" - a gravel road for 4x4s and us - we slowly climb the mountain chain separating the capital from central Albania. After passing the small mining town of Klos we reach our night stop Shulbater over some asphalt with little traffic and peaceful surroundings. A glass or two of "Raki" bring us a well earned sleep.
(Tirana - Rruga Arberit - Klos – Shulbater, pure riding time 7h, approx. 60km, 1800m + / 1800m -, mainly dirt/gravel road, some asphalt (last 10km), technical level: easy )
Day 4: "Passing water springs and mountain lakes back to Tirana"
After a breakfast full of energy we climb the pass of Qafe Shtame, where a mineral water spring provides thousands of liters every day. From this wild mountain pass a new built asphalt road brings us down for a short piece, before we are back to gravel leading us through remote villages and the mountain lake of Bovilla back to Tirana. A very diverse ride!
(Burrel – Qafe Shtame - Liqeni Bovilla – Tirana, pure riding time 7h, approx. 70km, 1800m + / 1900m -, mainly dirt/gravel road, small part asphalt, technical level: easy)
Day 5: "Rocking the city limits"
Today we rock the city limits in two shorter, but very enjoyable rides: The first one takes us for a steep 30min climb up to the ridge of Dajti mountain, from where we start crossing its flank and descend on a rocky gravel road to the fresh water springs of Gurore. After lunch comes a diamond: Climbing up to the old communist monument on Tiranas southern hills, taking in the city view in the afternoon light, before flying over probably one of Albania’s best singletrail back down to the city.
(Tirana – Shish Tufine – Tujan – Gurore – Tirana + Tirana – Lapidari – Kombinati – Tirana, pure riding time 4h, single trails and dirt/gravel road, technical level: medium )
Day 6: "Wild rivers, remote villages, and big peace"
On this last day we travel to some dried out mountain rivers and remote villages in the east of Tirana. Complete remoteness and silence is around us (although only 10km from the city), before we reach the tiny mountain village of Klloike for lunch. Local cheese, some grilled sausages, raw vegetables and a cold drink– after biking it tastes like heaven. In the afternoon a diverse road takes us down a scenic mountain before coming back to Tirana. Time for some byebye beers in a downtown bar, cheers to our biking experience in wild and welcoming Albania!
(Cablecar – Qafe priske – Selbe –Kllojke - Pelumbas – Tirana, pure riding time 5.5h, approx. 60km, 1500m + / 2100m -, mix of dirt/gravel road and single trails, technical level: medium)
Day 7: Departure
Included in the price:
►Guidance - All days guided by experienced, passionate, local and multilingual bike guide(s)
►Bikes – Quality Mountain bikes with front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Deore or higher components ►Accommodation – Accommodation for 5x nights in comfortable hotel in double or single rooms (surcharge 60 Euro) with Breakfast, Aircondition, TV, Wifi etc in Tirana, and for 1x night in a traditional guesthouse in the village of Shulbater. In Tirana a slightly cheaper (Backpacker hostel or private apartments, possibly with multi-bed/dormitory rooms) or then also a luxury (4star or more) accommodation solution is available upon request. ►Food – 6x hearty breakfasts in hotels, 5x lunch from provided lunch packs or in simple rural restaurants, and 5x dinner in delicious Albanian or Italian restaurants.
Not included: ► Transport to and from starting point (Tirana) ►travel insurance► alcoholic beverages ►meals (arrival day dinner) ► tips
Available upon request: ► 4x4 assistance vehicle during day tours