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Albania, bike and sea
Tracking the southern coast and discovering history and stories
in the inland valleys
The tour is almost a circular path and runs through one of the most beautiful areas of Albania: the
south of the country. The first part of the tour follows the coastline, from north to the very south, at
the borderline of Greece, from where we will then head north again crossing some inland valleys.
The starting point is Fier, a city close to the archeological site of Apollonia. We will then cross the
countryside and the Narta’s lagoon to reach the city of Valona. From there we will go to the Llogorà
pass, the center of the homonymous natural park with thick pinewoods.
From the pass, with the sea on our side, we will follow the almost wild southern coast to the
archeological site of Butrinti. The sea is very clear and there are only a few small villages to stain
the landscape. They cultivate olive trees there, on a side of Aleppo pinewoods and oak-trees. We
will cross very different landscapes: dry and steep mounts, forests and cultivated terraces, badlands
with red or gray soil and canyon dug out by the rivers.
We will see a lot of water: torrents, sources, lakes and rivers.
Once we leave the coast, we will bike through some lovely inland valleys and stay in two stone
towns, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Gjirokastër and Berat. We will then explore a
wild valley, practicable only by SUV or mule, and close our day with a special experience: we will go
down the Osumi River with rafting boats through a unique uncontaminated canyon with sheer
cliffs and thin waterfalls.
Albania, in its original language Shqipëria, fascinates and conquers us, not only because of its
beautiful sea, the landscapes and the nature, but also for the smiling, respectful and hospitable
people you can come across with. These people are proud of their simple life, which to us looks like
a scene from 50 years ago. The oldest history of this country goes back to a great past of struggle
against the Turks, and the most recent and known history talks about the 40 years of very strong
oppression of the communist regime. The tradition, tied to a very strong morality, is very
important for this people but it got knotted to a surprising open mind.In this country there are 3
different religions in community together: the Orthodox Christian, the Orthodox and the Muslim.
In Albania there is no security problem and in almost every village, you can leave the bikes
unlocked and walk around at any time. The tour has an additional value because our Albanian
business partner Bashkim Hyka will come along and help us understand, appreciate and love his
UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the archaeological site of Butrinti, the old cities of Gjirokastër and
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights, 7 biking days.
Tour description: The tour is a 7 days bike route and one day travel with an off-road vehicle. The
trail follows secondary roads with low or short distances medium car traffic. The road bank is
mostly asphalt, with the exception of some short stretches of smooth dirt roads, with one more
challenging. The path goes up and down, and there are some steep climbs. On the last day we will
travel with the off-road vehicle up to a pass and than down to the other side of the valley, from
there we will raft down the Osumi River in canoes, (provided that the conditions are good).
Visits: the naturalistic site of ‘the Blue Eyes’; Guided visit of: Skanderberg museum in Krujë,
archeological sites of Apollonia and Butrinti, the fortress of Alì Pascià Tepelene in Porto Palermo,
the castle and the traditional house in Gjirokastër, and castle and the icon’s museum in Berat.
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Independent travel with arrival at Tirana’s airport, transfer to Krujë to visit the Skanderberg
Museum. Later transfer to Fier.
Apollonia > Vlorë/Valona – 60 km – about 100 meters height difference
Valona > Dhërmi – 40 km – about 700 meters height difference
The agency van will bring us to the Lhogorà Pass. For those who want to undertake the whole
venture, the full length to the Lhogorà Pass is 55 km with about 1150 meters height difference.
Dhërmi > Himarë – 25 km – about 400 meters height difference
Himarë > Sarande – 60 km – about 200 meters height difference
Sarande > Butrinti – 20 km – about 700 meters height difference
Butrinti > the Blue Eye – 50 km – about 300 meters height difference – The agency van will
then take us to Gjirokastër.
Gjirokastër > Përmet – 45 km – 20 km transfer – about 200 meters height difference
Përmet > Berat
With the agency van (all-terrain vehicle) + 2 hours of rafting along the canyon of Osumi River.
Berat > Tirana
The agency van will take us to Tirana’s airport, according to flights departure times.
The tour fee usually includes those services:
- 9 night with breakfast in a three and four stars hotels.
- 9 three-course-dinners (or more) with typical local recipes, one drink (1/4 liter wine or 300
cl beer), tap water and bread are included. Fish dinners with an alternative for those who
don’t have fish.
- 8 light lunches at small restaurants on the way (one main course or salad and water).
- 2 tour guides, 1 by bike and one with the agency van.
- Hotel city tax.
- Visits (see the program).
- River crossing on raft, transfers when needed.
- Agency van, which follows the whole tour in order to guarantee: the luggage transport
service and the assistance during the tour.
- Insurance for medical matters covering up to 100.000€
- Tour cancelation insurance.
- Color tour handbook with historical and artistic information and information about the tour
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Bike renting: we can provide excellent mountain bikes for the entire duration of the tour. Bikes are
given and handed in on the spot. Those taking their own bike may leave the case at our rental store.
Rafting (optional): the price for 2/3 hours raft is 40€. Rafting is possible only if the weather
conditions are good enough. This service is provided by Albania Rafting Group
www.albrafting.com. Each canoe has 2 guides and carries 4 to 6 people; we provide: wetsuit,
lifejacket, helmet. Those participating need to sign the dimiss Simonetta Bike Tours from any
How to book
This trip has already been tested and can be adapted to small or bigger groups. We propose guided
tours leaded by our guides who speak english, german, french, spanish and portuguese. We can
provide this trip also without leaders as long as the group can follow the tracks using a gps since
itineraries develop on broads that are not always easy to find.
On demand we can also provide other services as, for instance, a bus following the group and much
more. Big groups are kindly invited to book in advance.
To contact us:
Speaking english – spanish – french
Anna Magrin – email@example.com
Speaking german – portuguese
Elisa Zambelli – firstname.lastname@example.org
Simonetta Bike Tours - Cicloavventure per turisti curiosi
Vicoletto cieco San Carlo, 2 – 37129 Verona – Italy | fax +39 045 711 17 61
p.iva 03969700230 | Registro Imprese di Verona REA CCIAA n. 380687
Autorizzazione della Provincia di Verona n. 6382 del 13.12.2010
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