Intriguing southeast-europe-tour 2014 albania included


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Intriguing southeast-europe-tour 2014 albania included

  1. 1. INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE There is something exhilarating about riding in uncharted territory. Our Intriguing Southeast Europe Tour endeavors to take riders to places offthe-beaten tourist track. We start in the vibrant city of Belgrade, Serbia, heading south into Bulgaria, across a carst and volcanic landscape to Sofia. From there, we ride further south through the wide rolling plains of Macedonia. Finally, we ride a loop through the towering and untouched mountains of Albania, with one day spent travelling on what many believe to be the last stretch of undeveloped Mediterranean coast. If you are a rider who doesn’t mind tackling a few challenging roads, handling what-comes from visiting countries new to tourism, and getting a bit of attention from locals who don’t see many riders, then this tour is for you. Our experienced, multi-lingual guides will take care of you on this adventure. Be one of the first on a guided motorcycle tour to experience riding in this wonderful part of Eastern Europe. TOUR MAP GENERAL OVERVIEW DATES in 2014 May 28 - June 11 August 24 - September 07 or any time May - Oct for Self guided tour. COUNTRIES Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo TOUR STARTS / ENDS Belgrade, Serbia REST DAYS 3; Sofia, Ohrid, Sarande ROUTE Mileage: 2.500 km (1.600 miles) Daily rides: 120 - 300 km (75 - 190 miles). The whole tour runs on asphalt. HIGHLIGHTS Belgrade, Riding in the mountains of Albania, Sofia, Rila Monastery, Ohrid Lake, Kopaonik National Park, Butrint ACCOMMODATION Very comfortable, middle class hotels, often the best in the area. 3 or 4 star. DAY BY DAY Belgrade ROMANIA CR BOSNIA& HERZEGOVINA Day 1: Arrival in Belgrade Day 2: Belgrade - Belogradcik TI OA Day 3: Belogradcik - Sofia SERBIA Sarajevo Belogradcik A Mokra gora MONTENEGRO Sofia D R BULGARIA T IC S E A ALBANIA IA Gjirokaster ROADS MACEDONIA Ohrid Day 4: Rest day in Sofia Day 5: Sofia - Demir Kapija KOSOVO Prizren A Tirana Sarande CULTURE 15 days / 13 Riding Days Demir Kapija Day 6: Demir Kapija - Ohrid Day 7: Rest day in Ohrid Day 8: Ohrid - Gjirokaster Day 9: Gjirokaster - Sarande Day 10: Rest day in Sarande Day 11: Sarande - Tirana Day 12: Tirana - Prizren Day 13: Prizren - Mokra gora GREECE LANDSCAPE Day 14: Mokra gora - Belgrade Day 15: Flight home from Belgrade
  2. 2. INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE 15 days / 13 Riding Days INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE TOUR DAY BY DAY DETAILED ITINERARY Day 1: Arrival in Belgrade Day 6: Demir Kapija - Ohrid Welcome to Belgrade. On your arrival, your tour guide will pick you up at the airport and you can become acquainted with your motorcycle. Rest in the hotel or get out and see the vibrant city. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can stroll the pedestrianized Kneza Mihaila walking district in the Stari Grad - the old city. There is also the Belgrade Fortress, perched high above the city, to explore. In the evening we’ll take you for the welcome dinner. Today we ride the long curving roads of southwestern Macedonia, through a sparsely populated, forested and mountainous area. We’ll pass through Pelister National Park, famous for its ancient Molika pine trees and Mount Pelister at 2601 meters. In the afternoon, we’ll skirt Prespa Lake, then drop down to the Ohrid Lake basin. Ohrid Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the oldest lakes in the world. We spend the night in Ohrid town, a quaint tourist town on the shores of the lake, with its lovely walking promenade and lake-terraced restaurants and cafes. Day 2: Belgrade - Belogradcik Today we leave Belgrade, travelling south east to cross the border into Bulgaria. On the way we’ll for a while follow the majestic Danube River. Bulgaria is a mountainous country, and our approach into Belogradcik is fascinating, riding between towering red rocks which are the result of millions of years of geological activity. Amidst this rockscape are caves, including the stunning Magura Cave with its Bronze Age excavations and towering stalactites and stalagmites. Day 3: Belogradcik - Sofia Today we ride the curves of the Vitosha Mountains on our approach to Sofia. A karst and volcanic landscape, we’ll pass through native spruce forests and subalpine meadows dominated by juniper grass. The Vitosha volcano sits right on the edge of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, an up-and-coming city with a compact center. In the evening, we’ll stroll with the locals to a traditional folk-style restaurant for a traditional Bulgarian dinner. Day 4: Rest day in Sofia Today is a rest day in Sofia. Take time to view the city’s sites, which include a number of beautiful churches including the UNESCO World Heritage Boyana church. Or better yet, take a ride with the guide to the southwest through Pirin National Park and view the Rila Monestery. From the seat of a motorcycle, the first sight of the towering exterior is sure to thrill. Walking around the arcaded galleries gives magnificent views of the Rila Mountains. Day 5: Sofia - Demir Kapija Today we head into the Vardar, Macedonia’s wine growing region. We travel along the rich Tikves plain along the river Vardar. The vineyards with their surrounding sights make for interesting and varied riding. This was an area well populated by the Romans and it’s possible to stop and view several Roman ruins. There is also a fair number of waterfalls, the tectonic lake of Dojran, and an assortment of wonderful monasteries. Tonight we’ll stay in the best Macedonian vinery and sample their local wines with our traditional dinner. Day 7: Rest day in Ohrid Huge, blue and peaceful, the waters or Ohrid Lake calmly lap the shores of Ohrid town. Spend the morning of the rest day here, walking the shores of the lake and stopping for coffee in a lakeside café. In the afternoon, discover Ohrid’s Byzantine history. Many ancient and beautiful small churches are within the town’s limits. After a relaxing morning, hop on the bike and take a short ride along the lakeshore to the magnificent monastery of Sveti Naum, overlooking the lake. Day 8: Ohrid - Gjirokaster In the morning we’ll cross into Albania, a wild and beautiful country where tourism is just starting to take hold. We’ll ride the most serious mountains yet of the tour, the Gramoz Range, with snow capped peaks over 2.500 meters high. Fortunately the road is well-surfaced and allows for the spectacular scenery to be enjoyed in comfort. We’ll make some tight hairpin turns climbing Barmashi Pass, our highest, at 1759 meters, then drop down into dense conifer forests which periodically open up to reveal fabulous mountain views. In the evening, we pull into the austere and beautiful town of Gjirokaster, with its grey-stone, slate-roofed houses and brooding hilltop castle. Day 9: Gjirokaster - Sarande Today we first ride to Butrint, an ancient Greek city and an archeological site. Than we head north to ride the Albanian Riviera, a stretch of coastline known as the most beautiful of the Ionian Sea. Albania’s Mediterranean coastline is undeveloped and still naturally beautiful. New roads hug the coastal curves, high above unspoilt beaches, giving far-reaching views out to the impossibly blue water. The towns we pass through are built out of the surrounding rocky coastline and haven’t changed in hundreds of years. In the evening, we’ll stay at a seaside hotel on the Bay of Sarande.
  3. 3. INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE 15 days / 13 Riding Days INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE TOUR DAY BY DAY DETAILED ITINERARY Day 10: Rest day in Sarande Day 13: Prizren - Mokra gora After a couple of fantastic riding days you may want to rest in and around Sarande today. Explore the town or hang around the pool or beach at the hotel. If you feel like a ride, head north to the Llogaraje Pass for some of the most spectacular scenery in Albania. Stop and swim or just appreciate Dhermi and Drimades beaches, two of the last of the undeveloped beaches on the Mediterranean. You can also ride to Berat, with its impressive hill top citadel and Ottoman-style town. Another fantastic riding day is ahead of us today. After passing Pec, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in medieval times, we’ll continue up and over Kulina, the highest pass in the Balkans. The road here is amazingly scenic, as it is later on when we navigate through the many gorges and high mountains of eastern Montenegro. We can even hop into Bosnia for a while and visit Visegrad with its famous stone Turkish bridge. The town is widely known for the book Bridge on the Drina written by Ivo Andric, a Nobel Prize winning author. We then cross into Serbia and arrive at Mokra Gora, where we stay at Drvengrad, an amazing replica of a traditional Serbian village built by Emir Kusturica, one of Serbia’s best known film directors. It’s a magical place in the summer, and a great spot to spend an evening. Day 11: Sarande - Tirana In the morning we head north, away from the coast, into the mountainous heartland of Albania. Albania is working hard to come out of its long isolation under communist rule, and here you’ll see all sorts of interesting things, sharing the road with fast Mercedes, sputtering Ladas, and mule-drawn carts. Don’t be surprised with the attention you receive as a traveler. The locals see few tourists, especially on big motorcycles. Traffic gets busy near Tirana, the pulsating capital, where we spend the night. Day 12: Tirana - Prizren Completing a large loop in Albania, we head back northeast into the mountains again. This is another day of twisty mountain riding, crossing huge mountain passes. We’ll pass through Kruja, the historical center of the Albanian resistance, with its huge citadel and Ottoman bazaar. We’ll also pass through the Lura Lakes region, a national park laced with high mountain lakes. Because of logging in the area, the road can be challenging. Eventually we cross into Kosovo, Europe’s newest country, and spend the night in Prizren, a sleepy town with a close packed mixtures of mosques and Orthodox churches. Day 14: Mokra gora - Belgrade Our final riding day takes us from Mokra Gora through the Tara Mountain National Park in western Serbia and back to Belgrade. Tara Mountain stands 1.500 meters above sea level, its slopes covered with some of the densest and best preserved forests in Europe. We skirt the deep ravine carved by the Drina River, then continue on a nice twisty road over the Crna Gora plateau to a faster road directly into Belgrade. Our final, farewell dinner that night is on a floating barge on the Sava River in the center of the vibrant city. Day 15: Flight home from Belgrade Depending on your time of flight you may be able to spend some time in around Belgrade in the morning before heading for the airport.
  4. 4. INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE 15 days / 13 Riding Days 2014 INTRIGUING SOUTHEAST EUROPE (per person in EUR) MOTORCYCLE Price for the RIDER Based on sharing a double / twin room. Yamaha XJ 600 Suzuki V-Strom 650 3.550 € BMW F 700 GS 3.720 € BMW F 800 GS BMW F 800 GT Suzuki V-Strom 1000 3.920 € BMW R 1200 GS BMW R 1200 R Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer Yamaha FJR 1300 4.180 € BMW R 1200 RT BMW R 1200 GS - water cooled 4.510 € Ducati Multistrada 1200 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure BMW R 1200 RT - water cooled 4.660 € Your Own Motorcycle 2.620 € Price for the PASSENGER 2.570 € Single room supplement 550 € Self-guided tour - app 20% discount applies for tour prices above, contact us Group discounts available. The 15 day Intriguing Southeast Europe Tour includes: • Late model motorcycle with lockable hard luggage and tank bags plus a Third party liability insurance and Comprehensive vehicle insurance. • Experienced guide on a motorcycle. • Support van for luggage, souvenir purchases, and one or two passengers. • 14 nights accommodation in quality 3*** or 4**** hotels. • 14 complete buffet breakfasts in the hotel. • 11 dinners, mostly in traditional local restaurants. • Airport transfers on arrival and departure (on the first and last day of tour). • Highlighted maps of the region • Extensive tour booklet. Not included in the tour price: Air ticket, dinners on rest days, most lunches, drinks, gasoline, tolls, personal spending, tips.