Cycling and sightseeing holiday amongst the UNESCO-listed highlights of this unspoiled and little-known Balkan country
Isolated from the rest of the world until the mid 1990’s, Albania is a colourful and welcoming country with a mix of unique attractions that make it the perfect destination for an adventure cycling holiday. Starting out from the thriving capital city of Tirana, this bespoke itinerary balances generally half-days of cycling with plenty of time to soak up the essence of the country.
You’ll start out by cycling to Lake Ohrid within its circle of high mountains and have the chance to hop over into Macedonia to see the stunning Monastery of Saint Naum. Then, for several days, the route crosses the agricultural heartland of Albania, close to the border with Greece, where you’ll share the quiet flower-fringed roads with horse-drawn carts and shepherds driving their flocks. The towns of Korce and Gjirocaster are highlights, as are the family farm of Farma Sotire in the Grammoz Mountains and the hot springs and Ottoman bridge at Lengarica. Cycling out to the coast, with the Island of Corfu looming on the horizon, you’ll have a guided tour at Butrint with its well-preserved Greek theatre and Roman bath-house. Then, cycling north though the most beautiful section of the Albanian Riviera, you'll have a night at each of the contrasting resorts of Sarande and Himare. This final part of the holiday will show off a different side to the country and provide plenty of time to chill and to reflect on one of Europe’s best cycling holidays.