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Food

  • Food in Albania is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country and particularly Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes. Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt are present in almost every meal, usually locally sourced. Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha (the communist leader of Albania from 1944-1985), Albania became a self-sustaining country due to its isolation to the world. However due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistence culture and show very little signs of changing. In the countryside expect your food to have been reared/grown not too far from your plate. Breakfasts are typically eggs, fresh bread, jam, honey and coffee or tea. For lunch and dinner, meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, salad, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. Your guide will recommend the best options when in the towns.
  • Under Enver Hoxha Albania became a self sustaining country due to it's isolation to the world. However due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistance culture and show very little signs of changing. In the countryside expect your food to have been living/grown not too far from your plate. Meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. In the cities there are a number of restaurants to choose from with an array of mediterranean cuisine. Your guide will recommend the best options when in the town.

Activities

  • Adult Group
  • Cycling
  • History
  • Food

    • Under Edvar Hoxha Albania became a self sustaining country due to it's isolation to the world. However due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and mediterranean climate, they are still very much a subsistance culture and show very little signs of changing. In the countryside expect your food to have been living/grown not too far from your plate. Meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of succulent vegetables, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. In the cities there are a number of restaurants to choose from with an array of mediterranean cuisine. Your guide will recommend the best options when in the town.

    Activities

    • New trip
    • Guided Group
  • 1

    Start Pogradec

    Start Pogradec.

  • 2

    Transfer to Korce; steady climb through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wild flowers; cycle through Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass (1159m) to Germenj.

    After a quick transfer to Korce we begin cycling leaving behind the agricultural plateau, climbing steadily into the border mountains through a landscape of barren rock interspersed with wild flowers. Numerous cols and valleys lie ahead, climbing into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains and over the Barmash Pass (1159m) to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley. Here we relax at a guesthouse that is also a working trout farm (Ride approx. 72km).

  • 3

    Cycle through high grassy plateaus surrounded by soaring peaks before descending to Carshove and on to Benje; ride to thermal springs for a swim.

    In the morning there is a climb out from Germenj to a high grassy plateau surrounded by soaring peaks before reaching the source of the River Vjosa and descending through its spectacular gorge to Leskovik. We continue descending to Çarshove and then follow the corniche route high above the river to Benje situated on a ridge above the river. After lunch we take a short ride to the thermal springs to relax and sooth aching muscles (Ride approx. 60km).

  • 4

    Valley ride towards Kelcyra; after lunch at Tepele Waterfalls transfer to Gjirokastra for afternoon city tour.

    Today we continue along the valley towards Kelcyra with it's distant shark-tooth peaks, which guard a further gorge. We ride between these gorges until the two rivers meet. After lunch at the waterfalls of Tepelene we transfer through the wide plain toward the town of Gjirokastra (city of 1000 steps). In the afternoon we take a cultural tour through the city and a chance to explore its narrow cobbled alleys and 18th Century Ottoman houses (Ride approx. 46km).

  • 5

    Transfer up the Muzina Pass, long descent to Saranda via coast and the UNESCO site of Butrint.

    After breakfast we load the bikes on to the support vehicle and transfer up to Muzina Pass, the gateway to southern Albania, for a spectacular down hill ride to Saranda. Located on the Ionian Coast, Saranda is sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea and is close to the ancient remains of Butrint, which we visit on the way. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint is one of the county’s most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans (Ride approx. 70km).

  • 6

    Spectacular coastal ride to the long beach of Himare Bay.

    Climbing steeply out of Saranda to a rocky plateau we enjoy a spectacular coastal ride over cols into bays and around headlands. Always with the stunning mountain scenery to the right and sea to the left we continue along before descending to the long beach and the bay of Himarë (Ride approx. 54km).

  • 7

    Ride towards Vlore; optional 1000m climb to the Llogara Pass; long descent through Llogara N.P. finishing by the coast.

    Today’s route is as challenging as it is spectacular. In the morning there is climb out of Himarë which naturally is rewarded with an enjoyable downhill. Before we reach lunch we come face to face with the climb to the Llogara pass. At 1000m above sea level, this climb is completely optional, so if you think it is too much then you can jump in the support vehicle. However if you are looking for an extra challenge this climb comes with a real sense of achievement. At the pass itself (which you will also see if you take the van) it is possible to see across to Italy on a clear day. From the top you enter the national park, home to black pine, Eurasian otter and golden eagles. The park is a scenic expanse of protected woodland that encompasses the forests on the northern side of the Llogora Pass. After lunch at the top we descend toward Vlora to the hotel just before the city. Here you can relax on the private beach of the hotel, the perfect reward for a hard days cycle (Ride approx. 65km).

  • 8

    End Vlore

    End Vlore. If the group flight is departing in the evening, we will have time to explore the colourful streets of Tirana, which was made the capital of Albania in just 1920.

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