Europe

Cycle Albania

7 days

ITINERARY

5 days

CYCLING

325+km

TOTAL DISTANCE

Dates

2025

Discover Europe's Best Kept Secret On Two Wheels

Dive into a challenge at the heart of a seldom visited corner of Europe that has been out of bounds for all its years under communism, but now brings us back in time to a Europe that remains beautifully untouched since before the 1940’s. Huge snow-capped mountains, inviting beaches, and rural villages, make this the ideal backdrop for this adventure of a lifetime. 

The Challenge

Stunning Scenery, awesome albania

A thrilling journey through the heart of Albania: a hidden gem of the Mediterranean, where pristine beaches meet rugged mountains and ancient history comes to life in charming towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites. You’ll start out by cycling to Lake Ohrid within its circle of high mountains. Then, for several days, the route crosses the agricultural heartland of Albania, biking towards the ancient town of Gjirokastra passing soaring peaks and lush green valleys. Cycling out to the coast, with the Island of Corfu looming on the horizon, discover 2500 years of ancient history at UNESCO site Butrint. Then, cycling north though the most beautiful section of the Albanian Riviera, we finish this epic adventure relaxing in the turquoise waters of the Ionian. 

LAUNCH DEAL

Sign up for any of our overseas cycle challenges, and receive a free Action Challenge cycle jersey, worth £35!

Action Challenge Cycle Jersey

VALID UNTIL 31st JULY 2024

Itinerary & Route

The group will meet at our hotel in Lin on the shores of Lake Ohrid and meet the team that will be with us for the next week. We will then enjoy a group briefing followed by an evening meal. 

Meals: L & D           Accom: Hotel

For our first cycling day, we start riding directly from our hotel heading south along the lake shore. As we rise there are some great views over the lake to the surrounding mountains. We continue past small farms on the vast plains and eventually arrive at Korça, known as the Paris of Albania. Here we can relax in our comfortable hotel.

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Hotel

Today we climb steadily into the baren border mountains through cols and valleys into the heart of the Grammoz Mountains. We cycle over the Barmash Pass 1159M to Germenj lying in its own tranquil valley and its here that we stay the night. This evening we enjoy a traditional home-cooked dinner and a glass or two of the local red wine.

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Lodge

From Sotire we continue through forest surrounded by soaring peaks which leads us to the source of the River Vjosa. We descend now into the spectacular Vjosa gorge for a 17km descent to Çarshovë, a beautiful and scenic ride, and one of the great sections of our challenge. The ride continues high above the river to Përmet, famed for its cuisine and strong raki alcohol. Lunch will be in the village of Benje after which we continue cycling for another 4km to the thermal pools of Langarica and its canyon. A 16th century ancient ottoman bridge marks the spot and the end of our road. Plenty of opportunity for canyon swimming this afternoon.

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Guesthouse

This morning we make our way towards the sharp mountain peaks outlined in the distance as we cycle along the valley towards Këlcyrë. We follow the Drinos river valley as it opens out into a wide plain with the town of Gjirokastër above us. We now make our way up to our hotel in Gjirokastër which is known as the city of 1,000 steps, and is perhaps the most beautiful city in Albania.

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Hotel

We begin our last cycling day with a brief transfer, starting our cycling at the top of Muzina pass. This is the gateway to southern Albania and our ride takes us to the Ionian coast, sandwiched between the high mountains and the sea. A short ride on a rustic ferry brings us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint, one of the country’s most important archaeological treasures, where the influences of various ancient people are clearly visible. After a tour in Butrint, we make our way along the coast heading north with the island of Corfu just out to sea. The day and the challenge ends in the beautiful town of Saranda, where we are finally able to kick off our cycling shoes, feet up and enjoy a well earned beer. Tonight we will have celebrations to mark the end of an incredible challenge.

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Hotel

This morning after breakfast you will need to check out of the hotel at 10am and make your own way back to the airport depending on your return flight details. 

Meals: B

The Experience

Life On The Cycle

This itinerary is designed for regular weekend cyclists who are looking to elevate their cycling experience with an exciting challenge. With a total distance of approximately 325 kilometres spread over 5 days of cycling, this trip offers a mix of manageable and more demanding days, making it perfect for those accustomed to cycling around 50 kilometres on weekends.

Each day, you’ll be cycling an average of 5 hours, covering distances ranging from 50 to 75 kilometres. The terrain includes daily ascents averaging 600 meters, so be prepared for some rewarding climbs and exhilarating descents. 

The roads are generally quiet and well-surfaced, although there are some rougher sections in the mountains. The provided hybrid bikes are well-suited to these conditions, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable ride throughout the trip. You’ll find that Albanian motorists are courteous and respectful of cyclists, giving you the space and safety you need on the road.

Each day begins with a hearty breakfast to fuel your ride. You’ll typically finish cycling by early afternoon, giving you ample time to relax and explore your surroundings. Our ground team in Albania is highly experienced and provides excellent support, including well-maintained Giant Roam hybrid bikes that are included in the trip price.

 

An Action Challenge trip is much more than a holiday! It brings like-minded people together in fantastic landscapes, provides the best support & great hospitality, and enables the group to take on a tough & unforgettable challenge which forges new friendships, broaden horizons, and leaves you wanting more of life’s adventures!

The blueprint for Action Challenge trip is based on delivering a high quality enjoyable experience – and doing it all safely. An experienced UK Leader ensures that all aspects of the challenge run to plan – and one of our UK Medics with an expedition med kit is on-hand to look after the group’s wellbeing – enabling everyone to have the best chance of successfully completing their challenge.

We go to great lengths to ensure that we only use the best local organisations to supply the all-important ground logistics and the on-challenge support, catering, and hospitality teams – with experienced guides leading the way on the trails with their deep local knowledge and authentic style.

Like minded people with a similar sense of adventure – but often from very different backgrounds, and with a wide range of experience, ages, levels of fitness, and personal ambitions. Our trips are perfect for individuals, couples, and small groups of friends to join – and then to take on a unique challenge as part of a larger group which shapes & bonds as the adventure unfolds!

Whether it’s the hotels,  restaurants & transfers before & after the main challenge – or the challenge accommodation & meals whilst out on the trails – our all inclusive packages mean that you will get a top quality experience at a great value price! Flights are generally included, but there’s a ‘land only’ option if you’d prefer to book your own – and single supplement accommodation upgrades are available.

Visas-You can visit Albania without a visa for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, for tourism or business. 

The group comes together – takes on a tough challenge together – and then celebrates its achievements in style on the final night of the trip in a local restaurant or hotel, with medals, awards, and a maybe a bit of a party! Many of our participants make new special friends on our trips – and quite a few come back together for another challenge in the following years!

A successful challenge starts with good preparation. The better prepared you are the more confident you’ll be, and the more you’ll enjoy it! Our ‘Challenge App’ will have all the info & details of what to expect on your challenge – and how to prepare for it – and we have optional training walks, training weekends , and a place on one of our UK Ultra Challenge events to get out on the tails and test your fitness, kit, & equipment.

FIND OUT MORE

Join our information webinar to hear all about our new range of cycling challenges. We’ll cover the service & support you can expect, run through the range of incredible destinations, and open it up for any questions you may have. PLUS- special deals & offers.

Booking Your Own Flights

There are a number of low cost airlines that fly into Albania from the UK, we recommend aiming for an early morning departure so that you can arrive at the hotel for the afternoon to join the group. Or you could fly out a day (or two!) early, book into our hotel & relax before the trip. 

Costs & Fundraising

We’ve three payment & fundraising options for you to take on this challenge.

Self Funding

Sign up with a £395 online deposit & balance payment due 12 weeks before, with no fundraising target.

Fundraise for Charity

Sign up with a £395 online deposit & fundraise for a charity of your choice, with different target options.

Our Brochure

The Challenge brochure details the full itinerary, inclusions, and more – download for a full run down of the challenge details. 

Dates & Prices

GET IN TOUCH

Enquire with us below or if you want to speak to one of the team call on +44 (0)207 6695

About You
Trip Enquiry

e-bike rental

Not everyone is a regular cyclist – or perhaps you simply want the option to relax and take in the scenery. That’s why we offer e-bike rental on our cycle challenges. These lightweight mountain bikes come with a small electric motor that can be charged each evening – and will give you the option of a power boost on uphill sections, or the ability to ease off the pedals on the flat.

You can reserve your e-bike when registering, or contact us later to add it to your booking. 

FREE CYCLE JERSEY

Sign up to any of our NEW overseas cycle challenges before 31st July 2024, and you will receive a FREE Action Challenge cycle jersey, worth £35!

Be the envy of your friends, and look stylish while training for your 2-wheeled adventure!

PLUS – you’ll also receive a place on one of our famous ‘Ultra Challenge’ events, worth £139! Join over 30,000 other adventurers, and walk, jog or run your chosen distance in some of the UK’s most iconic locations. Visit the website for details:

WWW.ULTRACHALLENGE.COM

Register for your overseas Challenge – you’ll be sent a Discount Code worth £139 to sign up to a 2024 Ultra Challenge.

CONDITIONS

– Offer valid between 10th April & 31st July 2024

– Deal cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer

– If you cancel your overseas challenge, the value of the Ultra Challenge will be deducted from any refund issued, if you have used the free place.

How it works...

SELF FUNDING

It’s like paying for an all-inclusive holiday.

You pay the registration deposit. The final balance for the trip cost will be due no later than 10 weeks before your departure date

If you want to fundraise for charity, you may still do this separately – either on or offline. All fundraising will be a direct donation to your chosen charity. Please contact them for more information.

How it works...

CHARITY FUNDRAISING

Take on one of our challenges and support a charity of your choice. You can choose how much of the trip cost you want to pay, and support your charity by fundraising the rest.

You pay the registration deposit, then fundraise double the remaining trip cost for a charity of your choice.

Action Challenge will invoice your charity for your final balance 12 weeks before departure.

You must complete 80% of your fundraising by 12 weeks before departure, with the remaining 20% completed 4 weeks after departure.

Let us know what charity you want to support when registering so that we can set up your challenge agreement.