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All You Need to Know About Doing a Bike Tour in Albania

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Albania is Europe’s best-kept secret when it comes to biking. While everybody else is flocking to Italy and France for the best food, wine, and beaches, Albania offers all this and more, but with far fewer crowds and at much better prices. 

Here’s a definitive guide to everything you need to know if you’re planning to do an Albania Bike Tour in the future.

Albania — Where to Go?

Albania may be a small country, but it is certainly not short on various terrains and places to explore. Here are the places that need to be on your checklist if you wish to cycle Albania:

The Albanian Alps

Theth National Park

The Albanian Alps are also known as the Accursed Mountains. But don’t let that name intimidate you, for this range of stark limestone karst mountains is breathtakingly beautiful. The range runs in a north-south direction along Albania’s eastern border. Theth Valley and Shala Valley are the main cycling highlights in this region. Surrounded by mountains over 2,000m high, the valleys are isolated and little frequented by tourists. 

The Peaks of Balkans trail is a famous hiking trail in the Albanian mountains that runs from northern Albania through Kosovo and Montenegro, covering a distance of 192 km. If you love hiking, this is a must-do.

The Albanian Riviera

The Albanian Riviera is not to be confused with the Albanian coast. It is only the southeastern part of Albania’s coast. It is home to some of the most beautiful beach resorts in Europe, such as Dhermi, Radhime, and Ksamil. The Riviera is separated from the hinterland by the Ceraunian mountains. Between the mountains and the turquoise blue waters of the Adriatic coast is some very beautiful cycling country. 

Central and Western Albania


This part of Albania is relatively less mountainous but is packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so you definitely want to include this in any Albania cycling itinerary. Western Albania has Lake Ohrid, which is located right on the border with North Macedonia. Central Albania has Berat and Gjirokastra—two charming Albanian towns packed with history. While Berat is known for its Ottoman houses and Byzantine churches, Gjirokaster has beautiful Ottoman architecture and an impressive fortress.

Read more: Unique things to do in Albania.

Albania — When to Go?

The best time for a cycling tour in Albania is spring-summer (March to June) and Fall (September to November). That said, the weather in Albania can be unpredictable, and there are wide regional variations. For instance, the mountains will be cooler than the coast at any given time of the year. And while November might be a good time to bike the Riviera, the mountains might be out of bounds due to snow.

Albania’s winters last from late November to early March, and the weather is cold and wet, making cycling unsuitable. July and August can be hot in most parts of the country, so cyclists should avoid them.

Albania — What to Expect?

Ali Pasha bridge

1. Villages: Albania is one of the least urbanized countries in Europe. So expect to see many charming villages with wooden and stone huts, shepherds grazing their sheep and cattle, carts laden with fresh farm produce, olive and citrus orchards, and vineyards.

2. Plenty of Mountains: More than three-fourths of Albania is mountainous, so you can expect to encounter hills everywhere. If you’ve got an e-bike, tackling hills becomes a lot easier. 

3. Great Mediterranean Food: Albania is a melting pot of cultures, and so is its cuisine. Expect plenty of olives, figs, fresh vegetables, bread, and cheese, but also many Ottoman-influenced dishes such as qofte and baklava.

4. Beaches: Albania shares a beautiful coastline on the Adriatic, home to stunning beaches. So spend plenty of time soaking up the sun in its golden sands.

5. Crazy Driving: Once you’re out of the big towns, you won’t encounter much traffic. But the driving can get a little chaotic in Albanian cities, so be prepared.

6. Great Coffee: Albanians love their coffee, and you’ll notice this as soon as you set foot in the capital, Tirana. The city is packed with charming coffeehouses serving some of the best coffee you’ll ever drink.

Read more: Albania travel guide.

Final Thoughts

Albania is a country that is a little off the major bike tourism circuit. But this state of affairs is not likely to last too long. As the word spreads, more cyclists will inevitably pack their bags and head to this beautiful Eastern European country. So make sure you plan your Albanian vacation at the earliest possible. Albania is close to Croatia, another hot cycling destination these days. The two countries are only separated by tiny Montenegro. So it’d be a good idea to combine your Albania vacation with a Croatia Bike Tour

Happy Biking!

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