After arrival at noon, transfer from “Mother Teresa” airport to the hotel in downtown Tirana. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial centre of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
Tirana has changed incredibly in the last twenty years, from the dull, gray city it once was. Tirana is a city where fun is guaranteed: lively, loud, crazy, colorful, simply fascinating. After a short rest, a sightseeing mini-tour in downtown Tirana including visits of Et’hem Bey Mosque, the Tanners’ Bridge (Ura e Tabakëve) and the Mosaic of Tirana (old Roman villa transformed into a paleochristian church and now representing the oldest surviving remains in Tirana city). Then a coffee or drink will precede the departure for Vlora. In the coastal city we will have a dinner "A la carte" in a nice restaurant where you will choose your favorite dishes and afterwards accommodation in a 3 star hotel Wt 2 h. ( -/-/D)
Tirana, the vibrant capital, 110 m
Right after breakfast drive for almost 50 km until the starting point of the bike trip, near Brataj village, at 300 m above sea level. There we will get the bicycles and continue southeast for 20 km over a road that has an old and badly damaged tarmac. Several short breaks are planned during the ride. The way is unexposed and the slope increases up to the village Kuç, at 550 m altitude. Departing from Kuç we follow the sometimes exposed road that winds down around the slope of the mountain for another 20 km, surrounded by vegetation until we arrive at the village Borsh. Here we’ll have a break and then hike up a 300 m hill, on top of which the ancient castle of Borsh which dates back to the 4th century BC, is situated. In the village we’ll have dinner ‘à la carte’ and will be accommodated in a hotel with a very beautiful view over the coast. On demand we can ride to the beach of Borshi and take some time for a swim in the clean water of the Ionian Sea. (B/L/D).
Cycling from Brataj to Borsh. 40 km, G2( Brataj - Kuç) and G3 (Kuç - Borsh)5 h, Am↑380 m, Dm↓710 m
Today’s trip is more demanding since includes more up-and downhill cycling on unpaved roads. The road is mostly exposed and sometimes quite steep. Early in the morning we leave Borshi, ride in the direction of Qeparo and then head north by the stream of Kudhes. Close to the village with the same name, we turn right and ride uphill until we arrive at the village of Pilur at 700 m above sea level. Here we’ll stop and have lunch. A short visit of the village and a breathtaking view of the coast from this altitude will be a rare experience. Then we’ll ride downhill to the town of Himara, a small cradle of history and heritage in southwestern Albania. Here we’ll visit the old town and have a walk by the waterfront of Himara. Dinner "A la carte" and accommodation will be in a hotel in Himara. (B/L/D)
Biking from Borsh to Pilur and Himara. 26 km, G3, 4 h, Am ↑600 m, Dm ↓700m
On this day we will visit several beautiful small beaches that are almost exclusively accessible from the sea. After breakfast we leave Himara and mount on our kayaks to head south for the beach of Filikuri, which is a small bay not far from the town, noted for its crystal clear waters. A short rest and a swim here will be followed by paddling north towards Livadhi beach, where we’ll have lunch in a restaurant by the seaside. After meal we continue our tour and have a shot stop in the small “Aquarium” bay (Akuariumi), which has taken its name from its surrounding and water’s similarity to an aquarium. Leaving behind the “Aquarium”, we reach Jali Bay. Dinner ‘à la carte’ and accommodation will be organized in a hotel by the beach. On demand we can paddle a little further north up to some small isolated beaches in Jali’s vicinity. (B/L/D)
Kayaking from Himara to Jali. 7 km, 5 h
This day is based on walking and starts by following the path from Jal to Ngjipe Canyon. The canyon is around 2 km long, 100 meters deep and opens to the sea coast to form a wonderful gravel beach with crystal clear water. The canyon cliffs and rocky faces are appropriate for rock climbing. On the beach we will have a swim, snack and then follow the path west, to the ruins of Saint Theodore’s monastery. Below the cliffs of the monastery, lies the Pirates’ cave, a natural monument. After a short break we will follow the trail to Dhërmi. The accommodation and dinner are planned in a restaurant and hotel on a hill overlooking the coast. (B/L/D)
Walking from Jali to Dhërmi. T 2, Wt 5h, Am↑300 Dm ↓100
After breakfast, drive to the National Park of Llogara. On the way a short sightseeing visit is planned in the village of Dhërmi. The day will include hikes and strolls on trails of the Llogara park, surrounded by dense vegetation of pines. The paths are partially shadowed by tall trees, and terrain is easy and unexposed. The park is noted for its rich variety of flora and fauna, fresh and cool air even during the hottest summer days. Beautiful panoramic views of the Gulf of Vlora can be enjoyed from the park. The lunch will be offered in the form of a snack during the walk, while the accommodation and dinner will be in a hotel in the park. (B/L/D)
Llogara National Park (800 -1400 m). T2, Wt. 5 h, Hm↑300, Hm ↓300
We will drive you by car from the Park to the marina of Oricum, 20 km south of Vlora. Here we’ll take the boat for a trip around the peninsula of Karaburun. The tour will offer you an unique experience to visit some unspoiled beaches and small bays such as Laurel’s Bay (Gjiri i Dafinës), Bristani Bay and the famous Cave of Haxhi Aliu. On the afternoon we’ll sail back to Oricum marina and then drive to Vlora, where we’ll have dinner "A la carte" in a fine restaurant, and drive back to the capital, Tirana. You are free to enjoy the nightlife in any of several pubs and night clubs of downtown Tirana. (B/L/D)
Boat trip around Karaburun Peninsula
Departure after the breakfast. (-/-/D)