The border lands of Northern Albania and Western Macedonia are truly one of the last hidden gems of Europe. Sweeping gorges are carved by crystal blue waters that flow into tranquil lakes, whilst rocky peaks and plateaux rise high above the lush green landscape. Ancient villages, rarely visited by tourists nestle themselves into the valleys, some of which retain a way of life that has been unchanged for centuries. Our carefully chosen route heads through some of the best scenery these fascinating countries have to offer, complimented with some really exciting cycling that equally challenges and rewards.
- Cycle along the Black Drin Valley
- Enjoy spectacular scenery at Komani Lake
- Visit the UNESCO town of Ohrid
Start Shkoder in Northern Albania. Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to Shkoder, one of the oldest and most historic cities in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic center (approx. 1.5hrs drive). Please note that due to the remoteness of this tour, Shkoder is a good opportunity to make any last minute purchases, such as bike equipment or items you may have forgotten to bring with you.
After an early transfer to Komani we take a ferry to Fierze across the beautiful Komani Lake (which takes about 3 hours). The ferry ride allows you to take in the spectacular scenery, winding its way between high cliffs and towering peaks. From here we get on our bikes and the climbing begins as we ascend from the lake up to a high plateau. Following the line of an ancient trade route, along which the Romans built one of their great arterial roads, the Via Publica, we cycle up through spectacular gorges, forests and lakes towards Dardhe.Cycle approx. 40km, ascent 1175m, descent 500m.
Today we will cycle one of the most spectacular roads in Albania with high mountain peaks on your left and Fierza Lake, 800m down on your right. We continue along Fierza Lake until we reach the dam, which is part of a huge hydro-electric system constructed in the 1970's.Cycle approx. 81km, ascent 1500m, descent 1950m.
Today we cycle along the Black Drin Valley from Kukes to Peshkopi, following the river. The Black Drin River originates at Lake Ohrid and meets with the White Drin River at Kukes. This is the toughest day of the trip and includes a 12km climb.Cycle approx. 73km, ascent 2000m, descent 1700m.
After riding past farms and villages our route passes over into Macedonia. We then continue through the Macedonian countryside until we reach the beautiful UNESCO town of Ohrid. After checking in to the hotel we will head out on a city tour through the town famed for its 365 churches, one for each day of the year. Ohrid itself is situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, with winding cobbled streets and traditional Macedonian architecture that you will find in the old town. There is the option to take a city tour with a local guide for approximately 3 per person (price dependent on the size of the group).Cycle approx. 93km, ascent 900m, descent 900m.
In the morning we start cycling along the lake before another 12km climb to a rocky plateau with wonderful views of Lake Ohrid. We then have a long descent to the shores of Lake Prespa, where theres time for a swim.Cycle approx. 52km, ascent 1350m, descent 1200m.
Our route today follows the shores of the larger Prespa Lake and also the smaller Prespa Lake that borders three countries (Albania, Macedonia and Greece). Once past these lakes on the southern side we reach Lake Ohrid and eventually Pogradec in Albania. There is then a chance for a relaxing afternoon at the bay in front of the hotel.Cycle approx. 75km, ascent 900m, descent 1050m.
End Pogradec. Those on the group flight will be transferred to Tirana Airport (approx. 3hrs drive).
About the operator
It's all about adventure That is what Exodus was founded upon over 45 years ago, and what the company is still all about. Discovering countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles; exploring this amazing planet we all live on. At Exodus, we know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, we always remember that we are only guests. So we travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise our impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.