DICOVER ALBANIA BY BIKE

FOREWORD

There are thousands of people out there who love traveling by bike. This is the reason why ‘Albanian Bike’ offers necessary information for you to discover Albania in this manner.

Here you will find selected routes for bike hikes, descriptions of bike tours, maps you will require and relevant travel-tourist information.

Different specialists of the National Society for Mountainous Studies, the Society of the Albanian Alps, of the Federation of Albanian Cycling as well as individuals from Germany, Austria and France either directly or through consultations were committed to the production of this Guide to discover Albania by traveling through it by bike and their joint contributions resulted in the successful compilation of the first Guide Book of its kind which also provides national coverage.

This undertaking was financed by the Government of the Swiss Confederation through the contribution of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, (SDC).

These tours will allow you to travel and rest whilst savouring the majestic scenic beauty and meeting the people in an Albanian setting.

You will also enjoy the natural beauty to be found in the zones bordering on Albania; Montenegro (Virpazar-Pogorica-Plava-Gusi), Kosovo, (Prizren-Gjakova), Macedonia (Diber-Struga-Ohrid, Shen Naum).

Dear Fellow Bikers, Albania offers the following while you are cycling around the country:

-          Bike hikes through different cities and townships of Albania from the North to the South and from East to West.

-          Bike hikes the length of the Adriatic and Ionian coastlines.

-          Bike hikes along the shores of the Lakes of Shkodra, Ohrid,Koman,Dibra, Fierza, Butrint,Plava, Belsh and others.

-          Bike hikes along the banks of the Rivers Drin, Buna,Vjosa,Shkumbini, Mat, Drinosi etc.

-          Bike hikes throughout the Lowlands and hilly areas.

-          Bike hikes throughout highland areas, the Albanian Alps, Mt. Dajti, Voskopoja etc.

-          Bikes hikes across forest lands and other scenic areas.

You can find all of this in, “The Albanian Bike Book.”

All travel information, prior to, during or after the bike tours can be found at any time at the following address:

“National Society for Mountainous Studies,”

Rruga Pjeter Bogdani, Pall.20/4,Shk.2,Ap.2/A, Tirana, Albania.

Tel: ++355 4 2261827, Tel+Fax ++355 4 2249383 Mobile: ++355 68 2397202,E-Mail:onuz@yahoo.com / julionuz@yahoo.it

CONTENT

FOREWORD

SCALE

PREFACE

1.TRAVEL PREPARATIONS

2. YOUR MOVEMENTS BY BIKE

Tour 1-Shkoder-Tirane-Korçe- Gjrokaster-Sarande -Vlore- Durres-Vore 1 028 km

Hani i Hotit - Koplik  - Shkoder 35 km

Shkoder - Lezhe 40 km

Lezhe - Tirane 80 km

Tirane - Dajt  - Tirane 60 km

Tirana - Elbasan 54 km

Elbasan-Pogradec 86km

Pogradec-Korçe 46 km

Korçe – Erseke-Radanj 70 km

Korçe -Voskopoje- Korçe 40 Km

Radanj - Leskovik- Permet 52 km

Permet - Gjirokaster 68 km

Gjirokastra - Sarande 60 km

Sarande–Butrint-Mursi-Shkalle-Livadhja-Sarande  57 km

Sarande - Llogara 85 km

Llogara  - Vlore 45 km

Vlore  - Lushnje  72 km

Lushnje-Durres  58 km

Durres -Vore 20 km

Tour 2-Shkoder- Virpazar-Podgorice- Plave-Vermosh-Shkoder  352 km

Shkoder-Virpazar 88 km

Virpazar-Podgorice 29 km

Podgorice- Verusa 46 km

Verusa-Mateshevo- Plave- Gusi-Vuthaj 79 km

Gusi- Vermosh- Tamare  44 km

Tamare - Koplik- Shkoder 66 km

Tour 3-Shkoder-Boge-Theth-Breg Lumi-Kir- Shkoder 152 km

Shkoder-Koplik-Boge-Theth 74 km

Theth-Breg Lumi-Kir-Ura Mesit-Shkoder 78 km

Tour 4-Shkoder-Puke-Kukes-Prizren-Gjakove- B.Curri -Valbone-Fierze-Koman-Shkoder 407 km

Shkoder-Puke 57 km

Puke-Kukes 110 km

Kukes-Prizren-Gjakove 71 km

Gjakove-Bajram Curri 40 km

Bajram Curri -Valbone -Ragam - Bajram Curri 50 km

Bajram Curri-Fierze 18km

Fierze-Koman me Traget

Koman-Shkoder 61 km

Tour 5-Tirane-Burrel-Peshkopi-Diber-Struge-Oher- Pogradec-Elbasan- Belsh-Divjake-Durres-Tirane 591 km

Tirane-Burrel  93 km

Burrel- Diber  75km

Diber –Struge 55km

Struge-Oher-Shen Naum- Tushemisht–Pogradec 66 km

Pogradec-Elbasan 88 km

Elbasan-Cerrik-Belsh-Kosove-Lushnje-Divjake 103 km

Divjake-Durres 72km

Durres-Tirane 39

Tour 6-Tirane-Berat-Skrapar-Permet-Tepelene-Gjirokaster-Sarande-Butrint  348 km

Tirane-Berat 124 km

Berat-Skrapar 48 km

Skrapar-Kelcyre 54

Kelcyre-Tepelene-Gjirokaster 44 km

Gjirokaster-Delvine-Sarande-Butrint 78 km

3.TOURIST INFORMATION

   PREFACE

ALBANIA, BEAUTIFUL AND AWE-INSPIRING

Dear Bike Hikers,

It is with great pleasure that we present you with exclusive information kindly provided by the (SHKSM,SDC,AAV) that will help you become acquainted with the breathtaking scenery and the culture throughout the territory of Albania, parts of Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia as you cycle through these areas. The guide has three important elements:

 

-          MAP- To the scale of 1:220 000

-          DISCOVERING ALBANIA BY BIKE

-          BOOK-ALBANIAN BIKE BOOK

-          CD-DISCOVERING ALBANIA BY BIKE

 

Today, when this guide is made available to you, is the day your active holiday actually begins. We offer you all the information you require so that your bike travels run smoothly. This information is provided in three directions:

1-TRAVEL PREPARATIONS

Includes information on arrival and departure, maps, on luggage transport from country of arrival, bicycle hire, sports gear and clothing; any other information you may require can be obtained from (SHKSM,SDC,AAV). E-Mail:onuz@yahoo.com / julionuz@yahoo.it

2-BIKE TRAVEL

Includes all information broken down for daily use, on what you require for your vacation, as well as accurate and detailed information on long bike hauls; road directions covering all stages, associated maps, information on eateries, restaurants and cost estimates for travel by bike. We would advise you to keep this information with you during the trip.

3-TOURIST INFORMATION

You will find tourist information on the amzing scenery you will come across during your travels and maps of city and town centers. For more detailed maps of the cities, we recommend that you contact us at: (SHKSM,SDC,AAV). E-Mail:onuz@yahoo.com / julionuz@yahoo.it

 

 

 

1-TRAVEL PREPARATION

You can set out on your bike travel adventure to discover Albania by beginning from your own city or town you reside in within Albania or you can enter Albania by bike at the following border crossing points:

-          “Mother Tereza” International Airport at Rinas.

-          Sea Ports of Durrës,Vlora or Saranda (Italy, Greece).

-          Land border crossing points of Muriqan, Han I Hotit, Vermosh (Montenegro), Qaf Morin. Morin (Kosovo), Qaf Thanë,Tushemisht,Gorica (Macedonia), Kapshtica, Tre Ura. Kakavija, Qaf Bota (Greece).

 

We provide all information on your arrival and departure to and from Albania, and if you wish, your transport, (together with luggage), from the country you enter into Albania to the point you wish to depart from Albania. Your luggage will await you at the hotel of your next stop according to your pre-arranged route and schedule. You can go on this bike tour at any time, taking this guide with you and if you wish, NSMS can provide you with more information at any time.

These tours will be arranged and realized by:

“National Society for Mountainous Studies,”

Rruga Pjeter Bogdani, Pall.20/4,Shk.2,Ap.2/A, Tirana, Albania.

Tel: ++355 4 2261827, Tel+Fax ++355 4 2249383

Mobile: ++355 68 2397202

E-Mail:konuzi@yahoo.com ;julionuzi@yahoo.it

2-YOUR MOVEMENTS BY BIKE

Includes information on every day of your bike travels according to the tour described below, to make your holiday as pleasant as possible; accurate and detailed information reflected on the bike travel routes. Please take this information with you. During these tours you will discover all the zones of Albania, which are made up of eco-systems of rare natural beauty, where the awe-inspiring scenery of the alps, the hilly areas, the lakes and coastline, the remarkable range of flora and fauna, waterfalls, idyllic creeks, rough-tumbling foaming rapids and swift-flowing rivers or the natural fresh water springs bubbling to the surface, all make up the fabric of these eco-systems. The mountains with the never-ending contrasts in their relief, create optimal conditions for exercising  mountain bike riding and other winter and summer out-door sports; mountain hiking, alpinism, cliff climbing, skiing, horseback riding, kayaking down mountain canyon rapids, fishing in the mountain streams and river rapids. Life in Albania, with its remarkable  variety of natural settings and scenery, the wealth of folklore, history etc., presents  a truly marvellous area for geo-tourism by bike.

 

The awesome rocky coastline of the Ionian Sea (Butrint-Saranda-Vlora), the sandy beaches of the Adriatic (Vlora-Durrës), the geographic land forms and environment, the citrus fruit tree plantations and the olive tree groves will all be such pleasant surprises en-route.

Discovering this beautiful scenery while biking through Albania has a mutual advantage for the tourists who explore and discover  stunning natural scenery at their own pace, a very interesting region from the geographical and geological points of view, a country of legends and mystery like all the Balkan countries; and for the region and its residents as well who enjoy benefits of improving their own living standards.

 

The tour includes Albania’s main cities. Starting out from cities in the North such as Shkodra ,Lezha, Tirana, Elbasan, Librazhd, Pogradec,Korça,Erseka,Leskovik,Permet,Tepelena,Gjirokastra,Saranda,Himara,Vlora,Fier,Berat,Kavaja,Durres,Milot,Burrel,Peshkopia,Kukes,BajramCurri,Puka,Belsh,Cerrik,Struga,Ohrid,Prizren,Gjakova,Podgorica,Virpazar, which all offer suitable accomodation.

 

These tours throughout Albania offer extensive possibilities to visit museums, the ruins of castles, national parks, other geographical monuments, karst areas, eco-systems, forests, lakes, rivers, etc.

The tours are conceived as the one program, beginning from the North, with entrance to Albania via the boder crossing point at Han i Hotit, and down through the entire territory of Albania, including border crossing points into Albania in different districts, presupposing that bike hikers may wish to access Albania from Macedonia, Montenegro,Kosovo, Greece or Italy. All the maps of the tours are on the scale of 1:100 000, put out by the Military Geographical Institute of Tirana. The maps of the shorter tours are on a scale of 1:220 000, published in München by Kujtim Onuzi and Franz Huber. 

The tours cover a total of 2,878 km, according to the route laid out  below. The tours described are independent of one another, but can also be combined. In other words you can chose the full tour, shorter tours or combinations. There are also descriptions of six tours which run through large areas of  Albania and parts of the border zones of Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia.

The tour has been designed for different age groups with the exception of children.

 

 

 

Tour 1-Hani i Hotit -Shkoder-Lezhe-Vore-Tirane-Elbasan-Librazhd-Pogradec-Korçe-Erseke-Leskovik-Permet-

            Tepelene-Gjrokaster-Sarande-Himare-Vlore-Fier-Durres-Vore 1 028 km

 

Tour 2-Shkoder-Muriqan-Vladimir-Virpazar-Podgorice-Kolashine-Plave-Vermosh-Shkoder  352 km

 

Tour 3-Shkoder-Boge-Theth-Breg Lumi-Ura Mesit- Shkoder 152 km

 

Tour 4-Shkoder-Puke-Kukes-Prizren-Gjakove- B.Curri -Valbone-Fierze-Koman-Shkoder 407 km

 

Tour 5-Tirane-Burrel-Peshkopi-Diber-Struge-Oher-Shen Naum-Pogradec-Elbasan-Cerrik-Belsh-Kosove-Divjake-  

             Durres-Tirane 591 km

 

Tour 6-Tirane-Berat-Skrapar-Permet-Tepelene-Gjirokaster-Sarande-Butrint  348 km