Albania Heritage by Bicycle

DestinationsAlbania
Tour MeetsTirana
Tour EndsTirana
Fly in toTirana International Airport Nene Tereza (TIA)
Fly out ofTirana International Airport Nene Tereza (TIA)
Group Size2-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
458kmTotal cycling distance
57kmAvg distance / day
898mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

The tour uses roads that are all sealed and have a good surface, some being totally new. There are a couple of harder days on the tour but the support vehicle allows you to do as much cycling as you wish. Choose which bits you want to ride; get a lift to the top of the hill and cycle down the valley if it suits you. Your leader will suggest how you can get the most out of the trip with total enjoyment. We all ride at different speeds, and this varies depending upon how we feel on the day. The guides tend to ride through the group, but stop on the top of passes to regroup. It is not essential that you try and keep up with everyone. Just ride at your own speed and enjoy it. If you are having a bad day you will be supported. Remember the vehicle is there for you, driving always on the back of the group. Suitability: This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. This trip is not too arduous, though there are hills, so riders who have a minimum level of fitness will find the riding enjoyable. Biking Conditions: This tour follows a mixture of good sealed roads. No off road riding experience required. A support truck is always available to help you, and you will always have your guides with you at all times.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Airport drop off
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Entrance fees

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you are able to hire bikes locally for the price listed on the front page of this document. The bikes are Giant Roam O Mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 27-speed Shimano gearing, disc brakes and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

Passport holders of up to 70 countries are not required to obtain a visa when entering Albania and are permitted to stay in the country for a period of 90 days. All foreign nationals who have a valid multi–entry Schengen visa, type “C” or “D”, or a valid residence permit in one of the Schengen member states, can enter, stay and transit Albania without a visa, within the validity term of the visa or the residence permit. Please check the Albanian government website for further details.

Health

No vaccinations are needed.

Weather

During the summer it is mostly warm, with cool early mornings and temperatures rising to around 25C mid-day and falling rapidly at night in the mountains as the sun goes down. A fleece and long trousers for the evening are fine. Rain is a possibility, therefore you will need waterproofs. Sun cream is a must, as is a covering for your head.

Food

Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Albanian cuisine is characterized by the use of various Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, black pepper, mint, basil and rosemary. Vegetables are used in almost every dish. Albanian farmers grow every vegetable present in the Mediterranean region and a farmers market takes place early each morning. Meat (lamb, beef, rabbit and chicken) is used heavily in various dishes in most of the country and seafood specialties are very common in the coastal areas.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. But you may also want to bring electrolyte in powder or tablet form. Alcoholic drinks are available everywhere, but are NOT included in the price.

Solo Travelers

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra euros for possible incidentals that might arise. It is always wise to have some paper currency in case of ATM absence or credit card problems. This will save you a lot of unnecessary worries. It is also customary to tip local tour guides and drivers; however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest that €6-8 per person per day is appropriate.

Money

In just the last year or so ATMs connected to the major international networks have appeared in towns and cities everywhere, which makes travel here much easier. Only the larger hotels and travel agencies accept credit cards, and in only a handful of establishments outside Tirana. Major banks can offer credit-card advances. Every town has its currency market, which usually operates on the street in front of the main post office or state bank. Such transactions are not dangerous or illegal and it all takes place quite openly, but do make sure you count the money twice before tendering yours. The advantages are that you get a good rate and avoid the 1% bank commission. There are currency exchange businesses in major towns, usually open 8 am to 6 pm, and closed on Sundays. The euro and the US dollars are the favourite foreign currencies. You will not be able to change Albanian lekë outside the country, so exchange them or spend them before you leave.

General booking info

Booking

If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions

From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.

Cancellation Policy

On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.

Loyalty Riders Club

For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.

International Flights

International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.

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