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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Taste of Albania 2022: Mountain, Coastline & Hospitality

  • Arrival
  • 9/22/2022
  • Departure
  • 10/3/2022
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Kate Gordon
  • Tour Company
  • Cycle Albania
  • Starting Location
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Finishing Location
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $1800
  • Deposit
  • $1200
  • Number of Riders
  • 20 (min. 14 /max. 20)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

This is a repeat of the 2018 Taste of Albania tour enjoyed by BAC riders (click to read Tripper).   This 12 day Albanian cycling adventure loops us through one of Europe's historically most secretive countries. After decades of being closed off from the rest of the world, it is emerging as a frequent “to-be visited” location.  As such, changes in the country are occurring quickly.  The Albanian people, known for hospitality, are keen for others to experience their country. Nestled between Greece, Macedonia and Montenegro, this small country (size of Maryland) packs a diverse landscape with rugged mountains coupled with dramatic coastlines along the Adriatic and Ionian seas -- the Albanian Riveria.

Our first full day we remain in the vibrant capital, Tirana.  A guided tour at the National Historical Museum of Albania will set the stage for learning more about this country’s fascinating history, recent and ancient.  The following day we are transported out of the city congestion to Lake Ohrid where we cycle along the lakeshore to Pogradee, where one can cross the border into Macedonia and visit the monastery of St. Naum.  The next days are spend climbing into the higher plateau with mountainous terrain as we visit the locations of Korce (patchwork of farms and cobblestones), Sotire (tranquil valley high in the mountains), Permet (famous for raki and thermal pools), and Gjorokaster (UNESCO city of 10,000 steps). We descend from the mountains to Sarande, where we ferry to visit the World Heritage site of Butrint.  Next, another day of climbing will bring us to Himare, where we will spend two nights relaxing at the beach setting on the Mediterranean. Finally, our most ambitious climbing day, we cycle to Vlore where we will celebrate with a final dinner. The tour concludes on October 3rd  after breakfast and is followed by 2.5 hour group transport back to Tirana.

Supporting this tour is the Albanian-based tour operator, Cycle Albania.  They are able to provide an experience for you to enjoy traditional Albanian hospitality, wonderful cuisine, a colorful blend of eastern and western influences, and chance to learn more about Albania’s rich history and culture. Albania is fast-growing in popularity as a cycling destination. Take the opportunity to visit now. 

This tour’s 3B! rating is based on the 8 mandatory riding days. The average daily distance is 37 miles and an average daily climbing is approximately 2500 feet. Please note, riding days differ substantially in distance and elevation gain: Day 3 (25 miles, 203ft); Day 4 (32 miles,1351ft); Day 5 (45 miles, 3841ft); Day 6 (33 miles, 2014ft); Day 7 (45 miles, 984ft); Day 8 (44 miles, 2378ft); Day 9 ( 33 miles, 3490ft); Day 11 (41 miles, 5439ft). Days 5 and 11 exceed the 3B rating. Sections of climbs are 6-10%. Van support will be available for sections which exceed the tour rating.  Overall, the roads are mostly good pavement with shoulders; however, there are occasional sections with rougher road pavement in poor condition.  Bicycle shops are not widely available throughout Albania so those bringing their own bicycles should carry spare parts and have a minimum of 28mm tires

Traveling in the Albanian countryside offers limited services and a significant language barrier. Riders will be dependent on Cycle Albania support for communication and assistance to include arrangements for daily group lunch.

This region has a Mediterranean climate.  Daily temperatures in late September average 70’s (F), though it can be warmer on the coast, and cooler in the mountains.  An afternoon rain shower is always possible.

This tour provides a variety of accommodation ranging from local hotels in prime locations to log cabins on a remote mountain trout farm. A rest day (Day 10) in the town of Himare allows one to relax front-side on the Albanian Rivera.  Due to lodging configuration, acceptance of solo participants is limited to two. This tour includes 11 breakfasts; 8 lunches and 9 group dinners as well as daily BAC social hour with one beer, wine, or non-alcoholic beverage. Happy Hour snacks will be limited due to the number of group meals included. 

Rinas International Airport, also known as the Mother Teresa Airport (TIA), is situated approximately 17 km from Tirana city center.  The BAC tour begins September  22nd 2022, at 4pm, at the Hotel Austria in Tirana for the traditional BAC happy hour.  The ride ends on October 3rd, 2022 after breakfast in Vlore and is followed by a charter transport (approx. 2.5 hours) back to Tirana.

Bike rentals are available through Cycle Albania (  Cycle Albania offers hybrid bicycles (Giant Hybrid "Roam 0"; 30 gsp Gears, hydraulic disc brakes, and front suspension) for 150 euros. 

A maximum of two (2) tandems can be accommodated on this tour.  Electric bikes are available for rental; however, the Ride Leader will need to approve use before you sign up for the tour.

In addition to the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee of $100, the estimated tour cost is $1800 based on 1Euro = USD$1.27. The estimated cost includes: 11 nights lodging with 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 group dinners; daily BAC social hour with beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks; van for luggage & emergency support; storage of bike boxes during the trip; maps and GPX files; museum entrance, ferry fare, guide gratuities, and a contingency. Once you are accepted onto the ride, the deposit of $1200 and BAC Ride fee are dueThe final payment of $600 is due by April 1, 2022. The final payment may be adjusted depending on the exchange rate.

It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until April 1, 2022 to find a roommate. If unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $210 solo supplement (if available) and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office and are due by April 1, 2022. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

In addition to the BAC Cancellation policy, those who cancel one month prior to the trip departure date may be subject to Cycle Albania's cancellation policy.  If a replacement rider is found for the cancelling participant, this will not apply.
31 Days and more before the departure : Free of charge
30 Days to 22 Days before the departure : 25% of the price
21 Days to 15 Days before the departure : 50% of the price
14 Days to 8 Days before the departure : 75% of the price
7 Days to 3 Days before the departure : 90% of the price
Less than 3 Days before the departure : 100% of the price

Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to electronically sign the Release of Liability and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee ($100) and the initial tour deposit ($1200) by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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