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Albania: Europe’s best-kept secret. On a cycling holiday in Albania, we discover untouched nature, beautiful lakes, snow-capped mountains and incredible historical sites. This almost forgotten country in the southeast of Europe is waiting to be explored by Hotel & Bike. Follow in the footsteps of the country from antiquity, through its communist heritage, and up to the present day.
Albania, or Shqipëria in the national language, is developing into one of the most sought-after and affordable tourist destinations in Europe. The country’s unspoilt beaches, snow-capped mountains, traditional cuisine, unrivalled hospitality and wild countryside eagerly await curious visitors.
Albania is a country of green and blue, falling into both the “Green Belt of Europe” as well as the “Blue Heart of Europe”. The latter is a reference to the pristine freshwater rivers that run through the Balkans. On our tour, we visit a number of the must-see places that Albania has to offer. Beginning in Albania’s capital, Tirana, our hotel and bike tour leads us to the UNESCO protected sites of Korçë and Gjirokastёr. The journey then continues on to the ancient city of Butrint, with its famous Lion Gate, all the way to Sarandё, directly on the Ionian Coast.
Relax in the thermal springs on the banks of the Langarica Canyon and marvel at the beauty of Lake Ohrid on the Albanian/Northern Macedonian border. Just a few from the long list of attractions in Albania include the country’s 14 national parks, the impressive Gramoz mountain range and the beautiful beach that runs along the Bay of Himarё along the Albanian Sea. A cycling holiday through Albania is a journey between tradition and modernity.
Albania has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with an average annual temperature of 16°C (61°F). In Tirana, the summer months can be quite dry. In the northern and eastern mountain regions, winters are harsh and even in the summer months the temperature often remains cool. Because of heavy snowfall in these areas, they can be cut off from the outside world for months during the winter.
In contrast, the climate is much milder along the Ionian Sea in the south. The coastal regions have Mediterranean summer temperatures and it is only in winter that rainfall increases. Coastal regions such as Sarandё, record close to 300 days of sunshine annually.
A valid passport is required for entry into Albania. Children are also required to have their own identification documents. For most European countries as well as a number of other countries outside of Europe, an identity card is equally accepted. Please inform yourself if you require a passport or if an identity card is sufficient. All documents should be valid for at least a further three months upon entering the country. While a temporary passport is accepted for entry, temporary identity cards are not recognised.
Citizens of EU countries as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and a number of other countries do not require a visa for entry into Albania for stays that do not exceed 90 days. Nevertheless, anyone wishing to stay in Albania for longer than 30 days should register with the Border and Migration Directorate within the first 30 days after arrival.
Entry requirements may change at short notice. Legally binding information and/or information going beyond these instructions can be obtained directly from the embassy or one of the consulates of your destination country.
Radurlaub Zeitreisen GmbH does not assume any liability for the correctness of the information given here.
The national currency in Albania is the Lek (plural: Lekë). The term Lek is commonly used to refer to money in general. The Lek was named after Alexander the Great who was colloquially called Leka in Albania. His portrait appears on the 1 Lek coin while the reverse side depicts him on horseback.
Before Albania's independence in 1912, the Ottoman currency was officially used in the country. In addition, Western gold coins, Italian lire and French francs were also in circulation. The introduction of a separate Albanian currency was delayed due to various occupying governments during the First World War and the lack of state organisation. The introduction of the Lek took place in 1925 in conjunction with the creation of the Central Bank of Albania.
If you decide to travel by plane, the nearest airport four our tours is Tirana – Rinas (TIA). The Tirana International Airport "Nënë Tereza" ("Mother Teresa") is located 17 km northwest of Tirana.