A Trip Back in Time: Cycling Albania

Travel from mountains to coast in this untapped coastal country

Flickr/Rob Hogeslag

As Albania's economy grows, more of its roads are being paved and long-haul cycling trips are becoming a more appealing option. You can pedal between friendly villages, through mountain passes, to undeveloped coastline—imagine exploring Croatia by bike twenty years ago.

Freewheeling Adventures is one outfitter starting to lead tours here this year, including a nine-day trip with days spent swimming at Dhermi, the country’s most famous white-sand beach, and overnights in historic Gjirokastër, a UNESCO-protected town built around a 12th-century citadel.

If you prefer crafting your own itinerary, a number of new rental companies are cropping up in Albania's capital city, Tirana. The Tirana Backpacker Hostel, for one, has high-quality sets of wheels for €5 a day and provides suggested routes and points of interest.

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