Fri 16 Apr - Fri 23 Apr 2021

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Your challenge day by day

Day 1, Fri 16 Apr 2021

Depart London and fly to Tirana

It’s time to say goodbye to friends and family before boarding your flight to Tirana. After a short flight you will be met and transferred to your hotel. If time allows, you will have a short tour around seeing highlights such as Skanderbeg Square, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, and ‘Blloku’, the once restricted residential district of the communist elite. (D)

Accommodation: Hotel

1

Day 2, Sat 17 Apr 2021

Drive to Lake Ohrid; cycle to Kor├ža (bus transfer 125km; cycle approx. 45km/5 hrs)

This morning you will drive through the valley of Shkumbin and Thana Pass until you reach the shores of Lake Ohrid where the cycling challenge begins. After checking and fitting the bikes, the warm up ride alongside the lake soon ends as you head through the hills to the Korça plateau. Known for its relaxed atmosphere, Korça houses the oldest brewery of Albania! (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

2

Day 3, Sun 18 Apr 2021

Cycle to Germenj (cycle approx. 75km/7-8 hrs)

After breakfast the ride today passes through apple fields and along a roller coaster road beside the Gramoz Mountains. In the afternoon, you’ll reach the Barmash Pass which opens to stunning views towards the Germenj woods that lie ahead. The final push for today winds through the pine and fir forests until reaching your accommodation. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

3

Day 4, Mon 19 Apr 2021

Into the Vjosa Valley (cycle approx. 80km/8hrs; bus transfer 1 hr)

Today starts by cycling across a remote and beautiful plateau and on through a forest of fir until you reach views across the rocky north face of Mount Nemerçka. From here the route descends from Lekovik into the green valley of Vjosa, known as Europe’s last wide river despite threats of the construction of hydropower dams. The day’s cycling ends on reaching the thermal springs of Benja located next to an ancient Ottoman stone bridge. There may be time to relax and take in the springs. After lunch, you’ll transfer by bus to the historic town of Gjirokaster with time to visit the Argjiro fortress on top of the hill and enjoy the sunset over the Lunxheria mountains. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

4

Day 5, Tue 20 Apr 2021

Cycle to Butrinti (bus transfer 30km; cycle approx. 70km/8 hrs)

A short transfer by bus this morning takes you to the Muzina Pass where the bikes will be waiting for the cycle downhill towards the coast. The vegetation changes as you get closer to the Mediterranean Sea and after cycling along the vast Butrinti Lagoon, you’ll get the first views over the Ionic coast and to Corfu.  On reaching the Vivari Channel you will stop for lunch and to visit the UNESCO archaeological park of Butrint. After this cultural stop, you’ll continue to the town of Saranda, where you stop for the night. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

5

Day 6, Wed 21 Apr 2021

Cycle along the Albanian Riviera (cycle approx. 60km/6-7 hrs)

Your day starts with a short but steep climb out of Saranda and, as you head inland, the road winds through olive groves and on to the village of St Vasil. From here the next section of your journey goes along the spectacular stretch of coast known as the Albanian Riviera. The road stays high above the sea, passing a succession of small villages, olive and citrus terraces until you reach the Bay of Palermo. From here, the final section of the ride takes you to Himara by the sea, your overnight stop. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

6

Day 7, Thu 22 Apr 2021

Cycle the Llogora Pass (cycle approx. 60km; bus transfer 100km)

Leaving Himara behind, the first test of the day is the climb of the Visha Pass, followed by another panoramic section above the coast. After passing through Dhermi, the long and regular switchbacks of the Llogora Pass above the Ionian coast and besides the Cika Mountains make for a spectacular and challenging ride. After a well-deserved rest and lunch, the reward for a tough morning is a long downhill ride towards the bay of Vlora marking the end of your challenge. You’ll leave your bikes behind and a bus transfer takes you to the old UNESCO city of Berat to celebrate the end of the day. (B,L,D)

Accommodation: Hotel

7

Day 8, Fri 23 Apr 2021

International departure to UK

Expect to feel proud of your achievements and emotional as you transfer to the airport for your international flight back to London. (B)

8

Important information

B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner

The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the strength of the group, and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary; however, we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your expedition leader will have the final say.

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We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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