Day 1Travel to Prishtina, Kosovo and Theranda mountain trails (D) - Afternoon tour, approx. 21 km, 750 m+/1400 m–
Pick up from Prishtina Airport and transfer (about 1 hour) to the Shar Mountains national park (altitude 1300m). After preparing our bikes and a picnic al fresco, we ride approximately 10 km uphill and along some mountain ridges, while some local experts show us hot trails all the way down - 1400 m to Kosovo lowlands. What a start! Dinner and accommodation in a hotel in Prizren, Kosovo’s most attractive city.
Day 2 In the alpine frontier area of Kosovo and Albania Day tour in the frontier area, approx. 30km, 1200m +/ 1600m– (includes approx. 2h pushing of the bike, but no carrying).
Early morning transfer to Kosovo’s most remote corner, Dragash, and a remote (but official) border crossing into Albania. Entry and start of the day tour in the alpine area (7000 ft+) along the borderline. During communism heavily guarded, today only occasional bunker-ruins, give witness of the borderline in this otherwise completely deserted mountain area. Great downhill single track with curved trail and varied terrain over nearly 7000 ft altitude.
Overnight stay at a traditional guesthouse in a beautiful village – an experience of what it was like 100 years ago.
Day 3Single tracks in the border area near Macedonia Day tour in the alpine border area between Albania & Macedonia (Korab), approx. 27km +1400m/-1200m (includes approx. 1h pushing of the bike, but no carrying).
This trail was found by our guide last autumn short before the snow locked it in. Ancient mule trails high up in the mountains, which back in the days were used for trade between the villages. Turns out today they are pretty good stuff for biking! Uphill mostly rideable, downhill they include fantastic sections like a flowy zig-zag trail through a pine forest. One of the top 3 trails of the whole region!
Overnight in a guesthouse in a lively mountain village.
Day 4 Flow trail and family connection Day tour in the Dibra valley, approx. 47km +1000m / -1600m
Today there’s a bit of everything – and something on top of it. After a short asphalt climb, single tracks lead us down to the Black Drim, the free-floating river of the region. Over gravel roads, we bike to the lunch place, where we get served from a family in the village of our Albanian guide, Orgest. Where tourism comes to an end – and real experiences start! Well-fed we take the day’s second half under our wheels, and this means a lovely flowy trail connecting two villages. Today’s target is Peshkopi, a regional farming town.
Overnight in a comfortable hotel in town.
Day 5 Freshwater and the natural bike park Day tour in the hills of the Black Drim, approx. 22 km 600m+ / 750m- (includes approx. 30min pushing of bike, but no carrying).
We cross the delta of the Black Drim – a short splash is a must, it's mostly warm here and climb up into the hills. Once on the top, we get treated with smooth single tracks and panoramas of the opposite border mountains. Mother Nature made a bike park here for us! Over some big fun downhill, we ride along old village trails down to our old friend, the Black Drim. This short bike day ends with a 2h bus transfer to our upcoming adventure – the Shebenik national park in central Albania. We spend the night in a guesthouse in a mountain village close to the national park: Stars and total silence!
Day 6Traversing the national park Day tour to Lake Ohrid, approx. 52km + 1500m / 2200m
Today is another big adventure. We bike on shepherd trails north to south through the Shebenik-Jabllanice national park, an Albanian-Macedonian cross-border protected area, very remote and of big natural diversity..
For the evening we arrive at a lovely village on Lake Ohrid, where we sleep in a comfortable guesthouse.
Day 7Over the lake and into Macedonia (Relaxing day) Bike Lin – Radozhda, approx. 14 km + 350 m / 350 m
We have 6 cycling days behind us, so it’s the moment to take it easy and relax a bit. But not the usual way – with us specials only! The little biking of today takes us over the border crossing and into Macedonia, followed by a 2km single-track down to Lake Ohrid. A boat just for us now takes us over the lake and to the UNESCO town of Ohrid, where we enjoy lunch and short sightseeing. A second boat ride and a short lift up to a mountain village conclude this easy day – full of views of the fantastic Lake Ohrid & the mountains surrounding it. Accommodation in a nice rural Macedonian guesthouse.
Day 8Single tracks over Lake Ohrid approx. 32 km +1000 m / 1050 m
Breakfast – and single tracks! On the mountain looming over the Balkan's biggest lake, we climb to Krstec pass – the highest in the country and one of the 4 karstic fields in Galichitsa National Park. Over a high plateau and dirt roads, we bike to the areas freshwater springs and our well-earned picnic. Single tracks take us downhill to the village of Velgoshti. A cold beer, satisfying tiredness and we're sitting in the transfer to Mavrovo National Park – the largest one in the country and home of tomorrow's bike adventures. Accommodation in a rural guesthouse.
Day 9The trails of Mavrovo approx. total of 57 km + 1100 m / 1300 m
Today, Dimitri & friends show us the trails of Mavrovo – together with yesterday’s Ohrid’s probably best area for biking in Macedonia. We start riding from our accommodation place over some asphalt, before we climb on double dirt road up to one of the area’s best viewpoints, allowing a view of the highest peaks in Macedonia and Albania. We continue our track to the village of Galichnik, one of the country’s most popular and rich in history & culture. After lunch in the village and a short visit to a small rural dairy farm, we leave this 1450m village place by van and transfer up to 1700m: 500m downhill with some nice single trail awaiting for today’s finale!
Day 10Flight from Skopje airport (from mid-day and later)
In the morning, we take the transfer to the Skopje airport, where you can get your home-bound flight. Time to say goodbye to this very special pioneer adventure!