Not many people know much about Albania, us included. Hopefully we know a bit more now! We had been told that it would pretty different to the Europe we know and had just come from. And we felt the change almost straight away as we crossed the border. It was absolutely stunning where we crossed over, and the people, the buildings, the roads were all different. We were given a great first impression though as so many people said hello, in English, the area was beautiful with a lot of rivers and lakes in the first 30-40 kms. Of course it always helps when the sun is shining too, which it was. Then getting into Sarande the owner of the hotel we stayed in was super friendly and welcoming, the port area was nice and it was just a great start.
February 24th to march 4th. 338km
The coast road north of Sarande immediately started climbing, and this set the tone for the next two days. As with most of the other beautiful coast roads we’ve ridden, we had to earn the good views. We headed slightly inland for the first couple of hours with the signs showing a 10% gradient. But the signs only ever said 10%, they didn’t seem to have any other numbers. In reality some were less, but a lot were more! Most of the land was dedicated to orchards, oranges I think, with the mountains in the distance hidden in the clouds. We reached a few hundred metres altitude and then had an equally steep downhill taking us back down to the sea.