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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed May 2019

    Amazing Adventure

    This trip more than satisfied my curiosity and interest in Albania. We cycled in lots of different regions facing different countries and seeing Albania in all its beauty. Each day offered a different type of ride, the scenery forever changing and the views always spectacular and breath-taking.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing just how beautiful Albania is on so many levels. I felt honoured to have been able to get a glimpse of a country that has just opened its doors to the outside world. Everything from my perspective looked unspoilt and natural. People were really friendly and cheered us on along our journey.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erlis was an amazing group leader and had a lot of work to do making sure we were all OK. I loved the way he spent time explaining things and helped me to understand the history of Albania from his own perspective and how it had affected his upbringing. Both him and our driver were really supportive and helpful at all times making sure we were OK, had enough to drink and kept us entertained especially when we or rather I struggled up some of those continuous hills that never seemed to end.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go as soon as you get the opportunity. Make sure you have a good pair(s) of shorts as you will be in the saddle for a long time. I brought a pair for each day of cycling and was happy they were well padded as I really needed them to be for the sake of my sanity!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The food was lovely and varied. I don't eat meat or fish but found that each meal we ate was cooked differently and there was not a lack of variety. Lots of meals were shared so we all just dug in and ate what we wanted from what was on offer. The plates kept coming out laden with tasty dishes. The chips I think were the best I have tasted even better than our UK ones!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Phil Myslowski

    Highlights of Albania

    This is a trip which exceeded my expectations. Friendly locals, fabulous landscapes, cheap and cheerful food and drink with the excellent guide, Ed. I have just one gripe which Exodus should consider and act upon. Despite outside temperatures of around 18 - 20 degrees during daylight hours our driver had the air conditioning on most of the time. The only windows that could be opened on the minibus were located in the front doorseat plus a roof window which was only opened once in 10 days for a couple of hours at my insistence. Some of our 15 strong group, myself included, developed dry throats, head colds, coughs etcetera. A week after returning home I am still feeling the effects. And for the last 24 years I have worked outside in all weathers without catching a cold. Tgere was never any need for the air conditioning to be activated within the outside temperature range at this time of year. Opening a window for fresh air would have sufficed. Instead 17 of us were enclosed in an airtight container for several hours on a daily basis breathing the same recycled dry air. Not healthy! There are court cases pending regarding illnesses contracted from air conditioning on aircraft. Take note Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Bonding with the group.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. He would make a great politician.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a face mask.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Cheryl Morris

    Go there!

    When I told friends I was going to Albania, the most common response was "why?". Albania is relatively new to tourism so it's a great time to explore the country. The locals are curious to get to know us which is a rarity in Europe. Albania doesn't have really show stopping sights but there are a number of significant highlights which hold your interest throughout and make this a fascinating trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are several sites of archaeological interest such as Apollonia and Butrint, with some lesser known sites that our guide squeezed into the trip. These sites are often still being excavated and are not commercialised in any way. Kruje is a jewel of a town, clutching to the side of the mountains with fantastic views over the valley below. Gjirokaster is not looking its best at the moment as they are currently replacing all the cobbles in the town but you can tell it will be spectacular once completed - lots of little old wooden buildings clustered underneath the castle on a steep mountainside. The coast is stunning, particularly the coastline facing Corfu - white sands, turquoise seas. There are also beautiful lakes and rivers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eddy was extremely knowledgeable and so enthusiastic. He took good care of everyone and did his best to give us the best possible holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You change hotel every night bar one on this trip so travel light. It may look like there's a lot of driving but each leg of the journey seemed fairly short with frequent coffee or point of interest stops so I never felt restless. It's an incredibly cheap place to visit - you can get a beer for just over one pound, lunch for a couple of pounds and, even pushing the boat out, it's hard to spend more than a tenner. The only "expensive" item on menus is chicken (!) but red meat is much cheaper. There are plenty of tasty vegetarian options too. The guide needs around 1,500 Lek for the kitty, just over a tenner. We went on the first departure of the year and it was quite cold in the mountains so make sure you bring some warm clothes for the departures outside of the summer season. Albania is a land of very slippery and steep pavement surfaces so shoes with good grip are recommended.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Albania is a very clean and safe country - don't hesitate to see it. Exodus, why don't you extend the trip into the North of the country? A couple of extra nights for some chill-time in the mountains and by the sea would have been great.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Nick A

    Fantastic

    A fabulous trip that surprised us from day one. Great food, wonderful people and fantastic scenery. Albania was the winner and we will all recommend going there as soon as you can.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Riding the pass on the last day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erlis(the leader) and Tani(driver) were fabulous, taking care of every detail for us before we even knew it had to be taken care of. They even managed a complete bike change one night for one member of the group without them noticing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now. Don't hesitate.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sarah Wichman

    Best Ever

    Every part of this trip was wonderful, from the people, to the rides, to the organization, to the food, etc. I loved it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to choose one, but maybe getting to the top of that looong climb on the last day. I also really appreciated the history and cultural info that Erlis imparted to us throughout the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erlis was an amazing group leader! I had put in place a lot of structures that made our trip as easy and smooth as it could have been. He shared a lot of history and cultural information that really enhanced our travels and understanding of Albania. He was kind and patient and funny, and the trip would not have been as incredible without him at the helm. Tani, our driver/mechanic/snack procurer/hydrator was also an integral part of the group. He was incredibly thoughtful and accommodating, and anticipated needs we didn't even know we'd have.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go on this trip! The trip notes and packing list covered everything very thoroughly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was very well run, and truly excellent. I cannot say enough about how great Erlis and Tani are - they really made this trip this wonderful. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who can handle some challenging cycling.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Francesca Wiseman

    Cycle Albania

    Albania is incredibly beautiful. It has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery that will forever be etched in my memory. Cycling is a fantastic way to see a country and visit lesser touristy places and this trip was certainly no exception. The people are very hospitable and the Cycle Albania team were simply amazing. The food was a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish meze style and every meal was a feast in itself!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Llogara pass was one of the most powerful moments of the trip. The climb itself is not too hard - it is long and steady - but the hills on the way to the pass make the climb more challenging.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Erlis Rizvanolli. Erlis was incredibly trusting towards us from the word go: Every day we got a map with a description as part of our briefing which was a nice detail which I have not seen on other cycling tours. Erlis let us ride at our own pace and we would re-group at regular intervals and he did not feel the need to control us and always be in the lead - I really appreciated the freedom to ride how I chose, this is not something I have experienced on other Exodus cycling tours and it made this trip stand out from the others. Due to the meze (sharing) approach to eating, Erlis would pay for every meal and trusted us to record the cost of our food and drink and did not take any money from us until the end of the holiday. Erlis was well organized and the tour ran slick. Erlis went the extra mile to ensure we had a fantastic holiday and even got in the kitchen on the final morning to make our breakfast because the chef was hospitalized in a vehicle accident on his way to work.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Albania is not flat - be prepared to cycle up some hills. The Albanians also love cheese, there is usually one cheese dish per meal (sometimes two) but there was an abundance of food so if you are lactose intolerant do not worry!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our support driver, Tani Kurti, was instrumental to the smooth operation of the cycle tour. Tani is a kind and patient soul, who looked after the back of the group and ensured no-one was left behind. Not only was Tani a careful and considerate driver, but he did whatever was needed to look after the group: he was our bike mechanic, driver, first-aider, waiter, group photographer and he always made sure we were well fed and hydrated whilst cycling.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Janice Waight

    Highlights of Albania

    This was a thoroughly comprehensive tour travelling around a large part of the country, involving visiting many fascinating historical sites, museums, the countryside ....various towns,mountainous regions, flat fertile plains and the coast .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several.... The stunning mountains, breathtaking views of castles , mosques and the courteousness of the Albanian we met....and learning so much about the country thanks to our guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Klodi was a very fine group leader. His knowledge of his country and it's history was extremely impressive. We learnt so much and he was always really helpful and had a great sense of humour ! Also, importantly, Ghent, our driver, was excellent. We couldn't have been in safer hands....driving through the mountains was very tricky at times, but he was always calm and very careful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to Albania now before it becomes too touristy. It's a great country and after such a sad history,the people are doing wonders restoring and revitalizing it. Only one criticism....some of the lunch breaks were too long!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Vicky Green

    Fabulous trip

    Beautiful country with a mixture of forest, coast and mountains. Our group bonded really well; we had lots of laughs and lots of encouragement for each other up the hills. Food was good; mezze style shared between the group which worked really well. Lots of snack stops to keep us fuelled.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it up the Llogara Pass which was hot, very hilly but well worth it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Erlis was fantastic. Very easy going, knowledgeable about the history of Albania and nothing was too much trouble for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some hill practice before coming, as the first day starts with some tough hills. Visit now before word gets out about how fabulous Albania and its people are.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Brilliant holiday - book it now and make sure you try the raki when you get there!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Rod Kantor

    Highlights of Albania

    Overall the itinerary was fine but it could be enhanced. A night was spent in Vlores and a visit made to Durres. Neither town was inspiring and what we saw there was incidental to the trip and would not have been missed if it had not been included. Cut Vlores and Durres out and spend more time in Gjirokaster and / or Berat. Or reroute slightly and include other destinations not on the current itinerary. There was a feeling of being rushed around the Berat Castle area in particular - a quick photo here then move on. No time to take in the scene. The photos have to be good as there's no time to retain a mental impression. The hotel choices were good to excellent and that in Berat exceptional. The minibus concept for transport has shortcomings, particularly when the bus is full. Anyone in an aisle seat has little chance of seeing mountainous countryside as line of vision is directed downwards by the top of the window for a tall person sitting in the middle of the bus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to understand the seemingly endless battles over centuries that the Albanian people have had to fight and the compromises they have had to accept on the road to maintaining their identity as a nation

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide was very knowledgeable and shared his knowledge generously and frequently on a wide range of subjects, in part leading to the comment made immediately above. He tried hard to please everyone. That is not an easy task and can lead to the wrong result. When an option is offered and half the group go one way and half the other those attempts to please everyone end up disappointing half. Sometimes it's better for the guide to just say what's going to happen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're interested in life in Albania during the last century, and during the communist era in particular, get to Tirana a few days before the trip starts. The trip itinerary allows for surprisingly little time in Tirana and during that time the only exposure to visual information about Albania in the 20th century is a visit to the national museum. However, that museum is far from the best place in and around the capital to find out how Albanians lived and were treated during the communist dictatorship.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    paul cullen

    Cycling Albania

    A fantastic way to see this wonderful country. The first part of the trip is mainly inland in more rural mountainous areas and the second part along the Albanian riviera. Great hospitality and food, considerate drivers on the roads and friendly people as we passed through the smaller places. The cycling has some challenging climbs on the first and final days but is as described on the trip notes and classification. Nice to have some shorter cycling days to be able to do the tours in Gjirokaster and the Roman site at Butrint.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Roman city of Butrint.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great service by our group leader Dimitri especially in managing and organising the coffee stops, lunches and evening meals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you try the Iced coffee in cans. Lunches were lovely but maybe too much for lunchtime whilst cycling, show self restraint!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus and Cycling Albania (local company) delivered another excellent cycling trip.
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