RAFT, KAYAK AND HIKE ALBANIA
Explore Albania and help save the Vjosa; Europe’s last wild, free-flowing river, by rafting it with local activists. 2 days off work.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Albania is an undiscovered adventure destination that is steeped in history. Help to preserve its natural biodiversity by experiencing it first-hand, rafting on the Vjosa river.The Vjosa River is under threat by plans to build hydroelectric dams, which could have a devastating impact on the livelihood of the river’s locals and endemic species. Over 3 days you’ll kayak to breathtaking beaches, snorkel in crystal waters, take an adrenaline ride on the free-flowing Vjosa River and hike through Albania’s historic cities and villages.
Those who are looking to explore this up-and-coming adventure hot-spot, and help support it’s growing tourism industry. Albanian food is hearty and healthy, usually based around meat and vegetables much of which is seasonal and sourced locally. Popular dishes include turkey, lamb or goat Pershesh, served with a local bread known as Kulac, a meat and leek pie made with thin pastry called Byrek and freshly caught fish served in a Mediterranean style. Fish dishes are often flavored with white vinegar and olive oil grown in Southern Albania and many dishes are served with wine from one the local vineyards.
What should I pack?
- Breathable light-weight waterproof gear (Goretex, Sympatex, etc)
- Wind-stopper jackets
- Small backpack with rain coverage
- Snorkelling equipment
- Mosquito repellent
- Hiking poles
- Water bottle
We’re really flexible and none of our itineraries are written in stone, so if you have a particular interest you’d like to include or you need to leave a trip earlier or join later (at a pro-rated fare), just let us know and we can almost always make it happen. Likewise, all adventure travel requires a certain amount of flexibility and we sometimes have to make minor changes to the activities because of weather and availability, but we have plenty of options up our sleeve.
Day 1: Kayaking from Butrint to Ali Pasha Castle
At 9:45 you’ll be met by your hosts at Saranda harbour. The action begins as you kayak along the Ionian coastline from the Butrint amphitheatre to the historic Ali Pasha Castle. Amidst visiting these UNESCO world heritage sites, you’ll be in awe of the magnificent views along the way.
After lunch, you’ll be taken to Lukove (1.5-hour drive), a small, traditional village with breathtaking beaches and characteristically clear waters.
When you arrive, you’ll embark on a relatively easy hike to one of the most beautiful beaches in this area, Krorez Bay. In the afternoon, it’s time to see what this unspoiled cove has to offer; get closer to those crystal waters and go for a swim among its inhabitants. Don’t forget your snorkel and underwater camera.
Heading back to Saranda for the evening, you’ll stop off at the Porto Palermo castle if time allows it; a historic site with a story almost as romantic as the views you’ve seen throughout your hike today.
2 hours kayaking, 3 hours hiking, 1 hour swimming, 3 hours driving
Day 2: Rafting on the Vjosa River
After breakfast, the minibus will pick you up and take you to the small town of Permet (3-hour drive).
After lunch, you’re in for an adrenaline-fueled afternoon as you go rafting on the Vjosa River, one of Europe’s last free-flowing rivers. Its entire 270km course is wild and untamed and adorned with beautiful canyons, braided river sections, islands and oxbows.
The Vjosa River is a class III rafting course. Prepare for waves up to four feet and narrow passages that send the boat shimmying and water gushing over the sides.
To wind you down into the evening, you’ll visit the Thermal Baths of Benja and hike to the Canyon of Lengarica where you can relax and enjoy a swim in their natural waters. You’ll then head to a local homestay for the evening in Permet, where you can enjoy a barbecue of local food to the sound of traditional music.
2,5 hours rafting, 3 hours hiking & swimming, 4 hours driving
Day 3: Hiking the historical sites of Gjirokastra
This morning, you’ll be taken to a short hike around the village.
Later after being collected from the guest house you'll drive to Gjirokastra and walk around this ancient city there are plenty of pit stops that are sure to fulfil your appetite for history.
After lunch, it’s time to say goodbye as you head back to the seaport for your forwarding journey to Corfu airport. You can decide whether you’re going to spend your last hours at the beach of Saranda or Corfu before flying back home. (Ferry departs at 16:00)
2 hours hiking
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.
You’ll spend your first night in a comfortable twin room at a bnb in Saranda. All rooms are air-conditioned with a TV and seating area. The rooms also offers free WiFi. On your second night, you will stay at a homestay in Permet where you can exchange stories with the local residents.
- Rafting on the Vjosa River
- Guided hiking, kayaking and snorkelling
- Guided cultural sightseeing
- 2 nights accommodation
- Rafting, kayaking and snorkelling equipment
- Meals during the trip
- Local professional certified English-speaking guides
- All transfers in Albania, including pick-up from Saranda harbour
- All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip
The trip fare doesn’t include coffee and any kind of drink except water. You’ll have extra activities (optional tour) if you choose them, and you’ll probably feel like tipping your guides at the end of a fabulous trip.
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