The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
EuropeTopics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
We've had a code update on the HUBB that should fix any issues with the new right hand column. If the HUBB "looks funny" or is too narrow with the Forum description squished up, please force a refresh to get the latest code update. (Hold down the shift OR ctrl key, and click the refresh button on your browser, OR Ctrl R, OR on Macs, Command R). If you still have a problem please post it here.
I was in Albania this summer with a car.
When you enter the country you pay 3 euros desinfection tax (per car) and 10 euros entry tax (per person).
Just be carefull, because border crossing close at night. I don't know why should the northern border (Han i Hotit - Bozaj) with Montenegro be avoided. Maybe because the terrible road once in Montenegro?
Very beautiful and nice people, but I would suggest you to go (or buy there) with a Mercedes. You will see what I mean while there.
As for indications, only new italian-style roads are signed, the old Hoxha-style roads have no signs, because Enver Hoxa was afraid about foreign invasions (you will see the bunkers on the coast).
Just be careful about radars (and caotic traffic in the cities) as there are lots and usually placed near absurd speed limiting signs.
Learn some basic words in albanian before you go and nice trip.
There are very few places in Albania that are any more risky than the poor parts of Western Europe. OK, a rich westerner driving a 15,000 Euro bike with 3,000 Euro of electronic gizmos and 2,000 euro of specialized riding gear may draw the attention of a desperately poor, unemployed criminal. That can happen here in Albania as well as in London. That said, I've travelled to almost every corner of the country and never had a problem. Use common sense and enjoy the beauty of the place. I'll include the text of a message I sent to another rider recently to save me typing. Come on down and enjoy the last wilderness left in Europe.
There are two places to enter from Macedonia. At the north end of Lake Ohrid at the border point of Qafe Thane and at the southern end of the lake at Tushemisht. Both are easy to cross at bu the southern crossing gives you the option of visiting the Sveti Naum monastery in Macedonia before crossing into Albania. I recommend it. On the Albanian side there are the springs of Drilon in Tushemisht and a nice hotel called the Millenium. Also, at the sign of the big fish, turn left and go down to the restaurant at the fish farm Excellent trout and an interesting wine made with rose petals. From Tushemisht you go on to Pogradec and then north along the lake before crossing the pass at Qafe Thane. Lots of bunkers at the top of the pass. And along the lakeside. Basically everywhere. The road down the pass to Prrenjas is pretty cool with a view over the Plain of Domosdoshme, site of an epic battle between the Turks and the Albanians in the 15th century. From Prrenjas down the valley to Elbasan, the road is good. Lots of sweeping turns and a pretty good surface. From Elbasan, take the road up over Qafe Krrabe direct to Tirana as opposed to going to Durres. The road is unbelievable! OK surface, incredible views over the old communist steel/chrome complex in Elbasan, and one of the scariest drives I've ever taken. Sharp curves, no guardrails, and places where the hillsides fall away for 200-500 meters on each side. Not to be missed!
Tirana is an interesting place to stay with all necessary services. There is a youth hostel on Rruga Elbasan that is pretty cheap. It's at the first traffic light after you pass the American Embassy. Their website is below. Lots of other hotels from crappy up to hideously overpriced (read: Sheraton). The Hotel Imperial is a nice place to splash out for a comfortable room (90 euro a night if you drop my name and ask the owner for the embassy rate!). Depending on what you want to do and see, there are lots of possibilities in Tirana. Great nightlife, lots of bars, clubs, cafe's, and beautiful girls.
From Tirana may want to head out to one of the beaches near Durres if you are the beach type. If not, you'll go north along a pretty good but very dangerous road to Lezhe and then on to Shkoder (Shkodra). Nice castle there overlooking the city. If you're up for a little dirt road travel and want to see the mountains, you should head inland once you pass Shkoder and head for Theth. Beautiful, wild mountains. Great hospitality. Take lots of gas.
The road network in general is improving. You will see lots of construction. Albanian drivers are terrible. You must drive very defensively. I advocate "aggressive defensive driving". This basically means to expect them to do the stupidest thing possible, prepare for the worst, and seize every opportunity to overtake and put the danger behind you. Use your horn. A lot.
Anyway, that's all for now. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask.
Here's the other stuff I wrote before:
Good to hear you are planning on coming to Albania. It's a fascinating little country with a lot of quirky aspects. Some are very annoying quirks, some are funny, and others maddening.
The first question to address is how will you get around. If you are coming with a vehicle, then your possibilites are wide open and you can do lots of stuff. If you plan on riding public transportation it will take more time and limit your options somewhat. August here is the peak tourist season with the majority of the tourists being Albanians who head to the beaches and Kosovars who come for the same reason. The number of international tourists is on the rise, but still a small part of the overall trade. It will also be hot here.
Tirana is a combination of the best and worst of Albania. The city has grown rapidly with some of the growth being uncontrolled. The complete chaos of urban anarchy that existed in 1995-1998 has been cleaned up and the parks have recovered almost completely. The center of the city is vibrant and offers services on a par with any other Balkan capital. There are an unbelievable number of bars, cafe bars, and restaurants offering everything from traditional Albanian food to Indian to Chinese. There is also a lot of poverty, dust, and garbage, particularly in the periphery of the city. It can be something of a shock if you aren't prepared for it.
As for hotels, it depends on your budget and travelling style. There is one youth hostel in Tirana that is supposed to be pretty good. It's centrally located and has a webpage at www.tiranahostel.com.
At the top of the scale is the Sheraton which goes for about 150-200 Euro a night. The Rogner and Tirana International are also in that league. The next step down is the Xheko Imperial which is a smaller boutique hotel with wonderful facilites that is right in the heart of the restaurant/nightlife district called The Bllok. It's website is www.xheko-imperal.com. If you want to make reservations there, tell them Agron's (the owner) friend Steve sent you. You may be able to get the reduced rate of 90 Euro a night. There are a slew of other small hotels of varying quality and convenience scattered around Tirana that can be found on the internet. The Diplomat, The Mondial, The Grand, it all depends on how much you want to spend and what standard of facilites and service you require. If you find something and want my opinion on a specific place, drop me an e-mail.
Near Tirana, there are many interesting things to do. In the city there is the national museum, art museum, opera, the mosque and clock tower, the central square and boulevard, and some examples of Ottoman neighborhoods still exist. There's also a cable car up to the National Park on Mount Dajti which has great views, is cooler in summer, and there are several good restaurants up there. Nearby is the castle of Petrela as well as the city of Kruje which houses a fantastic ethnographic museum and an interesting museum dedicated to Abania's national hero, Skanderbeg. Kruje also has a restored Ottoman market street with interesting architecture and souvenir shopping.
The best beaches in terms of cleanliness are located in the South. From Vlora on down there are scattered small towns with some facilites and beautiful beaches. They include Vlora, Radhime, Orikum, Palasa, Dhermi, Jal, Himare, Qeparo, Borshi, Kakome, Saranda, and Ksamil. All of these villages/towns have some level of accomodation and all lie in beautiful scenery The beaches on the Ionian tend to be smaller, with pebbles rather than sand, and the water is colder than the Adriatic beaches which lie north of Vlora.
The Adriatic beaches include Divjake, Kavaje, Golem/Durres, Gjiri Lalzit, Lezhe/Shengjin, and Velipoje. The water is warmer, the beaches are broad and sandy, and they all have some level of accomodations. Durres/Golem is the primary destination for most beachgoers. It is an 11-km stretch of sand running from the port of Durres south along the bay. It is terribly overbuilt in the north and central sections. I have also heard many people complain about the pollution in the water there. Durres is the best place for beachfront clubs and bars and is loaded with youngsters out for summer holiday during August. It also has some interesting historical sites and a museum that are worth a look.
Away from the beach, I recommend Berat as a must-see. It's a UNESCO heritage and has a fabulous castle with a great museum featuring the works of Onufri, one of the greatest iconographers. There are a few hotels there in the old quarter which are nice and reasonably priced.
Other hisorical sites which merit a visit are (from north to south):
Shkoder - Rozafa Castle
Lezhe - Castle
Kruje - Castle
Petrela - Castle
Durres - Roman Amphitheater/Venetian fortifications
Elbasan - Turkish fortress
Appolonia - Greek Ruins
Bylis - Illyrian/Greek Ruins near Patos
Ardenica - Orthodox Monastery between Lushnje and Fier
Berat - Castle
Gjirokaster - Castle
Butrint - Illyrian/Greek/Roman/Venetian/Turkish ruins. UNESCO world heritage site. Must see.
Good food is everywhere here. Just remember, near the sea: eat fish... in the mountains, eat meat. If you drink, the local wines can be quite good and Birra Korca is fantastic (particularly the dark variety).
For mountain trekking, Theth and Valbona are located in the Albanian Alps and offer spectacular scenery. The trip to Valbona is particularly challenging and involves riding the Koman ferry, one of the worlds most spectacular boat rides on Lake Koman. If the water in the reservoir is high enough in August, that is. If you only want to go walking in the hills, just pick a point on the map. Most of Albania is mountainous and most of it is unexploited for tourism. If you prefer an organized trip out into the wilderness, contact Outdoor Albania at www.outdooralbania.com for kayaking, hiking, 4x4 touring, etc. A good outfit with lots of local knowledge.
Lake Ohrid is beautiful and there are hotels along the western shore, the city of Pogradec at the southwest corner, and Tushemisht/Drilon on the southern end. Drilon has some springs which are the source of water for the lake as well as wonderful trout farming/dining.
As you can see, you could fill up 12 months with activity here, not just 12 days. I hope I've provided some useful leads.
a fabulous report! Yep, that sums it up. I believe your quote "Come on down and enjoy the last wilderness left in Europe." tops it all. The backroads in the east are what I loved most. Unfortunately I didn't take the ferry - hols where too short
Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.