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  #1  
Old 25 Mar 2011
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Albania tour next June

Hi,

we (myself and friend of mine) and ours motorbikes (two Transalps XLV 650) are looking for advises for tour in Albania.
We wish to spend 10 days and enjoy possible some secondary dirty roads tracks visiting Thethi, Komani Lake, Fierza, Kukesi, Lura, Peshkopia, Pogradeg Lake, Corovoda, Berati. etc.
What about free camping in the mountain areas? Is it allowed and safe? We do not want to run fast but what about Police behaviour? Any other advise.
We are going to take the ferry from Ancona to Durres. It is the first time we board our motorbikes on a ferry. Any suggestion for the motorbikes lashing during navigation?
Many thank you to any of you will reply
Fabio
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  #2  
Old 25 Mar 2011
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Hi Fabio,
we will be riding close behind you - just some days later in July - so please, leave us some dirt tracks...!

- I already had some ferry-passages with my bike and each time there were ropes or belts to secure the bike during the passage. Personal will do this job for you!
By the way: we will be sailing from Venezia to Igoumenitsa this year!

- in case you understand the german language a little bit, you can find excellent informations here: albanien.ch

- Campingplätze in Albanien

- if you use a garmin gps device, this is probably the best hint I can give to you (english language!): Bunker Trails - Home
You can download for free the "Albania GeoPolitical GPS Basemap" which is not routable but perfectly running on a ZUMO...!

- camping in the "wilderness" shopuld not be a problem - we will do this anyway (being three riders). However we will carry enough drinking water with us because of the danger of diarrhoea.

Cheers, Ralf
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  #3  
Old 25 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabio View Post
Hi,
....
We wish to spend 10 days and enjoy possible some secondary dirty roads tracks visiting Thethi, Komani Lake, Fierza, Kukesi, Lura, Peshkopia, Pogradeg Lake, Corovoda, Berati. etc.
....
Fabio
The road to Theti is a bit tricky to find, as most side roads in Albania ;o) You need a good map with fairly accurate distances, so that you can cross-check the distance with your speedometer. Usually there are no road signs to guide you. A map I have found quite useful is the Albania road map published by "Reise-knowhow" - see here: [url=http://www.reise-know-how.de/rkh_englisch.php?osCsid=fca90d7e359eb7166f762b3609 d53de3]Reise Know-How Verlag
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Old 25 Mar 2011
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Sorry, for some reason only half of my message appeared above

So, here is the rest:
If you are interested, I could mail some Garmin tracks to you. They cover the roads to Theti, Komani, Fierze, Kukes, Peshkopi and a dew more. A very scenic ride is north of the road to Theti. It turns off at Hani-i-Hotit and goes into the Vermosh valley. Brilliant!

Accommodation is fairly cheap in Albania (rooms), but camping in the bush is possible and - except for the herd dogs - not dangerous.

Hans
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Old 26 Mar 2011
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I was in Albania in 2009. Great country, friendly people. As far as police we didn't see any....
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  #6  
Old 3 Apr 2011
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Thank you to all of you guys!
This confirm we are going to spend nice time and, yes Hans we are interested about Garmin tracks. Please let me know where and how I can retrieve them.
Ralf we keep you informed as we will be back
Cheers Fabio
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Old 4 Apr 2011
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Hi Fabio
I was two times in Albania and Kosovo. In 2008 and 2010. It is very friendly and safe countries.
You can camp everywhere in Albania, but unfortunatly beaches are dirty.
We haven't any troubles with police. It is very difficulty to drive fast in such a mountain country.
There are some speed radars on the way from Montenegro border to Tirana.
Good food, good self rakija in every shop, all the times they improve and build new roads.
We drove without GPS, only maps.

Bartosz
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  #8  
Old 6 Apr 2011
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Friendly people and beautiful country.

Only drawback, my GPS stolen on my motorbike in the ferry in Lake Koman !
And no help from police at all! They said they are far away where we gt out of ferry.
Pay ettention to your goods.
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Old 6 Apr 2011
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Hi, i was in Albania in 2009 and enjoyed the dirt road from Peshkopi to Kukes, easy trail but take plenty of water. I enjoyed Albania but it did feel more 'edgy' than the bordering countries. i also did not see any police.
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  #10  
Old 8 Apr 2011
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Great!
the journey preparation is in progress: ferry booked!
Another question: what about gasoline stations availability? As we wish to camp, there are many off roads tracks where motorbikes could become thirstier. Do we have to plan a small jerry can with us?
Ciao
Fabio
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  #11  
Old 8 Apr 2011
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Hi
I can't help you with motorbikes. My Defender has 110 liters tank, but there is no problem with gas stations.

Bartosz
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  #12  
Old 9 Apr 2011
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As far as I know :-) , there isn´t any traffic sign in Albania telling you "Next gas station 150 miles ahead"...

So, we won´t carry extra gas with us - in case we´ll just fill up when the tank still is half full or the devil-may-care one will have to go ahead and get gas for the others...

Just this is really important: less luggage, less weight - much better riding!

Have fun, Ralf!

Last edited by Ralf1150GS; 9 Apr 2011 at 21:12.
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  #13  
Old 10 Apr 2011
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does anybody have any idea if the road to thethi is likely to be open, in early june?
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  #14  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Originally Posted by vdh-be View Post
I was in Albania in 2009. Great country, friendly people. As far as police we didn't see any....
Maybe they all got sacked - I was there in 2007 and saw a fair few. One pair tried to do me for speeding but I let one have a go on the bike and they bought me lunch instead. Great country!

Lake Orhid up by the Macedonian border is very pretty and has some great switchbacks going up to reach it!
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  #15  
Old 21 Jun 2011
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Albania June trip: we did it

We are back and we did it. Amazing trip and affable people!
GPS track you made available were essential in those sections in the middle of the mountain with road going in two different directions without any sign. So thank you so much Ralf!
Another interesting site to retrieve GPS tracks is the following: http://it.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/home.do

Trip started May 28th from Milan to Bari. Long but relaxing journey.
We took the ferry at 9 pm in Bari and arrived in Durres the day after at 7:00 am
We headed immediately to Theth making the tour counterclockwise.
The section between Shkoder to Theth is 80 km very challenge section with all types of terrains: gravel, mud, small rivers crossing, potholes etc.
The summary of the tour is:
Durres-Theth-Koman-Fierze (navigation with ferry through Koman Lake is not to be missed by anyone!)-Kukes-Peshkopie-Pogradec-Gjirokaster-Berat-Elbasan-Tirane-Durres.
Remarkable the off road section between Kelcyre and Berat (it seems a main road and you will find 50 km of wild road across mountain ridges).
I recorded part of our travel with GPS. If someone is interested to the track let me know.

In each small town you can find gasoline station. Even with small Transalp XL 650 tank we never run out of gas.

At the border you have to pay 15 euro for a national insurance as green card and your insurance 99% is not recognized by Albanian authorities and you insurance does not cover risks in this country.

Police is everywhere (behind the corners) on the main roads between Tirane, Durres, Shkoder and disappear as soon as you go in the interior of Albania. In any case if you follow the rules (speed limits are very low 30-50 km/h) and you do not behave as Valentino Rossi during GP they do not take care of you.

Food is very good. You can enjoy small grill stalls along the road. If you are thirsty you can cross the road and go at the small bar just in front! Vegetables are really genuine. Never tasted such delicious tomatoes (and I am Italian!).

Tent is not a must. However we use it in a camp close to Komani lake dam as we did not find any other accommodation. Reason was not because of crowded place but because no hotels or other accommodations were available. Only alternative was small houses in the camp and we preferred the tent. Great night on the river bank!

Ten days are not enough especially if you want to explore some alternative secondary roads without GPS support. We will come back there is so much to do!

Cheers to everybody!
Fabio
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