Cycling Tourist Package 8+1 days Shkoder Region

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Cycling Tourist Package 8+1 days Shkoder Region

Length: 158.1km

Activity level: light

Cycling Tourist Package 8+1 days


Length: 156.1km Activity level: light Price: 750 €

“Water and Stones” tourist package would

last 8-day in Shkoder rural areas and it is focused on ecotourism, more specifically in cycling, as part of EuroVelo8 Corridor –the Mediterranean Bike Route. Along this itinerary you could enjoy the water surfaces of Kir, Drin and Buna Rivers, the freshness of the biggest Balkan’ Shkoder Lake, sunbath in Velipoja (Adriatic Sea), boat on Koman Lake… As Shkoder is a more two millenarian area, it preserves a lot of stone testimonies, such as: caves, castles, ruins, bridges, churches and mosques of different times and civilizations. Through them you could bring out the spiritual treasure of this old population with epos, pain myths, folk songs, costumes, dances, the old language of geg dialect, etc. As Shkodrans have passion the bike therefore you will see a lot of cyclists all round the streets and not only in the city but even in the villages. Shkoder city has 29% of its population cycling therefore one of our challenges remains the assessment of “bicycle” not only as a mean of transportation in everyday life, but also as one intangible cultural heritage and a good asset for the development of cycling tourism. Slowly it is creating a ‘brand’ for the tourism of the area.

Description The first red day you will visit the city castle and the two old settlements Shkoder and Zogaj along the Shkoder Lake which are well known for fishing and although there are far away they are always considered as city neighborhoods. The three green following days will pass in northeast surroundings of the city starting from Gajtan Cave where was born the life since the Neanderthal era, the Illyrian Town of Gajtan, and the Medieval Town of Sarda (nowadays, Shurdhah). The settlements in those hilly areas along Drin River witness in times the existence and the movement of the population from Alps, in hills and recently in the field next to the sea. The four blue days you will enjoy along the Buna River valley which flows in the Adriatic Sea as the delta of Drin River. The landscape is rich in colors, full of life, brightness and biodiversity, as one protected area, RMASAR. You will sunbath and taste the sea fish dishes, cook by the local inhabitants. The last day you will return back in Shkoder and taste the coffee in Piazza pedestrian and know the story and the spirit of the place from a local guide.

Shkoder The city of Shkoder is located in northwest Albania, in the center of the coastal lowland, with an area of approximately 872,71km². The mountainous territory in north and hilly in northeast is opened on a flat surface to Adriatik Sea. The population accounts about 200,000 inhabitants half of whom is concentrated in the urban center of Shkoder The town lies precisely in between three rivers. From the north and east of the mountains descend Kiri and Drin River; on southwest Buna River as emissary of Shkoder Lake (Lacus Labeatus), the only navigable river in Albania and serves as border with Montenegro. The geographical position, natural resources, mild climate with an average temperature around 15° and abundant rainfall (up to 2000 mm per year) explain why this area was inhabited since ancient times. The physical and geographical characteristics of Shkoder region favor the communications with the other provinces of the country, the Balkans and elsewhere in Adriatic Mediterranean area.

Accessibility in Shkoder

Airport ‘Mother Teresa’ (TIA) Rinas, Tirana_AL 83 km Airport Podgorica (PDG) Podgorica_MN 66 km

- Tirana - Shkoder and return every day, each 60 minutes till 18.00 o’clock. - Shkoder - Ulqin and return evenry day 11.30-13.00 / 15.00-16.30/ 16.00-17.30 - Shkoder - Podgorica by taxi from 8.00 – 16.00, - Shkoder - Prishtina by bus each day from 19.00 - 24.00 - Shkoder - Velipoje by minibuses every hour (summer season).

Durres - Shkoder (AL) 106 km Bar (MN) - Shkoder (AL) 48.7 km

26 km

1. Departure from City Center and 2. Historical tour at ROZAFA Castle180min, 3. Stop at Old Buna Bridge, 4. Arriving at Shiroka village (located at Shkoder Lake shore), 5. Cycling at Zogaj village (located at Shkoder Lake shore and known as fishermen), 6. Lunching the traditional dish ‘krapi’ cooked by the local inhabitants the selves. Restaurant ‘Real’. The view is stunning and you can enjoy the panorama of Alps and the blue space in between sky and water -180min, 7. Visit at wood carpet workshop. Enjoy the homemade rose juice, 8. Returning back in Shkoder.

Shkoder Castle ROZAFA Castle is located on a rocky hill at the entrance of Shkoder city, where the surrounding walls occupy an area of 9 hectares. For the first time, the Illyrian fortified center was mentioned during the Gent Kingdom (181-168 B.C.) and the historian Titus Livius calls “the strongest country of Labeats�. Although Rozafa Castle got occupied by Romans, Slavs and Byzantine times it continues to save a number of environments as garrisons, warehouse, administrative building etc within its walls.


Carp dish, in Albanian ‘Tava e Krapit’ ‘Carp’ is one of the traditional dishes of Shkodran gastronomy. It is served in fish roofs and liquid masse of onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, grape vinegar, dried plums. It is baked in the oven in clay vessel.


Shkoder floats on the water and this natural resource has dominated the economic life and city history. Although the connection of the city is made through Buna River, it is always considered a coastal city and it has been among the most powerful center of the Balkan markets. The water transport is the earliest tradition, meanwhile the vessels had its own indigenous typology, and are produced in the country by Albanian masters. Four vessels types are most commonly used in the waters of Buna River and Shkoder Lake for fishing and transport: “sulja” (small size), “takja” (middle size) and “lundra” (large size), which reached up to our time.

13 km

1. Departure from City Center and 2. Break at Gajtan Village (waterhole), 3. Visiting the Gajtan Cave (Gajtan is one from two oldest settlements in Albania territory Medium Paleolithic 100 000 - 300 000 years b.c. At this time, the physical type of man was ‘Neanderthal’) -120min, 4. Hiking at Gajtan Town, a pure Illyrian archeological site, never occupied by other cultures. Cyclopes stones witness the ancient site since the VIIth century before Christ. From the top of the hill you can enjoy the Drin Valley, Shkoder Lake and the Shkoder city -120min, 5. Lunching at bar-restaurant ‘Rinia’ traditional dishes cooked by the products of their gardens -150min, 6. Tour at Rragam Church (offering a panoramic view on the Vau Dejes Lake, the hills and the villages) -60min, 7. Dinning at the guesthouse dishes cooked by themselves with the produces cultivated by the local farmers -180min.

Gajtani cave is located 11 km away from Shkoder and it belongs to the middle Paleolithic period (from 100,000 to 30,000 years BC) and it is found the traces of Neanderthal within. To date, these are the earliest traces of human life in the Shkoder basin area. Besides near the Gajtan village, above a hill there is a square surrounded by a protective wall with a length of 90 m. This is the fortified prehistoric settlement of Gajtan, which dates back to the early Bronze Age and remains the only pure Illyrian place was not occupied by the civilizations onwards.


Illyrian Gajtan Town

10 km

1. Departure by boat from Rragam village and, 2. Tour at Shurdhah Historical Medieval Town and visiting the Cave in the Vau Dejes lake shore -hiking 180min, 4. Fishing into the Vau Dejes Lake, 5. Lunching fish of the Lake and cooked by the local family 120min, 6. Visit at tobacco field and about the ‘Sheldija tobacco’ cultivation from local farmer guide. -90min, 7. Dinnering traditional cooking at the guesthouse -120min.

Sarda, Medieval Town

(nowadays, called Shurdhah) The medieval town of Sarda has been an important cultural center and one crossroad of three main cultures throughout the region of Highland, Zadrima and Mirdita by the end of the XVth century. Once, Sarda was a town beside Drini River and a focal point of the old road Gjakova-ShkodĂŤr- Ulcinj. The great feudal family of Dukagjin built its own palace, now a desert town surrounded by the cool crown of the crystal water of Drin River. It has become an interesting island full of wall ruins, churches and an attractive destination for tourism. The water of the Vau Dejes Lake, the mountains and the surrounding hills full in green create a beautiful landscape.

Common Tobacco (lat. Niconiana tabacum L). a well known plant with scented white and yellow flowers. Rragam and Sheldi areas are known for climate conditions and soil quality, which favor the growth of this plant. In this zone, the tobacco is grown in natural conditions and without interference by the growers’ chemicals. The process of its cultivation passes several stages: producing seedlings in flowerbed – planting by mid-June – harving them in the morning when the tobacco leaf and the tip of the leaf look at the ground – drying the tobacco in natural conditions which lasts 20-30 days.


Tobacco Cultivation

9 km

1. Leaving Rragam, passing by Gjoqi and arriving to Drisht village, 2. Tour at Historical Medieval Town of Drisht /Castle of Drisht (from the top of the Castle Hill valley, you could admire a stunning view of Kir River Albanian Alps and the field of Shkoder area -200min, 3. Lunching traditional cooking at barrestaurant in front of Kir Lake -120min, 4. Visit at onion fields in order to know its cultivation from local farmer guide. -90min, 5. Leaving Drisht village and visiting Mes Bridge (cultural monument), 6. Accomodation at the hostel ‘Jashtja’.

Drisht Medieval Town Visit the ruins of the Drisht Castle (sometime, Drivastum) which is located about 10 km at Shkoder east, at Kir river valley.It was was one of the most magnificent town of Albania and North Highland in the Middle Ages (XIVth - XVth century), from where the high rate of development is proved by the ‘Statutes’. The town was ruled by proud nobility, from which we can mention the Angelic family.

Drisht is known for the cultivation of onions within the country and abroad. Drisht cultivar has two forms: conical and globose. The complete cycle of cultivating onion is in 3 years: first year seeds are grown (called barot), in the second bulbs are produced by seeds, and by the third year onions come from bulbs.


Onion Cultivation

21 km

1. Departure by cycling Drisht village, 2. Tour at historical fortress of Katul from where the panoramic Shkoder view is amazing -hiking 80min, 3. Tour at the historical site (church ruins of the early medieval era) -45min, 4. Lunching grilled fish at barrestaurant X next to the Shkoder Lake - 180min, 5. Wine Tour at Cantine X, in Old Shtoj and tasting wine -90min, 6. Relax and sunbath at Shkoder lake shore -120 min, 7. Returning back in Shkoder -30min, 8. Accommodating at ‘Kaduku’ Hotel.


Shkoder Lake Shkoder Lake is located in northwestern Albania and is the largest lake in the entire Balkan Peninsula, with an area of 368 hectares. The lake is shared between Albania and Montenegro, of which 149 hectares and 57 km of shoreline fall within the Albanian territory. According to local legend, there was only a small brook fed by a water spring where the lake is today. One evening a young woman who was collecting water at the spring received the news that her husband had just returned home after years of traveling abroad. She jumped up for joy and ran home, forgetting to put back the rocks that blocked the water from running. The water flowed the whole night and the next day the Shkodra Lake was created. In reality, the lake is sourced by the Mora?a River, and drains into the Adriatic via the Buna River.

23 km

1. Departure from city center, 2. Stop at Shirq church (cultural monument) -60min, 3. Coffe break in Dajç, 4. Relax and sunbath in Buna river (Bregice Beach), 5. Lunching traditional cooking, prepared by local families – 120min, 6. Relax and sunbath in Buna River (Bregice Beach) 7. Arriving at Velipoja destination by cycling 8. Dinnering fish cook, 9. Accomodation at Hotel ‘Athina’.

15 km

1. Visiting by cycling the Protected Areas (reserve of Buna River) till Delta, 2. Lunching at traditional restaurants (fish) -120min, 3. Arriving at Boks Rrjoll beach, 4. Relax and sunbathing at the attractive beach of Boks Rrjoll, 5. Dinnering sea fish dishes at ‘Pirati’ restaurant – 120min, 6. Accomodation at ‘Viluni’ hotel.

Buna River - Velipoje Buna is a 41 km long river and outflows from Shkoder Lake. The river passes on the southern outskirts of Shkoder city by joining the Drin, the greater part of which became its tributary.


After 20 kilometers in Albania, it forms000 the 24 km long border between Albania and Montenegro. On this border section, the river meanders widely, flowing at Adriatic Sea (Velipoja). This area is protected by Law in 2005, and as Ramsar with the Shkoder Lake

30 km

1. Alternative –early in the morning to fish with the local fishers, 2. Relax and sunbathing at Boks Rrjoll beach, 3. Lunching sea fish cooking at ‘Pirati’ restaurant -120min, 4. Relax and sunbathing 5. Visiting the Lagoon, protected areas -150min, 6. Dinnering at the hotel -90min.

11 km

1. Departure from City Center -40min cycling, 2. Break at Guri zi -30min, 3. Cycling at Juban -50min, 4. Hiking up to the water source -30min, 5. Break at water source -15min, 6. Hiking straight the Juban Cave -30min, 8. Break at Juban Cave -15min, 9. Visiting the Juban Cave -120 min, 10. Coffe break at Guri Zi, 11. Lunch -120min, 12. Returning back at home -40min.

Zadrima Zadrima lies in the northwest part of Shkoder and its population about 60. 000 inhabitants. It is located in two regions: Shkodra and Lezha and it is part of the Western Lowland. Zadrima is crossed by two rivers: the River Drin, which is also known as its northern frontier and Gjader River, which flow together to Lezha. The prehistoric traces witness the territory inhabited too early...These are verified by many documents and precious archaeological objects, well known in the scientific world, such as: the culture of Gajtan and Koman. Dresses of Zadrima are one of the most amazing traditional costumes in our country. It dominate the vivid and optimistic colors,as: red, yellow and green. Bridal shirts harkate, in white and yellow silk with qaza embroidered with birds and combined by rhombic figures, with silk, have much fantasy and art.

Postrriba Postrriba is lying at the foot of the mountains of Maranaj and Cukal, on both sides of Kir river and beyond the Shtoj Field and with a population of approximately 11,442 inhabitants. About 80% of the area is occupied by hills and mountains and in the past the basic sector of the economy for postrribas inhabitants was the livestock, while nowadays the priority remains the agriculture, mainly: cereals and bread, vegetables and fruits –the well known is the culture of the onion. Since ancient times, foreign and domestic scholar-explorers have written in general about Postrriba and in particular about Drisht – according Shuflaj Drivastum was settled simultaneously with other towns of the middle Ages, as: Shas, Balezo, Sarda, Danja etc. In this zone the history clashes battles and genocide, , as it is the ‘Postrriba Uuprising’ on 1946 the anticommunist movement among the first ones in Europe. Therefore the Municipality of Postrriba was award with the title “Honor of the Nation’ on 2008 by the Albanian President.

Buna-Velipojë River Buna-Velipojë, an area of 23,027.00 ha –protected area as natural landscape and included at RAMSAR Convention for the rich biodiversity. The river itself and the marshes of Domi form an important space for birds through migration of some species of fish, such as sturgeon (Acipenser sturio). There is a variety of animals in this area which prove an European importance, as: Phalacrocorax pygmeus, Lutra Lutra and the jackal (Canis aureus). In particular, the lagoon preserves the home for aquatic avifauna, especially for wintering migratory species some of which are protected by the Bonn convention.

Emergency numbers

Road police


Medical service


Fire brigade




Shkoder, Dec 2015

Mob: +355 69 55 90 290


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