Albania

Hike, Raft, and Kayak Albania (6-Days)

8

Hike through a wolf sanctuary, explore the Osumi Canyon, discover hidden caves, and navigate the famous Vjosa River by raft and kayak. A trip to experience the best of Albanian adventure and hospitality.

Itinerary

Day 1: Albania welcomes you!

Your adventure begins with a warm welcome in Tirana. A scenic drive south takes you to the ancient city of Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the old castle and enjoy a traditional Albanian meal with fellow travellers.

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Venture into the remote mountains of Albania in off-road vehicles. Hike through one of Europe's last wild wolf and bear sanctuaries in Tomori Holy Mount. We take mules with to help carry food, this helps support the local community. Enjoy lunch in a small village, and indulge in wine tasting at a local winery while marvelling at Mount Tomori's breathtaking views.

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Today you discover the Osumi Canyon. This 3 million-year-old canyon is known as one of the most spectacular gorges in Europe! Depending on the time of year and *water levels, you'll hike or raft along the river Osum. The scenery is a dramatic contrast of unspoiled pine forests and steep, rocky walls. You will have a chance to enjoy some wild swimming in this lush canyon ecosystem. We return to Berat after lunch.

* Between January to June conditions are usually right for rafting. July to October we do canyon hiking instead.

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We take a scenic drive to Këlcyrë Gorge for a memorable kayaking adventure. The Vjosa River is famous as the 'last wild river in Europe'. It's about 272km long, starting in Greece (where it's known as the Aoös river). After paddling, relax at the thermal baths in Benja and spend the night in Permet.

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Today we explore more of the Vjosa River, this time trading kayaks for rafts. We depart in the morning for a rafting adventure through Class 3 rapids. In the evening we return to Barat for more delicious local food on the final night of the trip.

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We depart from Berat, stopping to hike to the mysterious Cave of Pellumbas. It's a short (about 45 min) scenic hike up. The cave is fascinating with its impressive stalagmites and stalactites. After returning from our cave visit, we will eat lunch in a local village. Afterwards, we return to Tirana and our adventure sadly comes to an end.

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What's Included

Included
  • Expert English-speaking guide.
  • Rafting or river hiking in the Osumi Canyon (see FAQs).
  • 4X4 Drive and hiking in Tomori Holy Mount.
  • Kayaking on the Vjosa River.
  • Rafting on the Vjosa River.
  • Pellumbas caves visit.
  • Wine tasting in Berat.
  • Cultural visit in Berat.
  • 5 x breakfasts, 5 x lunches, and 3 x dinners.
  • Accommodation (5 nights in double rooms).
  • All specialist equipment for adventure activities.
Not Included
  • Flights to and from Tirana International Airport.
  • Personal expenses (beverages, souvenirs, tips etc.).
  • Travel insurance.
  • Meals and snacks not mentioned in itinerary.
  • Visas, where required.
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 5.0

8 verified reviews

Caroline
Caroline

(Sep 2023)

It was a fun trip with the Albanian Rafting Group. Albania is truly beautiful. Alma and her team are very helpful and friendly. The guest houses we stayed in were perfect. Simple but clean and set in stunning locations . We did different activities every day. The river walking was excellent . It is like canyoning - floating along the river and jumping off rocks. The food in Albania is outstanding - very fresh , healthy and tasty. All locally produced. Overall all an amazing trip which I would highly recommend.

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Katarzyna
Katarzyna

(Aug 2023)

Perfect! Country, views, food, people. Organization of trips in high level. Guides were competent. I recommend to everyone.

Francois
Francois

(Aug 2023)

The trip was superb. The landscape is so beautiful. And ours guides was so nice and interesting . I'm sure you'll have the same pleasure with this organisation, that I recommend.

William
William

(Aug 2023)

Great company. Our guide Endri was great for the entire trip. Will definitely be recommending to our friends.

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Gijs
Gijs

(Aug 2023)

My girlfriend and I participated in a 6-day guided tour that involved river hiking, kayaking, rafting, and cave exploration. Without a doubt, it was one of the best vacations we've ever had. Albania is a stunning country, and we truly believe that we wouldn't have been able to explore these (sometimes off-road) locations without the guidance provided. The organization of the tour was great, especially considering the size of the group (16 people). While there was a slight issue with the first hotel not having a room available for us, the tour organizers quickly arranged a nearby, equally pleasant hotel where we were dropped off and picked up the next day. Overall, we were pleased with the meals arranged for us throughout the tour, although I must admit that I enjoyed the breakfast at the hotel in Përmet a little less than the others. Nevertheless, it was convenient not having to worry about where to eat after each activity. We enjoyed every day of the tour and we would definitely recommend this trip to others.

FAQs

Before you go

For this activity, you must love the outdoors, be in good health, and have seen a doctor during the year. The hiking and kayaking sections are fairly short, and no prior experience or skill is required. The rivers are Grade 3 rapids.

Please see the 'Inclusions & Exclusions' section above.

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for €190 Per Person (subject to availability). Please request this at the time of booking. You can do this through the 'Message Your Guide' button on your Skyhook booking dashboard. The extra expense for a private room needs to be paid directly to the operator.

We pick you up from Tirana International Airport, meeting inside, at the Vodafone Shop. Around one week before the trip, we will create a Whatsapp group to discuss and arrange transfers. Please make sure you have added your contact number as well as flight details to your Skyhook Trip Form. We will do a maximum of 2 pick-ups per trip. These are generally arranged as follows; - 1st transfer for those who arrive from 12.00 to 15.00 - 2nd transfer for those who arrive from 16.00 to 19.00 Exact times depend on flight arrivals for each group. If you are already in Tirana, there is another meeting point in Tirana in the Stadiumi Selmanstermasi (around 16:00 and 20:00).

We accept only adults, 18 years and older. Families with younger children (a minimum of 4 people) are welcome to book private trips. Please send us a message for more information or to arrange this.

Here is an outline of what to pack: - Small backpack with rain cover. - Suitable walking shoes for hiking. - An additional pair of trainers that can get wet (for use when rafting, kayaking, and if doing the river hike). - Breathable, lightweight, waterproof clothing. - Swimwear. - Plenty of spare underwear and clothes for getting wet. - Quick-drying travel towel. - Windbreaker jacket. - Sun hat. - Sunglasses. - Suncream. - Refillable water bottle. - Mosquito repellent. - Head torch. - Car sickness tablets (optional). - Hiking poles (optional). - Clothing for the evening. - Toiletries. - Personal medication. - Camera and mobile phone (plus a dry bag to keep them in).

On your trip

You'll spend four nights in Berat, staying in twin-share rooms at Hotel Castle Park. Set in a scenic area of woodland, it's located around 1.5 kilometres from the centre of Berat town. You'll spend one night in a hotel in the small southern town of Permet, next to the banks of the Vjosa River. Rooms will be on a twin-share basis. There is free Wi-Fi at the accommodations.

The groups are a maximum of 16 people.

Day 2: 5 hours hiking and 2,5 hours off-road driving. Day 3: 2 hours of rafting (January -June) or 3 hours of river hiking (July -October). Day 4: 2 hours kayaking the Vjosa. Day 5: 2 hours of rafting in the Vjosa River

We recommend that you book your return flight in the late afternoon (the last one, around 18.00-19.00) so that you have the opportunity to do the exploration of the black cave and have lunch. For those who have an earlier flight, you do have the option to to pay extra for an private transfer to the airport.

Day 1: Dinner Day 2: Breakfast, lunch Day 3: Breakfast, lunch Day 4: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 5: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 6: Breakfast, lunch

Albanian food is hearty and healthy, usually based around meat and vegetables - much of which is seasonal and sourced locally. Popular dishes include: turkey or lamb, served with a local bread known as Kulac, meat and leek pie made with a thin pastry called Byrek, and freshly caught fish served in a Mediterranean style. Fish dishes are often flavoured with white vinegar and olive oil that's been grown in Southern Albania. Many dishes are served with wine from one of the local vineyards.

Other FAQs

Yes absolutely! We get lots of solo travellers. It's a great way to meet like-minded people.

The best months for hiking and adventure activities in Albania are February to June, and September to November - temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celcius. July and August can be hotter, however this is usually broken up by cool coastal breezes.

Yes! We encourage you to stay on and explore more of what Albania has to offer. Here are the prices for adittional nights. Please message us after booking to arrange this; Pre/post trip accommodation in Tirana (Double / Twin) €83 Per Night Pre/post trip accommodation in Tirana (Single) €57 Per Night Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Single) €47 Per Night Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Double / Twin) €73 Per Night Transfers Berat to Tirana Airport €83

Scientific knowledge of the Vjosa River is extremely limited. We know more about the ecosystems in the rivers of South America and Asia than the Vjosa. Many endangered species, like the European Eel and the Greater Flamingo, depend on the providence of the free-flowing waters of the Vjosa for their livelihood. By supporting the Vjosa’s local businesses, we can empower them to continue their fight against the proposed plans to destroy this wild place.

Yes, we provide a menu for all dietary requirements. Please indicate this on your trip form.

Your head guide is Alma

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Albania Rafting, based in Berat.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Alma