Hotel · Guesthouse
You'll hike 3-5 hours each day on moderate trails with the occasional steady climb, stopping for refreshing beach swims
Trek among the mountains of Llogara National Park, with stunning views of the Ionian Sea and rugged coastline below
Hike along Albania's little-known trails and shepherd’s paths, through olive groves and authentic stone villages beyond the seashore
Cool down with refreshing sea swims on secluded beaches and tuck into hearty, fresh Mediterranean feasts
Journey south to Llogara National Park
Welcome to Albania! Meet your host in Tirana (either at the airport or in the city) for the transfer south to the spectacular Llogara National Park. Your journey will take you via the salt pans of the Narta Lagoon, the historic city of Vlore and along scenic, panoramic roads. Nestled in the heart of the Ceraunian Mountains, Llogara National Park is an important biosphere reserve, famous for its ancient and beautifully-shaped black pines and firs trees which overlook the shimmering Albanian Riviera’s Ionian shore. Settle into your cosy mountain hotel, get to know your fellow adventurers and enjoy a hearty meal while you hear all about the itinerary ahead.
Hike the high coastal mountains
After a hearty breakfast, set off from the trailhead which lies at the highest point of the Llogara Pass, opposite Cika and Qorre peaks. A wide gravel path steadily leads to the radio towers at the ridge, where you can marvel at the lush green slopes of the Karaburun Peninsula plunging steeply into the deep blue Ionian Sea below. Panoramic views of the rugged Albanian Riviera and the Bay of Vlore will accompany you throughout today's hike along the spine of the peninsula. A rocky path climbs up to Mount Gjipali (1446m), where you can take a lofty picnic break and contemplate the harsh beauty of the entire coastline. Next, descend to a mountain pasture and enter the Deep Pass, a rainforest-like green corridor that offers generous shade for a well-deserved break. After the hike, transfer back to your mountain hotel where you can relax for the remainder of the day before dinner in the evening.
Beach hop along the dazzling Ionian Riviera
This morning you'll swap the mountains for the sea as you descend down to the coast by transfer, before setting off for your second spectacular hike. You'll cross cliffs and follow trails through Mediterranean macchia from one dazzling beach to another. It is by no means a flat walk, but it offers the perfect mix of hiking and swimming along the stunning beaches of the Albanian Riviera. Begin in the picturesque coastal village of Vuno, with its white houses and centuries-old orthodox churches stacked up the hillside. Continue with an idyllic descent through olive groves leading to the secluded Aquarium Beach, then follow the red-earth trail until Livadhi Bay accompanied by the sound of the crashing waves. End your day in the beautiful seaside town of Himare, which remains tranquil and has shepherds roaming the hills, ancient olive groves and abandoned castle ruins overlooking the bay. Here, you'll check in to a local guesthouse, which will be your base for the next three nights.
Quaint villages of the south
Today you'll explore a lesser-known part of the Albanian Riviera, heading south to the stunning coastal mountains facing the mighty Ionian Sea. From Lukova, follow a steep shepherd’s path which takes you towards a ridge, with views of the terraced hills plunging into the turquoise sea. Soon, Corfu appears on the horizon and as you traverse the pass, you can admire the wild inland landscapes of this pristine corner of Albania. Hike amongst oaks and blooming wildflowers (in season), then descend a wide, exposed gravel trail which immerses you in the captivating coastal views all the way down to the village of Piqeras. In the afternoon, transfer back to Himare for some optional beach time and enjoy a free evening in one of the many lively tavernas in town, or sample a few cocktails by the beach.
Hike through Mediterranean back country
Start the day with a scenic drive which takes you at the foot of Kudhes. Follow the winding road through olive trees and local houses into the heart of the village, and enjoy a coffee in the company of the friendly locals. Next, set off hiking along the rocky shepherd's trail lined with bright pink oleanders and lush green cypress trees. You may be greeted by flocks of curious goats as you climb up to the green terraced fields above the hamlet, with breathtaking views opening up to the deep blue sea and over to the island of Corfu. Reach the old town of Qeparo and stroll its maze of cobbled streets and ancient stone houses, enjoying the tranquillity of this authentic Albanian village where time seems to stand still. From here, continue on above the shoreline, across the hillside towards Borsh, soaking up the stunning landscape a little longer. Enjoy one final night in Himare tonight, as you transfer back to Tirana after your final hike tomorrow.
Hike the Old Prisoners Trail
Your final hike takes you to the southern side of the Riviera once more. Starting in Lukova, walk by flower-adorned houses, down old cobblestone alleys and past a small waterfall. Continue through endless terraces of olive groves, followed by a smooth descent all the way to Bunec Beach where the open skyline, tranquil sea, and the unusual emptiness of the pebbly shore will make it hard to resist a refreshing swim! Hike through the flora of the hillside, soaking up the Mediterranean aromas as Borsh Beach slowly comes into view. Cool off with one more swim before parting ways with the Ionian Sea. This afternoon you'll transfer back to Tirana (via the mountains and Llogara Pass) for your final night in Albania's vibrant capital. Celebrate the end of your adventure with a group farewell dinner in the city. Cheers!
Time permitting, Tirana is an inviting place to explore. Take a stroll, sip an espresso, observe the busy morning flow or shop for delicious treats at the lively New Bazaar. If you're interested in learning more about the city's Communist past, Bunkart 2 and The House of Leaves provide fascinating insights and are just a five-minute walk away from Tirana’s main Skanderbeg Square. Your host will then transfer back to the airport in time for your flight home.
Expert, local, English-speaking guide
3 nights in hotels and 3 nights in a guesthouse
All breakfasts, all lunches and 4 dinners
To and from the airport and everything in between
Your overnight bag will be transported by van, so you'll hike with only a small daypack
Flights to and from the meeting point
Tips for your guides
Some meals as described
Visas where required
Day 4 – Day 5
What is the food like?
The Albanian Riviera sees Mediterranean and Balkan influences bringing an array of flavoursome dishes to the region, and the proximity to the gorgeous Ionian Sea guarantees freshly caught fish such as grilled sea bass, shrimp pasta and calamari. The town of Himare has some of the best food options the area: Greek, Italian and Mediterranean restaurants line the beach promenade, serving gyros, moussaka, salads, meat dishes and fresh vegetables from the nearby terraced hills. The food options in Logara National Park tend to be heartier and more reliant on meat, but are still fresh and delicious. Breakfasts will typically comprise of eggs, fresh bread, jam, honey and coffee or tea, while for lunch you’ll carry fresh products and sandwiches provided by the hotel, or bought locally by your tour leader. Dinner is always a warm and filling meal after a big day of hiking, and there are a couple of nights where this is not included to give you the chance to try out some local tavernas in town. Snacks are available to purchase locally, but if you'd like specific things then please bring them from home.
Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for, although options may be more limited – please just request this on your passenger info form.
What is the accommodation like?
Llogara National Park
You'll spend the first two nights of the trip in the Llogara National Park, usually at either the comfortable 3-star Hotel Alpin, or at the nearby Hotel Sofo (both of a similar standard). Accommodation will be in en suite rooms on a twin-share basis. The hotel has a lush garden, a lounge and a terrace as well as a restaurant and a bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.
While on the Albanian Riviera, you'll usually stay in the simple but cosy Solive guesthouse in the village of Himare. Accommodation will be in twin-shared rooms with a balcony and en suite toilets. Restaurants and bars are within walking distance from the property and you can also enjoy the tranquillity of the guesthouse's garden, where you can chill after your hikes and in the evening.
You'll spend the final night of the trip in comfortable and centrally located accommodation in Tirana (usually either the Hotel Vila 60, Hotel Theatro or Hotel Boka) in a twin-share room. If you wish to book some extra nights and wish to know where you'll be staying on your departure, please contact your host to find out.
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).
Tirana Airport (TIA)
Catch any flight arriving before 13:30 on Day 1
Tirana Airport (TIA)
Catch any flight on Day 7
On Day 1 you can choose to be collected either from the airport, or from Tirana Rinas Bus Station if you happen to already be in town. If you do fly in on Day 1, please make sure you book a flight that lands by 13:30 at the latest. Your host will inform you of the exact pick-up timings prior to your trip and you will then transfer to Logara National Park, with an expected journey time of approximately 3-3.5 hours.
Transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 7. For those arriving early or wanting to stay on longer, getting to the city from the airport can easily be arranged locally and independently by shuttle bus. There is a regular bus line, the Rinas Express, which offers daily service every hour from 06:00 until 24:00, travelling from Tirana to the airport and back.
There are regular direct flights to Tirana from major airports across the UK and Europe.
Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear
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What do I need to bring?
- Soft overnight duffel bag or luggage (max 20kg ideally)
- Daypack (20-30 litres)
- Waterproof liner for rucksack
- Light fleece jacket, jumper and some warm layers for the early and late season departures
- Rainproof jackets
- Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
- Underwear and socks
- Something to sleep in
- Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
- Sandals and flip flops
- Lunch box and pocket knife
- Universal travel plug adapter
- Power bank or solar charger
- Passports (and visas)
- Travel insurance documents
- Ear plugs
- Insect repellent
- Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
- Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
- Quick-dry towel
- Alcohol hand-gel
- Reusable water bottle(s) - at least 1.5 litres
- Biodegradable wet-wipes
- Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
- Water purification tablets/treatment system
Optional Private Room Upgrade
Payable Before Departure
Optional Private Room Upgrade
We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 279kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
The little known Southern Coastal Trail stretches along 74 kilometres of Albania’s beautiful southern riviera (approx 4hrs south of Tirana), between the towns of Dhërmi almost all the way to Saranda. Although the area is mainly visited in summer with local and a few international tourists flocking to its dreamy beaches, the cultural heritage, panoramic trails and culinary traditions of this region can be best experienced along a spectacular multi-day trek from village to village and beach to beach. We've picked the best combination of routes for this trip, with incredibly varied scenery featuring rugged mountain peaks, spectacular coastal trails, secluded beaches, rocky shepherds' paths, terraced fields, olive groves and plenty of charming stone villages. Views of the seemingly endless blue sea contrasting with the backdrop of dramatic mountain ridges will accompany the trek throughout, and you'll have plenty of opportunities for refreshing swims in the Ionian Sea.
The hikes will be a combination of easier, medium-duration walks and slightly more challenging, but shorter treks. While previous hiking experience is not necessary, it is desirable. Overall good health and a reasonable level of fitness are more important so that you enjoy the experience to the fullest. Some trails could be loose underfoot and you'll have to be prepared for the occasional steep climb. You'll be hiking three to five hours each day, with average cumulative ascents and descents of 300m to 700m. The pace will be leisurely with many opportunities for cool dips at stunning beaches (sea and weather conditions permitting), as well as refreshment stops in charming local villages – the perfect way to really soak up the beauty of this part of Albania!
Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline:
- €20 per person
Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality – a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Tap water in Albania is generally not safe to drink. You may find purified water in some of the accommodation which you can use to fill up each morning, so be sure to pack a reusable water bottle or two. To avoid plastic waste where filtered water is not available, we suggest bringing water purification tablets (or an alternative purification system) for extra safety.
The best time to hike in this region is in spring from March to mid-June, or in autumn between September and November when temperatures are milder, reaching daytime highs of 22-26°C. Flowers are in full bloom in the spring, while the sea is warmer in the autumn. The mountainous region of the Llogara National Park is always cooler due to the higher altitude, with temperatures between 15-19 °C in spring and autumn and the possibility of stronger winds. While Albania enjoys a great amount of sunshine, rain can be expected at any time of the year so you should be prepared for all eventualities. Whilst villages and beaches are usually very busy in the months of July and August, exploring the region during spring and autumn will allow you to avoid the crowds and have the trails and villages almost to yourself – bliss!
Overall, weather conditions down by the coast should be pretty favourable in the months when this trip is scheduled to run, with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures ranging from 18 to 26°C on average. However, as always, Mother Nature is unpredictable so the best you can do is to be prepared for anything and come equipped with sunscreen, a hat and waterproofs. Your host will be monitoring the weather conditions during the course of the trip and may suggest alternative, safer routes or activities should the weather get particularly bad, or change the order and timings of the hikes. The Llogara National Park sits on alpine heights and forms a weather divide between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas; as such, the park is prone to rapid weather changes and cooler temperatures.
No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.
Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.
Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.
Pay In Installments
You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.
Full Financial Protection
Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.