Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Raft, Kayak and Hike Albania

Explore Albania and help save the Vjosa - Europe’s last wild, free-flowing river - whilst rafting it with local activists

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Trip Ref #9149

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Raft, Kayak and Hike Albania

Explore Albania and help save the Vjosa - Europe’s last wild, free-flowing river - whilst rafting it with local activists

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

Albania

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

GROUP SIZE

Up to 16 people

MEETING POINT

Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport, Corfu

ACCOMMODATION

Apartment · Homestay

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

To enjoy this trip to the full you should be in good physical condition and ready for some class III rafting.

Experience first-hand an adventure destination steeped in history and biodiversity

Raft the Vjosa, the last wild and free-flowing river left in Europe and now under threat by plans to build a hydroelectric dam

Kayak to breathtaking beaches, snorkel in crystal clear waters and hike through Albania's historic cities and villages

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Helen, April 2019

The rafting was great! Totally awesome - loved it. Also, the hike as felt pushed, homestay with sheep and mountain mini hike.

Rosie, April 2019

Everything was great! The whole trip and activities were well organised. The hosts were great and very professional. I would like to especially mention Linkest who was incredibly attentive and made sure we were all well looked after. I hadn’t done water sports before as I’m not a swimmer and I’m a little afraid of heights he made sure I felt safe and comfortable during all the activities which meant I was able to enjoy them to the fullest. He was also full of passion about his country and its people and was full of knowledge about its history which made it also a very interesting trip as well as fun.

Rebecca, April 2019

Getting out in unspoilt nature on land and water was great.

Guy, September 2018

Homestay, hospitality, food and the guide were great.

Rachel, July 2018

The people, activities and the hosts were great.

Kathryn , June 2018

I thought the overall trip was fantastic and Albania is such a beautiful country. The stops that we did were in incredibly beautiful locations, the activities were a good mix and this is a great itinerary and varied trip. The homestay was gorgeous, the rafting was amazing fun and the lunch at a local house on the third day was incredible.

Dominique, June 2018

Exploring a completely unspoilt country. Although a short trip, you cover so much ground so get a real feel for the natural beauty of the country. Very active - so ideal for proper adventurers!

Dominique, June 2018

A fantastic opportunity to really explore an unspoilt country that is off the beaten track. Good mix of activities to make the most of a short trip.

James, May 2018

Great mix of culture and adventure.

Finlay Greig, March 2018

I've travelled much of Europe, but Albania was the first time I'd felt like I was off the beaten track. Other than my friendly fellow travellers, I encountered no other tourists meaning that the spoils of this gem of a country could be enjoyed to myself - of which there were many. From kicking back in thermal springs in the shadow of the Nemeckes mountains to enjoying unbelievably kind hospitality in Peshtan, this trip isn't one I will forget in a hurry.

Included

Guides

Professional and certified English-speaking guides

Accommodation

1 night in an apartment and 1 night in a homestay

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

All transfers, including pick-up from Saranda harbour

Equipment

All your rafting, kayaking and snorkelling equipment

Permits

All taxes and licenses

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel to and from the start point

Travel insurance

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Saranda Seaport

9:45

Ends

Saranda Seaport

16:00

Transfers

Your guide will meet you at the seaport in Saranda from the Corfu ferry. At the end you'll be returned to the seaport with plenty of time to return to Corfu Airport and your flight home. Please note, there is a 1-hour time difference between Corfu and Saranda.

Travel options

There are direct flights from across the UK and Europe to Corfu Airport but your host advises that you book one that allows you to catch the 9:00 ferry to Saranda. They will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

What about all the carbon?

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.

Day 1

Apartment · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Homestay · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Albanian restaurants use lots of local, natural produce, usually accompanied by wine from the local vineyards. You're likely to taste local specialities such as pies (byrek) with meat and leek, stuffed zucchini, pispili with cornflour and of course lamb/goat meat served with vegetables and the dairy products that the area is known for. Fresh seafood is also possible close to the coast. Typical desserts are kabuni with raisins (a sweet rice dish) and marmalade (gliko) of walnut, fig, plum, etc. Most dietary requirements can be catered for, just let your host know when booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Saranda

You’ll spend your first night in a comfortable apartment in Saranda. The apartment is air-conditioned with a TV, lounge area and free WiFi.

Peshtan village

On your second night, you'll stay at a homestay in Peshtan village, close to Permet where you can exchange stories with the local residents.

Day 1

Butrint to Ali Pasha Castle

Hiking

3hr

Kayaking

1hr

Swimming

1hr

Meet your host at Saranda harbour and then kayak along the Ionian coast from the Butrint amphitheatre to the historic Ali Pasha Castle - both UNESCO world heritage sites. Head to Lukove, a small, traditional village and hike to one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, Krorez Bay where you can swim in the crystal clear water and get up close to its inhabitants - don’t forget your snorkel and underwater camera.

Day 2

Raft the Vjosa

Hiking

3hrs

Rafting

2.5hrs

Head to the small town of Permet, the staging point for your expedition onto the Vjosa and tackle Europe’s last free-flowing river. Its entire 270km course is wild, untamed and adorned with beautiful canyons, braided river sections, islands and oxbows as well as class III rapids - prepare for waves of up to four feet and narrow passages that can send the boat shimmying and water gushing over the sides. Wind down in the thermal baths of Benja and then hike to the Canyon of Lengarica where you can relax and enjoy a swim before heading to a local homestay and a barbecue of local food eaten to the sound of traditional music.

Day 3

Gjirokastra

Hiking

4.5hrs

Hike around the beautiful and culturally rich city of Gjirokastra, including the archaeological park of Antigonea, Saraqinisht village and the Spille Monastery. After lunch, it’s time to say goodbye, head back to the seaport and cross the water to Corfu airport. You can decide whether you're going to spend your last hours at the beach of Saranda or in Corfu before flying back home. (Ferry departs at 16:00)

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Neoprene suits (rafting & kayaking)
  • Life jacket
  • Helmet
  • Kayaks
  • Snorkelling equipment

What do I need to bring?

  • Breathable light-weight waterproof gear (Goretex, Sympatex, etc)
  • Wind-stopper jacket
  • Small backpack with rain coverage
  • Long trousers for hiking
  • Hiking boots
  • Cap
  • Sunblock
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Headlamp
  • Hiking poles
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses and sunblock
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone
  • Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

Pre/post trip accommodation

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation

Per Night

To enjoy this trip to the full you should be in good physical condition and ready for some class III rafting.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The climate is decidedly Mediterranean across the whole coastal area with hot summers bordering on straight-up heat waves. The best time to visit Albania is between May and June and September. The average temperature in June is between 16.5°C and 27.5°C, with possible peaks as low as 6°C and as high as 37°C.

Generally, yes. Crime and violence does occur in some areas, but is not typically targeted at foreigners.

Scientific knowledge of the river is still extremely limited and we know more about the eco-systems of waterways in South America and Asia than we do the Vjosa. Many endangered species, like the European eel and the greater flamingo, depend on the free-flowing waters of the Vjosa for their livelihood, however, the Albanian government is currently planning to build a series of hydroelectric dams upstream, which would threaten both the local wildlife and the livelihood of the river-bank's residents. By supporting the Vjosa's local businesses, we can help them continue their fight against the proposed plans to destroy this wild and beautiful place.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

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.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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