Raft, Kayak and Hike in Albania

Dive into the beautiful natural scenery of Albania on an active adventure through free-flowing rivers, mythical mountains and epic canyons

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Trip Ref #9614

Raft, Kayak and Hike in Albania

Dive into the beautiful natural scenery of Albania on an active adventure through free-flowing rivers, mythical mountains and epic canyons

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Albania

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Mar-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Tirana International Airport, Albania

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Hotel · Guesthouse

OVERALL RATING

4.6

Based on 82 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Moderate

No previous experience is needed but you should be in relatively good shape and a confident swimmer.

Kayak and raft along the mighty Vjosa, the last wild river in Europe

Venture deep into the sacred Tomorr Mountains on a remote hike with incredible vistas and welcoming villages

Explore the spectacular natural wonder of Osumi Canyon, wild swimming at natural pools and waterfalls along the way

Day 1

Welcome to Albania!

Your host will pick you up either at Tirana Airport or in central Tirana and there will be a 1.5 hour road transfer south to the beautiful town of Berat. Visit the old castle and get to know your travel companions this evening over a traditional Albanian meal.

Day 2

Explore the sacred Tomorr Mountain Range

Hiking

5hrs · 8km

Set off in off-road vehicles to explore the remote mountains at the heart of Albanian folklore with their deep spiritual significance in the country. Hike through one of the last wild sanctuaries for wolves and bears left in Europe, stopping for lunch in a small village. Enjoy the views of Mount Tomori, one of the country’s most magnificent mountains, then unwind with wine tasting in a local winery.

Day 3

Kayaking the Vjosa River

Kayaking

2.5 hrs · 8km

Another scenic 4WD road journey through the remote interior of Albania to Këlcyrë Gorge where a memorable kayaking adventure on Europe’s last wild river begins. Paddle a beautiful and calm stretch of the Vjosa. Transfer by road to the town of Permet for lunch, and relax at the thermal baths in Benja.

Day 4

Rafting the Vjosa River

Rafting

2.5 hrs

Experience more of the incredible Vjosa River today on a morning rafting adventure on Class 3 rapids through spectacular mountain scenery. Drive through mountainous terrain to the town of Corovoda in the Osumi Canyons.

Day 5

Osumi Canyon

Hiking

2.5 hrs

Enter Osumi Canyon - one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Europe. You’ll either river hike or raft (depending on the water level, please read the FAQ for more info) along the River Osum, and have chances to wild swim whilst surrounded by the canyon’s unique ecosystem that stays lush and green all year round. After lunch in Corovoda you’ll drive back to Berat.

Day 6

Cave of Pellumbas & to Tirana

Hiking

1.5hrs

Visit the ancient, fortified city of Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Descend into the mysterious Cave of Pellumbas (360 metres) and check out the huge stalagmites and stalactites (be sure to watch out for low flying bats). After lunch in one of the local villages, you’ll return to Tirana and begin your journey home.

Included

Guides

Local, expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

4 nights in hotels, 1 night in a guesthouse

Meals

5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Equipment

Everything you need for kayaking, rafting and river hike (seasonal)

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Travel insurance

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

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

Please let us know of any dietary requirements in advance.

What is the accommodation like?

Hotel in Berat

For four nights you’ll stay at Hotel Castle Park, set in a scenic area of woodland around 1.5 kilometres from the centre of Berat town.

Hotel in Permet

You'll spend one night in a hotel in the small southern town of Permet, next to the banks of the Vjosa river.

Guesthouse at Osumi Canyon

One night is spent in a spectacular setting at a guesthouse perched on the edge of Osumi Canyon.

Upgrades

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).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tirana International Airport (TIA)

Arrive any time on Day 1

Ends

Tirana International Airport (TIA)

18:00 on Day 6

Transfers

Arrive at any time on Day 1 and your host will arrange a transfer from Tirana airport to the hotel in Berat. The transfer time is approx 1.5 hours and if travellers are on flights arriving at similar times then there may be a short wait in order to group the transfers together. Pickups can also be made from central Tirana for anyone who has arrived earlier and is staying in the capital - your host will make sure that they have everyone's arrival times and pickup locations in advance.

On Day 6 you'll be dropped off at the airport in time to catch any flight leaving after 19:30.

If you are arriving or departing outside those days your host can arrange private airport transfers for an extra cost. See Optional Extras for details.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Tirana from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

All kayaking, rafting equipment. Wetsuits, lifejackets and helmets for river hike.

What do I need to bring?

  • Small backpack with rain cover
  • Suitable walking shoes for the hiking activity
  • Additional pair of trainers that can be wet (for use when rafting, kayaking and if doing the river hike)
  • Breathable, light-weight waterproof clothing
  • Swimming costumes
  • Plenty of spare underwear and clothes for getting wet
  • Quick drying travel towel
  • Wind-stopper jacket
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Suncream
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Car sickness tablets (optional)

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Double / Twin)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Double / Twin)

Per Night

Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Berat (Single)

Per Night

Pre/post trip accommodation in Tirana (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Tirana (Single)

Additional night accommodation in Tirana (Double / Twin)

Payable Before Departure

Additional night accommodation in Tirana (Double / Twin)

Per Night

Berat to Tirana Airport

Payable Before Departure

Berat to Tirana Airport

Between Tirana Airport and the city

Payable Before Departure

Between Tirana Airport and the city

- Elwyn(October 2022)

A great way to see what Albania has to offer. A very full and varied itinerary. The food and hospitality was a highlight.

- Greta(September 2022)

This was such a great trip! Thanks to our local guide Ali and Beni (driver) we had such great fun! Albania is a beautiful country with amazing scenery and great local people spirit. Rafting was great fun, but the 4x4 Jeep Safari totally blew our minds, it was such good fun, we had Ali as our driver and he was very good. The Tomorri hike was absolutely beautiful. In terms of kit, having good walking shoes, water shoes, towel and sun hat was useful.

- Mark(September 2022)

very good trip to a beautiful country, see it before the tourist spoil it!

- Lily(September 2022)

Omg this trip was INSANE! Albania blew me away at every given opportunity! The people, the food, the landscape! The scenery was genuinely breathtaking and I can’t believe I’d never considered Albania before! I would highly recommend this trip to absolutely everyone! The local hosts Albania side were unbelievable. Always on, knowing all the local and untouched beautiful spots, always helping out and getting involved. It felt like they were friends of mine from the very beginning.

I enjoyed this trip SO MUCH! The weather changed our plans a little bit and i missed some of the things I was looking forward to, but the weather is the weather and it can’t be helped! The activities we did instead were brilliant and as I said I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS TRIP/LOCAL HOSTS/ALBANIA ENOUGH!!

- Rachael(September 2022)

The trip far exceeded our expectations. We've never used this company before but would highly recommend it now. The trip was fantastic with the highlight being the white water rafting. The group dynamic was great- everyone was very like-minded and we all got on well. Having all the meals catered for made it such an easy holiday for us. We wouldn't have changed anything and loved our time in Albania.

- Karen(September 2022)

Albania is truly a beautiful country & I loved the raft experience & hiking. Unfortunately we weren't able to undertake the river hiking due to the weather which I have no doubt would also have been great. Our Albania hosts were great & the main base at Castle Park hotel was lovely.

You definitely need hiking shoes, so bring them. The tourist industry is really in it's infancy here, so you just need to take account for that. However, as they receive more tourists, they will learn & develop. I would also highly recommend the mosquito spray, unless you're happy to have several itchy bites!! There is quite a lot of travelling as well but some great banter with a fantastic group of people really helped with this!

- Jennifer(September 2022)

Albania is a country I would definitely recommend people to go and visit! The highlight of this trip was definitely the hike followed by off-roading. The food was much better than I expected and everyone was really friendly. The reason I have not rated this trip higher is because our group was unlucky as the weather forecast in advance suggested rain therefore the trip was altered and we did not get to go to Vlora (and no snorkelling / swimming). It was made up with rafting but for me it was a shame we couldn't do the trip as advertised, especially since we ended up with lots of sunshine! As other reviews have mentioned there was lots more time spent in the minibus than anticipated and we were often running 1-2 hours behind the itinerary so no time to explore Tirana or Berat outside of the activities. Make sure to buy your own water for mornings / evenings if you go!

- Kieran(September 2022)

I had a really great time on this tour! The rafting and hiking were particular highlights. The group was really good and had a great dynamic going. Albania was a great country and hasn't been swamped with tourists yet - so get there now whilst its still quiet. Equally they aren't quite used to tourism yet - everything was run on "Albanian time" which got a bit frustrating at times.

- Helen(August 2022)

Albania is such a wonderful place to visit. There is lots of travelling between activities and resorts and I’m not sure that is clearly set out in the itinerary. The activities were great though, I enjoyed the hiking and cannoning hugely. Food and accommodation were great, scenery was just beautiful and unspoilt.

- Katharine(August 2022)

The trip was wonderful - Albania is a beautiful country and we managed to see so much of it in just a few days. Our guide Stiven and driver Beni were fantastic, going above and beyond to make sure everyone was happy and enjoying their holiday - thank you

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 135kg 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 2022 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.

No previous experience is needed, however a moderate level of fitness is required along with the ability to swim.

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

The best months for hiking in Albania are February to June, and September to November, when the weather is warm and sunny, reaching temperatures of around 30 degrees. July and August can be hotter, however, this is usually broken up by cool coastal breezes.

For departures between the months of March to June there will be a rafting activity within the canyon, as the typical water levels at this time of year allow a safe environment in which to use rafts. For departures between the months of July to October there is a river hiking activity. This involves hiking on the river bed within the canyon and jumping into pools along the way. A wetsuit, helmet and lifejacket are provided for this activity but you'll need your own pair of trainers with a good grip, that you don't mind getting soaked through.

Sure can! Over 50% 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 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.

We recommend checking out the country-specific information [here] (https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/) and also talking to a travel nurse.

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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