Eastern Europe and especially the Balkans have during recent years sprinted with their tourism development for nature- and sports enthusiasts. Traditional hiking has been the major activity in Albania and North Macedonia with a gigantic network of ancient trails and farmers' roads connecting picturesque villages in a wild and hilly landscape. These trails are part of the High Scardus trail network and create a fun mix of trails that are flowy but also rugged and sometimes quite technical.
The region is characterized by North Macedonia’s wild and deep forests and Albania’s colourful white rock slabs and red sanded chutes. The contrasts of loading our bikes onto the shuttle in the middle of a small village, driving up the hills in a landscape taken from the set of Jurassic Park, followed by a long descent on a varied single track, is an experience you will never forget.
The history in the Balkans is not exactly a sunshine story but rather a gruesome past filled with oppression and conflicts for thousands of years. Yet it's a history filled with captivating tales and events from the Byzantine Empire, Alexander The great, The Ottomans and The Balkan Wars...
What really makes North Macedonia and Albania special are their people. Despite a dark history, with wars not older than 30 years, the people are the living definition of optimism, positivity, ambition and hospitality. Qualities which have contributed to the continuation of the tourism development where action sports have steadily grown during the recent years. Ski touring, heli-skiing, cat skiing and, most importantly, mountain biking are sports that are now on the rise.
Ready for a challenge? Click here for all trip details including prices.
The mountain bike community in the Balkans is steadily growing with ambitious trail builders and local talents maintaining the ancient hiking paths in both Northern Macedonia and Albania. The terrain on these trails offers varied steepness and dirt profiles, which will keep you and your bike entertained for weeks.
In a place where the best trails aren't always easy to find, our local guides, who are directly involved in the trail development, will show you to the best spots around and make sure to take you to some of the most pristine trails in the area. All our guides speak the local languages, which is a great asset when looking for a cold beverage after a day of riding.
The Balkans' rich history and cultural heritage is as important as it is interesting. To experience all this on a first hand basis together with the locals, you'll get an exclusive in-depth look to the life in these two countries. The food consists of locally produced ingredients with rich flavours developed over centuries from a wide variety of cultural influences.
Click on the different tabs below to access more detailed information about your mountain bike holiday in North Macedonia and Albania including dates & prices.
Our standard trips are either 7 nights including 6 days of riding (see itinerary). We always try to cater to the needs of our guests so if you have any special requests just let us know.
7 Nights (Sat - Sat)
From € 1,750
*Please note that the price is not yet fully confirmed. Please get in touch to retrieve a price for this trip.
110 meters (Tirana)
29 km, 1,400 vm
June - October
Skopje and Tirana
Alpine and forest.
The colourful mosque
During our trip through Northern Macedonia and Albania we will be staying in different hotels and guest houses. The guest houses are operated by local people who will give you a deep insight of the countries' culture. Here we dine local delicacies together while we listen to captivating stories and tales of the Balkans. The guest houses are composed with simpler sleeping arrangements with dormitories in true expedition style but all equipped with larger common areas where we can hang out in a comfortable manner. All the accommodation are equipped with the basics such as showers and toilets.
Arrival to Skopje airport and transfer to our hotel for the night.If there is time, we will assemble our bikes in the afternoon with assistance from our guides.We do some sightseeing in Skopje followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant on one of Skopje's bohemian streets.
We start the day with breakfast at the hotel before loading up the vans with our bags and bikes. On the first day riding we head up to Skopje's local mountain bike spot, Vodno Mountain. Here we ride on a variety of trails with lots of flow in order to warm up and get comfortable with your bike. . After a good day riding we jump in the vans and head to our next accommodation in Mavrovo, approximately one and a half hour away.
After a tasty breakfast we head to Mavrovo national park where we start our riding in a local ski resort. Quick lunch in a mountain hut before shuttling up to the start in Galicnik where fantastic views meet challenging switchbacks that finally morphs into a more flowy trail. The trail ends right at our hotel for the night where we celebrate today's accomplishments with a well deserved après bike and dinner..
The day starts with a shuttle ride to the Asan Tower from where we ride a long, playful trail down to the town of Zirovnica. Here we will take a break to charge our batteries with a hearty lunch. At this point it's time to say good bye to North Macedonia and hello to Albania. After a short uphill pedal in North Macedonia, we will cross the border on top of a ridge-line and start descending on a single track all the way down to our guest house for the night.
After a classic Albanian breakfast we start off with a quick warm up run from the guest house down to the town of Peshkopia where we re-load the vans and head to the so called "Moab area". We ride two flowy runs followed by a refreshment break in the local farm village. Today we rest our bodies a bit and spend the rest of the day sightseeing and having lunch in Peshkopia.
A long yet extraordinary transfer in an open and wild landscape to get to the top off the trail suitably named "Colours of Peshkopia". This is a very long and variable trail packed with different dirt and stone colours the whole way down. At the bottom of the trail we will stop by at our Albanian guide, Orgest's, uncle's home. The afternoon is quite flexible with either more biking, visiting a canyon, going for a swim or just having a relaxed afternoon.
Today we're heading to the Black Diamond trails which we reach via a shuttle and some proper pedalling. From here, a long descent awaits all the way down to our home for the night, the astonishing Tower of Hupi, an ancient guard tower which has been passed down through generations.
Before we say goodbye to the Balkans we'll have the opportunity to do some sightseeing in the colourful city of Tirana.
Apparently a picture says more than a 1,000 words so why don't sit back and enjoy our favourite photos from our mountain bike tours in Albania and Northern Macedonia.
In order to enjoy the mountain biking in Northern Macedonia and Albania we recommend being an advanced mountain biker who has some experience in steep and technical terrain. There is a mixture of flowy and technical single tracks.
Roots, rocks, drops and tight switchbacks are no match for you even in steep and exposed terrain. You feel confident in riding longer trails with sustained technical features as well as handling some exposed sections with no-fall zones.
We use shuttles to access the best trails but you should be able to pedal your bike uphill about 1 hour per day and climb 3-400m during consecutive days riding. You don't mind steep uphill climbs for about 10 to 15 minutes at the time. Downhill you happily ride up to 3000 verticals per day. You exercise on average 2 times per week. It is worth noting that in parts of the season it can get warm which increases the need for good fitness.