Find your ideal cycling holiday
31st May 2019 - 11th June 2019 (12 days)
Montenegro is Europe’s newest country and, although small, it packs in a large variety of scenery. The route visits all of the country's highlights including Kotor Bay and the Adriatic Fjords, Lake Skadar, the Tara Canyon, Durmitor National Park, Lovcen National Park and the Piva River Canyon. There are several demanding climbs and long descents. The tour starts and ends in Shkodër, Northern Albania. A land-only version of this holiday is also available - find out more.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Michael Stainer
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 01919
Friday 31st May
Fly from London Gatwick to Tirana, Albania on British Airways flight BA2648, departing at 0810 and arriving at 1210. Transfer to hotel in Shkodër, Northern Albania. Assemble bikes. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 1st June
Vehicle transfer to 17km West of Tamare. Cycle to Andrijevica. 85km (1,500m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 2nd June
Cycle to Kolasin. 46km (875m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 3rd June
Cycle to Zabljak. 90km (1,325m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 4th June
Cycle to Rudnice via Durmitor National Park. 70km (1,400m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Wednesday 5th June
Cycle to Niksic. 71km (1,150m total ascent). Shorter option of 44km available. Stay 1 night.
Thursday 6th June
Cycle to Dobrota on the outskirts of Kotor. 85km (850m total ascent). Stay 2 nights.
Friday 7th June
Free day to explore Kotor. Optional circular ride around the Boka Kotorska. 42km (150m total ascent).
Saturday 8th June
Cycle to Lovcen National Park via the Ladder of Cattaro with a visit to Njegos Mausoleum. 44km (1,650m total ascent) . Shorter option available, missing out the Mausoleum visit, of 37km (1,450m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Sunday 9th June
Cycle to Virpazar via Cetinje and Rijeka Crnojevica. 54km (550m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Monday 10th June
Cycle to Shkodër. 73km (1,250m total ascent). Stay 1 night.
Tuesday 11th June
Pack bikes. Explore Shkodër. Vehicle transfer to Tirana Airport for BA flight BA2649 to London Gatwick departing at 2110 and arriving at 2310 where the tour ends.
Accommodation & Meals
On 9 nights accommodation will be in good standard (2 or 3-star) hotels with ensuite facilities; one night will be in wooden bungalows (3-star) with ensuite facilities; one night will be in cabins (2-star), not all ensuite. All rooms are based on two people sharing. All breakfasts are included and evening meals on 8 nights. Vegetarian food/fish based meals may be available, but choice will be limited.
Transport will be provided for the transfer of the group, luggage and packed bicycles from Tirana airport to Shkodër at the start of the tour and from Shkodër to Tirana airport at the end of the tour. Throughout the tour there will be a support vehicle to carry luggage between hotels which will also be capable of carrying up to three riders and bicycles if required.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return to their home country. Holders of non-EU passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,480 is based on a minimum number of 12 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of 1.12 Euros to £1 sterling (Based on exchange rates published on www.x-rates.com on 14 September 2018; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 22nd March 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid
- Return flights from London Gatwick to Tirana
- 9 nights hotel, sharing room
- 1 night wooden bungalow, sharing room
- 1 night cabin, sharing room
- 11 breakfasts and 8 evening meals
- Vehicle transfers between Tirana Airport and Shkodër at the start and end of the tour
- Support vehicle with English speaking driver/guide to transfer luggage and up to 3 riders and bicycles if required
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from London Gatwick
- Meals in transit
- Evening meals on 3 nights
- Lunches or refreshments at morning and afternoon stops
- Entry fees at any attractions
- Any other fees, taxes, gratuities or personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £150 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,330 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 22nd March 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 22nd March 2019
From 22nd March 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Although Montenegro is a very small country (similar in area to Northern Ireland), it is a country of amazing diversity with many claiming it to be the most beautiful in Europe. There are rugged mountain ranges exceeding 2,000m in height, the largest lake in the Balkans, one of Europe's deepest river canyons and the Adriatic coastline which includes several deep blue inlets reminiscent of Norwegian fjords.
Starting with a short vehicle transfer from the Northern Albanian city of Shkodër, the tour begins with a descent through spectacular hairpins before climbing beneath the Albanian Alps, alternatively know as the Accursed Mountains, to reach a remote border crossing into Montenegro. We then commence an anti-clockwise circuit of the country. We cross the Eastern highlands and ride alongside the Tara river with views of the magnificent Tara Canyon before entering the Durmitor National Park. At this time of year the spring flowers should be in abundance on the high pastures beneath the towering limestone peaks.
We descend into the Piva River Canyon and pass through the Tramontana region in the Northwest of the country before making our way to the Adriatic coast and the town of Kotor. A free day allows an exploration of this historic fortified town. Alternatively, a circular ride around the Boka Kotorska, a spectacular fjord, is offered. A long climb from Kotor brings us into the Lovcen National Park with an opportunity to visit the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, built on the 1,650m summit of Mt Lovcen. Our route continues alongside the Western shore of Lake Skadar, one of the largest in the Balkans, before climbing the Stegvas Pass and descending to the border crossing into Albania and the city of Shkodër.
Rides & Rest Days
This tour is graded as "challenging" and is best suited to experienced touring cyclists. On several days there are demanding climbs but the distances are generally modest and a support vehicle will carry all luggage. The roads we will be using are all surfaced and the majority are in good condition, although some of the minor roads have potholes and sections of loose gravel.
It will not be practical to ride as one group, and so you will be free to progress at your own speed. We will regroup occasionally throughout the day. Detailed maps, route sheets and gpx files will be provided. There will be one rest day in Kotor, although an optional circular ride around one of the spectular Adriatic Fjords, Boka Kotorska, is offered.
Accommodation & Meals
The accommodation selected is of a good standard and in convenient locations. On nine nights we will be based in good standard hotels with ensuite bathrooms. On one night we will be staying in wooden bungalows within Lovcen National Park that will also have ensuite bathrooms. One night will be in cabins, some wooden and some built of stone, not all of which may have ensuite facilities. All rooms are based on two people sharing. Breakfasts are included on each day with evening meals on eight nights. On the other three nights (two in Dobrota on the outskirts of Kotor and one in Virpazar) you are free to make your own arrangements.
The maximum number of participants will be 15 excluding the Tour Manager.
Weather & Clothing
The weather in spring should be generally warm and dry but can be changeable and could turn cold, particularly in Durmitor National Park where we will be riding for extended periods at altitudes above 1,500m. You should carry suitable clothing for cold or wet spells should these occur.
Cycles & Equipment
Touring bikes and lightweight mountain bikes will be suitable if geared for long climbs. Ensure that your bike is well maintained and that you have tools and spares for simple roadside adjustments and puncture repairs. You will not need to carry luggage as this will be transferred, but a bar bag, rack pack or saddlebag will be needed for wet weather gear, camera and snacks etc. The route passes through several short tunnels, so it is essential that you bring front and rear lights.
Hire bikes are available directly from our agent in Tirana. These bikes are well maintained and the gearing is suitable for the terrain. Please contact the Tour Manager if you require further information.
British Airways’ current free checked-in baggage allowance is one bag (or bike) with a maximum weight of 23kgs. Your bike must be properly boxed or bagged, handlebars turned, pedals removed and tyres deflated. If you are taking an additional checked-in bag, there is a charge of £35 each way (payable at the check-in desk at Gatwick - price correct as at 1 October 2018). You will be able to avoid this cost if you pack some items with your bike and travel with hand luggage only. The current free cabin baggage allowance is 23kg, up to a maximum size of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm together with one personal bag up to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. The cost of an extra checked-in bag is not included in the tour price.
Maps & Guides
The Freytag & Berndt map of Montenegro at a scale of 1:150,000 covers the entire route including those sections in Albania at the start and end of the tour. Both the Lonely Planet and Bradt guides to Montenegro provide useful background information on the places visted and the area traversed.
Detailed maps, route sheets, altitude profiles and gpx files for each days ride will be provided.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.
The currency in Montenegro is the Euro and in Albania it is Lek (approx.130 Lek = £1). Only a small quantity of Lek will be needed which can be purchased on arrival in Tirana airport.