• Near T‘thores Albania near T‘thores
    Near T‘thores
  • The Ulza Reservoir in the Ulza National Park Albania Ulza National Park
    The Ulza Reservoir in the Ulza National Park
  • view with church on left and lake to right and around Macedonia Lake Mavrovo
    view with church on left and lake to right and around
  • River Lumi i Shales Albania Lumi i Shales
    River Lumi i Shales
  • St Jovan Church Lake Ohrid Macedonia St Jovan Church Lake Ohrid
    St Jovan Church Lake Ohrid

Italy Albania Macedonia Greece - A Guided Motorcycle Tour

Naples, Italy

Quality hotels typically 4 star, dinner, bed and breakfast

Cross Italy and sail to Albania. Tour Albania, visit Macedonia and Corfu onto Greece then head back to Italy. This 16 day tour (including day of arrival and day of departure) will take you to outstanding locations. Look at the pictures taken from past research trips and you will get a flavour of what's on offer.
On this guided tour you will ride some of the best motorcycle routes starting from Naples
We have not set dates for this tour yet and there may have added a new variant, so, check our tour diary. If you are interested in this tour or something similar then please contact us and we shall set a date, alternatively, browse our upcoming tours to see what's new.

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This tour begins in Italy and includes most of Albania, parts of North Macedonia, Corfu, a bit of Greece and returns to Italy. It runs late August into September 2020 because the weather is still good but not excessively hot those months.

Why there you might ask? Well, Albania has a lot to offer the adventure bike rider. There is a good mixture of paved and gravel roads and for those who are a bit more ambitious there are lots of off-road riding possibilities too. The country has some great mountain ranges and national parks, lovely beaches and is steeped in history including ancient Greek and Roman archaeological sites. In short there is a lot packed into this small country and the cost of accommodation is very low by European standards meaning it offers great value for money.

A day trip in North Macedonia affords a flavour of what the country has to offer and the route I’ve chosen takes you to some very picturesque locations.

Crossing to Corfu, as one on my clients put it “the island of legend all the way back to Odysseus, known for scenery, beaches and history - a bulwark of the Venetians against the Ottomans and also ruled by Romans and the British. It was the playground of Sissi, Empress of Austria, where she built her summer palace. It’s the stuff if mythology and legends!” then onwards to Greece grants an opportunity to take a different ferry back to add extra variety.

Starting and ending in Italy guarantees that we can source quality bikes that are appropriately insured for the trip, so, we might as well add to the adventure and take you to some of my favourite towns in southern Italy. The plan is to set off close to Naples because there are good international air links to Naples Airport.

The temperature across this region in September is in the low to mid 20's cent. (66-77 far.) with up to 80mm (3 ins) of rain for the month in the higher mountain regions. That should make nice weather to explore this region.

Research began in 2016 and the final research trip was takin in 2019 completing all planning for this 2020 tour. If this appeals then get in touch to express interest. There are 8 places of which 6 are already taken!.

Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in italy

Naples - non riding day

Mount Vesuvius NaplesWe begin and end this trip at Naples, the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan with a population of 975,000 and over 3.1 million within the surrounding area making it a bustling city.

There is much to see and do in and around the bay of Naples and as this is the day of arrival some may arrive earlier than others and have more time to spend. Apart from touring the city you might want to visit the archaeological sites of Pompeii or Herculaneum, visit the island such as Ischia or Capri or even climb Mount Vesuvius.

With so much to see and do in the city some might prefer to arrive a day or more early to do some sight seeing before the tour begins.


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Naples to Bari 310 km 6 hours riding

Il Borgo Castello Di Calitri Traffic will be slow as we begin our journey exiting Naples, though a short section of highway will help accustom riders to Italian traffic as it passes through residential and commercial areas before joining an Autostrada then making our way onto country roads. Therefore within the first 60-90 minutes riding you will have experienced most types of Italian traffic.

We shall take a short stop in Sala before we pass a popular picnic area at Cerrus Il Parco della Quercia then onwards to Ribotolli and past Lago do Conza before breaking for lunch at Il Borgo Castello Di Calitri parts of which are a cluster of caves and huts and structurally damaged houses that were abandoned after an earthquake in 1980 together with the 13th century castle pictured right and there are great views from this elevated position making this an interesting spot to stop for lunch.

We make our way to another brief stop at a popular picnic location, Laghi di Monticchio, where you might want to take some pictures before we continue eastwards to Spinazzola where the local castle was the birthplace of a Pope and where we take a short stop. Our route then leads through the Alto Murgia National Park and onwards to the ferry at Bari where we shall dine before boarding the overnight ferry to Duress in Albania.

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Duress to Shkoder 192km 5 hours riding

The gravel road over the Shtame PassAfter breakfast we depart Duress heading north towards Shkoder taking our fist detour to the Castle of Kruja at an elevation of 557 metres (1,827 ft) and the centre of the Skanderbeg opposition to the Ottoman Empire and at the northern end of the Dajti National Park. The castle contains the Teqe of Dollme of the Bektashi (an Islamic Sufi sect), the National Skanderbeg Museum, the remains of the Fatih Sultan Mehmed mosque and its minaret and an ethnographic museum and a Turkish bath. During the Albanian Revolt of 1432-1436 the city was unsuccessfully besieged and Ottoman rule was restored. After Skanderbeg's rebellion in 1443 the castle withstood three massive sieges from the Turks between 1450 and 1467 with garrisons usually no larger than 2,000-3,000 men. Mehmed II "The Conqueror" also attempted to break the castle's defenses in 1478, 10 years after the death of Skanderbeg.

As we take the route over the Shtame Pass we get our first taste of Albanian gravel roads along a very twisty section as we cross the hills. We stop near the town of Burrel for lunch before heading north west to the Reservoir at Ulza as we make our way back to the coast.

We take another refreshment break before crossing the Mat river and end the day in Shkoder, the most ancient city in the Bulkans and where we shall stay for the next two nights. Lake Shkoder is the largest in southern Europe and nearby Rofza Castle is worth visiting.

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Shkoder, Maranai Park, Valbona park, circuit 155km 7 hours riding

The Kiri Gorge Some riders might prefer to take a relaxing day in and around Shkoder because today’s route will be challenging with a substantial part of this route along gravel roads.

As we depart Shkoder heading north east we pass Drishti Castle on our right across the Kiri River as the Maranai National Park rises to our left. We follow the course of the river passing hamlets with churches and a monastery as the road twists and turns as it rises into the mountains. We take our first refreshment break at the north end of the Maranai National Park.

The rough rubble and graven roads continue as we progress further north and cross the Shales River. We take another break at Shqiperia then continue into the Valbona National Park where we shall take a break at Theth. From here we head west along the Thate River to Boge where we begin to turn south. We take another break here before joining surfaced roads that will lead us back to Shkoder.

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Shkoder to Peshkopi 240km 6 hours riding

Peshkopi with snow covered mountains in the distanceAs we depart Shkoder we shall be heading to the east and first pass the Vau I Dejes Reservoir then join the SH 5, a paved road that is quite rutted in parts that twists and turns its way through the hills. Much of the roadside leads into woodland and where there are gaps between the trees you get some wonderful views. We take our first break in the town of Puka which is at an altitude of 890m (2,920ft). The small town has a few café’s a hotel and a petrol station.

Our journey along the SH5 continues with bend after bend many hairpins as we steadily climb into the mountains and edge towards the border with Kosovo until we reach Shenmeri where we break for lunch at a bar neighbouring the Mosque. The Mosque is in good order quite unlike some of the surrounding properties which have been left in a state of disrepair since the war. Villages like this help us appreciate the recent toils that Albania has suffered,

The twists in the road continue until we reach the outskirts ok Kukes where we momentarily join a dual carriageway until we cross the Black Drin River. As we change course to the south we pass Kukes airport. On the next section the scenery is quite dramatic because a river runs through a gorge to the west and the mountains rise above us to the east. Shortly after passing a Hydro Electric power station we shall pull in at a roadside café for a refreshment break. We end the day at Peshkopi. We remain high in the mountains at 651 metres (2,136 ft) above sea level. The town name is derived from a word meaning Bishop and for a while the town prospered as a market town

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Peshkopi to Pogradec via Macedonia 258km (161 miles) about 5 hours riding

The ruins of St Nicholas Church on the shore of Lake MavorovoShortly after departing Peshkopi we cross the border into Macedonia and into the Morovo National Park (Macedonia’s largest National Park with country’s highest peak of Mount Korab 2,764m / 9,068ft ) where we take a short break on the banks of Lake Mavrovo within the Mavrovo National Park.

Our journey now heads south to Struga an ancient trading hub on the shores of the Lake Ohrid. Struga remains relatively unspoilt and it is not on the usual tourist trail and an ideal spot to stop for lunch.

Heading south along the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid we next reach Ohrid, a historical town nestled on the shore of the lake and a UNESCO world heritage site. In the old town area of Ohrid you will find narrow cobbled streets and the stone and whitewashed houses have orange roofs there are also ancient churches and a theatre from circa 200 BC.

The final leg of this route brings us along the eastern side of the lake and through the Galichica National Park. Time permitting we shall take a detour up a mountain trail to a great view point before returning to our hotel across the border in Albania.

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Pogradec to Berat 170km 6 hours riding

Gradec Cliffs near Corovode We depart Pogradec on the SH3 before joining the SH71 at Maliq. This road is badly rutted and potholed at first and later turns into a gravel raod. For a significant part of the journey we are in a valley running alongside a river with steel slopes on either side resulting in steep gradients on the road with sharp bends of gravel tracks and no sidewall to the road, so, added care is necessary. A paved road surface returns as we approach a hydroelectric plant construction site and this surface continues for a few miles to Moglice where we stop for a morning coffee break.

On the outskirts of Moglice we exit the SH71 onto a gravel road passing a mosque as we wind our way across the mountain to the villages of Postene and Greva where we shall take a short stop before continuing to our lunch break at Gjerbes at the southern of the Tomorri National Park.

At the eastern side of the Tomorri National Park change direction to the north at Corovode (the Gradec Cliffs near Corovode are pictured right) and a little further on we take our afternoon tea break at a cafe overlooking the River the sliced the gorge to see and borders the Bogova Reserve.

The final leg of this route takes us to Berat, the ninth largest city in Albania and a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique style of architecture with influences from several civilizations that have managed to coexist for centuries.

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Berat, Apollonia, Vlore, Sarande 210km 6 hours riding

St Maria Church within the Ancient Greek Site of ApollinaHeading west from Albania’s oldest town, Berat, we come to the reservoir at Mbreshtan where we alter course to the north at Mount Shpirag. According to folklore, Shpirag was a giant who fought nearby Mount Tomorr for a beautiful woman. The words "Enver" were etched into the rock face in 100m high letters (circa 1968 in tribute to the communist dictator Enver Hoxha). Post communism efforts were made to remove this and more recently a farmer and his nephew has swapped the first two letters and highlighted the remainder to spell “NEVER”. Although this has faded somewhat since it was whitewashed it is still visible. We then join the SH73 which is a major road that passes through many towns on our way towards the coast.

We stop at Apollonia an ancient Greek city founded in 588 BC. Apollonia also flourished in the Roman period when it was home to a renowned school of philosophy. The site was first excavated in the 18th century, and a more detailed exploration was undertaken during the Austrian occupation (1916–1918) when the site was better investigated by archaeologists and a French team continued the research between 1924 and 1938. Parts of the site date back to the 6th century B.C.

As we head south along the Adriatic coast we gather a picnic lunch close to Mount Cika, the highest peak in the Ceraunian Mountains close to Vlore, Albania’s third largest city and second largest port. Vlore was founded as an Ancient Greek colony in the sixth century BC. Culturally and economically Vlore is one of the most significant cities in Albania. We head down to the secluded Gjipe beach to eat our lunch and perhaps take a swim.

The final leg of the day brings us to our waterfront hotel at Sarande where we shall be based for the next few days

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Sarande, Butrint, Blue Eye, Gjirokaster Castle 200km 6 hours riding

The clock tower at Gjirokaster CastleSome might want to take a leisurely day at the beach others might prefer a short run and return to base after we visit Butrint, but for this eager to ride we begin the day with a visit to Butrint an ancient Greek city then named Buthrotum) and later Roman city. This ancient site is fortunate to have survived because during Hoxha rule there were plans to turn the area into a submarine base! Fortunately the Butrint Foundation in collaboration with the Albanian Institute of Archaeology has preserved this ancient site and since 1992 it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After visiting Butrint we take a short ferry crossing to an old Venetian Castle before taking a rather circuitous route around the hills as we make our way to The Blue Eye, a deep fresh water spring and popular tourist spot.

The road from there to another UNESCO World Heritage site at Gjirokaster Castle is generally wide with gentle curves allowing faster progress. We grab some lunch in Gjirokaster then view the castle that dominates the town and overlooks the strategically important route along the river valley.

We then make our way back initially doubling back on the SH4 before setting off into the hills then back to the coast and our hotel at Sarande

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North Corfu circuit 160km (100 miles) 5 hours riding

View towards Paleokastritsa MonasteryToday we partially circuit Corfu visiting some of the islands popular landmarks. Crossing from Sarande we arrive in Corfu town with there are many sights to see including old and new fortress but we shall leave this to the end of the day when we return to the city to catch the return ferry.

Heading north we largely hug the coast line passing by the marina at Gouvia and numerous seaside towns and villages before reaching Kassiopi towards the north eastern corner of the island. The town is interesting with a nice harbour and is overlooked by a ruined castle. We take a short refreshment break here before progressing inland to the old town of Perithia. Once the major seat of wealth on the island the town was largely abandoned in the ‘60’s when the population gravitated towards new jobs in tourism but has recently seen a resurgence and is now becoming a popular holiday destination in its own right.

Next we hear uphill to Corfu’s tallest peak at Pantokrator to admire the views the 10km route between Old Perithia and Pantokrator is mainly gravel but easily navigable by bike. There is a monastery, gift shop and also a café at the top for those in need of another refreshment.

We descend to the west coast stopping at Angelokastro (Castle of the Angel) which is a steep climb from the carpark that is likely to take about 10 minutes or so but those willing to do so will be rewarded with great views. We can also take lunch at the taverna beside the carpark or later close by the monastery of Paleokastrista.

After lunch we head south to another view point at Palekas, popularly referred to as Kaisers Throne because it was a favoured spot of Kaiser Wilhelm II. There are outstanding view all around this hilltop so it is easy to understand why the Kaiser was drawn to the spot. Staying on a Kaiser theme we next cut across country to the east coast to visit Achilleion Palace, the former home of Empress Elisabeth of Austria otherwise referred to as Sisi’s Palace. German Kaiser Wilhelm II purchased Achilleion from his cousin in 1907 and used it as a summer residence.

We then head up the coast passing the ruins of the Kaisers bridge to return to Corfu town where some might want to shop and other visit the fortresses before we board the ferry and return to our hotel in Sarande.

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Pindus national park - 293km (183 miles) 6.5 hours riding

View from room balcony at Daupiani House Hotel, GreeceWe depart Sarande crossing the border a little east near Kakavia into Greece and making a refreshment break at Kalpaki after which we enter the Pindus National Park where we shall be riding mountain roads for the remainder of the day.

This region is very picturesque and famed for its humped back bridges and villages with cobbled streets. We stop to picture a few of these bridges including one with triple arch. From here the roads just twist endlessly and offer a different view around each curve. There will be many opportunities to stop and admire the views or take pictures as we make our way to our lunch stop at a Taverna in Samarinas.

The road continues to rise to the Vasilitsa Ski Centre and continues to twist and turn until our next refreshment break at Grevena. After this we cross the Venetikos River as we make our way to our overnight stop at Kalabaka where our hotel has outstanding views of the mountains and monastery.

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Kozaikas and Tzoumerka National Park's 265km (165 miles) 6 hours riding

Bridge in Mount Kozaikas National parkAs we leave Kalabaka we first take a closer view of some of the monastery’s travelling up to the Great Meteorand to the Meteora observation deck before continuing our journey towards Mount Kozaikas where we take a refreshment break at the village of Chrisomilia.

The next section of the route takes us through the Tzoumerka National Park hosts to great Gorges including Peristeri and Arachthos. We take a lunch break at Kalarites with views over the Kalarritikos Potamos river gorge. It is an interesting mountain village where goods are more often carried by horses than in vehicles.

Next we head to the lake Limni Ioanninon Pamvotida and the town of Ioannina with its Archaeological Museum, ancient Castle, Byzantine Museum and Mosque there is much to see and it makes a pleasant place to spend time before making our way to the port and our ferry back to Italy.

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Brindisi to Potenza 300km 6 hours riding

the village of Castlemezzano with mountains behindWe land in Brindisi and head inland to Alberobello where you will find a USESCO World Heritage Site of Trulli, the small round whitewashed houses with conical roofs. The design meant the houses could quickly be turned to a pile of rubble and fairly quickly reinstated. After a stroll along the streets to view the houses we set off again heading west.

Our route skirts to edge of a few national parks as we make our way to Matera, an interesting old town, that nestles in a small canyon. People have lived here for millennia originally in cave dwellings and continued there until the 1950's when the inhabitants were forcibly removed by the State to more modern buildings. The town has since expanded gradually upwards along the slope and the old town is largely abandoned.

We next pass Lago di San Giuliano as we make our way to the mountain town of Grottole. In medieval times this was home to about 13,000 people but there days there closer to 2,000. Thereafter, the route through Parco Regionale Gallipoli Cognato will afford some great roads, and wonderful views especially around Castelmezzano, a pretty mountain village with cobbled streets where we take another break.

On the final stretch we traverse the north shores of Lago Camastra then we pass through Anzi as we make our way to our hotel at Potenza, a town steeped in history, that makes an interesting place to stop for the night. Our hotel is 4 star rated and in the centre of town.

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Potenza to Naples 235km 5 hours riding

Potenza aerial viewWe leave Potenza taking a highway for the first few miles and then continuing across twisty mountain roads as we head towards Atena Lucana, one of the most ancient settlements in the Vallo di Diano where we shall take a short stop for photographs.

Our next leg of the journey crosses the Parco Nationale del Cilento Vallo di Diano where the twisty mountain roads afford great views and a fantastic rider experience. We take another short break and refreshment at Bellosguardo. Then onwards through the park to Roccadaspide. We then head more northerly to Salerno taking a break at Castelo di Arechi where you will have glorious views across Salerno.

We make our way over the hills passing Pompeii, Herculanuem and Mount Vesuvious any of which we can stop at if the group wish to do so and time permitting.

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Amalfi Coastal Circuit 190km 6 hours riding

The Amalfi CoastNo trip to this region is really complete unless you ride the Amalfi Coast. So, we head off on an a leisurely anti-clockwise ride around the coast so that your views out to sea are less interrupted by other traffic.

We shall make our first stop at Sorrento which is not high up in the cliffs as some other towns along the Amalfi Coast. Riding can be difficult through the city centre especially along the narrow roads so we shall park up and take a stroll after which we get back on the bikes and take the rugged coastal path to Positano, often hailed as the Jewel on the Amalfi Coast, then a little further along we reach Praiano, a quiet and picturesque fishing village then onwards to Furore, but before we climb the hill to the town you should note that at the bottom of Furore’s cliffs we pass the Fiordo Di Furore, a secluded beach, where we could stop and take a dip in the sea, then up the hill a bit to Furore town which is less visited by tourists but affords great views. After some picture taking we head back downhill and progress onwards to Amalfi where we break for lunch.

On the return journey to Naples we rise up the hill to Ravello another superb vie point and from here we make our way back to the hotel.

For those who want to an added experience we can visit Herculaneum which is a smaller and better preserved archaeological site and can be viewed in far less time than its better known neighbour, Pompeii, yet still allows you to embrace how Roman life was prior to the eruption in 79AD. After which we can ride up Mount Vesuvius to the crater before we make our way back to the hotel.

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Route Variation

Please note that maps are indicative because it is not always possible to enter all the waypoints and on the day of departure as we need to review our routes based upon the latest traffic and weather information available making changes as and when necessary.

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Further details

Parties interested in this tour should get in touch now to intimate interest via our Enquiries Form or email hi@mctours.eu or phone +44(0)141 416 0230