In September 2017 we were joined by Rene Montsma, who flew in from Tel Aviv, and his brother Michel, from Amsterdam. They had only three nights to spare, but we managed to pack in a lot of activity, including a night spent camping wild on a remote beach. Read Rene’s comments on the trip here. 

“We had an amazing experience, an absolute blast. Our tour from Tirana to the south was custom organised by Ed Reeves. Anything you want is possible. Without self-interest, Ed will advise you how you can realise your dream tour. He suggested to start in Tirana and end up in Corfu and this was only one of his contributions to a big success.

“We started from Tirana with a day of mountain biking at Dajti, up with a cable car and then a challenging 50km of off-road cycling as we had requested.

“After we left the bikes, Ardi picked us up. Ardi is another example of the extreme professionalism that goes with Drive Albania. Very courteous, going out of his way to make us feel comfortable and happy. An entertaining and likable companion during our tour and great source of knowledge, local contacts and an excellent guide for finding the most beautiful landscapes, the best restaurants and showing us the inside of Albania without feeling like a tourist. An excellent, experienced and cautious driver.

“We arrived in Berat’s Çobo Winery to be received by the owner, a wonderful and impressive host who showed us around his winery outside normal opening hours thanks to Drive Albania. Full wine tasting experience and then onwards to the best hotel in Berat.

“The next day we had a beautiful tour over the mountains and our first 4×4 self drive experience. Glad to leave the difficult parts to Ardi, we had a blast driving the Land Rover. Ardi showed us the Gjirokastra castle with various view points, of course effortlessly bypassing tourists with the Land Rover. It does not get more efficient than that!

“An out-of-the-box experience: overnight with a charming Albanian couple in the village of Libohove that like to host international guests. A warm, charming couple: we turned out to have many subjects in common and talked and drank the whole evening. Ardi’s help was appreciated here too, staying on the  whole evening to help translate where needed.

“Day Three was an incredible off-road drive through the mountains, with a fresh trout for lunch. Another amazing experience, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

“We ended the day at the beach, where we had requested our final night would be in tents before transferring to Corfu. The evening was a blast, we put fresh fish on the grill, drank lots of wine (sorry Ed, we drank your Çobo bottle too) and had a great time with Ardi, especially when he took up his violin and demonstrated to us what he learned from his grandfather, right next to the campfire.

“The next morning we chilled at the beach on comfortable beach beds, enjoyed swimming in the sea and had sea food lunch with excellent wine in a beautiful restaurant in the bay of Saranda.

“Finally the ferry to Corfu where we had a very nice experience before flying off the next morning.

“A full experience. Everything went right and smooth. We had no worries and absolutely loved it. A warm recommendation for anyone wishing to explore Albania in the hands of an experienced team.”

Rene Montsma, September 2017.