Self-Drive South Albania 4x4 Tour

Drive an iconic Lada Niva on our epic South Albania 4×4 Tour

Overview - South Albania 4x4 Tour

This unique Albania 4×4 tour is aimed at people who don’t much like group tours. 

Instead of being a passenger in a coach or minibus, you’ll get to drive an iconic Lada Niva 4×4 through the mountains of south Albania. 

We’ll be overnighting in comfortable (if sometimes basic) hotels, with the exception of our night in Kurvelesh. Here we sleep in a very simple homestay with shared facilities. If you value your privacy, you can stay with another family close by or even drive on an extra hour to a small hotel in the city of Tepelenë.  

If you want to join this tour but don’t want to drive, there are three seats available in the guide’s car if you promise not to complain about the bumps. Or the precipitous drops. Or the guide’s taste in music. 


Day 01 Tirana to Gramsh

Day 02 Gramsh to Skrapar

Day 03 Skrapar to Gjirokastra

Day 04 Gjirokastra to Riviera

Day 05 Riviera to Kurvelesh 

Day 06 Kurvelesh to Berat 

Day 07 Berat to Tirana

Key Information

Group size – 02-10

Minimum age – 16 (drivers must be 21 and over)

Accommodation – 2-3* rural hotels with one night in a homestay (shared facilities; hotel option available)

Transport – Lada Niva 4×4

2020 Tour Dates

Sunday 20 to Saturday 26 September 2020

Sunday 11 to Saturday 17 October 2020

2020 Prices (Euro & GBP)

02 Travellers Euros €1,390 per person (GBP £1,190) based on two sharing a Lada Niva 4×4 and Twin or Double room*

03 Travellers Euros €990 per person (GBP £850) based on three sharing a Lada Niva 4×4 and one Twin or Double room and one Single room

Ride With The Guide Euros €990 per person (GBP £850) based on two sharing a Twin or Double room

Single room supplement euros €195 (GBP £165)

Prices exclude international flights

*Please note Nivica is homestay accommodation, with the option to drive on to a hotel. 

Want to join our South Albania 4×4 tour, but don’t want to drive? We have three seats available in the guide’s car…

…if you promise not to complain about the bumps 

Tour Gallery

A picture says a thousand words, goes the cliché. See more images from our self-drive South Albania 4×4 Tour by pressing the button below.

South Albania 4x4 Tour Day-to-Day

Day 01, Sunday - Tirana to Gramsh

We’ll make a civiised 10.00 start to our Albania 4×4 Tour at our Tirana office, beginning with a safety briefing and introduction to the vehicles. Then we’ll hit the road! The first part of the day will be on scenic asphalt back roads, then things become more challenging as we leave the paved surface behind and negotiate our way south along the edge of the Mokra mountains to the town of Gramsh. We’ll aim to arrive by around 17.30 – Gramsh is a sleepy little place, that feels like a real throwback to the Communist era.   

  • Hotel Tomorri Gramsh
  • Picnic lunch  

Day 02, Monday - Gramsh to Skrapar

A very special day, with some serious driving challenges. We’ll continue south along a river valley to the village of Gjerbës, before climbing up and taking an often precipitous track south to the “capital” of Skrapar region, Çorrovodë (which might even be sleepier than Gramsh). Here we’ll be staying in a very basic hotel in the centre of town, so we’re well set-up for sampling the raki for which Skrapar is famous.     

  • Hotel Osumi Çorrovodë
  • Breakfast; picnic lunch 

Day 03, Tuesday - Skrapar to Gjirokastra

We’ll continue south along Osumi Canyon this morning. The asphalt ends shortly after the canyon, then we’ll drive a very scenic dirt road through the heart of Skrapar down to the Vjosa river. The final stretch will be on blissfully smooth asphalt as we pass through the Këlcyrë Gorge and onto the UNESCO World Heritage City of Gjirokastra, where we’ll be spending the night. We’ll have plenty of time to explore this fascinating place, highlights including the imposing fortress built by Ali Pasha (of Lord Byron fame) and the exquisite Skenduli House.      

  • Hotel Kastro Gjirokastra
  • Breakfast; picnic lunch 

Day 04, Wednesday - Gjirokastra to Riviera

This is perhaps the longest day of the tour, but it ends with a beach so you’ll be able to swim away any aches. We’ll make our way west throught the mountains to the UNESCO-protected archaeological park of Butrint, where we’ll break to explore the ruins, take lunch, and perhaps even enjoy a dip at one of the nearby beaches. In the mid-afternoon we’ll continue north along the Riviera road (asphalt) to a small hotel right on the Ionian Sea – the perfect place to finish the day’s adventure, we reckon.    

  • Hotel Te Stefi Qeparo 
  • Breakfast 

Day 05, Thursday - Riviera to Kurvelesh

We’ll make a relaxed 10.00 start, so you can enjoy a morning swim before we say goodbye to the coast. Our route today is one of our favourite off-road drives in the whole of Albania, with several small river crossings, and will take us back east to the little-known Nivica Canyon system – which makes the more famous Osumi Canyon look like a small ditch. Here we’ll be staying at an extremely simple but hospitable village guesthouse (shared facilities*). There’ll be time to walk down to the bottom of the canyon before enjoying a home-cooked meal prepared by our very welcoming hosts, Petrit and Ndyshë.   

* If you aren’t happy to share bathroom facilities, we’ll send you on to the nearest hotel, about 30km / 1h further on. Alternatively you could stay with a local couple, and share the bathroom only with them!  

  • Village Homestay Nivica or Lord Byron Tepelenë 
  • Breakfast; lunch; evening meal (set menu) 

Day 06, Friday - Kurvelesh to Berat

The day begins with a dramatic descent down to civilisation, and asphalt. Don’t worry – we soon leave the paved road behind as we climb up into the mountains of south-central Albania and continue on to our second UNESCO World Heritage City, Berat. Here we’ll stay in a very comfortable hotel in the Old Town, and will have plenty of time to explore. In the evening we recommend eating at our favourite restaurant, Koço’s. The great man himself is usually drunk and provides entertainment rather than sterling service, but Koço’s wife and daughter are the brains of the outfit and hold everything together in the kitchen – the food is always excellent.   

  • Hotel Onufri Berat 
  • Breakfast; picnic lunch 

Day 07, Saturday - Berat to Tirana. Tour Ends

We’ll have time this morning to tick off any cultural sites we might have missed yesterday. Then, around 11.00, we’ll make a move. Today’s route can be challenging, with lots of ruts, wash-outs and big drops. The pay-off are wonderful views, right across to the Adriatic Sea. We then have a smooth run on asphalt to Tirana, which we’ll aim to reach by 18.00. We’ll be heading to one of our favourite Italian restaurants later, and you’re welcome to join us and celebrate (!?) the end of our South Albania 4×4 Tour, but if you prefer to do your own thing then we’ll say goodbye and let you get on with it!  

  • Breakfast; picnic lunch 


English-speaking guide in lead vehicle

Lada Niva 4x4s with full CASCO insurance


Six nights accommodation as indicated on itinerary, or near equivalents 

Meals as indicated on itinerary (6 x breakfasts; 6 x lunches; 1 x evening meals)



Personal expenses

Personal travel insurance 

Museum & attraction entrance fees

Meals not indicated on itinerary 




Book With Confidence – We Offer Full Financial Protection

As a UK-registered company, we have to comply with tough consumer-protection legislation. That’s why we’re proud to be members of Protected Trust Services. When you pay for your holiday, your money will be held in a British HSBC trust account administered by the independent PTS trustees. We only receive payment once the tour is run, so in the unlikely event of our going bust or your not being satisfied with the tour, your money is safe. To read more about how the process works, please visit the PTS website

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