Home>Travel inspiration>Epic Trips>Solo Travel

I Biked Through Albania. Alone. As a Woman.

By Rebecca Lowe

Feb 11, 2016

From the March/April 2016 issue

share this article

And discovered that the headlines have it all wrong.

share this article

The road is blocked by goats again. It really is the last straw. I’m two months into a 10,000-kilometer cycling trip across Europe and the Middle East, and I've just chugged over a truly enormous hill (let's call it a mountain) between Montenegro and Albania, only to run out of paved road. And food. And water. And then the rain arrived. Right before the goats. 

I am saved by a kindly man with a van. The track is just rubble, hemmed in tightly by cliffs and plunging ravines, and we stop regularly to wait for bulldozers to clear the way. The nail-biting journey takes three hours, and when we arrive at my destination it’s pitch-black and pouring. But the guesthouse is charming: a 150-year-old haven of warm hospitality, where I am generously fed and pampered.

This is not the Albania I was warned about. Don’t cycle alone, I was told. Trust no one. It’s a land of thieves. But along my ride I have encountered only goodwill and the kind of everyday decency that never makes the headlines.

Follow Rebecca’s ride on her site, thebicyclediaries.co.uk.

>>Next: I Was a Bollywood Extra.

Sign up for the Daily Wander newsletter for expert travel inspiration and tips

Please enter a valid email address.

Read our privacy policy