Explore Albania and help save the Vjosa; Europe’s last wild, free-flowing river, by rafting it with local activists. 2 days off work.Albania is an undiscovered adventure destination that is steeped in history. Help to preserve its natural biodiversity by experiencing it first-hand, rafting on the Vjosa river.The Vjosa River is under threat by plans to build hydroelectric dams, which could have a devastating impact on the livelihood of the river’s locals and endemic species.Over 3 days you’ll kayak to breathtaking beaches, snorkel in crystal waters, take an adrenaline ride on the free-flowing Vjosa River and hike through Albania’s historic cities and villages.Perfect for: Those who are looking to explore this up-and-coming adventure hot-spot, and help support it’s growing tourism industry.
Day 1: Kayaking from Butrint to Ali Pasha CastleAt 9:45 you’ll be met by your hosts at Saranda harbour. The action begins as you kayak along the Ionian coastline from the Butrint amphitheatre to the historic Ali Pasha Castle. Amidst visiting these UNESCO world heritage sites, you’ll be in awe of the magnificent views along the way.After lunch, you’ll be taken to Lukove (1.5-hour drive), a small, traditional village with breathtaking beaches and characteristically clear waters.When you arrive, you’ll embark on a relatively easy hike to one of the most beautiful beaches in this area, Krorez Bay. In the afternoon, it’s time to see what this unspoiled cove has to offer; get closer to those crystal waters and go for a swim among its inhabitants. Don’t forget your snorkel and underwater camera.1 hour kayaking, 3 hours hiking, 1 hour swimming, 3 hours drivingDay 2: Rafting on the Vjosa RiverAfter breakfast, the minibus will pick you up and take you to the small town of Permet (3-hour drive).After lunch, you’re in for an adrenaline-fueled afternoon as you go rafting on the Vjosa River, one of Europe’s last free-flowing rivers. Its entire 270km course is wild and untamed and adorned with beautiful canyons, braided river sections, islands and oxbows.The Vjosa River is a class III rafting course. Prepare for waves up to four feet and narrow passages that send the boat shimmying and water gushing over the sides.To wind you down into the evening, you’ll visit the Thermal Baths of Benja and hike to the Canyon of Lengarica where you can relax and enjoy a swim in their natural waters. You’ll then head to a local homestay for the evening in Permet, where you can enjoy a barbecue of local food to the sound of traditional music.2,5 hours rafting, 3 hours hiking & swimming, 3 hours drivingDay 3: Hiking the historical sites of GjirokastraThis morning, you’ll be collected from the hotel and taken to the beautiful city of Gjirokastra. Hiking around this ancient city there are plenty of pit stops that are sure to fulfil your appetite for history; including the archaeological park of Antigonea, Saraqinisht village.After lunch, it’s time to say goodbye as you head back to the seaport for your forwarding journey to Corfu airport. 4.5 hours hikingPlease note that the itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.Meet your hosts and let them explain their vision.AccommodationYou’ll spend your first night in a comfortable twin room at the Star Hotel in Saranda. All rooms are air-conditioned with a TV and seating area. The hotel also offers free WiFi.On your second night, you will stay at a homestay in Peshtan village where you can exchange stories with the local residents.