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VJOSA – EUROPE’S LAST WILD RIVER

Rafting / Hiking / Wine tasting / UNESCO Culture Site visits

VJOSA – EUROPE’S LAST WILD RIVER

EUROPE AND MEDITERRANEAN REGION

Sunny 128

Duration

7 Days

Group of people

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

Accomodation

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel / Camping / Guest House

Location W

MEETING POINT

Tirana International Airport

Season W

SEASON

March—November

2

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

Prior rafting experience recommended
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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Click ‘see changes’ for specific  Foreign Office travel advice plus any trip alterations and additional safety measures in place, as a result of COVID-19.

The Vjosa River is often referred to as the last wild river in Europe. The waterway is a near-natural river system which has been largely lost elsewhere in Europe.

From its source in the Greek mountains the river flows largely unobstructed for over 270 kilometres to the Adriatic Sea. It’s an enormous mosaic of large and small habitats with over 1100 plant and animal species across the catchment, including 13 globally threatened animal and 2 plant species.

With 40 small and large dams having been planned for the Vjosa River and its tributaries there has been enormous concern both from international and Albanian conservation groups.

In addition to the catastrophic environmental loss caused by large dams there is the human impact as the river is the lifeblood of many traditional farming communities.

new agreement between the Albanian government, the Save the Blue Heart of Europe coalition and the outdoor equipment and clothing company Patagonia was signed in early June 2022. The aim of the agreement is to create an IUCN Category II Level National Park that would severely limit the potential for future hydropower and dam construction in the Vjosa Basin, in order to conserve its biodiversity and ecosystems.

Active Albania supports efforts to protect the Vjosa River and make it Europe’s first Wild River National Park. Join us to raft the wild Vjosa and learn how you can help protect this unique ecosystem.

Location/Region highlights

The region is a diverse landscape of rugged hills, high cliffs, and endless, rolling agricultural land. The Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing grapes and other fruits. It's the ideal place to get off the beaten path and have a unique Balkans experience.

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  • Whats Included
  • Itinerary
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Professional Local rafting guide with cultural/natural history knowledge.
5 days of rafting on the Vjosa River.
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 6 dinners.
1 night camping, 2 nights hotel and 4 nights village guesthouses.
Walks and activities listed in the itinerary.

Alcoholic drinks (other than those listed in the itinerary).
Gratuities.
Limited mobile phone access.
Wifi in Tirana only.

Small daypack (35L or under) or back pack style dry bag.
Rucksack or soft sided duffel bag for the rest of your gear.
Light-weight waterproof jacket.
Breathable, light-weight t-shirts & trousers for hiking (synthetic not cotton).
Underwear and Bathing suit.
Shorts
Cap or hat.
Wind stopper jacket.
Comfortable lightweight hiking boots.
Camera (Battery packs and storage) / waterproof GoPro or similar.
Sunscreen and lip balm.
Sunglasses.

Tirana

DAY 1 - Arrival in Tirana

Arrival in Tirana Airport. Welcome dinner.

Rafting Brief
Permet
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DAY 2 - Departure to Permet

After breakfast departure by vehicle for a 4.5-hour drive to Permet on the border with Greece.

On arrival we’ll have a safety briefing and introduction to rafting before we enjoy our first taste of rafting in the Vjosa River. We’ll raft for approximately 15 kilometres which will take about 3-4 hrs enjoying a packaged lunch en route. If time allows, we’ll enjoy a late afternoon hike to Sopoti waterfall.

Rafting class III

Tonight, we’ll camp in Stermbec village and enjoy a local dinner in a village guesthouse.

Rafting in Vjosa River

DAY 3 - Rafting Stermbec to Petran

After an early breakfast, we’ll raft the 18 kilometres between Stermbec and Petran.

Class III-IV (about 4-5 hrs)

As we float downstream, we’ll enjoy a lunch of local fresh caught fish and hike in the river canyons of Lengarica and thermal pools at Benja. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a typical local dinner with traditional saze folk music in Permet. Accommodation at a local guesthouse in Permet.

Vjosa Rafting

DAY 4 - Rafting Petran to Grabove

Today we’ll raft between Petran and Grabove which is about 15 kilometres taking in class II-III rapids over about 3 to 4 hours. Today’s float is spectacular through the remote and spectacular Përmet Alps. We stop for lunch to enjoy a gastronomic treat of cheese and local wine and our visit to the isolated village of Limar is like stepping back in time to another age. Dinner and accommodation in a local guesthouse.

Vjosa River

DAY 5 - Rafting Grabova - Tepelene

We depart early to raft 26 kilometres between Grabova and Tepelena. It’s an easy Class II float that will about 6-7 hrs. We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Before dinner we’ll visit of the Castle of Tepelena. Overnight at a local guesthouse in Tepelena.

DAY 6 - Rafting

Our last day of rafting is approximately 23 kilometres and will take us to Qesarat. For those that wish, we will use packrafts on this stretch of the river. We will then transfer on to Kalivac where the construction of one of the 2 main proposed hydro-electric dams was planned. It’s a long but rewarding day of about 6 to 7 hrs with lunch in Memaliaj. Here we’ll meet with the local community that has been opposing the construction of the hydropower dam. Overnight in a local guesthouse.

Tirana

DAY 7 - Transfer to Tirana

Today is our final day in Albania and we’ll transfer overland to Tirana where we’ll overnight. There’s free time to explore the capital. Overnight in a central hotel.

DAY 8 - Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Q What is the group size going to be?

Minimum 6 persons and maximum 14 person.

Q Dietary Requirements

Please let us know of any dietary requirements in advance so we can cater to these.

QWeather

The best months for experiencing this tour are April to June and September to November when the weather is warm and sunny, reaching temperatures of around 30 degrees.

Q Minimum age (on a private trip)

The children can join only private trips. They should have at least 15 years old.

Q Customer should be aware of

Previous experience, medical conditions, weight, dietary requirements.

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