Ancient Pathways

8 Days  |  From £1015pp

Albania ( Best airport: Tirana)

This mountainous trail in Albania is a challenging and exciting experience for adventurous riders. Ride up and down steep mountain passes before enjoying long, fast gallops in the grassy valleys. This trail is a cultural immersion with accommodation on the trail with welcoming host families for a true insght into Albanian rural life.

The Riding

The Albanian mountain horses you’ll be matched with willingly go places you would never believe possible for a horse; happy cantering over rocks, down loose scree or climbing mountain sides without hesitation. This trail offers challenging and exciting riding with the pace changing every few minutes to suit the terrain. Expect long gallops through the grassy valleys, exciting canters up stony tracks and steep climbs where you can trust your horse to get you to the top.

Enjoy the exhilarating canters through the river valleys and get an insight into the heart of rural Albanian culture, staying as a guest in the homes of welcoming, local families.

Level of Riding and Fitness

This trail is suitable for confident intermediate and experienced riders only with a good, balanced seat. You will be riding over challenging mountainous terrain and enjoying long trots, canters and fast gallops in the valleys.

Good riding fitness in required as you’ll be spending 4-6 hours in the saddle each day.

Weight limit: 14 stone / 90kg

Guides and Group Size

The guides are professionals with many years of experience in guiding trails through the Albanian mountains. They are adventurous, knowledgeable about the history and nature, and most of all, passionate about their horses.

Maximum number of riders in a group is 10.

The Horses

The horses used on this ride are of local Albanian breed, Tarpan, mixed with Arabs. They are small, strong and perfectly suited for the challenging, rocky terrain being surefooted and accustomed to trekking over long mountainous trails.

Tack and Riding Equipment

The tack is English style with small saddlebags provided for items such as water bottles, packed lunches and cameras.

Tacking up is optional.

Riders are expected to help with feeding and watering the horses during the trail.


Accommodation and Dining

The first and last night of the trail will be spent in a hotel. The rest of the nights are spent at local, friendly family homes which offer a great opportunity to soak in the rural Albanian lifestyle. The accommodation during the family stays is very basic with shared bathroom facilities. Your hosts may not speak English.

The food served during the trail will be of local produce and traditional Albanian meals. Picnic lunches will be brought to you by the support vehicle or alternatively carried in your saddle bags while riding. Dinners will be served in a local restaurant when staying in a hotel or by your hosts when spending the night in a local family home.

Allergies and special dietary requirements can be catered with advance notice.

There is a very limited access to Wi-Fi during the trail. Access to electricity is possible every night and the whole area has a good phone signal coverage.

Your luggage will be transported by car between the overnight stops.

Get a free Ancient Pathways mini-brochure in PDF format.


Ancient Pathways

8 days / 7 nights / 6 days riding

Single Supplement
It may be possible to pay for a single supplement on the first and last night of the trail, allowing riders to have a single room. However, on other nights, riders must be prepared to share accommodation. The single supplement for a single room is 25 Euros per night, payable on site.

Small Group Supplement
This is applicable if only 2 riders are booked on the ride. Small group supplement is £125 per person.

Tirana Airport to Gjirokastra (Round trip):
Cost: €90 per person (€45 one way)
Distance: 225 km
Duration: 3 hours

Scheduled transfers every Saturday at 12:30pm and 14:30pm
Recommended arrival time for flights: No later than 14:30pm
Recommended departure time for flights: Not earlier than 12:00pm (midday)

Riders arriving in Tirana one day in advance should plan their arrival for the 12:00 pm or 14:30 pm transfer. Transfers from Tirana can’t be organized, but it’s easy and affordable to reach Tirana Airport by bus. Buses run every hour from the center of Tirana (behind the opera palace).

Private transfer to/from Tirana:
1 person: €140 (one way)
2 persons: €70 each (one way)
3 persons or more: €55 each (one way)

Note: Private transfers can be booked if it’s not possible to schedule flights that align with the normal transfer schedule.

Saranda Port to Gjirokastra (Round trip):
Cost: €50 per person (round trip)
Distance: 60 km
Duration: 1 hour

Transfers can be organized based on the ferries’ timetable for 2024, typically with one morning and one afternoon option.

Do not book flights until you have received the Booking confirmation email from

Price Includes
  • 6 full days f riding
  • Trail riding horse, tack & small saddlebags
  • Shared accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Lunches
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks during meals
  • Services of guide
  • All arrangements for duration of holiday
Price Excludes
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Tips
  • Entrance tickets to monuments & parks