I was inspired to do this route by a New York Times article about a ride from Trieste to Pula, but then I ran out of time before I made it that far. This probably wasn’t my favorite EuroVelo route, but it certainly had some pretty parts. Though there are plenty of great cycling routes through Albania, the selected roads were abysmally bad. The seaside villages were rife with speedbumps and one-way roads, and were often connected with terrible rocky paths that tended to cause flats. It was generally difficult to anticipate how far I could make it in a day because of the wild inconsistencies in surfaces - and the 4:30 sunsets certainly didn’t help matters. The insanely steep climbs didn’t help much in this regard either. The highlight was definitely the empty one-lane roads through the mountains of Montenegro - these were world-class.
The first few days saw constant downpours and nothing ever got dry. I would wake up and put on sopping wet clothes, and head out into the morning chill. Luckily, the rains mostly subsided for the latter half of the ride. In the last few days, the temps hovered around freezing and stretched the limits of the meager collection of cold-weather clothes I had managed to fit into my carry-on.
Since I was mostly on highways in Albania, I had no shortage of restaurants to choose from. But dining options were much more scarce for the rest of the ride and I mostly subsisted on bakery finds. Nearly everything in the seaside towns was shuttered for the season, and anything that was open was surprisingly expensive.
Since this was extreme low-season, there were plenty of deals to be found. I usually got a whole apartment to myself for around $30. When compared with rides I’ve done in northern Europe, it was extremely easy to live cheaply here, while stopping at comfortable intervals - though Croatia was quite a bit more expensive than I remembered.