My husband and I went to Albania for our honeymoon, and we
definitely recommend this hike, and this tour guide (Eri)!
First, Eri was amazing! We were actually staying in Golem
instead of Tirana, and he drove the extra hour or so each
way to get us without any complaints or requests for
additional fees. He spoke English well and was very
knowledgeable. If he didn't know the answer to one of our
questions, he even made a note to look it up later (if we
were on a part of the hike without cell service). He was
also very personable (he was our favorite guide of the
trip!), and we would have loved to have an opportunity to do
more tours with him, but unfortunately we had already
planned out our trip by the time we did the hike.
I also REALLY appreciated his professionalism (while being
friendly!). We came during the covid-19 pandemic, and
Albanians generally did not seem to be taking it seriously
(we saw almost no masks being worn, and most masks that
people did wear weren't covering their noses!), which was a
bit anxiety-inducing for me. Many of our other tour guides
didn't wear masks (and a different tour guide even ate off
our plates during our food tour, which would have bothered
me even if there was no pandemic!). But this tour guide was
completely professional, following our leads completely on
the level of protection we wanted to have (without even
asking) to make sure that we felt comfortable. If we put
our masks on (e.g., in the car) he would notice and
immediately put his on, too (covering his nose and
everything!), and when we felt comfortable taking ours off
(e.g., when outside hiking), then he would take his off,
too. He made us feel comfortable and safe during a pandemic
in a way that NO ONE else in Albania did, so I feel
confident that anyone would feel comfortable and safe with
this guide, whatever the circumstances.
Second, we really recommend this excursion! The cable car
was surprisingly cool!
It was much longer and higher than any other I had ever
been on, and I would definitely recommend it. The hike
itself was more rigorous (but still doable) than we had
expected, with pretty steep hills, but Eri was great,
accurately telling us what to expect, and collecting
appropriate walking sticks at the base to help us with the
steep parts. The views were stunning, and absolutely worth
the hike (which, to be clear, was also fun)! Oh, and Eri
even took great photos of us for us!
Third, he took us to Bunkart. I was personally expecting
this to be an art gallery that happened to be inside a
bunker, as a fun, unrelated, re-purposing, but it was really
more of a museum, just telling the history of the
bunkers/Albania (sometimes in a slightly artistic way). I
wasn't that into this (and would have preferred more
traditional art), but my husband enjoyed it, and he really
enjoyed the explanations and knowledge from Eri.
We definitely recommend this tour, and any other tour you
might do with this tour guide.