My goal for this adventure was to traverse the Dinaric Alps on my road bike, although as you'll see, a lot of gravel was enjoyed too!
I plotted the route on komoot before I left, but had to make some changes in Kosovo when I broke my wheel and had to head to Tirana for a repair. Not all adventures go smoothly and to plan, but that doesn't have to mean the end of the fun.
Eight countries in ten days was the ride of a lifetime, as I ended up riding through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia and Greece. These roads are just incredible and come highly recommended; I would go back in a heartbeat.
I started my Dinaric adventure in the wee hours of the morning at the Ljubljana bus station, putting my bike together and then leaving the city in the dark.Sunrise over the Slovenian countryside was a great start to the adventure ahead, and so were the endless coffee and bakery stops as I made my way through the rolling hills.
I started the day waking up in my bivvy bag in a farm field just past the Bosnian border.Thankfully I found some coffee early on and got some miles in before the crazy heat started up! Regular dips in the beautiful Vrbas River to cool off were essential.
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WOW, this was an absolute scorcher of a day! I had to take a few breaks in the middle of the day to hide in the shade, but getting almost all the way across Bosnia was pretty amazing.Bristrica Gorge was so beautiful, and an amazing road to ride.
This was perhaps the best day I've ever had on a bike.Durmitor is simply incredible. The climbs, the views, the wilderness... This is one of the best road cycling segments you'll ever find! 💓
Well... I guess I was having too much fun. I do very much love Kosovo, this being my second time riding here.There was a huge thunderstorm, but I went out on the flooded roads anyway. A hidden pothole under the water was all it took to break my wheel completely.Luckily, Kosovo is the friendliest place on earth and a lot of locals came instantly to my aid and I was driven to the nearest town to dry out and figure out what to do next...
After a few days in Tirana impatiently waiting for my new wheel, I was back on the road!I was too eager to start cycling again, so rather than take the reverse bus back to where I crashed, I just left from the city with a new komoot route to take me back up into the Dinaric Alps and keep cycling.Albania is so charming and it felt utterly amazing to ride again!
It's a good feeling to pass through so many countries in just one day!The heat was pretty intense so I took a few breaks on this seventh day in the saddle, but the riding was relatively easy with no huge climbs like the last few days had. I felt good!
This day was actually my birthday, and I should have been at home by then, but after my wheel breakage I extended my trip and ended up being so grateful for it!I decided just to have the most fun possible to make it a good birthday, and it really was.It started with a kind farmer filling my food pouch with cherries (he didn't know it was my birthday, just a nice guy!), enjoying a couple of leisurely coffees and slow ride around Kastoria, and then an absolutely savage gravel climb to get to the village where I had booked a hotel as a treat.When I got there, I decided I was loving riding in Greece so much that I did an extra little loop of cycling before going to my room! Amazing day in Greece 🇬🇷
It was really sad for me that this bikepacking adventure had to come to an end, so I decided to drag things out a bit on the last day.It was also extremely hot (41 degrees C!!!) so I couldn't move too fast. I had multiple iced coffees, where bartenders always filled my bidons with ice without even being asked, and took an afternoon swim in a lovely lake.Great ending to an amazing adventure!