In these gloomy days we needed something to brighten our mood, what remind us these first summer days of 27th, 28th, 29thof April. Where else? During South Outdoor Festival.
This year’s edition took place in the village of Vuno, near Himara, and for three days the participants had the chance to explore one of the most unique southern coastal villages of Albania, Vuno, from the perspective of the enriched architecture, urban setting, culture heritage, history and other attractions.
Tourists from around the world, but even Albanians participated in this festival, that reflects the best things that Albanian Riviera can offer during summer.
South Outdoor Festival is becoming a tradition, intending to promote different villages of the area and experiences every year. The numerous visitors Albanian and foreign tourists as well took the advantage of various activities. What stole the best impressions were indisputably he variety of sport activities, starting from ground activities: off road biking, hiking, climbing, jeep safari, canyoning, yoga; water activities: stand up paddle, diving, kayak, as well as paragliding.

We were proud to be for the second time part of this project.
For all them that hadn’t the chance to  join SOF, enjoy some highlights of our off road biking experience.

27 APRIL / Friday
Intenerary : Vuno – Livadh
Distance : 9 KM
Duration : 1 Hour 10 min
Difficulty level : Easy
Departure : Vuno
Finish        :  Livadh

The departure point was the epicenter of the festival (Vuno village). The itinerary began with the descent to Jala beach, through paved road. Further we took the old road that connects Jala to Livadh, which is almost 3km (off road). We had the first stop near the small beach called “Aquarium Beach”. Then it continued to the final destination of this first day, Livadh beach. Livadh sandy beach extends nearly 1.2 km, being a highly frequented beach during the summer season. Furthermore, Livadh beach offers a variety of season’s options.

28 APRIL / Saturday
Intenerary : Vuno-Himare-Potam
Distance : 20 KM
Duration : 2 Hour 10min
Difficulty level : Medium
Departure : Vuno
Finish        : Potam, Himare

The itinerary started from the village of Vuno, for both groups of cyclists, those who took part in the XC guide and those of the Enduro guide. The itinerary began with the downhill to Jala’s beach by paved road. Further we took the old road linking Jala with Livadh beach, almost 3km (off road). The first stop was near the small beach called the “Beach of the Aquarium”. Continuing straight ahead to Livadh on a terrain with non-asphalted roads. We took the paved road to the old village of Himara. At this point the groups were divided; the XC group visited the old village’s center and Himara Castle.

After finishing our visit to Himara Castle, we went  towards  Himara’s industrial area and straight to “Justinianos” fields, old olive grove in Himara area. This whole itinerary continued on a paved road until we got the route that leaded us to the “Filikuri” bay. Upon reaching the top of the hill, the group had the last stop for photos, enjoying the wonderful views. After “Filikur” stop, the itinerary continued towards “Potami” where ended the cycling tour.

Intenerary : Vuno – Pilur – Qeparo
Distance : 37 KM
Duration : 3 Hour 40min
Difficulty level : Moderated
Departure : Vuno
Finish        : Qeparo

The tour started at at the same point, epicenter of the festival (Vuno village), for both groups of bikers, those who took part in the XC itinerary and those of the Enduro itinerary. It all began with downhill to Jala’s beach through a paved road. Then we took the old road that connects Jala with Livadh that is almost 3km (off road). The first stop was near the small beach called the ” Aquarium Beach”. A tiny beach, which can be accessed only by sea or on foot. Here tourists enjoyed the immense foamy sea which lies ahead as it is bordered by rocks on both sides and can only be seen by sailing or by being close to it. This isolated beach, not far from Jala beach, is not highly frequented.

Continuing straight ahead to Livadhi on a terrain with non-asphalted roads. We took the asphalt road to the old village of Himara. At this point the groups were divided, the XC group visited the old village center and Himara Castle. While the Enduro group continued the road to the village of Pilur.

The Enduro group continued to the village of Pilur. When arriving in the center of the village of Pilur, they had the first  break. Then there is “Vanoves” field, a rocky terrain. They took the second break at a place named “Neck of the Church”. This stop was short, just for the usual photos, enjoying the view of “Qeparo” fields. Simply amazing! After passing the small field of “Bodovishte” we came across “Kudhes” river, that leads us to the last road towards our final destination, “Qeparo” village.

29 APRIL / Sunday
Intenerary : Vuno-Gjipe
Distance : 7 KM
Duration : 30min
Difficulty level : Easy
Departure : Vuno
Finish        : Gjipe

Even on the last day of the festival, we had a short bike ride to the “St. Theodore Monastery”.  The itinerary started from the village’s center.  Right from Vuno center, the entire group headed to the village of “Ilias” where the monastery is located. We cycled along the national street “Sarandë – Vlora”. The entire itinerary is on paved roads. Upon bikers arrival this biking journey and this second edition of SOF experience in Vuno, came to its end.

What about you? Feel free to share your impressions  regarding South Outdoor Festival 2018.
Follow us at our next cycling adventure! Choose the scenic route, join Albania Offroad Cycling!