April-June
Dates
15 days
Duration

Albania is a small mountainous Balkan country of surprising natural beauty, dating back to pre-Illyrian times. With a long and complex history, a wealth of culture and tradition, and ancient archaeological sites, this country is a must-see.

Located in the western Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, bordering Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Greece, Albania is truly a unique and authentic place.

A lot of things have changed since its 50 years of communist isolation, however, there’s always something to discover. You’ll continue to find beautiful pristine beaches on parts of the Ionian coast, such as Ksamil, Saranda, and Vlora; enchanting classical sites like ancient Apolonia, Butrint, Berat, & Gjirokaster, and interesting mountain villages such as Voskopoja.

Choose this trip because of:

  • Unspoiled mountain areas and traditional villages
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites Berat, Gjirokaster and Butrint
  • Remains of the iron grip of dictator Enver Hoxha
  • Azure blue sea and idyllic bays
  • The Roman Via Egnatia through Dures and Apollonia
  • Very varied short trip
  • Small groups of up to 18 participants

START OF TOUR TIRANA
POI’S Kruja – Lezha – Shkoder – Tirana – Elbasan – Pogradec – Korça – Gjirokaster – Saranda – Himara – Vlora – Berat – Apolonia – Ardenica – Durres – Tirana
DURATION 15 DAYS
WEAR Comfortable shoes.
INCLUDED
International flights Transportation in (mini)-coach
All accomodations All breakfasts
Local English speaking guide Dutch speaking guide on specific data
Airport taxes Fuel tax
CO2 compenstaion Museum Entrance
NOT INCLUDED
Other meals Drinks
Guide gratuity Personal spending
Travel and cancellation insurance Departure tax
Contribution to Dutch Emergency Fund booking fee

 

From north-to-south, east-to-west, take an extended fourteen-day tour of Albania, and discover a fascinating history, unique culture and beautiful landscapes, from mountains to sea.

Highlights

  • Visit historic castles, churches, and mosques.
  • Traditional, regional local food, and drink.
  • Visit old bazaars and ethnographic museums.
  • Visit charming characteristic villages.
  • Experience both Ionian and Adriatic coasts.
  • Discover the last to fall communistic country of Europe.

Route
Kruja – Lezha – Shkoder – Tirana – Elbasan – Pogradec – Korça – Gjirokaster – Saranda – Himara – Vlora – Berat – Apolonia – Ardenica – Durres – Tirana

 

 

1

Day 1: TIRANA – KRUJA

  • Arrival at Mother Theresa airport
  • Meet tour guide
  • Departure to Kruja
  • Visit the monument of Skanderbeg
  • Tour Skanderbeg Castle
  • Visit Kruja Historical & Ethnographical Museums
  • Visit the Bazar
  • Accommodation at 3-star hotel.
2

Day 2: LEZHA-SHKODER

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure to Shkoder
  • See Skanderbeg’s Tomb in Lezha (Lisus)
  • Arrival in Shkoder (from the 4th Cent. B.C.), capital of the Illyrian tribe
  • Walking tour of main attractions in the city
  • Lunch by the lake
  • Visit Rozafa Castle surrounded by Drini and Buna rivers
  • Dinner at a traditional restaurant
  • Overnight in Shkoder, accommodation at a three-star hotel. Rozafa Castle – Mesi Bridge (18th Cent.) – Museum of History – Museum of Education – Gallery of Arts – Shkoder Characteristic houses – Mosque of Lead – Marubi Collection Gallery.
3

Day 3: TIRANA

  • Breakfast at hotel & departure to Tirana
  • Accommodation at a four-star hotel
  • Tirana walking tour
  • Lunch on Dajti mountain, enjoying the panoramic view of Tirana
  • Afternoon shopping
  • Dinner in Tirana
  • Evening free (recommendation: pubs, jazz music, etc.)

Historical Museum – Skanderbeg Square – Clock Tower (1830) – Ethem Bey’s Mosque (1798-1823) – Tabak’s Bridge (1st half of 19th cent.) – Town Hall & Ministries – Pyramid – Catholic & Orthodox churches – Mother Teresa Monument. 

4

Day 4: ELBASAN-POGRADEC

  • Departure to Elbasan
  • Visit Elbasan Castle
  • Continue south to Pogradec
  • A short stop at this route to visit remains of Via Egnatia (145 B.C.)
  • Lunch at a small restaurant by Shkumbini river
  • Arrival in Pogradec and visit to water springs of Drilon
  • Dinner by lake Ohrid, taste the famous “koran” fish
  • Accommodation at three-star hotel & overnight in Pogradec.
5

Day 5: KORÇA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure to Korça—“city of serenades”
  • Accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Walking tour of the city
  • Lunch of traditional Korça food
  • Restaurant dinner with live music and famous Korça serenades

Museum of Medieval Art – Archeological Museum – Education Museum – Vangjush Mio Museum (1891-1957 – Sotiri Studio (1883-1970) – Traditional Market – Cathedral “Christ Resurrection” (1992) – Mosque of Ilyaz Bey Mirahori (1484) – Tomb of Kamenica (3000 B.C.)

6

Day 6: VOSKOPOJA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure to Voskopoja village (14th Cent. name, Moskopoli)
  • Visit Voskopoja churches and Monastery
  • Lunch at a traditional restaurant
  • Travel back to Korça
  • Dinner at hotel and overnight in Korça

St. Mihali church (1726) – St. Athanasi church (1724) – St. Ilias church – St. Marias church – St. Kolli church (best Byzantine fresco paintings in the area) – St. Prodhom Monastery.

7

Day 7: GJIROKASTER

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure to Erseka
  • Lunch at a restaurant in the rural area of Germenj
  • Coffee break at Viroi water source
  • Arrival in Gjirokastra – “the city of stone”
  • Accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Dinner and overnight in Gjirokastra

Argjiro Castle – Arms Museum – characteristic houses – Qafa e Pazarit (Bazar) – Water source of Viroi.

8

Day 8: SARANDA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit Argjiro Castle (12th Cent.) & the Arms Museum
  • Departure to Saranda (Forty Saints)
  • During the route, we visit the Blue Eye spring
  • During the route, we visit Mesopotam Church (13th Cent.)
  • Arrival in Saranda, accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Lunch at a restaurant by the sea
  • Afternoon free for shopping/walking around
  • Dinner and overnight in Saranda

Forty Saints – Ksamili’s Islands – Likurs Castle (14th Cent.) – Archeological sites of Finiqi & Butrint – Blue Eye spring – Mesopotamian Church.

9

Day 9: BUTRINT & KSAMIL

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit the ancient city of Butrint (4th Cent. B.C.), protected by UNESCO
  • Lunch in Ksamil, enjoying the panoramic view of the islands
  • Visit Likurs Castle (14th Cent.), to enjoy the spectacular sunset
  • Dinner at a fish restaurant in Saranda
  • Overnight in Saranda

Amphitheatre (5000 seats) – Asclepius temple (dedicated to the god of medicine) – Ancient walls and the gates of the city – Palaeochristian Baptistery (the biggest in Balkans) – Roman public baths – Palaeochristian Basilica (4th Cent. A.D.) – Archeological Museum.

10

Day 10: HIMARA-VLORA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure to Albanian Riviera (southern coast – approx. 100 km)
  • Visit Ali Pasha’s Castle in Porto Palermo bay
  • Lunch in Himara by the sea
  • Coffee break at Llogara National Park
  • Arrival in Vlora, and accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Dinner and overnight in Vlora

National Park of Llogara – charming characteristic villages of southern coast – Porto Palermo Bay – Ali Pasha’s Castle – Panoramic views of untouched beaches – Albanian Riviera

11

Day 11: VLORA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visits to the main tourist attractions of Vlora
  • Lunch by the sea
  • Afternoon free for shopping
  • Dinner and overnight in Vlora

Kanina Castle – Kuz Babà – Historical Museum – Ethnographic Museum – Riviera, “Cold Water” – Orikum (4th C.B.C) – Marmiroi Church (13th Cent.) – Tragjas village – Zvërnec – Monastery, St. Mary Church (13th Cent.)

12

Day 12: APOLLONIA-BERAT

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Departure to Apolonia, Fier
  • Visit the archeological site of Apolonia (established 588 B.C.)
  • Departure to Berat
  • Accommodation at a three-star hotel in Berat
  • Dinner at a characteristic restaurant in the Berat castle
  • Overnight in Berat.
13

Day 13: BERAT-DURRES

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visits to the main tourist attractions of Berat
  • Lunch at one of the characteristic restaurants of the castle
  • Afternoon departure to Durres (the ancient name “Epidamnus” or “Dyrrahium”)
  • En route visit to the Monastery of Ardenica
  • Arrival in Durres, and accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Dinner and overnight in Durres

Berat Castle (3rd C.A.D.) – Mangalem quarter – St. Mary Church (13th Cent.) Onufri Muzeum – St. Trinity Church – Ethnographic Museum – King Mosque – Mosque of Lead – Berat Bridge.

14

Day 14: TIRANA

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visit the main tourist attractions of Durres
  • Departure to Tirana
  • En route lunch in Preza village
  • Accommodation at a hotel in Tirana
  • Afternoon free in Tirana for shopping/walking around
  • Dinner with Tirana’s characteristic food and live music
  • Visit Sky Tower bar to enjoy Tirana by night
  • Overnight in Tirana.
15

Day 15: DEPARTURE DAY

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Departure to Mother Theresa Airport.

Tour Reviews

14 June 2019

Albania is an amazing country! Not that many tourists yet so the culture is still really pure.
The people in Albania are also really nice. They are not used to tourists so probably that is one of the reasons why they are so nice.

All the different places in Albania are unique and beautiful, and also so different from each other.
It was a truly amazing holiday!!

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