April-October
Dates
9 days
Duration
Large (13-16)
Group size

Pearls of the West Coast

During this tour, you will discover the pearls of the Albanian West Coast and visit seven major cities, Tirana, Kruja, Durres, Berat, Gjirokaster, Sarande, Vlora. During the tour, you will visit three UNESCO sites, (The city of Berat, The city of Gjirokaster and the archeological site of Butrint) and two proposed UNESCO sites (the ancient city of Apollonia, the amphitheater of Durres). Your road will cross other breathtaking sites and natural beauties such as the view of Albanian Riviera from the top of the Llogara pass and The Blue Eye, a breathtaking spring of water.

At least 10 people required to be guaranteed.

TOUR CODE                                                                                                                                          19-101
START OF TOUR TIRANA
POI’S Tirana, Kruja, Durres, Berat, Gjirokaster, Sarande, Vlora, Apollonia, Butrint, The Blue Eye.
DURATION 9 DAYS
WEAR Comfortable shoes
INCLUDED
Local English speaking professional guide All meals
Airport pick up service as a group Transportation in mini-coach
Free time Hotel costs
Transportation to the airport as a group Airport taxes
NOT INCLUDED
Personal spending Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
Guide gratuity Personal requests for route diversions.
Calamities fund Single room allowance

 

Booking’s costs

 

This cultural tour is for people who are interested in discovering the history and experiencing the culture of a warm and incredibly hospitable country,  that has not been discovered by mass tourism yet. Albania is an emerging traveling destination that has much to offer, especially when it comes to cultural sites and natural beauty. In this tour, we will bring you to some of the most interesting UNESCO world heritage sites, enjoy the beauty of the Albanian Riviera, and uncover Albania’s rich history.

Additional information

Difficulty LevelEasy
1

Day 1: TIRANA – KRUJA

Arrival at Tiranan International Airport in Rinas and drive to Kruja. Here we will visit the historic citadel of the Albanian hero Skanderbeg. Kruja has a fantastic museum of the Middle Ages and a fascinating bazaar in which one can browse and buy authentic Albanian antiques and souvenirs. The old town of Kruja contains many historic buildings. Dinner and overnight.

2

Day 2: KRUJA – DURRES – BERAT

Breakfast and drive to Durres on the Adriatic coast. This town has the main commercial port of Albania. We will head to explore the ancient Roman remains including the amphitheater. At the top of the hill is situated the Palace of the former King of Albania, King Zog. Free afternoon in Durres. Dinner and overnight.

3

Day 3: BERAT

After breakfast, we travel to Berat, the town of a thousand windows.  This city is full of history told by the Onufri Museum, Bachelors Mosque, The King’s Mosque, The Leaden Mosque, which we will all visit. Free time in the afternoon to take a stroll along the river, shop some authentic gifts or get in touch with the locals. Dinner and overnight.

4

Day 4: APOLLONIA - GIROKASTER

After breakfast, we drive to Apollonia Archaeological Center. This ancient site was an important port along the route between Rome and Byzantium. Emperor Augustus studied there, and Aristotle mentioned the town in his book on politics. The visit continues to Gjirokaster. Here we will visit the Fortress; the Museum of Weapons and the Ethnological Museum. Free time to visit the bazaar of Gjirokastra. Dinner and overnight.

5

Day 5: BLUE EYE - SARANDE

After breakfast, we will head to the city of Saranda. On the way, we will stop to visit the Blue Eye, a natural source of blue water. Possible lunch at this lovely site. Arrival in Sarande. Free time to take a stroll and explore the city on your own. Dinner and overnight.

6

Day 6: BUTRINT – SARANDE

After breakfast, we will visit the Antic City of Butrint (Unesco World Heritage). We have arranged to lunch in the tourist point of “Lekuresi” at the top hill over the Saranda city – free afternoon to relax. Dinner and overnight.

7

Day 7: PORTO PALERMO - LLOGARA- VLORA.

After breakfast, we set off to the city of Vlora. We will drive along the mountainous road of the Albanian Riviera enjoying the beautiful and fantastic scenery of the Ionian Coastline. During the route, you’ll visit the Ali Pasha Fortress at Porto Palermo bay and follow-on to Vlora through the Llogara Pass (3500 feet above Sea level). We will stop at the Logara park for a drink and lunch and reach Vlora before the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight.

8

Day 8: TIRANA

After breakfast, we will drive to the capital city of Albania, Tirana. We will visit the Mosque of Ethem Bey, The Clock Tower, the National Museum, National Art Gallery, Skanderbeg Square, Bunk Art 1 museum. Afternoon free at your disposal. Dinner and overnight.

9

Day 9: TIRANA – TIRANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

This is your departure day. The program on day 9 is dependent on your flight time. If you fly back to Amsterdam with Transavia, you will be on a late flight, so we’ll have time to do a bit more. In that case, after breakfast, we take the cable to mount Dajti to enjoy a well deserved Albanian lunch in the fresh air. You’ll have a free afternoon to visit some more museums on your own, like “Bunk-art 2” or “The House of Leaves” before we leave to the Rinas airport at six a clock in the afternoon. This will be the end of the tour. We hope you had a wonderful time and would appreciate your feedback. Don’t forget to give this tour a review in order to help other travellers.

See below for your starting dates, prices, and guides.

START DETAILS

PRICE

SEPTEMBER

6 – 16

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

 Take an option

SEPTEMBER

13 – 23

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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SEPTEMBER

20 – 30

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER

27 – 7

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER

4- 14

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER

11 – 21

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER

18 – 28

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER-NOVEMBER

25 – 4

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1350,-

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SEPTEMBER

16 – 25

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

30 – 9

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER

14 – 23

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

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OCTOBER-NOVEMBER

28 – 6

Your Guide:

 AVAILABLE

€ 1150,-

 Take an option

Travel documents

International passport:

We advise you to travel with an international passport that is valid for at least six months on your return journey.

Visa:

Dutch or Belgian travelers do not need a visa for visiting Albania.

If you have another nationality please check the website of our partner Visumloket.nl. There you will find all the information about the required travel documents, such as passport and visa.

 You will also find information about the visa procedure and required forms. Submit your application at Visumloket at least 4 to 6 weeks before the departure of your trip.

If you choose to arrange your visa through our Visa counter, we will charge € 35.00 mediation costs per person per visa in addition to the visa costs.

Travelers who do not have Dutch or Belgian nationality must contact the relevant embassy (s) and arrange their visa.

Passengers traveling with children must inform themselves at the relevant embassy about any additional admission requirements.

Preferred Accommodations

of Highlights of the West Coast Tour, ALBANIA

Good accommodation forms the basis for a successful trip. The starting point is that the accommodation reinforces the experience of the trip and allows you to enjoy it optimally.

Below you can see a selection of the hotels that we use during this trip. It gives you a general impression of what to expect. The images have been carefully selected but may differ from reality. The hotels mentioned are always subject to change based on availability. If an accommodation is fully booked, an equivalent alternative will be reserved.

Kruja:

Mervin Hotel

4*

Adres:

SH38, Krujë District

Telephone: +355 511 24869

Click here for more pictures

Durrës:

Amfiteatri Boutique Hotel

4*

Rruga Kalase, Durrës, Albanië

Click here for more pictures

Berat:

Hotel Mangalemi Berat

4*

Rruga “Mihal Komneno”

Click here for more pictures

Gjirokastër:

Hotel Argjiro

4*

Gjin Zenebisi Cerciz Topulli Scuare, Gjirokastër, Albanië

Click here for more pictures

Sarandë

Porto Eda Hotel 

3*

Rr. Skenderbej,

Te Limani, Sarande.

Click here for more pictures

Tirana:

Hotel Austria 

Rruga e Dibrës, Nr.18

Click here for more pictures

The impressions of our travelers will be reflected in these reviews. 

What are the popular drinks?

Albanians love coffee as the English love tea. They have a whole ceremony around it.  It’s the preferred moment to think the day through. The Albanians have taken over the Turkish way of making coffee from the Turks. The finely ground coffee, together with sugar and water, is cooked until it foams. But this is not the only way they drink it. Espresso is serverd almost everywhere. The younger generation prefers cappuccino and latte as well. They have taken over the Greek way of drinking coffee too, by ordering Frappes during the hot summer months. In addition to coffee, a lot of tea is drunk, especially the Albanian mountain tea. The original Albanian mountain tea grows indeed in the mountains and is picked by hand. The tea has a fresh taste and is very healthy. It is organic, soothing and decaffeinated.

The Albanian wines come mainly from the area of Korçë, Berat, Permet, and Shkodër. This wine is also for sale in supermarkets. The traditional alcoholic drink from Albania is raki. Many Albanians make it themselves from grapes or prunes. Albanians drink a lot of beer too, next to raki and wine.

Do I need a world plug?

No. Not for Dutch, Belgian of German travelers.

We refer you to the following website where you can see what you need and check for yourself too. http://www.wereldstopcontacten.nl/

How are the roads in Albania?

In principle, the roads in Albania are perfectly commendable. However, some roads could take longer than you are used to, despite the minimum number of kilometers, so the ride can still take a few hours. 

Is wi-fi available in the hotels?

Yes, Wi-Fi is available in most hotels (and also in many restaurants).

Can I travel best with a suitcase or travel bag?

We recommend traveling with a travel bag or a soft case. That can be a backpack, but also a travel bag on wheels. Please do not travel with a hard-shell case, because it is difficult to transport. We also recommend limiting the weight to 15 kg for your travel comfort.

Can I pay or do I have to bring cash?

Yes, but not everywhere.

In Albania, the currency is LEK. The easiest way is to pin this on the spot, but because Albania is outside of the EU, your bank can charge you extra costs. So, check what the costs are. Another thing is that paying by credit card is not possible at small shops or bazaars. You will need to exchange your euros to LEK. We advise 150-200 euros as pocket money which is best exchanged at banks or exchange offices. At hotels you generally get a slightly worse rate than at banks and exchange offices.

What is the best travel time?

Albania has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, winters are mild and wet. The higher you come the more variation there is. From May to October you can swim in the sea with water temperatures of about 23 C. On the coast there are 270 to 300 sunny days. There is always a refreshing breeze in the vicinity of the sea. In the high mountains in the north and east of the country, there is a chance of snow from November to March.

The best travel time for Albania is spring. Then the apple and cherry trees are in full bloom and many flowers decorate the landscape. The early autumn (September and October) is also a pleasant journey time.

How do we travel through Albania?

During our trip, we use our own (mini) bus. Having your own bus has many advantages in Albania. Many attractions are far from the usual routes and could hardly be visited by public transport.

What do they eat in Albania?

Albanians themselves do not take a full breakfast. They often limit themselves to a cup of strong coffee. For their guests, they usually make a full breakfast with eggs, bread, fruit, cold cuts, kos (a type of yogurt), feta cheese and coffee. In the afternoon there is extensive lunch, usually a hot meal with meat or fish. And in the evening, at about 9:00 a.m., another warm meal.

In addition, snacks are available at food stalls such as byrek, puff pastry with feta cheese, onion, meat, and spinach. You have round byrek and triangular byrek. And there is qofte (mince meatballs) and pita (a puff pastry).

In the larger towns, you also have Greek and Italian (pizza) restaurants next to Albanian ones. In the countryside you should not be surprised if you are asked if you are hungry. The table is always richly covered with fresh meat or fish, potatoes or rice, salad, cheese, eggs, vegetables, and bread. After the meal, there is – for the good digestion – a glass of raki, also with the Muslims. That raki is even drunk early in the morning.

What kind of ingredients are used in Albanian cuisine?

Albanian cuisine uses various vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, onions, pickles, aubergines, courgettes, and olives. In the winter months, there is cabbage and carrots. As far as meat is concerned, there is sheep and goat meat. That is roasted or grilled. The intestines (heart, liver, kidneys, brains) are also loved. If you stop at eateries along the way, you can get pilaf (rice with meat sauce) or roasted kebab. The kebab can be lamb, pork or beef.

Fish is everywhere and served fresh. You have trout in small rivers. The specialty of Shkodër is carp. Along the coast, you have all kinds of fish such as perch, bream, and hake.

What are the few typical Albanian dishes?

Albanian lamb is prepared with butter, eggs, yogurt, flour, parsley, and dill. Përshesh was originally a poor meat dish, but nowadays one of the top dishes of, for example, the King’s Park Hotel. Old bread is mixed with egg, salt, and oil. Then the meat broth is added. It is completely absorbed by the bread. This is served with white wine. A special treat is salce kosi, made from thick home-made yogurt. Other desserts are halva (a sweet pastry), xupa (similar to pudding) or sheqerpare (traditional biscuts in syrup).

What is the time difference with the Netherlands?

There is no time difference

Tour Reviews

4.25 based on 2 reviews
14 June 2019

We started in Tirana, a beautiful city! Our tour guide showed us the most touristic spots. But also the spots where you don’t go as a tourist and that made it really special.
Berat is also a special place. The walk to the top is a little bit hard, but the view at the end is definitely worth it!!
It was an amazing trip to Albania and I will never forget it! 🙂

16 June 2019

The tour was surprisingly beautiful!
We have visited many places and we have learned about the history and culture of of Albania. The food is good & the costs are very low in relation to the quality that you get in return. Highly recommended!

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