This tour last 7/8 days (tailor-made up to your wishes) and the visits may include:
Tirana – Ardenica– Apollonia– Vlora – Saranda – Butrint – Blue Eye Spring – Gjirokastra – Berat – Tirana – Kruja – Durres
Day 1: Tirana
Arrival at “Mother Teresa” Airport, meet & greet by our representative and transfer to hotel. Visit the National Historic Museum in Tirana offering an in depth introduction to Albanian history from prehistoric times to present day. Welcome dinner at a traditional Albanian restaurant with live music. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 2: Tirana – Ardenica – Apollonia – Vlora
After breakfast we depart for Vlora. On the way to this beautiful coastal town we visit Ardenica and Apollonia. Ardenica is an Orthodox monastery built in the 13th century. It is thought that it was in this idyllic place that the marriage of the Albanian national hero Scanderbeg was celebrated in the 15th century. After Ardenica we proceed to Apollonia, situated on the famous Via Egnatia. Apollonia was founded at the beginning of the 7th century BC by the Greek colonists and in Roman times, it was a large and flourishing city (with 50.000 residents in the second century BC) near Aos river (today Vjosa). The monastery (which houses the museum) courtyard enclosed a Byzantine church dating back to the 14th century. We will have lunch in Apollonia. After lunch we continue our trip to Vlora where we will visit the Independence Museum which is situated in the original house where the first independent Albanian Government had its seat. Afternoon & evening at leisure. Overnight in Vlora.
Day 3: Vlora – Llogara – Dhermi – porto Palermo – Borsh – Saranda
After breakfast we depart for Saranda. This day we will only drive along the Albanian Riviera overlooking the Ionian Sea. 30 minutes from Vlora we will stop at Llogara National Park for a quick break to have a stunning view of one of the most dramatic mountains of the Mediterranean and with panoramas overlooking the sea. After this quick stop we proceed to Dhermi beach. Which is a gem with its crystal clear waters. We will have a traditional lunch in a fish restaurant. After lunch we continue for Porto Palermo, where the Ali Pasha Castle stands like a barrier in front of the blue rocky sea as a protection for the country. The bay of Porto Palermo once served as an important secret submarine base during the regime days. The semi abandoned base and the tunnel are still visible. After the visit of Porto Palermo we proceed to Borsh, where we will have a coffee break in an oase of peace surrounded by waterfalls and running water. After this coffee break we will continue along the breath-taking road to Saranda, our final destination for today. Upon arrival in Saranda (only a few miles across the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu), check in at the hotel and enjoy a stroll along the sea side promenade and prepare for dinner. Overnight in Saranda.
Day 4: Saranda – Butrint – Blue Eye Spring – Gjirokastra
Today we will visit Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by the Trojans during the first millennium BC and was continuously inhabited for centuries. After the tour we have lunch at a restaurant inside the walls of a medieval fortress on top the hill overlooking the town of Saranda with a breath-taking view. Afterwards we proceed to Gjirokastra but before arriving in this city, we visit the Blue Eye spring, formed by underground springs. Gjirokastra, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is said to be one of the most beautiful historical towns in Albania and known as “museum city”. Here we visit the biggest fortress in Albania, built during the 4th century and house of the National Museum of Weapons. We will also pay a visit to the Ethnographic Museum, which is located in the house where the Albanian dictator (Enver Hoxha) was born. The group is then left at leisure to explore the rest of the city. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
Day 5: Gjirokastra – Bylis – Berat
After breakfast you will have some free time to explore Gjirokastra on your own. Afterwards we depart for Berat with a stop at Bylis, which is a very important archeological center in Albania and one of ancient Illyrian cities inhabited by the tribe of Bylliones. From here it will be only one hour before we arrive in another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Berat. The city is also known as “the city of thousand windows”. After the check in into the hotel, we will have lunch in a traditional restaurant. Afterwards we have a walk in the neighborhood called “Mangalem” and visit the ethnographic museum. We continue our tour to the Castle and the Onufri museum. People are still living within the walls of the castle, just like their ancestors did. Onufri was an Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece. After these visits the group is left at leisure for further exploration of this beautiful town. Overnight in Berat.
Day 6: Berat – Tirana
In the morning there will be some time to stroll along the streets of Berat before departure to the capital of Albania, but before we arrive here, we will have some wine tasting on the way to taste the delicious Albania wine and to have a tour around the winery. After this great experience we will continue to Tirana where we will check in at the hotel and visit the Statue of Skanderbeg in Skanderbeg Square, Et'hem Bey Mosque at the south east corner of Skanderbeg Square, The Clock Tower next to the Et'hem Bey Mosque and some of the government buildings at the south end of Skenderbeg Square. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 7: Tirana – Kruja – Durres – Tirana
After breakfast we will depart for Kruja, which was the centre of the legendary Albanian resistance against the Turks led by our national hero, Skanderbeg. Kruja is located on the cliffs of mount Kruja which offers superb views of the coast and the surrounding villages. Here we visit the Kruja fortress, the Skanderbeg museum, the Ethnographic museum and the famous old Bazaar street. From Kruja we continue to Durres (one of the oldest and most important cities of Albania) where we will have lunch in a fish restaurant at the beach. After lunch we visit the Amphitheatre and the Archaeological museum, located in the middle of the modern city. Afterwards we head back to Tirana where we will spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure before our final dinner. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 8: Tirana - Airport
Free time to explore Tirana, followed by the airport transfer and departure.
The price includes:
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Transportation with air-conditioned comfortable vehicle
- English (Italian, German, Dutch or French) speaking tour guide
- Accommodation in well selected 3* hotels with breakfast
- Entrance fees
- All taxes
Our price does not includes:
- Flight tickets
- Lunch & dinner (if you wish, we could add this to your trip)