Duration: 13 NIGHTS /14 DAYS | Price: FROM 590 Euro
A combination of the most important cities, natural beauties, archeological and historic monuments.On this tour you will be taken from North to South, exploring some of the most fascinating places and authentic traditions. It starts from Tirana or every Albanian border for a min 10 participants
TIRANA – POGRADEC – VOSKOPOJA – KORCA – GJIROKASTRA – SARANDA – VLORA – BERAT – DURRES – KRUJE – LEZHE – SHKODER
DAY 1: TIRANA
Arrival in “Mother Tereza” airport, meet by our representative and transfer to the hotel.
After accommodation our guide will accompany to a city tour to introduce you the Capital of Albania.
You will visit the National Historical Museum, National Gallery of Arts, Parliament Building, Mosque of Ethem Bej and the Clock Tower, the main mosque of Tirana, which is a cultural monument under state protection.
Overnight in Tirana.
DAY 2: TIRANA – ELBASAN – POGRADEC
After breakfast depart to Pogradec. On the way we visit the castle of Petrela, built during the rule of the Byzantine Empery of Justinian I in the VI century A.D. and controlled the Durres- Tirana-Elbasan segment of the Egnatia Road.
Stop to Elbasan, The ancient city of Skampa founded in the 1st century A.D. which came into being and developed during the construction of the Egnatia route. The city tour of Elbasan includes visits to the Archaeological Museum, the ancient Castle in the city centre, the Turkish Bathhouse etc.
Before entering Pogradec you will visit the village of Lin. Lin is a small peninsula on the western shore of Lake Ohrid with a beautiful village of the same name. The houses are made of stone and bricks on the sides of the narrow streets shadowed with grapes. An early Christian Basilica with extraordinary floor mosaic from the forth-fifth century of our era is worth to visit.
Continue to Pogradec. The region dominated by the fantastic Ohrid Lake, surrounded by fields nestled before picturesque mountains, will be your panorama throughout this visit. Over night in Pogradec.
DAY 3: POGRADEC – VOSKOPOJA
Free time in Pogradec. to have a walk in the promenade along the lake.
Departure to Voskopoja.
It was an important centre that remains to this day as an abundant storehouse of well-known centre of art, where some of the most talented Albanian painters practiced their profession. In its glory days (1760s) it is said that it had a population surpassing 60,000 and was the second most important city of the Balkans as regards to population and prosperity, surpassed only by Constantinople.
Today a small mountain village that offers an interesting history, beautiful nature, fresh air, pine forests and a very good traditional cuisine what makes it the best destination for eko-tourism.
Accommodation in small family hotels where you can have a traditional homemade dinner. Overnight in Voskopoja
DAY 4 : VOSKOPOJA – KORCA
After breakfast, accompanied by a local guide you will walk around the village to visit the wonderful Church of Christ's Ascension (kisha e Ristozit) with outstanding internal and external frescoes, and you can walk up to the mountain through the pine – forests and enjoy the picturesque landscape of the zone.
Departure to Korca, a very nice city, known for the characteristic guitar songs called "serenatas", and for the biggest carnivals in Albania, which are organized before Eastern.
Visit the Museum of Medieval Arts, The Museum of Education, where the first Albanian School was opened and the house of the Albanian painter Vangjush Mio.
Dinner in a local restaurant where you can taste the famous traditional meal of Korca, “lakror” made with onion and tomatoes, and the beer of Korca. Overnight in Korca.
DAY 5: TEPELENA - GJIROKASTRA
After breakfast depart to Gjirokastra. The road passes along side the river of VJOSA. Stop in Tepelena, another interesting small town where you will visit the castle of ALI PASHA of Tepelena, and a stop at National park called the COLD WATER OF TEPELNA, a natural spring. As the water flows down, it creates an imposing view. The whole area represents a major tourist destination.
Arriving in Gjirokastra late evening,
Accommodation at the hotel and overnight in Gjirokastra.
DAY 6: GJIROKASTRA – SARANDA
After breakfast a half day city tour in Gjirokastra. This ‘City of Stone’ comprises hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls.
Visit the castle of Gjirokastra, the Museum of the weapons, the Ethnography museum and walk along the old bazaar street.
Depart to Saranda. On the way to Saranda stop at “ Azure Eye” spring, a hypnotic pool of deep-blue water surrounded by electric-blue edges like the iris of an eye. It feeds the Bistrica River and its depth is still unknown. You can is enjoy the lunch at the restaurant, located near the Blue Eye’s waterfall, where is served traditional Albanian food, like roast lamb and grilled fish.
Continuing to Lekuresi Castle, which is lately improved as a tourist site. There is a great view of the city of Saranda from the castle.
Arrive in Saranda in the latte evening.
Overnight in Saranda
DAY 7: SARANDA – BUTRINTI
After breakfast depart to Butrinti, the most important archaeological site of Albania, protected by UNESCO. This antique city was first inhabited by the Illyrians. Its name drives from the bull (gr. Buthrotos) that the Trojan prince Enea sacrificed here on his way to the Temple of Dodona to assure safe passage.
The most significant archaeological objects are the amphitheatre of Butrint, the temple of Aesculapius (god of health), the altar of baptisms, walls and antique entrances to the city.
Time for lunch and return to Saranda. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Saranda.
DAY 8: RIVIERA – VLORA
After breakfast will start the trip along the Albanian Riviera passing by small towns and villages and beautiful beaches. Himara is the most important centre of Upper Riviera. It has been an ancient dwelling place of the Illyrian tribe of Kaons, known by the name Himarea.
Dhermi village, one of the most beautiful villages in Riviera, built between the sea from one side and the slopes of high Cika mountain from the other side. Worth visitng are the churches Saint Stefani and Saint Mitri (XII – XIV centuries). Dhermi is well known for its beach of clear sea water. Continuing to Llogara which is one of the most picturesque places on the Albanian Riviera. Pine trees cover the land, but there are many box-wood trees there as well. The 1020 hectare area is covered by lush plant life. It is considered a classic place where a natural equilibrium exists between the world of animals and plants. It offers to the visitors a magnificent and open view down to the unspoilt beaches of Ionian coast.
Stop for lunch at one of the restaurants inside the forest where is served grilled lamb. Continuing to Vlora. Overnight in Vlora
DAY 9: VLORA – APOLLONIA – ARDENICA – BERAT
After breakfast and a short city tour to Vlora departure to Berat, another very interesting city of Albania with much to discover. On the way to Berat stop at Apollonia, a city of ancient world located in central-western part of Albania. Ruins of old Greek city, found by the Greeks in 558 B.C. Found as an honor to Greek god Apollon. The city was a trade centre for Corinthian traders and Illyrian tribes, which lived side by side with the Greeks for centuries. The city got its riches from business with slaves. Its port was able to accommodate a hundred trade ships in Ancient era. Apollonia had its own mint and its influence was significant upon the Danube delta.
Another site to visit is the Monastery of Ardenica, which is located l2 km from the town of Lushnja, south Albania. It is thought that the foundations of this monastery were built in 1282 on the initiative of the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Paleologus of Byzantium.
The incentive must have come from the existence of the chapel of St. Triadha in the area, which was built centuries before. This chapel might have been built on the foundations of the ruins of a pagan temple. The temple was built to honor the goddess Artemis, from which the present name Ardenicë derives. Very close to the temple, in the outskirts of which lies the current monastery, passes the southern branch of the ancient Via Egnatia. Here and there around the monastery one can see old constructions, which prove that previous settlements existed there. Continuing to Berat and overnight in Berat.
DAY 10: BERAT – COROVODA
After breakfast, city tour of Berat, called “ The City of one thousand windows” because of the way it is built. You will visit The castle of Berat (kala'), The Ethnographic Museum, is situated in a typical house of XVIII century. Just looking the interiors is interesting in itself. Inside, living room and kitchen are recreated in two versions, as they were in town and village houses. The small hidden room were women were supposed to stay when guests would come for dinner. Various arte facts and folk costumes are also displayed inside. Onufri Museum, named after the most famous Albanian painter of XVI century, is situated inside St.Mary church, builded in 1757 on the site of an older church with the same name. There are a number of old icons and documents of historical value and the interior of the church is very interesting too. The Historic Medieval Center, The complex was build in XV century. There are a mosque and a Helvetian 'teqe' (bektashian religion) and finally the Edward Lear Art Gallery
After Berat, will continue to Corovoda, a small town with a beautiful landscape, where any one can find many restaurants and hunters club. Near Corovoda is the canyon of river Osumi, which is one of the most spectacular natural attractions of Albania. The best way to explore it is in spring when the snow melting and the rains make it possible to navigate with inflatable rafts through all the length of the canyon. During this period, a good number of high waterfalls give to the canyon the charms of a dream-like place. Possibility for Rafting. Turn back to Berat and overnight in Berat.
DAY 11: DURRES
Departure to Durres, the port city of Albania, founded in 627 B.C. as a Greek colony named Epidamnus and was one of the causes of the Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BC. Later, as Dyrracium it became a very important staging post for the Roman Empire. Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Venetian Tower that rises over the harbour, the Amphitheatre, which is the biggest of the Balkan Peninsula (capacity 15.000 spectators) dating back to the 2nd century A.D. and preserving an early Christian Crypt with a rare wall mosaic, the Cultural Centre with the "Aleksander Moisiu" Theatre, Museum of History, and the house of Aleksander Moisiu's Family.
Time for lunch in a restaurant on the seaside with fresh fish and seafood. Afternoon free in Durres city.
Overnight in Durres.
DAY 12: KRUJA – LEZHA – SHKODRA
After breakfast depart to Kruja. The town of Kruja rises 560 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Sari -Salltiku mountain. It provides to the visitors the great view of majestic landscape and a rich collection of historical and cultural objects.
The most important is the castle of Kruja, which was built during the 5th and 6th centuries and has an elliptical shape with a total area of 2,25 hectars. The surrounding walls are reinforced by nine towers, which served as an observation and signaling post during times of war. Within the walls of the castle there can still be found the remains of a few houses.
Points of Touristic Interest are:the Restored Castle and Citadel,the Skenderbeg Museum erected in the middle of the Castle, the Old restored Bazaar near the castle, the jewel eighteen-century architecture Bektashi tekke "Dollma" (West of the castle), a shrine of the Bektashi movement, one of the fourth main religions of Albania after the Catholics, the Orthodox, and Muslims. Continue to Lezha. This town holds the tomb of Skanderbeg, the Albanian national hero, in the ruins of the Church of St. Nicholas. Replicas of his sword and helmet lie on an altar within the church (the originals are in Vienna, Austria). Other sites of interest to visitors in Lezha include Illyrian ruins and the Lezha Castle.
The final stop will be Shkodra. A diamond-shaped city wedged between the Rozafa Citadel, the magnificent Albanian Alps, deep blue Lake Shkodra, a 30-kilometre sand beach and the serene Buna river delta reservation - Shkodra is a diamond in the rough with plenty of potential. You will visit the Rozafa Castle and learn about its legend.
Overnight in Shkodra
DAY 13: SHKODRA – TIRANA
Depart to Tirana. The day will be at your leisure in Tirana. Overnight in Tirana
DAY 14 : TIRANA - AIRPORT . Transfer to Airport
- Accommodation 13 nights on BB in 3 and 4 Star Hotels
- Transport with comfortable Air Conditioned vehicle
- All tours and visits mentioned in the program
- Multilingual speaking guide throughout the tour
- Entrance fees to the museums.
- All taxes
Excludes: Lunches to the restaurants and dinners
Anything else not specified in the “includes” section
PRICES ( € )
15 SEP 09-15 JUN 10
15 JUN 09 -15 SEPT 09
Price per Person sharing DBL Minimum of 10 pax
Price per Person sharing DBL Minimum of 20 pax
Supplement for single Use
Supplement for Half Board