Day 1

TIRANA
Reception and meeting of the group with our representative at Tirana International Airport. Tirana is located on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital of Albania since 1920. We take a cable car to the top of Mount Dajti. Overnight in Tirana. (D)

Day 2

TIRANA TO KRUJA
In the morning, we enjoy a city tour including visits to the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Clock Tower, the National Museum, Skanderbeg Square, Grand Park and various government buildings and after them we travel to Kruja for lunch. After lunch we visit the fortress, the Museum of Skanderbeg and the Ethnographic Museum. Spend some free time wandering around the Kruja Bazaar - an excellent place to purchase souvenirs. Overnight in Kruja. (B,D)

Day 3

KRUJA TO SHKODRA
After breakfast we drive north to the lakeside town of Shkodra. One of the highlights of Shkodra is a visit to the ruins of the Fortress of Rozafa, an ancient Ilyrian castle built on a rock hill with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the lake and the Lead Mosque. Overnight in Shkodra. (B,D)

Day 4

SHKODRA TO VALBONA
Depart early to Koman and board the 9am ferry to Fierza. Departure to Valbona. In the afternoon we arrive in the most beautiful Valley of Valbona National Park that covers an area of 8000 hectares. The main attraction is the Valbona River flowing in the middle of the valley. Dinner with home cooked traditional meal. Overnight at a local guest house in Valbona. Overnight in Valbona. (B,D)

Day 5

VALBONA
After breakfast we begin the guided tour in the Valbona Pass. Valbona village is the focal point of the Valbona National Park. Its configuration, hydrology, forests, flowers, characteristic dwellings and the hospitality of its people make this park an ideal place to visit and invigorate. Rocky and steeply high peaks, such as Jezerce, Iron, Kollata (Podi of Kollatës), and Pecmarrës attract trackers and alpinists. The agricultural and livestock products of the Valbona Valley National Park and area are completely natural, and entirely organic. Food is generally fresh and homemade, but it is also sometimes processed and canned by the inhabitants of the tiny and remote villages. Stunning nature, clean air, high and characteristic mountain peaks, lakes, numerous water resources, forests, mountains, flora and fauna of Valbona Valley National Park provide conditions for true eco tourism experiences. We visit the Cave of the Wind, Zhapore Trail and Beautiful alcoves. Dinner with home cooked traditional meal. Overnight at a local guest house in Valbona. (B,D)

Day 6

VALBONA TO DURRES
Travel to Prizren where we discover the cradle of cultural wealth of Kosovo. The walking tour will explore the Old Town with its Ottoman Bridge, the Sinan Pasha Mosque and the Museum of Albanian League of Prizren. Lunch in Prizen-the city is known for its rich culinary tradition. In the afternoon we continue to Durres and visit the ancient city walls, the Roman Amphitheatre and the Venetian Citadel. Overnight in Durres. (B,D)

Day 7


DURRES TO BERAT
This morning we drive to the museum city of Berat, also known as the city of a thousand windows, due to the plethora of windows in the city red-roofed houses. Built on the slopes of a mountain, the old Turkish part of the town is very picturesque, being largely encompassed by the medieval fortress. To house the growing population, a new town has been built further down the valley next to the largest textile combine in the country. Here we visit the Citadel, the Church of St Mary of Vllaherna and The Onufri Museum, dedicated to the 16th-century painter and his contemporaries and which houses restored icons in an orthodox church. After lunch, continue with the tour of Berat and visit the Ethnographic Museum, King's Mosque, Bachelor's Mosque and Helvetian Tekke. Overnight in Berat. (B,D)

Day 8

BERAT TO VLORA
Travel to Vlora stopping en route at Ardenica Monastery and the Archaeological Site of Appolonia. Founded in 558 B.C by settlers from Corfu and Corinth, Appolonia was an important port along the route between Rome and Byzantium. Continue to Vlora and see the Independence Museum and Muradie Mosque. Overnight in Vlora. (B,D)

Day 9

VLORA TO SARANDA
Continue along the mountain coastal road of the Albanian Riviera through the Llogora Pass enjoying stunning views of the Ionian coastline. Discover the Ali Pasha Fortress at Porto Palermo bay. In the afternoon enjoy an excursion to the Greek and Roman ruins of Butrint - Albania's most important archaeological site. This rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history. Its sixth century B.C. fortification evokes the city's military power and the amphitheatre symbolises the rich culture of this once thriving ancient city. Overnight in Saranda. (B,D)

Day 10


SARANDA TO GJIROKASTRA
Depart for Gjirokastra, stopping en route at the Monastery of Mesopotamia. Continue to Blue Eye Springs, the main source of the River Bistrica before reaching Gjirokastra. In the afternoon, embark on a city tour of Gjirokastra - the birthplace of the former dictator of Albania, Enver Hoxha. Enjoy exploring this strikingly picturesque town, perched on the side of a mountain above the Drin River. The city tour includes the district museum, housed in the building in which Enver Hoxha was born, the pre- Ottoman citadel, a former political prison, and Zekati House. Overnight in Gjirokastra. (B,D)

Day 11


GJIROKASTRA TO KORCA
This morning we take one of the most scenic routes in Europe from Gjirokastra to Korca along the Vjosa River Valley. Admire dramatic mountains, lush meadows, rushing river torrents and waterfalls crashing down sheer mountainsides. Travel along rickety bridges and watch eagles swooping down the valley below. Pass horses and donkeys with their wooden-framed saddles trotting along with cheery waves from their riders. Pass Erseke - Albania's highest town and notice how the high mountains are always snowy and the hillsides are covered in young oak trees. As the road approaches Korca, the valley opens out to a plain in the lea of the mountains
Arrive in Korca and check in to the hotel. Overnight in Korca. (B,D)

Day 12


KORCA
Spend the day exploring the Korca region including a visit to the village of Voskopoja - one of the most important towns in the European part of the Ottoman Empire during the beginning of the 18th century. It is here that the first printing house in the Balkans was established in 1720. There are also some outstanding examples of Orthodox Christian Churches, which escaped the destruction of the communist regime. Overnight in Korca. (B,D)

Day 13


KORCA TO TIRANA
Explore Korca and visit the National Museum of Medieval Arts, which holds some of the greatest iconographic works in Europe and further. The first Albanian language school, opened in 1887 and today it houses the National Education Museum. Followed by a delicious fish lunch in Podgradec. In the afternoon, we visit Elbasan for a sightseeing tour of this former Ottoman city. Continue to Tirana. Overnight in Tirana. (B,D)

Day 14

TIRANA TO AIRPORT
After breakfast transfer to airport .(B)

 

• Accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels on a B&B basis
• Meals as specified (B = breakfast, D= Dinner)
• All transfers and transportation with air conditioned vehicles
• Escorted journey with a professional English/German/Italian speaking guide
• Entrance fees for places visited

 

Lunch

Travel Insurance

Tips and gratuities

 

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