Experience the rare beauties of the Ionian Coast

Booking code SHG27

7 Days € 639

Travel dates:2017-06-17 to 2017-06-23           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-07-08 to 2017-07-14           Reservation

The ancient and modern city of Durrës, a visit to its amphitheater and Vlora.
A memorable boat trip around the Karaburun Peninsula and along the Ionian coast.
Accommodation and visits to various villages along the coast: Dhërmi, Livadhi, Himara, Porto Palermo.
Visit of the Monastery of Saint Mary in Zvërneci Island and Apollonia, the city founded in 588 BC.
Opportunities to swim in the clear waters of the Ionian Sea and to enjoy the serenity and privacy of its bays.
The vibrant Tirana and Dajti mountain.
Accommodation at three star hotels.

This is a tour suitable for everyone: individuals, families with children of different ages, young people looking for fun and for those loving the sea. This tour gives you the possibility to discover some of the most beautiful places of the Albanian Riviera, to experience the diversity that Albania offers and to enjoy the delicious Albanian cuisine in selected restaurants.

Day 1: Durrës, the ancient and modern town on the Adriatic Sea
The journey begins at noon, immediately after arriving at Tirana airport, and Durrës will be the first stop. The city founded in 627 BC has much to tell of its colorful story, beautiful beaches and attractions. We will have time for a short visit to the city and its Roman amphitheater and a drink in one of the bars by the sea. The journey continues in the direction of Vlorë, the city with a very long coastline that stretches between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Dinner and accommodation are planned at a hotel with a special location by the sea, in Radhimë, near Vlora. Here you will be able to enjoy not only the view, but also the wonderful cuisine. (-/-/D)

Day 2: Boat tour around the Karaburun Peninsula
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the port of Orikum, where the tour of day starts. Karaburun is known for its abundant nature attractions and its various archaeological discoveries. The first stop is at the north end of the peninsula, where the 30 meters long, 10-15 meters high and 9.5 meters wide cave of Haji Ali (Haxhi Ali) is found. For a long time, it served as the base in the wars against the military vessels of Venice, France and England. If the sea conditions permit, you can visit the cave. Then we continue to the Sazan island, a former cold war naval base, opened last year for the first time to the public. Another bathing break is planned at the bay of Saint Vasil which lies on the eastern side of the Karaburun peninsula. Return to Oricum in the late afternoon and from there transfer to Dhërmi, where dinner and accommodation are planned.(B/L/D)

Day 3: Boat trip from Dhërmi to Himara.

The first stop of the boat trip in the direction of Himara is at the Pirates’ Cave. It is created by the power of the waves and it's entrance can be hardly found because of the rocks that hide it. If sea conditions allow, we can even pay a visit to the cave. The trip continues towards the bay and the beach of Ngjipe, where a break for sea bathing is scheduled. The landscape is very attractive, the beach is clean and the water clear and you can enjoy them in serenity. The next stop is in Jali Bay and the last one in Livadhi Beach near Himara. (B/L/D)

Day 4: Himara, one of the oldest centers of Christianity in Albania, Porto Palermo Bay with the castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena and the characteristic village of Dhërmi .
In the morning free time to spend at the seaside and to enjoy the crystal clear water of the Ionian sea, is planned. After lunch short walk uphill to the old town of Himara. Then drive southwards to the Bay of Porto Palermo, which is one of the most beautiful places of the entire Ionian coast. Its harbor has been one of the most important military bases during the Cold War. The tunnel entrance, where submarines used to anchor, is visible from the road. The magnificent castle of Ali Pasha, lies on a small island. The visit of the castle is planned too. On the way to Llogara National Park we will visit the village of Dhërmi. It has many old houses with characteristic architecture and the ancient traces of the village belong to the first century BC. We will visit the church of St. Stephen that belongs to the Byzantine era, the church of Hypapante (Ipapandisë) with elements of Western architecture, the monastery of Panagia (Panaia) and its church built in the fourteenth century and decorated with engravings of the time. Dinner and accommodation in hotel in Llogara National park. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Zvërneci Island with the Monastery of Saint Mary and Apollonia.
After breakfast, drive to Vlora. Short coffee break in a bar at the seaside and drive to Zvërneci Island. Zvërneci is situated 14 km far from Vlora. The entire landscape creates a very beautiful natural assemble, full of contrasts, where the beauty is in harmony with the tranquility of the country. The Monastery of Saint Mary is situated in Zvërneci island and is accessible only through a narrow wooden bridge. The Byzantine church, build in the 13th century is a spiritual oasis for Christians in the area. The Monastery had a very rich church library. The Monastery was locked up for many years, and it was looted and burned. During the communism period, Zvërneci Island served as a deportation center for the dissenters of the communist system. Following the communism collapse in 1990, the Monastery returned to its religious function. Today, it is reconstructed and it is very interesting place to visit.
Lunch in Vlora and drive to Apollonia. It was one of the largest cities on the Adriatic, an important and international centre of learning and trade. The city was originally founded in 588 BC as a Corinthian colony and was named after the god Apollo. Today, Apollonia is situated a few kilometers inland. Like Ephesus in Turkey, it is today so far from the sea, that it is hard to imagine that it was ever a major port. Happily, since the city’s decline was due to geographic and economic reasons, and not through war, it has been very well preserved. So far, only a tenth of the city has been discovered and archaeologists call it “The Pompey of Albania". Drive to Tirana. (B/L/D)

Day 6:The capital city Tirana.
Right after breakfast begins a guided tour of the city along with a visit to the National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg monument. Lunch at a traditional restaurant and after a short break, cable car ride to Dajti National Park. There is planed a short walk through the park and dinner at a restaurant that offers panoramic views of Tirana. After return to Tirana you can have a drink in one of the nice bars in "Blloku" quarter, the most animated quarter of the capital. (B/L/D)

Day 7: Transfer to the airport, after breakfast according to the flight schedule. (B/-/-).

Additional information

If you are coming in a prearranged group, you can pick the date of this tour yourself.

On days 2 and 3, due to the length of the activities, it is impossible to go back to the restaurant for lunch. You will be given a lunch packet with you.

Some of the bays along the Ionian coast are totally isolated from the rest of the world and no piers are to be found there. You will be transported with little boats as close as possible to shore, if necessary.

The journey begins right after landing in the airport of Tirana with the noon flight. If your flight is in the evening, it is necessary to come to Tirana one day earlier.

The journey begins immediately after landing at the airport in Tirana where reception is scheduled. If you enter Albania through other border checkpoints and via other routes, we can pick you up against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel. If this is the case, you should carefully fill in the appropriate field of the reservation form.

Within the journey, the schedule for specific tours may vary depending on weather conditions. Travel & walking guides will adapt the program in the best way allowed by the weather conditions.

If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your journey by a few days, we are at your disposal to further organize your tour according to your wishes. All related services and costs are not included in the tour price and as such will be additionally calculated. For this purpose you should carefully fill in the field "Comments" in the booking form and explain in detail all your desires through an e – mail sent to us.

Number of the participants: 10 - 12 people

The price includes:
•  Transfer from and to the airport
•  All trips, whether by bus or boat according to the program schedule.
•  Entries and visits listed in the program.
•  6 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room with shower and toilet.
•  6 x full board (2x lunch packet).
•  Dinner on the arrival day and breakfast on departure day.
•  Coffee and water during all coffee breaks.
•  Selected restaurants a la carte in Tirana, Vlora and places along the Riviera.
•  Accompaniment by an English/German-speaking guide during the entire journey.

The price does not include
Any type of insurance.
Beverages in hotels, restaurants and bars.

Additional cost
A supplement of € 20 /day for a single room.

Equipment list

Rain cover for backpack
Hiking shoes/boots (category A/B)
Shoes/Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing
Hiking sandals
Short legged hiking trousers
T-shirts / shirts
Waterproof jacket
Drinking bottle/ Thermos Flask
First aid kit
Insect repellent