The best of the Ionian Coast in a week


Booking code SHG29

8 Days € 710

Travel dates:2018-07-07 to 2018-07-14           Reservation

Travel dates:2018-09-15 to 2018-09-22           Reservation

Travel dates:2018-06-09 to 2018-06-16           Reservation

The vibrant Tirana

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

Visit of Porto Palermo Castle and Saranda

Guided visit of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Butrint and Gjirokastra

Free time to relax on the wonderful beaches along the coast and enjoy the clear and warm waters of the Ionian Sea

Accommodation at three-star hotels

Opportunities for: guided walk through the National Park of Llogara and paragliding


This is a unique tour, which gives you the possibility to enjoy the best that Ionian coast has to offer, its cultural jewels and natural wonders.

The Albanian Ionian Coast runs from Vlora to Saranda. The coast line is famous for its small bays, pebbly beaches and crystal-clear waters. The Riviera is one of Albania’s natural beauties and certainly one of the most picturesque places in the whole Mediterranean. Since ancient times, the Albanian Coast has seen different cultural influences come and go, leaving behind a host of archaeological and historical treasures, such as ancient sites, Roman or Greek cities, hillside castles and fortresses, walled towns, monasteries, churches, mosques, temples, museums and other interesting jewels. A typical Mediterranean climate offers ideal conditions for a beautiful holiday encompassing many different activities.


Day 1: Tirana, the vibrant capital (110m)

After arrival at noon, transfer from “Mother Teresa” airport to the hotel in downtown Tirana. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial centre of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past.

Tirana has changed incredibly in the last twenty years, from the dull, grey city it once was. Tirana is a city where fun is guaranteed: lively, loud, crazy, colourful, simply fascinating.

In the afternoon, a tour of the city is planned along with a visit to the National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque and Skanderbeg monument. After the dinner at a traditional restaurant "A la carte", you can have a drink in one of the nice bars in the "Blloku" quarter, the most animated quarter of the capital. (-/-/D)


Day 2: Durrës and Vlora - two of the prettiest cities on the coast

Today’s journey begins immediately after breakfast, and Durrës is the first stop. Founded in 627 BC, the city is an important tourist destination of Albania because most tourists visiting the country relax on the beaches around it. A coffee break is planned here in one of the bars on the seaside promenade. The journey continues in the direction of Vlora, the city with a very long coastline that stretches between the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Lunch is planned in one of the most beautiful restaurants near the sea where you can enjoy fresh fish or sea fruits. After lunch and some free time to enjoy the sea and sun, the journey continues towards the National Park of Llogara where we will have dinner and be accommodated in a hotel. (B/L/D)


Day 3: Llogara National Park and the characteristic village of Dhërmi

The National Park of Llogara lies 35 km south of Vlora, has an area of 1020ha and is covered with everlasting greenery. In the inner part of its forests there are beautiful meadows, countless natural resources and diverse animal and bird species. An amazing part of this geo-park is the "Balcony" in Llogara pass, at the height of 1050m, from where the Ionian Sea can be seen. Today you will have the possibility to choose among:

1. A guided walk through the National Park of Llogara (3h).

2. Paragliding (weather permitting): The starting point is the Pass of Llogara and ending point the beach of Palasa.

Lunch, dinner and accommodation are provided in Dhermi. (B/L/D)


Day 4: Boat trip to Ngjipe Beach and the Pirate’s cave

Right after breakfast we will take the boat to the Pirate’s cave. It is on the beach, under the hill on which stands the monastery of Saint Theodore. A stone block pillar divides the entry into two parts. It is easy to visit in calm seas but the cave is blocked in strong waves. The cave is more than 30m long, 8m wide and 10-12m high.

From there we will travel to the Canyon and the beach of Ngjipe. It is formed by water erosion, is more than 2km long and 100m deep. The landscape is very attractive, the beach is clean and the water clear. After some free time there, return to Dhermi for lunch.

In the afternoon travel southwards to Porto Palermo, which is one of the most beautiful bays of the entire Ionian coast. Its harbour 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 height of the road. The magnificent castle of Ali Pasha, lies on a small island. The view from the castle, over the whole coast, is wonderful. After a short break, we will be transferred to Saranda, where dinner and accommodation are planned. (B/L/D)


Day 5: Butrint and Ksamil

The day starts with the trasfer to Butrint to visit the ancient city, the most important archaeological site in Albania. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is well known since the 7th century B.C. as the most important city of Epirus. The building of the city was linked to the presence of the Trojan prince Aeneas and is mentioned by the Roman poet Virgil.

After visiting Butrint, we will travel to Ksamil to have lunch and some free time. Dinner is organized at the restaurant that lies at the "Lëkursi Caste" on the top of a hill overlooking the bay of Saranda. (B/L/D)


Day 6: The “Blue Eye” and Gjirokastra

We will drive off directly after breakfast, and on the way to Gjirokastra, will have time to enjoy the spectacular secluded scenery of the “Blue Eye” spring and park. The tour continues towards Gjirokastra, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an outstanding example of an Ottoman merchant town and one of the few still surviving in the Balkans. The visits of the castle and a museum-house are planned in Gjirokastra. After lunch in a traditional restaurant, transfer to Vlora where dinner and accommodation are provided. (B/L/D)


Day 7: Boat tour around the Karaburun Peninsula

Right after breakfast, transfer to the port to start the trip around the Karaburun Peninsula. Karuburun is known for its abundant nature attractions and its various archaeological discoveries. The first stop is planned at the cave of Haxhi Ali, located at the north end of the peninsula. This cave is 30 meters long, 10-15 meters high, and 9.5 meters wide. If the sea conditions permit, we 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 break is planned at the bay of Saint Vasil which lies on the eastern side of the Karaburun peninsula. Return to the port in the late afternoon and from there transfer to Tirana where dinner and accommodation are planned. (B/L/D)


Day 8: Transfer to the airport

After breakfast, the transfer to the airport will be according to your scheduled flight. (B/-/-)


Additional information

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


On day 7, due to the length of the boat trip, 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 in small boats as close as possible to the shore.


The journey begins right after landing at 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.


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 travel 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 our agency.


Number of participants: 12 - 14 people


Included in the price:

• 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

• 7 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room with shower and toilet

• 6 x full board (1x lunch packet)

• Dinner on the arrival day and breakfast on departure day

• Selected restaurants a la carte in Tirana, Vlora and places along the Riviera

• Accompaniment by an English-speaking guide during the entire journey


Not included in the price:

• Any type of insurance

• Any beverages

• Optional activities during the third day


Surcharges:

• € 20, –/Day Single room supplement

• € 70, – For Paragliding

• € 10, – For the guided walk through the National Park of Llogara


Equipment list

Backpack

Rain cover for backpack

Hiking shoes/boots (category A/B)

Long legged hiking trousers

Waterproof trousers

T-shirts / shirts

Sweater/Jacket: (Recommended Fleece/Wind stopper)

Waterproof jacket

Warm hat

Drinking bottle

Headlamp

Sunhat

Sunscreen

Swimwear

Towel

Sunglasses

Slippers

Toiletry

Wipes

Tissues

First aid kit