Tour in Albania and North Greece


Booking code SGRHCU71

10 Days € 860

Travel dates:2018-09-22 to 2018-10-01           Reservation

Tirana - the vibrant capital and visits to its main attractions;

Durrës and its Roman amphitheater;

In 588 BC founded Apollonia and visit of the archaeological site;

Visit of Berati and Gjirokastra - UNESCO World Heritages;

Ioannina and its main attractions;

Meteora and walk to the six monasteries built on the natural sandstone rock pillars;

Visit of the cosmopolitan Corfù town with its distinctive Greek, Italian, French and British elements. 

Unforgetable boat trip to Paxos and Antipaxos with their unique white sandy beaches and breathtaking sea caves;

Visit of Butrinti - the most important archeological site of Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage;

Drive along the Ionian Coast of Albania and visit of many characteristic villages along it;

Boat trip around the Karaburun Peninsula.


Day 1: Tirana, the vibrant capital

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.

In the afternoon, a tour of the city is planned along with a visit to the Bey Mosque, and Skanderbeg monument. Then we will take the cable car to the Dajti mountain, part of Dajti National Park. From the cable car terminal at Fusha e Dajtit (1050m) there’s a magnificent view over Tirana, Durrës and the whole western central Albania up to the Adriatic Sea. Here we will have dinner at a traditional restaurant "A la carte" and then return to Tirana. (-/-/D)


Day 2: Durrës, Apollonia and Berati

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Durrës. We will have time for a visit of the city and its Roman amphitheatre. Durrës was founded in 627 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corfu, who named it "Epidamnos". The amphitheatre of Durrës is one of the greatest monuments of antiquity in Albania and was built in the first decades of the 2nd century AD, probably during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. 

After the lunch break, the journey continues in the direction of 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. 

After the visit of the site, we will drive in the direction of Berati. Dinner and accommodation are planned in a beautiful and comfortable hotel, surrounded by unspoiled nature. (B/-/D)


Day 3: Berat and Gjirokastra

The day starts with a visit of the city of Berati, a short walk uphill to the castle and the visit of the churches are planned. Berati is a 2407 years old city that represents a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes, traditions. The city's life began as an Illyrian settlement and today, the castle is made unique by the fact that people continue to live in it.

After the lunch break drive to 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. We will visit the castle and a museum-house. Dinner is planned in a traditional restaurant. (B/-/D)


Day 4: Ioannina and Meteora

After a 30km drive we will be at the border crossing point to Greece and from there will be transferred to Ioannina. The first indications of human existence in the regional unit of Ioannina are dated back to the Paleolithic period (38,000 years ago). Here the visit of the Fortress (which was the heart of the Despotate of Epirus, and the Ottoman vilayet) along with the visits of the Fethiye Mosque, the Byzantine Museum, Municipal Ethnographic Museum are planned. After the lunch break we will visit the Historic Centre of Ioannina with its small traditional shops and houses, the National Archaeological Museum of Ioannina and the Cathedral of St Athanasius.

Transfer to Meteora, an area in Thessaly (Central Greece). Here lie six monasteries built on the natural sandstone pillars which seem like a continuance and a natural ending of the rocks. Dinner and accommodation are planned at a hotel at the foot of the rocks. (B/-/D)


Day 5: Meteora, Igoumenitsa and Corfu

Today a hike uphill to the Meteora monasteries is planned. After the lunch break transfer to Igoumenitsa, where we will board on the boat to Corfu. Corfu is the most northern of the Ionian Islands. There we will have time for a short walk through Corfu town, with its distinctive Greek, Italian, French and British elements, and dinner at a fine restaurant along the sea promenade. (B/-/D)


Day 6: Boat trip to the Paxos and Antipaxos Islands

For the day a boat trip to the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, which are situated, close to the southern coast of Corfu is organized. Departing from the harbour of Corfu, we have a unique view of the old town, among the two Venetian fortresses. We continue sailing south along the west coast of the Paxos island, enjoying the impressive rocky coast line and the unique white sandy beaches. Then the boat enters the breath-taking sea caves. Departing from the caves we arrive at the small but perfectly formed island of Antipaxos, whose sandy blue water coves have been compared to the Caribbean´s. We will moor close to the centre of the village of Gaios where you can walk through the wonderful narrow streets and enjoy your lunch at one of the traditional taverns.

In the late afternoon, the visit of the old city of Corfu, the Fortress and the Byzantine Museum are planned. (B/-/D)


Day 7: Saranda and Butrinti

After breakfast we will take the boat to Saranda, the most southern city of Albania. Prior to Byzantine rule, Saranda was called by its ancient Greek name, "Onchesmos". 

After a short visit of the city transfer to Butrinti, the most important archaeological site of Albania, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Butrint is known since the 7th century B.C. as the most important city of Epirus. Its building is linked to the presence of the Trojan prince Aeneas.

Lunch is planned at the beautiful Ksamil, surrounded by a magnificent natural beauty and dinner at a restaurant in Lëkursi castle, which lies on a hill overlooking the bay. It is built by Sultan Suleiman during his military campaign against Corfu. (B/-/D)


Day 8: Ionian coast and Vlora

Today we will drive along the Ionian Coast of Albania and visit many characteristic villages. The first stop is at the Porto Palermo Bay where the visit of the castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena is planned. It lies on a peninsula, connected by a narrow rock strip and was built by the master builders of Ali Pasha. The castle has a long history which we are going to explore. 

The next stop is in Himara where we will visit the old village that lies on a hill overlooking the bay. After the lunch break transfer to Dhermi, one of the picturesque coastal villages in Albania. The old village is set on the mountain and is one of the oldest and most characteristic villages on the Ionian Coast, with its stone, mountain houses nestling happily with historical monuments.

The journey continues to the National Park of Llogara where a short coffee break is planned. It represents one of the most amazing places of Albania. With an area of 1020ha, Llogara is covered with everlasting greenery. An amazing part of this park is the „balcony" in Llogara pass, at the height of 1050m, where the Ionian Sea can be seen. The tour of the day ends in Vlora where dinner and accommodation are provided. (B/-/D)


Day 9: Boat trip around the Karaburun Peninsula

Right after breakfast, we will be transfered 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, 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 break is planned at the bay of Saint Vasil which lies on the eastern side of the Karaburun peninsula.

In the afternoon the return trip to Tirana starts. There you will have dinner at a traditional restaurant. After dinner, you can spend some pleasant moments in one of the bars in the “Block” area. (B/Lunch box/D)


Day 10: Transfer to the airport

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


Additional information

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


On day 9, we will not be able to stop for dining in restaurants. Thus, we will give you a lunch packet. 


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.


This journey starts around noon on the arrival day. If you arrive in Tirana in the evening of this day, it is impossible to participate in activities scheduled for day one. All saved expenses will be reimbursed.


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 permitted 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 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 the participants: 13 - 15 Persons


Included in the HB 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

• 9 nights three-star hotel accommodation in a double/twin room with shower or bathtub and toilet

• 8 x half board (as described in the program)

• Dinner on the arrival day and breakfast on departure day

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


Not included in the price:

• Any type of insurance

• Any beverages


Surcharges:

€ 20, –/Day Single room supplement



Equipment list

Backpack

Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing

Drinking bottle

Sunhat

Swimwear

Towel

Sunscreen

Sunglasses

Slippers