Tour through Albanian natural beauty and history

Booking code SHCU72

7 Days € 499

Travel dates:2017-05-20 to 2017-05-26           Reservation

Travel dates:2017-10-09 to 2017-10-15           Reservation

Tirana - the vibrant capital and visits to its main attractions
Durrës and its Roman amphitheater
Apollonia - the city founded in 588 BC, and visit of the archaeological site
Llogara National Park
Drive along the Ionian Coast of Albania and visit of many characteristic villages along it
The city of Saranda, located on a natural shelf facing the island of Corfu
Visit of Butrinti - the most important archeological site of Albania, an UNESCO World Heritage
Visit of Berati and Gjirokastra - UNESCO World Heritage
Selected traditional restaurants "A la Carte" during the entire journey and many culinary highlights.

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.
In the afternoon, a tour of the city is planned along with a visit to the Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg monument, clock tower. Then we take the cable car to Dajti mountain, part of Dajti National Park, covered with dense beech forests. From the cable car terminal (1050 m) there’s a magnificent view over Tirana, Durrës and the whole central-west 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 Vlora.
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Durrës. 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 promenade.
Durrës was founded in 627 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corfu. They named it "Epidamnos" with the surrounding area called Epidamnia. The city was one of the starting points of the Via Egnatia, connecting the Adriatic Sea with Byzantium.
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, probably during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
The journey continues in the direction of Apollonia. The city was originally founded in 588 BC as a Corinthian colony and was named after the god Apollo. It is today situated near the modern town of Fier and offers the visitor a unique insight into the immense importance this region once held. It is estimated that the city had about 60,000 inhabitants, a record for ancient times. As a trade centre, the city started to decline in the 4thCentury following a large earthquake which altered the course of the Vjosa river and Apollonia’s famous harbor silted up.
Drive towards the coastal city of Vlora. 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 delicious cuisine.Vlora is situated in the southwestern part of Albania, exactly where the two seas meet: the most southern part of Adriatic Sea and northern part of Ionian Sea. Vlora, through Otranto channel, is the nearest point of Albania to the Italian coast.(B/L/D)

Day 3: Ionian coast and Saranda.
Drive to Llogara National Park. With an area of 1020 ha, Llogara is covered with everlasting greenery. In the inner part of its forests there are beautiful lawns, countless natural resources and diversified animal and bird species. An amazing part of this geo-park is the „balcony" in Llogara pass, at the height of 1050m, where the Ionian Sea can be seen.
After a short coffee break, the tour along the Ionian coast begins.
The Albanian Ionian Coast runs from Vlora to Saranda, in the south, opposite to Corfu. The coastline 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. As the road winds down from the pass of Llogara, the vista opens up to reveal the stunning delta of Palasa and its white pebbled beach. This is one of the largest and probably the most spectacular pristine beach of the entire Albanian coast.
We will stop for a short visit of the village of Dhërmi and its churches. The old village is set into the mountain and is one of the oldest and most characteristic villages on the Ionian Coast, with its stone, mountain houses and historical monuments. The earliest signs of settlement date back to the 1st century B.C.. There were no less than 30 churches in the village. The village as a whole comes together to create an aesthetically harmonious architectural jewel, offering amazing views of the Ionian Sea.
Our next stop is planned in Jali beach, where we will have lunch.
Drive to Himara and short walk uphill to the old traditional village and the castle on the top of a hill overlooking the bay. It had been built as a fortress for the Epirus tribe of Chaonians and is an important part of the long history of the Himara people to be safe and independent. At the foot of the castle, wonderful beach of Livadhi stretches along the coast and nearby the Cave of Kardini, where Homer’s epics – “Journeys of Ullyses/Odissey in the Country of the Himariots" – were inspired.
The next stop is planned at the bay of Porto Palermo, surrounded by mountain slopes and agave plants.Apart from the natural beauty, it was also one of the most important military bases during the cold war. From the road you can see the tunnels where Albanian military submarines were moored. During the communist years, it was forbidden to walk or even to be in this area without permission. Just in the middle of the bay lies the castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena, which we are going to visit.
The journey continues in the direction of Saranda, located on a natural shelf facing the island of Corfu. Dinner is planned at a restaurant in Lëkursi castle, built by Sultan Suleiman during his military campaign against Corfu. It lies on a hill overlooking the bay.(B/L/D)

Day 4: Butrinti and Gjirokastra.
Drive to Butrint and visit of the most important archeological site of Albania, an UNESCO World Heritage. Butrinti 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. The day continues with the drive to the old Roman town of Hadrianopolis, and then, on the way to Gjirokastra, we will enjoy the spectacular secluded scenery of the “Blue Eye” spring and park.
The tour continues towards Gjirokastra, another 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, the ethnographic museum and the artisan centre. Dinner in a traditional restaurant.(B/L/D)

Day 5: Berati.
After breakfast drive to Berati. It is a 2407 years old city that forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures and traditions. The city's life began as an Illyrian settlement. Later, in the 3rd century B.C., it was turned into a castle city known as Antipatrea. During feudalism churches with precious frescos and icons were built inside the castle. Today, the castle is made unique by the fact that people continue to live inside of it. Short walk uphills to the castle of Berati and visit of the churches. Dinner and accommodation are planned in a beautiful and comfortable hotel, surrounded by unspoiled nature.(B/L/D)

Day 6: Tirana
Drive to Tirana. A visit of the “Mosaic of Tirana” (the oldest surviving remains in Tirana, built almost 2 millennia ago) and the National Historical Museum. In Tirana some free time is planned and then dinner in a traditional restaurant accompanied by traditional music. After dinner, you can have a drink in one of the nice bars in "Blloku" quarter, the most animated quarter of the capital and enjoy the night life of Tirana.(B/L/D)

Day 7: Transfer to the airport according to the scheduled flight.(B/-/-)

Additional information

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

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

If you wish to travel to Albania a few days earlier or extend your tour 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 us.

Number of the participants: 15 people

The full board price includes:
•  Transfer from and to the airport
•  All trips according to the program schedule.
•  Entries and visits listed in the program.
•  6 nights hotel accommodation in a double/twin room with shower or bathtub and toilet.
•  5 x full board.
•  Dinner on the arrival day and breakfast on departure day.
•  Coffee and water during all meals and coffee breaks.
•  Selected restaurants "A la carte" during the entire journey.
•  Accompaniment by an English-speaking guide during the entire journey.

The price does not include
Any type of insurance.
Beverages (except water and coffee) in hotels, restaurants and bars.

Equipment list

Sneakers for traveling and sightseeing
Drinking bottle/ Thermos Flask