cultural discovery of southwestern albania

Price From

937€

Category

Cultural Discovery

Destinations

Ionian Coast, Gjirokastër, Berat

Duration

6 Days

Group Size

8 – 10

Trip Code

CD03

Why join this tour?

  • Enjoy the guided tour of the colourful capital Tirana
  • Visit the ancient and modern city of Durrës
  • Immerse yourself into the rich history of the Albanian antiquity visiting the site of Apollonia
  • Enjoy the scenic drive along the Ionian Coast and the visit of traditional villages along it
  • Get acquainted with the ancient and recent history of Albania visiting Ali Pasha Castle in Porto Palermo Bay
  • Admire the archaeological ruins of Butrinti – UNESCO World Heritage
  • Discover Gjirokastra – UNESCO World Heritage
  • Explore Berat – UNESCO World Heritage and visit the unique Onufri museum

The right tour for you?

  • We take care of the luggage transportation between the accommodations. We recommend you to pack smart as you will be required to carry your own luggage from the vehicle to your accommodation.
  • Some of the places you will visit may be hilly with cobblestone streets that become slippery if wet. Be careful and pack light.
  • Summer temperatures can be high. It is essential to use sun protection. Wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water.
  • Long drives are planned on days 3 and 5. We have planned it well, with many stops along the way, the vehicles are modern and air-conditioned. Please make sure you are comfortable spending up to 4 hours in the vehicle.
  • We are strongly committed towards responsible and sustainable travel. We please you to follow our guidelines regarding sustainability.
Day 1: Arriving to Tirana

Welcome to Tirana. Your hotel is located in the downtown. There are plenty of attractions, cafes and bars to keep you busy. Founded in 1614, Tirana became the capital of Albania in 1920 and is the main cultural and industrial center of Albania. The city boulevards are marked with fascinating relics of the Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
In the evening, you can have a drink at one of the numerous cafes or trendy bars of the “Blloku” district. The most animated quarter of the city lies at the place where before the democratic changes it was not allowed for the public to enter as it was inhabited only by the higher leadership.
The price includes:
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Tirana
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Tirana – The vibrant capital city of Albania
Guided visit of the ancient site of Apollonia

After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a visit of Tirana and its main attractions.
Then you will have some free time to enjoy the city in your own and to grab an early lunch, before the journey continues in the direction of Apollonia, where we will visit the archaeological site. The city was originally founded in 588 BC as a Corinthian colony and was named after the God Apollo. It is estimated that the city had about 60,000 inhabitants, a record for ancient times.
In the afternoon transfer to Vlora, where dinner and accommodation are planned. Vlora is situated in the southwestern part of Albania, exactly where the two seas meet: the most southern part of Adriatic Sea and northernmost part of Ionian Sea. The city is one of the most important touristic destinations in Albania.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Dinner
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Vlorë
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 3: Scenic drive along the Ionian Coast to Saranda

Along the Ionian Coast there are many characteristic villages with stone mountain houses and historical monuments set into the mountains.
We will visit the Old Himara Village, which lies on the top of a hill overlooking the bay.
The next stop is planned at the bay of Porto Palermo, surrounded by agave plants. It was also one of the most important naval 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 be in this area without permission. On a rock strip in the middle of the bay lies the fortress of Ali Pasha Tepelena, which we are going to visit.
Lunch is planned after the visit, at a restaurant overlooking the castle and Porto Palermo Bay.
In the afternoon the journey continues towards Saranda. It is located on a natural shelf facing the island of Corfu. Accommodation in Saranda.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Sarandë
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 4: Butrinti and Gjirokastra, two UNESCO World Heritage sites

After breakfast transfer to Butrint and visit of the most important archaeological 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 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. After the lunch break, we will visit the castle and a museum-house. Dinner is planned in a traditional restaurant. Accommodation in Gjirokastra.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Gjirokastër
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 5: Berat, UNESCO World Heritage

The day starts with the transfer to Berat. It has a more than 2400-year-old history and is a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes, 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. In 2008, the old town of Berat was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. We will visit the castle, the old neighborhood of the city and the Onufri Museum, displaying works of the most important Albanian icon painter with the same name.
In the afternoon transfer to Tirana, where the accommodation is provided.
The farewell dinner will be provided in a restaurant not too far from your hotel.
In the evening, you can go out and enjoy a drink at one of the numerous cafes or trendy bars of the “Blloku” district. The most animated quarter of the city lies at the place where before the democratic changes it was not allowed for the public to enter as it was inhabited only by the higher leadership.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
• Farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant in Tirana
• Accommodation in a 4-Star hotel in Tirana
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

 

Day 6: Departure

After breakfast at your hotel, it is time to say goodbye to Albania.
The price includes:
• Breakfast
*Please see “Inclusions” section!

Accommodation:

During the entirety of this tour, you will be accommodated in carefully selected hotels.

The accommodation will be provided on a twin-share basis. The hotel rooms all have a private bathroom with a shower/bath and toilet. In rare occasions, the accommodation in hotels will be provided in triple rooms.

In all cases, we pair up solo travelers with other travelers of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports.

 

Solo travelers:

The tour is suitable for solo travelers.

 

Luggage transportation:

We take care of the luggage transportation between the accommodations.

 

Transfers:

All transfers described in the itinerary are included in the price and will be organized by us.

 

Extensions:

If you wish to 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.

If you wish to start or end your tour from/to a different location, we can pick you up or drop you off against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel.

 

Sustainability:

We are strongly committed towards responsible and sustainable travel.

We please our guests to follow our guidelines regarding sustainability:

• Respect the local people, their culture and environment.
• Support locally owned businesses, restaurants and other services: Eat local food and drink local brands and brews.
• Shop from traditional artisans and for locally made products. Favor local products over imported items. This helps in keeping traditional crafts alive. Even a small amount could be extremely important to local producers.
• Always ask first before photographing or videoing people. Send them back copies of photos to help make it a two-way exchange.
• We strongly recommend bringing reusable water bottles. In places where tap water is potable, this eliminates the usage of single-use plastic bottles entirely.
• Bring a water filter. This way you can drink tap water even in places where it is otherwise unsafe to do so.
• Bring a reusable straw in case you use them regularly.

Feel free to ask any questions you might have. Our staff and guides are trained and able to advise you in detail about our approach towards sustainability.

Included in the price:
• All trips according to the program schedule
• Transport in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle
• 5 nights’ accommodation in 4 Star hotels
• Meals according to the program schedule
• Water during the meals
• Entries and visits listed in the program
• Luggage transport between the accommodations
• Accompaniment by an English-speaking guide during the entire journey

 

Not included in the price:
• Transfer from and to the airport
• Any type of insurance
• Any beverages
• Other services not mentioned in the included section above or in the itinerary

Essential Personal Equipment:
• Reusable water bottles (at least 1 liter in total)
• Comfortable shoes for traveling and sightseeing
• Bathing Suit
• Beach Towel
• Beach Slippers
• Sunhat
• Sunscreen
• Sunglasses
• Any prescription medication you might need
• Personal Luggage
• Passport or ID

 

Recommended Equipment:
• Water filter or alternative water purification system
• Reusable straw
• Slippers
• Personal first aid kit
• Insect repellent

Departure Dates:

Please click the date you are interested in from the list below:

20 April 2024 – 25 April 2024


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