8 Days Classic Albania
Experience the magic of Albania in Tirana, Kruja, Durres, Berat, Vlora, Saranda, Gjirokastra and other ancient cities. A great introduction into Albania’s past and present history, customs and traditions.
Day 1: Airport- Durres
Meet our representatives at Tirana Airport and drive to Durres - One of Albania's oldest cities, the country's main sea port, the second largest industrial centre after Tirana. Durres lies on a small peninsula on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The city was colonized by the Greeks in 627 B.C. Named Epidamnos, which later became Dyrrachium. From the Venetian Tower at the harbour the Medieval Town Wall leads to the Amphitheatre (capacity 15,000 spectators) dating back to the 2nd century AD. and containing an early Christian Crypt with a rare wall mosaic.
Between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, Durres was an important port and trading centre on the Via Egnatia trading route between Rome and Byzantium (Istanbul). After a great number of earthquakes, the main part of old town sank into the sea or collapsed and was subsequently built over. Visit the Amphitheatre and the Archaeological Museum. Overnight in Hotel 4*
Day 2: Durres- Apolonia-Vlora
After breakfast depart to Apollonia, situated 12 km from the city of. The city of Apollonia was found at the beginning of the 7th century BC by the Greek colonists coming from Corinth and Corcyra, on the top of the ancient dwelling site of Illyrian Glaukos. Apollonian was in Roman times, a large and flourishing city near Aos river (today Vjosa).
Of great interest to be visited are; The Encircling Wall, the monuments of Agonothetes, the Library, the Odeon, the Portico, the house with mosaics, The Museum of Apollonia, the Church of St. Mary. Unfortunately, some of the statues and object were appropriated before 1946 by other countries. Those remaining are displayed in the museum, which is housed in the monastery.
The monastery courtyard enclosed a Byzantine church dating back to the 14th century. Depart to Vlora city. Arrival in Vlora and afternoon city tour in Vlora. Vlora is a coastal city. As an ancient dwelling place it is known by the IV century B.C. as Aulona. It is the only of the major sea-ports, but also of great historical importance as it was there in 1912 the Assembly was convened to proclaim Albanian as an independent state and to set up the first National Government headed by Ismail Qemali. Overnight in 4* Hotel.
Day 3: Vlora- Himara- Saranda
After breakfast the group will depart to Saranda, passing through Albanian Riviera Radhima bay is one of the most fantastic area of Vlore bay. The evergreen hills, the golden beaches, the crystal water and clear air are the treasury of our country. The only functioning Yacht port in South Albania positioned in this part of Albanian Riviera. Continue driving along the high mountain and fascinated view of Albanian beauty and arriving to LLogara national park Llogora is located 42 km south of Vlore. The park is covered by colored intense pine forest. He is rich in wildlife like roe deer, squirrels, foxes, wolves, and wild boars
This Park offers a fine and attractive landscape and characteristic areas with dominant points. It has great potential for the development of eco-tourism, air sports, excursions and trekking. For the air sports fans this park offers accommodation possibilities. Leave Llogara and continue our trip, where the guest will be faced with other traditional Villages like, Dhermi, Himara, and stop for lunch in a local restaurant by the sea, Borsh, which mostly are known for the citrus growth and olive trees. Of interest to be Mentioned is Porto Palermo, where the Ali Pasha Castle stands like a barrier in front of the blue rocky sea as a protection for the country. Upon arrival in Saranda, check in the hotel.
Day 4: Saranda- Butrint - Ksamil Beach- Saranda
After breakfast departure to Butrinti National park full day tour Butrinti with its archaeological artefacts prove that during the 7th and the 6th centuries BC Butrint was a proto-urban centre, but it was only during the 5th century BC that it turned into a full developed city. By the end of the 4th century the agora, the boulevard, a small temple and the theatre holding 1500 seats were built up, the latter one fortunately being preserved till our days. The complex of the theatre and other buildings like Asklep’s temple, portico, roman baths form the most magnificent part of the ancient city. During late antiquity and early Middle Ages, Butrinti flourished.
The construction of the baptistery, which is the most important monument of the early Christian period, dates from this time. The baptistery, which has a round shape with a diameter of 13.50 m, is laid with multicolored geometric and animal mosaic motifs and bears special artistic values. The hall has two rows of granite colonnades upon which the roof rests. Lunch in Ksamil Village seaside restaurant after the tour. Drive back to Saranda and continue to Lekursi Castle overlooking Saranda town and Corfu Island where we can enjoy the Sunset. Back to the Hotel.
Day 5: Saranda- Gjirokastra- Berat
After breakfast depart to Gjirokastra, with optional visits en route to: Mesopotamia Ancient Byzantine Church Blue eye water spring, natural attraction for centuries Upon arrival in Gjirokastra, start a city tour Many houses in Gjirokastër, old town, have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname "Town of the Stones", because most of the old houses have roofs covered with stones.
Of a great importance and interesting to be visit, are The Museum of Weapons (inside the castle)The Ethnographic Museum or known as the Enver Hoxha house, The Castle of Gjirokastra, The characteristic house of Zekate, an important family in Gjirokastra. Visit the castle the weapon museum and Enver Hoxha birth house after city tour in Gjirokastra, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the city and depart for Berat city. Overnight in Berat in 3* Hotel.
Day 6: Berat- Tirana
After breakfast. Start Berat city tour. Berat, known as the “City of one thousand windows” and declared a Museum City, part of UNESCO heritage site, Berat, overshadowed to the east by Tomorr Mountain 2415 m, it is an ancient Illyrian settlement founded in the 4th & 5th centuries B.C. on the territory of the Illyrian tribe of Desarettes.
The town is composed of 3 parts; Gorica, situated on the far side of the river; Mangalem, situated on the fortress side of the river and the Residenial quarter within the fortress known as Kalaja. The old part of the city has some religious buildings like mosque and Byzantine churches. The old name of the city was Antipatrea. Visit the Fortres, the Onufri’s . After the city tour Optional lunch at traditional restaurant. Depart to Tirana in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 7: Tirana - Kruja
After Breakfast, depart for Tirana city tour, Visit the new opened Atonic bunker, the Bunk’art2 museum in Tirana opened to the public describing it as a museum throwing light on political persecution during the Albanian communist era. The museum – called Bunk’Art 2 – is also intended as a memorial to the tens of thousands of people who were imprisoned and executed by the communist regime,”
Visit the mosaic in front of the entrance of the National Historical Museum, Statue of Skanderbeg in Skanderbeg Square, Et'hem Bey Mosque at the south east corner of Skanderbeg Square, The Clock Tower next to the Et'hem Bey Mosque, Government buildings: at the south end of Skenderbeg Square. Roman Catholic Church of Saint Paul: completed in 2001, the largest church in Tirana. Orthodox Church, Tabakëve and Terzive bridges. The palace of culture, where the Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the National Library stand. The Palace of Congress, and President Resident, all this wonderful buildings, extended, along the Boulevard Deshmoret e Kombit, The Boulevard of Albanian History. All this wonderful things you could get to our Capital along to panorama tour in Tirana.
Leave Tirana and drive to Kruja city. On the way we will stop to visit a family house, where we can meet with the locals and try our traditional spirit Raki with small meze. Drive to Kruja is situated north – East of Tirana, 560m above sea level on the slopes of Sari – Salltiku Mountain. Kruja has been inhabited since the 3rd century B.C. It was mentioned for the first time as a Christian religious centre in the year 879. The famous English painter, Edward Lear, who visited Kruje in 1848, wrote: “Kruje, a charming little town all up in the sky”. Visit the fortress, Skanderbegs Museum, Ethnographic museum and the old dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 8: Kruja- Airport
After breakfast free time at your leisure, before the transfer to Tirana Airport- End of the services.