We are offering you the unique experience of “The Grand Tour”, a lived experience of art and culture of Albania.
Day 1 : Mother Teresa Airport - Tirana (20 km)
Meet at airport and transfer to the hotel. Driven tour of the capital. We visit the main sites like the Ethem Bey Mosque, clock tower, Scanderbeg Suqare, Othodox Church, National Historic Museum. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 2: Tirana – Lezhe – Shkodra (95 km)
After breakfast, we travel to Lezhe, a city in the North-West of Albania. There we will visit Scanderbeg Mausoleum and Lezha Castle. Afterwards proceed to the northern city of Shkodra with the most important town of north Albania and the Illyrian capital, in the 3rd century BC. We visit the Rozafa castle withspectacular views all around. Afterwards visit to the Mesi Bridge an old bridge built in the mid 18th century withbeautiful mountain scenery as backdrop. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 3: Shkodra - Theth (77 km)
After breakfast we drive to Theth. This is an adventure on its own because of the bad road conditions and the wonderful views along the road. This is only a 70km drive, but it will take around 3 hours to arrive in Theth On this day you will have the opportunity to hike around the village of Theth and explore the mountains, the waterfall, the church of Theth, The tower of isolation (including a story about the “Kanun”) on yourself or with your guide. Overnight in a local guesthouse..
Day 4: Theth – Kruja – Durres (185 km)
After breakfast we proceed to Kruja, a small town perched high on the face of a hill, center of the Albanian resistance against the ottoman Turks under the leadership of our national hero Scanderbeg. Visit the fortress of Kruja, the Scanderbeg Museum, Ethnographic Museum, and the old bazaar full of souvenirs including handmade ones. Traditional Albanian Lunch in Kruja. (optimal) After the visits proceed to Durres. Take a sightseeing tour of the town and Amphitheatre situated in the middle of the modern city in an inhabited area. Overnight in Durres.
Day 5: Durres – Berat (UNESCO) (90 km)
After breakfast we depart to Berat one of the most visited and attractive towns in Albania. The UNESCO world heritage site in this town is considered as one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture outside of Turkey. After breakfast visit it’s the castle which still has a living quarter within it and the Onufri museum. Onufri was an Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century. He painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece. Overnight in Berat.
Day 6: Berat (Unesco) – Apollonia - Vlore (110 km)
After breakfast we depart for the ancient city of Apollonia one of the most important ancient centers in Roman times on the famous Via Egnatia. Visit of the city and an Orthodox monastery that turned into archaeological museum. After lunch we continue on to Vlora, the town of Albania’s independence proclamation. After check in at the hotel we visit the original house where the independence document was signed in 1912, which now turned into “Independence Museum”. Overnight in Vlora.
Day 7: Vlore – Saranda - Butrinti (UNESCO) – Sarande (160 km)
After breakfast we depart to Saranda following a winding road through the spectacular Albanian Riviera. We stop at the town of Himara for refreshments by the sea. We are met by breathtaking scenery at the gorge of Llogara 1000 m above sea level a great spot for lunch. After lunch we proceed to visit to the ancient city of Butrint another UNESCO world heritage site. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of different civilizations, making it an important discovery in the Mediterranean, rich in ancient sites. It is situated in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation, offering visitors more than just old ruins. In the evening we may visit the Lekuresi Fortress in Saranda, with beautiful views of the bay of the town and the Island of Corfu situated only 7 km away. We return to Saranda, overnight in Saranda.
Day 8: Sarande – Blue Eye – Gjirokastra (UNESCO) - Permet (120 km)
In the morning we leave the ‘pearl’ of the Albanian Riviera – the town Saranda and drive to Gjirokastra. On the way we stop to visit the Blue Eye spring – a natural spring shaped like an eye, with of blue and turquoise colors among old maple trees. Gjirokastra is a museum city and UNESCO heritage site. After lunch we visit the museum town of Gjirokastra, the birthplace of former iron-fisted dictator of Albania, Enver Hoxha. Visit in the pre-Ottoman citadel with a weapons museum and the Ethnographic Museum which is also the house the Albanian dictator. Drive to Permet for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 : Permet – Korce - Pogradec (170 km)
After Breakfast depart for Korca where we visit the Museum of Medieval Arts and the Mosque of Mirahori one of the oldest in the country and the Orthodox Cathedral. Continue onto Pogradec on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Visit to the Park of Drilon and Villa Art that used to be the old fishing villa of the dictator. Then we proceed to the small village of Tushemisht to explore traditional village life in this picturesque area of the country. Overnight in Pogradec.
Day 10 : Pogradec – Elbasan – Dajti Mountain – Tirana (130 km)
Morning departure for Tirana. On the way we stop for a coffee and visit Elbasani Castle (interesting as it is the only castle in the country given to a private entity with concession which has proved very successful in preserving and restoring this monument) and Saint Mary Church inside the castle. Proceed to Tirana and in the afternoon we take a relaxed trip up the mountain with the Dajti Express cable car gondolas, which offers a great view over Tirana and it's surroundings. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 11 : Tirana - Mother Teresa Airport (20 km)
After breakfast at leisure until time of transfer to the Airport. End of our service.
Accommodation in good 3* 4* standard hotels with breakfast
Transportation with comfortable a/c vehicle.
English (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese etc), speaking tour guide/driver.
All entrance fees
All other meals apart from breakfast
It was a great experience to be able to tour Albania with a great guide. The tour package was really good and well planned, we managed to visit the intended places on a happy note and I loved the wine that I bought from one of the wine farms! My favourite place was Berat and I would love to go back to the place again! It was really a great experience!
Food, nice people, hospitality
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