Day 1: Tirana. Arrival at “Mother Theresa” International Airport and transfer to hotel. A wonderful dinner atone of the best restaurants, return to hotel and overnight.
Day 2 Tirana – Lezha – Shkodra. (105 km) We start the day exploring the city of Tirana, located on a plain on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital since 1920 (visits to the Skanderbeg Square, Mosque of Ethem Bey (built on 1824), the Clock Tower (built on 1822), the National Museum (the huge mosaic on front represent the Albanian history development, and the stages of this development are presented on respective pavilions), Archeological Museum (there are presented many archeological discoveries since the Stone Age up to the Medieval). Then, we travel to Lezha, a town located on north-west of Albania. In the ancient period was called Lissus. Upon a high hill there are still the walls of Illyrian walls and under them the surrounding walls of Syracuse colony. Visit to Mausoleum of Scanderbeg (Albanian National Hero). We continue to Shkodra. A nice landscape with highland (Albanian Alps on north) are a full contrast. City tour of Shkodra, Old Bazaar, Centrum, cathedral and mosque. Visit to the Castle of Rosafa (the legend of Rozafa’s presentation) and the museum inside it and we enjoy wonderful views of mountains, Shkodra’s lake, Drini, Buna and Kir rivers with the valleys around from the top of Rozafa castle. Dinner and overnight in Shkodra.
Day 3 Shkoder –Kruja – Durres. (125) After breakfast, we departure to Kruja, the town of Albania’s most important resistance under the leadership of Gjergj Kastrioti “Scanderbeg”, who in the 15th century successfully fought off the Ottomans for over 25 years. Sightseeing at his castle and the impressive Scanderbeg Museum, Ethnographical Museum and shopping in old bazaar. After lunch, we continue to Durres. Durres is one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean and the largest sea-port in Albania. This busy port city has one of the largest Roman amphitheaters in the Balkans (20000 spectators). We visit archeological museum, Venetian tower, Villa e Zogut. Dinner and overnight in Durres.
Day 4 Durres – Berat – Apolloni – Vlore. (188 km) After breakfast, we continue to Berat. One of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit to its castle of Berat with Onufri museum and other churches inside; Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica. After lunch visit we continue the tour to Apollonia, wich was founded in 588 BC and taken by Aristotle as a model in his analysis of oligarchy, because of its distinct and separate Illyrian and Greek communities. It was a vital stronghold in Caesar’s civil war with Pompey and also important in early Christian history with its bishop attending the councils of Ephesus and Chlalkis in 431 and 451 AD. We will visit its museum, Shen Meri Monastery and Church. Then, we departure to the coastal city of Vlora. Vlora is the city where Albanian independence from Ottomans was proclaimed on November 28th, 1912. Visit to Museum of Independence. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Vlore – Saranda. (186 km) After breakfast, we continue to South of Albania, by making the first stop to Orikum antic city. Than we continue to Llogara National Park and enjoying the spectacular views of mountains and the Albanian Riviera. Stopover in seaside villages of Palase, Dhermi, Himara and Borsh, and Ali Pashe Tepelena Castle. Arrival to Sarande. Where we we visit ruins of Butrint antic city, Albania’s most important archaeological site. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but no evidence of this has yet been found. Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which we can still visit. The rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history, and its 6th century BC fortification evokes the city’s military power and symbolizes the rich culture of the once thriving ancient city. Exploration of amphitheater, Venetian tower, Mosaic, Lion gate, etc.Accommodation at hotel. Dinner at the Lekuresi Fortress in Saranda with great views of the bay of Saranda and the Island of Corfu. Return to hotel and overnight in Saranda.
Day 6 Saranda – Gjirokastra – Tepelena – Tirana. (295 km) After breakfast, we leave Saranda, visit the Blue Eye National Park, than continue to the “Museum City” of Gjirokastra. City tour starts visiting to its castle and Armaments Museum. After lunch, we continue to Tepelene, we stop to the castle of Tepelene and antic settlement of Antigonea. Return to Tirana. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 7 Tirana. Transfer to “Mother Teresa” International Airport ,departure from Tirana.
- Airport transfer
- Accommodation at 3*, 4* hotels
- Hotels with breakfast and dinners (HB)
- Modern A/C private car/ bus or minivan with driver
- Local guide in one from major languages
- Museums entry tickets (as indicated)
- Other tour sites entry tickets (as indicated)