Departure & Return Location
Tirana International Airport
Tirana, Rozafa Castle in Shkodra, Historical City of Kruja, Monastery of Ardenica, Apollonia Archeological Site, Vlora, Albanian Riviera, Llogara National Park, Dhermi & Himare, Butrint Archeological Site, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Berat, Durres, Tirana
Arrival Tirana 30 min
Arrival in Tirana International Airport
Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Tirana.
Tirana has a never-ending movement and energy. This noisy city is worth discovering by day & night. Tirana, a developed city with a rich combination of culture, history, contemporary architecture and lots of hospitality towards tourists. You can take a walk in Tirana and enjoy the look of the colorful buildings, fancy coffees and small green parks.
You are welcome to have a guided tour, including walking by the main boulevard & checking the main buildings of the city such as: The Pyramid building, The opera House, The National Library, Governmental & mixed religious buildings, the new bazaar & the Toptani square on the ruins of Tirana castle.
The entrance to Bunk Art 2 Museum will satisfy your curiosity to learn more about the communist period.
Dinner in Tirana in a local restaurant.
Tirana – Shkodra 2 hrs – Kruja 1 hr – Tirana – 1 hr
After breakfast we start toward Shkodra; with the most important town of north Albania and the Illyrian capital, in the 3rd century BC.
Enjoy the view of the city from the hill top, where a mysterious structure, surrounded in legends and mysticism is located, the Castle of Rozafa,
A walk in the old town. A visit of Marubi Museum, the first museum of Photography in Albania, showing old photos of the city of Shkodra, taken through the years from the famous local photographer Marubi.
Optional – visit a local factory that produces Venetian masks. Here each mask is carefully crafted by hand & most of them have been used in many Hollywood movies!
Lunch in a local restaurant, with traditional menu.
On the way back we will visit Kruja, the historical city which lays on a panoramic view. 600 m above sea level, with a combination of nature, history, archeology, traditional food & lifestyle, Kruja is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Albania. Notable for its stony streets and traditional buildings, invites you to take a walk on history. 1st the Castle, the citadel of the National hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg. Than the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja build in 1764.
Next, get closer to Albanian traditions & lifestyle, by visiting the bazaar. It is a one street shops, with wooden buildings and a mixture of cafés, small souvenir & antique shops.
Dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Tirane – Ardenice 1 hr – Apolloni 1 hr – Vlore 1 hr Apollonia, one of the most well-known archeological sites in the country & a national archaeological park as well. Along the way, will stop to visit the Monastery of Ardenica. Here we can admire the fantastic interiors of the 18th century Church of St Mary together with the frescoes of the Zografi brothers that can be seen on display upstairs. Arriving in Apollonia we can stop for lunch in a local restaurant, before starting the guided tour. There will visit the ruins, including the Odeon & see some monuments like the Encircling Wall, the Bouleterion, the Mosaics House & the Nymphaioum. Afternoon will sign the arrival in the coastal city of Vlora. Overnight in Vlora.
Albanian Riviera – Vlore – Llogara National Park – Dhermi & Himare – Sarande
After breakfast we depart for the coastal city Saranda.
Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian coast. Breathtaking views await us at the Llogara pass – 1000 m above sea level. A short stop in Llogara National Park to enjoy the view, photo shooting from above & degustation of a special local product – Yogurt with honey & nuts.
On the way to Saranda, will have the chance to go through the small villages of Dhermi, Vuno, the city of Himara, Borsh & Lukove.
Arriving in Saranda, we can take a break for lunch.
After lunch, will visit the ancient city of Butrint, an UNESCO world heritage site.
The city was built by the Iliri in the 8th century BC. and was used as a transit station between Epirus (which were within the borders of today’s Albania) and the Italian territories to the south. Butrint was colonized by many, even by the Romans under Julius Caesar in 44 BC. & later occupied by the Byzantines, the Venetians & the Ottomans. These layers of civilization were rediscovered by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Ugolini in the 1920s, who unearthed an amphitheater dating back to the 4th century BC.
Dinner at the Lekursi Castle, located on the top of the hill, overlooking the city of Saranda!
Next, Gjirokastra, another UNESCO site & museum town with beautiful and very distinct architecture.
Overnight in Gjirokastra.
Sarande – Gjirokaster Will have a full day to visit the Unesco town of Gjirokastra. The tour includes: The castle of Argjiro, offerring a spectacular view of the city from above. The Ethnographic museum, which is the birth house of the ex-dictator Enver Hoxha. The stony narrow streets of the old bazaar. While visiting Gjirokastra, we can organize a special cooking class. An authentic Albanian meal, prepared under the guidance of one of the oldest chefs of the city, will make you understand the origins of the Balkan cuisine. Lunch & Dinner with traditional food in one of the local restaurants. Overnight in Gjirokaster.
Gjirokaster – Antiquity and wines of Berat 3 hrs
Start of the tour will head us towards another UNESCO town – Berat, the pride of Albanian antiquity and architecture.
Berat forms a wonderful combination of costumes and traditions. The first thing that impresses the visitors is the architecture of the old houses. Large windows that overlook the town, sitting one on top of the other, giving them the name, “The city of the 1000 windows”.
1st stop: The Citadel. Overlooking the river and the modern city as well as the old Christian quarter across the river, the citadel can be reached by a steep road. One curiosity: it is still inhabited.
Once inside the citadel, we can visit The Iconographic museum of Onufri. The paintings of this famous Albanian painter date from the 16 the century.
After seing parts of the history, it’s about time to also taste it with your fingers. Traditional lunch in a local restaurant inside the castle.
In the afternoon, optional, we can visit a local family in Berat for a coffe and homemade desserts.
Dinner & overnight in Berat.
Berat – Wine Tasting – Durres 1 hr – Tirane 30 min This morning we continue with the visits of Berat (if any is left from the previous day). While leaving this UNESCO town and driving towards Tirane, we can make a stop in a local winery for visiting of the vineyards and to enjoy some wine tasting and snacks. Further we will continue towards the coastal city of Durres. Once there we can enjoy a city short walk and lunch by the seaside. Here we can visit the ancient roman amphitheater, which is the second biggest amphitheater in the region. In the late afternoon return to Tirane, Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Tirane – Cable Car Trip to Dajti Mountain – Airport (30 min) Free time in the city, transfer to the airport for the return flight. **If the return flight is in the late evening hours, during this day we can visit the Dajti Mountain by cable car, or enjoy lunch in a local agree-tourism site in the village, before going to the airport.