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Korca, Berat, Gjirokaster and other Folk Cities Tour

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From$60$50
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Tour Details

Korca, Permet,Gjirokastra, Berat and other folklor cities are the main destinations on this trip. You will have the opportunity to visit them and be welcomed from the most traditional cities. We will get a taste from the delicious dishes made by locals. Don’t miss it!

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Overview

Day 1: Tirana

The roundtrip will start with a traditional welcome dinner in one of the traditional restaurants in Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.

 

Day 2: Tirana – Elbasan – Pogradec –Korca

  • Today the tour continues from Tirana to Elbasan, the old Roman town of Scampis, one of the towns along the Via Egnatia connecting Rome through the Via Apia with Constantinople, where the ethnographical museum located in a traditional house will be visited. Continue to Pogradec at the shore of Lake Ohrid, where we will visit the Drilon natural oasis and the Villa of the ex-Albanian dictator. Have lunch in a family run restaurant with home cooking (optional).
  •  After a walk around Drilon with lush vegetation we will depart for Korca, one of the most important towns of South East Albania, where the first school in Albania was founded and is now a museum of Education. The Han I Elbasanit is one of the remaining inns from the Ottoman period. Traditional dinner with famous Korca towns serenades music at traditional restaurants. Overnight in Korca.

 

Day 3: Korca –Voskopoja – Korca

  • Next day we will be visiting Voskopoja which once was a major city with a monastery and more than 26 churches, now a rural place. The region is one of the centres of the Vlach or Aruman people, with their own language and traditions. A family lunch in Voskopoja (optional) and a visit to one of the better-preserved churches. 
  • Return to Korca where dinner is in the traditional restaurant accompanied by a Saze playing and singing group from Korça. Saze is a clarinet type instrument widespread in Albania but especially in the south eastern part. Overnight in Korca.

 

 

Day 4: Korca – Erseka – Leskovik – Permet

  • From Korca a long trip takes us to Permet along the beautiful plain of Korca, valleys of Erseke and forests of Leskovik. The spectacular Vjosa canyons accompany us from Leskovik to Permet, which is the “Mecca” of Albanian Tosk music with many famous singers and musicians like Laver Bariu, the Lela family, Eda Zari a famous jazz singer who has successfully combined the music of this town with jazz, becoming famous especially in Germany but with successful performances in New York, Chicago. Lunch is optional at a restaurant in Leskovik.
  •  Dinner in Permet will be obviously a musical affair with performances from a local music group. Overnight in Permet.

 

 

Day 5: Permet – Leusa Church – Permet

  • On the program today is a short walk of 20-30 minutes in one of the villages of Permet housing a wonderful church, St Mary Church, with incredible frescoes. Leusa is a traditional village made of stone where we will visit the church and a local family where we will experience an authentic way of life.
  •  In the afternoon in Permet we will meet the folkloric group of the town for a talk and again will be able to enjoy the traditions of the talented musicians of this town very rich in folklore while having dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Permet.

 

Day 6: Permet – Kelcyre – Gjirokastra (UNESCO)

  • Today’s travel takes us through the breathtaking Kelcyra gorge, to the town of Gjirokastra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its attractive and particular architectural features. It is also the place where Albania’s national Folkloric Festival from within the territory of the country but also from outside where ethnic Albanian dwellings exist, takes place once every 5 years.
  •  The town is built on the slope of a hill and is known for its characteristic and narrow cobblestone streets. The dwelling houses have the form of medieval towers consisting of a building ensemble with characteristic architecture. The town was besieged and captured by the Ottomans in the 15th century, but unlike many other towns in Albania it flourished under its new rulers. 
  • The castle stands like a balcony over the city and it enables the visitors to enjoy a very powerful architectural panorama. Traditional dinner will be accompanied by a polyphonic Group from Gjirokastra. The phenomenon of Albanian folk iso-polyphony has been proclaimed by UNESCO a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity ”. Overnight in Gjirokastra.

 

Day 7: Gjirokastra – Berat (UNESCO)

  • Depart to Berat a town more than 2400 years old, with a mixture of cultural influences and one of the most attractive towns in Albania. Berat is situated at the foot of Tomorri Mountain and on the shores of River Osum. It is famous for its white-washed houses with their many windows which, seem to have been built on top of each other, that give it the nickname “town of a thousand windows”. Because of these the town retains a unique style of architecture, with narrow and stone paved streets. 
  • The castle is the only one in Albania which has houses and inhabitants within its walls, going about their daily life in exactly the same place their predecessors did for centuries. Visit the Fortress, Onufri Museum and some small old churches remaining in the castle out of 40 it had in the past. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th century who painted many church icons in Albania and Greece and is famous for its red color named after him. 
  • After visits you are left free to sample the delicious cuisine of this town. In the downtown we visit the Leaden Mosque, the King’s Mosque, the Bachelor’s Mosque and the Alveti Tekke. We will also pay a visit at a local house. Dinner is a traditional feast at Mangalemi with local folk musicians providing the atmosphere. Overnight in Berat one of the traditional houses turned into hotels.

 

Day 8: Berat – Kruja – Tirana

  • After breakfast the group will drive to Kruja, the center of Albanian resistance against the Turks under our national hero Scanderbeg. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Protector of Christianity” given by the Pope. We will visit one of the most beautiful ethnographic museums of Albania, packed with lots of folk dresses, utensils, furniture etcetera. 
  • After the visit participants can shop in the nearby old Turkish bazaar, where folk dresses, antiques, books and souvenirs of traditional handicrafts can be acquired. Have traditional lunch in Kruja Castle where several good traditional restaurants are located (optional). In the afternoon return to Tirana for a guided tour of the capital. Have dinner in a local restaurant where different Albanian chefs come to showcase their skills. Overnight in Tirana.

 

Day 9: Tirana – Airport

  • After breakfast, relax until the time of transfer to the airport where you will surely feel sad to depart from such an energizing and friendly place and yet will feel accomplished having learned some of the most ancient traditional dances in Europe.
    *Seminar Extension (optional) For those who find the experience was not quite enough we have even more in store. The Seminars to learn Albanian Folk Dances can be extended for 2 more days in Tirana. You will continue to perfect your dancing skills with our two maestros of the National Ensemble of Folk. Ask our staff for the cost of this learning extension.

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