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Discover Albanian Highlights
  • Tour Category

    Private Tour

  • Tour Types

    Culture, Sightseeing, Eco Tourism

  • Duration

    7 Days

  • Activity Level

    Easy

  • Language

    English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

Description

Closed to outsiders for much of the 20th century, Albania has long been Mediterranean Europe’s enigma. Until fairly recently its rumpled mountains, fortress towns and sparkling beaches were merely a rumor on most travel maps but with the end of a particularly brutal strain of communism in 1991, Albania tentatively swung open its gates. The first curious tourists to arrive discovered a land where ancient codes of conduct still held sway and where the wind whistled through the shattered remnants of half-forgotten ancient Greek and Roman sites. A quarter of a century after throwing off the shackles of communism, Albania’s stunning mountain scenery, crumbling castles, boisterous capital and dreamy beaches rivaling any in the Mediterranean continue to enchant. But hurry here, because as word gets out about what Albania is hiding, the still-tiny trickle of tourists threatens to become a flood.

Highlights
  • Gjirokaster is a little Ottoman town which turned out to be breathtakingly unique not only in Albania but in the whole Europe.
  • Berat, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, comprises a unique style of architecture with influences from several civilizations.
  • Butrint is an archaeological site that provides valuable evidence of ancient.
  • Turquoise seas, mountain backdrops and sparkling shores, the Albanian Riviera is simply gorgeous.
  • Arrival in Albania – Tirana (17 km) expand_more
    • Pick up at Tirana airport and transfer to Hotel. Time permitting we will visit the National Historical Museum in Tirana offering an in-depth introduction to Albanian history from prehistoric times to the present day.

    • Traditional Albanian restaurant suggestions for dinner will be given.

    • Overnight in Tirana.

  • Tirana – Shkodra – Kruja – Tirana (230 km) expand_more
    • After breakfast, we drive to Shkodra the most crucial town of north Albania and the Illyrian capital, in the 3rd century BC. Visit Rozafa Castle from where spectacular views all around can be admired. Experience the supremacy the Illyrians would have felt over their enemies standing in such an imposing castle.

    • Take a walk in the newly renovated pedestrian area of Italian and Austrian architecture, testimony to this town historic links with both these countries.

    • Then we will visit the famous Viennese mask factory which is located near the city of Shkodra. The Venetian masks made in Shkodra are all crafted by hand. They combine traditional techniques with new contemporary decoration. The masks have intricate details, bright colours, fancy feathers, gold leaf, and crystals that make them unique pieces of art. The masks are exported all over the world. Proceed 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 “Champion of Christ” given by the Pope of the time.

    • We visit the Skanderbeg Museum, a vibrant Ethnographic Museum and the Old Bazaar where the best handmade souvenirs can be purchased.

    • Return and overnight in Tirana.

  • Tirana – Ardenica Monastery – Apollonia – Vlora (160 km) expand_more
    • Depart to Vlora where Albanian Independence was proclaimed.

    • On the way we stop at the Monastery of Ardenica, supposed to have been built in the middle ages, as argued by a stone in entrance dating back to 1417. In fact, it is said that Scanderbeg was married at the small chapel of Ardenica. Today inside the church you can admire icon paintings of 1743-1745, by Albanian artists such as Konstandin and Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstandin Shpataraku.

    • Proceed to the ancient city of Apollonia situated on the famous Via Egnatia – one of the most important cities in Roman times. Due to its fame and importance, it was known as Apollonia Prima out of 16 ancient cities built to honour Apollo. Caesar chose to send his nephew Augustus Octavian to study oratory in Apollonia revealing the importance of this ancient city.

    • Afterwards, we continue to Vlora where we visit the Independence Museum, situated in the original house where the first independent Albanian Government had its offices.

    • Afternoon and evening at leisure.

    • Overnight in Vlora.

  • Vlora – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda (160 km) expand_more
    • After an early breakfast, we depart for Saranda. Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea. Breathtaking sceneries await us at the Llogara pass – 1000 m above sea level.

    • We continue to Saranda, make a short stop at the fortress of Ali Pasha, a fortification used to control the sea trade routes. Then we continue past Saranda, to the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO world heritage site and the most important archaeological discovery in Albania. Legend associates this city with Trojan settlers who fled Troy under the leadership of Aeneas.

    • In fact, the city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of several eras of civilization. Apart from the beautiful antique ruins, it has the added benefit of being situated in a beautiful peninsula, rich in flora and fauna.

    • After the visits, we return to Saranda for overnight.

  • Saranda – Gjirokastra (UNESCO) – Berat (UNESCO) (215 km) expand_more
    • After breakfast, we drive to Berat.

    • \On our way lays Gjirokastra, a UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinctive architecture.

    • Visit the medieval Castle which used to be a political prison during the communist dictatorship and the Ethnographic Museum, which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in. We suggest the group should stop for lunch close to Tepelena at a traditional restaurant (optional) among beautiful scenery. In Berat, we check-in at the hotel and the group is then left at leisure to explore Berat.

    • Overnight in Berat.

  • Berat (UNESCO) – Durres – Tirana (126 km) expand_more
    • After breakfast, we visit the Castle and the Onufri Museum. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries. The castle used to have over 40 churches of which seven remains, including one turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was an Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece. After this exciting experience, we depart for Durres one of the oldest (founded in 627 B.C.) where we have lunch by the sea (optional).

    • After lunch, we take a sightseeing tour of the Amphitheater situated in the middle of the modern city in an inhabited area, and the Archaeological museum rich in artefacts found in the city and its suburbs.

    • After the visits in Durres, return to Tirana for overnight.

  • Tirana – Mother Teresa Airport (17 km) expand_more
    • After breakfast, we drive to the Airport. 

    • End of our Service.

What's Included
  • Accommodation in good 3* standard hotels with breakfast.
  • Transportation with comfortable a/c vehicle.
  • English, French, German, Italian, Spanish speaking tour guide/driver.
  • All taxes.
What's Excluded
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Entrance Fees
Meeting Point

Airport Road, Tirana, Albania

Cancellation Policy

For cancellations upto 2 days before the tour -

Refund of 80% of the tour price.
Tour Reviews
  • Chris

    I was organising a trip on my own to Albania and wanted a reliable, friendly and value for money guide. Best Guides were recommended on TourHQ and i can only say good things. From beginning to end Adam was extremely helpful in answering all questions. He was excellent in knowledge and very helpful and friendly. If you want a reliable, excellent tour guide and company this is the one to use.

  • Margareth

    We went to visit Albania with our tour guide "Adam Picaku". He made the experience extra special. He loves photography and helped us take awesome photos at the right spots. He was funny and could tell us Albanian history in a fun, entertaining story-telling way. It's obvious he has a true passion on what he does, and not simply just as a job. He took care of us very well throughout the day. In such a short time, we felt like we could have been old friends. He's definitely the BEST tour guide we've ever had on any tours.

  • Michael

    Adam is welcoming, funny and "in the know" of how tourism works in many of the popular historical sites in Albania and the Balkans. He made us feel comfortable and advised us when we were getting gypped on certain goods or offers. He negotiated the price of our tour, offered his wealth of knowledge and made the Albania tour very eventful.

  • Brittany

    Adam is very knowledgeable and helpful during this tour and it's very well organized. Phenomenal restaurants and shops await you! Can't wait to do this again on our next trip to check out a different neighbourhood. Absolutely delicious food and something for everyone to savour.

    Absolutely recommended :)

  • Ulrike

    The service we received was outstanding. Easy to arrange,  and the guide we had for 5 days, Adam Picaku, was fantastic - very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Absolutely recommended.

  • Hidero

    Adam is an amazing, incredibly gifted tour guide. He led our group of 26 experienced visitors to Albania on an extraordinary 10-day adventure. Our group wanted to see Albania in a different way, and Adam made it the best trip ever. He is unbelievably knowledgeable, of the history, geography, economy, and current situation in Albania and he shared his knowledge generously. He is such a delightful person -- so warm and personable and engaging...all of us looked forward to getting on the bus every day to see what adventures Adam would have for us. He was flexible, allowing more time when it was clear that the group needed it, and adjusting along the way as needed. I can't praise Adam too highly...if you have a trip to Albania in mind, be sure to book Adam now. He's the best.

  • Elisabeth

    My husband and I selected this tour and were very happy with everything about it. Our guide Adam spoke excellent English and our driver was polite and helpful. Adam always managed to steer us away from the crowds and was extremely knowledgable about the history of Albania and Balkans in general. We would highly recommend this tour company and Adam.

  • Gregor

    We were lucky enough to have Adam as our guide for 8 days in Albania. He was an absolute joy. He made history come alive and his presentation was so lively and exciting. His passion for his work comes through with everything he does. Couldn't recommend anyone more highly! We all missed him and look forward to returning to Albania! He is just enchanting!!!!

Starting From

From

EUR EUR---- 1950.00
EUR 1950.00 / adult

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