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Albania Highlights
  • Tour Category

    Private Tour

  • Tour Types

    Nature, Culture, History

  • 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.
  • Mother Teresa Airport - Tirana (17 KM) expand_more
    • Get picked up at Tirana airport and transfer to Hotel.

    • Time permitting, 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
    • Drive to Shkodra the most important 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.

    • See 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, 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, 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, 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.

    • 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
    • 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, 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
    • 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.

    • Depart for Durres one of the oldest (founded in 627 B.C.) where we have lunch by the sea (optional).

    • 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, 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
  • Alan

    We took a personalised 6 day tour, starting in Budva, Montenegro, and finishing in Tirana.An excellent round Albania itinerary was suggested by Albania Express and this proved to be fascinating and most enjoyable.The overall success of the trip was down to our guide/ driver Adam who was quite outstanding. A really good and careful driver, in a comfortable Range rover, who has extensive knowledge and insights into history, politics and personal anecdotes. Always trying to make our trip a success. His knowledge of back roads and routes not used by tourists added to the interest.His experience and authority proved useful on at least two occasions when he rearranged our prebooked hotels after inspecting them, and immediately found much better accommodation for us.The one downside of Albania Express therefore is that they clearly did not suggest the best possible accommodation within the price range. Hotels in Albania are very cheap.

  • Cinzia

    Julian accompanied us to do the Tirana tour.

    He was very kind, helpful and competent.

    To recommend

  • Margaret

    This trip went beyond my expectations in every aspect. Albania Express Travel knows what they're doing and provides the most thoughtful and best experience. I've done many organized trips over the world with other companies, and this was one of the best I've taken. The company and guides create a trip that feels personal (not touristy at all) of the most amazing spots of Albania, while choosing exceptional and beautiful  hotels & places to stay. This was exactly what I was hoping for (even better). This trip has one activity after the next, so if you enjoy being active, you will love this trip. Thank you, Albania Express Travel!”

  • 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.

  • Gertraud

    We were on the Albania Express Travel touring through Albania. We searched and found the company “Albania Express Travel”. We booked  and were very delighted with our choice. We beat the major tour buses to all the popular destinations and did not wait in line once. And we toured where we wanted to tour. We were dropped off at the entrance to every tourist attraction we wanting to tour. We did not walk all over Albania, we were chauffeured by very nice driver in very nice vehicle. I would definitely use this company again if were went back to Albania! I give this company 10 out of 10!

Starting From

From

EUR EUR---- 1970.00
EUR 1970.00 / adult

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