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4 Day Tour Of Durres, Berat, Gjirokaster & Apollonia
  • Tour Category

    Private Tour

  • Tour Types

    Nature, Culture, History

  • Duration

    4 Days

  • Language

    English

  • Activity Level

    Easy

Description

Walk into the history and culture of South Albania with a tour of the cities including Durres, Berat, Gjirokaster and Apollonia. In this four day tour, grab the opportunity to explore the Roman Amphitheater, Ancient city of Butrint, and the King Mosque. Get a chance to admire the ancient architecture of Porto Palermo Castle, built by Ali Pasha, and enjoy sailing on the calm waters of the Ionian Sea.

Highlights
  • Be amazed by the second-largest Roman amphitheatre in the world
  • Explore the Blue Eye ("Syri i kaltër") water spring
  • Discover the Ionian coastline 
  • Day 1: Explore the Ancient Durres expand_more
    • Start in the morning around 8:30; pick up from the hotel by the driver.

    • Stop in Durrës, home to the biggest seaport in the country. It is located 34 km away from Tirana, the most ancient city in Albania, with almost 3,000 years of history. 

    • Visit Roman Amphitheater, Walk inside the Italian Part of Town, a long road on both sides with Italian Architecture from 1930 when King Zog was in power.

    • Explore Archeological Museum, the biggest one in Albania. The Archaeological Museum of Durres is a great place to observe the ancient culture of Durres. Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine artifacts give a sense of how much foreign influence Durres had received in each period.

    • Be startled at the magnificence of Berat Castle, built during 4thcentury BC. The biggest in Albania and Balkan.

    • Get amazed by the Old Churches painted with frescoes. Visit the iconography museum, located in the Castle of Berat, with lunch in the adjoint restaurant.

    • Check-in hotel for a short rest, and later explore another part of the town.

    • Visit the King Mosque, the oldest in Berat. Build-in 1490 by the Sultan.

    • Take a stroll of Halveti Teqe, located in the same yard as King Mosque and is one of Albania's most interesting religious monuments. Its ceiling is decorated with 24-carat gold, and the walls are painted with a great technique.

    • Discover the stories of the Ethnographic Museum, located in old Berat. The Museum's building is a huge architectural monument, an old typical house and one of the Biggest in Albania.

    • Take a stroll in the famous Promenade of Berat, referred by local people as Xhiro. Since the XVI century, the place has been used by rich people to show off their wealth. Several cafes, shops, and boutiques exist here.

  • Day 2: Introduction to the Albanian History expand_more
    • Pick up at the hotel early morning for a short drive from Berat to the ancient town of Apollonia.

    • Enjoy the fascinating landscape of the archaeological park, which has been preserved in an exceptionally intact condition, comprises a successful combination between the beauty of monuments and nature, attractive through its long history, in an atmosphere of relaxation and meditation.

    • Discover the city that flourished during the 4thcentury AD as an important economic and trade center.  This archaeological park or site contains a Museum of Archaeology situated at the old Monastery of Saint Mary.

    • Visit the museum with a professional tour guide of Apollonia to know more about its history.

    • Start driving to Gjirokaster. The main characteristic of Gjirokaster is the intensive use of stone in building its houses, which look like small fortresses, and the streets of cobblestone, which all lead to the Bazaar. The place is famous for being the birthplace of Communist Dictator Enver Hoxha and Ismail Kadare, the first international Booker prize winner.

    • Lunch in a traditional restaurant. The town of Gjirokaster is also known for its culinary art; enjoy special dishes like pasha qofte, shapkat, and oshaf with dried figs (a dessert made with sheep's milk, sugar, and dried figs).

    • Check-in at the hotel for a short break or continue with the tour.

    • Stroll through the Gjirokastra Bazaar.

    • Visit Zekati House, one of the most magnificent and characteristic buildings of Gjirokaster. Built in 1811-1812, it is a magnificent three-floor building and has two twin towers. A special feature of the house is the wooden carved ceilings and the characteristic guest room. From the wooden balcony of the third floor, one can enjoy an impressive view of the city.

    • Get amazed by the Castle of Argjiro, the most important structure of Gjirokaster. The origin of the city starts with it, built-in IV century AD. The city was named Argyrokastro in 1336.

    • Dinner, and free time to explore the town during the night. Walking on cobbled paths during the night is spectacular.

  • Day 3: Get startled at the beauty of the Blue Eye spring expand_more
    • Start early in the morning for a short drive from Gjirokaster to Sarande. 

    • Make a short stop to Blue Eye ("Syri I kaltër") water spring. The clear blue water of the river bubbles forth from a stunning, more than the fifty-meter deep pool. Divers have descended to fifty meters, but it is still unclear what the actual depth of the karst hole is.

    • Take a small tour of the immediate area (180 ha) with a nature reserve and is characterized by oak and sycamore trees.

    • Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the nearby cafes, enjoying the breathtaking view.

    • Visit the ancient city of Butrint, located in the heart of National Park. Today, it is an amalgam of monuments representing over two thousand years, from the Hellenistic temple buildings of the 4th century B.C. to the Ottoman defences created in the early 19th century.

    • According to classical mythology, Buthrotum was founded by exiles fleeing the fall of Troy. On arrival, Priam’s son Helenus sacrificed an ox, which struggled ashore wounded, and died on the beach. Taking this as a good omen, the place was named Buthrotum, meaning “wounded ox”.

    • Lunch in Ksamil, the pearl of Southern Albania Ksamil Beach. It was included in the Guardian's list of 20 best beaches.

    • Check-in at the hotel.

    • Visit Saranda Promenade, with the perfect view of the Ionian Sea and lots of artisans selling their crafts and souvenirs.

    • Visit Lekursi Castle. This former castle is now a restaurant, but people like coming here for the superb view of Saranda and Butrint lagoon, especially at sunset.

  • Day 4: Travelling back through Albanian Coast expand_more
    • Start in the early morning and prepare for The Ionian coastline. This is the last day, so that it will be long but amazing. This area is known for fascinating beaches with deep and immaculate waters.

    • Discover some of the most exotic and interesting coasts south of Albania like Dhërmi, Jal, Himara, Qeparo, and Borsh. 

    • Go up to the Llogara Pass, which is 1,057 meters above sea level; the breathtaking coast can be seen as if from the vantage point of an airplane.

    • Stop in several places to take photos or coffee break.

    • Enjoy swimming in the crystal waters of the coast. (Optional)

    • Visit Porto Palermo Castle, built by Ali Pasha. It is famous for the best Albanians architecture and a perfect view of the Ionian Vlora –The biggest city in Southern Albania, famous for the history of independence. In 1912 Albanian Patriots declare the independence of the country from a balcony of a 2-storey villa.

    Lunch in Vlora and overnight Tirana.

What's Included
  • Breakfast and dinner

  • Tickets for museums and all the attractions

  • Transport

  • Accommodation

  • Entrance fees

  • Vat tax

  • City tax

  • English-speaking Albanian tour guide

What's Excluded
  • Lunch

  • Drinks

Know before you go
  • If you have your own transport, prices will be lower.

Meeting Point

Durrës, Albania

Cancellation Policy

For cancellations upto 2 days before the tour -

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

    Wow, what a lovely surprise. 

    Having as your guide, someone that’s grew up in the castle walls is not an everyday experience. I experienced local food and had a brief but great introduction to this unknown part of the world (to me at least).

Starting From
USD EUR USD
USD 299.00 / adult

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