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Albania Explorer Tour via Illyria Route from Tirana

1 Week

Located away in a little visited corner of Europe lies Albania, a charming and delightful country that few people know much about.

Highlights

Byzantine fortress

The Clock Tower

Castle of Berat

Onufri museum

Mosque of Berat 

Old Bridge of Gorica

Onufri Museum

Skanderbeg Museum

Ethnographical Museum

Description

Visit the medieval city of Kruja and see the castle and the impressive Skanderbeg Museum, Ethnographical Museum and enjoy shopping in Old Bazaar. Continue to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit its castle of Berat with Onufri museum and other churches inside; Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. We continue to Permet know for its production of traditional raki and wine. Visit one of the oldest schools teaching the Albanian language established Albania in 1887. The first girls' school in the country was established in Korca in 1891. 

Also, take a tour of Tirana and see the Byzantine fortress, the Clock Tower (built on 1822), the National Museum (the giant mosaic on the front represent the Albanian history development, and the stages of this development are presented on respective pavilions), National Art Gallery, Archeological Museum (there are presented many archaeological discoveries since the Stone Age up to the Medieval), the National Heroes Cemetery, Grand Park and government buildings.

Itinerary
  • Day 1: Travel to Tirana – Kruje – Lezhe – Shkoder expand_more

    After breakfast, we depart to Kruje. We will visit the medieval city of Kruja and see the castle and the impressive Skanderbeg Museum, Ethnographical Museum and Old Bazaar, along with mosques of the ottomans' time. 

    Then, the next stop will be in Lezha city. In the ancient period, it was called Lissus. Visit the Mausoleum of Skanderbeg (Albanian National Hero). 

    Take a lunch break. Afterwards, we will continue to Shkodra, a nice landscape with a highland (Albanian Alps on the north) are a full contrast. City tour of Shkodra, Old Bazaar, Centrum, Cathedral and Mosque. Visit the Castle of Rozafa and the museum inside it, and we enjoy wonderful views of mountains, Shkodra’s lake, Drini, Buna and Kir rivers with the valleys around from the top of Rozafa castle, and “Ura e Mesit'' over Kir River. 

    Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Shkoder, hotel Tradita 3*, or similar. (B)

  • Day 2: Explore Durres – Berat (UNESCO)expand_more

    After breakfast, we depart to Durres. It is Albania's second-largest city. Durres is one of the oldest towns in the country. Legend says that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his own name and named the port area after his grandson, Dyrrah. It was for centuries the largest port on the Adriatic and the start of the Via Egnatia to Constantinople.

    We visit the Roman amphitheatre and the Archaeological Museum, situated near the sea and rich in objects excavated in Durres. Continue to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit its castle of Berat with Onufri museum and other churches inside; Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th. Many of his wonderfully painted icons still remain in the museum while others can be found in churches in Albania and Greece where he worked. 

    Dinner at a traditional restaurant (Mangalemi). 

    Overnight in Berat, Hotel Mangalemi 3*, or similar. (B)

  • Day 3: Sightsee Ardenica Monastery – Apollonia – Vloreexpand_more

    After breakfast, we will continue to Ardenica Monastery. The monastery of Ardenica is known as a place where our National Gjergj Kastriori Skanderbeg got married with princess Andronika Arianiti. It is a Byzantine structure occupying a surface area of about 2,500 m². This monument consists of the Saint Mary Church, the Saint Triad chapel, the konake, the oil mill, the oven and the stall. 

    We continue the tour to Apollonia, which was founded in 588 BC and taken by Aristotle as a model in his analysis of oligarchy, because of its distinct and separate Illyrian and Greek communities. It was a vital stronghold in Caesar's civil war with Pompey and also important in early Christian history with its bishop attending the councils of Ephesus and Chlalkis in 431 and 451 AD. We will visit its museum, Shen Meri Monastery and Church. 

    Then, depart to the coastal city of Vlora. Vlora is the city where Albanian independence from Ottomans was proclaimed on November 28th, 1912. Visit the Museum of Independence. 

    Dinner and overnight, Hotel Partner 4*, or similar. (B)

  • Day 4: Visit Llogara National Park – Himare – Saranda – Butrint (UNESCO)expand_more

    After breakfast, we will continue to South of Albania, by making the first stop to Llogara National Park and enjoying the spectacular views of mountains and the Albanian Riviera. Stopover in seaside villages of Palase, Dhermi, Himara (visit to its 4rth Cent BC castle and Byzantine Church inside), Borsh, and Ali Pashe Tepelena Castle. Arrival to Sarande. 

    We visit ruins of Butrint antic city, Albania's most important archaeological site, part of UNESCO heritage list since. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but no evidence of this has yet been found. Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which we can still visit. The rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history, and its 6th century BC fortification evokes the city's military power and symbolizes the rich culture of the once-thriving ancient city. 

    Explore the amphitheatre, Venetian tower, Mosaic, Lion gate, etc. We will return to the accommodation at the hotel. 

    Dinner at the Lekuresi Fortress in Saranda with great views of the bay of Saranda and the Island of Corfu. 

    Return to hotel and overnight in Saranda (Brilliant Hotel 4*, or similar). (B)

  • Day 5: Finiq – Antigone - Gjirokaster (UNESCO)expand_more

    In the morning, we continue to Gjirokaster. On the way to get there, it will be a visit to Finiq Ancient city ruins. During antiquity, the territory surrounding the settlement belonged to Chaonia, part of the Epirus kingdom. The site is rich in findings from the Classical to the Byzantine period. Ancient sources mentioned the wealth of the city, especially during the Hellenistic period, between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, when Finiq was a prominent city in the Epirote League.  

    Then continue to “Blue Eye '' National Park, and a coffee break.  

    Before Gjirokaster, we visit Antigone ancient city ruins. Antigoneia was a very short-lived city, lasting for approximately 150 years.  It was founded by one of the most famous names of the ancient world, King Pyrrhus of Epirus (319-272 BC), from whom the phrase “a Pyrrhic victory” derives.  At the outset of the 3rd-century BC, Pyrrhus was forced to go and fight in Egypt. His abilities impressed Berenice, the wife of King Ptolemy of Egypt, who decided to offer him her daughter, Antigone, in marriage. In token of his gratitude to his mother-in-law and his first wife, Pyrrhus decided to build Antigoneia.  

    Arrive in Gjirokaster, part of (UNESCO) heritage since 2005. See the Castle, Weapons Museum and finally, arrive at your accommodation in Hotel 3*, or similar. (B)

  • Day 6: Visit Tepelena - Voskopoje – Korceexpand_more

    We depart to Tepelene, and we stop at the castle of Tepelene. Ali Pasha built Tepelena Castle at the end of the 18th century CE in the town of Tepelena. It was the second most important castle during his reign, after that in Ioannina. 

    We continue to Permet know for its production of traditional raki and wine. 

    Have lunch. As we travel toward Korca, we enjoy the nice views of nature around. 

    Arrive in Korca. Visit one of the oldest schools teaching the Albanian language established Albania in 1887. The first girls' school in the country was established in Korca in 1891. 

    Afterwards, travel to Voskopoje and visit its 18th-century churches and monasteries. Voskopojë is a small mountain village, and along with a few other local settlements is considered a holy place by local Orthodox Christians. It was one of the original homelands of the Aromanian diaspora. 

    Return to Korca and overnight. (Hotel Regency 3*, or similar). (B)

  • Day 7: Visit Elbasan - Tiranaexpand_more

    Depart to Pogradec and enjoy the beauty of Ohrid Lake. We continue to Elbasan, which was a very important city in the ancient road “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Rome-Naples-Bari-Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. 

    Stop for a city tour to Elbasan Castle (dating back to 4rth Century BC), The Clock, The ethnographic Museum, Church, and The Old Mosque. 

    We continue to Tirana via new road and tunnel.

    Visit the Skanderbeg Square, Mosque of Et’hem Bey (built on 1824), the Clock Tower (built on 1822), the National Museum (the huge mosaic on the front represent the Albanian history development, and the stages of this development are presented on respective pavilions), National Art Gallery, Archeological Museum (there are presented many archaeological discoveries since the Stone Age up to the Medieval), the National Heroes Cemetery, Grand Park and government buildings). 

    Drive back to Tirana for our final night where you will enjoy a farewell dinner with traditional food. 

    Overnight Hotel Kruja or similar.

What's Included

Hotel: Accommodation 3* hotels on double occupancy. The twin-share basis for 7 overnights as per program. For child 2 - 11-year old sharing a room with 2 adults. (Hotel information is confirmed 24 hours prior departure.)

Transportation: Air Conditioned modern van/minibus/bus and other transportation listed in the itinerary.

Breakfast: Daily breakfast. All other meals not listed are at your expense.

Guide: English-speaking tour leader.

What's Excluded

Admission/Entry Fees:

Entry fees prices are subject to change without prior notice.

If you would like to join the optional activities, please pay the fee in cash to the tour guide. The tour guide will arrange the tickets for the group.

Travel insurance, visa fees

Any charges for additional itinerary are not listed in the itinerary.

A mandatory service fee for tour guide/bus driver (min. 5 Euro /day per person).

Excess baggage charges from Airlines

Personal expenses such as room service, telephone, laundry service charges

Losses or additional expenses: The Company will accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to the accident.

Lunch and Dinner charges (if applicable)

Everything not mentioned in “Inclusions.”   

Know before you go

POLICIES: 

Confirmation

Immediately after submitting your reservation, you will receive a receipt of booking by email. Please do not book any airline tickets until you receive the status of your booking.


Day 8: (Optional): Change to continue to successive tour(s): Yellow, Blue or Silver loops/circuits. 

PRICE:

€747/person in Double Occupancy rooms
€54 supplement per period (May,14 June, Sep)
€127 supplement per period (28 Jun-Jul-Aug)
€139 € single supplement
€199 Single supplement (May,14 June, Sep)
€227 Single supplement (28 Jun-Jul-Aug)  


Pricing Policy

  • Price listed is per person in double occupancy and is quoted based on a minimum number of participants. To operate the tour with only 2 participants, there is an extra charge of 70% and if only for 1 person then is an extra charge of 170%.
  • Currency: All prices are shown in Euro (EUR) except admission fees which are paid upon arrival.
  • Pre/post Accommodation (Same as Tour): Available on the day before (one night) or after the tour(one night). Hotel accommodation is not included on the last day of your tour. EUR 38 per person per night (twin/double share basis). €78 per night applies for Single Room.
  • Airport transfers (pick up / drop off): Available in Tirana Airport (TIA). €15 each way per person (minimum 2 people). 


Redemption

You will receive a confirmation voucher in 2-3 business days after you receive the e-ticket. Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination and departure details, is included in your confirmation voucher. When you reserve your attractions and services, you will be asked to print the confirmation voucher to present when you arrive at your destination. It is your proof of purchase.


TERMS & CONDITIONS 

The purchase of any travel services represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions set out herein. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand these Terms & Conditions before booking. Booking changes A fee may be charged for any revision or alteration made to a reservation after the booking is confirmed. Name changes or corrections may be treated as a cancellation and cancellation fees will apply. A change of tour date or tour itinerary may be treated as a cancellation, and normal cancellation fees will apply. Cancellations and Cancellation Fees  Regardless of the reason, cancellations result in costly charges from our travel and hotel providers covering penalties and fees incurred by cancelling confirmed and pending bookings. Therefore, cancellation penalties and or fees will apply. Time of cancellation will be determined when notice is received and confirmed by our office. Standard cancellation penalties per person are as follows:

Up to 31 days before departure - 15% of the total purchase amount.

15-30 days before departure - 30% of the total purchase amount.

7-14 days before departure - 60% of the total purchase amount.

Less than 7 days of departure or no show - 100% per person.

Unused features are non-refundable. No shows forfeit entire payment.

Dates are based on the local time in Albania.  

Those customers who asked for Visa Letter, the cancellation penalties after Visa Letter has been issued are as follows:

If without a visa reject letter, cancellation policies are as below:

Before departure 45-15 days, charge 35% of the tour fee.

Before departure over 45 days, charge €129 for the whole booking.

There is a 6% handling fee add-on to the above penalties.

If with a visa reject letter, we will follow Standard Cancellation Policies.  


Itinerary Variations 

We constantly strive to improve tour itineraries and features. If such improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary - we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. At certain peak periods, duplicate departures may operate, and sometimes in reverse order in which case hotels may vary from those stated on the itinerary pages. Tour Cancellation:  We reserve the right to cancel or re-schedule any tour departure following operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control. If cancellation is made any time before departure of the tour, AlbaniaExplorer.com' only liability will be to refund to the passenger the amount it has received for the tour booking. We will try to re-book the same or a similar tour. Please note that we are not liable for any cancellation penalties incurred on any other travel arrangements, including air tickets purchased separately from customers. Currency Fluctuations: All tour prices are current at the time of publication and are susceptible to currency fluctuations. We reserve the right to alter the tour price by changes in foreign exchange rates and changes in prices for services. The rate that you pay when you reserve your tour will protect you against future currency fluctuations; on the other hand, no price adjustment (refund) will be made based upon a change in tour prices. Remarks

The Company is not liable for any delay or expense.

  • The Company will accept no responsibility for losses or additional expense due to accident, delay, weather, strike or cause beyond its control.
  • Passengers must have a valid passport. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months from the arrival date. The Company will not be held responsible for any expenses if a passenger is refused entry into any country.
  • The Company is not liable if a passenger decides to withdraw during the tour.
  • The Company reserves the right to alter or curtail the itinerary and to substitute hotels and/or conveyances as it is deemed necessary.
  • The Company does not accept liability for acts of violence for any single person sharing a room with others.
  • Any unused portion of the tour or meals listed is non-refundable after departure no matter what the reason is that you cannot continue with the tour.

The Company also reserves the right to require any individual to withdraw from the tour if it is deemed his/her act of conduct is detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony and welfare of other passengers and the tour as a whole. The Company shall be under no further liability thereafter to any such person.

The Company is not responsible for any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations.  

  • Responsibility, The Company, acts only as an agent and/or intermediary for independent suppliers. As a result, it retains other contractors to provide transportation, accommodation and other related travel services. The Company accepts no responsibility for any such losses or any additional expenses or distress due to delays, sickness, weather, strikes or any other causes.

Passengers shall be regarded as carrying his/her own risk concerning loss or injury to person or property. The Company is not liable for any loss, injury, accident, damage, delay or expense which may arise during the tour.

  • Passenger accepts full responsibility for losses and expenses due to delay, sickness, weather, strikes, wars, quarantine and changes in the itinerary.
  • The Company will not be held responsible if a passenger carries any unlawful items or irregularities. Any losses and expenses are the responsibility of the passenger.
  • The Company, tour guide and driver do not accept liability for the lost or stolen personal property during the tour. InsurancePurchase of travel insurance is strongly recommended. We will be pleased to assist in inquiries of any travel insurance. 

Countries: Albania.
Type: General, Cultural, Archeology, Nature, Gastronomy, etc.
Code: AEA01
Depart from: Tirana, Albania
Group Size: Small groups (1-15 pax)
Difficulty: 2 (from 1 - 5)
Tempo: 3 (from 1 - 5)
Duration: 7 Days (or up to 28 days if combined with other Routes: Yellow, Blue or Silver loops/circuits.Important Places to be Visited: Tirana, Kruje, Lezhe, Shkoder, Durres, Berat, Apollonia, Vlore, Himare, Saranda, Gjirokaster, Tepelene, Permet, Korce, Pogradec, Elbasan.
How does it work?
You decide how many countries you want to travel.
Each week you can travel to different places/countries.
For example, if you want to continue another week exploring other amazing regions, then you can proceed to the next route, and please contact us. Please note the hotel accommodation is not included on the last day of your tour.

Meeting Point

Pick up options can be selected at check out

Language

English

Activity Level

Medium

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From

EUR 28.50
Starting From
THB 747 / Person
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