Arrival Tirana 30 min
Arrival in Tirana International Airport.
Private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Tirana city center.
Tirana has a never-ending movement and energy. This metropolis city is worth to discover by day and night. Founded in the 1614, Tirana is now a developed city which combines culture, history, contemporary architecture and lots of hospitality shown towards tourists. As you take a walk in Tirana you will enjoy the look of the colorful buildings, fancy coffees and green parks.
Guided tour of Tirana, including walking by the main boulevard and by the main buildings of the city such as: the Pyramid building, The opera House, The National Library, Governmental buildings, the new bazaar and the pedestrian area near the ruins of Tirana castle.
Entrance to Bunk Art 2 Museum to learn more about the communist history.
Welcome dinner in Tirana in a local restaurant.
Tirana – The Legends of Rozafa Castle in Shkodra 2 hrs – Historical City of Kruja 1 hrs – Tirana – 1 hrs
After breakfast we proceed to the northern city of Albania – Shkodra; with the most important town of north Albania and the Illyrian capital, in the 3rd century BC.
We enjoy the view of the city from the hill top, where is located the Castle of Rozafa, a mysterious structure, surrounded in legends and mysticism.
Further we take a walk in the pedestrian area of the old town, where the architecture has a big influence from the venetian style. We can continue with visit of Marubi Museum, the first museum of Photography in Albania, showing old photos of the city of Shkodra, taken through the years from the famous local photographer Marubi. (Or we can as well visit a local factory that produces venetian masks. Here each mask is carefully crafted by hand, and some are used in many Hollywood movies!)
Lunch in a local restaurant, with traditional menu from the region.
Further, continue on to Kruja, the historical city which lays on a panoramic view on the top of a hill, 600 km above sea level. With a combination of nature, history, archeology, traditional food and lifestyle, Kruja is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Albania. Kruja is notable from its stony streets and traditional buildings. The tour begins with the visit in the Castle, the citadel of the National hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg. It is build 548 m above sea level and gives a spectacular view of the surroundings placed in a characteristic urban building of 1764 you can also visit the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. After the visits it’s time to get closer to Albanian traditions and lifestyle, by visiting the bazaar. It is a one street of shops, with wooden buildings and a mixture of cafés and small souvenir and antique shops. In the afternoon we drive towards Tirana. Dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Tirana – Monastery of Ardenica 1 hrs – Apollonia Archeological Site 1 hrs – Vlora 1 hrs
Today we travel to Apollonia, one of the most well-known archeological sites in the country and recently a national archaeological park.
Along the way, stop to visit Monastery of Ardenica, an Eastern Orthodox monastery
Here we can see the fantastic interiors of the 18th century Church of St Mary: the iconostasis dominates the nave, but equally impressive is the golden pulpit, which positively heaves with adornments, not to mention the frescoes of the Zografi brothers that can be seen on display upstairs.
Arriving in Apollonia we stop for lunch in a local restaurant nearby the archeological park, before starting the guided tour.
We visit the ruins of Apollonia, including the Odeon and see some monuments like the Encircling Wall, the Bouleterion, the Mosaics House and the Nymphaioum. Afternoon arrival in the coastal city of Vlora, where we enjoy evening by the seaside promenade. Overnight in Vlora.
Albanian Riviera – Vlore – Llogara National Park – coastal villages in Dhermi & Himare – (UNESCO) – Butrint Archeological Site *UNESCO 4 hrs – Saranda
After breakfast we depart for the coastal city Saranda, on the south of Albania
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 stop in Llogara National Park to enjoy the view, photo shooting from above & enjoy degustation of a special local product – Yogurt with honey & nuts.
We continue on to Saranda, passing through the small coastal villages of Dhermi and Himara.
Arriving in Saranda, we stop for lunch by the seaside, before starting the guided visit of Butrint.
We visit the ancient city of Butrint, an UNESCO world heritage site.
The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of different civilizations, making it an important discovery in the Mediterranean, rich in ancient sites. It is situated in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation, offering visitors more than just old ruins.
Dinner at the Lekursi Castle, located on the top of the hill, overlooking the city and the sea!
We proceed to Gjirokastra, another UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinct architecture. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
Saranda – Architecture and Culinary in Gjirokastra *UNESCO
Full day to visit the Unesco town of Gjirokastra, including the castle which offers a spectacular view of the city from above, the Ethnographic museum which is the birth house of the ex-dictator Enver Hoxha and narrow streets of the old bazaar.
While in Gjirokastra we can organize a special cooking class, of an authentic meal under the guidance of one of the oldest chefs in the city.
Lunch & Dinner with traditional menus at local restaurant. Overnight in Gjirokastra
Gjirokaster – Antiquity and wines in Berat *UNESCO 3 hrs
Today we proceed towards another UNESCO town – Berat, the pride of Albanian antiquity and architecture.
Berat forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes and traditions. The architecture of the old houses, with large windows that overlook the town, is the first think that impresses the visitors.
First stop: the Citadel. It overlooks the river and the modern city as well as the old Christian quarter across the river. The citadel can be reached by a steep road and is still inhabited.
Inside the citadel, we visit The iconographic museum Onufri, with painting from the 16 the century, from the famous orthodox painter of that period, Onufri.
Traditional lunch can be organized in a local restaurant inside the castle, before continuing with the visits of the old town.
In the afternoon, if time permits, we can visit a local family in Berat, meet with locals, discus on the lifestyle and enjoy some homemade desserts and coffee. Dinner and Overnight in Berat.
Berat – Wine Tasting – Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Durres 1 hrs – Tirana 30 min
This morning we continue with the visits of Berat, if any is left from the previous day.
While leaving this UNESCO town and driving towards Tirana, we can make a stop in a local winery for visit of the vineyards and to enjoy some winetasting and snacks.
Further we continue to the coastal city of Durres, where we stop for lunch by the seaside.
Here we spend time in the seaside promenade and visit the ancient roman amphitheater, which is the second biggest amphitheater in the region.
In the late afternoon return to Tirana,
Farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Tirana – Cable Car Trip to Dajti Mountain – Return Flight (30 min)
After breakfast free time in the city, Transfer to the airport for the return flight, where we say good bye!
**If the return flight is in the late evening hours, during this day we can visit the Dajti Mountain by cable car, or enjoy lunch in a local agro tourism site in the village, before going to the airport.