2017 Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy, based on 4 travelers)
September 15th – $2650
Single supplement – $370
Other rates are available on request for less or more than 4 travelers.
- Hotel accommodation
- Meals according to the program
- Services of driver and guide throughout
- Entrance fees to museums
- Transfers from/to airport
Price Does Not Include:
- Airfare (unless otherwise arranged)
- Departure and custom fees
- Gratuities and individual daily expenses
- Additional beverages
- Travel insurance
- Trip cancellation
- Medical and luggage insurance are recommended for coverage against all unforeseen circumstances
Welcome in the new millennium in a less traversed corner of Europe, the Balkan Peninsula. Come visit Albania and see what few people have seen: an untouched coastline, hidden valleys, and rugged mountains. Visit Albania and receive one of the warmest receptions in all of Europe. The people of this tiny country are known for warmth and hospitality. From the mountains in the north to the archaeological sites in the south, from the growing city of Tirana and the port of Durres to the rural villages throughout the country, there is surprising diversity for travelers in Albania to discover.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at “Mother Teresa” Airport. Transfer to hotel “Mondial” in Tirana for overnight. Present-day thriving Tirana was founded in the early 17th century by Sulejman Pasha of Mulleti who built a settlement consisting of a mosque, public baths, an oven, and a number of shops. Overnight at hotel “Mondial.”(D)
Day 2: Tirana
After breakfast, full day sightseeing tour of Tirana including visits to the Martyrs’ Cemetery, Tanners Bridge, the Mosque of Et’hem Bej, the Clock Tower, the National Historical Museum, and excursion to Mt. Dajti by cable car. Lunch. In afternoon, visits to the Galley of Arts and the Buneci house, built in the 17th century, displaying works by a master cooper craftsman. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel “Mondial.” (B, D)
Day 3: Tirana – Kruja – Durres
Morning departure for Kruja, home of Albania’s National hero, Scanderbeg, who in the 15th century successfully fought off the Turks for over thirty years. Sightseeing at the Old Castle, the impressive Scanderbeg Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, and shopping at the Turkish-style old bazaar. Lunch at local restaurant with delicious traditional dishes. Continue on to Durres. This busy seaport city is one of the oldest Roman cities in the Mediterranean. Visits to one of the largest Roman Amphitheaters in the Balkans and the Archaeological Museum. Dinner and overnight at hotel “California” or “Bleart.” (B, D)
Day 4: Durres – Elbasan – Pogradec – Tushemisht
Morning drive to Elbasan. Short stop to visit the ruins of the Ottoman fortress in the city center and St. Mary’s Orthodox Church. Continue on to Pogradec alongside the banks of Shkumbini river, traveling through the Domosdova plateau, site of Skanderbeg’s first victory over the Turks in 1444. En-route stop in Lin to visit the mosaics and the archaeological site. Lunch at local restaurant. Free afternoon to enjoy the panoramic view of the area. Try a local dinner of the Koran fish, which is a specialty of Lake Ohrid. Overnight at hotel “Millenium” or “Enkelana.” (B, D)
Day 5: Tushemisht – Korca – Voskopoja – Korca
After breakfast, early departure for Korca, one of the most important cities in South-Eastern Albania. Visit the Museum of Medieval Arts and Birra Korca factory, which produces one of most famous beers of Albania. Continue to the isolated mountain village of Voskopoja, one of the most important towns in the European part of the Ottoman empire during the 18th century. Voskopoja claims distinction for the first printing house in the Balkans established in 1720 and the Academia of Voskopoja founded in 1744. Visit the Church of St. Nicholas, which is a treasure of early 18th century frescoes. Portraits of saints, emperors, and warriors and scenes from the Bible fill every foot of the interior and the outside porch. Lunch at the tourist point “Academia.” Return to Korca to visit the First Albanian School, the Old Korca bazaar, and Mirahori Mosque. Dinner and overnight at hotel “Regency” or “Life Gallery.” (B, D)
Day 6: Korca – Gjirokastra
Morning departure for Gjirokastra, a museum city and UNESCO heritage site. We drive through scenic southern highlands, via Erseka, Barmash Pass, Permeti, and Kelcyra Gorge. Lunch in Permeti, known for its production of traditional raki (brandy) and wine. In the afternoon we arrive in Gjirokastra and visit the Ethnographic Museum, the Ottoman fortress, and the armaments museum. Dinner at local restaurant Fantazia. Overnight at hotel “Cajupi.” (B, D)
Day 7: Gjirokastra – Saranda – Butrint – Saranda
After breakfast, drive to Saranda, “the pearl of the Albanian Riviera,” which takes its name from a monastery dedicated to the Forty Saints, the last traces of which disappeared during the second world war. En-route stop at Blue Eye springs and the Mesopotami Church. Lunch at local restaurant in Ksamil. In the afternoon, we visit the Greek and Roman ruins of Butrint, Albania’s most important archaeological site. Dinner at Lekuresi castle restaurant. Overnight at hotel “Kaonia” or “Brilant.” (B, D)
Day 8: Saranda – Vlora
This morning, visit to the Jewish Synagogue and the city center of Saranda. Drive to Vlora along the mountain road known as Albanian Riviera, enjoying the beautiful and dramatic scenery and landscapes of the Ionian Coastline. En-route visit the Ali Pasha Fortress at Porto Palermo Bay. Lunch at Dhermi restaurant (or Llogara). Proceed to Vlora through Llogara Pass (3500 feet above sea level). In the afternoon visit the Muradie Mosque. Dinner and overnight at hotel “Partner” (alternative hotel “Paradise Beach”) in Vlora. This city has a long history, but its main claim to fame is as the place where Albanian independence was proclaimed in 1912. (B, D)
Day 9: Vlora – Apollonia – Berat
After breakfast, we visit the Independence museum. Continue to Fieri to visit the Apolonia Archaeological site. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon drive to Berat. En-route visit an Albanian Winery to taste one of the best Albanian wines and walking tour of Berat to visit Bachelors Mosque, the King’s Mosque, the Leaden Mosque, and the Tekke of the Helveti or Dervishes. Dinner and overnight at hotel “Mangalemi” or “Tomorri.” (B, D)
Day 10: Berat – Ardenice – Tirana (Durres)
Breakfast. Morning visit of the Citadel, built on top of a rocky hill, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Onufri Museum), and the Church of St. Mary of Vllaherna (13 C), which has 16th century mural paintings by Onufri, Albania’s most famous Medieval painter, and his son Nicola. Drive to Lushnja. Lunch in Ardenica monastery. Drive to Tirana for dinner and overnight at hotel “Mondial.” (B, D)
Day 11: Tirana – Airport
Transfer to airport for departure.
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Custom itineraries available to this or any of the destinations we travel to.
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