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Classic Albania

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Experience the magic of Albania the cultural pearls of Albania  as Tirana, Kruja, Durres, Berat, Vlora, Saranda, Gjirokastra and other ancient cities.

Itinerary

DAY 01: TIRANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – KRUJE

DAY 02: KRUJE – SHKODER –DURRES

DAY 03: DURRES – ARDENICE - APOLLONI - VLORE

DAY 04: VLORE – BUTRINT – SARANDA

DAY 05: SARANDA - GJIROKASTER 

DAY 06: GJIROKASTER- BYLYS - BERAT

DAY 07: BERAT – TIRANA

DAY 08: TIRANA – TIA APT  

Desription

DAY 01: TIA APT – KRUJE

 

Welcome in the Airport 

Meeting with local guide, get the bus a drive to Kruja

First day program depend on flight time 

If the time permit a meeting with local family can be arrange 

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight 

**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant 

3 course menu drinks not included

 

DAY 02: KRUJE – SHKODER –DURRES

After breakfast in Hotel check out and continue with Kruja tour 

KRUJA is a medieval town located 32 km northwest of Tirana and 20 minutes from Tirana international Airport.In Krujayou can visit national ethnographic museum and Skanderbeg museum, both located in Kruja castle. It was from this fortress that Albania’s hero – George Kastrioti Skanderbeg – defended the country from Ottoman invasion over a period spanning three decades. From the castle you haves views of the Adriatic Sea. Kruja is one of Albania’s most important and popular tourist attractions.

Get the bus and drive to another interesting site, known as the “capital of north Albania.

Shkodra, it is one of the oldest cities of Albania, founded in the 4th century B.C. as the center of the Labeat tribe of Illyrians.Shkodra’s main tourist attraction today is Rozafa Castle, surrounded by the waters of three rivers, the Drini, Buna and Kiri. The castle bears a popular local legend. But worth to be visited is also the city center, theMarubi Atelier of Photography and Mesi Bridge.

Afternoon drop in the bus and drive for overnight in Durres 

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight 

**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant 

3 course menu drinks not included 

 

DAY 03: DURRES – ARDENICE - APOLLONI - VLORE

Before driving south Albania visit Durres city 

Durrës: the biggest seaport of the country. It is the most ancient city in Albania, with almost 3,000 years of history, foundation dates back to 627 B.C. The most important attraction in Durrësi is the amphitheater of the Roman Emperor Adrian with 15,000 seats, the second biggest amphitheater in the Balkans. Also the Archeological Museum is one of the most important of its kind and is of great interest to visitors.In addition to its historical value, Durrësi is also a beautiful place for family vacation, due to its sandy beaches, hotels and metropolitan feel. 

Next stop will be The Monastery of Ardenica (1 h driving from Durres)

It is a Byzantine structure consists of the Saint Mary Church, the Saint Triad chapel, the konake, the oil mill, the oven and the stall.The monastery of Ardenica is known as a place where our National GjergjKastrioriScandarbeg got married with Princess AndronikaArianiti. 

Afternoon visit Apollonia Archeological Park 

Was an ancient city in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous River (todayVjosë River), founded in 588 BCE by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site initially occupied by Illyrian tribes. Apollonia flourished during the period of Roman rule in the area and was home to a renowned school of philosophy. The city began to decline in the 3rd century CE when its harbor began silting up as a result of an earthquake.Cicero, the famed Roman Orator, was captivated by the beauty of Apollonia and in his Philippics, referred to it as "magna urbs et gravis," or "great and important city." Today the site can easily be accessed from the nearby city of Fier and offers both unique views of the Adriatic coastline as well as an extensive collection of historical and archaeological items of interest.

Leave Apollonia for overnight in Vlora

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight 

**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant 

3 course menu drinks not included 

 

DAY 04: VLORE – SARANDA

After check out from hotel, short panoramic tour to the second largest port in Albania, Vlora

Vlora dates back to the 6th century B.C., when it was known as Aulona. Today most interesting sights in Vlora include the Independence Museum (in the headquarters building of the first government), the History Museum, and the Ethnographic Museum. Among the religious objects in Vlora, the most important is the Mosque of Muradie, built in 1542 by the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire, MimarSinan, the constructor of the famous Suleymaniye Mosque, Istambul. Also, a prominent hill above the city is home to the BektashiTekke of KuzumBabai. The site offers an amazing view of the city of Vlora, the peninsula of Karaburun, the island of Sazan, and the lagoon of Narta. 

After that continue the trip to Saranda through the amazing Albania Riviera 

Albanian Riviera running along the Ionian Sea, begins south of Llogara National Park, continues down along the coast through the villages of Borsh, Himara, Qeparo, and ends at Lukovë. The area is a major nightlife, ecotourism, and elite retreat destination in Albania. It features traditional Mediterranean villages, ancient castles, Orthodox churches, secluded turquoise beaches, mountain passes, seaside canyons, coves, free flowing rivers, underwater fauna, caves, and orange, lemon, and olive groves.

On the way stop anf visit Ali Pasha fortress.

It is named after Ali Pasha of Tepelenë who resided there until 1820. The current fortress was rebuilt in 1819 from its surface with 3 towers. Until 1820 it was the second residence of Ali PasheTepelena. The castle described and pictured is popularly known as 'The Triangular Fortress'. Built under Venetian dominion in the late 15th or early 16th century, it provided a stronghold for the Venetians on Corfu to exploit fishing, grazing, olives and timber in and around Butrint.

Late afternoon arrive in Saranda

Check in hotel and free time to explore the city 

 

DAY 05: SARANDA – BUTRINT - GJIROKASTER 

In the morning drive to Butrint National Park

Butrint, ancient Buthrotum, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in southwest Albania. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development. The National Park comprises a high diversity of natural, semi-natural and artificial habitats, such as freshwater marshes, reed beds, Mediterranean forests and maquis, arable lands and fruit-tree terraces, as well as coastal waters with rocky and sandy coast, open halophytic lands, etc, which make the Butrint area one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Albania.

Leave Butrint to visit another UNESCO site, Gjirokastra city of stone. On the way stop shortly to Blue Eye, on of the beautiful springs in Albania.

Gjirokastra perched on the eastern side of the Wide Mountain (Mali i Gjërë), the city began as a fourth century castle, which is today the greatest castle in the whole country. Gjirokastra is known as “The City of Stone,” and some of the main tourist attractions are old houses, built by stone to resemble small castles, and streets paved with cobblestone. While visiting, you can visit the Ethnographic Museum, located in the house where the former communist dictator EnverHoxha was born. 

After the visits check in Hotel

Afternoon will be possible to taste a traditional home made jam named GLIKO (very famous in south of Albania) or you can enjoy local life being people are very welcome and kind

Optional folk Show (suggestion show with Albanian folk iso-polyphony)  -Albanian iso-polyphony is a traditional part of Albanian folk music and as such is included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list. The Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival, Albania, (Albanian: Festivali Folklorik Kombëtar), has been held every five years in the month of October since 1968, and it has typically included many polyphonic songs.

 

DAY 06: GJIROKASTER- BYLYS – BERAT

Check out from hotel, meet for the next UNESCO site Berat

On the way we do suggest stop and visit Bylis archeological park 

Ancient city of Byllis is dating back to the 3th century B.C, once flourished as a political, economic and cultural center in the region and today is one of the most important archeological sites in Albania. Notably, it is the largest mosaic discovered in Albania to date. It displays diverse motifs and scenes reflecting the daily life of shepherds, anglers and others. The walls of this cathedral had beautiful frescoes at the time, and several depicting geometrical shapes still remain. The ancient city of Byllis is one of the numerous hidden treasures of south-central Albania.

Afternoon arrival in Berat“City of the Floating Windows”

The 2,413 years-old city known as Antipatrea, is under the protection of UNESCO. Berat is a treasure-trove of Albanian history, culture and a testament to the country’s tradition of religious harmony. The three major neighborhoods of the old city are Mangalemi, Gorica, and Kala, where the castle itself is located and is made unique by the fact that people continue to live inside of it.The arched bridge of Gorica, built in 1780, is a beautiful architectural monument constructed to link Gorica with Mangelemi.The ensemble of the Byzantine churches in Berati is extraordinary, there is the Byzantine Church ofShënMëhilli( Saint Michael), Church of Shën Maria e Vllahernës ( Saint Mary of  Blachernaebuil in XIII century), the Church of ShënTriadha (The Holy Trinity), the post-Byzantine monumental Cathedral of Shën Maria (Saint Mary) today houses a museum of works by the famous iconographers of the 16th century: Onufri and his son Nikolla. There are over 100 icons on display and they also include works of other artists such as Joan Çetiri, OnufërQiprioti and many anonymous painters.Ottomans occupation has left its mark, you can visitXhamia e Kuqe( The Red Mosque) inside the castle, the Xhamia e Plumbit (1555), ( The Lead Mosque) ,XhamiaMbret ( built in 1481 ) ( The King Mosque), and the Xhamia e Beqarëve (1872). 

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight 

 

DAY 07: BERAT – TIRANA

Check out, meet and drive to capital city Tirana 

Upon arrival start exploring this vibrant city 

Tirana, the heart and capital of Albania, like all other European metropolises has a never-ending movement and energy. The journey might begin by visiting the key spots such as SheshiSkënderbej, Mosque of Et’hemBey (built between 1798 and 1812), the 35 m high Kulla e Sahatit (the Watch Tower), castle of the Roman emperor Justinian (A.D. 520), the monumental Tomb of Kapllan Pasha and the Ura e Tabakëve. A visit to the National History Museum, the Archeological Museum, and the National Gallery of the Arts will leave wonderful memories. 

Optional for the afternoon might betraveling by cable care to DajtiMount overlooking the city.

From this trip you will see the urban evolution from center of Tirana (large and modern building) to some small houses based on foot of Mount Dajti. 

Cable car (Gondola Lift) is one of a kind in Albania – the only cable car line that takes tourists to a mountain top and the longest cable way in Balkan in its category with two stations. The line is 4670 m long, taking travelers over the mountain tops of Dajti, towards Dajti Belvedere Hotel & Ballkoni Dajtit restaurant. A beautiful landscape underneath makes this trip one of the most memorable adventures in Tirana. The duration of the trip is less than 15 minutes. Average Velocity – 4.5 m/sec.

Near the cabal car station is located BUNK'ART 1, if time permit would be interesting to visit and experience the Albania communism period. The BUNK'ART project started in November 2014 with the opening to the public of BUNK'ART 1, a video museum exhibition situated inside the atomic bunker of the dictator Enver Hoxha, on the outskirts of Tirana and continues with the opening of BUNK'ART 2 (small one) , on the 19th of November 2016 in the capital center. While BUNK'ART 1 is dedicated to the history of the Albanian communist army and to the daily lives of Albanians during the regime, BUNK'ART 2 reconstructs the history of the Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs from 1912 to 1991 and reveals the secrets of “Sigurimi”, the political police that was the harsh persecution weapon used by the regime of Enver Hoxha. 

Check in hotel and overnight.

 

DAY 08: TIRANA – TIA APT 

Last day program it depends on flight time departure 

(Group should be 2 h before flight departure) 

End of our service!

 

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Additional Info

  • Days: 08
  • Country: Albania
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