This is for any visitor who would like to discover Albania with an introduction into the past and present history, customs and traditions from ancient sites to architectural buildings and towns, comprising three UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Upon arrival at Tirana airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. We then begin the private tour of the city with a visit to the National Historical Museum followed by a stop at the Mosque of Et’hem Bey, built in 1793. We will see the Opera House National Theatre of Opera and Ballet which overlooks Skanderbeg Square. Our walk will take us to City Hall, various governmental buildings and the National Gallery of Arts. In the evening, we visit the former communist residential area with modern bars, restaurants and pubs. Enjoy coffee time in the sky tower, a rotating bar, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of Tirana.
After breakfast, we head to Saranda to visit Apollonia to see the archeological site and museum. We will also take the coastal Albanian Riviera route to Vlora to visit the Independence Monument and Museum. We will then head through the Llogara National Park in the Jura Mountains with the sea on our right and the mountains to the left before passing through the spectacular Llogara Pass. Travel on to Himare and then to Porto Palermo and the Fortress of Ali Pasha. After passing through the villages of Qeparo and Borsh, you will arrive in Saranda for the overnight.
In the morning, we tour the ancient city of Butrinti, a World Heritage listed site. You will see Illyrian walls, Roman Amphitheatre, Roman Baths, mosaics, churches, temples and the remains of one of Europe’s earliest aqueducts.
After breakfast, enjoy a tour of Gjirokaster once we travel through the Muzine Pass and Buret Mountain. We will visit the Fortress, which contains the National Museum of Arms. See spectacular views of the Drinos Valley between Albania and Greece. You can also visit the Ethnographic Museum. Gjirokaster is known as the town of 1,000 steps, after a day in the town you will understand why. Overnight in Gjirokaster Hotel Cajupi.
The next day will have us enjoy a stop on our travels at Bylis. Berat is home to some of the best examples of Ottoman architecture. Enjoy a wine tasting and visit of Berat Old Quarter. It is known as the town of 1,000 windows due to the architecture of the houses. In the afternoon, we visit the Castle, Sultan’s Mosque and Onuphrius con Museum of religious art. You will also pass other mosques and churches all in the valley of the Osumi River with Tomor Mountain as a background. Stay overnight in Berat Hotel Mangalemi.
After breakfast, we drive to Durres, one of the oldest towns in Albania dating back to the 6th century BC. Visit the old town, including the Byzantine city walls and the Roman amphitheater. We will head to Kruja, a previous capital during the resistance against the Turks. Along the way, we will stop to visit a family house, where we can meet with local people and try local cuisine. We shall see the Skanderbeg and Ethnographic museums and the Old Bazaar. Dinner in a traditional local restaurant before an overnight stay in Hotel Panorama Kruje.
You will be transferred to the airport for the return flight.