Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
Roam the ruins of an ancient city, spot antique gems at an Ottoman-style old bazaar and see relics dating back to 50 000 BC, as you explore the hidden treasures of mystical Albania.
Fly to Tirana where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Kruja for an overnight stay. Later enjoy a guided walk around the city experiencing the different cultures that have influenced it over the years. Take a short stroll to the Ottoman bazaar and then enjoy a welcome dinner which will feature an introduction into local cuisine from northern Albania.
This morning enjoy a guided tour around the city on foot. The pretty cobbled stone pathway of the Ottoman bazaar is an age-old setting, with its wooden shops displaying an array of gifts and beautiful antique items. Then onto the inside of the castle walls and the historic museum dedicated to Gjerg Kastriot Skanderbeg and his iconic resistance against the Ottoman invasion. Also located here is a former house which has been turned into an ethnographic museum, inviting you to learn about the rich cultural heritage of northern Albania. Then continue to Fier with a stop en route to visit the Ardenica Monastery and learn about the foundation, monks and the building itself. You can enjoy an optional lunch featuring traditional dishes before a walking tour of the ancient Apollonian site including the monuments of Agonothetes, the Odeon, the Portico and the archeological museum. Leave Apollonia and head to Vlora for a panoramic city tour which includes the beautiful old town, Independence Square and the Muradie Mosque. Then enjoy dinner before spending the night in Vlora.
After breakfast head into the city centre for a short walking tour. Drive to Orikum for a tour of the new town and the stunning beaches of the area before continuing along the road as the stunning scenic mountains come into view. The Albanian beauty continues as you arrive at Llogara National Park for an optional lunch. Later, head towards the Albanian Riviera passing the villages of Dhermi Himara and Porto Palermo Bay. This area is steeped in history from Mediterranean pirates to the stronghold of Ali Pasha. Next, a quick stop in the Himara beach town for refreshments and then enjoy a sightseeing tour of Saranda city which includes the lovely promenade, Ohnemois ruins and the new Orthodox Church.
This morning head to stunning Butrinti National Park for a walking tour. Here you will experience the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds these incredible Roman ruins, feel what it must have been like in the ancient world and fire your imagination about Greek Mythology. Start with the truly amazing Asclepius Temple then onto the theatre, the Roman portico and baths, an early Christian baptistry and also the historic Byzantine basilica, defensive walls and their impressive gates.
Today depart for Gjirokastra and enjoy a tour of this lovely city. This area is known for its unique architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site and will offer something fascinating for everyone. The highlights of the tour include the picturesque castle with mesmerising views and a weapons museum, as well as the bazaar area. After the tour you have free time to spend exploring the old town at your own pace. This is a great opportunity to interact with the locals and to visit the characteristic shops offering unique gifts.
Depart for a walking tour of Berat Castle to explore the ancient fortress and its main gates, towers, orthodox churches and the typical dwelling sites. Also located within St Mary's church is the Onufri Museum which displays a fascinating 2,500 years of heritage and history. Continue to Berat city centre where you enjoy a panoramic tour of the old town. Here, visit Mangalem quarter known as 'city of windows one over another' which preserved eastern architecture from the Ottoman Empire with its quaint narrow cobbled streets. Also visit the religious buildings of this area including the mosques, monasteries and the newly built Orthodox Church. After the Berat tour head to Durres city for an overnight stay.
This morning take a tour of Durres old town which includes the ancient ruins of the region such as the Roman baths, town hall, and the wonderful Roman Amphitheatre. This historic area is also home to Byzantine walls, a wonderful Venetian tower and an archaeological museum, a panoramic display of discoveries of this once important city. Continue to Tirana, the capital of Albania, for a city tour exploring some of the historical highlights that have influenced this cultural melting pot, such as the Skenderbeg Statue, Et'Hem Bey Mosque, the Palace of Culture and the clock tower. During the evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
This morning enjoy some free time in Tirana to catch up on the spots you missed yesterday or spend time visiting the shops and cafes, picking up a few souvenirs before you are transferred to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Please be advised that this tour is a busy tour and features full day excursions.
Please be advised that on day's 2 & 7 enterance fees are not included and are required to be paid locally
Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.
We went to Albania not knowing what to expect. Overall the weather was warm, sunny & an odd shower. Country was very interesting with beautiful scenery in the Northern Albanian alps & in the Southern Albanian Rivieria. We were impressed with the high standard & quality of the new hotels. Lots of antiquity in form of Greek & Roman sites. Food we thought variable in that most places hadn't quite understood that guests from Northern regions like hot food hot & not chilly. People we found charming & helpful. We noticed that there are nice beaches too. Certainly a very nice country for touring in & the only airport which is Tirana was well organised & very easy to negotiate without miles of corridors. Despite past history it is a very good destination for a holiday with I repeat beautiful mountain scenery and a quaintness in the country areas.
Brilliant trip! Not a restful holiday as Albania has so much to offer in roman and later ruins. The group we were with were such good company; the guide (Ilia) was so knowledgeable and told us so much about his country of Albania. Nothing was too much trouble for him. The coach driver was a careful and considerate driver. On the whole the hotels were good and certainly better than I had thought they would be. The culinary experience was varied and ok if you were not fussy with food which was not always as hot as one would have liked. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday.
Excellent itinerary enhanced by an amazing tour guide, Ilia. He told us so much about the Country and included History, Geography and Literature.
The hotels were very good and varied - from a village house to a 5-star hotel. All main meals plus entrance fees were provided and the food was of a high quality. The guide and driver were both excellent in that they were very knowlegeable, helpful and friendly. The holiday was demanding in that it included many walking tours but we saw some amazing sights in the space of eight days. To be recommended if you are reasonably fit; our group of fiteen were all aged over sixty but managed to do it!!
Excellent value & really interesting tour - three World Heritage sites visited in a week. Special.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We understand things change, often beyond your control. If you need to change your holiday plans, we offer a flexible deposit up until your balance is due.