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Albania Historical sites and nature observations

  • Highlights
This 2-week tour of Albania will introduce you with the wonderful nature and weather of the alps and the riviera.  Not to forget to mention the most visited and important historical sites such as Berat, Gjirokaster and Butrint that will bring you closer to our rich traditions and culture. Meeting the locals and getting to know their lifestyle is one of the highlights of this journey....

This 2-week tour of Albania will introduce you with the wonderful nature and weather of the alps and the riviera.  Not to forget to mention the most visited and important historical sites such as Berat, Gjirokaster and Butrint that will bring you closer to our rich traditions and culture. Meeting the locals and getting to know their lifestyle is one of the highlights of this journey.

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Trip highlights
  • Walking and trekking
    Walking and trekking
  • Arts and crafts
    Arts and crafts
  • Local cuisine
    Local cuisine
  • Lake
    Lake
  • Meet locals
    Meet locals

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Day 1: Welcome to Tirana!

Once arrived at the airport, our agent will be there waiting to take you to your hotel.  Depending on arrival time you might also start to explore the city or join an afternoon/evening yoga class or massage session to relax after the long flight.

Optional: Yoga: An hour yoga class at one of the capital’s best studios.

Optional: Massage: A massage session in one of the city’s wellness centers.

Visited:
Tirana

Day 2: Koman Lake - Valbona National Park

You'll head for the Valbona valley. To reach this destination, you will board a ferry boat and cross the lake of Koman. This outstanding 2-hour cruise offers a breath-taking panorama of Northern Albania cliffs and uneven landscapes, that are so characteristic of this area of the country. This crossing stands as a real immersion into the harmony of this lush and peaceful nature. Once in the village, you may go hiking around or simply explore the surroundings.

In the evening, you will get to know the locals by sharing dinner with them and staying in a local guesthouse.

Visited:
Koman, Valbona

Day 3: Theth National Park

"I think any place in the world trodden by man never gave me a grandiose feeling of isolation". Thus Edith Durham (British journalist) described Theth in the 1900s. Located in the heart of the Albanian Alps, the National Park covers nearly 2,300 hectares. You start this day hiking from the Valbonne valley to the village of Theth, passing through the Valbona's neck. This walk of about 6-7 hours (800 m + & 1000m -) in a landscape with postcard-like views will leave you speechless.  During the hike, you will be accompanied by a mule, which will carry your luggage.

Hike of 6-7 hours from Theth to Valbonne through Valbona pass, level 2 of difficulty - Valbona, Theth.

Visited:
Theth

Day 4: Shkoder - Kruje

Today you will head to a city in Albania, founded more than 2000 years ago. Shkodra is one of the oldest cities and the perfect example of the harmony between the three main religions in Albania: Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. The city is home to the Great Mosque (built in 1995) and also a Catholic cathedral, St Stephen's Cathedral, where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass during his visit in 1993. You may also visit the Marubi Phototheque which has assembled an impressive collection of 150,000 photographs to explore the Balkans as they were between the nineteenth and twentieth century. Then you join the Rozafa fortress. This fortress represents an Albanian legend and offers a breathtaking view of the city, rivers and surroundings.

Later on, you will visit the town of Kruja, located less than an hour away from Tirana. Kruja is known as the hometown of Skanderbeg, a 15th century Albanian leader, considered as our national hero for his fight against the Ottoman Empire. You will have the opportunity to learn more about this great leader by visiting the museum which was named after him, “Skanderbeg Museum”. The ethnographic museum is also an opportunity to discover the local culture, lifestyle and family traditions. Finally, you can have a stroll between the stalls of the old bazar located on a charming square with cobbled streets: ideal to pick some souvenirs!

Theth to Shkodër, 2h 30 min: Visit of Shkodra -Tour of the Rozafa fortress to discover the legend behind its building - Shkodra, Rozafa Fortress.

Visited:
Shkodër, Krujë

Day 5: Elbasan – Lin - Tushemisht

Once a very prosperous city known for its handicrafts, the town has retained its historical center with its cobbled streets. During the antique times, Elbasan was an important city, a stopover town on the Via Egnatia road that connected Rome to Constantinople. You will also see the ancient fortress, some beautiful houses and one of the oldest mosques in the country, testimonials of the Ottoman Empire domination.  The town is also known as "Libasan", meaning "powerful place."

Then you will join the picturesque village of Lin. A fishing village at the foot of a hill on a peninsula. By going down the village you can enjoy the view of the lake.  On the way to this village, you will see abandoned buildings of the former chrome mine in Prrenjas. Another small village on the shore of Lake Ohrid, Tushemisht served as a natural setting for the filming of some of the greatest movies of our country. The decor is so rich and varied that UNESCO has added this lake (one of the oldest in the world) to the World Heritage List in 1979 for its fauna and flora. The lake and the mountains on the horizon offer you a breathtaking view!

Kruje to Elbasan, 1h30 min: Visit the ancient fortress, oldest mosques - Elbasan. Exploring the village of Tushemisht and the Park of Drilon.

Optional: Boat Tour in the park of Drilon.

Visited:
Elbasan, Lin, Tushemisht

Day 6: Voskopoje - Korce

Voskopoja lies in a beautiful landscape surrounded by high hills and fern forests. This area has many natural resources like valleys and plateaus, slopes and massive areas of forests mainly from pine, beech and oak. It has an altitude of 1200 m, above the sea level. Founded in the 16th century, Voskopoja by the 18th century was a major urban settlement housing the Academy, a center dedicated to the development of culture and education. Today, five Byzantine churches and a monastery from the original twenty-two that were built when Voskopoja was a major settlement are testimony to this grand period. You can do a hike of 3 hours here.

You will visit "Korca the French". Why French? Because the presence of French troops has allowed the creation of a symbolic, although short-lived autonomous republic in the First World War. Moreover, this town has welcomed the first French school of the country from 1917 to 1939. Its population is said to be proud and well-educated, and the town is often nicknamed "little Paris of Albania", a city of art, love and romanticism. You will be able to see the medieval national museum and its great collection of Orthodox icons and the main monument to visit: The Orthodox Cathedral.

Tushemisht to Voskopoje, 1h 15min: Tour of the five Byzantine churches and a monastery. Easy hike of about 3h-3h 30min to discover “the secrets” of this small ancient village. Elevation 200meters - Voskopoja.

Visited:
Voskopojë, Korçë

Day 7: Rehova village

You leave Korca and prepare for another special experience called Rehova. This is a village well known for its expertise in food. This village, close to the border with Greece, is renowned for its culinary expertise and stone houses. The lunchtime is planned here in order for you to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the southern Albanians. And also have the opportunity to cook traditional recipes such as byrek (pie).

Korce to Rehove, 1h: Cooking time with the family in Rehova, using fresh local products to make traditional albanian pie (Byrek) - Rehove.

Visited:
Korçë

Day 8: Benje thermal waters - Permet

You head then to the marvelous Benja, well known for the curative thermal waters. Not only this but the views and landscape during our exploration will be amazing and unforgettable. In Benja, you may also visit the Canyon of Langarica and do some canyoning. Later on, you will stop at the agri-touristic town of Permet. There you will have the chance to discover regional products such as jams and gliko.

Travel to Benje, 2h 30 min: Benja Thermal Waters - Relaxing and bathing in the natural pools - Benja

Benje to Permet, 1h 10 min: Visit of local products in fabrics, local houses, and shops - Taste local products such as Gliko, Jam, Raki - Permet.

Visited:
Bënjë, Përmet

Day 9: Gjirokaster

Today you will drive on the direction of Gjirokastra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, this city is full of distinctive districts and shaded terraces. But its main touristic sites are the ethnographic museum and its citadel, which will take you back in time, years ago, through the history of Albania. Gjirokastra has retained its characteristic “old Albanian houses” architecture.

Permet to Gjirokaster, 1h 10 min: Tour of the town, the fortress and the traditional houses while also tasting traditional cuisine.

Optional: Visit of an artisanal stone carving artist.

Visited:
Gjirokastër

Day 10: Butrint archaeologic park - Saranda

You will visit the site of Butrint, which is near the Greek border. Butrint is an ancient Greek city on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1992. You will discover a historic landmark, an open ancient city testifying of centuries of human occupation.

On our way to Saranda you stop at the Lëkurësi Castle. This a ruined castle in south Albania from where you have a beautiful view of the city and the island of Corfu. In this southern town you can also visit the Synagogue and the promenade.

Visited:
Saranda

Day 11: Albanian Riviera (Himara)

Today you will go down the Riviera where you have the opportunity to travel between typical Albanian villages such as Dhermi, Borsh and Qeparo. You can stop in Porto Palermo to visit the fortress of Ali Pasha too. Located on a small peninsula, this abandoned building is now surrounded by lush vegetation. You will be able to visit the building to discover its octagonal room and its dome.

In the afternoon you reach the town of Himara, a city surrounded by rolling hills and crystal-clear water perfect for swimming.

Sarande to Himare, 1h 20 min: Tour of the Albanian Riviera and the typical villages. Visit the fortress of Ali Pasha and its history - Riviera, Himara.

Visited:
Saranda

Day 12: Llogara National Park - Vlore

After a long breakfast and relax time by the sea you head towards Llogara. Located in the upper part of the Dukati Valley, Llogara National Park of 1,000 hectares consists mainly of coniferous forests, which provides an interesting contrast to the Mediterranean landscapes that are found nearby. Through hiking during the day, you will discover unforgettable landscapes along the Riviera, between sea and mountains. You can enjoy the view of the turquoise Ionian Sea and the Karaburuni peninsula and also reach the neck of Cesar by a hike of 40 minutes.

Next, you will be travelling to Vlora and visit the city where the Independence of Albania was declared in 1912. The city is located by the Adriatic & Ionian coast.

Himara to Llogara, 1h: Hike for about 40 minutes into the wilderness of the park in Llogara while having the chance to appreciate the view over the coast too.

​Optional: Boat tour, kayak tour, stand-up paddle etc.

Visited:
Llogara National Park, Vlorë

Day 13: Apolloni - Berat

Today you will go to Fier to visit the archaeological site of Apollonia. A former massive antique city, Apollonia is the country's largest archaeological park. You will see some relics of the city such as the Bouleuterion, the Odeon or the library (the one in which the emperor Octavius studied!). By going further, you also will see the theatre, the old fountain and even bunkers from the communist era!

You will discover later an Albanian city, on the UNESCO list for its characteristic architecture: The city of Berat. Best known as "The city of 1000 windows" you will be charmed by its white houses and steep streets that offer us the chance to go for a special promenade. You will see the castle, many mosques and churches in the citadel, and the Onufri National Museum dedicated to the famous painter Onufri.

Vlore to Apollonia, 1h : Apollonia to Berat, 1h 30 min: Tour of two of Albania’s most important sites, both UNESCO heritage, the archaeological park of Apollonia and the city of Berat rich in both historical and cultural events.

Optional: Wine tasting at Çobo Winery, one of the finest in Albania.

Visited:
Apollonia, Berato

Day 14: Back to the capital!

A city since 1614 and the capital of Albania since 1920, Tirana is the country's main cultural hub. You will be able to discover a city famous for the colorful facades of its buildings and the harmony between the various religions in the country. The visit of the National Museum located on Skanderbeg Square will be a nice introduction to the rich Albanian history!

Close to this square, you will be able to see the mosque "Et'hem Bey", which has been preserved even during the communist era for its historical value, the opera, the clock tower and the palace of culture. You discover then the pyramid (the Museum of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha), the superb Orthodox Cathedral as well as the Catholic Cathedral. Not to forget to also discover the busy nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants!

Berat to Tirana, 2h 20 min: Tour of the capital of Albania, with the most important sites such as the museum, the mosque, the cathedrals.

Optional: Yoga: An hour yoga class at one of the capital’s best studios.

Optional: Massage: A massage session in one of the city’s wellness centers.

Visited:
Berat, Tirana

Day 15: Departure Day

One of our agents will accompany you to the airport according to your flight schedule. According to your departure time, our agency is happy and ready to prepare activities just for you. Or extend your trip because you wish to continue the adventure!

Tirana to Airport, 25 min.

Optional: Visit of Bunk’Art and Dajti mountain.

Visited:
Tirana

TiranaKomanValbonaThethShkodërKrujëElbasanLinTushemishtVoskopojëKorçëBënjëPërmetGjirokastërSaranda Llogara National ParkVlorëApolloniaBerato Berat

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • In-trip ground transportation
  • Activities according to your customized trip
  • Airport transfers
  • 24/7 local agency support
  • Trip creation with an expert local agent

Not included in the price:

  • Arrival and departure flights
  • Meals and beverages not indicated
  • Personal expenses
  • Service gratuities
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance
Book your flights to Albania
International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
Check out the many benefits:
  • Competitive rates
  • All-inclusive prices with no hidden fees
  • Your local agent Armela, in Albania, will inform you of any changes to your flights
For more information or to book your flights directly, head to our partner site.

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