Day-1 Tirana – Shkodra
You start your Albanian weekend with the smooth land in Mother Theresa Airport and depart to the capital, from where you depart for Shkodra. You will head north heading to Shkodra, the most important city of northern Albania. The Rozafa Castle, with all it’s glory, history and legends, is the first landmark you should visit atop of the hill overlooking the city and the whole region. A short walk to the pedestrian street, the street of all Shkodra’s culture and famous buildings.
If all the day was not enough, you will also get to spend the night in Shkodra as you will be for dinner and overnight there.
Day-2 Shkodra – Lezha – Durres
Meeting with your guide at the hotel lobby, you depart firstly to the legendary town of Lezha, the burial town of Scanderbeg, the Albanian National Hero. We will pay our respects to Scanderbeg, and a visit atop the castle of Lezha follows, from where you feel you own the whole Albania.
Next, after Lezha, is the ancient city of Durres, founded in 627 B.C. There you will firstly have lunch at a restaurant by the sea where you can try the best of Albanian seafood. Today is one of the biggest towns and most important seaport in Albania. Visit the fortress of the city, the amphitheatre, and the archaeological museum, the forum and other attractions in Durres. Besides the guided tour, you will have also free time in Durres, and there you will also be for dinner and overnight.
Day-3 Durres – Kruje – Tirana
Leave the hotel and drive to the historical town of Kruja.Visit the museum of Gjergj Kastriot Scanderbeg, our national hero, who fought heroically against the ottoman invasion. Proceed to visit the Ethnographic museum, where are exposed folk dresses, objects and other things.You live Kruja by visiting the bazaar, where you will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, wool carpets, wooden-made objects etc. After sightseing all the spots of Kruja, you will have a delightful traditional lunch at a restaurant nearby the castle, to get a better Albanian taste. The afternoon is free and you will have time to explore other facinating spots of Kruja.
Afterwards, you depart to Tirana, the capital of Albania, where you will be for dinner and overnight.
Day-4 Tirana – Petrela – Tirana
You start your experience in the Albanian capital with Scanderbeg Square, where our national hero stands strong like he stood agains the Ottoman invaders, sorrounded by the historical buildings of the Ministries, the Opera, the Tirana International Hotel, the National Historic Museum, Bank of Albania and Et’hem Beg Mosque. Each of these buildings are symbolic representatives of the era of their construction. Your stroll continues south along Martyrs of the National Boulevard, passing other important landmarks and ending up to Mother Theresa Square at the Polytechnic University.
For lunch you will go out of Tirana, in Castle of Petrela. After the visit of Tirana and the traditional lunch, you will enjoy a break in one of the castles that just until a few centuries ago used to be of the most important castles of the area. The afternoon is free at your choice in Tirana. Dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Day-5 Tirana – Elbasan – Korce
You will depart in the morning to Elbasan, the city of flowers. Upon your arrival in Elbasan you start the visit inside the castle, where you see the different layers of rocks in the walls of the castle. Afterwards, a walk among the houses with a fine preserved Ottoman architecture will bring you back a few centuries.
Leaving Elbasan, you will head to Korca, the most important city of south-eastern Albania but on the way, where Shkumbin River follows along, you will have a lunch stop, just among the mountains.
Arriving in Korca, you will feel immediately why this city is called “The Little Paris” from the locals. Walking along the main boulevard, you will leave in both sides houses of both European and Ottoman architecture, the first Albanian school, and many others, until you reach the Orthodox Cathedral. And for sure, a short walk around the old quarter of Korca would also bring more pleasure. For dinner and overnight you will stay in Korca.
Day-6 Korce – Voskopoje – Korce
From the embrace of the culture of Korca, you will head to Voskopoja, an old center city of the area, from which the glory of Korca emerged. In Voskopoja, besides enjoying the nature of the mountains along the way, you will be fascinated from the glory that this small village once had, with the Academy, the monasteries, the churches and more. After lunch with local products, you will have some more time to explore the village and to engage more with the locals, to get a better insight of how their lives go.
Afterwards you will return to Korca and the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. You will be in Korca for dinner and overnight.
Day-7 Korce – Permet – Gjirokaster
After tasting Korca and the sorroundings, you will depart to Gjirokastra, going through Permet. The whole way is on the side of mountains that border Albania with Greece. Stunning natural beauty accompains you along the whole way, until you reach Permet, the so called City of Roses. Although just a small town among the mountains, Permet has it’s own concentrated attractions, such as the great rock at the center, quite a meeting point for locals. During lunch in Permet, don’t forget to take a shot of raki, a strong brandy well known in Balkans but Permet is famous in the nation for it’s raki.
Leaving behind Permet, you continue your drive heading for Gjirokastra, the stone city. Being for a long time under Ottoman occupation, Gjirokastra really got an Ottoman face, with the cobblestone, the houses in that specific architecture, the bazaar and above all, like a guardian in centuries, the castle overlooking the whole city, hometown of our ex-dictator Enver Hoxha, and Valley of Drin.
Dinner and overnight in Gjirokastra.
Day-8 Gjirokaster – Amantia – Libohove – Gjirokaster
You can get used pretty fast with the spirit and atmosphere of Gjirokastra but today you will take a drive to the Archaeological Park of Amantia. Amantia was one of the cities that were build from Pyrrhus of Epirus, the famous Illyrian general that lead victories even against Rome. The city was demolished under fire from Rome later on but there still remains most of the city’s layout.
You will continue for Libohove, a small village not very far, where you will enjoy a countrside lunch with the products of the locals. Also, while in Libohove, you will have some time to mingle and discuss with locals about their way of life, their culture, their traditions and more.
In the afternoon, you will return to Gjirokastra, where afternoon will be free. You will stay in Gjirokastra for dinner and overnight.
Day-9 Gjirokaster – Butrint – Saranda
From the stone city, today you depart for Butrint, where lie the ancient ruins of another Greek colony. You will surely be stunned in every turn after tree to see a new mancion, another religions spot, another wall, another piece of history. The ampitheatre is probably one of the views you will always keep in your mind.
Lunch time will be not far from there, will be in Ksamil, right in front of three small wonders of nature, the Islets of Ksamil, the best place to digest the big chunk of history that Butrint is.
After lunch in crysal clear waters of Ionian Sea, you will follow it’s shore heading to Saranda, once called Porto Edda from Musolini and meaning “the city of forty saints” in Greek. In Saranda you will feel like in a tropical paradise; the half-horseshoe bay, the islands around, the mountains overlooking the great island of Corfu and all encompassed by a pretty nice beach with peebles that hides the modern city. After visiting the highlights of the city you will have free time in Saranda to explore it even more and will be there for dinner and overnight.
Day-10 Saranda – Llogara – Vlora
The journey starts with the departure to Llogara, the famous National Park of Llogara, where nature has put a special consideration for this area. Before starting the ascend, you will take a short visit of Ali Pashe Tepelena castle, a rare triangle military castle of 2 centuries ago dedicated to his wife.
Continuing, the forest of Llogara is probably with the purest air you’ve seen and the mountains that go 90 degrees into the sea are really breathtaking. In Llogara you will be for lunch and will also take a walk among the trees of the forest.
Leaving behind the National Park, you head towards Vlora, the city of independency, the most important city of the south. There you will start your tour with a walk around the city, visiting firstly the historical Independency Square, where the flag of Albanian independency was raised in 1912. You will also take a look at the grandious Muradie Mosque and will make your way accross the city to get to the port.
For dinner and overnight you will be in Vlora.
Day-11 Vlora – Apolonia – Berat
After meeting your guide, you depart up north to Apolonia, a Greek colony of more than 2000 years ago where now stand the ruins of the old city, once in such importance and development, that Ceazar studied there. But you will not stay all the time that behind in history, as you will transfer for Berat. In Berat, you will start your exploration firstly with gastronomy, a rich lunch with the top dishes of Albanian cuisine.
The exploration of this 2400 year old town starts of course, with the citadel, located on a hilltop overlooking the whole area. Besides quite a few landmarks inside the castle, you will go for a visit to Onufri museum, well known for it’s special style in paintings, and you will also step into a few of the many churches that Berat has.
Afterwards you have the afternoon free to explore for yourself what remains of Berat; the old quarters, the churches and monasteries, the river passing through the city, meeting the locals, etc.
For dinner and ovrnight you will be in Berat.
Day-12 Berat – Tirana
This is the day of conclusion of your Albanian adventure. You depart from Berat heading for Tirana, and then to the airport.