Albania Walking and Cultural Tour 2020

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Explore the beauty of northern Albania’s national parks on this scenic walking holiday. The highlights of the trip, Valbona, Thethi & Koman Lake, national parks, are in the little visited, stunning, and Albanian Alps region. This will be a chance to see rural Albania at its best, encountering a traditional way of life in the villages that we visit and taking the opportunity to meet and eat with the local people who live there. Albania has some outstanding and breathtaking natural beauty much of which you will get the chance to explore on foot during this week’s walking. Also you will explore the Historical towns as Kruja, Durres, Berat & explore the nightlife of Tirana.

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      Discovery, Family, Guided Tours, Wildlife
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    All about the Albania Walking and Cultural Tour 2020.

    Explore the beauty of northern Albania’s national parks on this scenic walking holiday. The highlights of the trip, Valbona, Thethi & Koman Lake, national parks, are in the little visited, stunning, and Albanian Alps region. This will be a chance to see rural Albania at its best, encountering a traditional way of life in the villages that we visit and taking the opportunity to meet and eat with the local people who live there. Albania has some outstanding and breathtaking natural beauty much of which you will get the chance to explore on foot during this week’s walking. Also you will explore the Historical towns as Kruja, Durres, Berat & explore the nightlife of Tirana.

     

    Day 1: Tirana Airport – Kruja

    Meet with our representative at Tirana Airport and drive to Kruja. The journey from the airport to the hotel is anything from 30 minutes depending on the traffic. You will arrive in Kruja to check in to the hotel and a meeting with the guide to discuss the program for the coming week. Depending on the time of arrival you can visit the Kruja Bazaar and the Kruja castle, epicenter of the legendary Albanian resistance to the Ottomans led by Scanderbeg in the 14th century. Overnight at Hotel Panorama Kruja. Possibility for group tours to organize an Albanian Night with live folk music show.

    Day 2: Kruja-Mount of Sari Salltic-Shkodra

    Today we will hike up the holy mountain of Sarisalltik and visit the Bectasci Teqe (Sufi Dervishes Sanctuary) located at 1900m. After the decent, we will start driving north (100km), and have lunch on the way to Shkodra. At the entrance of the largest city of the north, we will visit the Rozafa Castle and admire the superb view of the Shkodra Lake surrounded by mountains. In the evening, we will relax at the Shkodra Lake and walkabout in town, until dinner. Dinner: traditional restaurant. Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Tradita Shkodra.

    Day 3: Shkodra-Koman-Fierze-B. Curri-Valbona

    After breakfast transfer: Shkodër – Koman; Fierzë – Quku i Dunishës: 40km; Ferry 20km: Koman – Fierzë. In the early morning, we will drive to the ferry, which goes through the spectacular canyon of river Drin. The lake is created, after the construction of the dam of Koman, in the 80-ies. The transfer will continue along the beautiful valley of river Valbona, until the picturesque location of Valbona, where we will stay overnight. Dinner and accommodation: village of Valbona, the best location to start all kinds of hikes in the surrounding mountains. Overnight in Hotel Margjeka Valbona

    Day 4: Valbona – Qafa e Rosit

    The trekking will start from the house in direction of the village of Kukaj. From there, a shepherd’s path will bring us to remote landscapes of the eastern Alps of Albania until reaching Qafa e Rosit 2000m – approx. 6-7 hours of walk. The path climbs smoothly in the middle of green meadows, with gorgeous views of Jezerca Mountain and Rrethi i Bardhë – The White Circle. At the end of the day, arrive in the village Valbona, where we will overnight in a mountain hotel Margjeka

    Day 5: Valbona-Thethi (no driving)

    Today we will hike the classic pass of the Albanian Alps that for centuries linked the two most known valleys of the area, Valbona and Thethi. We will use mules to carry the luggage to the next house. Highlanders from late spring use the path commonly, until the first snow of winter. Several springs of water will make the stops pleasant and refreshing, while admiring the steep and jagged surrounding peaks of Jezerca, Radohima, etc. From there the group will start the descent towards the village of Thethi (800m a.s.l), where we will stay overnight after up to 8 hrs of walking. Thethi is the best-preserved alpine village in Albania. It has typical houses still roofed with wooden tiles and its location is spectacular. We will stay overnight and have dinner in one of these houses and experience the unforgettable hospitality of the place. Overnight in Guest House Polia or Berisha Thethi

    Day 6: Thethi

    After breakfast -we will take a familiarization tour of the village lasting between 3-5 hours, staring with the church of Thethi originally built in 1892, rebuilt and reroofed in 2005. Roughly opposite the church across a field is the “Kulla e ngujimit” or “Lock-in Tower” which can be seen only from outside, testimony to a system of rigid and cruel codes to the modern visitors, but which has regulated an isolated lifestyle in these far away mountains, for centuries. Another inaccessible monument inside, the old water-mill, situated just below the tower was used by the locals to grind corn. Then we walk up the mill, following a footpath leading to the bridge of Gerla which hangs more than 30 metres above Thethi canyon which wide only 2 metres is providing a spectacular site. At the wonderful Grunasi waterfall the waters plunges tens of meters into a deep pool, and its crystal clear water is so cold that any thoughts of a swim will be quickly dispelled, the moment it reaches your ankles. Overnight at local guest house in Theth village.

    Day 7: Thethi–Tirana

    We will leave Thethi (800m a.s.l) to start another day of spectacular trekking in direction of the village of Boga. During this day we will walk along Shtegu i Dheneve – the Path of the Sheep, which is another classic way of the Albanian Alps that connects the villages of Thethi and Boga. After Pass (1830m a.s.l) and the stunning views it offers of Bjeshket e Namuna – The Accursed Mountains, the walk will continue downhill along the side Radohima mountain range until we reach the village of Boga (900m a.s.l). We will have lunch in this picturesque village surrounded by vertical slopes with peaks above 2000m high, and then leave through the Boga valley towards Shkodra and then Tirana (120km – 3hrs).  In the evening explore the nightlife of Tirana, walking in the ex-block area known as “the forbidden town” where the villas of the communists’ leaders are still standing next to trendy boutiques, expensive jewelry shops and active local pubs. Overnight in Tirana. Overnight in hotel 4*

    Day 8: – Tirana – Kepi Rodonit – Lalzi Bay.

    After breakfast we begin with a sightseeing tour Albania’s lively capital Tirana. We visit the National Historical Museum, the early 19th century Ethem Bey Mosque, and the National Gallery. Continue with the new opened Atonic bunker, the Bunk’art2 museum in Tirana opened to the public describing it as a museum throwing light on political persecution during the Albanian communist era. The museum – called Bunk’Art 2 – is also intended as a memorial to the tens of thousands of people who were imprisoned and executed by the communist regime,” Continue to  “Kepi i Rodonit” a wonderful Cape only 55 km from the Capital. Here we take a walk in the beautiful natural small peninsula which has much to offer. As we walk we explore the history of Albania from the 15th century at the Church of St Anthony, one of the oldest in Albania thought to have healing powers, to its communist recent past with anti-aircraft huge bunkers built by the regime thinking of a possible “enemy” Invasion. We walk through lush vegetation for about 2 hours and explore the place called Scanderbeg castle at the edge of the Cape overlooking the sea. Overnight at Rezidenca Primavera. (Gjiri Lalzit Lalzi Bay)

    Day 9: Lalzi Bay  – Durres-  Berat (UNESCO)

    After breakfast we drive to Durres stop to visit the centre of Durres with its ancient amphitheater considered the biggest in the Balkans, City walls & Archeological museum .Continue to  Berat known as the museum town of a “one over one windows” due to the fact that its characteristic houses are built on a slope and have many windows which to observes seem as if the windows stand on top of each other. It has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and it is a must visit place in Albania. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries. The castle used to have over 40 churches of which 7 still remain including St. Mary’s church turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was a famous Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece, using a special red color. We suggest lunch in the castle at the little place of a family which serves homemade specialties. Overnight in Berat Hotel Mangalemi or similar

    Day 10: Berat – Airport

    After breakfast you are left free to explore on your own until time of transfer to Airport for the flight back.

    Including: Hotels & guest houses 3,4* BB, Transportation with comfortable a/c vehicle, English (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese etc.)  speaking tour guide, Transfer of luggage with horses from Theth to Valbona. Transfers with alternative vehicles from Shkodra to Theth. Dinners at Local restaurants, museum entry fees, all taxes.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Transfers with Modern A/C private car/ bus or minibus with driver on tour
    • Good standard Accommodation at 3*, 4* hotels
    • All parking’s
    • Professional English-French-German-Italian-Russian or Spanish speaking local guide throughout the tour
    • museum entry fee
    Hotels, Farm Houses and Lodges

    Hotels in Albania

    Hotels in Albania are not to the same standard as those in the UK, EU or USA as tourism has not long been a major industry here. However, here are comfortable options and, in some places, very characterful places to stay. We use always the best possible selection boutique 3, 4 -star hotels BB, all en-suite. Below is a small selection of some of our favorite hotels in Albania.

    Hotel Vila Alba Tirana

    Situated in the heart of the Old Town, Vila Alba is a boutique-style hotel. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property. A private parking area is reserved for all guests and is free of charge. Hotel Vila Alba All rooms at Vila Alba feature high ceilings and a combination of classical and modern design. They feature air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a safe and a minibar. Private bathroom provides a walk-in shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Some rooms have a balcony.

    Hotel Panorama Kruja

    Situated in the centre of Krujë, Hotel Panorama Kruje is set just 400 m from the historic fortress Kalaja e Krujes. The hotel features an on-site restaurant serving traditional Albanian specialties and offers free Wi-Fi and free garage parking. All rooms are air-conditioned and fitted with a flat-screen TV, a desk, a wardrobe and a private bathroom with a shower. Some rooms feature a balcony.

    Hotel Mangalemi – Berat

    A 3+ -star hotel built on the ruins of Turkish mansions in the historic centre of Mangalem Quarter, close to the town centre. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free) and 15 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.

    Hotel Brilant – Saranda

    This 4-star hotel is close to the town’s main boulevard. Bar, WiFi (free) and 33 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and satellite TV.

    Hotel Argjiro – Gjirokastra

    A modern 4-star hotel in traditional style. It is close to the castle and Ethnographic Museum. Restaurants, bar, WiFi (free) and 30 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV.

    Bujtina Leon Korca

    Set in a building with traditional features of the local architecture, Guest House Bujtina Leon is located in the centre of Korca. Featuring free Wi-Fi and free bike rental, it offers rooms and suites with an LCD cable TV. The property is situated behind the Orthodox Cathedral, in a street paved in cobble stone and surrounded by old houses. The reception area has a fireplace in front of which guests can enjoy wine, tea or homemade food. A common wooden terrace is also a good spot to relax. Likewise, a porch and a garden with flowers and oil lamps contribute to the specific ambiance of the guest house.

    TAB is specialized in cultural round trips and active tours such as, walking, Eco Tours, Jeep Tours and others. For all our tours and products please check ‘Tours’ and ‘Day trips’ in the main menu above.

    With a tailor-made tour, you can design your own itinerary and decide on your own preferred dates. You can use the itineraries on this website as a starting point to give you some interesting ideas and to show you what is possible. If you contact us with ideas and requirements, we can then customize an itinerary to fit your personal preferences and interests, available dates and budget. We know Albania and the Balkan countries very well and have years of experience in designing itineraries for our travelers. We are here to help you with creating your own special Albanian & Balkan holidays.

    We do our best to use accommodations that reflect the local area and the famous Albanian hospitality. During many years of operating we have established a trustworthy cooperation with small and bitter sized accommodation providers all around the country.

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