11 Days The Best of Albania Tour
Albania’s rich history, lofty mountains, turquoise seas and charming villages make it an ideal short-haul destination for those looking to visit Europe’s most up and coming destination. This classic journey begs to be explored, combining all four corners of the country. Explore the ancient ruins of Apollonia and Butrint. Wander amongst the cobbles of the Unesco City of Gjirokastra. Spend time in the charming Ottoman quarters of Berat.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Fairly Easy
Albania's rich history, lofty mountains, turquoise seas and charming villages make it an ideal short-haul destination for those looking to visit Europe's most up and coming destination. This classic journey begs to be explored, combining all four corners of the country. Explore the ancient ruins of Apollonia and Butrint. Wander amongst the cobbles of the Unesco City of Gjirokastra. Spend time in the charming Ottoman quarters of Berat. Sample Albania's delightful vineyards and local cuisine. Discover the turquoise waters of the Albanian Riviera.
- 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
- All the museum entry fee
Arrival in “Mother Teresa” Airport, meet and assisted by our representative. Drive to Tirana. Continue with walking tour .Enjoy the welcome dinner in Local Restaurant in Tirana. Free time to explore Tirana by night. Overnight in Tirana Hotel 4*
After breakfast starts with Tirana city tour begins from Skanderbeg Square, named after the Albanian hero the main landmark of the city. Visit 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,” The Clock Tower next to the Et'hem Bey Mosque, National Museum- north of Scanderbeg Square, The Palace of Culture, The monument to Mother Albania and The National Historical Museum are the significant spots that catch up the attention of one and all who make a visit to the city. Departure to Pogradec - on the Roman via Egnatia route to the east. Drive through Elbasan (ancient Scampa).A short stop to Visit its fine Ottoman walls and continue to Pogradec. Arrive at Lake Ohrid - one of the deepest freshwater lakes in Europe –it is the home to a number of fish and birds found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy the lunch at local restaurant in Drilon (nice spot not far from Ohrid Lake which has been a preferred holiday place for the ex-dictator Hoxha) – decorated with willow trees, and streams flowing down to the lake. Overnight Hotel Pogradeci 2. 4* Hotel
This morning depart to visit Korça.A brief sightseeing tour to Korça city to visit to the Archaeological Museum housed in a lovely wooden Ottoman house - the Museum of Medieval Art (seeing paintings and icons made by famous local artists).Visit the architecturally important 15th century Mirahorit Mosque, and the Old Bazaar. Drive into the pine-forested mountains to the rough little rural settlement of Voskopoja –a well-known center of art, where some of the most talented Albanian painters practiced their profession. Visit to the most interesting and accessible Church of Shen Koll, notable for its frescoes made by the famous Albanian painters. Overnight in Best Traditional Hotel Vila Falo
Voskopoja- Korca- Permet-Gjirokastra
After breakfast our tour will progress to Permet city. Along the way, you will enjoy the wonderful views of nature. Stop for lunch in traditional local restaurant in Permet. Continue with ss tour of the small town of Permet. Here lso we will visit a nice traditional Permeti Family where the group will enjoy the ALBANIAN Hospitality also will try our National spirit Raki & gliko. We will proceed along the Vjosa River and see the charming canyons of Kelcyra outfall. The way pass through Tepelena city, the native land of Ali Pasha Tepelena, where is found the medieval castle with the same name. In the evening arrival to the stony city of Gjirokastra. Accommodation and Overnight at Hotel Argjiro Gjirokastra.
Gjirokastra- Blue Eye- Saranda
This morning depart to Saranda, the hillside town facing the sea, famous for its magnificent “Butrinti” archeological site. Visit the “Blue Eye” spring, formed by underground springs and the unusual church of St. Nicholas at Mesopotam with its fine carvings of mythological beasts. Stop for the lunch to “Lekursi Castle restaurant (built on the ruins of an old castle). Overnight in Saranda. Hotel Brilant 4* or similar
Sarande-Butrinti- Ksamil- Saranda
After breakfast drive to Butrint, we will visit the well preserved ruins of the ancient city of Butrint and its museum hosted in the Venetian castle, Butrint: is a National park that includes a very well preserved archaeological area, an uncontaminated vegetation area of Mediterranean, and has also a lake that is connected to the Ionian sea by a natural channel. The wetlands around the lake are shelter for different animals and aquatic species in danger of extinction. The excavations and studies has proved that during the VII and the VI centuries BC. Butrint was a protourban centre. By the V century BC Butrint has got the full form of an ancient city. During the VI century the city was equipped with new buildings such as the theatre, the agora, the small, temple and the stoa. The complex of the sanctuary of Asclepius forms the most magnificent part of the city. The main importance and magnificence of the Site was in the Roman period when the City was proclaimed a Roman Colony and used by the roman aristocracy as a holiday destination. Even during late antiquity Butrint maintained its importance. The construction of the Great Basilica and of the baptistery dates to this period. The baptistery has the floor surface covered by a mosaic decoration of a very fine processing, which is very well preserved. .After the visits in Butrint, we will continue to must beautiful sea side village of Ksamil, free time for optional lunch in Fish restaurant 10 m from the sea. Continue to Saranda. Overnight in Hotel Brilant or similar
Sarande - Dhermi - Vlore
After breakfast drive up to Albanian Riviera. En route making a short visit to the bay of Porto Palermo where the castle of Ali Pasha is situated. Continue climbing to 3,000 feet where you can enjoy the best views, as we drive through the fertile slopes and villages. Drive along Himara, Dhermi coastline and stop for a special lunch in a restaurant in Llogara, enjoying the wonderful scenery among the pinewoods. Afternoon arrival in Vlora, and historical and costal city. Overnight in Vlora. Hotel Partner, or Bologna
Vlore - Apollonia - Ardenice - Berat
After breakfast our tour will continue to Archeological Park of Apollonia. Here during the walking tour we will visit the ruins of the ancient city, the monastery of Saint Mary and the archeological museum. The ancient city of Apollonia of Illyria was founded at the beginning of the VII century BC. by Greek colons coming by the cities of Corinth and Corcyra. Apollonia became an emporium of merchandising between Greeks an Illyrians and was taken by Aristotle as a model in his analysis of oligarchy due to the distinct and separate Greek and Illyrian communities. The city prospered very much in roman times. It was a vital stronghold in Caesar’s civil war with Pompey and also important in early Christian history as the resident bishop attended the councils of Ephesus and Chalkis in 431 and 451. The discovered monuments on the site are: the fortification wall of the city, the Prytaneon, the Bouleterion, the big and small Stoas, the Odeion, the Theatre, the Nympheum and many more. The museum of Apollonia is hosted in the nearby monastery of the XIV century when can be visit also the Church of St. Mary. After the visit, drive to Berat in the charming and UNESCO protected town of Berat. Upon arrival in Berat we will start the walking tour of the town to visit the upper castle with its characteristic houses and the museum of the icons. Walking down in the lower part of the town we will visit the medieval centre and some very beautiful examples of byzantine churches and ottoman mosques. Berat is also known as “The town of a Thousand windows” due to the many large buildings that decorate the houses of the old town. The town is still renowned for its historic architecture and particular beauty and is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Historical Berat consist of three quarters. The quarters of Gorica and Mangalem are situated on the slopes of two hills that are divided by the river Osum. The castle (fortress) quarter stands on the top of the Magalemi hill and is enclosed by a fortification wall that dates back to the IV century BC. The town has several XVI century mosques, very well decorated and a very large numbers of Byzantine orthodox churches. Several of the churches has frescoes by the well-known painter Onufri and his school and from other later famous schools of frescos and icons of the Balkan area. Of particular interest are: The icons museum located in the old cathedral church of the Castle and the Ethnographic museum hosted in an old house in the Mangalem quarter. Overnight in Berat
After breakfast drive to Durres– the ancient Greco-Roman port city of Dyrrachium. Formerly Durrazzo is one of the oldest towns in Albania. The legend says that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his own name and named the port area after his grandson - Dyrrah. Visit to the town including the Byzantine city walls,Roman amphitheater and the Archaeological Museum. Overnight in Durres. Hotel 4*
After breakfast we will drive to Shkodra the northern Albanian city. Shkodra has been an important city for Albania over 2,000 years. Once part of the Venetian empire, Italian influence is everywhere evident in Shkodra. Lunch and drive to Kruja where you will see examples of an age of unbounded creativity. The tour begins with the visit to Kruja–one of the biggest cities in Northern Albania is the “city of history” and the best known as hometown of Albanian’s National Hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. Visit to the Castle, Skanderbeg Museum and Ethnographic Museum. After the visit of the castle, is free for you to explore Kruja’s old bazaar with authentic and antique shops. Overnight in Kruja. Hotel Panorama
Kruja-Tirana Airport Departure
Transfer to “Mother Teresa” airport for your return flight home.
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.