Grand Albania from north to south: Hiking and Eco Tour 2020

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Albanians are very hospitable. Even more so than the rest of the Balkans ‘’TAB’’ organizes trips into Albanian Nature & Culture activities, such as rafting, hiking. For us local traveling is the way to show to our guest the real Albania, the stunning nature, miraculous tradition and ancient culture. Must of our tours are off beaten truck and nature friendly.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
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    All about the Grand Albania from north to south: Hiking and Eco Tour 2020.

    Albanians are very hospitable. Even more so than the rest of the Balkans ‘’TAB’’ organizes trips into Albanian Nature & Culture activities, such as rafting, hiking. For us local traveling is the way to show to our guest the real Albania, the stunning nature, miraculous tradition & ancient culture. Must of our tours are off beaten truck and nature friendly.

    Day 1: Arrival-Tirana

    Arrival in “Mother Teresa” Airport, meet and assisted by our representative. Check in Hotel Tirana, afternoon visit the Tirana Highlights start with the Et’hem Bey Mosque, the clock tower , 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. 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,”  In the evening, a visit to the former Communist Residential area, with modern bars, restaurants and pubs where the populated by different age groups, especially Albanian youth. Diner at Traditional Restaurant Era Overnight in Tirana 4*

    Day 2: Tirana- Vlora- Llogara

    After breakfast we will drive south towards the coastal city of Vlora and the national park Llogora. On the way, we will visit the ancient ruins of Apollonia, its Byzantine Monastery and the Museum of Archaeology. Continue to Vlora we will have a short stop in the bay of Vlora before we drive to our hotel in Llogora Park. Overnight in Hotel Llogara National Park. Diner in a traditional restaurant Distance: 235 km, Duration: 5-6 Hrs

    Day 3: Llogara

    After breakfast we will explore the surroundings of Llogora Park. Llogara have been described as one of the most dramatic mountain and sea panoramas of the Mediterranean. It is here that our first hike will take place. We will make our way up towards Qafa e Thelle (1200m) – The Deep Pass – through dense mixed forest the steep western slopes of the Karabruni peninsula, dropping down towards the waters of the Ionian Sea. In the afternoon, upon return, we will have an optional walk or the chance to relax in the hotel until dinner time. Overnight: Hotel Llogara National Park .Dinner: Traditional dinner Walking and Hike information: Gradient: 400m; – 400m, Distance: 7 km, Duration: 4-5 hrs

    Day 4: Llogara- Himare- Qeparo

    After breakfast in the morning, we will hike up to Mount Cika, Qafa e Erës (1600m). The Cika (2045m) mountain is the highest peak of south-western Albania. From the summit, you can admire the stunning view of the highlands of “Labëria” – land of southern shepherds – and the splendor of the Ionian Sea with Corfu and other minor Greek islands on the horizon. After the hike, we will drive further along the Ionian coast until we reach the village of Qeparo (0m) at the sea. Before we reach our final destination we will stop to visit the beautiful bay of Porto Palermo and the Ali Pasha fortress. Overnight: Guesthouse Qeparo guest house. Dinner: home-cooked meal Transfer information: Distance: 40 km, Duration: 2 hrs. Hike information: Gradient: .600m ; – 600m Distance: 5km,Duration:4hrs

    Day 5: Qeparo- Saranda

    After breakfast, we will drive further south along the splendid Albanian Riviera. Saranda it is set in a lovely horseshoe bay, making it a holiday resort since communist times. Nearby, following a panoramic road along the homonymous lagoon are the remains of the ancient Butrint, Albania’s most important archaeological site. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but no evidence of this has yet been found. Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which we can still visit. The rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history, and its 6th century BC fortification evokes the city’s military power and symbolizes the rich culture of the once thriving ancient city We will have lunch in a restaurant in most beautiful Village of Saranda Ksamil (sea side) . After this we will go to a hotel by the sea where we can relax at the beach or stroll through the city, until it is time for another tasty dinner. Overnight in Hotel 4* Saranda

    Day 6: Saranda- Gjirokastra- Berat

    After breakfast we will leave the coast and drive inland towards Gjirokaster – the City of Stone. Here, we will visit the Castle, the Museum of Weapons, the Ethnographic Museum and we will take a walk along the stone paved alleys of the town. Gjirokastër is one of the most beautiful Albanian historic towns, with a citadel dating from the 13th century. Walks along the stone paved streets will bring you to discover the charming traditional Albanian architecture. It was in these gray-toned streets that Enver Hoxha (the notorious Albanian dictator) and Ismail Kadare (the notorious Albanian writer) grew up. At the end of our visits in Gjirokaster, we will drive to our next night-stop:Overnight in Hotel Mangalemi Berat.

    Day 7: Berat – Tirana

    After breakfast we will visit one of the best-preserved historic town of Albania. Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Socialist buildings accumulated over 2400 years, and show the importance and the rich history of Berat. We will walk in the characteristics neighborhood “Mangalemi” to visit the Ethnographic museum. Then we will hike up to visit the citadel district of Berat, its splendid orthodox churches and the Onufri Icons museum. In the afternoon, we will drive on to Durres (92km/1hr30min), where we will have a stop for refreshment by the sea, before we continue on our way back to Tirana. Overnight in Tirana

    Day 8: Tirana- Kruja

    Today you will have the morning free in Tirana, then in the afternoon we will continue our journey to Kruja. We will visit the Kruja Bazar and the Kruja castle, epicenter of the legendary Albanian resistance against the Ottomans led by national hero Scanderbeg in the 15th century. Overnight in Hotel Panorama Kruja. Dinner with live traditional folk music

    Day 9: Kruja- Mount of Sarisalltik- Shkodra

    Today we will hike up the holy mountain of Sarisalltik and visit the Bectasci Teqe (Sufi Dervishes Sanctuary) located at 1100m. Afterwards we will start driving north. At the entrance of Shkoder, the largest city of the North, we will visit the Rozafa Castle and admire the superb view of the lake surrounded by mountains. In the evening, we will relax at the lake and walk about in town, until dinner. Overnight in Hotel Tradita

    Day 10: Shkodra- Koman- Tropoja- Valbona

    After breakfast, in the early morning, we will drive to the ferry, which goes through the spectacular canyon of River Drin. The lake was man-made, after the construction of the dam of Koman, in the 1980s.The transfer will continue along the beautiful valley of river Valbona, until reaching the picturesque location of Dunishë (750m) where we will stay overnight. Overnight: Guesthouse in a beautiful setting in Valbona Dinner: home-cooked meal.Transfer information: Distance: 75 km. Duration: 6 hrs. Overnight in Hotel Margjeka

    Day 11: Valbona

    After breakfast,the hike will start from the house in direction of the village of Kukaj (900m). From there, a shepherd’s path will bring us to remote landscapes of the eastern Alps of Albania until reaching Qafa e Rosit (2000m). 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, we arrive in the village Rrogam (900), where we will overnight in Valbona Hotel. Hike information: Gradient: 1100m; 950m.Distance:18.7km.Duration: 7-8 hrs. Overnight in Hotel Margjeka

    Day 12: Valbona- Thethi Pass

    Today we will hike the classic pass of the Albanian Alps which, for centuries, has linked the two most renowned valleys of the area, Valbona (Valnona pass; 1966m a.s.l) and Thethi. We will use mules to carry the luggage to the next house. Several springs of water will make the stops pleasant and refreshing, while admiring the steep and jagged surrounding peaks of Jezerca and Radohima. From there the group will start the descent towards the village of Thethi (850m 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 traditional houses and experience the unforgettable hospitality of the place. Overnight: Guesthouse Thethi, Dinner: home-cooked meal. Hike information: Gradient: 1150m; – 900m Distance: 14km, Duration: 6 hrs. Overnight in Thethi Guest House

    Day 13: Thethi

    Today we will have a pleasant day exploring the surroundings of Thethi. We will start walking downhill from the house (850m), and visit the attractions near the village, such as the Church (750m), the Kulla e Ngujimit (a tower house used in the past by men as a shelter against on-going vendetta), the Thethi Waterfall, Grunasi Canyon, and the cyclopean stone walled terraces dating from the late bronze era, recently discovered in 2007.Overnight: Guesthouse Thethi. Dinner: home-cooked meal. Hike information: Gradient: .200m; – 200m Distance: 11km, Duration:5 hrs

    Day 14: Thethi- Boga- Shkodra- Tirana

    After breakfast we will leave Thethi (850m a.s.l) to start another day of spectacular trekking toward the village of Boga (900m). We will walk along Shtegu i Dheneve – the Path of the Sheep – which is another classic path with stunning views of the “Accursed Mountains”, 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 000m high, and then leave through the Boga valley towards Shkoder and then Tirana (160km – 3hrs). Overnight in Hotel Vila Alba Tirana

    Day 15: Tirana- Tirana Airport.

    After breakfast free time before the transfer to Tirana Airport

    Included: All the transportations with modern AC Vehicles, 3, 4 star Hotel & Guest Houses, Professional Tour Guides in English, German, Italian, French, Polish, Russian.

    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
    • All the museum entry fee
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.

    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
    • All the 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.

    Children are welcome on our family tours and private departures. Children under the age of 18 should be accompanied by an adult.

    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 try to direct our tours with overnights in a guesthouse. This will give you a real experience, while staying with the locals, and will bring a direct economic benefit to the guesthouse owners in rural Albania. Depending on where the overnight is, we also use family run hotels, 4 and 5 star hotels .

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