Albania Bird Watching and Wildlife Tour 2021

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On this new and exciting 10 -day holiday we will travel through some wonderful landscapes and explore a variety of species-rich habitats in search of birds and other wildlife, From the birder’s perspective the country’s birdlife is largely undiscovered, so surprises are guaranteed. Karavasta Lagoon is one of the few protected areas with a healthy population of Dalmatian Pelicans and an important wetland for migrating waterbirds. Albania has become a tourist destination with great potential. We will explore and learn about this fascinating country as we travel, visiting some historic towns and of course focussing on the varied and exciting natural history on offer here.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Culture, Discovery, Family, Guided Tours
    • Activity Level Leisurely
    All about the Albania Bird Watching and Wildlife Tour 2021.

    On this new and exciting 10 -day holiday we will travel through some wonderful landscapes and explore a variety of species-rich habitats in search of birds and other wildlife, From the birder’s perspective the country’s birdlife is largely undiscovered, so surprises are guaranteed. Karavasta Lagoon is one of the few protected areas with a healthy population of Dalmatian Pelicans and an important wetland for migrating waterbirds. Albania has become a tourist destination with great potential. We will explore and learn about this fascinating country as we travel, visiting some historic towns and of course focussing on the varied and exciting natural history on offer here.

    Dalmatian pelican

    One of the main birdwatching areas in the country is the Divjake-Karavasta National Park, 90km south of the capital Tirana. It has the largest lagoon in Albania that’s also famous for the endangered Dalmatian pelican. According to the Albanian Ornithological Society, which also runs birdwatching tours, Karavasta offers shelter to more than 245 species of birds. AOS lists the Narta lagoon, located near the southern coastal town of Vlora, as the second most important site for water birds in Albania.

    Lake Shkodra.

    Another popular birdwatching site is Lake Shkodra, shared with Montenegro and situated next to the town of Shkodra. This is the largest lake in the Balkans and considered one of the most important sites for migratory birds in Europe. Other possible locations for wildlife-watching include Valbona valley in the Albanian Alps, where hiking has so far been the main activity for tourists.

    Grade A/B. For part of this tour we will be following the format of a traditional birding tour, with or no strenuous
    Walking involved. During the latter part of the holiday, in the Valbone National Park we will be spending more time
    Wildlife watching on foot, taking a number of easy/moderate day, or half day, walks.

    What to Bring
    The weather forecast is good, warm and dry during the day, but cooler at night and in the early morning. Please ensure you have good wet weather clothing, we will not change the program even if there is moderate rainfall! We will be taking some easy hikes.

    Suggested Gear

    • Hiking boots.
    • Wool or wool/synthetic blend socks 2-3 pairs
    • Wool sweater/pile jacket/fleece
    • Warm trousers (denim is not recommended)
    • Wool or fleece hat and gloves
    • Waterproof rain/wind gear jacket and trousers.
    • Trainers or light shoes to wear at accommodation.
    • Insect repellent


    Day 1- Tirana Airport- Tirana

    Depending on time of arrival in Tirana, we may do a short city tour before or after check in at the hotel. Begin the Tour of Tirana City. It starts with a visit at Skanderbeg Square, followed by a stop at the newest Atomic Nuclear Bunker Bunk’Art 2 , the Opera House (National Theatre of Opera and Ballet) looks over the Scanderbeg Square. A walk in the main boulevard provides a close sight of the City Hall and a number of Governmental buildings In the evening, we’ll have dinner at a traditional restaurant and then explore the nightlife of Tirana, walking in the ex-block area where the villas of the communists leaders are still standing next to trendy boutiques, expensive jewelers shops and active local pubs. Dinner in a traditional restaurant with a rustic setting and a first taste of Albania’s culinary delights. The cuisine of mid-Albania has strong Ottoman, Greek & Italian influences. Overnight in Tirana Hotel Hermes

    Day 2- Tirana – Durres- Berat

    After breakfast drive to city of Durres. Durres, otherwise known as antique Dyrrah, due to its geographic and climatic position took a strategic place on the eastern shores of the Adriatic and in the region of southern Illyria. The tour of the Durres Old Town will include the ruins of the town forum, roman baths, city center, town hall, Roman Amphitheater, byzantine walls, Venetian tower and archaeological museum with a panoramic display of discoveries and urban planning of this once important city. After the tour continue your trip towards the beautiful city of Berat. On the way you stop in the charming Çobo Winery settled scenically at the base of Mount Tomorri, in the rolling hills that surround the city of Berat for a traditional Albanian wine tasting. The tour will include an extensive viewing of the wine making process and detailed explanations that paint a glowing picture of the family’s history and the origins of their wines. After the tour of the grounds, guests are invited to share a glass of wine and exchange stories with a member of the Çobo family while enjoying a variety of homemade Albanian cheeses and locally-grown olives. Then you leave the winery and head towards Berat. This city is one of the oldest and the pride of Albanian architecture. Berat, known as the city of ‘one thousand windows’ is a treasure of Albanian history, culture and a testament to the country’s tradition of religious harmony. Overnight in Berat. Hotel Mangalemi

    Day 3 Berat- Divjaka – Karavasta National Park

    After breakfast drive to the coast and spend our time exploring the little visited and fascinating Divjaka -Karavasta National Park. With a mosaic of different habitats including saltwater and freshwater lagoons, sand dunes and pine forest the area can hold a great range of different bird species. The 4000 hectare Karavasta lagoon is a focal point and the largest lagoon in the country holding around 5% of the worlds breeding Dalmatian Pelicans! These impressive birds can be seen here with relative ease and we shall explore the area enjoying whatever we may find. At this time of year, being a peak time for bird migration, a whole host of species may be found and the wetlands are often teeming with waders and wildfowl. Garganey may be present in their hundreds while flocks of Pygmy Cormorants and Greater Flamingos are a common sight. We shall enjoy a range of different waders often including Marsh Sandpipers and Black-winged Stilts while Caspian Terns pass through here and herons may include Squacco Heron and Great Egret. Although the wetlands are a feature here the woodlands which are dominated by pine and low shrubs provide excellent cover and food for passing birds and we shall enjoy this habitat as well. Birds such as Collared Flycatcher and Subalpine Warbler may be found and Hoopoe and Bee-eater are regularly seen. We shall spend the day in the National, Overnight in Divjaka, Hotel Divjaka Resort

    Day 4 Divjaka- Vjose-Narte- Vlora

    After breakfast drive to  visit another protected area a little to the south of Karavasta and again hope to see a range of different species in this excellent area for migrant birds. A huge complex of saltpans the Narte Salinas and coastal pools surround the lagoon and we shall drive around the area stopping for short walks and to scan, often at very close range, the wading birds that drop in here to feed. Visiting at the time we are should reward us with a great range of species and indeed great numbers of birds. Large numbers of Kentish Plover are often present and we shall be on the lookout for flocks of Little Stint and also Curlew Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Spotted Redshank, Avocet and Marsh Sandpiper. Flamingos and Dalmatian Pelicans may also be seen here while Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew and Slender-billed Gull may be spotted. The area is also very important for breeding species and Little, Common and Gull-billed Tern all breeds here along with Collared Pratincole, a range of waders and herons. Following our exploration of this site. Continue to Vlora Town, Overnight at Hotel Regina

    Day 5 Vlora- Llogara – Kruja

    After breakfast drive to National Park Llogara 1050 m above the sea level  – at the top of the mountain. Pine trees, mountain air, the chirping of birds and tame deer….! Climb to the top of the pass – and you’ll be inspired by the raging endless blue sea on one side and green on the other magnificent mountains. Citizens are tired of the concrete jungle – this tour created just for you to regain your mental balance, beauty and health. Llogara National Park: pine forests with trees shaped by the wind, breathtaking views, habitat for abundant wildlife including migrating birds of prey such as short-toed eagle and steppe buzzard, followed by Orikum Lagoon: reedbeds, wetland birdlife. Then drive to  Kruja . Kruja is a town situated alongside a panoramic mountainside location. Some of the main points of interest include the restored Castle and Citadel years. The Skanderbeg Museum which is located inside the castle was erected in memory of the eponymous Albanian national hero. Skanderbeg was from these parts and Kruja was a strategic point in the anti-Ottoman resistance. The Old Restored Bazaar has am truly oriental look, multi-colored and overflowing with goods of every description; a typical Ottoman market right. Overnight at Hotel Panorama Kruja

    Day  6  Kruja- Koman Lake- B-Curri-  Valbone

    After Breakfast departure for Lake Koman (2 hours) before boarding the ferry for a 2-hour scenic journey viewing the Lake Birds (Gulls and Cormorants) as well as a range of Raptors which live along the lake shore (Eagles, Buzzards and Falcons). After lunch in Bajram Curri we take a birding hike at (*) before travelling to Valbona. Evening: Dinner is held in a traditional restaurant where we will try local specialties, before an early night in preparation for an early start the following day.  Overnight: Hotel Margjeka.

    Days 7- Valbona

    Morning: After breakfast we depart at 8.00am for a full day birding around Valbona *, with a picnic Lunch. Morning hike towards Maja e Gjarprit and afternoon hike towards Stanet e Milloshit with potentials for Capercaille, Hazel Grouse, Rock Partridge, Grey Partridge, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Goshawk, Pigeons, Cuckoo, Woodpeckers, Larks, Wagtails, Dipper, Accentors, Wheatears, Thrushes, Warblers, Tits, European Nuthatch and Rock Nuthatch, Finches and Sparrows. 6.30 pm return to Margieka 8.30 pm Evening Meal followed by a live folk music show or the opportunity to visit an area where we may be able to hear Owls, and Nightjar Overnight: Hotel Margieka

    Day 8- Valbona – Koman –  Shkodra

    After breakfast we’ll take a short drive to reach Fierze where we’ll take the ferry toward Koman. The ferry trip passes between 1000-1500m-high mountains and through a series of deep gorges and interconnected lakes, with hardly any signs of human activities on the shores. The wild landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords, and is a dramatic highlight of any trip to Albania. Drive to  Shkodra  we’ll stop for lunch on the shores of Shkodra Lake where we may watch Pygmy Cormorants on the shores while Black-necked Grebe may be on the water and Whiskered Tern are often found. Continue to Shkodra, Visit Rozafa castle, Catholic Cathedral, old town and ss tour. Overnight at Hotel Tradita

    Day 9- Shkodra – Lake Shkodra- Shkodra

    After breakfast continue to Lake Shkoder Ramsar site (Lake Skadar), is a very important bird site, both as a migratory or over wintering site (part of the Adriatic Flyway) but also as a unique freshwater habitat, particularly for fish-eating water birds. Many bird species are present, especially Dalmatian Pelican, Grebes and Cormorants in large numbers, (the Pygmy Cormorants here are estimated to include 16% of the European population). Grebes and Pygmy Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) use the entire Lake as feeding sites.

    Day 10- Shkodra- Tirana Airport.

    After breakfast, free time at your Hotel Before the transfer to Tirana Airport (90 Km ) End of the services .

    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
    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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