9 days / 8 nights
"Nene Tereza" Airport - Tirana
Albania Adventure guides will take you from " Nene Tereza " Airport and we will continue our trip to Tirana, the capital of Albania, where we will accommodate in a hotel close to the center. Tirana was founded in 1614 by Sulejman Pashe Bargjini, at that time a very wealthy feudal, from a village called Mullet and it was declared the capital since 1920.
Tirana is a large city with over 800.000 inhabitants and since it is the capital of Albania, the city offers many opportunities for all kinds of tourism. In this city the possibilities to visit historical and cultural centers are numerous. Among them we include: The monument of the national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, a number of historic buildings such as the Mosque of Ethem Bey, Clock Tower, 35 m high, built in 1830. The top of the tower, which is open to visitors, offers a fantastic view of the square. Then we will go on with the Tabak Bridge (XVIII), Mother Albania Monument, National Theatre, Opera and Ballet Theatre, Gallery of Fine Art, the International Center of Culture, History Museum, the Archaeological Museum and Museum of Natural Sciences. Also, only 15 km south of Tirana, there is the Castle of Petrela, 2000 years old, built by the Illyrian tribes Albans, while in northwestern Tirana, only 15 km away, is the Castle of Preza, which is a point frequented by tourists, for its unique sights that offers.
Tirana - Kruja - Shkoder
After we will consume the breakfast we will depart towards the town of Kruja, one of the most important tourist centers in Albania. Kruja is a very ancient city dating back three centuries before Christ. This city is characterized not only for the particular geographical relief, and impressive fortress, but for many traditions transmitted from generation to generation.
Kruja is known as the capital of resistance against the Ottoman invaders, and Skanderbeg for being the leader of this resistance. The city is rich in cultural and Ethnographic monuments, and is also a rich archaeological area. Kruja was declared the “hero” city and the “museum” city because bears priceless values. The Castle of the city and its historical museum, the characteristic way how the Old Bazaar is arranged, the Ethnographic Museum, but also a number of cult objects are very important objects, which arouse great interest to visitors. Another distinction of this city is its outfits, the characteristic weaving, and the handicrafts in copper, gold and silver etc.
Once we have done a complete tour in Kruja we will have lunch in a traditional restaurant, where we will enjoy the typical local food. In the afternoon we will depart towards the city of Shkoder, which we will accommodate in a hotel-restaurant.
Shkoder - Durres
After we will have breakfast we will visit the city of Shkoder, the largest city in northern Albania, with a history of ancient civilization and culture. Shkoder is one of the most important centers of ancient Illyrian civilization. It was founded by the tribe of Labeat at the beginning of the last millennium BC.
We will visit the castle of Shkoder “Rozafa Castle” which is set on a rocky hill at the entrance of the city of Shkoder. This castle was used as the center of the Illyrian stronghold, mentioned for the first time during the reign of King Gent, who ruled from 181 BC until 168 BC.
Also we will visit the Cathedral of the city. The Cathedral of Shkoder is called the Great Church, because at the time the building was one of the largest churches in Balkans.
Then we will visit a mosque in Shkoder. The New Mosque, Ebu Bekr is the largest in Albania and among the largest in Balkans. It is worth noting that one of the greatest values of Albanian people is the coexistence and religious tolerance.
Also in Shkoder we can visit the Clock Tower, built in the nineteenth century, known in history as the English Clock Tower regarding to the period of medieval aristocracy. The Clock Tower, along with the house next door was built with the funds of the English lord Paget.
In Shkoder we can leave without visiting the History Museum, located in a monumental house, in a characteristic house named "Oso Kuka". It contains sections of archeology, history and ethnography.
Then we will departure to the seaside town of Durres where we will accommodate.
Durres - The ancient city of Apollonia - National Park of Llogara
Durres is the second largest in Albania. The city has about 200.000 inhabitants and is in the same time the center of the prefecture and the county of Durres. It is one of the most ancient and most important economically in Albania. Durres is located on the central of the Albanian coast, west of the capital Tirana. It is located in one of the closest points of the Adriatic Sea, opposite to the Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi.
Durres can be compared with the largest cities of ancient and medieval Mediterranean. The city was built by the Illyrians Dyrrah and Taulants, from the swallow’s tribe XIII-XI centuries BC. The first inhabitants of Dyrrah, before Illyrians were called proto Illyrian Pelasgians that raised in the suburbs of this city the first prehistoric settlements. According to the ancient authors, this city was founded by two kings with an Illyrian origin, named Dyrrah and Epidamn.
Durres is a city with an early culture, for its own ancient origin. The city has inherited a lot of values of the past, historical and archaeological centers as Amphitheatre, the Byzantine fences, Venetian Tower, The perimeter castle wall, but also cultural and religious center of Basilica in Arapaj ruins, Castle of Rodon etc.
During this day we will visit the amphitheater of Durres, last constructed in the second century BC, one of the greatest of its kind by the Roman Empire, and the only one in our country. Its ellipse size 120x110 m, and the axis of arena 61x42 m, took up to 15.000 spectators. Its presence is a landmark in the city's urban organization.
We will also visit the Archaeological Museum and the Venetian Tower. The old museum was inaugurated in March 1951. The new one in April 2002. A museum of national dimensions, it contains the pavilion of prehistory and antiquity during the post byzantine period, where are exposed about 2000 items derived from the underground archaeological museum of the city. After visiting the city we will have lunch in a sea line restaurant and then will depart towards the ancient city of Apollonia, which is among the largest in the Adriatic basin and the most mentioned among 30 other cities with the same name. It was established around the beginning of the IV century BC. Apollonia ruins were discovered in the early nineteenth century. The earliest archaeological traces are several objects from the Iron Age, typical of the Illyrian culture. From the first centuries of city life are preserved some of the remains of the defensive wall and an archaic temple dedicated to Artemisia, the worship goodness of the Apollonian.
Apollonia is located 12 kilometers from the city of Fier. Apollonia as the city was founded by the Greek colonists coming from Corinth. The first record of their presence has been documented around the year 588 BC. The name of the city was decided in honor of god Apollo. Among the 24 cities all over the Mediterranean world that bear this name in ancient times, Apollonia of Illyria was the most important and played a major role as intermediary trade between Hellenes and Illyrians. Apolonia was at that time a large and important city near the river Aoos (Vjose). It is estimated that the city has had about 60.000 inhabitants, a record for Antiquity.
After the visit we will be leaving for Apollonia to the National Park of Llogara where we will accommodate in a hotel-restaurant inside it.
National Parku of Llogara - Himare - Porto Palermo - Sarande
During this day not only we will enjoy the magnificent landscapes that will render provide the Albanian Riviera but we will have the opportunity to visit and some of the castles that are in it. First stop will be in the coastal town of Himara, which will surprise us with its architectural and cultural beauty, which we shall face in all the villages around, monuments and historic buildings, cultural and religious also found in the buildings of 2-3 floors carved by stones typical of this area.
Himara with its numerous castles and amazing beaches, is undoubtedly one of the most prominent places in the southern province of Albania.
Himara Castle, perched on a hill with 1ha area, inhabited since the late Bronze period surrounded by defensive walls, began to be built in the 8th century BC and continue without interruption until the late middle Age. Ancient Walls of a polygonal type belong to the second phase of fortification and date approximately to the turn of V-IV century BC. Inside of this castle it should be visited landmarks such as the Church of Serg and Baku (Paleoepiskopia), Church of all Saints, House of Tano Jorgji Goros, The Ancient Tower on the south side, Ancient Walls on the northeastern side, medieval Entrance and medieval Tower (Barbakaja) etc.
Later we will have a visit to Porto Palermo tectonic peninsula where the famous castle of Ali Pashe Tepelena, built in honor of his new wife Vasiliqia, whose he gifted it. Porto Palermo Castle is located in the bay with the same name on the coast of the Ionian Sea in southern Albania, it is located in a very nice position in the peninsula of Porto Palermo (in antiquity known as Panorma’s bay). The castle is situated not far from the village of Qeparo and it has a triangular form. Its dimensions are 150 m x 400 m. The height of the walls reach 20 m.
After this visit we will depart with our tools towards the coastal city of Saranda, where we will accommodate.
The highest point of Saranda, is Lekurs Castle, built in the fifteenth century, during the war of Suleiman Pasha against Corfu. In its premises there is a very pleasurable restaurant, from where the whole city it can be seen. We will enjoy our dinner in this restaurant with the magnificent view around us.
National Park of Butrint - Blue Eye (Saranda) - Gjirokaster
During this day we will be able to visit the ancient city of Butrint. The Archaeological Site of Butrint National Park has an area of 15 hectares and is located at a height of 30-50 meters above sea level. This ancient city is a jewel of archeology, listed as a world heritage site of UNESCO. In an exceptional environment between the lake and the sea, the Hellenic style buildings are a museum that contains archeological trace restored time before. Within the city there is the amphitheater, the castle of Ali Pasha, thermal baths, Roman-style apartments, mosaics, artistically carved walls and many other buildings.
Then we will visit the Blue Eye where we will have lunch. A magical place, this source of underground water is surrounded by woods and enjoys his name, blue eye, as the color of the eye. This is one of the most beautiful natural curiosities of the country.
Our journey will lead us to the city of Gjirokastra where we will accommodate.
Gjirokastra - Berat
City of Gjirokastra or otherwise known as the stone city, is one of the most important cities of southern Albania. Bounder with Tepelena north, Permeti northeast, Saranda in the south and Greece northeast, Gjirokastra is a very attractive city for tourists.
The city of Gjirokastra was included in the list of World Heritage UNESCO in 2005, as one of the few surviving examples of the commercial cities in the Balkans Ottoman style. This city of "a thousand stairs", with hundreds of ottoman-style houses with stone roof and of wooden balconies, can be called a magical city with a glorious past.
A walk along the shops, a visit to the old fortress, you will revert back in time. The castle is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent structures. Located on a cliff, with its legs below the city, it offers a stunning view of Drin’s Valley and the surrounding mountains. The main fortifications were built by the despot of Epirus in the century. XII and XIII. After the Ottoman conquest, in the fourteenth century the major repairs were made by Sultan Bayezid II.
By 1811, Ali Pasha added many other castle, including the Clock Tower on the outside of it. Since his time no construction or restoration was made to the castle. In this castle are founded the remains of a US Air Force aircraft, which have turned this place into a very interesting object for visitors.
Also we will visit the National Museum of Arms, opened in 1971, it is located where previously was a prison. The museum holds weapons of all kinds, from the period of Independence, until the end of World War II, but mostly from the partisan war 1939 to 1944.
In the afternoon will depart towards the city of Berat.
Berat - Tirana
Berat or otherwise called the city of "one on one windows", belongs to the rarest cities where life started since ancient times and continues without interruption until today. The city was founded in 313-310 BC, as a castle town of Dasareti, called Antipatrea by King Kasander in memory of General Viceroy of Alexander the Great. The city inherits from the past a series of long and rich historical, cultural, ethnographic, architectural and beliefs, that constitute a considerable potential for tourism. One of the values inherited of the city is the crafts in several genres, such as: works in silver and other metals, embroidery, craved wood, decorative works in stone and works in straw.
In Berat we will visit the city Castle, the National Ethnographic Museum, the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Bridge of Gorica.
The castle, in a triangular in shape, with a perimeter of 1440 m, with 24 towers and two gates. With its Illyrian foundations, rebuilt several times in the VI, XIII, XV and XIX century it is today one of the largest castles inhabited and a stony archive that offers varieties of styles and different eras contributions: Illyrian, Roman- Byzantine, Turkish and Albanian.
The Ethnographic Museum of Berat was inaugurated in 1979. In it are included ethnographic culture from the territory of Berat, as well as that of Southern Albania. The museum is housed in a two floor building three centuries old, typical of the region of Berat. On the first floor there is a room that imitates a medieval alley with traditional shops on both sides of it. In this room is also located the old pavilion. Likewise, on the first floor are placed objects that are used for olive processing. On the second floor there is an open porch for waiting guess. On this floor there is found the archive, loom, waiting room of the village, kitchen and reception rooms of the city. In the outdoor environments of the museum are placed very original, massive, functional object, functional of our folk culture.
The Bridge of Gorica, is one of the cultural and architectural monuments of Berat and also one of its symbols. Around 1780 under special care of Ahmet Kurt Pasha, the upper part of the wooden bridge was replaced with stone. It was rebuilt again taking the view that it maintains today, with concrete balustrades, in 1922 form the town hall. It is 129.3 meters long, 5.3 meters wide, it rises 10 meters above the river and has 7 arches with a space of 9 to 16.7 m each.
After a full tour of the city we will have lunch at a traditional restaurant where we will enjoy the typical local food. Later in the afternoon we will depart towards the capital of Albania, Tirana, where and we will accommodate.
Tirana - " Nene Tereza " Airport
Depending on your flight schedule we will departure toward " Nene Tereza " airport.