Meet at airport and transfer to Tirana where we take a driven tour of the capital’s major attractions including the colorful buildings.
Day 1: Arrival to Tirana
Private transfer from airport to hotel. Free time and welcome dinner is a traditional affair at one of the traditional restaurants in town, with a rustic setting and a first taste of Albania’s culinary delights. The cuisine of mid-Albania has strong Ottoman influences and therefore meats on charcoal grill, as well as grilled vegetables and yogurt sauces prevail. Overnight in Tirana.
DAY 2 Tirana – GJIROKASTRA (230 KM)
After breakfast drive to Gjirokastra a museum town. On the way a quick visit at the interesting Blue Eye natural spring an amazing spring in the shape of a deep blue eye. Afterwards continue to Gjirokastra a UNESCO World Heritage site for it architecture of stone, and also one of the most acclaimed culinary towns of south Albania. After 4-hours driving first lunch in Gjirokastra at one of the town’s traditional restaurants with specialties such us; pasha qofte soup, kukurec, qumeshtor etc. Afterwards, visit the Castle which is used as the venue for the National Festival of Folk Song and Dance and has an Arms Museum with weapons from WWI.
The rest of the day free time to enjoy this fascinating town. Here, you will have time to visit also house of the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha who was born in the Zekati family house, probably the most beautiful and famous house in Gjirokastra. Today the house is transformed into Ethnographic Museum. Another house which should not to be missed is Skenduli House. This house is a great example of the marriage of Albanian and Ottoman architecture. Explore the beautiful interior of the Gjirokastra. In this house, you will see the many fascinating features from 17th century. Get acquainted with the interesting history of Skenduli House and enjoy its stunning beauty of interior. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
Day 3: Gjirokastra – Butrint – Saranda
Morning drive from Gjirokastra to the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries. It is considered the most important archaeological site in Albania and the monuments it unveils in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation, are a live testimony of this.
After this relaxing sightseeing which we will take around 3 to 4 hours, we will drive further towards Saranda, but first stop at Ksamil where a wonderful seafood lunch with, fish carpaccio, and fresh fish grilled awaits us. It will be on the place of Ksamil beach in front of turquoise waters at a seaside Restaurant run by a dedicated family.
Continue to Saranda, check in and relax at the hotel.
Day 4: Saranda – along most beautiful part of Albanian coast with best beaches – Vlorë
Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea. Stop in Dhermi for some swimming and having some coffee. Continue driving. Breathtaking views await us at the Llogara pass – 1000 m above sea level where we stop in a panoramic restaurant to sample the delicious sheep’s yogurt as a local delicacy.
Arrival to Vlorë. The Vlore coastline accounts for about 30% of the entire coast of Albania and in its proximity is located the Albanian Riviera. On the Flag Square (Sheshi i Flamurit) there is an Independence Monument – a massive socialist-realist monument celebrating the independence of Albania from the Ottoman empire in 1912. Further, you can also visit Ethnographic and Historic Museum, as well as The Mosque of Muradie.
Enjoy evening in this vibrant city which has been intensively developing in the last couple of years.
Day 5: Vlorë – Wine tasting – Berat
This day will be special in many ways. You will be able to try probably one of the best wine in Albania and in general and you will be visiting one of most unique Albanian town, Berat.
In the morning drive towards Berat. En-route stop at renowned Cobo wine cellar. Çobo winery currently produces 100,000 bottles annually, and the family has the capacity to increase production to match demand without compromising the wine’s quality. Çobo wine is quickly attracting world-wide attention and has been represented at several wine expositions.
Continue to Berat – a UNESCO town, fascinating for its wonderful architecture where houses look as they were built on each other’s backs.
Here we visit the inhabited castle where many families still live within its walls, several small churches from the 15th century and the uniquely beautiful St.Mary’s church turned into Onufri museum, in honor of this great Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century. Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Berat castle run by a family living in the castle, where home cooking will be experienced.
After lunch free to explore further this wonderful town. Traditional dinner with Berat specialties’ at Mangalemi and overnight will be at a traditional house in the old quarter turned small hotel. A unique experience.
Day 6: BERAT – COGNAC SKENDERBEU MANUFACTURE AND TASTING – A hidden treasure of albanian traditional food near LEZHA – KRUJA – TIRANA
After breakfast morning drive to Dürres, second largest city in Albania where we will stop at Skenderbeu cognac production facility. Here, we will have short tour and cognac tasting.
Drive furter to Lezha for memorable authentic lunch at the a restaurant near Shengjin. Here, Albanian culinary traditions have been researched and fused with modern cooking by the chef, to offer a delightful gourmet feast, which we will sample in degustation menus of both meat and fish. Meats and fishes are marinated in fresh olive oil of the region, and rustic local cheeses marinated in organic mountain herbs and teas offer an intriguing blend of tastes to the pallet. Definitely perfect finish of the trip.
After this memorable experience head for Kruja – the center of Albanian resistance against the Turks under National Hero Scanderbeg. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Protector of Christianity” given by the Pope. Visit some interesting sites such as the castle with its rich Scanderbeg and Ethnographic museums. On the way to the top you will have plenty of opportunity to buy fantastic souvenirs before return home. Continue back to Tirana, check in at the hotel.
Day 7: Farewell, Albania: Tirana – Back Home
After breakfast, our driver will pick you up at the reception desk and drive you back to the airport. Flight back home.
Transportation – included in the program
– Private transfers throughout the program
– 4* Hotels
Per person / 2 pax.
Per person / 4 pax.
Per person / 6 pax.
Total package price
From 2.640 EUR
From 1.745 EUR
From 1.545 EUR
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS SPECIFIC TO YOUR TOUR
· Accommodation in a double room with breakfast as stated above
· All entrance fees
· Lunch or Dinner each day
· Private transfers throughout the program
· Private local guides daily
· Wine tastings in Cobo Winery
· Cognac tasting
· All taxes
· Emergency contact service 24/7
· All international air travel and associated costs
· All meals except breakfast unless stated otherwise in the itinerary
· All items of a personal nature (e.g. beverages, telephone calls, laundry, personal insurance)
· Anything not specifically mentioned in the “Inclusions” list above.