Experience the magnificent mountains and stunning coastline of this mysterious country, an untouched enclave rich in natural beauty.
Fly to Tirana where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Kruja for an overnight stay. Later enjoy a guided walk around the city experiencing the different cultures that have influenced it over the years. Take a short stroll to the Ottoman bazaar and then enjoy a welcome dinner which will feature an introduction into local cuisine from northern Albania. Includes Dinner
This morning enjoy a guided tour around the city on foot. The pretty cobbled stone pathway of the Ottoman bazaar is an age-old setting, with its wooden shops displaying an array of gifts and beautiful antique items. Then onto the inside of the castle walls and the historic museum dedicated to Gjerg Kastriot Skanderbeg and his iconic resistance against the Ottoman invasion. Also located here is a former house which has been turned into an ethnographic museum, inviting you to learn about the rich cultural heritage of northern Albania. Then continue to Fier with a stop en route to visit the Ardenica Monastery and learn about the foundation, monks and the building itself. You can enjoy an optional lunch featuring traditional dishes before a walking tour of the ancient Apollonian site including the monuments of Agonothetes, the Odeon, the Portico and the archeological museum. Leave Apollonia and head to Vlora for a panoramic city tour which includes the beautiful old town, Independence Square and the Muradie Mosque. Then enjoy dinner before spending the night in Vlora. (B,D) Note: Local entrance fees to sites apply.
After breakfast head into the city centre for a short walking tour. Drive to Orikum for a tour of the new town and the stunning beaches of the area before continuing along the road as the stunning scenic mountains come into view. The Albanian beauty continues as you arrive at Llogara National Park for an optional lunch. Later, head towards the Albanian Riviera passing the villages of Dhermi Himara and Porto Palermo Bay. This area is steeped in history from Mediterranean pirates to the stronghold of Ali Pasha. Next, a quick stop in the Himara beach town for refreshments and then enjoy a sightseeing tour of Saranda city which includes the lovely promenade, Ohnemois ruins and the new Orthodox Church. Includes Breakfast, Dinner
This morning head to stunning Butrinti National Park for a walking tour. Here you will experience the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds these incredible Roman ruins, feel what it must have been like in the ancient world and fire your imagination about Greek Mythology. Start with the truly amazing Asclepius Temple then onto the theatre, the Roman portico and baths, an early Christian baptistry and also the historic Byzantine basilica, defensive walls and their impressive gates. (B,D) Note: Local entrance fees to sites apply.
Today depart for Gjirokastra and enjoy a tour of this lovely city. This area is known for its unique architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site and will offer something fascinating for everyone. The highlights of the tour include the picturesque castle with mesmerising views and a weapons museum, as well as the bazaar area. After the tour you have free time to spend exploring the old town at your own pace. This is a great opportunity to interact with the locals and to visit the characteristic shops offering unique gifts. (B,D) Note: Local entrance fees to sites apply.
Depart for a walking tour of Berat Castle to explore the ancient fortress and its main gates, towers, orthodox churches and the typical dwelling sites. Also located within St Mary's church is the Onufri Museum which displays a fascinating 2,500 years of heritage and history. Continue to Berat city centre where you enjoy a panoramic tour of the old town. Here, visit Mangalem quarter known as 'city of windows one over another' which preserved eastern architecture from the Ottoman Empire with its quaint narrow cobbled streets. Also visit the religious buildings of this area including the mosques, monasteries and the newly built Orthodox Church. After the Berat tour head to Durres city for an overnight stay. (B,D)
This morning take a tour of Durres old town which includes the ancient ruins of the region such as the Roman baths, town hall, and the wonderful Roman Amphitheatre. This historic area is also home to Byzantine walls, a wonderful Venetian tower and an archaeological museum, a panoramic display of discoveries of this once important city. Continue to Tirana, the capital of Albania, for a city tour exploring some of the historical highlights that have influenced this cultural melting pot, such as the Skenderbeg Statue, Et'Hem Bey Mosque, the Palace of Culture and the clock tower. During the evening enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D) Note: Local entrance fees to sites apply.
This morning enjoy some free time in Tirana to catch up on the spots you missed yesterday or spend time visiting the shops and cafes, picking up a few souvenirs before you are transferred to the airport for your flight to the UK. Includes Breakfast Note: Please be advised that this tour is a busy tour and features full day excursions.
Accommodation on tour
Meals on tour - 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners
Services of a tour director
All local airport taxes/service charges