8 nights starting from
picturesque Kruja, the centre of resistance against the Ottomans
Ancient Butrint, Gjirokasta and Berat– all UNESCO listed sites
Vibrant Tirana and the fascinating Bunk Art museum
The atmospheric Illyrian City of Apollonia
The beautiful ‘Albanian Riviera’
Explore the fascinating history, both ancient and the more recent communist struggle, of this interesting country. This tour offers a broad snapshot of the country’s vast history alongside an array of unique attractions that include the capital Tirana, a vibrant cosmopolitan city; Kruja, an important city of resistance in the past, today an attractive town that offers an insight into the great hero Skanderbeg, and its colourful bazaar that survived even the communist era; and Gjirokaster and Berat, wonderfully preserved picturesque towns of the Ottoman period.
|26 - September - 2019||£ 1225.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/DAL/26 September 2019/|
Departing: 26th September 2019 at 16:15
Returning: 04th October 2019 at 13:00
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Tirana. Transfer to Kruja and the Hotel Panorama for a three-night stay. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Tirana and Bunk Art museum.
We begin our tour in the vibrant capital visiting the National Historical Museum, the 19th century Ethem Bey Mosque and a fascinating monument of the Cold War era, a 106-room bunker, built for Albania’s political elite, which remained a secret for much of its existence. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Kruja and Skanderbeg.
We learn about the Albanian national hero, Skanderbeg, who led the resistance against the Ottomans. We will walk through the atmospheric old bazaar and visit the Kruja castle and its excellent Skanderbeg museum. Evening at leisure.
Day 4: Ardenica, Apollonia and Vlore.
Travelling south we visit the lovely Ardenica Monastery, a precious relic dating from the 13th century, and the ancient site of Apollonia, a classical site of great importance that dates back to 588 BC. Overnight Hotel Partner, Vlore.
Day 5: Vlore to Sarande.
A wonderfully picturesque journey that takes us along the beautiful Albanian Riveria and high across the Llogara pass to Sarande, visiting the impressive Ali Pasha castle en-route. Check-in to the Hotel Brilant, Sarande for a two-night stay. Evening at leisure.
Day 6: Butrint and Lekursi Castle.
A short drive takes us to the wonderful site of Butrint, whose extensive classical remains lie hidden in woods beside an evocative lake. We will enjoy a break for lunch by the picturesque beach of Ksamail before returning to Sarande. Late afternoon visit to Lekursi Castle, situated high above Sarande, with lovely views. Evening at leisure.
Day 7: Sarande, Blue eye and Gjirokaster.
A wonderful drive, with ever changing scenery, takes us to UNESCO listed Gjirokaster, with an en-route stop at the famous ‘Blue Eye’, an exquisitely coloured fresh water natural pool. In Gjirokaster we visit the 8th century castle and one of the traditional houses, now a fascinating small museum. Overnight Hotel Argjiro, Gjirokaster. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 8: Gjirokaster to Berat. We journey from one historic UNESCO city to another, Berat, known as ‘the city of one thousand windows’ because of its remarkable collection of fine traditional ottoman style houses that bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities through the centuries. Overnight Berat. Dinner at the Hotel Mangelemi.
Day 9 – Transfer to Tirana Airport for return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion
The maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
• Single room supplement
• Holiday insurance
• Meals other than those stated
• Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
• Porterage and gratuities
Excellent quality hotels are used throughout this tour, all offering a high standard of service, facilities and comfort in ideal locations to explore the sites visited.
Hotel Panorama, Kruje
This excellent four-star hotel is well-situated in the centre of Kruje and enjoys beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding area. The hotel has a choice of two restaurants and has a bar area to relax in. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities with bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV, telephone and free wi-fi.
Hotel Panorama Website
Hotel Partner, Vlore
Modern four-star hotel centrally located in Vlore. The hotel has contemporary décor and offers a restaurant and bar. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities, TV, minibar, air-conditioning, telephone and free wi-fi.
Hotel Partner Website
Hotel Brilant, Sarande
Comfortable four-star hotel, just 100m from the main boulevard and 50m from the sea. The breakfast room is bright and overlooks the sea – a perfect way to start the morning. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, minibar, telephone, TV and free wi-fi.
Hotel Brilant Website
Hotel Argjiro, Gjirokaster
Excellent four-star, situated in the historical centre of Gjirokaster. The hotel is elegantly decorated, and has a bar, restaurant and roof garden, which offers panoramic views of the city, castle and surrounding area. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities, telephone, air-conditioning, hairdryer, TV and free wi-fi.
Hotel Argjiro Website
In Berat the hotels are all quite small so it is necessary to use two hotels, the Mangalemi and the Hotel Rezidenca, which sit within 100m of each other. Both hotels offer an equally comfortable standard for your stay.
Hotel Mangalemi, Berat
Charming historic hotel set in the old Mangalemi quarter in the heart of Berat. The hotel has a restaurant serving traditional Albanian cuisine, and a terrace which offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city and mountains. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities, hairdryer, TV, air-conditioning/heating, minibar, telephone, safe and free wi-fi.
Hotel Mangalemi Website
Hotel Rezidenca Desaret, Berat
The Hotel Rezidenca Desaret is situated just a few metres from the city centre and is surrounded by fantastic views. The hotel was restored in 2016, adding an excellent combination of tradition and modern. Bedrooms all have private bathroom facilities with shower as well as air-conditioning, balcony, TV, free wi-fi and telephone.
Hotel Rezidenca Desaret
In order to see the highlights of the country, this tour covers quite a large part of Albania, which does mean moving hotels quite often, so we recommend travelling relatively light as you will be packing and unpacking several times during your stay. The hotels are all relaxed places with very relaxed (or no) codes of dress for dinner so casual dress is fine. Please note, this is only offered as advice based on our experience of this tour with the idea that it might help you when it comes to deciding what to pack. Please also note the luggage allowance for this tour does provide a maximum of 23kgs for hold luggage.
We have graded this tour with 4 footprints because mostly the walking is this level, ‘Walking at sites and some standing for viewings’ but please note in Kruja, Gjirokaster and Berat, some cobble roads will be encountered.
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