DAY 01: Arrival at Airport – Kruja (25km – 30min)
Welcome in ALBANIA!!!
Upon arrival, meet the driver and the guide and depart toward Kruja (the transfer takes about 40mins in consideration the traffic as well).
Depending on the details of your flight, a visit to the medieval city may take place in the afternoon.
Kruja is considered one of the principal old town and is’ one of the most glorious cities in Albania. The walking tour takes you through the Ottoman bazaar, wooden shops and displays various gifts and antique items for the home. Visit the castle walls and an old house converted into an ethnographic museum, invites you to a special cultural aspect of life in northern Albania
Dinner and overnight in Kruja
DAY 02: Kruja – Berat – Vlora (245km – 4hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel, check out and start with city tour of Berat
Upon arrival, start the walking tour of Berat Fortress. Known as the “City of one thousand windows”, overshadowed to the east by Tomorr Mountain 2415m, Berat is an ancient Illyrian settlement founded in the 4th & 5th centuries B.C. on the territory of the Illyrian tribe of Desarettes. The town is composed of 3 parts; Gorica, situated on the far side of the river; Mangalem, situated on the fortress side of the river and the Residential quarter within the fortress known as Kalaja. Its courtyard offers spectacular views of the city and the valley below, and you’re sure to get a warm welcome from the friendly inhabitants of the castle’s grounds.
Time for lunch in one of the possibilities in the city
COBO Winery. — Optional Visit & Wine Tasting
You will see cultivated vineyards, the winery within a spacious kulla (a form of traditional Albanian architecture), and a wine presentation room, elegantly constructed and furnished in the Berat style. A tour of the facilities includes an extensive viewing of the wine making process and explanations, punctuated by alternating poignant and comic vignettes that paint a glowing picture of the family’s history and the origins of their wines.
Proceed driving to Vlora (1h30min).
Dinner and overnight in Vlora
DAY 03: Vlora – Porto Palermo – Saranda (135km – 4hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel and depart for Saranda, with stop en route for refreshments (1h30min)
Drive and enjoy the scenic mountain ride, descending the rocky shore and pristine beaches of Ionian Sea, offering photo opportunities of the natural landscape, unique village settings, Himara beach town and fortress of Porto Palermo. Visit of the Ali Pasha Castle in the most beautiful bay of Porto Palermo (2h30min)
Time for lunch at a local restaurant
Proceed driving in Saranda. (1h30min). Free time by your own
Dinner and overnight in Saranda
DAY 04: Saranda – Butrint – Saranda (40km – 1h)
After the breakfast at the hotel, board the coach and drive to Butrint Archaeological Park (40 min)
Visit Butrinti Natural and Archaeological Park (2hrs)
Butrint National park is a UNSECO World Heritage Site, and a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance (two very important titles). This impressive walking tour will stir your imagination about the ancient word during the peak of the Roman power and the classical Greek mythology. Start with the Asclepius temple, theatre, Roman portico and baths, early Christian baptistery, byzantine basilica, defensive walls and their impressive gates.
After the wonderful walk in Butrinti Natural Park, transfer to Ksamil Village – free time for lunch
Ksamil is the most popular destination along the Albanian Riviera and for good reason – it is beautiful! Sandy beaches, clear water, fresh seafood and the perfect place to relax.
Return to Saranda and free time
Dinner and overnight in Saranda
DAY 05: Saranda – Blue Eye – Gjirokastra – Permet (125km – 3hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel, check out and depart to Gjirokastra (2hrs), with stop en route for visit of Blue Eye Park. “Blue Eye” is a karst spring located on the western slopes of Mount Mali Gjerë in Albania. The water in the inner source is a very dark blue, like the pupil of an eye, and a lighter color of blue as an outer ring – the iris, which gives the impression of a blue eye
Continue driving to Gjirokastra.
The museum city of Gjirokastra was built on the eastern side of “Mali i Gjerë”. Since 2005, it has been in UNESCO World Heritage site. The most important structure of the city is the castle, which is the biggest castle in Albania. The main characteristic of Gjirokastra is the intensive use of stone in building the houses, which look like small fortresses, the cobblestone streets, which all lead to Bazaar
Free time to explore the old town, the bazaar, with its characteristic shops and great opportunity to interact with local folks.
Continue driving to Permet (1h30min). Upon arrival to Permet you may visit Benja Thermal
Baths, born from the geothermal waters near Përmet, Albania. The heated water flows down the river unless it gets diverted into one of the several human-made pools. They’re a splendid spot for a hot soak on a crisp, cool day.
Drive back to Permet (20 min). The locals are known for typical jams and fruit preserves as well as raki, local spirit, made of distillation of the grapes. Opportunity to meet a local family farm that makes these delicious jams and taste it.
Dinner and overnight in Permet
DAY 06: Permet – Voskopoja – Korca (175km – 4h30min)
Breakfast and check out of the hotel. Our scenic journey today, will be towards Korca, with stop en route to several places for photos and refreshments. (5hrs)
Lunch on the way
Of a great importance to visit is one of byzantine villages, Voskopoja village. Nature meets art and history in Voskopoja, making it a favorite destination for tourists year-round. The town of Voskopoja is renowned for having been a cultural center since 1330 and, over the centuries, more than 24 churches were built there. The city hosted the first printing press outside Istanbul along other important institutions, such as the New Academy. Unfortunately, many of these buildings were eventually destroyed by fires, wars, robberies or earthquakes.
From that glorious past, now the visitor may admire the Church of Saint Nicholas
Continue driving to Korca (40min)
Dinner and overnight in Korca
DAY 07: Korca – Pogradec – Tirana (170km – 4hrs)
Breakfast at hotel, check out and start the visit of Korca. Visit of the Museum of Medieval Arts. The museum has over 7,000 art and cultural items, mainly icons, stone, wooden, metal and textile works representing various moments in Albania’s iconography development. In the principal hall there are many works from anonymous artists of the 13th-14th century and well-known Albanian Painters
Free time in Korca
Drive to Tirana, with stop en route to Pogradec for lunch and a nice walk along the Ohrid Lake (UNESCO Heritage) (1hour)
Your drive will proceed to Tirana (3hrs)
Dinner and overnight in Tirana
DAY 08: Tirana – Airport (20km – 30min)
Flight Details for the transfer.
Breakfast and check out of the hotel. City tour of Tirana by day: the main Italian influenced boulevard, the National Museum, the Bunker, Kalaja e Tiranes, Pazari i Ri (where you can see a green market, fishops and also taste artisanal ice creams)
We will plan for you a very nice coffee time in a coffee Museum shop: KOMITETI – here, everything, from furniture, music, waitress uniform and also the options to drink, are from the communism time. Is a very cool presentation in a nicer way form the young generation of this period.
Transfer to the Airport (depending by traffic 35 – 40 min)
End of Service