Day Trip and Wine Tasting Tour in Berat, at Nurellari Winery

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After we meet and greet at our Tirana city center office, we accommodate our selves on the comfy van to drive for an hour and a half toward Berat, the famous Unesco Heritage City.

We’ll start the exploration with the castle, its famous churches, the water cisterns and the amazing panorama it offers at the panorama deck. We’ll also visit the museum of the famous icons painter Onufri where we’ll be able to admire some of his masterpieces.

Then we’ll head back to our couch to continue our trip toward Fushe-Peshtan, a small village less than 20 minutes away from Berat. There we will visit Nurellari Winery, to learn about the wine culture in Albania, the different authoctonous varieties, the wine making process and then taste 3 of the most famous wines they produce.

The wine tasting will be accompained with finger food, with local delicacies as white chees, aged cheese, jam, olives and homemade bread.

After this amazing experience, we will head back to Berat to enjoy a break for coffee or lunch and take some beautiful photos of the characteristic architecture of this ancient city. Then, departure to Tirana, via Belsh, a countryside road with smooth hills and many small lakes. If time permits, we’ll stop for a coffee break in Belsh, by the main lake.

On arrival in Tirana, our service ends.

 

 

 

Wine Tasting Tour at Çobo Winery in Berat.

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Option 1

Departure from Tirana at around 9 o’clock and drive for approx. 1.5 hours to Berat, the City of 1000 Windows.

  • After a short panoramic tour of Berat, we’ll head to Çobo Winery where we will start our tour with an introduction of wine making process and the history of the winery.
  • We’ll start our tasting journey with two classic wines made from indigenous grapes, Shesh I Bardhe (White Field) and Shesh I Zi (Black Field) and then another couple of E Bardha e Beratit (White of Berat) and Cashmere. We’ll finish with traditional Walnuts Raki.
  • While we train our palate with the sensations the Albanian wine offers, we’ll also taste some local finger food like olives, white goat cheese (feta cheese), sheep caciocavallo cheese, toasted bread with olive oil spread and water.

2-4 persons – 50 EUR per pax.

5-8 persons – 40 EUR per pax.

*For larger groups please get in touch with us.

 

Option 2

Departure from Tirana at around 9 o’clock and drive for approx. 1.5 hours to Berat, the City of 1000 Windows.

  • After a short panoramic tour of Berat, we’ll head to Çobo Winery where we will start our tour with an introduction of wine making process and the history of the winery.
  • We’ll start our tasting journey with E Bardha e Beratit (Berat’s White), Shendevere (sparkling wine), Reserve 2012 (red), E Kuqja e Beratit (Berat’s Red), Grape Raki and Walnuts Raki.
  • While we train our palate with the sensations the Albanian wine offers, we’ll also taste some local finger food like olives, white goat cheese (feta cheese), sheep caciocavallo cheese, dry-cured ham, toasted bread with olive oil and water.

*Price varies from 30-40 EUR, depending on group size.

Albanian Riviera Tour

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ALBANIAN RIVIERA TOUR – 6 DAYS 🏄🏊‍♀️🛥🛳⛵️🛶 Departure every Sunday! 📌Limited Seats!

If you’re planning to visit Albania, the best beaches of the southern coast, then be part of our 6 days tour. Adrenaline, Amazing Places, Boat Rides, Paragliding, Speed Boats, Diving, Parasailing and many other unforgettable activities and experiences.

🌟Chosen as the best tour for 2015 from Travel Magazine. 
🌟99.5% of the 2016 participants suggested is as the best option for vacations.

🛎🔔📣 DATES 🔔📣:

📪 9 – 14 July 2017
📪 16 – 21 July 2017
📪 23 – 28 July 2017
📪 30 July – 04 August 2017
📪 05 – 11 August 2017
📪 13 – 18 August 2017
📪 20 – 25 August 2017
📪 27 August – 01 September 2017
📪 03 – 08 September 2017
📪 10 – 15 September 2017

Did you know how many amazing places are there between Vlore and Ksamil? About how many of them have you heard of? How many have you visited so far?

• Karaburun Peninsula
• St. Basil’s Beach
• St John’s Bay
• Haxhi Ali’s Cave
• Gjuza Cape
• Dhërmi Beach
• Drymades Beach
• Perivolos Beach
• St. Andrea’s Beach
• Palasë Beach
• Grama Bay
• Ngjipe Beach/Canyon
• Pirates Cave
• Jalë Beach
• Aquarium Bay
• Himara Castle
• Himarë Beach
• Llaman Bay
• Porto Palermo Castle
• Sarandë
• Ksamil Beach
• Kakome Bay
• Krorëz Beach
• Butrint (UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site)
• Blue Eye Spring
• Etc (many small hidden gems that we will visit by boat)

☎ Contact: 📱 +355696009060 | 📱 +355676066677
[email protected] or message us on FaceBook
📫 Adress: Rr. Ibrahim Rugova 29, Tirane 1001, Albania

Program:
Day 1
08:30 Departure from Tirana
⛵Coffee break along the journey
Arrival and accommodation in Vlore
⛵Boat ride to inner Karaburun where we will see Haxhi Ali’s Cave and St’ John’s Bay. 
⛵Swimming at St. Basil’s Beach
⛵Return by boat to Vlore
Dinner at hotel
Welcome Party after dinner

Day 2
Breakfast at hotel
⛵After arriving in Dhermi, accommodation in hotel and then departure by boat to Drymades, Palase, St. Andrea’s Bay and Grama Bay.
Free time / Swimming
Dinner in Dhermi
Fire by the beach, wine and time for new friends.

Day 3
⛵Breakfast at hotel
⛵Boat ride to Pirates Cave and Ngjipe Bay / Canyon. Optional – You can stay in Jale and do scuba diving and then free time in Dhermi beach.
⛵Free time
Dinner
Group activities (games, animations, fire, Mafia game, Tarakos game)

Day 4
⛵Breakfast at hotel
⛵Optional – Either paragliding from Llogara Mountain or Speed Boat ride to Grama Bay. 
Departure to Saranda with stop for swimming in Jale Beach
Visit to Himara’s Castle
Lunch at Llaman’s Bay
Visit Ali Pasha’s Castle in Porto Palermo
Arrival in Saranda and accommodation in hotel
Free time and dinner at one of the seaside restaurants.

Day 5
⛵Breakfast at hotel
⛵Boat ride to Kakome Bay and one of the most beautiful beaches of Albania, that of Krorez. 
Free time for swimming in Kakome and Krorez
Return to hotel, free time.
Dinner at one of the seaside restaurants.

Day 6
⛵Breakfast at hotel
Visit to Ksamil and Butrint
Optional– Either Paragliding or boat ride to Kakome and Krorez.
Free time for relax in Ksamil
⛵Visit to Blue Eye Spring.
Stop for coffee and relax along the journey
⛵Return to Tirane

☎ Contact: 📱 +355696009060 | 📱 +355676066677
[email protected] or message us on FaceBook
📫 Adress: Rr. Ibrahim Rugova 29, Tirane 1001, Albania

🔔 Price per Person 320 EUR.
Price Includes:
🌟 Transport with comfortable couch throughout the journey (Sprinter)
🌟 5 nights hotel accommodation on Half Board basis (Breakfast + Dinner).
🌟 Boat ride to Karaburun
🌟 Boat ride (Dhermi – Pirates Cave – Ngjipe – Jale)
🌟 Boat ride (Dhermi – Perivolos – Drimadhes – Palas – St. Andrea’s Bay – Grama Bay)
🌟 Boat ride (Sarande – Kakome – Krorez – Kakome – Sarande)
🌟 Guide along the journey
🌟 Photos along the journey
🌟 Entrance tickets to Ali Pasha’s Castle.
*Optional:
🌟 Paragliding from Llogara +50 euro
🌟 Scuba Diving in Jale +20 euro
🌟 Paragliding in Sarande +25 euro
🌟 Flyeboard + 30 euro

Wine Tasting Tour in Albania

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Wine Touring in Albania

We believe that great wine tastings at excellent Albanian wineries don’t happen in 5 minutes at a wine bar in a big tasting room, but are more like an immersion into a culture. Tasting the wine is complementary to seeing the vineyards and cellars, meeting mesmerizing personalities and hearing their stories – special encounters & memories that will linger forever!

The Wineries

We choose to go wineries usually of the small family run kind that make excellent wines (often organic). Many have a great reputation and make reward winning wines. When possible, we will have the opportunity to discuss the wines and wine making with the actual owner or wine maker during our tours.

Gastronomy

Logically, wine goes with food – especially in Albania – and so tastings at wineries often come with bread & olive oil or bits of local products. Lunch is an important inclusive of our tours and we feel you should savor the best local foods & wines together with some good conversation!

The Tours

We offer group tours and private tours upon request. Group tours have a specific schedule that we cannot customize to individual requests, but their advantage is that their per person price is great.
Private tours are exclusive to your group and the itinerary will be planned uniquely for you.

 

Visit Theth in 3 days

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Theth is a wonderful village in northern Albania’s Shkodra region. Set among the peaks of the Shala mountains, Theth is isolated, and in times of snow, practically inaccessible.Legend has it that Theth was founded 400 years ago by 6 brothers. Individual parts of the village still bear the names of these brothers. In a presentation at the International Peace Research Association, Antonia Young, an anthropologist who participated in a 2005 research project in Shala valley, suggested this ‘perceived family link’ could be the explanation for the unusually low levels of internal conflicts and blood feuds in Theth. According to Theth’s primarily Catholic inhabitants, the village was founded as a refuge to escape conversion to Islam by the Ottomans. After the Second World War and the country’s self imposed isolation, access to the markets in Montenegro and Kosovo dried up. The fall of communism led to emigration and a declining population. Antonia Young’s team only found 17 families who reside in Theth year-round. Theth also contains 12 small mills and a functional hydro plant. During the period of March to November, Theth is visited by around 5000-10000 foreign tourists yearly.

Highlights of the tour

  • Thethi Waterfall.
  • Grunas Canyon.
  • Ethnographic Museum of Theth.
  • Tower of Isolation.
  • Saint John’s Church.
  • Nderlyse Stone Pools.
  • Black Well’s Bridge.
  • Blue Eye of Theth

Itinerary

Meet and greet at the hotel lobby in early morning. Drive to Theth, approx. 170 km from Tirana. After arrival, accommodation at a guesthouse and lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Thethi Waterfall and the Grunas Canyon. it’s approx. 4 hours walking in total, difficulty level is easy/medium. On the way back, we will visit the Ethnographic Museum of Theth, the Kulla e Ngujimit (Tower of Isolation), and the Saint John’s Church. At 20.30 traditional dinner with Theth specialties and bio-organic food. Overnight in Theth.

Breakfast in the guesthouse. Then we start our day with a visit at the stone formations/pools of Nderlyse and the Blye Eye of Kaprre. Lunch in picknick style. The stone formations are 2.5 hours away, walking on an unpaved automobile road. After arriving in Nderlyse village, we will visit the Mill of Nderlyse and then we will continue to Black Well’s Bridge, to enjoy one of the most fantastic views of Theth. After the bridge we will visit the stone formations, water pools in rose colour. After a short stop for lunch, we will visit the Blye Eye, further 2 hours roundtrip. Difficulty level is medium.

On the third day morning we will have breakfast and depart to Tirana, with stops in Shkoder for coffee or lunch. End of the program.

 

Central & North Albania in 7 Days

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Northern Albania is a scenic wonderland where the incredible landscape of the ‘Accursed Mountains’ dominates and the rich and independent mountain culture strongly flavours all journeys. The north also boasts rich wildlife around beautiful Lake Shkodra, not to mention the ancient city of the same name. The startlingly beautiful Lake Koman ferry ride is now one of Albania’s biggest attractions, and has become far more accessible in the past couple of years, which combined with the glorious Valbona-Theth trek makes for a wonderful 2-3 day round trip from Shkodra. This may be the Albania of the infamous blood feud, but you’ll be amazed by how friendly and welcoming locals are. “Lonely Planet”

Durrësi is the second largest city in Albania, the biggest port and the hub of the railroad system. It is one of the most ancient cities in Albania. Known by name of Epidamnus, it was established in the year 627 B.C. by colons coming from Corinth and Corcyra. Later on, the name changed to Durrahium (according to mythology the nephew of Epidamnus). During this period, the city flourished and became the main port of the Eastern Adriatic. Between the 1st and the 3rd centuries, it played a major role as a trading centre along the ancient Egnatia road, which connected Rome with Byzantium. Everyone has lot of things to see in Durrës, considering it a getaway to another world.

Kruja (alb. Krujë) is a medieval town located 32 km northwest of Tirana and 20 minutes by car from the international Airport of Rinas. It is built 560 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Sari-Salltiku mountain. The name of Kruja derives from the Albanian word krua, meaning ‘water spring’. The citadel have become the main Illyrian fortress in the area in the 4th century AD. In the year 879, Kruja was mentioned for the first time as a Christian religious center. The first Albanian feudal state was created here circa 1190.The ottomans occupied Kruja two times, in 1396 and 1415. Town reached its zenith on the 28th of November 1443 when the Kruja castle was taken by Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg), who then organized the long anti-Ottoman resistance. From this time on, under the leadership of Skanderbeg, Kruja repelled three Ottoman sieges in 1450, 1457 and 1466. Only ten years after the death of Skanderbeg, in 1478, were the Ottomans able to capture the castle and destroy the town.

The city of Lezha is located 47 km south of Shkodra. It is one of Albania’s ancient cities, and in the historical documents it is mostly referred by the name Lissus. In 1398, after the construction of its castle, the city was under direct control of the feudal family of Lekë Dukagjini, but was eventually conquered by Venice. One of the most important historical events for Lezha, and indeed for all of Albania, was the famed “the League of Lezha” on March 2nd, 1444, where under the leadership of national hero Skanderbeg, the Albanian princedoms united against the Ottomans. The Memorial Grave of Skanderbeg is here, at the ex-Cathedral of Shën Kolli, where he was buried in 1468. The Castle of Lezha, another Illyrian monument, is situated on the top of the hill overlooking the city below. Inside the castle, ruins of an Ottoman mosque Roman Arch, and an Illyrian Tower all rest together for the ages. Only a few minutes from the city, at the foot of the Mount Renci, it is found the sandy beach of Shëngjin. The sunny beach. Shëngjini boasts a long and colorful history, known as both “Cesarean” and “Nympheum” in past centuries. It was here that the Roman general Marcus Aurelius embarked with his fleet in order to chase Pompey during the civil war that he and Julius Caesar engaged in.

Shëngjin is a growing tourist destination, well known for its beaches and resort accommodations. It is within the District of Lezhë and is home to one of Albania’s entry ports, Port of Shëngjin. The city is located approximately 100 meters away from the waters of the Adriatic Sea, and below a mountain side called Rrenci that is approximately 159 meters in height. Shëngjin is also located approximately 60 km from the Tirana Mother Teresa International Airport. Shëngjin offers a wide arrange of environmentally friendly activities. To the south of the city is a nature preserves called “Pylli me pisha dhe Lagune Kunes” and “Laguna e Vainit”, which offers a beautiful and undisturbed place to enjoy the natural surroundings of wetlands and seafront. Similarly, just north of city center is “Rana e Hedhun” in Gheg Albanian or “Rera e Hedhur” in standard Albanian, which also offers a wonderful experience of rural and undeveloped sand dunes along the coastline. According to EssentialAlbania.com, “Being an ecological city, Shengjin offers some of the best fishing grounds that ensure that there is a balance between the rate of fishing and the frequent of fishing so that to ensure that there is no too much loss of fish from the sea. They respect the fact that the fish need to breed in order to maintain their population.”

Shkodra known as the “capital of north Albania” is one of the oldest cities in the country, founded in the 4th century B.C. as the center of the Labeat tribe of Illyrians. Shkodra has been occupied several times throughout history. First by the Romans (168 B.C.), then the Serbians (1040), the Venetians (1396), and finally by the Ottomans (1479). The city returned to Albanian control as the feudal principality of the Balshaj during the 14th century and served as the municipal center of the Bushatllinj Pashallëk from 1757 to 1831. Shkodra is rich with cultural heritage; the city itself as well as the people bears the pride that the large number of artists, musicians, painters, photographers, poets, and writers born here strove to create. Shkodra’s main tourist attraction is Rozafa Castle. Rising majestically upon a rocky hill west of the city, the outcroppings and battlements paint a blazing picture against the setting sun. It is surrounded by the waters of three rivers; the Drini, Buna, and Kiri. Much like the town it protected, the castle has Illyrian origins. According to the historian Tit Liri, “it was the strongest area of the Labeats.”

Theth is a wonderful village in northern Albania’s Shkodra region. Set among the peaks of the Shala mountains, Theth is isolated, and in times of snow, practically inaccessible.Legend has it that Theth was founded 400 years ago by 6 brothers. Individual parts of the village still bear the names of these brothers. In a presentation at the International Peace Research Association, Antonia Young, an anthropologist who participated in a 2005 research project in Shala valley, suggested this ‘perceived family link’ could be the explanation for the unusually low levels of internal conflicts and blood feuds in Theth. According to Theth’s primarily Catholic inhabitants, the village was founded as a refuge to escape conversion to Islam by the Ottomans. After the Second World War and the country’s self imposed isolation, access to the markets in Montenegro and Kosovo dried up. The fall of communism led to emigration and a declining population. Antonia Young’s team only found 17 families who reside in Theth year-round. Theth also contains 12 small mills and a functional hydro plant. During the period of March to November, Theth is visited by around 5000-10000 foreign tourists yearly.

The name “Valbona” is used to refer to the Valbona River, which in turn flows through the valley bearing its name, and a small village in the valley, as well the general area informally. It’s located in the Tropoja District of Northern Albania. This district, bordering Kosovo to the northeast, and Montenegro to the northwest, in combination with the adjacent district to the west, encompasses a region called the Malësi in Albanian, which translates roughly as “The Highlands,” with all the attendant romance conjured up by the English term. A wild, high, mountainous region inhabited by strong and fiercely independent people, the Malësi has for the history of Albania been the region which was never really conquered or subdued by the various waves of invaders during the last 2,000 years of Balkan history. While the proper name of the mountains around Valbona specifically are the Malësi e Gjakovës (after the town of Gjakova in Kosovo), their name is most often translated in English as “The Accursed Mountains,” based on the name given to them by disgruntled Serbian would-be invaders.

After the fall of communism in 1990, and the tragic economic collapse of 1996, Northern Albania also became the poorest of part of what was then the poorest country in Europe. By 2009, the Malësi have emerged from the shadows of recent history and are being rediscovered as a uniquely preserved natural and cultural treasure. Valbona, thanks in large part to the work of the Selimaj family, is one of a handful of centers of a burgeoning ecotourism industry. Foreign visitors to the region often remark that they had no idea that such an unspoiled, pristine place still existed in Europe. Local people welcome foreign visitors with a particularly moving enthusiasm. They know how far people have had to journey to visit them, and how often they are doing so in spite of the mountains’ fierce reputation. There is a strong affection for Americans in particular, in light of the assistance given to the population of Kosovo (90% ethnic Albanian) during the Kosovo War. Thus Valbona currently basks in fortunate possession of the twin resources of a perhaps unparalled natural beauty and a truly warm human generosity.

Bajram Curri is a town and a former municipality in Kukës County, Northern Albania, near the border with Kosovo, in a remote, mostly mountainous region. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision and the seat of the municipality Tropojë. Bajram Curri is located down the valley of the river Valbonë. It is the main access point by road to the villages of Valbona and Rrogam. Water from the mountains flow into the waters of the Valbonë, the latter being famous for having the clearest river water in Albania. The town is named after Bajram Curri, a national hero of the early 20th century. Bajram Curri is located in the former Tropojë District.

Lake Koman Ferry (Albanian: Trageti i Komanit) is a passenger ferry service operated by several local companies along the Koman Lake in Northern Albania. The line operates between Koman near the Koman Hydroelectric Power Station, and Fierzë near the Fierza Hydroelectric Power Station. The line is known for its breath taking views of the mountain gorges, unscheduled stops along the way for serving locals, and the peculiar atmosphere of both locals, foreigners, and even animals being fitted on board up to full capacity. According to Bradt Travel guides, the journey is described as “one of the world’s great boat trips” only comparable to the Scandinavian fjords. Following the construction of the dam and inundation of the area, a ferry service was established to serve the local population. Since the 2000s, the area has become a growing tourist destination.

Highlights of the tour

  • Durres Amphitheatre.
  • Kruja Bazaar, Castle.
  • Lezha Castle, Scanderbeg Memorial.
  • Shengjin.
  • Rozafa Castle.
  • Razma National Park.
  • Theth, Blue Eye, Nderlyse Stone Formations.
  • Theth-Valbona Pass.
  • Bajram Curri.
  • Komani Lake Ferry.

Itinerary

Meet and greet with the group at hotel lobby. We’ll start the tour with Durres where we will visit The Amphitheatre, The Roman Baths, The Forum and the Old City Walls. After a short stop for coffee we will depart to Kruje where we will have lunch and then we’ll visit the old bazaar and Scanderbeg’s castle. Then we drive to Shengjin, where we will have free time to relax by the seaside. Overnight in Shengjin. The second day starts with a visit of Lezha’s Castle and Scanderbeg’s Tomb. Then we drive to Shkodra where we will have lunch in a traditional restaurant and in the afternoon we will visit Rozafa’s Castle. Overnight in Shkoder. The third day we drive to Razem National park, overnight in Razem. The fourth day starts with Theth. After arrival, accommodation at a guesthouse and lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Theth Waterfall and the Grunas Canyon. On the way back, we will visit the Ethnographic Museum of Theth, the Kulla e Ngujimit (Tower of Isolation), and the Saint John’s Church. Dinner with Theth specialties and bio-organic food. Overnight in Theth. The fourth day starts with a visit at the stone formations/pools of Nderlyse and the Blye Eye of Kaprre. Lunch in picknick style. The stone formations are 2.5 hours away, walking on an unpaved automobile road. After arriving in Nderlyse village, we will visit the Mill of Nderlyse and then we will continue to Black Well’s Bridge, to enjoy one of the most fantastic views of Theth. After the bridge we will visit the stone formations, water pools in rose colour. After a short stop for lunch, we will visit the Blye Eye, further 2 hours roundtrip. Overnight in Theth. On the fifth day we will take the Theth-Valbone pass, one of the most beautifull places in Albania. The pass is done by foot, and it takes some 6 hours. On the other side we will take the couch to Bajram Curri where we will visit the Museum. Overnight in Bajram Curri. The 6th day we will drive to Koman Lake to take the ferry back to Shkoder. The ferry trip is considered one of the most beautiful on earth, comparable to Norway’s fjords. After we reach the end of the trip we take the couch back to Tirana. End of the program.

Weekend in Sarande & Gjirokaster

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Saranda (alb. Sarandë) the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town of about 22.000 inhabitants (2008 est.), situated on a beautiful horseshoe bay between a mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Agioi Saranta (Forty Saints). Situated opposite of Corfu island, Saranda is often visited by day trippers who come to enjoy this previously inaccessible resort. There are daily ferry services to and from Corfu available. The sea panorama, the variety of flora, favored by the soft climate and warm sea waters, make Saranda the preferred center for rest and recreation and an important tourist town. Honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays here. Saranda has an excellent climate, averaging 290 sunny days a year. In the summer temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees during the day, while the sea breeze at night is quite refreshing. Saranda is an old town, first settled by the Illyrian tribe of Chaonians who named it Onchesmus. Cicero mentions it as convenient harbor with favorable winds. The bay on which town is build gives Saranda its charming look, that can be better appreciated if approached from the sea. Many mosaics found in the town confirm that the town must have seen some above average development around 2nd and 3rd century AD. The town is a good base for exploring the most beautiful part of the Albanian coast – a strip also known as the Albanian riviera. The coastal road to Vlore is also wonderful. Near Saranda there are the ruins of the ancient city of Butrint and the Springs of “Blue Eye”. 

Butrint – one of the most important archeological finds in Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Butrint was an ancient city throughout Greek, Roman, bishopric and Byzantine periods. The city was finally abandoned during the Middle Ages perhaps due to the marsh surrounding and subsequent malaria epidemic. Despite being one of the greatest classical cities of the Mediterranean, Butrint remains largely unknown. The current archaeological site includes an impressive Greek amphitheatre, a Byzantine Basilica (the largest in the world after Hagia Sophia in Istanbul), a Roman temple with mosaic floor, a beautifully carved Lion’s gate as well numerous constructions built throughout the periods. Furthermore, what you see is just 15% of what lies beneath.
Known by many as the City of Stone, Gjirokastra is a developing centre for cultural heritage tourism. A walk around the network of cobbled streets that climb steeply out of the bazaar will transport you back in time.

Gjirokastra (alb. Gjirokastër) – situated in southern Albania, Gjirokastra perches on the steep side of the Drino valley overlooking an historic landscape framed by snow-capped mountains.This ‘city of a thousand steps’ comprises hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls. Dominated by the sheer flanks of its vast castle, Gjirokastra is a magical city with a tumultuous past. From feudal stronghold to Ottoman jewel to Italian colony, the city has known many rulers and has inspired poets, authors and artists. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate.” Known by many as the City of Stone, Gjirokastra is a developing centre for cultural heritage tourism. A walk around the network of cobbled streets that climb steeply out of the bazaar will transport you back in time. A visit to the vast 13th-century castle brings the adventurous tales of medieval rulers and communist atrocities alive. There is much to see in Gjirokastra and the surrounding areas, and a stay in bed and breakfast accommodation in one of the converted Ottoman houses can make an excellent base for exploring the region. Gjirokastra is an ancient city with traces of human habitation dating back to the 1st century BC. It is located on the slopes of the Wide Mountain (Mali i Gjer), overlooking the Drinos river. The city was probably founded some time in the 12th century AD around a fortress on the hillside. Under the rule of the Byzantine Empire, it developed into a major commercial centre known as Argyropolis (Silver City). The city was part of the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in the 14th century before passing to the Ottoman Empire in 1417. It was captured in 1811 by the Albanian-born Ali Pasha, who carved out his own semi-autonomous fiefdom in the southwestern Balkans. In the late 19th century, when the city was the capital of the sandjak of Ergiri in the Yanya vilayet, it became a center of resistance to Turkish rule. The Assembly of Gjirokastra, a key event in the history of the Albanian liberation movement, was held there in 1880.

Highlights of the tour

  • Llogora National Park
  • Albanian Riviera
  • Saranda City Center.
  • Lekures Castle
  • Three Islands in Ksamil.
  • Butrint Archaeological Park.
  • Blue Eye Spring.
  • Gjirokastra Old Quarter.
  • Gjirokastra Castle.

Itinerary

Meet and greet with the group at hotel lobby and start our trip to Saranda,about 300 km from Tirana. On the way we stop for a break in the National Park of LLogara, a wonderful view, from where you can see one of the most beautiful parts of the Albanian Riviera. After the break, we continue our trip to Saranda, where we will visit the town and the promenade. Then we will move to Ksamil where we will enjoy a fantastic view of the Three Islands. After lunch,we will visit the ancient National Park of Butrint, visited by thousands of tourists every year, where we can see The Amphitheater, The Ancient Museum, The Baptistery, The Old Temples etc. Then we move to the hotel to enjoy the dinner from a wonderful view of Saranda by Night. The next day we continue our trip to visit the Blue Eye, one of the most beautiful natural springs of Albania. After having a break, we will continue to Gjirokastra, The Stone City, where we will visit the center of the city and the old bazaar. After lunch we finish this amazing tour and we take the road to Tirana.

Weekend in Lezhe & Shkoder

Posted By : Niku/ 490

The city of Lezha is located 47 km south of Shkodra. It is one of Albania’s ancient cities, and in the historical documents it is mostly referred by the name Lissus. In 1398, after the construction of its castle, the city was under direct control of the feudal family of Lekë Dukagjini, but was eventually conquered by Venice. One of the most important historical events for Lezha, and indeed for all of Albania, was the famed “the League of Lezha” on March 2nd, 1444, where under the leadership of national hero Skanderbeg, the Albanian princedoms united against the Ottomans. The Memorial Grave of Skanderbeg is here, at the ex-Cathedral of Shën Kolli, where he was buried in 1468. The Castle of Lezha, another Illyrian monument, is situated on the top of the hill overlooking the city below. Inside the castle, ruins of an Ottoman mosque Roman Arch, and an Illyrian Tower all rest together for the ages. Only a few minutes from the city, at the foot of the Mount Renci, it is found the sandy beach of Shëngjin. The sunny beach. Shëngjini boasts a long and colorful history, known as both “Cesarean” and “Nympheum” in past centuries. It was here that the Roman general Marcus Aurelius embarked with his fleet in order to chase Pompey during the civil war that he and Julius Caesar engaged in.

Apart from being a historic centre, Shkodra has always been a centre of education, culture and trade. It has always developed and maintained links to the West, especially to Italy and Austria. Shkodra is also the centre of Albanian Catholicism as well as a fine example of tolerance between religions, with the city comprising all the major faiths found in Albania.

Shkodra known as the “capital of north Albania” is one of the oldest cities in the country, founded in the 4th century B.C. as the center of the Labeat tribe of Illyrians. Shkodra has been occupied several times throughout history. First by the Romans (168 B.C.), then the Serbians (1040), the Venetians (1396), and finally by the Ottomans (1479). The city returned to Albanian control as the feudal principality of the Balshaj during the 14th century and served as the municipal center of the Bushatllinj Pashallëk from 1757 to 1831. Shkodra is rich with cultural heritage; the city itself as well as the people bears the pride that the large number of artists, musicians, painters, photographers, poets, and writers born here strove to create. Shkodra’s main tourist attraction is Rozafa Castle. Rising majestically upon a rocky hill west of the city, the outcroppings and battlements paint a blazing picture against the setting sun. It is surrounded by the waters of three rivers; the Drini, Buna, and Kiri. Much like the town it protected, the castle has Illyrian origins. According to the historian Tit Liri, “it was the strongest area of the Labeats.”

Highlights of the tour

  • Lezha Castle
  • Scanderbeg Mausoleum.
  • Rozafa Castle.
  • Shkodra Lake.
  • Shkodra’s Old Quarter
  • Drini & Buna Rivers Intersection

Itinerary

Meeting and greeting with the group at hotel lobby and then drive to Lezha, approx. 60 km from Tirana. We start the program with a visit to the castle of Lezha,, with a panoramic view of the city below, the lagoon and the Adriatic coastal line. Then we proceed to Scanderbeg’s Mausoleum and then departure to Shkodra. Stop for lunch on the way to Shkodra. Accomodation at hotel and free time to explore the city’s old streets, characteristic shops and the famous church and mosque of Shkodra. Overnight in Shkoder. Next morning we start the program with a visit to Rozafa Castle, famous for its legend. The view from the castle covers the intersection of Drini and Buna rivers. Then we depart for lunch by the lake side, in one of the characteristic fishermen villages of Shkodra. After lunch departure to Tirana. End of the program.

Price includes: Transport with comfortable couch, hotel accomodation, professional guide throughout the program.

Entrance fees, where applicable, are not included. Food, drinks and tips not included.

Central & South Albania In 7 Days

Posted By : Niku/ 462

Durrësi is the second largest city in Albania, the biggest port and the hub of the railroad system. It is one of the most ancient cities in Albania. Known by name of Epidamnus, it was established in the year 627 B.C. by colons coming from Corinth and Corcyra. Later on, the name changed to Durrahium (according to mythology the nephew of Epidamnus). During this period, the city flourished and became the main port of the Eastern Adriatic. Between the 1st and the 3rd centuries, it played a major role as a trading centre along the ancient Egnatia road, which connected Rome with Byzantium. Everyone has lot of things to see in Durrës, considering it a getaway to another world.

Berat – 2400 year old town located in southcentral Albania is known as “the town of a thousand windows, also the Museum City”. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful towns of Albania, with a settlement having existed there since at least the 6th century BC, when it was a fortress-settlement of the Greek Dassaretae tribe on the old border between Illyria and Epirus. The old town was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List in July 2008. Berat lies on the right bank of the river Osum, a short distance from the point where it is joined by the Molisht river. The Osumi river has cut a 915-metre deep gorge through the limestone rock on the west side of the valley to form a precipitous natural fortress, around which the town was built on several river terraces. It is remarkable Ottoman town, with a wealth of beautiful buildings of the highest architectural and historical interest. According to legend, the Tomorr mountain was originally a giant, who fought with another giant, called Shpirag over a young woman. They killed each other and the girl drowned in her tears, which then became the Osum river.

Fieri (Albanian: Fier or Fieri) is a city in southwest Albania, in the district and county of the same name. Fier is 8 km (5 mi) from the ruins of the ancient city of Apollonia. This district is also rich in other archaeological sites and post Byzantine monuments.
Apollonia was an ancient city in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous River (the modern-day Vjosë River). It was founded in 588 BCE by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site initially occupied by Illyrian tribes. Apollonia flourished during the period of Roman rule in the area and was home to a renowned school of philosophy. The city began to decline in the 3rd century CE when its harbor began silting up as a result of an earthquake. Cicero, the famed Roman Orator, was captivated by the beauty of Apollonia and in his Philippics, referred to it as “magna urbs et gravis,” or “great and important city.” Archaeological excavations have shown that Apollonia achieved its zenith around the 4th-3rd centuries BC. Sources depict a flourishing culture, with a busy harbor along this active trading route. Apollonia, like Dyrrachium further north, was an important port on the Illyrian coast as the most convenient link between Brundusium and northern Greece, and as one of the western starting points of the Via Egnatia leading east to Thessaloniki and Byzantium in Thrace. It had its own mint, stamping coins that have been found as far away as the basin of the Danube.

Vlora (alb. Vlorë), known also as Valona, is located in south-western Albania where the two seas, Adriatic and Ionian, meet. Vlora enjoys a beautiful position beacause it is the gatway to the Albanian Riviera , which is the gem of Albanian Tourist places. The town with its wide boulevards decorated by huge palm trees has a real southern Mediterranean feel to it. It is located in front of Karaburuni peninsula and Sazani Island, close to various sandy and rocky beaches and the scenic nearby mountains. Vlora is Albania’s second largest port, having regular ferry boat connections with Italian ports of Bari and Brindisi. The oldest traces of civilization in the area of Vlora date back to the 6th century B.C. In ancient times the city started as a port, and was known under the name of Aulona, famous for its olive groves and vineyards. During the 4th century AD was frequently mentioned as a landing port for ships of goods from the ports of Otranto and Brindisi, as well as an important stop over between the prosperous ancient cities of Apollonia and Butrint. After the fall of Apollonia and Orichum, it became the principal port of Illyria. In the fifth century Aulona was the centre of diocese. The emigrations of barbarians damaged it badly and brought the withdrawal of the city deeper in land. During the Middle Ages the city was fused into one with the fortress of Kanina, which is situated a few kilometres to the south-east. At the fourteenth century, Vlora became an important trading and handicraft centre noted apart from wines and salt, for its swords, its ships and its silk. The Turks invasion took place in 1417. In 1531 Sultan Sulejmani built a fortress, which is believed to have been designed by the architect Sinani. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Vlora had again become an important economic centre and port it was taken by Ali Pasha Tepelena in 1812. Although an important town throughout history its claim to fame came on November 28th, 1912, when the National Assembly of Albania declared the independence of Albania in Vlora, to end a five century Ottoman rule. The town was the first capital of independent Albania.

Saranda (alb. Sarandë) the gateway to the southern Albania, is a small town of about 22.000 inhabitants (2008 est.), situated on a beautiful horseshoe bay between a mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda derives from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Agioi Saranta (Forty Saints). Situated opposite of Corfu island, Saranda is often visited by day trippers who come to enjoy this previously inaccessible resort. There are daily ferry services to and from Corfu available. The sea panorama, the variety of flora, favored by the soft climate and warm sea waters, make Saranda the preferred center for rest and recreation and an important tourist town. Honeymooners traditionally spend their holidays here. Saranda has an excellent climate, averaging 290 sunny days a year. In the summer temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees during the day, while the sea breeze at night is quite refreshing. Saranda is an old town, first settled by the Illyrian tribe of Chaonians who named it Onchesmus. Cicero mentions it as convenient harbor with favorable winds. The bay on which town is build gives Saranda its charming look, that can be better appreciated if approached from the sea. Many mosaics found in the town confirm that the town must have seen some above average development around 2nd and 3rd century AD. The town is a good base for exploring the most beautiful part of the Albanian coast – a strip also known as the Albanian riviera. Tthe coastal road to Vlore is also wonderful. Near Saranda there are the ruins of the ancient city of Butrint and the Springs of “Blue Eye”. You can also visit the museum city, Gjirokastra. It is about 1.5 hours by bus.

Butrint – one of the most important archeological finds in Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Butrint was an ancient city throughout Greek, Roman, bishopric and Byzantine periods. The city was finally abandoned during the Middle Ages perhaps due to the marsh surrounding and subsequent malaria epidemic. Despite being one of the greatest classical cities of the Mediterranean, Butrint remains largely unknown. The current archaeological site includes an impressive Greek amphitheatre, a Byzantine Basilica (the largest in the world after Hagia Sophia in Istanbul), a Roman temple with mosaic floor, a beautifully carved Lion’s gate as well numerous constructions built throughout the periods. Furthermore, what you see is just 15% of what lies beneath.

Gjirokastra (alb. Gjirokastër) – situated in southern Albania, Gjirokastra perches on the steep side of the Drino valley overlooking an historic landscape framed by snow-capped mountains.This ‘city of a thousand steps’ comprises hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls. Dominated by the sheer flanks of its vast castle, Gjirokastra is a magical city with a tumultuous past. From feudal stronghold to Ottoman jewel to Italian colony, the city has known many rulers and has inspired poets, authors and artists. Its old town is inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of large estate.” Known by many as the City of Stone, Gjirokastra is a developing centre for cultural heritage tourism. A walk around the network of cobbled streets that climb steeply out of the bazaar will transport you back in time. A visit to the vast 13th-century castle brings the adventurous tales of medieval rulers and communist atrocities alive. There is much to see in Gjirokastra and the surrounding areas, and a stay in bed and breakfast accommodation in one of the converted Ottoman houses can make an excellent base for exploring the region. Gjirokastra is an ancient city with traces of human habitation dating back to the 1st century BC. It is located on the slopes of the Wide Mountain (Mali i Gjer), overlooking the Drinos river. The city was probably founded some time in the 12th century AD around a fortress on the hillside. Under the rule of the Byzantine Empire, it developed into a major commercial centre known as Argyropolis (Silver City). The city was part of the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in the 14th century before passing to the Ottoman Empire in 1417. It was captured in 1811 by the Albanian-born Ali Pasha, who carved out his own semi-autonomous fiefdom in the southwestern Balkans. In the late 19th century, when the city was the capital of the sandjak of Ergiri in the Yanya vilayet, it became a centre of resistance to Turkish rule. The Assembly of Gjirokastra, a key event in the history of the Albanian liberation movement, was held there in 1880.

Përmet is a town in Albania, capital of Përmet District. The population is 7,717. It is flanked by the Vjosë river, which runs along the Trebeshinë-Dhëmbel-Nemërçkë mountain chain, between Trebeshinë and Dhëmbel mountains, and through the Këlcyra gorge. The greenest and the cleanest town in Albania, also known as the “city of roses.” The small town of Përmet is famous for its folk music and renown clarinetist Laver Bariu, literature personalities, and the good cooking, especially sweets, the so called ‘gliko’, or preserves. You will be served good wine and raki in Përmet and around. The thing to do in Përmet is to climb a big rock , it’s very near to the center of the town, it’s called the rock of town looking over the town and Vjosa river. Let’s say this is the point of observation of the town.There is a famous Spa very near to Përmet, in Bënja, you may take a taxi or even walk if you want. Ask around for directions, the location is south of Përmet. The hot spring is situated in a scenic route. They are found in the village of Benje. There are outdoor hot waters.

The alpine town of Ersekë is the perfect place to explore all that Albania has to offer! You will experience the hospitality and generosity of the Albanian people in a breath-taking mountain setting. Ersekë is located on the national road between Gjirokaster and Korce. It is at the foot of the Gramozi Mountains that separate Albania and Greece. Mount Gramozi is the third-highest peak in Albania, and you can climb to the top in one afternoon. In addition to hiking in the Gramozi Mountains, there are a variety of other natural and cultural experiences that Ersekë offers. You can navigate your way through The Gorge, or visit the Ersekë Cultural Museum. Ersekë is proud of its rich history, and has been the birthplace and home to many Albanian patriots and educators.

Korce (alb. Korçë or Korça) is the largest city of south eastern part of Albania. It is situated at the foot of Morava Mountain on a plateau 800 m above sea level, near the border with Greece. It has a population of around 62,900 people (2008 estimate), making it the seventh largest city in Albania. Korce is said to be the cleanest town in Albania. It has old buildings in various states of repair surrounding the Cathedral which was built in 1992. Quaint cobblestown streets run between and behind the main streets. Korce became an important trading and handicraft centre in the 18th century due to the development of trade with neighboring regions. It has been an important religious center for Orthodox Christians and Muslims for centuries. During the Ottoman period it became one of the centres of the growing Albanian identity. The first school teaching in the Albanian language was established there in 1887, followed by Albania’s first school for girls in 1891.

The city of Pogradec and its surrounding area, as one of the Albanian beauty pearls, provides much to discover for its visitors. The region dominated by the fantastic Ohrid Lake, surrounded by fields nestled before picturesque mountains, will be your panorama throughout your holidays in Pogradec. The harmony of nature, and the friendliness of the inhabitants, will bring you back again and again. The sunny days at the beaches along the lake, the strolls along the promenade, as well as the various specialty dishes and local wine enjoyed in the restaurants will provide unforgettable moments for you. Pogradeci is one of the most charming tourist resorts in Albania because of its position near the Ohrid Lake, which distinguishes itself for clear water. Fish Koran, which is similar to the trout, is reared in this lake. Besides the beautiful beach, your staying in Pogradec is made more interesting by the excursion to the tourist center of Drilon (5 km eastward) with crystal clear fountains that fill the beautiful channels surrounded with trees and by ornamental plants. Lake Ohrid and its surrounding area shines as a splendidly unique ecosystem. Due to its historic culture and its unique flora and fauna, in 1980, Pogradec was declared by UNESCO as a place of worldwide natural and cultural heritage. For everybody, during all four seasons, this city offers opportunities to relax and have fun. This may be the reason why more and more people return again and again to Pogradec.

Elbasan is a city in central Albania. It is located on the Shkumbin River in the District of Elbasan and the County of Elbasan. Elbasan was – until the beginning of the Second World War – one of the most pleasant and unspoiled Ottoman cities in Albania, with a mixture of eastern and medieval buildings, narrow cobbled streets and a large bazaar where Turkish could still be heard. There was a clearly defined Christian settlement within the castle walls, a Vlach district on the outskirts of the city and several fine mosques and Islamic buildings. At the time the population was about 15,000 people. Elbasan came into prominenece in the Roman period when it was known as Masio Scampa. The word Scampa means rocks or peaks in the ancient Illyrian language. The Romans built a substantial fortress here, about 300 meters square, protected by towers. In the 3rd and 4th centuries it became known as Hiskampis. It had developed as an important trade and transport centre near the junction of two branches of the Via Egnatia coming from Apollonia and Dyrrachium, a main road artery in the land communications and trade and commercial interchanges between the Apennine Peninsula, on one side and the Balkan Peninsula and the East on the other. The surrounding walls of the town were built in the 4th century, having 3 entrances and 26 towers. Its fortress was built during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (483-565) by which time Skampa had become the seat of a Bishopic with a Cathedral and a Basilica outside its surrounding walls. After the failure of the second Turkish siege of Kruja, Sultan Muhamet II rebuilt the fortress in 1466 and renamed the town Elbasan (El-basan is turkish for Fortress).

Highlights of the tour

  • Durres Amphitheatre.
  • Berat Castle.
  • Apollonia Archaeological Park.
  • Kuzum Baba Vlore. Llogora National Park.
  • Lekursi Castle, Butrint, 3 Islands, Blue Eye Spring.
  • Gjirokastra Castle. Viroi Lake.
  • Tepelena Cold Water Spring.
  • Kelcyra.
  • Rock of Permeti. Benja Hot Springs.
  • Vjosa River Canyons.
  • Erseke, Leskovik, Shelegur Lake.
  • Korca Old Quarter, Birra Korca Brewery.
  • Ohri Lake. Drilon Park
  • Elbasan Castle.

Itinerary

Meet and greet with the group at hotel lobby. We’ll start the tour with Durres where we will visit The Amphitheatre, The Roman Baths, The Forum and the Old City Walls. After a short stop for coffee we will depart to Berat, about an hour away. Lunch in Berat and then we start exploring the old quarters and the castle. Overnight in Berat. The second day morning starts with a visit at Apollonia Archaeological Park in Fier, approximately 1.5 hours away from Berat. Then we continue to Vlore where we will have lunch by the seaside. In the afternoon we will visit the Murad Mosque, The Jewish Quarter, The Kuzum Baba Holy Shrine and Vlora’s boulevard, famous for its long walks in the afternoon. Overnight in Orikum. The thir day morning we start driving up the Llogora mountain, to explore one of the most beautiful parts of the Albanian coast. After a short break for coffee in Llogora National Park, we start descending from the other side of the mountain, where old villages stuck in time make up the Albanian Riviera. We will pass through them and stop in Himara for lunch by the seaside. Then we proceed to Saranda where we will visit the Lekursi Castle and have a coffee in one of the most picturesque parts of Albania. Free time to enjoy the sea breeze and overnight in Saranda. The fourth day starts with a visit at Butrint Archaeological Park, some 30 minutes away. Return to Ksamil for lunch by the seaside, in the famous 3 Islands beach. After lunch we continue to Blue Eye Spring, famous for its surreal bluish colours. Then we drive up the Muzina pass to reach Gjirokaster. Free time to stroll around the old part of the city. The fifth day starts with a visit at the castle and then a short stop at Viroi lake. Then we proceed to Tepelena Cold Water spring, where we will stop for lunch. Then we proceed to Permet, some 45 minutes away. We will visit the Rock of Permet and then we will proceed to Benja Hot Springs. Then we proceed to Farma Sotira Hotel where we will pass the night. The 6th day morning starts with a drive to Erseke and then to Korce, approx. 2 hours away. We will visit the old quarter of Korca and its famous boulevard. Lunch in Korce, next to Birra Korca Brewery. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight in Korce. The 7th day we drive to Pogradec where we will visit Drilon Park and then we take the road to Elbasan. Lunch before leaving the Ohri Lake, by its side. After one hour we reach Elbasan where we will stop inside the old castle for a coffee break. Then we will visit the old quarter. Then we take the road to Tirane, approx. 45 minutes away. End of the program.

Weekend in Pogradec & Korce

Posted By : Niku/ 360

The city of Pogradec and its surrounding area, as one of the Albanian beauty pearls, provides much to discover for its visitors. The region dominated by the fantastic Ohrid Lake, surrounded by fields nestled before picturesque mountains, will be your panorama throughout your holidays in Pogradec. The harmony of nature, and the friendliness of the inhabitants, will bring you back again and again. The sunny days at the beaches along the lake, the strolls along the promenade, as well as the various specialty dishes and local wine enjoyed in the restaurants will provide unforgettable moments for you. Pogradeci is one of the most charming tourist resorts in Albania because of its position near the Ohrid Lake, which distinguishes itself for clear water. Fish Koran, which is similar to the trout, is reared in this lake. Besides the beautiful beach, your staying in Pogradec is made more interesting by the excursion to the tourist center of Drilon (5 km eastward) with crystal clear fountains that fill the beautiful channels surrounded with trees and by ornamental plants. Lake Ohrid and its surrounding area shines as a splendidly unique ecosystem. Due to its historic culture and its unique flora and fauna, in 1980, Pogradec was declared by UNESCO as a place of worldwide natural and cultural heritage. For everybody, during all four seasons, this city offers opportunities to relax and have fun. This may be the reason why more and more people return again and again to Pogradec.

Korce (alb. Korçë or Korça) is the largest city of south eastern part of Albania. It is situated at the foot of Morava Mountain on a plateau 800 m above sea level, near the border with Greece. It has a population of around 62,900 people (2008 estimate), making it the seventh largest city in Albania. Korce is said to be the cleanest town in Albania. It has old buildings in various states of repair surrounding the Cathedral which was built in 1992. Quaint cobblestown streets run between and behind the main streets. Korce became an important trading and handicraft centre in the 18th century due to the development of trade with neighboring regions. It has been an important religious center for Orthodox Christians and Muslims for centuries. During the Ottoman period it became one of the centres of the growing Albanian identity. The first school teaching in the Albanian language was established there in 1887, followed by Albania’s first school for girls in 1891.

Highlights of the tour

  • Ohrid Lake
  • Drilon.
  • Tushemisht.
  • Korca Old Quarter.
  • St. George’s Orthodox Cathedral
  • Voskopoja

Meeting and greeting with the group at hotel lobby and then drive to Pogradec, approx. 130 km from Tirana. We will drive through Elbasan, Gramsh, Perrenjas and then via the Qafa e Thanes mountain pass. The program starts with an overview of Pogradec and it’s main landmarks. Then we drive to Drilon for a coffee break or lunch. Then we proceed to Tushemisht, a characteristic village where a famous Albanian movie has taken place. Then we drive to Korca to proceed with the hotel accommodation. A short walking on Korca’s famous boulevard with an oversight of Korca’s history. The next day we drive to Voskopoja, a very famous village for its old churches and a beautiful landscape. Return to Korca for lunch and a visit to St. George’s Cathedral. Then drive back to Tirana. End of the program.

Price includes: Transport with comfortable couch, hotel accomodation, professional guide throughout the program

Entrance fees, where applicable, are not included. Food, drinks and tips not included.