Day 1: Flying to Corfu. Visit Corfu and departure to Albania in the afternoon. Take the last ferry to Saranda – Albania. Departure at 18:30 local Greek time. Arrival 19:30 local Albanian time.(Albania time is one hour later than Greek time). Passport check in. Drive via the old east/west caravan route to Gjirokastra. Arrive late afternoon in Gjirokaster. Overnight in Gjirokaster (61 km).
- Ferry to Saranda, Albania
- Transfer to Gjirokaster
- Overnight Gjirokaster.
Day 2: Guided walking tour of the old town including the castle and ethnographic museum. Drive north to Berat. Walking tour of the old town and visit Onufri icon museum, the castle and the ethnographic museum. Lunch (included.) Overnight Berat (155 km).
- Entry fees Ethnographic museum and castle
- Transfer to Berat
- Entry fees to the Castle, Onufry Icon Monastery and Ethnographic museum
- Overnight Berat.
Day 3: Drive towards Tirana. Lunch (included) in Durres. In afternoon arrival in Tirana. Sightseeing in town and visit the National museum, the mosque of Etem Bay, and the opera house. Overnight in Tirana. (190 km).
- Transfer Tirana
- Entry to the National museum and Opera house.
- Overnight in Tirana.
Day 4: Drive to the city Kruja and visit the castle of national hero Skenderbeu of Albania. Visit the city and old bazaar. Lunch in Kruja (included). Drive back to Tirana. Some free time and afterwards teleferic ride to the top of the hill Dajti (1100 m).
Overnight in Tirana. (100 km).
- Transfer to Kruja
- Entry to the National Museum of Skenderbeu
- Elevator to Dajti
- Overnight in Tirana.
Day 5: Turn west towards the sea. Visit Ardenica Monastery. After lunch (included) the famous site of Apollonia, head for the coastal town of Himara for overnight stay.Overnight in Himara. (220 km).
- Transfer to Himara
- Visit, Monastery of Ardenica
- Visit Apollonia
- Overnight in Himara.
Day 6: Free day to the beach. Free day in Himara.
Day 7: In the morning drive to the Ancient City of Butrint. Guiding and return thru Saranda to Lekuresi Castle. Lunch (included). After lunch drive to visit Blue Eye. Transfer to the port (80 km).
Ferry back to Corfu (16.20 h – 1:20 min.).
- Drive to Saranda
- Visit Butrint
- Lunch to Lekuresi
- Visit Blue Eye
- Sarande, boat back to Corfu. O/N Corfu.
Notes on towns and main sites:
Gjirokastra: This fascinating and historic small town is on UNESCO’s
World Heritage list. Largely medieval, with some lovely architecture to admire reflecting the town’s wealthy past, it is build on a hill overlooking valley and mountains. Excellent views from the large castle above, which houses a weapon museum! Some good restaurants in de narrow cobbled lanes of the old town.
Berat: Another member of the UNESCO club, Berat is called ‘the town of a thousand eyes’ because of the many-windowed old houses that crow above the river Osum and up the hill. High along the ridge is a 14th C citadel, its walls enclosing no fewer than fourteen small painted churches (hence the presence of the famous icon museum). The Turkish influence may be seen in the town’s three mosques and tekke, also worth visiting.
Tirana: The capital and main administration city of Albania since 1920, with 1 million habitants; A town with big contrasts. Tirana is the main institute of culture and town in which you can find good restaurants with specialties from a the different areas of the country. Around Tirana, several historical sites can be found in cities like Durres and Kruja.
Ardencia: 12th C monastery converted into an inn, it occupies the whole of a rocky outcrop amid pine and cypress trees and is a landmark visible for miles across the plain. The church, dedicated to the Virgin, is characteristically Greek, and has a magnificent iconostasis and high-quality wall-paintings.
Apollonia: Another most important archeological site. Founded in 588 BC by Greeks from Corinth, it rose to become a renowned cultural centre in the roman period. Memorable are the elegant façade of the Bouleuterion and the great Stoat. Below stands the beautiful 13th C church of Shen Mari, built out of the antique stone.
Saranda: Commercial port and main town in the south. It’s built directly over a Roman town which surfaces here and there. Best views are from the castle call “Lekuresi” high above; the restaurant on top is an idea for evening dining.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Albania Local Culture Cultural Journey
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