Classical Highlights of Albania Tour

The Classical Highlights of Albania Tour is a must for any visitor who would like to discover Albania within an acceptable time frame. It offers a great introduction into Albania’s past and present history, customs and traditions. It touches all the gems of the country from ancient sites to architectural buildings and towns, comprising three UNESCO World Heritage sites. All this is accomplished in style, with excellent guides.

Location: Albania
Duration: 7 days - 6 nights

From € 440
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Classic Tour in Albania
Day 1: Tirana

Meet at Tirana airport by our transfer driver and transfer to your centrally located hotel where the guide will be waiting for you. Take an afternoon walk around the centre of the capital explaining the major monuments and its history. Free evening to explore on your own. Restaurant suggestions for dinner will be given. Overnight in Tirana.

Museum in Kruja Albania


Shkodra Albania
Day 2: Tirana – Shkodra - Kruja – Tirana (3.5 hours driving time)

After breakfast we drive to Shkodra the most important town of north Albania and the Illyrian capital, in the 3rd century BC. Visit Rozafa Fortress from where spectacular views all around can be admired. Standing in such an imposing site, experience the supremacy the Illyrians would have felt over their enemies. Afterwards, we take a walk in the newly renovated pedestrian area of Shkoder. Italian and Austrian architecture elements are reminders, of this town’s historic links with both these countries. Our tour continues to Kruja - the centre of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans under our national hero Scanderbeg, who kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years. This brave resistance earned him the title “Champion of Christ” given by the Pope of the time. We visit the fortress which holds withing the Skanderbeg and Ethnographic Museums. Finally explore the Old Bazaar, an excellent place to shop for antiques or hand-crafted souvenirs. Return to Tirana for second overnight.

Ardenica Albania
Day 3: Tirana – Ardenica – Apollonia – Vlora (3.5 hours driving time)

After breakfast we travel to Vlora where Albanian Independence was proclaimed. On the way we stop at the Monastery of Ardenica, thought to have been built in the Middle Ages, as claimed by an entrance stone dating back to 1417. It is also supposed that Scanderbeg the Albanian Legendary hero of Middle Ages, was married here at the small chapel of the complex. Icon paintings dating between 1743-1745, by Albanian artists such as Konstandin & Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstandin Shpataraku, adorn the main chapel. After the visits, we will continue our journey to the ancient city of Apollonia situated on the famous Via Egnatia. Apollonia was one of the most important cities in Roman times renowned for its school of oratory. Julius Caesar sent his nephew Augustus Octavian to study here, a clear testimony of the advanced level of learning Apollonia provided at the time. We will visit the vast archaeological remains and the adjacent archaeological museum situated in a adjacent Orthodox monastery from the Middle Ages. Afterwards we reach Vlora, where the original house of the first Independent Albanian Government, is an interesting attraction. Afternoon and evening at leisure to explore the beautifully restored lungomare/waterfront promenade. Overnight in Vlora.

Butrint Albania
Day 4: Vlora – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda (4.5 hours driving time)

After an early breakfast we depart to Saranda. While we drive through the spectacular Albanian Riviera, we also observe the the mazing turquoise blue colour of the Ionian Sea. At around 1000 m above the sea level the top of the Llogora paas, offers breath-taking sceneries. We make short stop at Ali Pasha Fort, located at the Porto Palermo bay, a strategic point from where was easily possible to control sea trade routes. Then we continue past Saranda to Butrint National Park. The ancient remains of Butrint are a UNESCO world heritage site and the most important archaeological finds in Albania. Legend associates this city with Trojan settlers who fled Troy under the leadership of Aeneas. In fact the city was first settled by Hellenic colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of several eras of civilization. Apart the beautiful antique ruins it has the added benefit of being situated in a beautiful peninsula, rich in flora and fauna. After the visits we return to Saranda for overnight.

UNESCO site Gjirokastra
Day 5: Saranda – Gjirokastra (UNESCO) – Berat (4.5 hours driving time)

After early breakfast we drive to Berat. On our way lays Gjirokastra, a UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinctive stone architecture. Visit the medieval Castle which used to be a political prison during the communist dictatorship and the Ethnographic Museum which is also the house where the Albanian dictator was born in. We suggest the group should stop for lunch close to Tepelena at a traditional restaurant (optional) among beautiful scenery. In Berat we check in at the hotel in the old quarter where a familiarization walking tour will give a clear idea of why this town is protected by UNESCO. Overnight in Berat is a unique experience staying in old houses turned characteristic boutique style hotels.

Berat Albania
Day 6: Berat (UNESCO) – Durres-Tirana (2.5 hours driving time)

After breakfast we visit the fortress of Berat and the unique Onufri Museum. Berat fortress is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries. It used to have over 40 churches of which 7 still remain, including one turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was an Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece. After this interesting experience we depart for Durres one of the oldest in the country (founded in 627 B.C.) where we have lunch by the sea (optional). After lunch we take a sightseeing tour of the Amphitheatre one of the largest in the Mediterranean situated in the middle of the modern city in an inhabited area, and the Archaeological Museum rich in art facts found in the city and its suburbs. After the visits in Durres return to Tirana for overnight.

Day 7 Tirana-Airport

After breakfast, free to explore until time of transfer to Airport. Driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to the departure terminal. End of our services

Prices available on request

Best months: March, April, May, June, September, October, November

Note: The above dates are for orientation purposes, to help people book on the same dates, and pay the cheaper price. However we will run this tour on other dates as per clients’ requests.

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We just got back to Italy after a wonderful trip in Albania. We saw Apollonia and Butrint,Berat and Girokastra all beautiful and rich. The Hotels, the guide, the itenerary and evertyhing was organized in a professional way by Albania Holidays team. Many thanks to everybody for your time and help in organizing our trip. We will recommend Albania and your company to our friends
Simone Italy
Fra un paio di giorni avrei scritto io. Maglio così, così ho l'occasione di esprimere tutto il mio gradimento, e quello delle mie amiche, per Ilir. E' stato una guida preziosa (spesso ne sapeva di più lui delle guide locali), ma soprattutto sotto il profilo umano, si è dimostrato veramente eccezionale. Il suo italiano è abbastanza buono per cavarsela in qualsiasi situazione e non ci sono mai stati problemi grammaticali o lessicali di alcun genere. Logicamente si sente che non è Italiano madre lingua, ma la sua esperienza e attenzione non fa notare qualche leggera imperfezione linguistica. Può guidare qualsiasi gruppo italiano, anche il più esigente. Volevo fargli un plauso anche per la grande attenzione e disposizione per il piccolo incidente accorso ad una signora del gruppo. Promosso a pieni voti! Buona serata.
Angelo Bennedetti Italy
We have successfully completed our tour of the expanded program «Classical Highlights of Albania Tour», which is made with the help of a travel agency «Albania holidays» from April 30 to May 8, 2014 . We thank the manager for the agency Erand patiently and persistently work on the organization of our stay , revision and expansion of the above program with additional interesting proposals and our wishes We are also grateful to our guide and driver Oltyan, which purposefully implement the agreed program, regardless of the case of rain, as well as reliably and flawlessly delivered us to Tirana, where we started our journey . With Oltyan we have traveled almost 2000 km. A significant portion of the road passes in the mountains , and some was quite difficult for technical reasons. Oltyan always been friendly, punctual, well spoken in Russian, knew the actual material, showed respect and attention to us travelers. Program «Classical Highlights of Albania Tour» was filled with a visit to many historical monuments and buildings, museums, cities, cultural and natural attractions . The program was complemented by a visit which is an ancient bridge in Mesi near the town of Shkodra in Albania, the city Ohrid in Macedonia and other attractions. During the trip we met with residents of Albania, who showed interest in us and friendly feelings . All our meetings were good wherever we were . We gladly ate different dishes Albanian cuisine, local drinks and drinking coffee. Hotels were chosen with skill and with modern amenities. The rooms were spacious and with a nice view of the sea or lake Ohrid and in Berat hotel was in an old mountain house . Travel delivered us great pleasure and beauty of Albania and its people have made an excellent impression on us. Once again, with gratitude and respect,
Oleg and Larisa from Kiev
I have received a lot of feedback from the group, I think almost everyone has replied by now! In all, I can say that this has been a very successful tour! Basically everyone has said the trip was Very Good. The highlights of the trip were: the guide Elton (we would definitely like to have him in the future!!) the driver. Kruja, and its ethnographical museum, the archeological places (although next time we could reduce the amount of them), the beautiful nature, beautiful views on the route between Vlora and Saranda, friendly people, visits to local families and homes, Berat, Saranda, Butrint and Vlora. Another big plus is the fact that they were provided with water bottles in the bus. One of the men said he has traveled 6 times with us and this was the best one ever!  Med vänliga hälsningar / Kind regards
Katja Koivusalo Gruppreseplanerare / Group travel planner
The tourleader said that everything was perfect! Well organised, good guide, good organisation. One of their best trips in Europe! They said that Albania is a very beautiful and rich country.
Pascale Seret / Belgium
Ich darf nach dem Ende unserer Albanienreise berichten, dass sie dank Ihrer organisat.Vorsorge und dank der Fahr-und Wissenskünste von Mr. Claudian (!!!!) sehr erfolgreich verlaufen ist. Ich bedanke mich nochmals für Ihr Service und grüße Sie herzlich
Friedrich Klausberger / Austria
I was absolutely thrilled with what I saw in Albania. It has wonderful costal areas on both the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, wonderful foothills and mountains in every part I visited as well as a multitude of rivers and lakes, all of which make for some incredible scenery. During my visit I concentrated on the central and northern part of the country. I went only as far south as Berat, one of the country's most beautiful towns, known as the "city of a thousand windows" and declared a "museum city" and UNESCO protected site which is built on the slopes of Mt. Timori with an inhabited castle dominating over the city. Then working my way up to the northernmost point of my trip, driving through the beautiful Western Albanian Alps to the lovely Boga Valley. I spent one day at the beginning and end of my trip in the Capitol, Tirana, one night in Berat, south of Tirana then north and west to Lezhe which is on the Adriatic for one night and two nights in Shkodra where I spent one day touring the Albanian Alps and the other exploring the largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Shkodra and the lovely old town of the city. There were over 350 castles in Albania of which 200 are still partially or almost completely intact. There are over 70,000 bunkers left over from the Communist Period throughout the country. Although Albania is a relatively poor country I found it to be clean, the scenery beautiful, the people very nice and the food plentiful and delicious.
Diane Jarrett / USA
I have received a lot of feedback from the group, I think almost everyone has replied by now! In all, I can say that this has been a very successful tour! Basically everyone has said the trip was Very Good. The highlights of the trip were: the guide Elton (we would definitely like to have him in the future!!) the driver. Kruja, and its ethnographical museum, the archeological places (although next time we could reduce the amount of them), the beautiful nature, beautiful views on the route between Vlora and Saranda, friendly people, visits to local families and homes, Berat, Saranda, Butrint and Vlora. Another big plus is the fact that they were provided with water bottles in the bus. One of the men said he has traveled 6 times with us and this was the best one ever!  Med vänliga hälsningar / Kind regards
Katja Koivusalo Gruppreseplanerare / Group travel planner / Denmark
his is just to say thank you very much for organizing our trip – we had a lot of fund and enjoyed Albania very much. We will recommend you to everybody and hopefully come back soon! Best regards
Sophie/ Australia
Firstly, thank you for organizing such a great itinerary. I think my favorite day was Blue Eye Spring, Gjirokaster and then Sarander. Sensory overload from such amazing countryside. From the mountains to the sea. Close intimate woods to the wide open valleys and then the sea. I didn't really want to go on a tour that had too much information. (I had been considering going to Armenia but had heard that they just went to too many churchs and it got very bloring blah blah blah - so i chose Albania. Good decision). I'm back at work and already telling myself that every day I work is another bunch of dollars into the "Travel to Albania" fund. Thanks again for all your hard work. See you soon!
Jane Hebiton/ Australia
The trip to Albania I think I enjoyed even more than last year! We had pretty good weather, all the train journeys worked well, the hotels and meals were fine, and the visit to Shkozet was better as the maintenance workshops were actually open during our morning visit! We were very surprised to discover that four out of the seven old steam locomotives had been scrapped (2 at Shkozet and 2 at Elbasan), and no longer exist! Just three left, one of which they say will be restored 'cosmetically', and placed on display at Durres Station. ..............and we went up the Dajti Mountain in good weather! Ilir Hidri and Arben were as brilliant as ever, and made the whole experience even more enjoyable. So all in all, it was an excellent tour, and I had a lot of happy clients at the end of the trip. I will not offer Albania again next year, but will propose another repeat visit in 2012.
Colin Miell / UK
The UNESCO HERITAGE group from Spain asked me to praise you and Elton for a great organization and especially for a really great guiding. The guests in the group were all very satisfied: the hotel was great, the dinner was great, the dinner with show was unforgettable…. ( I am sad that I was not there ) Thank you very much for everything. We hope that we get a lot of confirmed groups with this tour in Albania and that our nice collaboration will grow. Sunny regards from Maribor,
Natasha van gogh / Slovenia
Quel merveilleux voyage vous nous avez préparé… Tous les participants ont vraiment été enchantés de leurs nombreuses découvertes ! Le guide que vous aviez choisi est excellent tant au point de vue culturel et historique que accueil et attention aux participants (pas toujours jeunes et alertes !) Les hôtels étaient confortables et les restaurants délicieux. Enfin tout était très bien organisé et les participants ont voulu garder des souvenirs du voyage dont les tickets des sites et musées… Nous sommes persuadés que l’Albanie est une extraordinaire destination et qu’il faut lui faire beaucoup de publicité, ce que nous ne manquerons pas d’envisager. Merci encore de tous les soins que vous avez apportés à l’organisation de notre circuit. Avec nos meilleures salutations
Christine de Jamblinne / Belgium
Nous sommes bien arrivés en France, aussi j'en profite pour vous écrire ce petit mail pour vous remercier pour tout. Notre séjour en Albanie était génial et inoubliable, merci à Eri et Klodi qui ont été de supers accompagnateurs. Si nous revenons en Albanie, nous ne manquerons pas de vous recontactez.
Elodie & Guillaume / France
My father and I had a wonderful tour in Albania. We appreciate your guidance in everything, from the route, weather predictions, hotel accommodations and choice of Klayd! The trip worked out very well for us. Traveling with Klayd was perfect for my father and I as we had a lot in common. He is extremely knowledgeable (both in history and current affairs), passionate about Albania and the heritage, and was a very adept partner in getting us through our various sites. It was clear by the reaction he received everywhere we went that he was very well liked. His recommendations for dinners and sites was perfect and exactly what we wanted. His English was very good, so communication was never an issue. I am glad we decided to go with the 'tour guide" option instead of just the "driver" option that you had presented us with. I would recommend that for future visitors, unless they are good with Albanian. The mode of travel and the accommodations were perfect. Both were very well kept accommodations, but more important good examples of "local" architecture or building, especially after touring the Ethnographic Museum in Gjirokaster and then staying in a similar house. Both were very modern and offered all amenities and high service and friendliness I could ask for. The tour suggestions you provided were excellent. The flexibility in having a very willing guide was helpful. He offered to take us to a few extra things along the way and make numerous stops for shopping, breaks, and even fresh fruit stands along the way that added to the trip.
Robert Lamb / USA
We had a wonderful time in Albania. Our guide Claudian was the best man we could wish, Thanks to him we fell in love with your country. We hope to come back.
Elisabeth and Eva / Holland
I have just returned from holiday and would like to thank you very much for the organisation of our Albanian trip. We all thought it very successful and very worth while. All the best for the continued success of your business.
Jean Wood / UK
Just a brief email to say thanks very much once again for all that both of you did to ensure the great success of the recent LCGB visit. For me, it was an absolute pleasure to be in charge of such a well organised series of land arrangements, and I know all the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I must make special mention again of our guide Ilir, and our driver Arben - they were both superb, and I simply cannot remember 'working' with a more professional and amiable gentleman than Ilir in all my many years of leading overseas tours. If we come again, I will be requesting that these two guys are involved! All the best for the continued success of your business.
Colin Miell / UK
We have returned to California just few days ago and wanted to thank you for your services. I especially want to extend my gratitude to Claudian’s boss who was able to intercede on my husbands behalf in order to secure his visa. I must say he was able to work a miracle, we were very disappointed to think we would not have a chance to experience Albania. We had a wonderful time and Claudian was very professional and kind with us.Please extend him our best wishes and thanks again for your fine services
Frances Serrano / USA
Thank you for organizing the trip for us. we were very happy with the organisation and particularly pleased with Tony, our guide. I will be writing to Lonely Planet and Bradt travel guides to inform them that we booked our trip and hotels through you - we will Obviously say that we were very happy with the service
Philip Jevon / UK
Thank you for your help and service. I will return to Albania, hopefully sooner than later, and will be looking forward to using your agency again. Sincerely,
Ken B Rasmussen / Denmark
One week ago I concluded my first trip to Albania and I certainly hope it will not be my last. The majority of my visit was a Highlights of Albania tour organized by your company and I am writing to express my appreciation for an experience that surpassed my expectations. I had been curious to visit Albania for several years already. I was not sure what to expect: guidebooks are dated and most travel agencies outside of Albania with whom I spoke knew nothing of the country. Then I came across your website and that is when everything changed. Not only is your English translation markedly superior to that of several other agencies, but the information provided on your site is substantial and helpful. Just a few minutes of browsing reignited my enthusiasm and restored my hope that an imminent visit was indeed possible. With respect to the tour itself, I found that it was logically organized and brought me to the places I wanted to see according to a schedule that was well conceived. More importantly, our guide, Klodian Kushova, was excellent. Not only was he helpful and informative, explaining much about the places we visited and about Albanian history and culture, but he is friendly, patient and accommodating, undeniable essential qualities for a top notch guide. My experience with Albania Holidays has given me an excellent introduction to your country and provided me with many fond memories. After my good experience, I can easily recommend that they book a tour with Albania Holidays. In fact, I have already begun to do so.
Andrew Colombo / Canada
We just arrived at home after having a wonderful journey through your country. Arben was an excellent teacher, organizer and an enthusiastic tour leader and we learned and enjoyed a lot, especially knowledge and kindness. Arben made our tour to an unforgettable experience!!! All the hotels have been good some very good, sometimes with very small mistakes, but the staff was always friendly, helpful and customer orientated. Everything was ok. We didn't expect this problem after we have such a good experience so far. We will recommend your travel agency to our friends because we are very satisfied. It is not the last time we stay in Albania...
Ottomar und Bärbel Uhlmann / Germany
We thought you would like to know that we thought the tour was very well organized, and that we both very much enjoyed ourselves. We particularly appreciated Klodi, our guide/ driver, and would like to express our appreciation of the care and effort he put into making our tour a success. His driving was alert and careful, his English is fluent and easy to understand, and his descriptions of the places we visited were well-judged – neither too long nor over-detailed nor too short and under detailed. He proved to be an amusing companion, and we learned a great deal about Albania just from the conversations we had while driving along the road. The car was comfortable, and the hotels were of an acceptable standard. The Hotel Theranda in Tirana, in particular, seemed to us to be well located close to the Block, and to have an attractive clean, contemporary décor. The staff was welcoming, pleasant and helpful. Finally, thank you for all the care and efficiency of your office team in planning and executing the arrangements for the tour. We shall certainly recommend your firm to any of our friends who would like to visit your interesting country.
Alex Liddell / UK
I would like to thank first of all for your perfect organisation, hotel accommodation, local guide service - very special and very professional. We hope that with this first group to Albania we will put the start to bring to your country new many groups through your agency. Thank you once again for everything

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