Day 1. Arrival in Albania
Arrival in Tirana and drive at our modern hotel right in the centre of the city. Afternoon tour of Tirana including visits to the Mosaics of Tirana, Skanderbeg Square, the Mosque of Et’hem Bey and the National Historical Museum. Tirana is located on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital of Albania since 1920.
The Martyr’s Cemetery, Grand Park and various government buildings.A visit to the former Communist Residential area, with modern bars, restaurants and pubs populated by different age’s especially Albanian youth. Coffee time, in the Sky Tower a rotated bar, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of Tirana. Overnight in Tirana. Accommodation at 3 star hotel
Day 2. Apolonia-Amantia- Vlora
Drive to Durres on the Adriatic coast to visit the archaeological site at Arapaj, continue our drive , towards the 7th century BC archaeological site of Apollonia, the second largest Greek colony in Albania. We visit the Odeon, the Pritaneon, the temple of Diana and the monastery next to the site, which was built with marble and stone taken from the temple and the old Greek theatre. We will continue to Amantia:which was the capital of the Illyrian tribe Amante. Its ruins are located in the village of Plloce near Vlora river valley. Amantia was founded in the nineteenth century. V B.C. The ancient city had its own acropolis, the Temple of Aphrodite, etc.. Nowadays detected Amantia stadium which has a runway with a length of 60 meters and 12.5 meters width. The stadium has 17 degrees. We shall close our day with a beautiful drive along the Vlora bay coast.,
Day 3. Vlora-Himara-Saranda
After breakfast as we leave Radhima the landscape changes as we climb up to 1100 meters above sea level through the forest of Llogara National Park. First stop will be a coffee and photo-shooting stop at the top of the pass, on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Corfu Island and the Albanian Riviera. After a cup of coffee or local mountain tea we drive down to sea level, on the recently rebuilt “Strada Bianca” road. We continue our drive south through the seven villages of the Himara region. In the little town of Himara we make a short coffee or snack break by the sea. The region of Himara is 72 km long from and rich with natural and historical monuments such as Llamany beach and the 18th century Panormi castle of Ali Pasha, after visiting the springs of Borshi, continue our travel towards Saranda, arriving Late afternoon to our hotel in Saranda.
Just before sunset we shall go for dinner to Lekuresi Castle(optional) located on top of the hill overlooking the bay of Saranda to enjoy the sunset with views of the Island of Corfu in the middle of the blue Ionian waters.
Day 4. Butrinti- Archeological Park –Finiqi -Gjirokastra
All day at the World Heritage site of Butrint. After breakfast we drive to the ancient city of Butrinti, founded in the 7th century BC and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995. What began as a Greek colony became one of the most important towns in the Mediterranean and a Roman colony in the 1st century AD. We will admire the theatre, the temple of Asclepeon, the Baptisteries, the Gymnasium, the aqueduct, the largest Basilica in south Albania and the Venetian castle on top of the town, where a very interesting small museum hosts original artifacts discovered during the excavations.Optional lunch will be in a restaurant close to the sea near the archaeological park in Villages of Ksamil.
In afternoon a trip over the mountains from Saranda to the Gjirokastra valley and the town of Gjirokastra. Visit to Foinika or Finiqi today, which is located at a distance of 10 km of distnace from Saranda. It was founded in III-II century B.C. in Kaonisë territory. It was a fairly large town and also the capital of Kaonisë. Finiqi is mentioned by Polybius, Strabo and Ptolemy. For the first time mentioned by Polybius about Illyrian-Etole war year 230 BC, which was won by Skerdilaidi, commander of llyrian troops leaded by queen Teuta, which act by separating Etol impact and enclosed with Illyria.The city has been an area of 40 acres and surrounded by walls over 3 km. It is found in the ruins a partly theater a chapel and a century basilica of the VI-th century.We proceed our visit through the Mesopotamia Monastery to see the 8th century Mesopotami church.Proceed towards the town of Gjirokastra, a UNESCO World Heritage town since 2004. Accommodation 3 star hotel, overnight in Gjirokastra
Day 5. Antigonea-Sofratika- Bylis – Berat
After Breakfast,followed by a visit to Antingonea Archaeological Park, 15 km from Gjirokastra which used to be one of the Kaonia cities in Epir. Believed to have been built by King Pyrrhus of Epirus in honor of his wife named Antigonea. Establishment of the town,belongs to the II-nd century B.C
After the Antigonea park,13 km of distance from Gjirokastra near the Drino’s valley it is found the theatre of Sofratika.Here lay a town called Adrianapoli Roman period, c. II A.D.The theatre in question was discovered in 1984. It has a capacity of 4 000 seats with 27 degrees.
The journey continues along Vjose river valley with possibilities for landscape Archaeology en route. After 70 km you will reach Bylis which was the capital of the Illyrian tribe Bylineve established in the nineteenth century. IV BC. At the beginning the ancient city has been named “Bulis” in the events of 49 -48 BC, when the city surrendered to Caesar. During. II and III century B.C city cut its currency. The ruins today consist of walls, theater, basilica, etc.. Continue to Berat. Overnight in 3/4 star hotel
Day 6. Berat – Durres
After Breakfast, Explore the attractive medieval town of Berat, situated on a hill dominating the River Osum and its gorge. Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage town since 2008. Our visit in Berat begins from the 4th century BC castle where we will admire the Byzantine era icons in the Onufri Icon Gallery, located within the old cathedral of the town. Some of the icons date back to the 18th century, the downtown bazaar, the Bachelors mosque and the old Town. Drive to Durres on the Adriatic coast to visit the 7th century BC city. Durres used to be the historical capital of Albania (1276 – 1920).
Here we will visit one of the largest amphitheatres in the Balkans located within the walls of the Roman castle. We will wander through the galleries of the amphitheatre, explore the “Enigma of Durresi”, and walk through the main gate to the arena in the same steps where, 1800 years ago, people would cheer the winning gladiator asking the Emperor for his freedom. A visit to the archaeological museum will give us a comprehensive view about the history of this 2700-year-old town, which started, as a Greek colony becoming the largest harbor on the Adriatic coast during the rule of the Roman Empire. Accommodation at 4 star hotel. Overnight in Durres
Day 7. Departure
Free time for some shopping/sightseeing before continuing to airport for evening flight to…..
Group rates , Price in euro per pax ( in double room )
|15-20 pax||20-25 pax||25-30 pax||30-35 pax||Up 35 pax|
|01 Octob. – 31 May||455||440||425||410||390|
|Jun & September.||485||470||455||440||420|
In this price is included:
- Assistance and transfers during arrival and departure
- Tours and excursions as for the itinerary
- Transportation with air-conditioned private coach
- Multilingual, speaking guide during the tour
- Accommodation at 3 or 4 stars hotels
- Breakfast at the hotel or local restaurant
- Entrance fees
- All taxes
- Euro 90,– Single Supplement
- Euro 85,– dinners included
- Euro 70,– lunches included