11-Days Journey in Albania - Albania


11-Days Journey in Albania

Albania, as a small country, offers the opportunity for an 11-day exploration that spans from the northern to the southern regions, and from the eastern to the western parts, revealing its abundant historical, artistic, cultural, and natural treasures.

Day 1: Tirana

Arrival at Rinas Airport, a 30-minute drive from Tirana. The capital city tour begins with a guided visit to the National Museum, showcasing the best archaeological findings of Albanian history. Explore Skanderbeg Square, the Ethem Bey Mosque, Tirana Boulevard with government buildings from the Zog monarchy era in Italian style, Bunkart 2, Tirana Castle, “New Bazaar,” Tirana Mosaic and the former Block area. Tirana is lively for strolls, nighttime entertainment in pleasant bars, and enjoying traditional Albanian cuisine in numerous restaurants. Dinner and accommodation in Tirana.

Day 2: Shkodra and Kruja

During the excursion to Shkodra, discover more about the city of cultural and religious tolerance, where Catholic churches, Orthodox churches, and mosques coexist peacefully. Visit Shkodra’s promenade, Marubi Photo Archive, Shkodra Cathedral, Memory Museum, Rozafa Castle, known neighborhoods like Gjuhadol and Serreq, Clock Tower (Kulla e Sahatit), or the Englishman’s Tower, and Shkodra Lake. Afternoon return journey with a stop in the historic city of Kruja, Skanderbeg’s hometown, to visit the Historical Museum, Kruja Castle, Ethnographic Museum, Old Bazaar, and attractive shops for foreign tourists selling textiles, antiques, and silver. Return to Tirana for the night.

Day 3: Elbasan, Pogradec, and Korca

The road from Tirana to Korca includes a stop at Elbasan Castle, where you can admire the beautiful Orthodox church in the castle district, characteristic Elbasan houses. The journey continues to Lake Pogradec, partly in Albania and partly bordering North Macedonia. The beautiful Lake Ohrid is famous for trout fishing, providing a serene view of the city of Lasgush. Continue to Korca, the city of serenades, for accommodation in a traditional hotel. Visit Korca center, Orthodox Cathedral, Old Bazaar, and the Museum of Medieval Arts and the City’s Digital Art Gallery. Dinner and night in Korca.

Day 4: Korca, Voskopoja, Dardha

After a delightful Korca breakfast, explore the picturesque tourist village of Voskopoja with its old churches and Byzantine frescoes. Then, visit the beautiful mountainous village of Dardha, under Morava Mountain, known for its folklore, clean air, and centuries-old traditions. Dinner and night in one of the charming village villas.

Day 5: Berat

Departure from Dardha to Berat, the beautiful “City of One Over One Windows,” a UNESCO heritage site for years. Berat impresses with the original architecture of houses and historical neighborhoods of Gorica and Mangalem, separated by the Osum River. Visit the historical center, Ethnographic Museum, Berat Castle, Antipatrea Castle, and the Onufri Museum, which houses the Byzantine church of St. Mary with original icons and frescoes. Dinner and night in Berat.

Day 6: Apollonia and Vlora

From Berat, head to the ancient city of Apollonia to see the ancient theater and Greco-Roman art sculptures. Afterward, continue to the coastal city of Vlora, with its beautiful gulf where the Adriatic meets the Ionian Sea. In Vlora, visit the boulevard, Independence Square, Muradie Mosque, the beautiful coastline, and the monastery on Zvernec Island, as well as Narta Lagoon. Accommodation in Vlora.

Day 7: Karaburun Peninsula

This day is dedicated to an unforgettable adventure along the hidden coastline, a boat trip in the Karaburun Peninsula Nature Park, exploring pristine bays and caves untouched by human hands. If possible, visit Sazan Island, the last secret of the Mediterranean, an important port during World War II. Return by boat for dinner and accommodation in Vlora.

Day 8: Llogara, Ionian Riviera, and Saranda

The eighth day of the journey continues with a fantastic drive along the Albanian Riviera, starting from Llogara Pass, reaching 120 km of stunning coastline, and national parks. A pleasant stop in Llogara Park, then visits to characteristic villages such as Dhermi, Vuno, Ali Pasha Castle in Porto Palermo, to hear the legends of the Valley Girl and witness the enchanting Porto Palermo Bay, where the beautiful Vasiliqi once swam. Finally, reach Saranda, with accommodation in a hotel. A stroll in the center, choose a place for dinner, and spend the night in one of the many hotels.

Day 9: Saranda, Blue Eye Spring, Butrint, Ksamil

After breakfast, head to the wonderful bay of Ksamil, with beaches and emerald waters, enjoying traditional seafood. In the afternoon, visit Butrint Park, a UNESCO-protected site. Return for an overnight stay in Saranda.

Day 10: Gjirokastër

The morning of this day continues with a journey towards the Blue Eye Spring, a natural gem surrounded by greenery. After a few hours’ stay, continue to the UNESCO-listed city of Gjirokastra, exploring its pink and white cobbled streets. Visit the historical center, the Market Pass full of narrow stone streets, Argjiro Castle, and characteristic houses. Dinner and overnight stay in the historical area.

Day 11: Ardenica – Durres

After enjoying unique dishes in Gjirokastra and the delicious local dessert with sheep’s milk, head towards the highway and reach Ardenica Monastery, a 16th-century site on the national road connecting Lushnja with Fier on a hill. After visiting the monastery, which also houses the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, head back on the road to reach Durres. In this coastal city near Tirana, visit the Roman Amphitheater (the largest in the Balkans) and the Venetian-style Tower. The most famous archaeological discovery here is the mosaic “The Beauty of Durres,” dating back to the 4th century BC. Today, this mosaic is exhibited in the National Historical Museum in Tirana. The Archaeological Museum in Durres, located in a new building on the “Taulantia” promenade, is one of the most important of its kind in Albania and particularly a destination to be visited. Durres is a pleasant city for family holidays, featuring a sandy beach with contemporary hotel facilities and services. Transfer to the port of Durres or Tirana Airport to conclude the tour in Albania.

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