Pick up from the Tirana Airport. Accommodation and a short break before we start the city tour. First we visit the National Museum of History which is a great introduction to the history of the country and its people. Walking the central avenue and the central square, we next visit the Ethem Bay Mosque and the Clock-Tower and the remains of the Castle of Tirana. We also go deep underground to visit the Enver Hoxa bunker, a former communistic leader of Albania. We walk on to the Pyramid - mausoleum of the late Enver Hoxha, designed from his daughter. We will end the tour at Enver Hoxha house in Blloku. Free evening and overnight in a hotel in Tirana.
Day 2Tirana – Durres – Kruja - Tirana (130 km) (B)
After the breakfast in the hotel, we leave to the ancient town and port of Durres, a UNESCO site. We walk along the Adriatic Sea and visit the remains of the ancient amphitheatre, which once held 20.000 people making it the largest in the Balkans. Possibility to visit the City Museum of Durres. In the noon, we can advise lunch at a seaside restaurant for outdoor delicious seafood dishes. In the afternoon, we drive on to once medieval capital of Albania, Kruja. High in the mountain cliffs, we will visit the castle of the national hero of Albania, Skender-beg. Exploring the narrow streets, we will walk through the unique Ethno bazaar. Drive back to Tirana. Free evening and overnight in Tirana.
Day 3Tirana – Apollonia - Vlore – Gjirokaster (285 km) (B, L)
After breakfast, we drive for two hours to reach our next stop - Apollonia, archaeological park. The ancient city of Apollonia was established by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth and developed into one of the most important ancient Greek cities in Illyria. The city reached its biggest development during the Roman period, but it was abandoned in late antiquity. Later, we will visit the city Vlore, the third most populous city in Albania, famous for being the place where Albania declared independence on 28.11.1912. Lunch and drive to Gjirostaster. Arrival in Gjirokaster and accommodation in a hotel. Small orientation walk around the authentic city streets and possibility for organized dinner in a traditional Albanian restaurant. Overnight.
Day 4Gjirokaster - Saranda - Butrint – Gjirokaster (160 km) (B, L)
After the breakfast, drive to the ancient city of Butrint, another UNESCO World Heritage site considered one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Albania. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages. The island of Corfu is just in front of your eyes. The next stop will be the coastal town of Saranda, close to the Greek border. Lunch in a fish restaurant. Orientation walk along the seaside and free time for enjoying. We leave Saranda and drive to Gjirokastro for overnight.
Day 5Gjirokaster – Permet - Dhoksat – Gjirokaster (150 km) (B, L)
After breakfast, we will drive to Permet, the greenest and cleanest town in Albania, known as the "city of roses" and famous for its folk music. Our next destination will be the small village, Dhoksat, where we will enjoy home-hosted lunch in a local family’s home. Later, we will come back to Gjirokaster. Dinner on your own. Overnight.
Day 6Gjirokaster – Berat – Tirana (260 km) (B, D)
After hotel breakfast, we start a walking tour in Gjirokaster, a museum town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with very distinct architecture. We will visit the fortress of Gjirokaster, part of which was turned into a political prison for dissidents of the communistic regime, and the Arms Museum as well. About noon, we continue driving to Berat, one of the most visited and characteristic towns in Albania, the last UNESCO site in our trip. After visiting the fortress of Berat, we will stroll down to the center through the narrow streets of the old part of the town. There we will have free time for lunch on your own. Departure to Tirana. Farewell dinner in the Albanian capital. Overnight in Tirana.