Hiking & Trekking Tours in Albania

Offers

Cultural Albania

Culture

Duration

10

days

Ways to travel:

Guided Group / Private Group

Group size:
Ages:

 6 – 16

16+

Grading: 

Leisurely / Moderate

Trip Code: CAL

Accommodation:
  • 8 nights hotels
  • 1 night alpine cabin
Meals:
  • All breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 9 dinners
  Price:

from

€950

EUR

Explore the cultural Albania and enjoy the fascinating views. 

This amazing country is very unique and one of the most astonishing best kept secret in Europe. Rugged mountains with high raise peaks, inviting beaches, unique culture, UNESCO sites, and wild landscapes are waiting to be discovered. During this trip we explore the historical and cultural Albania, dating from ancient times to the present days mainly influenced by Ancient Greece, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. On this trip we visit historical sites with the most known UNESCO sites of Butrint, Gjirokaster, and Berat Castle. Ionian and Adriatic coasts are perfect to enjoy a relaxing evening with a magic sunset. Unexplored and unknown for many years Albania is a dream destination for many travelers. If you love to discover new countries, meet new cultures, and explore the history and local life then you are at the right place. 

Trip highlights
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Lake Ohrid (Pogradec), Gjirokaster, Butrint and Berat
  • Characteristic and traditional coastal villages
  • Historical Museums
  • The amazing Albanian Riviera

Key information

  • 8 nights at standard hotels, 1 night alpine cabin
  • Travel by air-conditioned private bus
  • Group 6 to 16 persons, plus local leader
  • Countries visited: Albania

What is included

What is not included

Itinerary

DAY 1 

Start, Airport to Kruja

The group will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Kruja, located 30 km from Tirana (transfer time approximately 45min drive). After arriving in Kruja we check-in to the hotel and set a time for a group meeting. A main briefing will take place. Your tour guide will go with you through all the tour details and tell you all the things you need to know about this wonderful trip in Albania. We will do a tour of Kruja old Bazar and a tour inside the mediaeval Kruja Castle, home of the Albanian resistance against Ottomans where Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti) led the resistance for 25 years stopping the ottomans from crossing into Western Europe. After the tour we will have the welcoming dinner with the group in one of the best traditional food restaurants. 

Note: Depending on time, the tour inside the mediaeval Kruja Castle can take place on arriving day or the following one early in the morning.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: dinner

DAY 2

Visit Tirana the modern capital of Albania and continue to Pogradec.

After breakfast a short transfer takes us to Tirana, modern capital of Albania since 1920. After the collapse of communism in Albania in 1990s the modern capital has been transformed and changed rapidly. Over the years architecture in Tirana has been influenced mostly by Ottoman, Italian, and communist styles and nowadays modern architecture is taking place. We will visit the National History Museum and after this we take a walking tour exploring more of Tirana, starting from Skanderbeg Square named after the Albanian National Hero, continuing through the main boulevard where most of the governmental buildings are located. On the way we take a walk to Blloku, an area that during the communism period was a restricted residential area for the members of the Albanian Politburo, but today it is known as the main place for nightlife in Tirana. After this we will have lunch in one of the best traditional restaurants in Tirana. Transfer to Elbasan short visit to the 15th century fortress of Elbasan and continue to Pogradec located on Lake Ohrid which is part of UNESCO (approximately 2h30min drive). A wonderful evening on Lake Ohrid and for dinner we will taste Ohrid trout, an endemic species of Ohrid Lake known as ‘Koran’ in Albania.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 3 

Explore the beautiful village of Voskopoje and continue to Korce

Today we start with a transfer for about 1 hour to the village of Voskopoje. We walk through the village and visit old churches. The village became important during 17th and 18th centuries, where many churches were build and painted by Albanian talented painters. In the mid-18th century Voskopoje became a cultural center in the region and had the size of a city, but suffered various attacks culminated by the end of the 18th century abandoning it.  After Voskopoje we drive about 30 min to Korce, the cultural center of the south-eastern Albania. Characterized by magnificent architecture and history today we visit the National Museum of Medieval Art and Archelogy, the famous church ‘The Resurrection’, continue to the Museum of Education (first Albanian school opened in 1878), walk to the old quarters and then visiting one of the oldest Mosque in the Balkans the Mirahori Mosque and the Old Bazaar considered the urban core of the city.

Guesthouse 

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 4 

Transfer to Erseke with the magnificent view of Gramoz Mountain, and continue to Leskovik

Today we continue further south in Albania, as the road goes through agricultural plateau offering us the scenic views of Gramos Mountain. We stop in Erseke the highest town in Albania which lies on a plateau of 1050 m above sea level, exploring the countryside and take a walk to an old quarter visiting an old local house. Our final drive for today continues to the tranquil place of Germenj, in the middle of the forest we visit an animal farm. In the afternoon we take a walk exploring the farm and the surroundings.

Alpine Cabins

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 5

Drive through Kelcyra gorge to Gjirokaster, the city of stones.

After breakfast we drive through pine forest to Leskovik and continue alongside the border with Greece, where Greek villages and mountainous landscapes can be seen in a distance. Right at the border our route follows the wild Vjosa River offering us spectacular views of Nemercka and Dhembel Mountains. Thermal water springs of Benje are the place where we spent some time, walking over an old ottoman bridge we can go to the pools build by locals. After some relaxing time it will be a short drive to Permet, a small town famous for traditional food and for tasty ‘gliko’ sweets. In the afternoon we reach UNESCO town of Gjirokastra a hillside town defined by its Castle, stone paved roads and old traditional stone houses characterized by their architecture. Taking a short walk we visit the Castle that has a panoramic view of the old town, Drino River valley and snow-caped mountains. We learn more about the history of the town and take a walk through old quarters and visit an old house that is one of the best examples of Gjirokastra architecture. In the afternoon we spent some time exploring the old bazar.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 6

Drive to the UNESCO site of Butrint, and continue in Saranda

Drive over Muzina Pass, continue to Sarande and then following the coastal road to Butrint. Located nearby Saranda and the Greek border Butrint is one of the most important and most visited archeological sites in Albania, and it became part of UNESCO in 1992. Firstly inhabited by an Epirote tribe and later the tribes from Corfu settled here and started to build it. Butrint was an ancient Greek and later Roman city and bishopric in Epirus. We take a tour inside Butrint archaeological site and explore the magnificent ancient ruins.  After the visit to Butrint we drive to Saranda enjoying the beaches of the Ionian Sea. 

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 7

Drive along Albanian Riviera, exploring the picturesque villages along the Coast.

Today we drive along the coast and visit characteristic traditional villages. Pristine beaches, traditional hamlets, amazing traditional food, breathtaking coastal and mountainous views combined with a warm welcoming by locals is the definition of what to expect in this day.  We visit the picturesque villages and learn more about the history and local life in first-hand experience. With its beautiful pebbly beaches Himare is the place where we spent the night.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 8

Visit Vlora, explore Apollonia and continue to Berat

After breakfast we continue following the same coastal road that goes through LLogara National Park. We stop in Vlora and visit the old historic part of the city that is very interesting. Vlora is the city where in 1912 was signed the Declaration of Independence of Albania. Next destination is the archeological site of Apollonia, originally inhabited by Illyrian tribes and later colonized by Greeks around 600 BC making it one of the biggest ancient cities in the Mediterranean. After we finish the tour in Apolonia we drive to one of the most charming and characteristic cities in Albania. With a big castle and two main old quarters Berat is a beautiful city to explore. Upon arrival we check-in at our hotel and if time promises we explore the old quarters and experience more about the local culture and the history of the city.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 9

Explore more of Berat, visit Durres and continue to Tirana

After breakfast, first we explore the old quarters if time didn’t allow us the day before and then take a tour inside the castle. Inside the castle there are many houses and evidence has shown that it was inhabited from the 6th century BC and people continuously lived inside the castle until today. Berat became part of UNESCO in 2008, and it is characterized by a unique style of architecture influenced by several civilizations throughout history. Inside the castle we visit the National Iconographic Museum Onufri named after an Albanian master painter of the 16th century. After exploring Berat we continue to drive to Durres, a coastal city on the Adriatic Sea that has a magnificent history. Founded by Greeks named Epidamnus and later seized by Illyrian King Glaucias. Later it passed to the Romans and made it the terminus of their military highway Via Egnatia. Next, we drive for about 30 min to Tirana where we stay overnight.

Standard Hotel

Meals included: breakfast, dinner

DAY 10 

End, Tirana

There will be an organized transfer from our hotel to Tirana International Airport.                                   

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodation for this tour

Hotels (8nts), Alpine cabins (1 nt). 

Accommodations we use for this tour are rated 3-4 star en-suite rooms with a good service. Hotels we use are located in a distance from attraction sites or restaurants.

If available, paying for a single supplement will only guaranty a room for single use.

If you request to book additional accommodation in Tirana before and after the tour, please let us know and we will make it possible. Please contact us if you want to extend your trip.

Single supplement from 170 EUR.

When you book a tour with us as an individual, for the accommodation you will be paired in a room with another traveler. 

Due to limited possibilities for the accommodation, please read this Note.

Note: Single supplements are only available in hotels.     

In alpine cabins single supplements are limited and possibly not available; all the rooms are double or twin rooms, with shared bathrooms.

Essential Information

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: Leisurely / Moderate

This itinerary is focused on the cultural and historical sites of Albania.

Hotels we stay are equivalent to 3 and 4 star accommodation with en suite rooms. Road conditions in Albania are generally in good shape, but in some segments it can be old asphalted roads and as a result it will impact the traveling times. In some days there will be long drives for about 4-5 hours long (maximum on day 5). Daily walks exploring the sites are easy walks and doable for everyone, there will be stops and breaks along the walks and drives to make it more comfortable for everyone. Unexplored and unknown for many years Albania is a dream destination for many travelers. If you love to discover new countries and meet new cultures, exploring the history and local life then you are at the right place.

Visas and entry requirements

No visa is required for all visitors from EU, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holder.

Health

There are no specific health risks for this tour

Meals

All breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 9 dinners included.  

During communism, isolated to the world Albania became a self-sustaining country. Albania has a Mediterranean climate which creates the perfect conditions of natural and healthy growing of vegetables and fruits in lush fertile valleys, nowadays they are still a subsistence culture which has not changed for many years. Influences from other countries and a combining of Mediterranean, Turkish and European tastes has made that food in Albania is quite varied. Dairy product like milk, cheese and yogurt are present in almost every meal, and all locally produced. Drinks are reasonable priced and traditional drinks Raki and ‘Scanderbeg’ Cognac are known for its unique flavor and aroma. Local made beers are inexpensive priced at about 1-2 Euro per bottle.

Vegetarians are in the right country, this tour offers a lot of vegetarian dishes with a lot of greens and vegetables, please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. 

Vegan diet should expect a limited variety of food on this tour.

For meals that are included on this tour, Tour Leader will recommend different local dishes, in most cases meals can be organized by the leader or if you have other preferences than that you will be welcomed to do so. Reminder to you that in some places it is necessary to order meals in advance and stay organized. Having an experience with hiking areas and especially with the rich and variety of local dishes provided for us while on tour, your leader is the right person who can suggests and if needed choose and order a delicious meal for you. Eating healthy is very important and we pay special attention to this.

Wather

Albania has a Mediterranean climate and it is characterized by warm, dry summer and mild, wet winter. Summer temperatures are on average 25ºC and humidity is low, with temperatures in July and August that can rise to 30 ºC and above. Albanian Alps in the north have an annual precipitation from more than 2,500 mm to less than 760 mm along the eastern border. Winter is with low temperatures and heavy snow In the Albanian Alps. A typically Mediterranean climate shows in the coastal lowlands, and the highlands have a continental climate.  Weather varies markedly from north to south. Daytime maximum temperatures in the Albanian Alps can be, but the nights are almost always cool.

Rating:
/5

No reviews

Dates & Prices , 2023

DATES
21 Jun 2024 - 30 Jun 2024
AVAILABILITY
Guaranteed (Available)
ADULT PRICE FROM
€950
SINGLE SUPLEMENT
+ €170
DATES
13 Sep 2024 - 22 Sep 2024
AVAILABILITY
Guaranteed (Available)
ADULT PRICE FROM
€950
SINGLE SUPLEMENT
+ €170

Trip Notes

Click below and request the detailed Cultural Albanian trip notes, with all the essential information about this trip.