General

Day 1 Airport – Lalezi Bay (Gjiri i Lalezit) (23 Km)

Meet and greet with our tour guide at Tirana Airport for a short introduction of the tour, equip the tourists with a tour map, travel itinerary and travel instruction details. Travel to Lalezi bay and check in 3-4stars hotel. Afterwards relax in the magnificent sandy beach of Lalezi Bay or navigate by boat (optional) and visit the amazing virgin beaches along the Rodon Cape, Rodon Castle and Saint Ndou Church build in 15th century. Overnight in Lalezi. (D)

Day 2 Lalezi Bay – Vlore (152 Km)

After breakfast we leave Lalezi and travel south to Vlore City. Vlore is the second largest port city of Albania. It is the city where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1912 and for a brief time was the Capital of Albania. Founded as an ancient Greek colony in the 6th century BC by the name of Aulona and continuously inhabited for about 26 centuries, Vlore is the most important economical and cultural city of southwestern Albania. After check in at the Hotel, we will enjoy the crystal water and pearly sands of Radhima beach. We will spend the whole day at the beach and have lunch in Radhime. Return in the hotel. Overnight in Vlore. (B,D)

Day 3 Vlore – Karaburun – Vlore (20 Km)

After breakfast we will navigate by boat to the amazing and untouched beaches of Karaburun Peninsula. According to the legends Karaburun was home of Zeus, and a former natural refuge for pirate ships. The peninsula was uninhabited for a long time because it was a strategic military base during the Albanian communist era. There are plenty of virgin isolated beaches and impressive caves to visit along the peninsula, some of them served as stone quarry in the antiquity and are still visible nowadays. Return and overnight in Vlore.(B,D)

Day 4  Vlore – Llogara – Dhermi (57 Km)

We leave Vlore early morning and continue our journey to Llogara National Park and stop for breakfast. Llogara is a national park declared since 1966 by the Albanian Government. The park covers an area of 1,010 hectares and protects the forests on the north side of the Llogara Pass between heights from 470 to 2,018 m above sea level. It is considered as a natural border separating Adriatic and Ionan Seas. Llogara Park has dense pine forests, rich flora and fauna and fresh water springs with breathtaking sight of the Riviera coast from above. After breakfast we’ll continue with our beach adventure, this time in Dhermi beach. Dhermi is one of the nine villages of the Himara region/municipality. The village is located on the slope of the mountain, the ground breaking and being among the oldest villages of the area is characteristic for its tower style constructions. Interests for the visitors who love old buildings are the church of St. Stephen, in which were found traces of Byzantine period and St. Mary Church. Dhermi beach is among the largest of the Ionian beaches. Tranquility, clean coast, but also green in some parts of it make Dhermi a special destination. In addition, it is considered by the Albanian youth as a nightlife destination. Overnight in Dhermi. (B,D)

Day 5 Dhermi – Pirates Cave – Grama Bay – Dhermi (circa 12 Km)

After the breakfast in Dhermi, we can enjoy “Drymades” beach or take the boat and navigate to the Pirates Cave (optional). It is a karst cave located on the hill of St. Theodore Monastery, in Dhermi village. The name has received because long ago the pirates of the Ionian Sea in order to hide their boats harbored them inside the cave. When the sea is calm it can be visited easily, offering a great view for visitors. Another optional destination that can be visited by boat is “Grama Bay” in Karaburun Peninsula, which is one of most beautiful bays in the area. Overnight in Dhermi. (B,D)

Day 6 Dhermi – Llaman – Porto Palermo – Sarande 

After the breakfast in hotel, we’ll travel toward “Llaman” beach. Stuck between rocky hills, Llaman Beach has been kept away from everyone’s greed, turning it into something special. The main attractions are the nearby islets, where fresh seafood restaurants are located and which can be easily reached by hired boat. The mainland beach is small but clean. Our next local destination is Ali Pashas Castle in Porto Palermo (optional), which is located close to Llaman beach. Build on an island, in early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena, the castle offers a magnificent view of the Ionian Sea. After visiting the castle, we’ll continue our journey to Sarande. Overnight in Sarande. (B,D)

Day 7 Sarande – Ksamil – Sarande (14 Km)

After breakfast in hotel, travel to Ksamil, where we will enjoy throughout the whole noon the wonderful beach of Ksamil and its small islands. The group will have lunch in Lekursi Castle, which is located on a hill with a spectacular view of Saranda and Corfu from above. In the evening tour of Saranda City. Overnight in Saranda. (B,D)

Day 8 Saranda – Tirana (275 Km)

After breakfast, depart to Tirana. Our beach adventure has come to an end. On the way we’ll make a stop at “Syri i Kalter” Blue Eye natural spring. Syri i Kalter is a water spring and natural phenomenon occurring close to Delvine District. It’s a popular tourist attraction, where the clear blue water of Bistrica River bubbles forth from a stunning, more than fifty-meter-deep pool. Divers have descended to fifty meters, but it is still unclear what the actual depth of the karst hole is. The initial water source of Bistrica River, 25 km long, ends in the Ionian Sea south of Saranda. We will leave Syri i Kalter and head toward the old and fascinating city of Gjirokastra were we’ll have a short stop for coffee and visit the picturesque town. Overnight in Tirana. (B,D)

Day 9 Tirana – Airport (18 Km)

After breakfast in hotel, we’ll travel to Tirana International Airport “Mother Teresa” and fly back home.(B)

 

Price includes

• Accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels on a B&B basis
• Meals as specified (B = breakfast, D= Dinner)
• Entrance fees for places visited

 

Price does not includes

• Lunch
• Travel Insurance
• Tips and gratuities

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Available departures

This tour is available upon request. It can be booked up to 24 hours before departure.

Saranda

Saranda

Saranda is the gem of Albanian Riviera’s beauties. It is situated at the very south of the country, about 14 km east of the north end of Greek island of Corfu. A 2000 years old city with many ancient sites to visit. In the Greek language Saranda means “40”, or “Santi Quaranta” if referring to the Venetian influence in the region.

Later on, following the restoration of Albanian independence, the city got its Albanian name Saranda. It is a coastal city with blue beaches of extraordinary beauty; wet by the Ionian Sea, which depth is full of corals. It has a typical Mediterranean climate.

Saranda may be called without hesitation the city with the largest number of sunny days during the whole year. Over 270 days out of 360. Saranda is considered a very important tourist location in Albania since the fall of communism. Tourism in Saranda is the major economic source.

Close to the city are found the remaining of the ancient city of Buthrotum, a UNESCO heritage site. At the beginning of the 20th century the city was occupied by both Greece and Italy. A Greek minority lives there and is considered one of the two centers of the Greek community in Albania.

The peculiarity of Saranda’s urban planning is its shape. The whole city lies on a mountain’s slope with narrow roads, which takes to the city’s promenade. A chain of luxurious hotels and restaurants continue in file along the promenade.  The seashore is very rocky and the sea depth is very close to the coast. Under the sea that wets the coastline lie some sunken military ships of the II World War.

At the northern side of the Saranda stands the harbor. Beaches are a characteristic trait of this part of the country, offering crystal blue waters, white and rocky beaches, relaxing nature, warm days and fresh nights.

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Tirana

Tirana

Home to almost 1 million inhabitants and of the most important governmental buildings, Tirana is the largest city in the country. It has the mountain, the artificial lake, recreational parks and the Adriatic sea within a few miles of driving.

Tirana became the capital of Albania at 1920, a turning point from where the city grew rapidly. Early mentions of it go back as far as 1614, when a local ruler built the Old Mosque, a small commercial center and a hammam. Nevertheless, the area was inhabited since the Paleolithic era, dating back to 1000 – 3000 years ago and later the Illyrian settlement was called Tërana.

Albania is well known for it’s religious tolerance. Et’hem Bey Mosque in the center of the city was build around 1789, being reconstructed several times since then. Starting from 1925 it is home of the World Headquarters of the Bektashi Order. The Catholic Cathedral “Saint Mary” was built in 1865 with the expenses of the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph, whereas the Resurrection of Christ the Orthodox Cathedral of Tirana, opened in 2012 and it’s the 3rd largest orthodox church in Europe.

Tirana is notorious for its architecture, mixing both classical and modern styles. The governmental buildings, such as the ministerial complex, the National Bank and the Municipality building located at the city center were constructed by Italian architects during King Zog’s ruling. The main boulevards “Dëshmorët e Kombit” and “Nënë Tereza” was also constructed during that time.

One of the idiosyncrasies of the city can be considered the Pyramid. It was build around 1988 to be a museum or mausoleum for the former dictator, Enver Hoxha. After the ‘90s used to be a club named “Mumja” and was rumored for demolition a couple of years ago. Nevertheless,  now it is named the International Center of Culture, thus being used as an alternative art exhibition area and concert hall.

In the center of Tirana is the monument of the national hero, Skanderbeg, created from the artists Odhise Paskali, Andrea Mano and Janaq Paço. A few minutes in distance, is the Monument of the Independence, created in 2012 to commemorate 100 years of independence.

 

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Durres

Durres

Located about 33 Km away from the capital and at the coast of the Adriatic Sea, it is the second largest city in Albania. It has been home of emperors and gladiators in antiquity; of other important figures throughout the history; visited by apostles and host of main  cultural events of nowadays Albania, it is obvious that Durres posses a great value for the country.

History-wise, it is one of the oldest cities of Albania, founded by Epidamnos in 627 BC. It can be compared with similar large European cities of the antiquity and middle ages. During the ruling of Skanderbeg, Durres was considered as “the 2nd Constantinople”, due to the fact that became a major trading centre and port on the eastern coast of the Adriatic

It used to be the capital from 7 March 1914 until 1920, under the ruling of the Austrian prince, William of Albania.In 1939, it was the first city to be concquered by the Italian Fascists

After World War II, Durres was transformed into an industrial city, and it became an important cultural and educational centre.Durrës was the scene of many demonstrations during the democratic movement of 1990–1991.  Durres has many parks and gardens, and an outdoor theater has been built on the hills above the city. Its main recreational areas are Durrës Beach and Currila Beach, where citizens and tourists enjoy the sea and yellow sand of the Adriatic.

Durres is as much a cultural hub as it is a tourist destination. While the city presents ample opportunity for enjoying the dazzling combination of sun and sand, its archaeological treasures offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history. The city nowadays is located exactly on the ancient ruins. To not miss are The Roman Amphitheater,  The Roman Baths, The Archaeological Museum, The Mosaic of Orpheus, The Venetian Tower, Fatih Mosque, King Zog I Residence etc.

Durres has a strategical and economical importance to the country, being the largest port of Albania and, especially for the proximity with Italian city ports, such as Bari. It also is an important contributor in tourism, welcoming every year visitors not only from Albania and Kosovo, but from all over the world.

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