Meet at airport and transfer to Tirana where we take a driven tour of the capital’s major attractions including the colorful buildings and we will visit the National Historic Museum in Tirana offering an in depth introduction to Albanian history from prehistory to present day. Welcome dinner is a traditional affair at one of the traditional restaurants in town, with a rustic setting and a first taste of Albania’s culinary delights. The cuisine of mid-Albania has strong Ottoman influences and therefore meats on charcoal grill, as well as grilled vegetables and yogurt sauces prevail. Overnight in Tirana.
Distance: 25 km
Duration: 0.5 hours
First stop Kruja – the center of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans led by our National Hero Scanderbeg. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Protector of Christianity” given by the Pope. We will visit some interesting sites such as the castle with its rich Scanderbeg and Ethnographic museums. After visits a traditional Albanian lunch with several specialties of the area at a restaurant in the castle including: lamb and potatoes baked in an earth ware pot, raisin rice and meat dessert, a unique desert of this region. Then drive to Shkoder the most important city in North Albania, set in a beautiful plateau in front of the largest lake in the Balkans named after the town, and with the Albanian Alps as a backdrop we will visit the castle with spectacular views all around. We will continue to the city and dinner based on Carp baked in the oven, local specialty at the best traditional restaurant. For those not so keen on Carp, there are plenty of other choices. Overnight in Shkoder
Distance: 135 km
Duration: 3.5 hours
Shkoder – Durres
In the morning visit Shkoder. A nice walk in the pedestrian area city where Italian and Austrian architectural influences can be recognized. Including visits at Marubi Photo Archives, Catholic Cathedral and Mosque. After a short drive to reach Mrrizi I Zanave. The best agro tourism in Albania, surrounded by hills and vineyards. We are sure that will be one of the unforgettable meals of the tour. Afterwards we continue to Durres for special dinner at fish restaurant. Overnight in Durres
Distance: 115 km
Duration: 2 hours
Durres – Berat (UNESCO)
Drive to Berat – a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its wonderful architecture where houses look as they were built on each other’s backs. Just before arriving we stop at Cobo winery to taste one of the best Albanian wines with some finger food specialties .Here we visit the inhabited castle where many families still live within its walls, several small churches from the 15th century and the uniquely beautiful St. Mary’s church turned into Onufri museum, in honor of this great Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century. Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Berat castle run by a family living in the castle, where home cooking will be experienced. After lunch free to explore further this wonderful town. Traditional dinner with Berat specialties’ at Mangalemi and overnight will be at a traditional house in the old quarter turned small hotel. A unique experience.
Distance: 105 km
Duration: 2 hrs.
Ardenica – Apollonia – Vlora
On the way to Vlora stop at the Monastery of Ardenica, built in the 13th century. Inside the church you can admire icon paintings of 1743-1745, by Albanian artists such as Konstantin and Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstantin Shpataraku. The Albanian National Hero Scanderbeg was married at the chapel of this church. Afterwards proceed to the ancient city of Apollonia situated on the famous Via Egnatia – one of the most important cities in Roman times. The first Roman Emperor Augustus Octavian has studied here. A characteristic lunch of the Myzeqe region with small hens baked in the oven with rice in traditional village restaurant. After lunch a visit of the site and continue to Vlora for overnight. Dinner will be a fresh seafood specialty affair in a fish restaurant.
Distance: 120 km
Duration: 2.5 hrs.
Albanian Riviera – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda
Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea. Breathtaking views await us at the Llogara pass – 1000 m above sea level. Stop in a panoramic restaurant to sample the delicious sheep’s yogurt, honey and nuts as a local delicacy. Continue to Saranda where a wonderful seafood lunch with, fish carpaccio, and fresh fish grilled awaits us at Ksamil, immediately on the beach in front of turquoise waters at a seaside restaurant run by a dedicated family. Afterwards we proceed visit the ancient city of Butrint a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was found at 7th century B.C. and was continuously inhabited for centuries till beginning of 20th century. It is considered the most important archeological site in Albania situated in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation. After visits return to Saranda, check in and relax at the hotel. Dinner will be on the patio of local restaurant by the sea where we enjoy a delicious fish dinner while the aroma of the sea caresses our nostrils. Overnight in Saranda
Distance: 160 km
Duration: 3.5 hrs.
Syri i Kalter – Gjirokastra (UNESCO)
After breakfast drive to Gjirokastra a museum town. On the way a quick visit at the interesting Blue Eye natural spring an amazing spring in the shape of a deep blue color human eye. Afterwards continue to Gjirokastra a UNESCO World Heritage site, well known for its unique architecture style and also one of the most acclaimed culinary towns of south Albania. Here we visit the Castle which is used as the venue for the National Festival of Folk Song and Dance and has an Arms Museum with weapons from WWI. Next we visit the Ethnographic Museum which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in and the Skenduli family house, probably the most beautiful and famous house in Gjirokastra. Lunch and dinner in two of the town’s traditional restaurants with specialties such us; pasha qofte soup, kukurec, qumeshtor and other local dishes..
Distance: 95 km
Duration: 2.5 hrs.
Permet – Korca
On the way to Korça, one of the most important towns of South East Albania and a well-known culinary town the road takes us through spectacular landscapes and nature with gorges, mountains and river valleys offering a truly fulfilling experience. We proceed to Permet through the narrow gorge of Kelcyra on the banks of Vjosa River. Permet is one of Albania’s well known regions for its delicious cuisine with some unique delicacies such us tomato jam, which we will be able to sample at a traditional restaurant. Lunch in the bio farm in the middle pine forest, national park of Germenji. After lunch we drive to Korça and visit the Museum of Medieval Arts and the Mosque of Mirahori one of the oldest in the country. Dinner in a characteristic restaurant. Overnight in Korça
Distance: 195 km
Duration: 4 hrs.
Drive to Pogradec on the shores of Lake Ohrid, where we will visit the Drilon area where the dictator used to have its fishing villa. Lunch in family restaurant to enjoy an endemic species of fish, Koran. Part of the trout and salmon family, found only in this Lake. Departure for Elbasan, visit at the castle where a stop for refreshments. In Tirana we will have a farewell fine gourmet dinner at one of the best restaurants slow food in Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.
Distance: 180 km
Duration: 3.5 hrs.
After breakfast, free to explore until time of transfer to Airport. End of our services
|Overview||Albanian cuisine is rich and varied with a notable influence from Ottoman cuisine which has influenced many of the cuisines in the Balkans particularly that of Turkey and Greece which are probably better known than the rest. Albanian cuisine has many similarities to them, however it varies from the dry style of the Turkish and Greek cuisine, due to the fact that it has many dishes in the forms of casseroles. Similar to Greek cuisine it does away with Middle Eastern strong spices, substituting them with Mediterranean herbs, making the tastes more subtle and European|
|Type||Guided walking holiday|
|Price||Start From —-|
|Accomodations||Hotel 3*-4*: 9 Nights|
|Good to know|