ENVIE D'ALBANIE
Discover Albania & North Macedonia

8 Days 7 Nights

Group: 6 - 18 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

Between 750 and 550 BC, the Greeks established colonies on the entire coasts of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It is therefore not surprising to find important traces of their passages within the Illyrian empire. Later, the Roman conquests annexed the Greek provinces and developed the roads and counters. Finally, the influence of the Crusaders, the control of the region by the Republic of Venice and then by the Ottomans allowed this mixture of cultures and traditions that this tour, rich in history, invites you to discover. 

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Hotel

3 ☆ or 4 ☆ and Guesthouses

Departure

Tirana International airport

From

All year

Price Includes
  • Hotels: See list below

  • 7 Breakfasts

  • 7 Dinners

  • 1 Lunch

  • Transport

  • English-speaking guide during all the journey

  • Macedonian guide to Ohrid

  • All visits mentioned in this program.

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses

  • Costs related to specific requests or those not mentioned above

  • Meals and drinks other than table water which are served during meals

  • Lunch and dinner day 7

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Visit day 7 (if any)

  • The plane ticket

  • Accommodation in single rooms

  • Travel insurance

Hotels

Gallery

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport - Tirana

    Welcome by an English-speaking guide at the "Mother Theresa" airport in Tirana. Departure to Tirana. 

    The metropolitan capital of Tirana has undergone modernization at lightning speed while much of its Ottoman, Italian, and communist architecture recall its history and old-world spirit. There are plenty of churches, mosques, museums, galleries, and shopping malls to visit, but Tirana is most giving when the visitor immerse himself in it. The best way to discover this city is to take a leisurely walk through its diverse neighbourhoods and streets to discover its rich. 

    Visit of the Skanderberg square and of the city center with its famous "Block". 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

     

  • Day 2. Tirana – Ohrid

    Direction the North of Macedonia.  

    The town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. As one of the best preserved complete ensembles encompassing archaeological remains from the Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages, Ohrid boasts exemplary religious architecture dating from the 7th to 19th centuries as well as an urban structure showcasing vernacular architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. All of them possess real historic, architectural, cultural and artistic values. The concentration of the archaeological remains and urban structures within the old urban centre of Ohrid, in the Lin Peninsula, and along the coast of Lake Ohrid as well as the surrounding areas creates an exceptional harmonious ensemble, which is one of the key features that make this region truly unique. Ohrid city and Ohrid lake are both included into the UNESCO World Heritage for their outstanding values. 

    Visit of the city of light, also known as the “Jerusalem of the Balkan”. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 3. Ohrid – St Naum – Korca

    Route to Albania and visit of  the Monastery of Saint Naum and its park. It was built in 905 by Saint Naum d'Ohrid, known for his miracles, especially among the disabled, who died at the age of 80 and was buried in his church.  

    Korça is Albania’s sweetheart. Everything about this town is romantic, from its traditional Albanian serenades to its beautiful winter snow. Its traditional villas, cobble-stone streets glistening under the sun, the fresh mountain air, and hospitality, all combine to create an unparalleled warm and festive atmosphere all year round. Once called “the little Paris,” Korça is one of the centers of Albanian arts and history of the most fascinating in the country.  

    Visit of Korca’ heart where are situated its main interesting buildings. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 4. Korça – Gjirokastra

    Following the border with Greece, the road will go through different typical Albanian landscapes. Then it will reach the Vojsa river and valley. For many years, the preservation of Vjosa, specifically the protections of its nature and biodiversity, has represented an important cause, nationally and internationally. Vjosa has been on the forefront of environmental talks, having found a space in both international news sources and on the social platforms of famous advocates for the protection of environment, like Leonardo di Caprio. 

    A lunch is organized in a restaurant located on the banks of the river in the middle of the Këlcyrë canyon. 

     

    The birthplace of Ismail Kadaré, an Albanian writer often nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Gjirokastra is on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites. Its winding and paved streets, its typical cluster-shaped houses and its particular roofs have given it the nickname of "stone city".  Gjirokastra is the exceptional testimony of a society and a way of life that has almost disappeared. 

    Head for the old bazaar in the city center, where you can immerse yourself in Albanian culture and discover a wide variety of local products.  

    Stroll inside the old city to fully enchant the incredible multi-story and fortified Ottoman-era houses where layers of Greek, Byzantine, Albanian, Ottoman and Sufi heritage have been accumulated in the cracks of their facades. 

     

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

     

  • Day 5. Gjirokastra – Butrint – Saranda

    After the breakfast, visit of Argjiro citadel which houses remains of the Second World War, but also various exhibitions. A repository of symbols of Albanian traditions and culture, it has hosted festivals of polyphonic groups since 1986, the interpretation of which has been adopted as a cultural heritage by UNESCO. 

    Route to Butrint.  

    Of the countless antique ruins and landmarks of Albania, Butrint is the one most responsible for putting Albania on the map. Butrint’s glorious 2500-year-old ruins, within a majestic 30 km wide natural reserve, are some of the most well-preserved in Europe. In 1992, Butrint was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it sits comfortably at the top of every international list of must-sees in Albania. Yet, for all the interest that this beautiful place arouses, it has somehow remained an oasis of rare tranquillity. Visitors can walk freely here, bypassing the long lines or similar hindrances commonly associated with these rare sights. Visit of this archeologic site. 

    Direction Saranda and free time up to the dinner. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 6. Saranda – Vlora

    Route along the Ionian coast. The Albanian Riviera is characterized by a constellation of rocky and isolated beaches, surrounded by scenic hills and mountains covered in lush and untamed vegetation that is typical of the Mediterranean. Charming and hospitable villages were built over the centuries between the mountains and the sea, places where visitors can find a temporary home to enjoy the splendid waters and breathtaking vistas of the Ionian Sea. 

    Short stop at the Porto Palermo beach to enjoy the crystal clear water. 

    Direction the Llogara pass. From its 1000 meters above the sea, the place gives the opportunity to admire the Ioanian sea up to Greece and Corfu island. Enjoy this astonishing view. 

    Descent towards the Vlora bay following the Karaburun Peninsula, the only maritime park in Albania. Stretching across Vlora Bay, the peninsula is shaped like a finger which points towards the turquoise waters. A spectacular natural reserve, this entire area is now famous for the intimate, pristine bays scattered throughout and its thriving nature. 

    End or beginning of the Albanian Riviera, Vlora is the meeting point between the Adriatic and the Ionian Seas, and one of the largest coastal cities of Albania. Home to Albania’s independence in 1912, this city is at once home to the traditional polyphonic music, exquisite culinary delicacies, a vibrant nightlife, and some of the best beaches of the south, many of which are found in Vlora or right off the city’s coast. Visit of its center. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 7. Vlora – Apollonia – Kruja

    After the breakfast, direction Apollonia and experience the greatness of Antiquity. Imagine what the French archaeologist, Leon Rei, may have experienced when he first discovered the cluster of public buildings that compose the monumental complex of Apollonia in 1925. Forgotten by time but most definitely not ruined by it, the ruins and monuments of the city, which at the height of its prosperity boasted about 60,000 residents and which Cicero wrote extensively about, are one of the most important tourist attractions in Albania. The site includes the Buleuterion, one of Agora’s most impressive objects, dating back to the 2nd century B.C., is today one of the emblems of antiquity in Albania. This building served as the headquarters of the City Council, and is also known as the Monument of Agonotet, in honor of the two brothers mentioned in the inscription of the lintel. This monument, along with the ruins of the Arch of Triumph, the Library, the Sanctuary and the surrounding stairs of the Odeon, immediately catapult the visitor into another era. Visit of the Apollonia archaeological site. 

    Route to Kruja. Kruja Castle was historically one of the most important defensive strongholds in the country, fending off legions of foreign invaders throughout the centuries. Today, it stands as a proud reminder of Albanian perseverance and strength. Krujë Castle has proudly stood on top of a rocky cliff, high above its city, for the last fifteen centuries. It has witnessed the long turbulent history of this place, which was once the centre of Arbëria (Albania’s ancient name). At a time when the Ottoman Empire ruled over a large swathe of Europe, including Constantinople and the Balkans, this castle remained undefeated for thirty-five years, thanks to Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, the legendary Albanian hero who defended its walls until his death. Free time in its bazar and castle. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 8. Departure

    Transfer to Tirana International Airport at Rinas.

Passport:

A valid passport or an ID (at least 6 months from the start of the stay) is required to enter in Albania

Insurance:

International travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover the consequences of incidents that may occur while travelling, travelling and staying abroad. It is the traveller's responsibility to check with his travel agent or insurer before departure.

Notes:
  • Tour based on arrival and departure times around 11:30 am. 

    Depending on the season and/or the availability of the restaurants, dinners may be taken in the hotels. 

    Due to the pandemic situation, hotels and restaurants are given as indication only.