ENVIE D'ALBANIE
Kingdom of Nature and Hospitality - Albania

10 Days 9 Nights

Group: 4 - 12 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

A journey nestled deep in the heart of the Valbona National Park offering an unforgettable country experience. A wonderland and a paradise for mountains lovers. Babbling brooks meander through blankets of wildflowers, filling alpine meadows surrounded by giant oak, pine, and beech. Above, a cascading waterfall empties a milky-turquoise lake slowly filled by the icy drips of an ancient glacier. Conquer one of the valleys of the Accursed mountains and believe that you are part of an existing fairy-tale. 

Enter inside the county territory once inhabited by the ancient Illyrian tribe of Penestae. Within the middle age, the area was ruled by the Kastrioti family. One of its members, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg  united the Albanian tribes against the Ottomans. This is the land of many tails, myths and rumors. Grandiose mountains have made Diber unspoiled for centuries, keeping its traditions, cultures and an ancestral hospitality scarved into its people. Wildlife, adventure, natural beauty, rustic cuisine and a warm welcome await all those fortunate enough to make their way to this region of Albania. 

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Departure

Tirana International airport

From

mid of May to October/Noveber

Price Includes
  • Accommodation in guesthouses (DBL or share room) and Hotel 4* (DBL or family room when possible)

  • 9* Breakfasts, 5* picnics and 6* dinners

  • Transportation – Public & private transport

  • 1* 24/24 mobile number in case of emergency

  • Naturalist guiding service in Arras

  • Ferry ticket

  • Border crossing permit

  • All local taxes

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses

  • All visits not mentioned in this program

  • Beverages not mentioned above, such as alcohols

  • Other meals than those specified

  • Tips and gratuities

  • The plane ticket

  • Travel insurance

Gallery

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport – Tirana

    Reception at Tirana International airport "Mother Theresa" of Tirana. Private transfer to the hotel in Tirana. 

    Discover a rather young city founded under the Ottoman Empire, 400 years ago. Tirana has been proclaimed capital of Albania in 1920. The city started to take shape under the Italian presence before WWII when Mussolini sent his best architects. Their constructions are still widely visible and used nowadays. Later, under dictatorship which lasted more than 40 years, Tirana saw its image turning into a harsh communist style. Ottoman, Fascist and Communist buildings are today sharing their heritages with a city under amazing development making the today Albanian capital one of the most enjoyable, dynamic and attractive place. Tirana offers a safe haven offering infinite choices such as bars, clubs, restaurants, art galleries, museums, green parks which bring people from all ages under a cozy atmosphere. 

    Free time in Tirana. 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

     

  • Day 2. Tirana - Koman – Fierze – Valbona

    Early departure (5:00 am from departure point – Foreseen a 10’ transfer between the hotel and departure point. Transfer by public van to Koman. Ferry between Koman and Fierze.  

     

    Embarking and departure to a gorgeous cruise on the Albanian fjord. The lake is fed by the Drin, the Shala and Valbona rivers. It is surrounded by dense forested hills, vertical slops and narrow valleys with time to time vertical canyon walls.  

    Arrival 2:30 hrs later in Fierze and transfer by public van to Valbona. Check-in in the guesthouse and enjoy a walk within the Valbona valley.  

     

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 3. Valbona - Valbona

    While kids may run after free cows, horses and sometimes some rabbits, parents walk along the asphalted unique road up to the place called Lomi or just find their ways among the beeches or firs forest growing on the banks of the Valbona river. 

    Walking will certainly be the best way to discover the Valbona valley and its surroundings hills such as Pylli I Rragamit, or the chains of straight-imposing idyllic mountains and peaks – Kollata, Zhaporës, Peçmarës, etc. the guide will point out the direction of the Montenegro, just in front, just behind the Prosllopit pass used by hikers to reach Vusanje in Montenegro. 

    For the courageous who like freezing water, take a bath into the cold, blue-green rushing water of the Valbona river. 

    For the horse riders, it will be possible to go for an hour ride to discover the hamlet (*) 

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 4. Valbona - Valbona

    Hike: ~ 4:00 to 5:00 hours 

    Maximal ascent: ~ 250 m. 

    Maximal descend: ~ 250 m.  

    Distance: ~ 5-7 km 

    Lugagge Transfer: No 

     

    Kukaj hamlet: the hike starts close from the guesthouse and gently climbs the hill following a gravely road up to the hamlet of Kukaj. Here, it is possible to admire the majesty of the Kolates (2552m), the ridges and the Persllopit (2050m) pass used to cross to Montenegro while hiking to Vusanje from Valbona. On the other side, the Maja e Thate (2160m) shows is splendor. Then descent to Valbona by following the stream.  

    Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 5. Valbona – Fierze – Koman – Tirana

    It is unfortunately time to leave the fairy valley with in mind the film of Jurassic Park or maybe a well-known documentary from National Geographic.  

    The Koman lake will again reveal its secrets. The ferry cruises inside a look-like a Scandinavian fjord which offers the most wonderful moving panorama of untouched landscape. At times narrow and surrounded by canyons and at others wide and expansive, the views from the ferry are full of gorgeous twists. 

    Private transfer to the hotel, check-in and free time in Tirana 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 6. Tirana – Arras

    Private transfer to the bus terminal and departure to Arras using the service of a public van.  

    Arras is a very peaceful small village which dominate the Black Drin valley. It is surrounding by a succession of hills cross by a stream which found its spring at the southern part of the Lurë-Dejës Mountain National Park. Arras offers a multitude of possibilities for outdoor activities. 

    One of the reasons people love traveling, is for the fresh emotions allowing them to experience the unique ability the journey has to impart a perspective, through which everything is new, exciting, and mysterious, just waiting to be discovered. 

    The Albanian poet and intellectual Gjergj Fishta once said, “the one who hasn’t seen Lura, doesn’t know Albania,” and most would argue that he had a good point. Any tours of Albania’s natural beauties would be incomplete without a visit to the stunning Lura National Park.  

    The guesthouse is situated in a farming community offering guests many opportunities to observe traditional farming practices and the chance to take part of any farming activities on the farm. Vladimir’ family runs the guesthouse with love and their kids will undoubtedly join the guests and lead them during the stay. If hospitality is a tradition in Diber region, here it is in the genes.  

    Installation in the guesthouse and sharing some moments of life with the host family while discovering the place. 

    Dinner and night in a guesthouse  

  • Day 7. Arras – Arras

    After the breakfast and eventually a participation in the preparation of the picnic walk up with Vladimir as guide to the river gorge to discover the fabulous beauty of the nature. Horse or mule may accompany the guests to offer some horse rides to the kids. The journey will take approximately 4  to 5 hours (without the lunch stop).  

    The path will pass-by the cap of Xhites “Kepi I Xhites” and will take the direction of the village of Spella e Kllogjeshës. This is a very cultivated area. Local farmers could be seen cultivating their lands in a traditional way. The itinerary will follow the stream up to the canyon of Setes “Gryka e Setes”.  

    After the picnic, direction Cidhën hamlet to pay a visit to a blacksmith and a stone-carver. Both are maintaining a firm tradition and know-how in an area deserted by the youth and forgotten by the administrations. 

    Return to the guesthouse and enjoy some free time before the dinner. 

    Overnight in a guesthouse. 

  • Day 8. Arras – Arras

    The morning is dedicated to the National Albanian hero, George Kastriot Skanderbeg. Accompanied by your host Short walk up to his birthplace and visit the very small local museum. The promenade will be accompanied by a local naturalist whom will share is knowledge with the visitors. The surrounding hills and forests are the habitat of a wide variety of fauna and flora. 

    After the lunch, direction the fish farm where trouts are raised in fresh water ponds. Vladimir will buy some and his lovely wife will cook them for the dinner. A short steps further and enjoy the bee hives. 

    Free time and for those who wish to do so, the house hostess will be happy to invite you to prepare the dinner. 

    Dinner and night in a guesthouse  

  • Day 9. Arras – Kruja

    Private transfer by vehicle up to Kruja. Kruja (Krujë) may be the city where the history of the Albanian started. Long time ago, the area was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe of the Albani which has as main settlement Albanopolis. Some historians say that Albanopolis could be Krujë. Despite fierce resistance, Kruja fell in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. In 1423, Gjergji Kastrioti, member of the noble family Kastrioti , was sent as a hostage to the Ottoman court. He was educated and entered to the service of the Ottoman sultan for the next twenty years. During this period he received his Ottoman name “Iskender bey” which became Skanderbeg within the Albanian language. In 1443, he deserted the Ottoman armies, gathered hundreds of men and under tricks took control of Kruja. From there, Skanderbeg fought ceaselessly the Ottomans until his death in 1468. His legacy to Albania was so impressive that Skanderbeg’ memory has been engraved in many in the Albanian heritage. He became The National Hero. 

    Free visit of its Bazaar and castle. 

    Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 10. Kruja – Rinas

    Direction Rinas airport and departure. 

Strengths
  • All the benefits of an amazing nature

  • For families from 4 to 77+ years

  • No guiding service

  • Inside protected areas

  • Unforgettable moments

  • Public and private transport

Notice:

This program is an example and can be the object of many variants. Ask us to send you a proposal based on your time, wishes and budget.

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 before 11:30 am. 

  • Child: any children between 3 and 11.99 years of age is considered as a child.

  •  Infant: any children between 0 and 2.99 years of age is considered as an infant. 

  • In hotels, when possible family room or equivalent is provided.

  • According to the seasons, visitors may participate to milk the cows, collect the eggs, go to the farm fields to collect apples, cherries, etc., mow the lawn and enjoy harvesting. 

  • A copy of a valid passport or ID will be requested 2 months before the departure date to obtain the border crossing permit.

  • (*) on request and additional cost