ENVIE D'ALBANIE
The Ringing Land

8 Days 7 Nights

Group: 6 - 12 People

Albania

9.5 Superb

Description

Used for more than a century, ringing is a scientific method of studying the fate of birds, helping to answer questions such as: "Where are they going?" », « Which ones survive? », « Which reproduce? » Professionals and volunteers can take part in these studies. 

As its name suggests, ringing consists of placing a metal ring (aluminum, steel or monel) on the bird's leg, more specifically on the tarsus or tibia. On the ring are engraved the code of his ringing center, which supervised the operation, and a unique number, the identifier of the bird. Each country has a ringing center. The ringing system is international. 

Ringing is the primary method of tracking birds in their natural environment. It makes it possible to study the movements of populations, their demographic evolution, their migration routes, their nesting and wintering areas, as well as their longevity. For this, when the ringed birds are recaptured or when they are found dead, the information (species, sex, age, measurements, place of capture, etc.) is communicated to the central office, which forwards them to scientists studying the species. 

Capturing, ringing and then releasing the birds cannot be improvised. These are gestures that require technical skills, first of all not to hurt the animals. Only trained people can make these captures of birds to mark them. This concerns scientists, but also volunteers who wish to contribute to scientific research. 

Take part in 4 days of bird identification alongside the only Albanian organization, member of Euring, European coordinator, in charge of ringing. Be involved in a utility, research and management project to conduct studies of bird dispersal and migrations, their behavior and social structure, longevity and survival rate, reproductive success and population trends . 

2 to 2+

Difficulty

Guide

Experienced English-speaking guide

Treks

No

Outdoor activity

No

Cultural Visits

0 visit

Luggage

Backpack or equivalent 15 to 20 kg max

Hotel

4 ☆

Departure

Tirana International airport

Porting

A small backpack is required for your daily equipment

Transfer of luggage

Vans from one accommodation to the next one

Price Includes
  • Hotels: See list below

  • 7* Breakfasts

  • 4* Lunches

  • 7* Dinners

  • English-speaking guide throughout the stay

  • Birdwatching guide in Narta

  • Transportation

  • All visits mentioned in this program.

Price Excludes
  • All personal expenses of participants

  • Beverages not mentioned above, such as spirits

  • Tips

  • Travel insurance

  • Transportation by air

  • Travel insurance

Hotels

Description

Tour Plan
  • Day 1. Tirana International Airport – Tirana

    Reception by an English-speaking guide at Tirana's "Mother Theresa" airport. Depart for Tirana. 

    The metropolitan capital of Tirana has undergone lightning-fast modernization while much of its Ottoman, Italian and Communist architecture recalls its history and spirit of yesteryear. There are plenty of churches, mosques, museums, galleries and shopping malls to visit, but Tirana is more generous when the visitor is carried away by the city's vibe. The best way to discover this city is to take a leisurely stroll through its various neighborhoods and streets to discover its authenticity. 

    Visit of Skanderberg Square and the city center with its famous "Block" and free time until dinner. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 2. Tirana – Apollonia – Vlora – Orikum

    Road to Apollonia. Visit of the archaeological site of Apollonia. Exceptionally preserved, it would have been built in the 6th century BC by the Greeks of Corfu and the Corinthians. Apollonia was an obligatory point of passage for travelers taking the Via Egnatia. The city took off in the 4th century, becoming an important place of trade and commerce that could accommodate up to 40,000 people. The site houses an archaeological museum, the Church of Saint Mary and its monastery. 

    Lunch in a traditional restaurant near the protected area of the Vjosë-Nartë delta. 

    The Vjosa-Narta Protected Area is one of the most important ecological ecosystems in Albania, the second most important wetland in Albania and home to important species of fauna and flora. Narta Lagoon is an emerald site and part of several ecological networks, located along the Adriatic flyway, which is home to more than 220 species of birds. Narta Lagoon is an important breeding and resting area for several bird species, including flamingos and Caspian terns. Visit of the lagoon and the medieval monastery of St Mary. 

    Founded in the 6th century BC. JC and known in antiquity as Aulona, Vlora or Vlorë was built in one of the most beautiful places in southern Albania. Its shores feature a unique mix of rocky and sandy beaches, and the magnificent views of the Karaburun Peninsula and the Sazan Islands stretch past the town. Visit of its historical center - Independence Square, where Ismail Qemali raised the national flag and proclaimed the independence of Albania on November 28, 1912. Unfortunately, two years later Italian troops invaded Albania 

    Then direction Orikum and free time. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 3. Orikum – Orikum

    A story of destiny: 

    Ringing birds makes it possible to follow individuals with sometimes exceptional destinies. The oldest known wild bird is an English Shearwater first captured on a small island in North Wales in 1957. It was then 4 to 6 years old. It was checked in 1961, 1978 and 2002 by a keeper from the Bardsey Island ornithological observatory. Potentially 52 years old, this puffin held the record for longevity. 

    Orikum is located on the banks of the bay of Vlora at the foot of the peninsula of Karaburun. To the west of the small town is a vast marsh and canals providing an ideal habitat for many migrants. 

    Travel to the trapping area and installation of equipment and materials necessary for the identification of captured birds. Participation in bird marking and data collection. 

    A light picnic will be organized on site. After the ringing session, free time for a walk or a swim. For those who wish, there is a possibility to hike throughout the Llogara National Park and to observe the Golden Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Rock partridge, woodpeckers, passerines etc. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 4. Orikum – Orikum

    A story of destiny:  

    One of the longest journeys ever recorded comes from a common tern banded on June 27, 2003 as a chick at Hälsingiang in central Sweden and found dead on December 1, 2003 at Steward Island, New Zealand. Assuming a "normal" route from Sweden to New Zealand via South Africa, it is possible that this tern traveled 25,000 kilometres. As the crow flies, the distance between the two localities is only 17,508 kilometers. 

    Travel to the trapping area and installation of equipment and materials necessary for the identification of captured birds. Participation in bird marking and data collection. 

    A light picnic will be organized on site. After the ringing session, free time for a walk or a swim. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 5. Orikum – Orikum

    A story of destiny: 

    The fastest route comes from a barn swallow that traveled almost 10,000 kilometers from Umhlange in South Africa to White Bay in Great Britain in just 27 days. A black-headed gull banded at nest on June 29, 1996 in Hämeenkyrö county in Finland was observed on January 3 and 7, 2000 in Fort Worth, Texas. On November 30 of the same year, the bird was again seen in its Texas winter quarters. 

    Travel to the trapping area and installation of equipment and materials necessary for the identification of captured birds. Participation in bird marking and data collection. 

    After the morning ringing session direction Tragjas for a lunch and then a walk to visit the old village, today abandoned of Tragjas the old. Relatively well preserved, its ruins give an excellent overview of what life was like in this village. The ruins, olive trees and shrubs provide the perfect habitat for many birds. From its dominant heights, the view of the bay of Vlora and the Karaburun peninsula is surprising. The sunset, seen from this place, is really magnificent. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 6. Orikum – Berat

    Direction Berat, the city with 2400 years of history. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, Berat, better known as "the city of 1000 windows", is one of a kind. Visit of the fortress and the National Icon Museum of Onufri, Albanian painter of the 16th century famous for having used pink - then rare - in his works. The museum is housed inside the Sainte-Marie church, built in the 10th century. Visit of the Gorica district, then of the Mangalem district with its typical houses, which we reach by crossing the Osum river and free time until dinner. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

  • Day 7. Berat – Elbasan – Kruja

    Direction Elbasan. A Roman emperor, a sultan, fascists and communists have all made their specific contribution to the construction of this ancient city over the centuries. As such, Elbasan Castle and the resulting New Town combine distinct and perhaps incompatible styles and influences, giving Elbasan a truly unique stature. A proud city full of warm-hearted people, Elbasan hosts the country's biggest Summer Day festivities, a day when its specialty food, sweet and rich ballokume, is eaten by all. Visit of the city center. 

    Road to Kruja, an ancient medieval city. Rich in history and tradition, Kruja is the homeland of patriots and the epicenter of Albania's independence from the Ottoman Empire. It was here that Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, Albania's greatest national hero, defended the country from invading Ottomans. The national museum dedicated to the hero is housed in the famous castle of Kruja and shows both the story of the legendary hero and the traditional way of life of the town's population. The city's famous bazaar serves as a bridge between this glorious past and the present, offering a rich range of traditional products made by local artisans. Home to one of the spiritual centers of the country, that of Sarisalltik. Kruja is a crucial destination for every local and visitor. 

    Visit of the Skanderbeg museum, the ethnographic museum and free time in the bazaar. 

    Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel. 

     

  • Day 8. Kruja – Tirana International Airport

    Free time until departure to the airport. 

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:

Participants must bring with them a pair of binoculars or a telescope. 

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

Due to overbooking situation, hotels and restaurants are indicative only.