Albania from north to south: Hiking and kayaking (13 d / 12 n)

Albania, also known as "The Last Secret of Europe" or "Pearl of the Balkans" is a country with many assets : fantastic scenery, an unspoiled environment, turquoise blue seas, a rich past and friendly locals.

During this trip you will discover the north and south of Albania. You will hike in the Albanian Alps that you will join after a marvelous trip by ferry. Then you will head south, where you will visit the whole Riviera by kayak.  

 

A journey which allows you to discover Albania and its local life while you enjoy the beautiful beaches and the breathtaking Alps

 

Jour1

Arrival in Tirana

Tirana

Once arrived at the airport, an Ecotour Albania agent will be there waiting to take you to your hotel.

Night in a 3* hotel in Tirana.

Jour2

Koman lake crossing by ferry and Valbone Valley

Valbona, Koman

After an early start, we will head towards the Valley of Valbone in the Albanian Alps.

Firstly we will cross the Komani Lake in ferry. This will be a great experience, a journey in the heart of nature with magnificent landscapes compared to the Norwegian fjords. After a 2:30 – 3 hours trip we will reach Valbona Valley, where we will have the opportunity to get to know the inhabitants with whom we will have dinner. 

Night in a guesthouse in Valbone.

 

Jour3

Sheepfold of Rama

Valbona

During this day, we head towards the sheepfold of Rama which is at an altitude of 1800 m. Through this hike of about 3:30/ 4h, we will be again immersed in nature, in the heart of the Albanian Mountains. Once there (as a reward to our efforts!) we will have the opportunity to taste the fresh products of the sheep while admiring the beautiful landscape of Albanian Alps. The rest of your day is free at your disposal.

Night in a guesthouse in Valbone. 

Jour4

Hiking towards Theth

Valbona, Theth

"I think any place in the world trodden by man never gave me a grandiose feeling of isolation" Thus Edith Durham (British journalist) described Theth in the 1900s.

Located in the heart of the Albanian Alps, the National Park covers nearly 2,300 hectares.

We start today’s hike at the valbone valley to the village of Theth, passing through the Valbona's neck. This walk of about 6-7 hours in a landscape with postcard–like views will leave you speechless! During your hike you will be accompanied by a mule, which will carry your luggage (and children).

Night in a guesthouse in the village of Theth.

Jour5

Discovery of the canyons and waterfall of Theth

Theth

What’s on today? More fantastic landscapes. Today we will discover Theth and its surroundings : after visiting the village of traditional stone houses full of charm and the tower of isolation of the old vendetta we will continue our discovery of this region with its canyons and waterfall, which has created a natural water source called "the blue eye", natural sites of great beauty.

Night in a guesthouse in the village of Theth.

Jour6

Visit of the capital

Tirana

You then leave the mountains to return to Tirana, the Albanian capital.

City since 1614 and the capital of Albania since 1920, Tirana is the country's main cultural hub. You will be able to discover a city famous for the colourful facades of its buildings and the harmony between the various religions in the country.

The visit of the National Museum located on Skanderbeg Square will be a nice introduction to the rich Albanian history !

 

Close to this square, we will be able to see the mosque "Et'hem Bey", which has been preserved for its historical value during the communist era, the opera, the clock tower and the palace of culture. We then will discover the superb Orthodox Cathedral as well as the Catholic Cathedral.

You will also see the pyramid (the Museum of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha) and, weather permitting, you will take a walk in the park of the Artificial Lake of Tirana.

In the evening, we recommend you to enjoy the night life of the capital in the district of Blok: Once reserved to the communist nomenclature is now a trendy neighborhood and the place where you can have a drink or find a nice restaurant to relax after your first day.

Night in a 3* hotel in Tirana.

Jour7

Ardenice, Apollonia and Vlora

Vlora, Ardenica, Apollonia

We will then visit the Orthodox monastery of Ardenica, the only one still operating in Albania ! The quality of its frescoes attracts many visitors each year. From there you will have a spectacular view all over the fields up to the sea. 

 

Then we will go to Fier to visit the archaeological site of Apollonia. A massive antique city, Apollonia is the country's largest archaeological park. You will see some relics of the city such as the Bouleterion, the Odeon or the library (the one in which the emperor Octavius studied !). By going further, you also will see the theatre, the old fountain and even bunkers from the communist era 

 

After these sites visited, you will go to Vlora.

Vlora is known as the city where Albania was declared Independent in 1920. We can learn more about this major event of the Albanian history by visiting the Independence Museum of Vlora

In Vlora there are very beautiful beaches, which you can discover during the afternoon in this city.

Night in a 3* hotel in Vlora.

Jour8

Hiking in the National Parc of Llogara

Riviera, Llogara Park

Located in the upper part of the Dukati Valley, Llogara National Park of 1,000 hectares consists mainly of coniferous forests, which provides an interesting contrast to the Mediterranean landscapes that are found nearby. During the day and a hike you will discover unforgettable landscapes along the Riviera, between sea and mountains. You can enjoy a view of the turquoise Ionian Sea and the Karaburuni peninsula. You can also reach the neck of Cesar by a hike of 20 minutes. 

 

Night in a 3* hotel in the National Parc of Llogara

Jour9

Kayak in the white paths and beach of Gjipe

Riviera

We continue our route to the south along the coast to reach the delta "white paths" (the beach has this color due to the limestone deposits). After arriving at the White Paths, we will continue our journey by kayak through the sea. This 2h 30 paddling give us the opportunity to enjoy the small coves and very interesting caves. We will join the bay of Gjipe, a sublime, virgin beach. In the afternoon, you can enjoy the tranquility of this place to rest and swim. We set our tents there because it is on this beach that we will spend the night!

In the afternoon you could have a walk to enjoy the beauty of the coast or you can also kayak in order to discover other hidden coves of the Riviera.

Night in camping. On the beach of Gjipe.

Jour10

Kayak. The beach of Gjipe, Jale, Livadhe and Himara

Riviera

You will take the kayaks to continue your discovery of the Riviera by sea! After 40 minutes paddling, you will reach the beautiful beach of Jali. After leaving the Jala Beach you can stop at other creeks or bays on your way to the Livadhi Beach (about 2 hours of kayak). In the evening a car or minibus will pick you up on this beach so you can reach the small town of Himara, located on the coast.

Night in a 3* hotel in Himara.

Jour11

The village of Qeparo

Qeparo

For this last day of kayaking, you will go towards the bay of Porto Palermo. After about 3 hours on the sea, you reach this sublime bay where stands the fortress of Ali Pasha. Surrounded by lush vegetation, you can visit the abandoned building to discover a octagonal room topped by a dome. You will then go to the village of Qeparo, located in the hills. This village is considered as one of the finest in the Albanian Riviera and there, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the coast ! After the visit, you will go back, by the seaside where you will spend the night.

Night in a hotel in the Beach of Qeparo.

Jour12

Back in Tirana

Tirana

You will return to Tirana where you can visit the places you didn't have time to see during your first day. You can also enjoy the pleasures of the capital while walking through the city, at the Park or other sunny areas everywhere in Tirana.

Night in a 3* hotel in Tirana.

Jour13

Departure

Tirana

This is the last day of your trip to Albania!

One of our agents will accompany you to the airport according to your flight schedule.

We hope you had a great time during your visit and that you will come back to Albania one again!