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.
Your goal during this journey will be to explore the famous Riviera. After a shot but very interesting visit of Kruja, you will pass by the cities of Berat, Permet and Gjirokaster before arriving at the Ionian Coast.
You will discover the entire coast during your trip.
Arrival in Tirana
Once arrived at the airport, an Ecotour Albania agent will be there waiting to take you to your hotel.
Night in 3* hotel in Tirana.
Visit of the capital
We will start your discovery of Albania with a visit of the capital !
A 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 harmonybetween 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 even during the communist era for its historical value, the opera, the clock tower and the palace of culture. We will then 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 be able to 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 perfect 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.
Kruja, the cave of Sari Saltik and night in Durres
Then we will go north, to the town of Kruja, located less than an hour away from Tirana. Kruja is known as the hometown of Skanderbeg, a 15th century Albanian leader, considered as our national hero for his fight against the Ottoman Empire. We will have the opportunity to learn more about this great leader by visiting the museum which was named after him, “Skanderbeg Museum”. The ethnographic museum is also an opportunity to discover the local culture, lifestyle and family traditions. Finally, we can have a stroll between the stalls of the old market located on a charming square with cobbled streets: ideal to pick some souvenirs!
Then we will go to the top of the cliff to discover the cave of Sari Saltik, an important Bektashi figure. The saint took refuge in this cave at an altitude of over 1200m. The cave where his tomb is located can be visited today as the center of the Bektashi religion! Over there, you have a beautiful view of the city of Kruja !
Then we go to the seaside, in the city of Durres. In the antiquity Durres was as an important city, especially for merchants, since it was the beginning of the Egnatia Road, which connected Rome to Constantinople. You will see the relics of these times, such as the amphitheatre and the city walls. Nowadays, the city is the main port of the country and you can walk along the promenade. We also recommend you to have a walk in its streets near the amphitheatre. You can also visit the archaeological museum, which will allow you to discover the history of this commercial town.
Later in the afternoon, you will go back to Tirana.
Night in 3 * hotel in Tirana (The same hotel, where you stayed the first night)
The monastery of Ardenice and the city of Berat (Unesco)
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.
We will then discover another Albanian city, on the UNESCO list for its characteristic architecture: The city of Berat. Best known as "The city of 1000 windows" you will be charmed by its white houses and steep streets that offer you a special promenade. During a walk, you will see the Castle, many mosques in the area of the citadel, the National Museum and the Ethnographic Museum.
Night in 3 * hotel in Berat.
The thermal springs of Benja and the city of Permët
Along the way we will stop to see the thermal springs of Benja, known to cure various illness and relieve aches but also pleasant for the wonderful walks that this natural site offers along its canyon.
Then we will stop in agrotouristic city of Permët. There we will have the opportunity to see more closely the local know-how and discover the regional products such as jams, wine or embroidery.
Night in 3 * hotel in Permët.
Unesco city of Gjirokastra, Saranda and the blue eye
We will then go to the city of Gjirokaster. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, this city is full of distinctive districts and shaded terraces. But its main touristic sites are the ethnographic museum and its citadel, which will take us back in time, years ago, through the history of Albania. Gjirokastra has retained its characteristic “old Albanian houses” architecture.
After this visit, we stop to see a natural site: the Blue Eye ! This is a spring of water which coming out of the depths gives the impression of a blue eye. A peaceful and ideal place to rest and recharge.
We will then go to the Riviera in Saranda, a coastal town where you can enjoy an afternoon on the beach and a fish dish menu.
Night in 3 * hotel in Saranda.
The site of Butrint and the beach of Borsh
We will then visit the site of Butrint, which is near the Greek border. Butrint is an ancient Greek city on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1992. You will discover a historic landmark, an open ancient city testifying of centuries of human occupation.
Then you can enjoy the beautiful beaches on the Riviera, in the village of Borsh. You will be enchanted by the beaches of Albania, with crystal clear water!
Overnight in 3 * hotel. In Borsh.
The village of Qeparo, the fortress of Ali Pasha and the town of Vlora
To start the day, we recommend a small coffee break in the village of Qeparo, located 5 minutes from Borsh. From there you can enjoy a magnificent view of the beautiful beaches of the Riviera.
Then we descend along the Riviera. On our way, we will visit many villages on the Riviera, until we arrive in Porto Palermo to visit the fortress of Ali Pasha. Located on a small peninsula, this abandoned building is now surrounded by lush vegetation. Guests can roam freely in order to discover its octagonal room and its dome.
After this visit, you will head to the town of Vlora.
Vlora is known as the city where was declared the Albanian Independency 1912. We offer you to discover more about this major event in Albanian history by visiting the Vlora Independence Museum.
Night in 3 * hotel in Vlora.
Back in Tirana
Then, you will go back to Tirana. If you didnt have time to visit everything during your fisrt day in Tirana, now you will.
Night in 3 * hotel in 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!