Day 1: Airport – Tirana
Start immediately with the visit of Skanderbeg Square, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower; the Skanderbeg Square, the Palace of Culture, the Pyramid, the Bunker and the National Historical Museum which has a mosaic on its facade portraying Albanian history. Your afternoons is free to exploring on your own the city, shop or just relax. Check-in at Sheraton Hotel in Tirana. Dinner at Sarajet traditional restaurant in Tirana. After dinner transferred to your hotel. Overnight stay at Sheraton Hotel in Tirana. (D)
Day 2: Tirana – Shkodra – Tirana
After breakfast transfer to Shkodra also known as one of the most diverse cities and regions both culturally and naturally. Nestled in between the accursed mountains and Shkodra Lake, the city is a fine example of the East-West blend which only the Balkans can offer here in Europe. In Shkodra we drive up to Rozafa castle and after visiting it we will greet our guests with a welcome drink in one of the towers of the castle overlooking on the city, the lake and the three rivers surrounding the castle. After visiting Rozafa Castle, proceed toward the city. Visit the pedestrian street of Shkodra, where we will see the city hall, the catholic cathedral. Lunch in Shkodra at Tradita restaurant. After lunch drive back to Tirana via Lezha. Transfer to Tirana. Overingt stay in Tirana.
Day 3: Tirana – Berat – Vlora
After breakfast transfer to Berat. Berat is inscribed as rare example of an architectural character typical of the Ottoman period. Located in central Albania, Berat bears witness to the coexistence of various religious and cultural communities down the centuries. It features a castle, locally known as the Kala, most of which was built in the 13th century, although its origins date back to the 4th century BC. The citadel area numbers many Byzantine churches, mainly from the 13th century, as well as several mosques built under the Ottoman era which began in 1417. Berat bears witness to a town which was fortified but open, and was over a long period inhabited by craftsmen and merchants. Its urban centre reflects a vernacular housing tradition of the Balkans, examples of which date mainly from the late 18th and the 19th centuries. This tradition has been adapted to suit the town’s life styles, with tiered houses on the slopes, which are predominantly horizontal in layout, and make abundant use of the entering daylight. Lunch in Berat at Onufri traditional restaurant. After lunch depart toward Vlora, the city of the Albanian independence. Check-in at Partner hotel in Vlora. Afternoon free at leisure in Vlora by the seaside. Dinner at Kuzum Baba restaurant in Vlora. Overnight at Partner hotel.
Day 4: Vlora – Llogara – Dhermi – Himara – Butrint – Saranda
After breakfast transfer to Saranda via Llogara National Park at 1000 meters above the sea level with spectacular views over the Ionian Sea. Proceed toward Dhërmi where the Saint Marry church is located in the upper part of Dhermi village. Continue to Butrint Archaeological Park. Discovery of the archaeological park of Butrint ( Unesco World Heritage ), which houses the remains remarkably well preserved in a magnificent natural setting. Inhabited since the tenth century BCE , the site of Butrint was founded by Aeneas while after Racine, Pyrrhus had met Andromache. After visiting the park starting Qeparo village which is located on the Ionian coast. Return back in Saranda and check-in at Brilant Hotel in Saranda. Dinner at Lëkursi restaurant in Saranda. Overnight stay at Brilant Hotel in Saranda.
Day 5 : Saranda – Gjirokastra – Apollonia – Durrës
After breakfast at the hotel drive toward Gjirokastra. Gjirokastra ( Unesco World Heritage ) is a rare example of a perfectly preserved Ottoman town. Cradle of Ismail Kadare writer, this former village became one of the most important Southern cities Albania remains one of the most beautiful and typical of the region with its fortress- houses two floors the kulas covered with slate gray which were mostly built in the seventeenth century. The city also retains a bazaar, a mosque in the eighteenth century as well as two churches of the same period. Museum town still Inhabited. The heritage of Gjirokastra is very rich Argjiro Castle, the National Museum of Arms, the Ethnographic Museum, which was the home of former dictator Enver Hoxha. In Gjirokastra we will visit the Castle and the bazaar. After the visit of Gjirokastar lunch at Rrapi restaurant at the bazaar. Continue toward Durrës via Fier.
On the way to Tirana we visit Apollonia which was established in the 7th century B.C by Greek settlers from Corinth and Corcyra, the ancient city is located 11 km to the west of the modern city of Fier. Archaeological excavations have revealed that Apollonia achieved its zenith in the 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. The city had a 4 km long surrounding wall. It has been estimated that during the developed stages of the city, 60000 inhabitants lived inside its imposing walls. Among the most interesting monuments worth visiting are the Bouleterion (city council), the library, the triumphal arch, the temple of Artemis, the Odeon built in the 2nd century B.C., the two-storey 77 along Stoa, a theater with a capacity of 10000 spectators, and the Nymphaeum, a monumental water fountain. The statues and objects are displayed in the museum, which is housed in the monastery. Monastery courtyard is enclosed a Byzantine church dating back to the 14th century. After the visit of Apollonia drive toward Tirana. Dinner and overnight at Sheraton hotel in Tirana.
Day 6: Durrës – Kruja – Airport
After breakfast transfers the group toward Kruja. The most important sight in Kruja is the semi-ruined citadel area (Kalaja e Krujës), a fortress dating back to the fifth or sixth century and perched dramatically on a rocky outcrop. Only by the end of the 12th century was the citadel completed. It weathered many sieges, the most famous being the Ottoman campaigns repulsed by the Albanian warrior Skanderbeg and his men. Kruja thus became a symbol of national resistance – not until 1478 (after Skanderbeg’s death) did the Ottomans succeed in capturing the citadel. One of the few original structures remaining is the clock tower, which was an observation and signaling post. To the left of the citadel‘s main entrance is the Gjergj Kastriot After the visit of Kruja, lunch at Bardhi restaurant. Transfer toward Mother Theresa International Airport. Depart toward home.