Albania Explorer Tour "Illyria Route"

8 Days Starting and ending in Ruga Nene Tereza, Rinas 1504, Albania

Visiting: Tirana, Kruje, Durrës, Lezhë District, Shkodër, Berat, Manastiri i Ardenicës, Apollonia, Qyteti Antik Ilir, Vlorë, Himarë, Sarandë, Butrint National Archaeological Park, Mesopotam, Blue Eye, Gjirokaster

Tour operator:

Albania Explorer

Tour code:

182421

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Low, MODERATE

Age range:

12-89

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Gluten Free

Tour operated in:
English
Activities:

Sightseeing, Sightseeing

Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From:
$856
$832 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $24

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Tucked away in a little visited corner of Europe lie Albania,  is a charming and delightful country that few people know much about. For years Albania was a closed society, ruled by the iron fist of Communism, but since the end of the Cold War it has been showing curious travelers its many charms, The location of Albania between some of Europe’s most important empires has left them well endowed with a wealth of attractions from the Greek, Roman and Ottoman eras. The region is home to a wealth of old Turkish architecture which sits side by side with elaborately decorated Orthodox churches and from more recent times the civic buildings of Communist era, as well as impressive Roman ruins and well preserved historic towns. This part of Europe is also blessed with incredible scenery with imposing mountains, pristine lakes and traditional villages tucked away in pretty valleys. But as with many countries it is the people who leave perhaps the most lasting impression – having come through recent strife there is an overwhelming sense of optimism about the people that cannot fail to raise your spirits.How does it work?You decide how many countries you want to travelEach week you can travel to different places/countries

Highlights

  • Tucked away in a little visited corner of Europe lie Albania,  is a charming and delightful country that few people know much about

  • For years Albania was a closed society, ruled by the iron fist of Communism, but since the end of the Cold War it has been showing curious travelers its many charms, The location of Albania between some of Europe’s most important empires has left them well endowed with a wealth of attractions from the Greek, Roman and Ottoman eras

  • The region is home to a wealth of old Turkish architecture which sits side by side with elaborately decorated Orthodox churches and from more recent times the civic buildings of Communist era, as well as impressive Roman ruins and well preserved historic towns

  • This part of Europe is also blessed with incredible scenery with imposing mountains, pristine lakes and traditional villages tucked away in pretty valleys

  • But as with many countries it is the people who leave perhaps the most lasting impression – having come through recent strife there is an overwhelming sense of optimism about the people that cannot fail to raise your spirits

  • How does it work?You decide how many countries you want to travelEach week you can travel to different places/countries

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrival - Tirane.
Location: Tirana
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*
Meals Included: Breakfast

Pickup from Tirana International Airport and transfer to the city. Leisure day. Overnight at Freddy’s Hotel 3* or similar.

Day 2 : Kruje - Durres - Tirane.
Location: Tirana, Kruje, Durrës
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we head to Kruja, one of Albania’s most important towns due to the part it played in resistance against the Ottomans. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum and castle as well as the old bazaar. Then heading to Durres. This port city, is the most important ancient central mediterranean metropol until medieval time in the 15th century when it got occupied by ottomans until 1912 when Albania proclaimed its independence, and Durres became its capital until 1920. (Durres is also more than 3500 years old (mentioned first time in Odisea where Ulicsus spent part of his time in Taulantia (ancient Pelasgian-Illyrian name of Epidamn-Durrah-Durres) on his way back to Itaka after Troyan war. This city has the largest Roman amphitheater in the Balkan region (about 20,000 seats), dating back to the beginning of the 2nd century which we will visit with the ancient city castle wall and byzantine bazaar/forum, Roman public baths, etc. Return to Tirana for overnight. Overnight at Freddy’s Hotel 3* or similar. (B)

Day 3 : Lezhe - Shkoder - Tirane.
Location: Lezhë District, Shkodër, Tirana
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, the, next stop will be in Lezha city. In the ancient period it was called Lissus. Visit to its castle and Mausoleum of Skanderbeg (Albanian National Hero). Afterward, we will continue to Shkodra. A nice landscape with highland (Albanian Alps on the north) is a full contrast. City tour of Shkodra, Old Bazaar, Centrum, Cathedral and Mosque. Visit the Castle of Rozafa inside it and we enjoy wonderful views of mountains, Shkodra’s lake, Drini, Buna and Kir rivers with the valleys around from the top of Rozafa castle. Return to Tirana for overnight. Overnight at Freddy’s Hotel 3* (B)

Day 4 : Berat (Unesco).
Location: Berat
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 4*
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we continue to Berat where we have a short visit to Belsh Lake (part of Dumrea group of carstic lakes in central Albania, also so-called little-Toscana). Then we will continue to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit the castle of Berat with the Onufri museum and other churches inside; the Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th. Many of his wonderfully painted icons still remain in the museum while others can be found in churches in Albania and Greece where he worked. Lunch break in Berat.
Then continue to Tirana overnight. Overnight at Rezidenca Desaret 4* or similar. (B)

Day 5 : Ardenica Monastery - Apollonia - Vlore.
Location: Manastiri i Ardenicës, Apollonia, Qyteti Antik Ilir, Vlorë
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*
Meals Included: Breakfast

Drive to Ardenica Monastery, a 13th century Byzantine site locally famed for hosting the wedding of the hero Skanderbeg. We will continue from here to the ruins of Apollonia, an atmospheric set of Roman remains on a remote hillside and once an important city in the region. Later depart to the coastal city of Vlora. Visit the city, including its old town, independence square and monument, where Albanian independence from the Ottomans was proclaimed on November 28th, 1912. Overnight Hotel Semaja 3* or similar. (B)

Day 6 : Himare – Sarande - Butrint (Unesco).
Location: Himarë, Sarandë, Butrint National Archaeological Park
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we continue to the south of Albania, stopping first at Llogara National Park where we enjoy spectacular views of the mountains and the Albanian Riviera. Continue via some picturesque seaside villages to Saranda and onto the ruins of Butrint, Albania's most important archaeological site, and a UNESCO site. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Explore numerous buildings including an acropolis, basilica and palace. The location of the site itself is also very attractive, surrounded by trees and water. Later return to Saranda. Overnight in Sunrays Hotel 3* or similar. (B)

Day 7 : Mesopotam - Blue Eye - Gjirokaster (Unesco).
Location: Mesopotam, Blue Eye, Gjirokaster
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hot
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we will continue to Gjirokaster. En route we will make a stop in Mesopotam monastery, built over the ancient temple inside the fortress. Then we then travel to Blue Eye National Park before we reach the UNESCO listed town of Gjirokaster known for its distinct and traditional architecture. We have time to explore this UNESCO listed site, one of the highlights of Albania with an imposing citadel and numerous typical houses. Overnight Bineri 3* or similar. (B)

Day 8 : Airport Transfer
Location: Tirana International Airport
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Airport Transfer as per flight itinerary.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation at 3*/4* hotels on BB bases. All Breakfasts are included.

  • Fully Guided

    English speaking tour leader/manager.

  • Transport

    Air Conditioned modern van/minibus/bus and other transportation listed in itinerary.

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Airport transfers and all other transfers as per itinerary

What's Not Included

  • International airfare and airport taxes

  • Optional

    Everything not mentioned in “Inclusions”.

    Local city/tourist tax.

    Driver/guides tips.

    Gratuities and individual daily expenses and porterage.

  • Insurance

    Travel insurance

Please Note

Confirmation

  • Immediately after submitting your reservation you will receive a receipt of booking by email. Please do not book any airline tickets until you receive the status of your booking.

Redemption

  • You will receive a confirmation voucher in 2-3 business days after you receive the e-ticket. Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination and departure details, is included in your confirmation voucher. When you reserve your attractions and services you will be asked to print the confirmation voucher to present when you arrive at your destination. It is your proof of purchase.

Accommodation

Accommodation on standard double occupancy rooms in 3*/4* hotels (as indicated, or similar)

Check out our Q&As

  • Do I need Travel insurance?

    We do not offer insurance packages but we highly recommend travel protection, it’s important to protect your trip investment and loved ones. We will offer you the best option for your vacation.

  • Do you book group travel ?

    Yes, we book group travel all the time! We specialize in helping groups of all sizes plan their dream trips. From family reunions to corporate retreats, we can take care of all the details so you can relax and enjoy your time away.

  • How do I set up the consultation with the Albania Explorer agent ?

    To set up a consultation with Albania Explorer's travel expert, you can contact us directly via phone or email us at contact@albaniaexplorer.com. You can even reach us on Whatsapp at +355 68 399 9480 . local operation working hours during week monday to friday : 08.00-18.00 , saturday 09.00-14.00 , Sunday - off.

  • Will you available while I am on my vacation?

    Yes, we will be available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have. You can get in touch with us anytime. We are committed to providing the best possible service and helping our clients create memorable vacations that they will always remember.

Reviews of this Operator

meir shabtai mazar (Google Reviewer)  

as a 50 years experience...

05-Sep-2019

as a 50 years experience as guide myself i can said that the 7 days of tour in Albania was orgenized perfectly by the travl company was perfect. the guide Dashi did more then we could expect to introduce his country to us.. the cost more then fair.

Jawad Mohammed (Google Reviewer)  

I visited Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo...

13-Aug-2019

I visited Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and the Republic of North Macedonia with this company. We had a wonderful time and a trip full of adventure and beautiful memories. Before the visit, I had a lot of doubt about the safety and the tourism potential of those countries compared to other countries that I visited in western, northern, central and eastern Europe. I started contacting a number of tour agencies in the Balkan region for the arrangements. The moment I dealt with Albania Explorer, I felt very comfortable because of their professional dealing and prompt responses. Moreover, their price was reasonable and competitive compared to other agencies. All the arrangements were perfect. Ms.Alma, the booking/ arrangements manager was very helpful. In addition, the tour guide and driver, Mr. Stive, was very professional, friendly and knowledgeable about all the countries we visited with him. Moreover, we found all the above mentioned countries to be very charming, safe and full of tourist attractions and places worth visiting. I highly recommend dealing with this agency for visiting Albania and the surrounding Balkan countries. You can rely on their professionalism and expertise to have an unforgettable trip

Karmen Louis  

Review

23-May-2020

Albania Explorer helped me during my trip to Albania. Being an outsider, this place was unknown for me. But they helped me very well and made my trip awesome. Thanks.

Ziad S. Abdul Majid (Google Reviewer)  

I recently used Albania Explorer...

25-Apr-2023

I recently used Albania Explorer Tour for my vacation and I was blown away by their amazing service! From start to finish, the team was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and accommodating. They took the time to listen to my needs and preferences, and created a personalized itinerary that exceeded my expectations. Throughout my trip, everything ran smoothly thanks to the excellent planning and attention to detail. The accommodations were top-notch, the activities were well-organized, and the guides were friendly and informative. Overall, I had an unforgettable experience thanks to Albania Explorer Tour and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a stress-free and enjoyable vacation. Thank you to the entire team for their exceptional service!

Allison Ford (Google Reviewer)  

I booked Albania explorer’s Dajti...

22-Jun-2023

I booked Albania explorer’s Dajti cable care experience and had the loveliest time! Maybe not for people who are scared of heights but also a good opportunity to conquer that fear! Edmond was our tour guide and he was such a delight! He made us feel very comfortable and cared for, he really went above and beyond! Edmond also had a lot of knowledge and personable stories to share, I would recommend him and this company to anybody visiting Albania / Balkan region!

Sam Parkin  

Review

15-Apr-2021

It was great experience to travel in Albania. This is my second trip of albania with this agency and its wonderful.

JULIE MUNDAY (Google Reviewer)  

We went on the 7...

15-Apr-2022

We went on the 7 day Illyrian Route tour in April 2022. From the start the communication with the company was excellent. They were quick to respond and very helpful. We were fully expecting to join a small group tour but when we were picked up we found out it was just us two and our excellent guide Saimir. We were very lucky to have such an informative and friendly guide and to enjoy such a personal tour. We would never have been able to discover so much of this beautiful country by ourselves. We saw so much and were able to visit places you just couldn’t reach by public transport. The tour was a good pace and we were able to be flexible with times for setting off every day and we had time to ourselves in each place in the evenings. We learnt so much about the history and culture of Albania and have Saimir to thank for this. The hotels varied between traditional and modern but most also had a great buffet breakfast. The food in Albania is excellent and we ate very well. I would definitely recommend this tour to others and also Saimir as a very friendly, helpful and informative guide.

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Dates & Availability

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Thursday - Thursday

Mar 07, 2024 - Mar 14, 2024
$856 $832 (USD)

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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Albania Explorer requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 30 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of albania explorer charges.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 7 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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