Best of Albania Explorer 10 days Tour - Guaranteed Departures

10 Days Starting in Tirana and ending in Tirana, Albania

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

Tour operator:

Albania Explorer

Tour code:

736118

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Low, EASY

Age range:

12-89

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Gluten free

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

Interests:

Cultural, History

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From: $1631 $1579 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

NB: Prices correct on 22-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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 lies Albania, 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. Explore the crossroads of Europe’s East and West mosaic to cultures inherited in millenniums starting from Illyrians-Pelasgians (which Albanians are their direct descendants), and also Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Slavic and Ottoman inheritance (part of famous ancient via Ignatia road connecting Rome with Istanbul via Durres-Ohrid-Bitola-Thessaloniki, etc.) Visits in fascinating historical cities such as Durres, Tirana, Lezhe, Shkoder. This part of Europe is also blessed with incredible scenery with imposing mountains, pristine lakes and traditional villages tucked away in pretty valleys.

Highlights

  • 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

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

  • Explore the crossroads of Europe’s East and West mosaic to cultures inherited in millenniums starting from Illyrians-Pelasgians (which Albanians are their direct descendants), and also Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Slavic and Ottoman inheritance (part of famous ancient via Ignatia road connecting Rome with Istanbul via Durres-Ohrid-Bitola-Thessaloniki, etc

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

  • ) Visits in fascinating historical cities such as Durres, Tirana, Lezhe, Shkoder

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Arrival - Tirana.

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: Kruje, Durrës, Tirana

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, Hotel Republika 4* or similar

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 Hotel Republika 4* or similar. (B)

Day 5 : Ardenica Monastery - Apollonia (Unesco) - Vlore.

Location: Manastiri i Ardenicës, Apollonia, Qyteti Antik Ilir, Vlorë

Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel Partner 4*, Kraal 4* Semajo 3* similar

Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*/4*

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 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: Hotel 3*

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 : Permet - Voskopoje - Korce.

Location: Tepelenë, Voskopojë, Korçë

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we continue to Korca via Vjosa River valley, and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding nature. (Even though the distance is a bit long this day, and the toad has a segment where there is work in progress, it remains a work experience). Lunch break at Sotira Farm. Then continue to Voskopoje. First we will visit Voskopoje. You will see the traditional way of life and some outstanding examples of Orthodox Christian Churches which escaped the destruction of the communist regime. The 18th century church and 16th century monastery in Voskopoja are worth visiting with their original murals and artifacts. The air in this area is renowned to be very clean and people with respiratory problems visit to convalesce. We will return to Korca. Korca is a historic place with rich cultural traditions and some interesting buildings from the Ottoman period, including one of the most important mosques in Albania. On arrival in Korca we check in to the hotel Alysa 3* and overnight. (B)

Day 9 : Pogradec - Lin - Tirane.

Location: Pogradec, Lin Pogradec, Tirana

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we will travel to Pogradec. On the top of the hill overlooking Pogradec, there used to be an ancient Illyrian fortress known as Encheleana. In the Middle Ages this fortress was reconstructed and the place was renamed by the Bulgarians, who invaded Southeastern Albania at this time. (Pogradec, Pod Grad - the place beneath the fortress). (We will have a short break where you can enjoy walking by the Ohrid Lake). Then we will continue to Elbasan, where we will have another short stop at Lin village (oldest in Europe 8000 years) by the lake of Ohrid. Elbasan was a very important city in ancient Illyrian time, while in Roman empire time was famous as the cross-point of the main road “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. City tour to visit: Elbasan Castle (dating back to 4rth Century BC), The Clock, The ethnographic Museum, Church, The Old Mosque. Then we will continue to Tirana. Leisure time to walk in the city. Overnight in Freddy’s Hotel 3*, or similar.

Day 10 : Departure.

Location: Tirana International Airport

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel 3*

Transfer to Tirana Airport for departure. End of services. (B)

What's Included

  • Accommodation

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

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Airport transfers and all other transfers as per itinerary.

  • Fully Guided

    English speaking driver/ guide, and local guides in respective countries

  • Meals

    Breakfast included

  • Transport

    Transportation with modern AC car/minibus/bus, etc) during all tour itinerary.

What's Not Included

  • Optional

    Everything not mentioned in “Inclusions”, Driver/guides tips, Gratuities and individual daily expenses and porterage,

  • Additional Services

    All museums and other sites entry tickets as per itinerary

  • Insurance

    Travel insurance

Optional Extras

  • Entry fees in Museums, sites, antique cities, castles etc.

    All museums and other sites entry tickets as per itinerary: National Museum in Tirana Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja Skanderbeg Mausoleum in Lezha Castle Rozafa Castle in Shkodra Amphitheater in Durres Onufri Museum in Berat Ardenica Monastery Apollonia Archeological Park Butrint Antic City (UNESCO) Mesopotam Monastery/Temple Blue Eye National Park Gjirokaster Castle Voskopoja St. Nicolas Church Lin Paleo Christian Basilica Elbasan Ethnographic Museum If it happens, that one Museums, sites, antique cities, castles etc., is closed or on restorations we will substitute with another site.

  • Single supplement

    Single supplement to stay alone in a single room, or a double room used as single.

Please Note

Price assumes the itinerary is purchased "as it is". Minor changes to hotels or hotel add-ons to the beginning or the end of the existing itinerary can be made at no extra charge. Prices are shown in Euro and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, airport transfers included

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, Our services are available in English and other local languages

  • 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

Camelia Stefanuc (Google Reviewer)  

I discoverd a new face...

04-Jun-2024

I discoverd a new face of Albania, with the help of Mr. Sokol. He is an herudit and all the Information we received were argumented and well documented. All the places we vizite were put în value, show in the right light. There were no questions remained without answer. Thank you and congratulations for having such a competent guide in your team. Camelia Stefanuc Tamara Balea

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.

CARMEN DOGARU (Google Reviewer)  

It was a better experience...

16-May-2024

It was a better experience than I expected. The guide was very knowlegeble and ready to help us

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!

Christopher Taylor (Google Reviewer)  

Illyria Route tour of Albania We...

28-May-2024

Illyria Route tour of Albania We chose to book directly with Albania Explorer rather than Exoticca or other Travel Companies providing package tours of Albania because : • Albania Explorer is the main Provider for other Tour Companies • Flights are NOT provided, so we could plan a tailor-made tour of Albania and other Balkan countries • Other services such as car rental and extra hotels can be booked with Albania Explorer We booked the 8 day Albania Explorer Tour “Illyria Route” which was subsumed into the 10 day Best of Albania Tour, who were all Exoticca package tour guests. This was ideal for us, as Albania was just part of our tour of a number Balkan countries, the first 10 days starting in Dubrovnik, Croatia and ending in Kotor, Montenegro, with a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia Herzogovina. We booked an extra night in Tirana giving us the opportunity to explore the City before the Illyria Tour, including a walking tour and the Bunker art museum. The Tour itself was excellent, covering all the main Cities and archeological sites of Albania, including the Albanian Riviera, with Gesi our Tour Guide providing a running commentary of background information and historical facts, and Claude our driver transporting us safely round the Country in the minibus with wifi. Afte leaving the Tour at Gjirokaster, we caught a public bus back to Tirana to pick up a rental car to spend the last week of our trip to North Macedonia and Kosovo. We relied heavily on Albanian Explorer to book the car and sort out the insurance and paperwork (inc Senior Driver) to take the car to neighbouring Balkan countries and how to obtain green cards at the borders. The car was delivered to the Hotel, and everything went smoothly. Booking direct with Albania Explorer suited us for our Trip around the Balkans. If you just want an Albanian full package tour with flights and transfers, book with Exoticca or other Tour companies – you will get the same base holiday, which is excellent. I commend Albania Explorer to you. Chris & Jackie

Olesea Alexandra (Google Reviewer)  

When you consider a trip...

14-Apr-2024

When you consider a trip and get to know a country, the first thing you want is safety and then satisfy your curiosity, get to know another culture, live experiences and rest from the routine life of your place of origin. Companies that work in the travel sector work with hopes and expectations. Clients make a significant financial effort and many sacrifices to be able to have a few pleasant days/weeks, in this case in Albania. A single person can ruin the work of an entire team. When you hire an agency like this, the visible face of the company is the tour guide who is the coordinator and the person who spends the most time with you. For a travel agency, this figure should be carefully selected because behind that choice there are many other people involved, in the selection of hotels, in the chosen itinerary, in administration, in the purchase of tickets and flights (in many cases). , drivers etc. In our case, the person chosen, Florian xhekaj, was a total mistake and nightmare, horrible experience. His knowledge of Spanish was level A2 (lower intermediate), to be generous. He didn't understand you nor did we understand him in the explanations. When I asked him the first day how long he had been a tour guide, the first lie came and he told me 6 years which was not true. Their lack of knowledge of the history of Albania was proverbial (without being experts in history, their disorientation in dates, centuries and historical people was obvious) their lack of interest in explaining important things was absolute (He did not even explain to us that we could not drink tap water) He did not announce the meeting times nor did he tell if we were all there (we organized ourselves among the people in the group) he did not know the Orthodox liturgy (my partner is Orthodox and had to correct him on numerous occasions for giving wrong information) and also the Muslim one. He boasted of knowing Spain and its history, of having studied philology and a master's degree in tourism, but we really came to the conclusion that either he was the worst in the class or the level of demand in Albania is limited. On the last day he didn't even say goodbye to the group after having been together for 10 days. That is a sign of very serious lack of respect for the company and for us as clients or people, but even though it is serious, it was worse that he vented his frustration every day with the driver (Uzur, who was an excellent and professional driver) speaking badly about the group (we called aristocrats ) spoke badly about the agency and its salary conditions, selected itineraries and in general everything bothered him and he took it on the bad side. We sat next to the driver and the new mobile phones with artificial intelligence translate everything from Albanian to Spanish or English in real time, so we couldn't believe what the phone was translating to our endless surprise. I don't know if the guides in Albania have this profile, if they are not used to tourism or if they take us for ignorance but in the end they play with illusions and with a lack of respect and there is only one person in charge and it is the agency that hires this type of people who are not prepared to perform a function as beautiful as teaching your country, your culture and your history. Please don´t day this person not worked for Albanian explorer and please don´t send us a template message of apologies because it is too late. You should know at this point who you work with and who represents your company.

Anthony Peters (Google Reviewer)  

Horrible experience with tour guide...

14-Apr-2024

Horrible experience with tour guide in Spanish called Florian. He has not an attitude to be a guide, to coordinate anything or to explain elementary things about culture or history about Albania. He looks to be more interested in video games or stuff like that. He looks to be another tourist rather than a person that organizes times, schedules or meetings. His level of Spanish is so poor as his knowledge of history. This type of persons ruins a company.

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Aug 01, 2024 - Aug 10, 2024
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$51

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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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