Albania Expedition

Albania Expedition

532 Views
9 Days
From

$1755

$1621

Albania Expedition

9 Days Starting and ending in Tirana

Visiting: Tirana, Lake Koman - River Shala, Shala River, Shala River - Farm Stay, Divjaka-Karavasta National Park, Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Babunje - Bay of Vlora, Tragjas - Bay of Vlora, Berat - Tirana

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

WBSL

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Trip Styles:

Expeditions

Activities:

Hiking

From:
$1755
$1621 (USD) Operator discount: -$88 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$46
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Tour Overview

It may be an under-the-radar-travel destination, but when it comes to dazzling landscapes and fascinating culture, Albania is every bit as magnificent as its more popular neighbours. Spend nine days getting to know this Balkan gem with a local leader, travelling from bustling cities to remote reaches. Drink coffee with locals in Tirana, hike along off-grid rivers in the country’s north, stay in welcoming guesthouses and beachside hotels, and spend the night on a sustainable farm. You’ll learn about local crafts with artists, birdwatch as you eat breakfast in a spectacular national park, and learn about Albania’s culture and history from those who know it best.

Highlights

  • Venture into the wild and beautiful landscapes of northern Albania, explore spectacular lakes and rivers and experience a slice of rural life.

  • Spend the night on a sustainable farm, where you’ll enjoy dinner made from fresh ingredients grown on site and learn about local farming practices.

  • With the support of non-profit ecotourism organisation MEET, learn about conservation efforts at the Karavasta Lagoon in Divjake- Karavasta National Park, spend the night at a locally owned beach accommodation and rise for a sunrise breakfast atop a birdwatching tower.

  • Visit the village of Babunje, where you’ll take part in a hands-on craft experience with local artists and be introduced to polyphonic singing, homemade raki and Turkish coffee reading plus enjoy a home-cooked lunch with a family.

  • Get to know Albania’s capital as you explore Tirana with your local leader, and share a coffee in the garden of our local friends to learn about their culture and family history.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Tirana
Location: Tirana

Mire se vini – welcome to Tirana, Albania! Your expedition begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on your journey. If you arrive with time to spare, you may like to head out for a walk and take in the mosque, citadels, Ottoman architecture and museums of Albania’s capital. This city is a lively, colourful place with plenty of public squares and inviting cafes to discover. After your welcome meeting, you may like to get to know your group over an optional dinner and sample some Albanian food.

Day 2: Lake Koman - River Shala
Location: Lake Koman - River Shala
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Leave the city behind after breakfast this morning and drive north to the stunning mountain and lakes region, where you'll have the chance to experience the true beauty and wildness of Albania. This region is a rare part of the Balkans that managed to maintain its independence and ancient traditions despite being surrounded by Ottoman armies. After a scenic drive along a winding road, you'll board a small boat for a one-hour journey across the brilliantly blue Lake Koman to Nanplep and the Shala River. Check in at a cosy family-owned guesthouse, where you'll have the opportunity to relax, refresh in the water and learn about local culture and history over a delicious meal filled with stories.

Day 3: Shala River
Location: Shala River
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Today you’ll get to get your toes wet in the aquamarine waters of the Shala River on an easy hike. Depending on the time of year, you’ll need to trek through the brisk waters to cross from one side of the river to the other, so comfortable water shoes or sandals are a must. You’ll quickly discover its vibrant green mountainsides that drop steeply into the river’s bright and clear waters below.

You’ll also have the option of hiring a local guide to hike to the abandoned village of Molle. This approximately 5-kilometre round-trip hike involves about 600 metres of elevation gain into the mountains. Hiring a local guide for this hike will come at an additional cost, but can be shared among group members.

Included Activities:
-Shala River - Hiking

Optional Activities:
-Shala River - Hiking to Molle Village ruins - Free

Day 4: Shala River - Farm Stay
Location: Shala River - Farm Stay
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Begin your day with a leisurely breakfast, then venture higher up the Shala River to experience the true wilderness of the valley. Hiking upstream against the river, you'll escape any signs of human activity and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery. After taking in the breathtaking views, you'll return to the Komani hydropower dam by boat. You’ll then travel to the western part of the region to visit the sustainable and unique agri-tourism destination at Mrizi I Zanave farm, also known as the "Shade of the Fairies." Sit down to a farm-to-table dinner made with fresh ingredients grown on site. Spend the evening at Mrizi I Zanave, where you can relax among the peaceful surroundings.

Included Activities:
-Shala River - Hiking
-Mrizi I Zanave - Farm to table dinner

Day 5: Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
Location: Divjaka-Karavasta National Park
Meals Included: breaksfast

Hit the road this morning and drive south, stopping first in Durres to admire the sandy beaches of the Albanian Adriatic. Your next destination is the beautiful Karavasta Lagoon, where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the local conservation efforts for species like the Dalmatian pelican and sea turtles. Then, check into a beach guesthouse. In the evening, you’re free to enjoy the dazzling sunset and sample some delicious locally-produced cuisine. To make the most of tomorrow's activities, it is recommended to get a good night's rest, so be sure to turn in early tonight.

Included Activities:
-Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Conservation tour
-Durres - Beach stop

Day 6: Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Babunje - Bay Of Vlora
Location: Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Babunje - Bay of Vlora
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Start your day early with a sunrise breakfast in one of the birdwatching towers on the western side of the Karavasta Lagoon, travelling either by bicycle or electric vehicle. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, you'll enjoy breakfast served on a large locally made carpet and prepared with a focus on reducing waste. You’ll have the opportunity to see various birds and possibly other wildlife while sipping on coffee and tea to start the day. After breakfast, visit the nearby village of Babunje, where you’ll have a chance to participate in a hands-on bamboo craft experience and enjoy a meal with a group of farmers and artists. Your hosts will introduce you to local polyphonic singing, homemade raki and Turkish coffee reading. After your visit, drive to the nearby Bay of Vlora, where you’ll check into your apartment for the night. The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy the beach or explore your surroundings.

Included Activities:
-Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Sunrise birdwatching breakfast
-Babunje - Local handicrafts experience
-Babunje - Turkish coffee reading
-Babunje - Family visit & home-cooked lunch

Optional Activities:
-Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Bike ride - Free

Day 7: Tragjas - Bay Of Vlora
Location: Tragjas - Bay of Vlora
Meals Included: breaksfast

Start your day with a chilled morning at the beach. In the afternoon, take a hike to the old village of Tragjas, where time has stood still since the area was bombed during World War II. From the ruins of the old village, a family has created a farm that utilizes traditional and sustainable farming practices. Learn how they coexist alongside animals such as grey wolves, jackals, birds of prey and bee-eaters. After the hike, return to the coast for a slow and peaceful evening, where you can take a stroll along the beach, enjoy a sunset or try some local cuisine.

Included Activities:
-Bay of Vlora - Hike to Tragjas Village & farm visit

Optional Activities:
-Bay of Vlora - Boat ride - Free

Day 8: Berat - Tirana
Location: Berat - Tirana
Meals Included: breaksfast

Begin your day with a morning drive to the small city of Berat, known as the 'town of a thousand windows'. Take a walk through the Old City and visit the castle, where you will be given a guided tour around the ancient walls of the 2400-year-old fortress. After the castle visit, drive to Tirana, back where your adventure began. Get to know the city's tumultuous past, including its Ottoman occupation, monarchy under King Zog I, fascist and Nazi occupation during World War II, and Communist rule. Visit Skanderbeg Square, the symbol of Albania's modernisation efforts, and the New Bazaar for a taste of local delicacies. End the day with a coffee and chat with our local friends, in a beautiful old garden and browse through their collection of historical family objects.

Included Activities:
-Berat - Old Town & Berat Castle guided tour
-Tirana - Villa with a Star Memorabilia Collection visit

Day 9: Tirana
Location: Tirana
Meals Included: breaksfast

With no activities planned for today, your Albania Expedition comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to spend more time exploring Tirana, just get in touch ahead of time and we’d be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    Hotel (3 nights), Village Guesthouse (2 nights), Farmstay (1 night), Apartment (2 nights)

  • Shala River - Hiking

  • Mrizi I Zanave - Farm to table dinner

  • Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Conservation tour

  • Durres - Beach stop

  • Divjaka-Karavasta National Park - Sunrise birdwatching breakfast

  • Babunje - Local handicrafts experience

  • Babunje - Turkish coffee reading

  • Babunje - Family visit & home-cooked lunch

  • Bay of Vlora - Hike to Tragjas Village & farm visit

  • Berat - Old Town & Berat Castle guided tour

show more

Transport

  • PRIVATE VEHICLES
  • The main mode of transport on this trip are locally sourced private vehicles. Not all have air-conditioning. On some days we will be covering long distances, which will make these days feel longer, however spectacular views and interesting stops along the way make up for it.
  • PUBLIC BUSES
  • This trip covers some distances by public buses. Buses in the Balkans can range from high standard coaches with reclining seats and air-conditioning to Yugoslav era vehicles for shorter distances.
  • ROAD CONDITIONS
  • Please note that some of the roads in the region are of poor quality, which makes for a bumpy ride in places. The mountainous topography of the region also means that roads are windy. If you suffer from motion sickness you may want to bring along some medication.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (3 nights), Village Guesthouse (2 nights), Farmstay (1 night), Apartment (2 nights)

Important Information

  • 1. A Single Supplement is available for this trip with the exception of Days 2 & 3 where we will be in multi-share village guesthouse accommodation.

Check out our Q&As

  • Is this trip right for you

    Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in Albania, which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water.

    Space is at a premium in Europe and your accommodation is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

    Albania is a developing country and accommodations are basic but comfortable – a combination of simple hotels, guesthouses, apartments and a farmstay. The farmstay is a wonderful opportunity to witness every day rural Albanian life and includes a home-cooked dinner.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Sunday

May 18, 2024 - May 26, 2024
$1805 $1668 (USD)

Operator discount: -$90 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$47 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 24, 2024 - Sep 01, 2024
$1755 $1621 (USD)

Operator discount: -$88 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$46 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
$1755 $1621 (USD)

Operator discount: -$88 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$46 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 05, 2024 - Oct 13, 2024
$1755 $1621 (USD)

Operator discount: -$88 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$46 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

May 17, 2025 - May 25, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

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Saturday - Sunday

Jun 07, 2025 - Jun 15, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 21, 2025 - Jun 29, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 06, 2025 - Sep 14, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 20, 2025 - Sep 28, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 04, 2025 - Oct 12, 2025
$1840 $1789 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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