For those who seek the romance of castles of bygone eras, Albania is an unexplored treasure. Recognized for her unique offerings, Albania boasts not one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites which include citadels, castles and ancient Christian churches from the 6th Century. Each site on the Culture and Culinary tour is nestled in Albania’s pristine natural beauty, with each destination offering unique cuisine and wines of the region. Albania has one of the most unique and unexplored cultures in the world, the Culture and Culinary Trip offers participants the experience of a lifetime with every aspect of what this ancient nation has to offer.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
- Visit of the cities of Berat, Gjirokastra, Saranda, Vlore
- Visit of the Amphitheatre of Butrint and Archeological Park of Apollonia
- Tasting local food
Day 1 – Tirana – Berat
Berat’s Castle dates from the 4th century, though most of the structure is from the 13th. It’s a schlep up the cobbled hill from the main highway, and the castle is a neighbourhood in itself. The very pleasure is in ambling through the narrow streets, clambering around the walls, and admiring the outlook from 360 viewpoints.
Visit of the Castle, Onufri and Etnographic Museum. Meat based local lunch at restaurant Castle Park. Wine tasting and dinner to a local winery.
Accommodation in Berat.
Day 2 – Berat – Apollonia – Vlore
Apollonia was an ancient city in Illyria, located on the right bank of the Aous River (the modern-day Vjosë River). Its ruins are situated in the Fier region, near the village of Pojani.
Apollonia was founded in 588 BCE by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site initially occupied by Illyrian tribes. Apollonia flourished during the period of Roman rule in the area and was home to a renowned school of philosophy.
Vlore is a harbour city that holds special meaning for Albanians, as this is where the country declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th century. So you can take a whistle-stop tour of monuments and museums celebrating the statesman Ismail Qemali’s first government, and in doing so get to know a little more about what it means to be Albanian. Relaxing beaches with clear waters are just a handful of kilometres away, and we will follow the coastal road south in a string of charming little hotel punctuated by the vast mountainscapes of the Llogora National Park.
Fresh fish lunch in Radhime and meat based dinner in Llogara.
Accommodation in Llogara.
Day 3 – Llogara – Sarande
The Albanian Riviera runs from the city of Vlore, down south to the city of Saranda. The Llogara pass is a fantastic drive and at the top of the pass, you get the most magnificent breath-taking view. Dhermi has beautiful beaches, coves and hidden bays. Porto Palermo Castle: This impressive castle is regularly said to be built in the 19th century but it has been found that this castle was mentioned by ancient Greek and Roman authors in text dating back to the 5th century BC. Borsh: This is the longest strip of unbroken beach in the Albanian Riviera, which means if you’re looking for a bigger scale beach then try this one! There are a few restaurants here too.Lukove: Lukove is worth the stopover. The village itself is small but the beach is lovely, and you can catch some of the best sunsets from here.
We arrive in Saranda town and we will get accommodated in a hotel Later we will have loal lunch in Ksamil. Ksamil is absolutely stunning though and with (artificial) sand beaches. You can also swim in the nearby 3 islands.
After lunch we will visit Butrint: Only 20km from Saranda is the UNESCO site Butrint, which dates to prehistoric times. It has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric.
Day 4 – Saranda Blue Eye – Gjirokastra
After breakfast we start our travel lo Gjirkokastra town with a stop in Blue Eye during our way. Known locally as Syri and Kalter, this tremendous and extensive source of fresh water, often referred to by locals as the ‘blue hole’, is beautiful, colorful, and unique. The Blue Eye also represents the largest source of drinking water in this part of the world, which is currently explored only up to 50 m of depth.
We have local lunch in Gjirokastra and we are ready for a visit in the Castle of Gjirokastra.
Traditional dinner and accommodation in Gjirokastra.
After breakfast departure to Tirana and we will stop in Durres for a fish based lunch.
General Trip Information
- Best season to experience: All year long
- Level of difficulty (1-5): 1
- For the present activity you should own good health condition and have consulted the doctor during the year. Kids over 5 years old are very welcomed. Previous experience or skill is not required.
- Meeting point – Tirana. We can organize the pick up from any other hotel or guest house in Tirana and from any other city in Albania upon request.
- Length of tour: 5 days, 4 nights
Our trips in Albania do not provide high level of difficulty, but every visitor should consider:
- Be healthy and have consulted the doctor during the year.
- In absolute terms, the person should not have diseases and complications following:
- Cardiac disease of any kind
- Flake out or lose of feeling of any kind
- Problems of the spine and muscular system that reduce the physical possibility of safety.
- Problems with breathing apparatus
- Nerve Problems
- Problems with eyes (severe myopia, retinal detachment, glaucoma)
- Be under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs, drugs, alcohol.
! Kindly keep all your clothes and personal belongings in a backpack, which can be easily transported on minivan.
Meeting point – Tirana. We can organize the pick up from any other hotel or guest house in Tirana and from any other city in Albania upon request.
- Professional certified guide
- Accommodation and meals
- Transportation from and back to Tirana
The trip fare doesn’t include coffee and any kind of drink except water and the lunch on day 5. You’ll probably feel like tipping your guides at the end of a fabulous trip.
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