Introducing Albania Tour
Introducing Albania Tour
Introducing Albania, a hidden gem nestled in the Balkan Peninsula of Europe. With a rich history, beautiful coastlines, and stunning mountain landscapes, Albania offers something for every traveller. On this 8 day tour, we aim to show you the best of the county.
Explore the capital city of Tirana, with its bustling streets, colourful buildings, and a lively café culture. Check out the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berat, known as the "city of a thousand windows," and the picturesque town of Gjirokastra, with its well-preserved Ottoman architecture. No trip to Albania is complete without trying the delicious cuisine and we get to sample plenty of great local wood and wine. Indulge in traditional dishes such as tave kosi (baked lamb with yogurt) or byrek (savory pastries filled with cheese or meat).
Come and discover Albania with Our Local Tour, a unique and authentic travel destination!
Day 1 – Welcome to Albania
On arrival at Tirana Airport you will be met by your guide and we will set off for the town of Shijak. The half hour drive will take us to the Kronos Agrotourism site, where you can begin your tour of Albania by experiencing some of the areas best local produce. We then continue to Durres where we will stay overnight.
Overnight in Durres
Day 2 - Fishte and Kruje
This morning we will visit a small family managed farm, where the cow’s milk is used for the production of cheese. You will learn about the cheese making process as well as getting involved if you wish. We will then continue on to a the village of Fishte for a traditional Albanian lunch. The restaurant offers a peaceful and panoramic view the village. Experience one of the highlights of Albanian Culinary in this family managed restaurant, which provides traditional food prepared in creativity and innovative ways. There is the chance to enjoy a walk through the village to explore before our transfer to Kruja.
This small and charming town is perched on a hill, and was the centre of Albanian resistance against the Ottoman Turks under the national hero Scanderbeg. Scanderbeg’s defence stopped the Ottoman Turks from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years and earned him the title “Champion of Christ” by the Pope of the time. We will visit the Castle of Kruja, a wonderful museum situated in an original 17th century house and the Old Bazaar.
Overnight in Kruja (BL)
Day 3 – Ardenica, Apollonia and Vlore
After breakfast, our tour leaves for Vlora. On the way we will stop at the Monastery of Ardenica. Inside you can admire the paintings from 1743-1745 by Albanian artists such as Konstandin and Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstandin Shpataraku. We then continue to the ancient city of Apollonia situated on the famous Via Egnatia, one of the most important cities in Roman times. The Roman Emperor Augustus Octavian studied here. Afterwards we continue to Vlora where we visit the Independence Museum, situated in the original house where the first Independent Albanian Government had its offices. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Overnight in Vlora (B)
Day 4 - Butrint and Saranda
Enjoy your breakfast before we start our drive to Saranda on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea. Breath-taking vista await us at the Llogara Pass, one of Albania's most famous places with the road providing one of the most spectacular drives in Europe. We continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint. It’s one of the most important archaeological sites in the country containing different artifacts and structures which date from the Bronze Age up until the 19th century. There are a number of major monuments including the city walls, late-antique baptistery, great basilica, the theatre and Venetian castles. In the afternoon, we will visit Lekursi Castle with its beautiful view of the bay of Saranda and Corfu island.
Overnight in Saranda. (BL)
Day 5 - Tangerines Farm, Blue Eye Spring and Gjirokastra
This morning we will visit a local farm in Xarre (a village near Saranda), an area famous for the production of tangerines and olives. You will be guided through the tangerine fields and olive groves, and can enjoy picking and tasting the local produce. Our trip continues to Gjirokastra but we stop on the way to visit at the Blue Eye Spring, a beautiful fresh water spring that is said to look like a human eye. We continue to Gjirokastra, another UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinct architecture. The town of Gjirokastra is built on the slope of a hill and is known for its characteristic and narrow coble stone streets. The city was besieged and captured by the Ottomans in the 15th century, but unlike many other towns in Albania it flourished under its new rulers. In the 17th century it had over 2000 houses and was a very important trading town. The castle itself stands like a balcony over the city and gives visitors a wonderful view of the local area.
Overnight in Gjirokastra (BD)
Day 6 - Farm, Vineyards and Berat
A morning transfer to Berat and when we arrive in this old UNESCO town we head for lunch in local restaurant. This is a great introduction to Berat as it is located by the old town, in a traditional style building and serves a traditional Albanian menu. After lunch, it is about a 10 minute drive to reach a small village where will meet the locals and explore the fields of figs, grapes and olives. You are welcome to get involved in picking the figs, help with the packing, or even inserting the sugar for jam or dried figs! We end our afternoon with a visit to a local winery where we can enjoy a tasting before heading back to Berat.
Overnight in Berat (BL)
Day 7 - Tirana
We begin the day with a sightseeing tour of Berat. Berat forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes and traditions. The architecture of the old houses, with large windows that overlook the town, is the first thing that impresses the visitors. Our first stop is the Citadel. It overlooks the river and the modern city as well as the old Christian quarter across the river. The citadel can be reached by a steep road and is still inhabited. Inside the walls, you can visit ruined mosques and several medieval Orthodox churches, all intact and with restored frescoes and icons. Onufri National Museum is located in the inner part of “Saint Mary Church” in the Castle of Berat. This Museum offers a collection of 173 belonging of the founders of Albanian Churches and Monasteries. Having explored Berat, we leave the town and visit a fruit and vegetable farm en route to Tirana. You can decide whether to spend time walking, feeding the animals or getting involved in the daily farm jobs; or have a walking tour of the city, to see the main attractions of the centre.
Overnight in Tirana (BLD)
Day 8 – Depart Albania
At a suitable time you will transfer to the airport for your return flight. If there is time you may want to stop for lunch in an agritourism site which offers a farm visit and wine tasting.
Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Introducing Albania Tour
Private Guided Tour - Scheduled to your dates and requirements
Price - from £1645 per person (based two people sharing per room)
Single Supplement - £120
Included in the Introducing Albania Tour
Not Included in the Introducing Albania Tour
Government Travel Safety Advice
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry.
Visa and Passport Information
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Albania.
British citizens can enter and remain in Albania for a maximum of 90 days in every 6-month period without a visa. The Albanian authorities require anyone staying longer than 90 days to apply at a local police station for a residence permit.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
Medical and dental facilities (including those for accident and emergency use) are very poor, particularly outside Tirana. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, evacuation by air ambulance and repatriation.
The tap water in Albania may cause illness - you should drink only bottled water. If you drink milk, make sure it is UHT (pasteurised).
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 127 or 04 2222 235 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
What to bring on your Introducing Albania Tour
It will depend on the time of year that you are travelling and your itinerary. Mountain areas can be very cold even during summer months. Lightweight clothing which can be layered is adviseable and a warm jumper for cooler evenings. A light rain coat is suggested. There is a laundry available in most hotels.
Lightweight comfortable shoes/trainers and sandals.
Luggage while on your tour
Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.
We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a waterbottle. A solar charger for your phone and other electronics is a good idea.
The official currency of Albania is the Lek (ALL). The currency symbol for the Lek is L. The lek is divided into 100 qindarka; however, the qindarka is no longer produced. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most banks, large supermarkets and international hotels. Smaller businesses and taxis often only accept cash. There are numerous ATMs in Tirana and the main towns, as well as bureaux de change where Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are widely accepted. Although street money-changers operate openly, they do so illegally. Only use banks or established bureaux de change. There have been some cases of credit card fraud.
Use of electronic devices
For Albania there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Albania operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone in Albania (GMT+1)
Access is unrestricted and is widely available in business centres, hotels and in internet cafés.
The Albanian National Environment Agency reported in 2016 that 83% of beaches in Albania are of a very good or good standard but the report raised concerns over a small number of beaches including beaches in Durres, Vlore and Saranda which are polluted as a result of inadequate sewage disposal and treatment.