After arrival at Tirane International Airport, you will meet with the local guide and the driver and take the coach to Shkoder for an overnight stay. Depending on the flight time, after checking in at Hotel Colosseo, a 4* hotel at the center of town, we will have a short walk, through the pedestrian zone, to one of the oldest streets, G’juhadol street, also known as the street of artisans, the old English Clock Tower, and than go back at the hotel for dinner.
After breakfast, we leave the hotel for a walking tour around the center of town and visit the Historical Museum, the clock tower, and Marubi Photo archive. The Historical Museum was founded in 1949, based on collections gathered by the Jesuits and Franciscan monks at the end of the XIX century, and also on private collections donated by families of Shkoder. It is housed inside a monumental building from the XIX century (1815), surrounded by fortified walls and it represents the typical merchant’s home of that time. After the visit, we take the coach for a visit to the tumulus of Shtoj. The tumulus has been used for centuries, from the early Bronze Age until the late Iron Age. We continue the trip to the fortified settlement from the Iron Age, in Gajtan, and come back to Shkoder for lunch, at a restaurant near the lake of Shkoder, well known by the locals for their traditional way of cooking and serving fresh carp from the lake. After lunch, we continue our visit at the castle of Rozafa and continue our trip toward Durres, with a visit stop at the castle of Lezhe and the church of St. Nicholas, where the national hero of Albania, Skanderbeg, was buried. Check-in at Hotel Arvi, a 4-star hotel near the promenade of Durres.
After breakfast, we leave the hotel for a walking tour around the town, including the visit to the amphitheater, the archeological museum, and the Venetian Tower. Lunch at a local restaurant near the shore. After lunch, we take the coach for visits to the fortified mountain town of Zgerdhesh, the old town of Kruje and its citadel, once the main residence of Skanderbeg. Return to Durres for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we leave by coach for a visit to the settlement in Babunja and the archaeologic site of Apollonia. Babunja is an apoikie (colony, daughter town) of Apollonia. After lunch in Apollonia, we continue our trip to Berat for an overnight stay. On the way, we stop for a visit to the ancient city of Byllis, another very important and very well preserved archaeologic site.
After breakfast, we will have a walking tour around Mangalem’s quarter, one of the oldest quarters of Berat and the bridge of Gorica, also one of the oldest and most popular Ottoman bridges in Albania. The enclosed residential quarters of Kala, Mangalem, and Gorica are all composed of typical townhouses of the 18th and 19th century. After that, we continue our tour to the citadel, for a visit to the Onufri Icon Museum and the three main orthodox churches of Berat, the Holy Trinity’s Church, the St. Theodore’s Church and the St. Blachernae’s church. The Ancient Antipater was probably founded by Cassander, the son of Alexander the Great. Berat, also known as "the city of a thousand windows", was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage in 2008. After our visits, we will have lunch at a traditional restaurant inside the citadel, and leave for Vlore for dinner and two nights stay, at Hotel Partner, a 4* hotel at the center of the town.
After breakfast, we leave the hotel for a walking tour around the town and visit the Historical Museum. After the visit, we take the coach to the settlement of Amantia. After the Trojan war (12th-century BC), the Amants/Abanten, accompanied by locals from Thronion, drove with eight ships from Euboea to the Acrokeraunian mountains and settled in their hinterland (Pausanias 5, 22, 2-4). After the visit, we have picnic-lunch while still in Amantia and return to Vlore for the afternoon’s visit to the Hellenistic-medieval city of Kanine. In the 9th/10th-century Kanine appears as a church and an administrative center. Kanine was mentioned as a diocese around 1019 and re-fortified by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th-century. After the visits, we go back to the town, for dinner.
After breakfast, we leave for a visit to the archaeologic site in Orikum, and continue our trip toward Sarande, through Llogara Pass, while enjoying the panoramic view of the Albanian Riviera. We stop for lunch in Llogara Pass, at a well-known traditional restaurant. After lunch, we leave for Sarande, with a visit stop at the fortress of Ali Pasha, in Porto Palermo and a coffee break in Borsh. The coffee shop is surrounded by the water coming down from the mountain, and it gives the impression that you are having a coffee inside a waterfall. After such relax, we take the coach to Sarande and check-in at Hotel Brilant, a 4* star hotel near the promenade. After check-in, we will have dinner at a restaurant Limani, a very well known and frequented by the locals, for the service quality and food. After dinner, everyone is free to either get back at the hotel or have another drink and enjoy each others company.
After breakfast, we leave the town by coach, toward Butrint, for a visit to the ancient city and the museum. Butrint has a long, well-documented history. The Hellenistic and Roman legends say that Helenos, the son of the Trojan king Priam, was the mythical founder hero of Buthroton. After 27 BC Chr. The name changed to Colonia Augusta Buthrotum. Because of its Asklepieion / theater district, its imposing city walls and its early Christian buildings, Butrint is since 1992 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the visit, we have lunch at a restaurant close to the site and leave for the visit to the ancient city of Phoinike. Phoinike was from 4th to 1st century BC an important city of the Chaons and played an important role in the Epirotic League, since 330 BC. After the visits, we take the coach back to Sarande for dinner.
After breakfast, we leave the beautiful city of Sarande and drive by coach to Gjirokaster for an overnight stay, with visit-stops to the natural phenomenon "Blue Eye" and Hadrianopolis. Hadrianopolis was a Roman city of about 9 hectares, with a right-angled road system and several large peristyle houses in the center and a theater. Since 449, it was mentioned in historical sources as a diocese. Our trip continues toward Gjirokaster, for lunch and overnight stay. After check-in at the hotel, we leave by coach, in the afternoon, for a visit to Antigonea’s ancient city. Antigonea, covering 45 hectares, is the second most important ancient city in Chaonia, after Phoinike. The city was founded by Pyrrhus of Epirus at the beginning of the 3rd c. and it was named after his wife Antigone, stepdaughter of Ptolemy I.
After breakfast, we leave Gjirokaster and drive to Korce, founded at the end of the 15th century by the stable master of Sultan Bayezid, İlyas Bey, who was an Albanian. On the way, we stop for lunch in Permet and a short visit-stop to the Tumulus of Kamenica and its museum. The tumulus is the largest of its kind in south-eastern Europe, with a dimension of 75 x 44 m. The central grave, which dates back to the Bronze Age (13th century BC) is surrounded by two large concentric circles unlike any other tumuli discovered in Albania. It grew to 40 graves in the Late Bronze Age (1200-1050 BC) and to 200 in the Early Iron Age (1050-750 BC). We arrive in Korce for dinner and check-in at Life Gallery Hotel, for the overnight stay. We will have dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in town, well known by the locals for its traditional food.
After breakfast, we leave the hotel for a walking tour through the old-but-reconstructed streets of the town and visit the Archaeological Museum and the first school in the Albanian language, which was opened on 7 March 1887 in the current building of National Education Museum. After the visits, we leave the town and then drive to Pogradec, where we will have lunch and then drive to Lower Selce and visit the rock tombs. In the present-day, in the village of Lower Selce are the traces of an ancient city, perhaps Pelion. It is the most important site with the monumental, unusually grown rock tombs of the Illyrian upper class of the 3rd century BC. After the visit, we continue our trip to Tirane for dinner and overnight stay, with a short coffee-break stop in Elbasan. En route we will see the remains of Via Egnatia. Via Egnatia, of a total length more than 700 Roman miles, d. H. more than 1000 km, for many years was one of the most important east-west land links in the Balkans.
After breakfast, we will have a walking tour around the town and a visit to the National Museum. The name "Tirane" appeared for the first time, in 1372 in a Venetian source. On February 9, 1920, Tirane became the Capital of the independent state of Albania. The north-south main axis, the Boulevard "Dëshmorët e Kombit", connects "Skandërbeg" Square with "Mother Theresa" Square in the center and is adjoined by important governmental, cultural and educational institutions. After lunch and the visits, we leave Tirane and drive to the airport for departure.