Meet the Albanians 

Albania and Kosovo

10 days

Tour reference: AK2-10-UK

Description:

This discovery tour invites visitors to immerse themselves in the history left by the Ottoman Empire. From stage to stage, the route will take you through cities that were besieged by Ottoman troops or others that were modernized to become trading posts on the Shkodra – Constantinople axis. High in colour and architecture, the tour crosses cities that are part of UNESCO’s heritage.

Day 1

Airport - Shkodra


Reception at the airport “Mother Theresa” of Tirana. Handing over of the rental vehicle by a member of Savatours team (English speaking) or a member of the car rental company (English speaking) and the necessary documents for the whole trip. Departure to the north of Albania to reach Shkodra, the former capital of Illyria.
Visit of the Rozafa citadel, dating from the Middle Ages and built on Illyrian foundations. From its summit, a 360° view allows you to admire the surrounding mountains and plains, but also the largest lake in the region, which is home to one of the largest bird reserves in Europe.
Visit of Shkodra, a place of democracy and Albanian culture. This city rich in history and architecture was partially rebuilt in 1979 following an earthquake.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2

Shkodra - Koman - Fierze - Gjakova


Departure early in the morning to reach Lake Koman. Travel by ferry to Fierze. This crossing of about 2h30 to 3h00 allows you to discover unique landscapes resulting from the erosion created by the Drin River in the Albanian Alps, it is simply an incredible experience.
Direction Bujan and visit of Mic Sokoli’s home. He was born in 1839 in Fang de Bujan near Tropoja and died in 1881. He was a heroic fighter of the Prizren League. The 3-story tower is now a museum.
Then continue your journey to Gjakova, a place of culture and learning in Kosovo. Visit of its historical center and the largest bazaar in the Balkans, Çarshia e Madhe.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3

Gjakova –Peja - Prishtina


Direction Peja, a small town with a rich cultural and historical heritage. It houses the medieval monastery of Peja, a high place of Serbian Orthodoxy. Visit of this site built in the 13th century, enlarged in the 14th century, it is now composed of several churches and buildings, including a mausoleum which is part of UNESCO’s heritage.
In Pristina, the visit begins with the Imperial Mosque, built in 1461 by Sultan Mehmet II Fatih. Its huge dome-shaped dome crowns a floral interior painted with arabesques. It was declared a monument of outstanding culture and importance by the Republic of Serbia in 1990. Continuation of the visit by the oldest building in Pristina, the Carshia mosque completed in 1389 then the clock tower, the Skanderbeg monument (Albanian national hero), but also the New Born monument, symbol of this new state that is Kosovo.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4

Prishtina - Prizren - Kruja


Direction Prizren, splendour and symbol of Albanian history. Moving to the Shadervan place, its fountain and its large main square that once housed the bazaar. Walk to admire the Kuklibeu mosque built around 1534, Hasan Sheu’s Ottoman house dating from the 18th century, the old stone bridge overlooking the river that cuts Prizren in half and the hammam built in the 16th century by Mehmet Pasha and considered one of the most important in the Balkans.
Visit to the house of the “Prizren League”, officially the “League for the Defense of the Rights of the Albanian Nation” founded on 10 June 1878 and offering regional autonomy. It was quickly rejected by the Ottomans.
At the end of the visit, the bus gets the highway to Albania and direction Kruja. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum, one of the most visited places in Albania. Accessible via the bazaar, it is located in the heart of the historic citadel of Kruja and is dedicated to the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The museum offers collections of objects dating from most of the wars that opposed, during the 15th century, the Albanians and the Ottomans.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5

Kruja - Berat


Visit of the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja, located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families in the 18th century. It presents, in a setting of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous murals, objects and scenes of life that allow us to imagine the way of life of Albanians from the 18th to the 19th century
Direction Berat and a lunch is waiting for you before Berat at a local farm. The hostess will offer you several typical dishes (one bite of each…) from the farm products and a local aperitif, “raki” or homemade wine. After lunch, visit the olive grove and the vineyards adjoining the farm.
Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Berat is the city of 1000 windows and typical houses. Visit of the fortress and more particularly the National Museum of the Icons of Onufri, a 16th century Albanian painter famous for having used pink – then rare – in his works. The museum is housed inside the Sainte Mary’s Church, built in the 10th century.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6

Berat - Gjirokastra


Direction Gjirokastra, birthplace of Ismail Kadaré, Albanian writer often nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Gjirokastra is the unmissable city of a circuit. Its winding and paved streets, its typical bunched houses and particular roofs have earned it the nickname of “Stone City”.
Visit of its citadel which houses remains of the Second World War, various exhibitions and the museum of photography. A repository of symbols of Albanian traditions and culture, it has hosted festivals of polyphonic groups since 1986, the interpretation of which has been adopted as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Visit of the Ethnographic Museum located in the former house of the dictator Enver Hoxha.
Head for the old bazaar in the city center, where you can immerse yourself in Albanian culture and discover a wide variety of local products.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7

Gjirokastra - Korça


A long road to Korça awaits you. It will be interrupted by many breaks. In addition, it will allow you to discover the rural Albania and another facet of its mountains and valleys. Take your time to admire the gorge of Këlcyrë dug by the Vjosa river that you will follow up to Çarshovë. Don’t hesitate to stop for a relaxing lunch at one of the numerous agrifarm which will friendly welcome you and try one of their specialties. Once in Ersekë, do not miss the small hamlet of Rehovë. The charm of this place will get your soul.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8

Korça - Pogradec - Tirana


Korça was under French influence for almost a century and is known as “petit Paris”. It is home to a large number of museums.
Let’s start by going up the main boulevard to reach the famous Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection, then after his visit, you will reach the Ilyas Bey Mosque. Ilyas Bey married the daughter of Sultan Mehmet II and founded the city of Korça in the 15th century and built his own mosque there.
Visit the recently renovated bazaar: don’t be surprised if French-speaking and Francophile Albanians approach you for a little chat.
Travel to the city of Pogradec where free time is left for lunch that we recommend you take by the lake while tasting an endemic fish of the place, the Koran, a cousin of the salmon trout.
At the end of the lunch, departure to Tirana.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9

Tirana and Dajti Mount


Visit of the Bunk’Art2 museum (knew during the communist regime under the coded name of “objekti Shtylla”. The museum is dedicated to the preservation of the collective memory and telling the history of the communist regime and its horrors.
Visit of the center of Tirana. The itinerary will lead from the Et’hem Bey mosque to the very center of the Block, passing by the New Bazaar where you can get a typical lunch into one of the numerous restaurants and then get the direction of the bridge Ura e Tabakëve and come back to the center by Shetitorja Murat Toptani street to go to your next visit.
Visit of the museum House of Leaves. Located in the center of Tirana, inside the building that temporarily housed the Gestapo during the occupation of Albania in World War II and then was the Central Directorate of the Albanian Secret Service from 1944 to 1991. By openning the doors of this house, presenting the activities that were conducted in it and many other things related to it, the museum unfold simultaneously all the aspects of the Albanian society under the regime‘ conditions which aim was the total control of the human person and soul. The museum is dedicated to all innocent people whom faced interceptions, checks, spying, abitrary arrests, interments, tortures, severe punishments and so many others untold agonies.
Walk through the “Blok” area where the most popular bars, clubs and shops in the capital are located.
Direction the cable car for the ascent of Mt Dajti. Diner at an altitude of about 1000 meters in a panoramic restaurant offering an exceptional view of Tirana, its surroundings and, on a clear day, the Adriatic Sea and sunset.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10

Departure


Transfer to Rinas airport and delivery of the vehicle to the rental agency.
INCLUDED
Hotels: See list of hotels in the tab above 9* Breakfasts
9* Dinners 1* Lunch (day 5)
Transportation – Car rental (see tab above) Cable car
Ferry Koman / Fierze 1* Roadbook in English language
1* 24/24 hrs mobile number in case of emergency
NOT INCLUDED
All personal expenses of participants Beverages not mentioned above, such as alcohols
Visits are given as an indication. They are recommended. No visit or entrance ticket is included in the offer. Any expenses related to the car rental as per contract agreement between the hirer and the car rental company.
Tips and gratuities Travel insurance
Air transport

  • Category 1: Up to 4/5 persons: Vehicle type Skoda Fabia, VW Polo or equivalent.
  • Category 2: Up to 4/5 persons: Vehicle type Skoda Rapid, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra or equivalent.
  • Category 3: Up to 4/5 persons: Vehicle type Skoda Octavia or equivalent.
  • Category SUV: Up to 4/5 persons: Vehicle type Skoda Yeti, Hyundai Tucson or equivalent.
  • Category minivan: Up to 6/9 persons: Minivan type Ford Transit, VW Transporter or equivalent.

Note: Vehicle models are given for information only. Another model can be proposed or given according to availability.

No credit card will be requested to finalize the location of the car.

Insurance included.

Does not include fuel or any other fees such as parking…

Day 1: Hotel Tradita 3* http://www.hoteltradita.com/

Day 2: Hotel Carshia e Jupave 3*

Day 3: Hotel Sirius 4* http://hotelsirius.net/

Day 4: Hotel Panorama 4* l http://hotelpanoramakruje.com/

Day 5: Hotel Onufri 3* https://hotelonufri.com/

Day 6: Hotel Kalemi 2 3* http://kalemihotels.com/

Day 7: Hotel Grand Palace 3* http://grandhotelpalacekorca.com/

Day 8 & 9: Hotel Mondial 4*  https://www.hotelmondial.al/

Tour based on arrival and departure times before 11:30 am.

Depending on the season and/or the availability of the restaurants, dinners may be taken in the hotels.

Local guide services (city private local tour) can be proposed upon request.

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