Full South West 

Albania,  North of Macedonia & Corfu

10 Days

Tour reference: BDAMNG1-10-UK

Description:

Discovery trip within UNESCO’ World Heritage sites. A journey of pleasure and beauty offering an immersion on the shores of the Ionian Sea. This itinerary leads the traveler to landscapes, cities, places … all more amazing than each other. With its incursion into North of Macedonia and Corfu, the beauty of this journey will leave an indelible mark.

Day 1

Airport – Tirana


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 Tirana, capital of Albania. Luggage deposit at the hotel.
Visit of the “House of Leaves” museum, which tells visitors about one of the darkest periods in the history of Albania. The museum is dedicated to all those who endured the torture, assassinations, arrests and surveillance organized by the Albanian secret service.
Visit the Bunk’Art2 museum dedicated to the preservation of the collective memory and telling the story of the communist regime and its horrors.
Visit of the city center and its famous “Block” through the Tabakëve bridge, built in the 18th century in the heart of Tirana.
Direction the cable car for the ascent of Mt Dajti. Gastronomic dinner at about 1000 meters above sea level in a panoramic restaurant, offering an exceptional view of Tirana, its surroundings and, on a clear day, the Adriatic Sea.
Return by cable car to Tirana and free late evening in the “Block”.
Accommodation in a hotel
Day 2

Tirana - Ohrid


Departure to the small seaside resort of Ohrid. This UNESCO World Heritage city lies on the hilly banks of a lake of the same name, which is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ohrid is a luminous city, rich in history, and is the center of Christianity for the Slavs. Here medieval churches, monasteries and the ruins of old buildings stand side by side with traditional red-roofed houses. The city is said to have been home to as many as 365 churches in the 19th century. Visit of the Samuel fortress, descent to the church of St John the Theologian then walk along the banks of the Ohrid lake and visit of the city.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 3

Ohrid – Voskopoja – Korca


Small trip to St Naum. Visit of the monastery which was founded in the 10th century by the holy monk Naum of Preslav who left his mark in many literary and cultural fields. This monument of unique architecture, built in a magnificent setting is beautifully decorated.
Then, a moment of relaxation in the cobbled streets of the village of Voskopoja typically Albanian with its grey stone houses. Also known under the name of Moscopole, it was in the 18th century a cultural and commercial center for the Aromanians, an ethnic group native to the Balkans who adopted the Ottoman way of life. Visit the church of St. Nicholas, built in 1721 and entirely covered with murals.
Direction Korca, one of the most important cultural and economic lungs of Albania. The town hosted the first Albanian school in 1887 and houses the Museum of Education. When Korca was under French administration (1916), nearly 200 bilingual schools (Albanian – French) were opened in this “little Paris”. Visit the old city center where the oldest mosque in the country is located, an Orthodox cathedral, streets lined with dazzling houses and a traditional market.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 4

Korca – Gjirokaster


A long journey to Gjirokaster awaits you. It is a long and difficult road to reach Gjirokaster, but it has many breaks possibilities to discover rural Albania and a new facet of its mountains and valleys.
Birthplace of Ismail Kadaré, Albanian writer often nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Gjirokaster is inscribed on the UNESCO heritage list. Its winding, cobbled streets, typical cluster-shaped houses with special roofs have earned it the nickname “city of stone”. It is an exceptional testimony to a society and way of life that has almost disappeared.
Visit its citadel and its museum, which houses vestiges of the Second World War, various exhibitions as well as the museum of photography. A repository of the symbols of Albanian traditions and culture, the citadel has hosted the festival of polyphonic groups since 1986. Their interpretation is classified as cultural heritage by UNESCO.
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 in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a hotel.
Day 5

Gjirokastrer – The Blue Eye - Butrint – Saranda


On the way to admire a natural phenomenon. Called the Blue Eye or locally “Syri i Kaltër”, this source of water springs from the bowels of the earth and gives birth to the river Bistricë which, 25 km further on, flows into the Ionian Sea. The Blue Eye, which is more than 50 meters deep, is an attraction for everyone and deserves a short stop.
Inscribed since 1992 on the UNESCO heritage list, Butrint has been inhabited from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The current site, combining archaeology and nature, is a real museum representing each period of the city’s development. Its Roman theatre, its baptistery, its mosaic, the ruins of the basilica and the ancient fortifications give this place outstanding universal value.
Shortly before Saranda, a visit to the Monastery of St George is recommended. Dating from the 14th century, it is one of the Albanian cultural monuments. Its position allows to admire the Ionian Sea on one side and Lake Butrint on the other.
Saranda must be considered as a “relaxing” stopover. Stroll along the sea before a dinner in a restaurant offering, as it should be, fish.
Dinner in a traditional fish restaurant and overnight in a hotel.
Day 6

Corfu


Several ferries serve the Greek island of Corfu from Saranda. Corfu, the great Lady of the Ionians is characterized by mythical images. From Ulysses to Mon Repos, via Sissi the Empress, from the Venetians to the French…many have left traces or written legends. You are free to visit de island.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a hotel.
Day 7

Corfu – Saranda – Himara - Llogara


Back to Albania. En route to Himara, located in the middle of the Albanian Riviera and close to the most beautiful white sand beaches. The arrival by sea will allow you to admire this coast of unlimited beauty.
A stop in the villages of Kudhes and/or Borsh or Qeparo is recommended. These typical villages of the region have a long history. Villages of farmers or fishermen, they have managed to preserve their traditions and cultures despite the oppression exercised by communism.
Magnificent winding road to Llogara. The itinerary winds along the Albanian Riviera, offering plunging views of a turquoise sea, a symphony of colours and rich landscapes where every moment of the day will unfold its nuances of colour like a painter in his canvas.
Arrive at the Llogara pass at more than 1000 meters of altitude. The place offers a breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea. Accommodation will be in the heart of the Llogara Park and close to the pass. While waiting for the sunset, perhaps a parasailing experience will allow you to admire the beauty of the sea even more.
Dinner in a panoramic traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8

Llogara – Vlora - Apollonia - Berat


Direction Vlora. Visit of the historical center: The Independence Square, where Ismail Qemali raised the national flag and proclaimed the independence of Albania on November 28, 1912. Unfortunately, 2 years later, Italian troops invaded Albania.
Stop for the visit of the archaeological site of Apollonia in Fier. Exceptionally preserved, it is said to have been built in the 6th century BC by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth. It was an obligatory passage point for travellers taking the Via Egnatia. The city took off in the 4th century and became an important place of exchange and trade that could accommodate up to 40,000 people. The site is home to an archaeological museum: the church of Saint Mary and its monastery.
Direction Berat, the town with 2400 years of history. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, Berat, better known as “the city of 1000 windows”, is unique in its kind.
Visit the fortress and the National Museum of Icons of Onufri, a 16th century Albanian painter famous for having used pink – then rare – in his works. The museum is housed inside the church of Saint Mary built in the 10th century.
Visit the Gorica district, then the Mangalem district with its typical houses, which you reach by crossing the Osum river.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight in a guesthouse.
Day 9

Berat - Kruja


Road to Kruja, an old medieval town. Visit of the museum of Skanderbeg, 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 also has a collection of objects dating back to most of the wars between Albanians and Ottomans in the 15th century.
Visit of the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. It is located in the citadel in a house that once belonged to one of the richest families of the 18th century. It presents, in a decor of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous wall paintings, objects and scenes of life that allow us to understand how an Albanian family lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.
If you still have some free time left, take the road and enjoy a moment of relaxation in the Dajti National Park.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10

Kruja – Rinas airport - 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* Breakfast
8* Dinners (Day 6 free dinner) Transportation – Car Rental(see Car Rental Tab)
Ferry to Saranda / Corfu / Saranda Cable car
1* Roadbook in English language 1* 24/24 mobile number in case of emergency
All locales taxes (except touristic taxes in Corfu which should be paid directly at the hotel)
NOT INCLUDED
All personal expenses Beverages not mentioned above such as alcohols…
Tips and gratuities Any expenses related to the car rental as per contract agreement between the hirer and the car rental company
All activities not mentioned to in the program Visits are given as an indication. They are recommended. No visit or entrance ticket is included in the offer
The lunches mentioned in this program are optional and are not included in the offer Travel insurance
Air transport or other transportation means not mentioned to in the program

  • 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…

Tour based on arrival and departure times around 11:30.

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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