Story time 

Albania & Kosovo

6 Days

Tour reference: EA1-6-UK

Description:

A trip to an unknown country with a rich history. The itinerary walks between the present and a recent chaotic past that tried to annihilate a memory, a culture, a heritage, a country but also an older history, rich in exchanges, events, revolts and conflicts. For centuries, Albania has benefited and taken advantage of the influence of great civilizations.

 

Day 1

Airport – Tirana

Welcome by anEnglish-speaking guide at the “Mother Theresa” airport in Tirana. Departure by bus to Tirana, the capital of Albania. Luggage deposit at the hotel. Direction the cable car for the ascent of Mt Dajti. Lunch 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.

Return by cable car to Tirana and visit the “House of Leaves” museum, which tells visitors about one of the darkest periods in Albanian history. The museum is dedicated to all those who have endured torture, assassinations, arrests and surveillance organised by the Albanian secret services.

Visit of the Bunk’Art2 museum dedicated to the preservation of the collective memory and telling the history of the communist regime and its horrors.

Visit of the city center and its famous “Block

Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Tirana – Durres - Berat

Departure by bus to Durres, the second largest city in the country and which was once the departure point for via Egnatia. It allowed to go to Byzantium by crossing Albania and Greece.

Visit of the Roman Amphitheatre built in the 2nd century. This site is considered the second most important in terms of importance in the Balkans: it is inscribed on UNESCO’s list. Today, little work has been done to restore it, but it is possible to imagine the excitement that could reign there during the time of its greatness. It is currently used as an open-air museum.

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Durres, which contains art objects from the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Direction Berat, the city 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 of the fortress and 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.

Visit of the Gorica district,then of the Mangalem district with its typical houses, which can be reached by crossing the Osum river.

Dinner in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 3

Berat – Gjirokaster

The birthplace of Ismail Kadaré, an Albanian writer often nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Gjirokaster is on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. Its winding and paved streets, its typical clustered houses and rooftops

have earned it the nickname of “Stone City”.  It is the exceptional testimony of a society and a way of life that has almost disappeared.

Visit of its citadel and its museum which houses remains of the Second World War, various exhibitions as well as the museum of photography. A repository of 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.

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 in a traditional restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 4

Gjirokastrer - Butrint – Llogara

On the way to Butrint. Inscribed on UNESCO’s list of heritage sites since 1992. Butrint was inhabited from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The current site, combining archaeology and nature, is a true museum representative of each period of the city’s development. Its Roman theatre, baptistery, mosaic, basilica ruins and ancient fortifications give this place outstanding universal value.

Long but beautiful winding road to the Llogara. The route winds along the Albanian Riviera, offering plunging views of a turquoise sea. A symphony of colours and landscapes, where each moment of the day unfolds its nuances, like a painter on his canvas.

Arrival at the Llogara pass at an altitude of more than 1000 meters. The place offers a breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5

Llogara - Apollonia – Kruja

Arrival in Vlora. Visit of the historical center: the Independence Square, where Ismail Qemali raised the national flag and proclaimed Albania’s independence on 28 November 1912. Unfortunately, two years later, Italian troops invaded Albania.

Stop for a visit to the archaeological site of Apollonia in Fier. Exceptionally preserved, it was built in the 6th century BC by Greek settlers from Corfu and Corinth. It was an obligatory point of passage for travellers taking the Via Egnatia. The city flourished in the 4th century, becoming an important place of exchange and trade that could accommodate up to 40,000 people. The site houses an archaeological museum: the Sainte Marie church and its monastery.

Drive to Kruja, an ancient medieval city. 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, GjergjKastrioti Skanderbeg. The museum also has a collection of objects dating back to the warsbetween Albanians and Ottomans in the 15th century.

Visit to the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. It is located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families of the 18th century. In a setting of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous murals, it presents objects and scenes of life that help us understand how an Albanian family lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 6

Departure

Period : From November to March

 

INCLUDED
Period: All year round (16 to 20 people) Hotels: See list of hotels below (standard room)
5* Breakfasts 5* Dinners
1* Lunch (Day 1) Transportation
English-speaking guide Cable car
All visits mentioned in this program
All local taxes
NOT INCLUDED Air transport
All personal expenses of participants Beverages not mentioned above, such as alcohols
Tips and gratuities [icon_tick state=”off”Tips and gratuities

Period: All year round (16 to 20 people)

– Day 1: Hotel Capital 3* https://capitaltiranahotel.com/

– Day 2: Hotel Mangalemi 3* http://www.mangalemihotel.com/

– Day 3: Hotel Kodra 3*

– Day 4: Hotel Llogara Tourist Village 3* Hotel http://llogora.com/

– Day 5: Hotel Panorama 4* http://hotelpanoramakruje.com/

Students may be accommodated in single, double or triple rooms in a single bed.

Depending on the availability of hotels at the time of booking, the group may be accommodated in two hotels of the same category.

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

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