Tasting and discovering 

Albania

8 Days

Tour reference: AGRO1-8-UK

A taste of many local products developed by farmers who permanently seek to improve the quality of their productions. Discover throughout visits and meetings how these farmers, their families and their employees are devoted to their goal and enrich their knowledge day after day.

Visit some cities, sites and monuments that are part of the rich historical and cultural heritage of Albania. Many of them have been listed on UNESCO World heritage and some are still under great surveillances. Enjoy travelling inside one of the most gentle country in the Balkans.

Day 1

Airport – Tirana

Welcome by our English-speaking guide at “Mother Theresa” airport of Tirana. Enjoy a short drive to Tirana.
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.
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 and then the bridge Ura e Tabakëve.
The New Bazaar (Pazari i Ri) is certainly one of the busiest place of Tirana. Located in one of the oldest part of Tirana, it hosts approximately 300 kiosks where iconic farmers, producers, fisherman… brought everyday their products.
Time to get the cable car and to have dinner at 1000 meters above the sea in a panoramic restaurant offering a wonderful view on the surrounding hills, mountains, Tirana and if the weather is mildness on the Adriatic sea and sun set.
Overnight at the Hotel in Tirana

Day 2

Tirana – Kallmet – Shiroke - Shkoder


Direction the north of Albania.
Visit of the winery Kantina Arber in Rreshen. Wineyards and wine production were always a tradition in that region. In 2003, following an important investment, the owner decided to restore the tradition by producing his own brand under the name of Arber. The name Arber found its origin in the history of the region when the Arber Principality was well-established between 1190 and 1216. During the visit a degustation of a glass of wine and a Raki is offered.
At Shiroka village a lunch is offered by the shore of the Shkodra lake. Also called Lake Scutari (Albania side) or Lake Skadar (Montenegro side), this is the largest lake in southern Europe. It offers a wide diversity of fauna, hosting approximately 270 bird species and 35 native fish species which some are endemic to the lake. The menu will propose the famous local carp.
In Shkodra Visit of the National Museum of Photography Marubi. The museum hosts more than ½ million photographs of the Marubi’s dynasty legacy from 1856 to 1989 including negatives, historical pictures and photographic objects belonging to three generations of photographers. This is an unique occasion to go deep inside the history of Albania through a rare collection of photos.
Visit of Shkodra‘ old center and ist famous Pedonalja street.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3

Shkodra – Vau I Dejes - Durres


Guided visit of certainly one of the biggest organic farm in Albania. Located above 1000 meters, the farm focus on trade of meat, milk and its by-products. Goats, cows, sheep, chickens…. Are freely allowed to go wherever they want within the wide mountain pastures. A degustation of some locally made products will be proposed on site. To reach the farm, it will be necessary to let the bus at Vau I Dejes and to be picked-up by local 4 wheels cars.
Back to the center of Albania at Durres. Visit of its historic center where travelers will be invited to wander along the old Byzantine walls, have a coffee at the top of the Venetian tower or walk along many cobbled streets.
Diner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 4

Durres – Bashtova Castle - Berat


Visit of the Roman Amphitheatre built within the 2nd century. This site is considered to be the second most important in terms of importance in the Balkans and is an objective for UNESCO. Although little work has been done today to restore it, it is possible to imagine the excitement that could reign there during its greatness. In the meantime it is used as an open-air museum.
The winery Skenderbeg was created in 1933 by an Italian family. Despite falling under the communist regime management, the winery was capable to increase its production capacity and range of products. The Skenderbeg winery was privatized in 2001. After important investments, the site was capable to relaunch a complete range of products. Degustation of some beverages and local productions will be offered.
Visit of a snail farm (open from May to November) where a degustation will be proposed.
Drive to Berat, the city of the thousand windows and designated as UNESCO World Heritage since 2008. Visit of the Mangalem and Gorica areas.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel
Day 5

Berat – Gjirokastra


Visit of the fortress and more particularly the National Museum of the Icons of Onufri, a 16th century Albanian painter well-known for having used the pink – then rare – in his works. The museum is housed inside the Sainte Mary’s Church, built in the 10th century.
In an agritourism farm, the lunch is offered in Berat. The housekeeper will offer a variety of 10 typical dishes (a bite of everything…) from the farm’s own crops and a local aperitif, the famous “raki” or a homemade wine will be served. After lunch, a quick visit of the olive grove and the vineyards adjoining the farm.
The UNESCO’ Gjirokastra city is the Ismail Kadare’s hometown, the Albanian writer often nominated for the noble literature prize. The city, an UNESCO World Heritage site is the unmissable city on a tour. Its sinuous and paved streets, its typical cluster-shaped houses and its particular roofs have given it the nickname of the “stone city”.
Visit of its citadel which hosts some remains from the Second World War, but also various exhibitions and the photography museum. A repository of symbols of Albanian traditions and culture, it has hosted festivals of polyphonic groups since 1986, which interpretation has been adopted as a cultural heritage by UNESCO.
Then, we head for the old bazaar in the center of the city, where you can immerse yourselves inside the Albanian culture and discover a wide variety of local products.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 6

Gjirokastra – Butrint - Llogara


Butrint is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1992 and has been inhabited from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The current site, which combines archaeology and nature is a conservatory of ruins representative of each period of the city’s development. Its Roman theatre, baptistery and mosaic, as well as the ruins of the basilica and ancient fortifications, give this place an outstanding universal value.
Long drive along the Albanian Riviera with stops to villages such as Borsch, Himara where opportunity to enjoy some free time for an eventual lunch based on fish, or to get a refreshing drink… will be proposed. Then the ascent to Llogara pass where to enjoy the wonderful view of the Ionian sea and sunset.
Diner and night at Llogara pass.
Day 7

Llogara - Kruja


First stop and visit of the archaeological site of Apolonia. Exceptionally preserved, it was built in the 6th century BC by the Greeks of Corfu and the Corinthians. Apolonia was an obligatory crossing point for travelers taking the Via Egnatia. The city expanded in the 4th century due to a growing trade and was capable to host up to 40,000 people. The site houses an archaeological museum and the Sainte Marie Church with its monastery.
Visit of the Monastery of Ardenica. It was first built by the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282. The National Albanian hero Skanderbeg celebrated his marriage in 1451. The Monastery has an impressive interior.
Visit the Skanderberg 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 Skanderberg. The museum offers a wide collection of objects dating back to most of the wars waged by Albanian and Ottomans during the 15th century.
Visitors will be offered to wander around throughout the old Bazar.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8

Kruja - Departure


Visit the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja, located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the most important families of the 17th century. It shows objects and scenes of life from that period surrounding by elaborated ceilings and sumptuous mural paintings.
Direction Rinas Airport
INCLUDED
5* Nights in 4* hotel (local standard) 2* Nights in 3* hotel – days 3 & 4 (local standard)
7* Dinners Transportation
English speaking guide 1* Lunch at Shiroke (by the lac) next to Shkodra (day 2)
1* Lunch at Berat (agritourism farm – day 5) 1* Lunch at Dajti (day 7)
1* cable tickets All visits mentioned to in this program.
Per person, a 0.5l of steel water bottle is included at each meal.
NOT INCLUDED
All personal expenses Beverages not mentioned above such as alcohols…
Tips and gratuities All activities not mentioned to in the program
Travel insurance Air transport or other transportation means not mentioned to in the program

Note: Diners may be proposed in traditional restaurants when specially it is possible to do so.

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