Tour of Albania & Kosovo

alb ksv 2

Duration: 7 nights/8 Days

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival – Shkodra (2 hrs)
Meet and greet group at Tirana International Airport and transfer to the northern city of Shkodra.
Today we visit the castle of Rozafa. It is one of the most important castles of Albania and the most important tourist object of Shkodra city. It is surrounded from the waters of three rivers: Buna, Drini and Kiri. The name Rozafa comes from The Middle Ages and is connected with a legend. The subject of the legend is the death of Rozafa, the youngest wife of one of the three brothers that built the castle during the day, and saw it ruined during the night. In the entrance of this castle is located the lime water fountain. The legend says that this fountain indeed is the milk that comes from Rozafa's breast and that she left one breast out in order to feed her little child.
Welcome dinner: Welcome dinner organized in a traditional restaurant and ethnographic museum. You will taste the Albanian homemade food and feel the atmosphere surrounded by the traditional Albanian costumes and live performance of the Folk Show Group. Overnight in Shkodra.

Day 2: Shkodra – Ferry Ride in Koman Lake (3 hrs) – Valbona Valley (2 hrs)

This morning we take the ferry to Lake Koman, leading to Valbona Valley
A boat trip on Lake Koman is often described as one of the greatest boat rides of the world, passing through magnificent and rugged fjord-like mountain scenery.
The boat trip passes between 1000m-1500m high mountains and through a series of deep gorgeous and interconnected lakes, with hardly any signs of human activities on the shores – though occasionally the ferry will stop to let off some hardy peasants, who proceed to climb up the steep hills to their hidden villages.
The wild landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords and is a dramatic highlight of any trip in Albania. Arriving in Valbona Valley you will enjoy stunning nature, fresh air, high and characteristic mountain peaks, lakes, numerous water resources, forests, mountains, flora and fauna, which all provide conditions for true eco tourism experiences. Agricultural and livestock products or the Valbona Valley National Park and area are completely natural, and entirely organic. Food is generally fresh and homemade.
Dinner with the locals and overnight in guesthouses.

Day 3: Valbone – Prizren (3 hrs)

This morning we drive to visit Prizren, the Unesco old town in Kosovo.
Prizren is a true open air museum, one of the most beautiful towns of Kosovo which has best preserved the architectural style of the past. The craftsmen of Prizren are well known for their beautiful gold and silver articles and other folk handcrafts. Sightseeing of Prizren, dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Prizren – Kruja (3 hrs) – Tirana (1 hrs)

After breakfast, we drive to Kruja, a small characteristic town perched on a hill, center of Albanian resistance against the Ottoman Turks under our national hero Scanderbeg. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title “Champion of Christ” given by the Pope of the time. We will visit the Castle of Kruja, a very rich Ethnographic Museum situated on an original house of the 17th century and the Old Bazaar full of artisan and handmade souvenirs.
We have finger food at a restaurant within the castle walls. Afternoon in Tirana, where we visit the colorful capital:
We take a walking tour of the major sites and government buildings as well as the colorful apartment blocks, work of the Mayors ingenuity. This grey communist era configurations have been transformed through the use of splashes of colors.
Organized dinner in a local restaurant, in Bloku area, the most vivid part of the city.
Overnight in Tirana.

Day 5: Tirana – Durres (30 minutes) – Wine Tasting (2 hours) - Berat (30 minutes)

Today we drive towards Durres, where take a walking tour of the city. Durres is the most ancient city in Albania, with almost 3000 years of history. The city is home to many ancient archeological sites and the Amphitheater of the Roman Emperor Adrian is the most known, also the second biggest amphitheater in the Balkans. Roman Amphitheatre - the largest crowds out of all amphitheaters that have been found in the Balkans.
Afterwards continue to Berat, UNESCO heritage considered as the pride of Albanian antiquity and architecture.
On the way stop for wine tasting in one of the main wineries in Albania – Cobo Winery. Here we get introduced with wine production, test some of the different products of the winery and combine it with snacks.
Berat forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes and traditions. The architecture of the old houses, with large windows that overlook the town, is the first think that impresses the visitors.
First stop: the Citadel. It overlooks the river and the modern city as well as the old Christian quarter across the river. The citadel can be reached by a steep road and is still inhabited. Inside the walls, you can visit ruined mosques and several medieval Orthodox churches, all intact and with restored frescoes and icons.
Onufri National Museum is located in the inner part of “Saint Mary Church” in Castle of Berat. This Museum offers a collection of 173 belonging to the found of Albanian Churches and Monasteries.
Traditional dinner and Overnight in Berat.

Day 6: Berat - Gjirokaster (UNESCO) (3 hrs) Day of UNESCO Heritage Sites!

After breakfast proceed to Gjirokastra, another UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinct architecture.
The town of Gjirokastra is built on the slope of a hill and is known for its characteristic and narrow coble stone streets. The dwelling houses have the form of medieval towers consisting of a building ensemble with characteristic architecture. The city was besieged and captured by the Ottomans in the 15th century, but unlike many other towns in Albania it flourished under its new rulers. The castle itself stands like a balcony over the city. It enables the visitors to enjoy a very beautiful landscape.
Overnight in Gjirokastra

Day 7: Gjirokastra – Saranda (1 hrs) – Drive through Albania Riviera - Llogara National park – Vlora (4 hrs)

After breakfast we depart for the coastal cities of Saranda & Vlora.
Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea, passing through the small coastal villages of Dhermi and Himara.
Stop along the coast to relax by the seaside or go swimming in the tourquoise waters. Breathtaking sceneries await us at the Llogara pass - 1000 m above sea level. We stop in Llogara National Park to enjoy the view, photo shooting from above & try a special local product – Yogurt with honey & nuts.
In the late afternoon arrive in the coastal town of Vlora, for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: Vlora – Airport Transfer (2.5 hrs)

After breakfast transfer to the airport for the return flight, where we say goodbye!