020 8951 2900

Open today:09:00 - 6:00pm

Monday
18 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday
19 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday
20 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday
21 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday
22 November
9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday
23 November
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday
24 November
10:00am - 4:00pm
GettyImages-1125914536 Streets of Old Town Gjirokaster, Albania.jpg

If there is a destination that everyone should visit at least once in his or her lifetime, it is Albania. This small country is one of the last hidden gems of Europe and totally worth a look. Head “off the beaten path” for a holiday with a difference and discover the incomparable beauty of Albania. Our tour will take us through stunning mountain and coastal landscapes as we journey through this fascinating country.

Panoramic view on Traditional albanian house in Gjirokaster, Albania.

Why go?

  • Get a genuine insight into this mysterious country
  • It’s still relatively unexplored country
  • Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town of Gjirokaster
  • Visit the amazing ruins at the ancient city of Butrint
  • When you visit Albania, you can splurge without breaking the bank!

Itinerary

View full itinerary

Following our arrival, we transfer to the hotel in Corfu. As we have a late arrival (May departure) to Corfu, the hotel will arrange a cold plate meal in our room. Overnight Corfu.

  • Accommodation 3 * Hotel Livadi Nafsika or similar
  • MEALS Dinner included

Today we take a morning ferry to Agia Saranta in Southern Albania. After passport control, we will have our information meeting and a welcome drink before taking a spectacular drive along the Blue Eye National Park to the UNESCO Heritage town of Gjirokaster. Dating back to the Ottomans, this medieval town has a wonderful old quarter with a maze of narrow stone cobbled streets and a Turkish bazaar, perfect for some unusual souvenir spotting!

After checking in at our hotel we will visit Gjirokastro Castle and the lovingly restored Ottoman-era Skenduli House. We will also see the Etnographic Museum from the outside, which is the family house of the former dictator Hoxha. In the evening we will enjoy a dinner. Overnight Gjirokaster.

  • Accommodation 4 * Hotel Argjiro
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we will start our tour with a visit to a traditional market. Our next stop is Kelcyra town where we will see the waterfalls before arriving to Permet- the town of flowers and the traditional instrumental music. In Permet we will visit the town center with its Byzantine style church and taste the local sweet, Gliko. Our next stop is the Benja Thermal Baths where we can take some memorable pictures (please make sure to wear sturdy shoes as surfaces are uneven here). On the way back to Gjirokaster we will have an opportunity to buy local products such as honey and herbs. Later in the afternoon we will return to Gjirokaster. Dinner and overnight Gjirokaster.

  • Accommodation 4 * Hotel Argjiro
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast at our hotel we will visit a memorial plaque dedicated to Lord Byron, who in 1809 paid visit to Ali Pasha, before continuing our tour to the ancient Roman site of Apollonia. In the afternoon we will arrive to Berat and have a short tour of this UNESCO city. Berat weaves its own very special magic and is easily a highlight of visiting Albania. Its most striking feature is the collection of white Ottoman houses climbing up the hill to its castle, earning it the title of 'town of a thousand windows'. We will then visit the historical landmarks of Berat Castle, Church of Saint Nicholas and Onufri Museum. Dinner and overnight Berat.

  • Accommodation 4 * Belagrita Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we will visit the third largest city in Albania Elbasan and learn about its rich history. Our next stop is the medieval town of Kruja, which is one of the most important cities of Albania, hometown of George Kastrioti Skanderbeg, the greatest Albanian hero of all the times. He successfully ousted the Ottoman Turks from his native land for over two decades, halting Turkey's efforts to spread Islam through a predominately Roman Catholic western Europe. We will visit Skanderbeg museum - a wonderful insight into the importance of one of Albania's most celebrated national heroes. We will also visit Ethnographic Museum of Kruja which is set in an original 19th-century Ottoman house that belonged to the affluent Toptani family and shows the level of luxury and self-sufficiency the household maintained by producing its own food, drink, leather and weapons.

Later we will visit a small temple called Sari Saltic Tekie before we have some time for shopping at traditional Albanian market. Dinner and overnight Tirana.

  • Accommodation 4 * Tirana Senator Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast at our hotel we will start our Tirana city tour that includes colourful houses, churches, the mosque and monuments. Later we will take a cable car to Mount Dajti and have incredible views of the surrounding area. Our next stop is Mother Teresa Square which is the second largest square in Tirana. We will finish our tour at the trendy Blloku neighborhood, once restricted to only high-level communist party members and now home to the city’s best nightlife. Dinner and overnight Tirana.

  • Accommodation 4 * Tirana Senator Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we will depart to the seaside town of Vlore en route stopping at the port city of Durres where we will visit the Roman Amphitheatre of Durres and the old historical part of the city. Our next stop is the Ardenica Monastery, a precious relict monument of Albania’s cultural mosaic, inherited by a period when Catholicism as a religion and culture was dominant in the country. Later we continue our tour to the beautiful lagoon of Narta before arriving to Vlore. The lagoon is named after the village of Nartë, which is found on the lagoon's southern shores. Within the lagoon, there are two islands located and we will walk across a wooden footbridge connecting the mainland with one of the islands where a 13th-century monastery is located. Dinner and overnight Vlore.

  • Accommodation 4 * Vlore International Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we will continue exploring Vlore and our first stop is the National Museum of Independence - a small museum that feels like a time capsule for here, it was in 1912 that the independent Albanian government began operation and many of the rooms and exhibits have been left as they were. We will also visit Vlore Turkish Bazar and the temple of Bktashinj Sect, before continuing to a beautiful Kanine Castle from where we can see the whole city. Dinner and overnight Vlore.

  • Accommodation 4 * Vlore International Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we will visit one of the most beautiful archeological sites of Albania – Orikum. It is one of the oldest settlements of the country and the first town taken by Julius Caesar during the invasion of Epirus. Our next stop is Dhermi Village where we will visit St. Nicholas Monastery Church. On our way to Himara we will make a stop at Albania’s last stone village of Vuno. Its houses of thick stone walls and tall windows are some of the finest examples of the vernacular style of the villages of the Albanian Riviera. It looks like a small Greek village with white houses, flowers and several churches that give it a lot of charm. In the late afternoon we will arrive to Himara. Dinner and overnight Himara.

  • Accommodation 4 * Rapo's Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today we will visit Piluri Village, which is popular for the many walnut trees and its tradition of good shepherds and is called the balcony of Ionian Sea because of its fabulous views. In Piluri we will have an opportunity to meet local people, visit a local chapel and a remarkable cemetery before our picnic lunch.

In the afternoon we will return to Himara and the rest of the day is free for you to relax by the pool or beach. Dinner and overnight Himara.

  • Accommodation 4 * Rapo's Hotel
  • MEALS All meals included

After breakfast at the hotel we will visit a local school of Old Himara village. We suggest bringing some small presents for the children such as coloured pencils, pens, notebooks or inflatable balls etc.

Our next stop is Porto Palermo Castle which served as the former Soviet submarine base during the communist regime in Albania. Later we will have a stop at a waterfall in the village of Borsh.

In the evening we will enjoy traditional Albanian folk music and a farewell dinner at Lekuresi Castle. Overnight Agia Saranta.

  • Accommodation 4 * Saranda Palace Hotel
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Our final day in Albania will take us to one of Europe’s best kept secrets, the ancient ruins at Butrint – a UNESCO World Heritage site, thought by many to be one of the finest ancient cities in Europe.

We will have some free time for exploring the centre of Agia Saranta and maybe do some shopping before taking afternoon ferry back to Corfu. Dinner and overnight Corfu.

  • Accommodation 3 * Hotel Livadi Nafsika or similar
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we’ll have some free before our evening transfer (May departure) to the airport for our return flight home.

  • Accommodation 3 * Hotel Livadi Nafsika or similar
  • MEALS Breakfast included

Added Value

  • 1 Picnic lunch is included
APPROX. FLIGHT TIME

3 hours

TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT + 1 hours

TEMPERATURE

Average Daily Maximum:

Gjinokaster 23°C May, 16°C Sep, 15°C Oct

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

What’s included:

  • Return flights London Gatwick/Corfu & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Twin/double room for single use
  • Welcome drink & information meeting
  • Breakfast & dinner daily & 1 picnic lunch
  • Return ferry from Corfu to Agia Saranta
  • English speaking guide in Albania
  • Visit of the Blue Eye National Park and town of Gjirokaster
  • Visit of Permet town and Benja Thermal Baths
  • Tour of Berat
  • Visit of ancient Roman site of Apollonia
  • Guided tour of Kruja
  • Guided tour of Tirana including cable car
  • Guided tour of Vlore
  • Visit to traditional shepherd’s hamlet
  • Tour of ancient city of Butrint
  • Cable car in Tirana
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader

 What’s extra:

  • Entrances to classical sites/ museums throughout the tour approx. 40 euros or 5000 Albanian Lek
  • Corfu tax 2 euros per night
  • Insurance, see here
  • Any other personal expenses

Useful Information

Visas

British citizens can enter and remain in Albania for a maximum of 90 days in every 6-month period without a visa. 

Passport validity 

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Albania.  

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Transfer Time

The transfer time from Corfu Airport to the hotel is approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic. The Ferry from Corfu across to Albania takes 1 hour.

Currency

Albanian LEK

Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most banks, large supermarkets and international hotels. Smaller businesses and taxis often only accept cash. There are numerous ATMs in Tirana and the main towns, as well as bureaux de change where Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are widely accepted. Although street money-changers operate openly, they do so illegally. Only use banks or established bureaux de change. 

It is difficult to get cash in small towns in Albania and during our information meeting you can exchange 100 Euros for the local currency. It is not compulsory and at your discretion.

Included Programme

A sightseeing programme is included in your touring package.

Gratuities

There is often confusion on the question of gratuities, since it frequently depends on the type of holiday, location and, of course, your attitude towards tipping, as to what is normally expected. In order to give you a rough idea, we have given appropriate guidance below.

Your Tour Leader will be on hand to offer advice or suggestions if required but gratuities are offered entirely at the sole discretion of the individual. We suggest a group collection to cover drivers, porters and hotel staff of 70.00 (approx. 8600 LEK). Your Tour Leader will collect this on your behalf and distribute it accordingly, thus relieving you of the burden of who, when and how much to tip. The tipping of housekeeping will be left to your individual discretion (a small amount left in your room on departure should cover this and would be much appreciated). As is customary, ‘the hat’ will be passed around for the driver and guide on all optional excursions. For any meals that are not included in your itinerary, or taxi fares, your Tour Leader can advise of an appropriate % add on.

Overnight Stay Tax

From the 1st January 2018 a new Overnight Stay Tax will be introduced by the Government of Greece. This will be payable locally by the individual tourist on checking in to accommodation in Greece and varies according to the official rating of the accommodation as follows: Apartments (all categories): 0.50 Euros per room per night Hotels: 1-2 star: 0.50 Cents per room per night 3 star: 2.00 Euros per room per night 4 star: 3.00 Euros per room per night 5 star: 4.00 Euros per room per night. Payment can be made by cash or card.

Dress Code

Casual daytime wear is recommended. Comfortable and sturdy shoes are a “must” for sightseeing. Smart casual clothes will be ideal for the evenings - the emphasis throughout being informality. A waterproof jacket is recommended. On some occasions, when entering places of worship for example, it will be necessary to wear clothing covering one’s shoulders and knees and women may be required to wear a scarf. Please bring a swimwear too.

Please note

  • A reasonable level of fitness/mobility is required as we include plenty of sightseeing/travelling, sometimes with early starts. We would not recommend this holiday for those with walking difficulties.
  • The order of the itinerary and events may be subject to change

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

Depart Return Nights Age Group Price From COMMENTS  
01 May 2020 13 May 2020 12 All Ages £ 1949 BOOK
02 Oct 2020 14 Oct 2020 12 All Ages £ 1949 BOOK

What’s included:

  • Return flights London Gatwick/Corfu & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Twin/double room for single use
  • Welcome drink & information meeting
  • Breakfast & dinner daily & 1 picnic lunch
  • Return ferry from Corfu to Agia Saranta
  • English speaking guide in Albania
  • Visit of the Blue Eye National Park and town of Gjirokaster
  • Visit of Permet town and Benja Thermal Baths
  • Tour of Berat
  • Visit of ancient Roman site of Apollonia
  • Guided tour of Kruja
  • Guided tour of Tirana including cable car
  • Guided tour of Vlore
  • Visit to traditional shepherd’s hamlet
  • Tour of ancient city of Butrint
  • Cable car in Tirana
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader

 What’s extra:

  • Entrances to classical sites/ museums throughout the tour approx. 40 euros or 5000 Albanian Lek
  • Corfu tax 2 euros per night
  • Insurance, see here
  • Any other personal expenses

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