Grand Tour of Albania

12 Nights in Albania
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What you can expect

Gjirokaster

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town of Gjirokaster

Butrint

Visit the amazing ruins at the ancient city of Butrint

Unexplored country

It’s still relatively unexplored country

About the trip

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.

What's included?

  • Return flights & transfers
  • Airport taxes & charges
  • Twin/double room for single use
  • Welcome drink
  • Breakfast & dinner daily & 1 picnic lunch
  • Tours as per itinerary
  • Accompanying Solos Tour Leader
  • Fully Financially Protected

Itinerary

  • London – Corfu
  • Corfu – Agia Saranta – Gjirokaster (+/- 55km)
  • Gjirokaster – Kelcyra - Permet - Benja Thermal Baths - Gjirokaster (+/- 140km)
  • Gjirokaster – Roman site of Apollonia - Berat (+/-140km)
  • Berat – Elbasan – Kruja - Tirana (+/-140km)
  • Exploring Tirana
  • Tirana - Lagoon of Narta - Vlore (+/-160km)
  • Exploring Vlore (+/-20km)
  • Vlore – Orikum – Dhermi Village – Himara (+/-75km)
  • Himara – Piluri - Himara (+/-20km)
  • Himara – Agia Saranta (+/-55km)
  • Agia Saranta – Butrint (+/-40km)
  • Corfu – London

Extras

  • Insurance click here
  • Entrances to classical sites/ museums throughout the tour approx. 40 euros or 5000 Albanian Lek
  • Corfu tax 2 euros per night

What you’ll be doing

DAY 1

London – Corfu

On arrival in Corfu, you transfer to your hotel.

  • Hotel Livadi Nafsika 3* or similar (Corfu)
  • Dinner Included
DAY 2

Corfu – Agia Saranta – Gjirokaster (+/- 55km)

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!

 

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DAY 3

Gjirokaster – Kelcyra - Permet - Benja Thermal Baths - Gjirokaster (+/- 140km)

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.

  • Hotel Argjiro 4* or Similar (Albania)
  • Breakast and Dinner Included
DAY 4

Gjirokaster – Roman site of Apollonia - Berat (+/-140km)

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.

  • Belagrita Hotel 4* or Similar (Albania)
  • Breakast and Dinner Included
DAY 5

Berat – Elbasan – Kruja - Tirana (+/-140km)

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.

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DAY 6

Exploring Tirana

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.

  • Tirana Senator Hotel 4* or Similar (Albania)
  • Breakast and Dinner Included
DAY 7

Tirana - Lagoon of Narta - Vlore (+/-160km)

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.

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DAY 8

Exploring Vlore (+/-20km)

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.

  • Vlore International Hotel 4* or Similar (Albania)
  • Breakast and Dinner Included
DAY 9

Vlore – Orikum – Dhermi Village – Himara (+/-75km)

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.

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DAY 10

Himara – Piluri - Himara (+/-20km)

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.

  • Rapo’s Hotel 4* or Similar (Albania)
  • Breakast, Lunch and Dinner Included

 

 

DAY 11

Himara – Agia Saranta (+/-55km)

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.

 

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DAY 12

Agia Saranta – Butrint (+/-40km)

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. night Corfu.

  •  Hotel Livadi Nafsika 3* or Similar (Corfu)
  • Breakast and Dinner Included

 

DAY 13

Corfu – London

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

  • Breakast Included

 

Accommodation

Grand Tour of Albania

We stay in comfortable hotels throughout as detailed below (or similar)

  • Hotel Livadi Nafsika
  • Hotel Argjiro
  • Belagrita Hotel
  • Tirana Senator Hotel
  • Vlore International Hotel
  • Rapo’s Hotel
  • Saranda Palace Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions

Average Temperatures

Month(s) Highest temperature Lowest temperature
January - February 14 °C 5 °C
March 18 °C 7 °C
April 22 °C 9 °C
May 28 °C 14 °C
June 33 °C 19 °C
July 36 °C 21 °C
August 34 °C 21 °C
September 31 °C 18 °C
October 31 °C 18 °C
November 21 °C 10 °C
December 16 °C 7 °C

Our Reviews

#SolosHolidays

I was so nervous about embarking on my first Solos Holiday, but I shouldn’t have been – it was the best thing I have ever done!

Wow! Got to see the famous shipwreck beach in Zakynthos with Solos. Can’t wait to discover more of their destinations!

Our tour leader Monica was exceptional! Had such a good time and will be rebooking with Solos. Thanks for a great holiday!

Had the best time with Solos! Discovered beautiful destinations and met some lifelong friends.

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