Albania is the last defender of the rugged. A place where the mountains have no roads, the rivers flow wild, and the beaches unspoiled by the concrete and promenades of the West. Where adventure isn’t guided by velvet ropes or lonely planet guides, but simply by the feet in your shoes, and the spirit in your heart. Where a holiday can melt away your routine, and reinvigorate your zest for the undiscovered and the grit of nature beyond the maps. Discover the adventurous, mysterious, un-tamed, Albania in this two week vacation.
Day 01: Arrival Tirana airport / Kayaking Shkodra lake
Arrival in Tirana airport. Meeting with the local guide. Departure to Shkodra. Local fish lake lunch in Shiroke village and 2 hours of kayaking in Shkodra lake. Arrival in Shkodra and accommodation in the hotel. During the afternoon we will visit the Promenade of Shkodra. Overnight at hotel
Day 02: Exploring the spectacular Koman fjords
Early Breakfast (6:00-7:00). Leaving to Koman. A spectacular ferry ride into the Albanian Fjords. Arrival at village Fjerze at 12:00. Drive to Valbona village and local lunch. Accommodation in a guest houses or camping. Hiking in beautiful Valbona Valley to Xhema Lake, Old Milling. Typical dinner.
Day 03: Hiking the Accursed Mountains
Early Breakfast (5:30 – 6:30). Drive with a local minibus to Rragam village. There we get ready for the hike into the Albanian Alps. The pass is about 8 hours. The hike is long and sometimes tough, but anyone that’s reasonably fit can do it. Accommodation in a guesthouse or camping in Theth. Walking to Grunas waterfall, visit the Saint John’s Church and the Isolation Tower.
Day 04: Exploring Theth National Park
Breakfast (07.30-08.30) and departure with local minivan to Nderlyse. Visit of the stones basins and of the Blue Eye of Theth. Local picnic lunch. Back to Theth in the afternoon and departure to Lezha. Short stop in Qafe Thore. Dinner in Boge. Arrival in Lezha late in the evening and accommodation in the hotel.
Day 05: Emerging into the magnificent Berat
The first destination is the city of Durrës founded in 627 B.C. as was one of the most important Greek City States and later Roman centre. The most notable tourist attraction in Durrës is the amphitheatre of the Roman Emperor Hadrian with 15,000 seats, the second biggest amphitheatre in the Balkans. After a visit to the amphitheatre and the archaeological museum, we will travel towards another UNESCO site. The town of Berat is well known for its unique ottoman style houses built around two hills facing each other with the castle on top and the river in between. We will visit the Onufri Museum, Berat Castle and the historical quarters of the city. Overnight in Berat hotel.
Day 06: Adventure in the Osumi Canyons
This day will be dedicated to an unique natural monument. We will head towards the famous Osumi Canyons in Skrapar for an unforgettable rafting trip. This trip will provide magnificent scenery as you float by the Canyon walls and will certainly make for a memorable experience. Eight waterfalls, a cathedral, the unspoiled nature, and the soothing sounds of running water combine to create a truly unique trip. The river trip lasts about 2.5—4 hours, and depending largely on the water level. Local lunch in Skrapar and wine tasting in a local winery on the way to Berat. Overnight in Berat hotel).
* Rafting is available February-June. For tours organized during June-November, it is available on a shorter trail canyon exploration (river hiking).
Day 07: Speed boat and Snorkeling in the Albanian riviera
We will resume the tour after breakfast towards Vlora and stop to visit the ancient town of Apollonia which was one of the most important cities in the Balkans where the Roman Emperor Augustus was educated. Than we will leave to Vlora, a beautiful coastal city which hosted the first Independent Albanian government, where we will have a fish based lunch. We will visit Karaburun Penisula with a speedboat and snorkel in the pristine beaches. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Sunset kayaking in Butrint theatre
The first destination to explore is the Monastery of Zvernec which is situated in a beautiful natural small peninsula in Narta lagoon. Birdwatching in one of the most important sites in the country due to its amazing biodiversity. Then we will enjoy a beautiful drive through the Albanian Riviera towards Saranda. On the way we will have a local lunch. Very close to Saranda we will explore with kayak the UNESCO’s heritage site Butrint, Albania’s top archaeological attraction. After the visit to Butrint we will have dinner in Saranda and spend the night in the city. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09: Walking in the city of stones Gjirokastra
After breakfast we will head towards a spectacular natural monument called the Blue Eye which is an underground spring that creates a very distinct shape resembling a beautiful human eye. From there we will head for UNESCO’s town of Gjirokastra where we will visit the fortress, ethnographic museum which is also the childhood home of Albania’s infamous communist dictator Enver Hoxha. Overnight in a guest house in Peshtan village .
Day 10: Canyon exploration of Lengarica and thermal sprints
We will head to Përmet and depending on the time of the year we will go rafting in the Vjosa River which is Europe’s last wild river. We will also make a visit to the natural thermal baths of the Langarica Canyon (Vjosa River) and enjoy a great organic meal in one of the local business. Overnight in Përmet.
Day 11: Exploring the Albanian rural life
The day will start with our trip to Korça and several stops on the way to enjoy the beautiful natural sceneries. Lunch will be served in a local agro-tourism farm in Erseka. We will use the rest of the day to visit Korça, its impressive city center, traditional market and cathedral.
Day 12: Kayaking in the protected lake of Prespa
After breakfast we will drive to Prespa Lake and take inflatable kayaks to reach the beautiful island of Maligradwhich hosts the Church of Holy Mary. After a quick walk within the island we will get the kayaks to get back to Korça. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Sightseeing of the natural park of Drilon
The day will start with a visit of the Medieval Museum of Arts, the Mirahori Mosque which is one of the oldest in Albania and the Mbroje Church (14th century). We will continue to Pogradec and lake Ohrid. We will make a visit to the national park of Drilon and the beautiful villa where the dictator would spend his fishing holidays and have a local lunch. On our way back we will visit the castle of Elbasan and continue to Tirana for an overnight stay.
Day 14: Exploring the vibrant city of Tirana
Breakfast. Visit of Tirana city. 20 years ago Albania’s capital used to regularly top the list of Europe’s underdeveloped cities. Decades of Stalinist rule left Tirana grey and grim, lacking in both infrastructure and services. The collapse of communism in 1992 required rapid changes for the City.
Considered one of the safest cities in Europe you will be able to spot remnants of its past and traces of the fast changes that it has gone through. We will visit the main sites like the Ethem Bey Mosque, clock tower, Scanderbeg Square, Orthodox Church and the BUNK’ART 2. BUNK’ART 2 is the first major video museum exhibition dedicated to the victims of communist terror.
Optional hiking and exploration of Pellumbas Cave or free evening to the vibrant capital of Tirana.
Day 15: Tirana – Airport
Breakfast and time to say goodbye. Departure to the airport.
|City||Night (s)||Hotel / Camp|
|Shkodra||01||Grand Hotel Europa|
|Koman||01||Tourist Guesthouse or Camp|
|Rragam village.||01||Tourist Guesthouse or Camp|
|Lezha||01||Tourist Guesthouse or Camp|
|Berat||02||Hotel Colombo Berat|
|Vlora||01||Hotel Vlora International|
|Saranda||01||Santa Quaranta “Premium Resort”|
|Peshtan village||01||Tourist Guesthouse or Camp|
|Përmet||01||Villa Permet (Hotel)|
|Korça||02||Life Gallery Hotel|
|Tirana||02||MAK Hotel Tirana|
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– Welcome with fresh flower garlands.
– 14 Nights accommodation
– Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.
– Local English-speaking guide
– All transfers, sightseeing, excursions as per the program by private vehicle.
– Entrance fees to monuments as per mentioned in the program.
– Transport, Parking, Gasoline & Toll ways.
– All present government taxes.
– International Airfare.
– Tips, gratuities, Portage, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks, camera/ video camera charges, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
– Visa fees, personal insurance.
– Any item not specified under cost includes.
– Accommodation in good hotels.
– Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
– Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost.
– Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
– A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
– If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
– Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
– In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
– Sometimes, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
– While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
– Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
– In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.