Hiking/ walking + culture tour (2)

Day 1: Arrival in Albania
Arrival at Rinas Airport. Transfer at the place where there will be the dinner and overnight 20 km away from Tirana. The place is very nice, where local life can be enjoyed. Optional possibility for folk show. Dinner and overnight in Tirana.

Day 2 : Tirana and its surroundings
In the morning trip to the “Pellumbasi” cave situated 2 km from the place the group has the overnight. This cave is also called “the black cave”. The view from the trail is very nice with the mountain side dropping to the canyon of Erzen river. The cave stands at an elevation of 350 m and is said to be one of the earliest prehistoric settlements of the area. The group enters the cave and observes the stalactites and stalagmites. Then walk to Pellumbas village and enjoy a nice refreshing bath.
In the afternoon travel to Tirana. Arrival and stars the sightseeing tour of Tirana, starting from the Skanderbeg square. Visit in the National History Museum, E`them Bey Mosque, Clock Tower etc. Then continue to the main boulevard where are found the different ministries, Academy of Fine Arts, Main University etc. Afterwards, travel to Kruja (only 32 km away from Tirana) for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Kruja (Sari Salltik)
After breakfast stars the hike to Sari Salltik mountain. It is a very interesting place because of its mystic nature. This has been used as a pilgrimage place for many times and is still much visited by the people of the area and tourists. Altitude :1176 m (hiking time approx.4 hrs). After climbing starts the descend to Kruja. In Kruja visit to the castle that houses the Skanderbeg museum and the Ethnographic museum. Afterwards some free time at the bazaar. Dinner and overnight in the coastal city of Durres.

Day 4: Durres - Berat
In the morning sightseeing of Durres, that is one of Albania's oldest cities, the country's main seaport and the second largest industrial center, lies on a small peninsula on the coast of the Adriatic Sea at the north end of the Bay of Durrës. Visit the Amphitheatre, the biggest in the Balkan Peninsula (capacity 15.000 spectators) with a rare wall mosaic, which belongs to the 2nd century A.D and the Archeological Museum.
Then travel to Berat. Visit to the castle, built up on a rocky hill 260m above the sea level. Churches here have survived within its powerful stony walls. With interest, is the church, which preserves wooden-engraved iconostasis, housing the “Onufri” museum. Visit to the other objects: Bachelor’s Mosque, Gorica Bridge and some dwelling houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Dinner and overnight in Berat.

Day 5: Hiking in Mount Tomorri
In the morning begins the hiking in Mount Tomorri. This mountain has been considered a sacred mountain since ancient times. Albanians believed it was home of the goddess, like Olympus in Greece. For the Bektashi believers it's still a sacred place and every August it's the destination of a massive pilgrimage. Pilgrimage at the holy place at Mount Tomorri. In the evening back in Berat for dinner and overnight.

Departure : 07:00
Arrival in Bogove village : 9 :00
Transfer by car at the tekke place : 10 : 30
Starting the hiking : 11 :00
Stop for packed lunch : 14 : 00
Begins the descending
Walking hours : 6 – 7 hours.

Day 6: Apollonia - Vlora
After breakfast, travel to Apollonia, located 12km from Fier. It is one of the most well known archeological sites in the country. Visit the amphitheatre, and the courtyard of the Monastery where there is a Byzantine style church built in the 14th century. Here you can see some monuments like the Encircling Wall, the Monument of Agonotheteve, Odeon, Portic, the Mosaics House, Fontana, and the church of Saints Mary.
As we leave Apollonia, we travel to Vlora coastal city lying in the Southwestern part of the country. Vlora is one of the major cities of Albania, an important seaport and tourist site. Visit to the Historical Museum of Independence, the building where the independence of Albania proclaimed on November 28, 1912. A monument, which perpetuates this event, raises high at the Flag Square. Dinner and overnight in Llogara national park.

Day 7: Albanian Riviera - Butrint
After breakfast to the hotel, depart to Saranda traveling along the seashore. On the way on is to be visited the castle of Porto Palermo placed near Himara, also called as the castle of Ali Pashe Tepelena. The walls of the castle are 1.6m thick. After visiting this castle, the road along the seashore passes many beautiful villages such as Qeparo, which is a very large and sunny beach, Borsh village, which has a sandy sea, and the flora is the similar to that of Qeparo, Lukova a very wide beach too. Possibility for short walks in these villages. Arrival in Saranda and depart to Butrint.
A scenic narrow leads you to the ancient city of Butrint. Visit to the Old Amphitheatre, the Temple of Aesculapius, the Baptistery with colorful mosaics and the ancient city walls. An old fortress housing a small museum watches over the entire site, which is one of the last unspoiled natural and ancient historical areas in Mediterranean. Dinner and overnight in Butrint.

Day 8: Gjirokastra
After breakfast, we have the departure to Gjirokastra, which is a “Museum City”. On the way we can visit in the magical "Blue Eye" spring, which is a very natural beauty. Once our arrivals in Gjirokastra, the characteristic houses resembles the towers and are build one above the other. They have only one common element, the stone. All the homes have the form of medieval towers. Visit to the castle, which stands out above the city as a balcony, providing the possibility for visitors to enjoy the beautiful landscape. The castle houses the National Museum of Weapons, which preserves all the kinds of weapons used and produced by the Albanians from antiquity. Visit to Ethnographic museum and the Zekati house. Dinner and overnight in Gjirokaster.

Day 9: Hiking in Dhembeli Mountain
In the morning transfer by car to Zagoria(700-800 m above sea level). Start hiking in Dhembeli mountain. After a nice hiking we will arrive in the pass of Dhembeli (around 1500m). After the packed lunch we will start the descending in Permeti town. In the afternoon free time in Permet. Overnight in Permet.

7:00 Breakfast in the hotel
7:30 Transfer by car to Zagoria
9:00 Arrival and start hiking
12:00 Arrival to the saddle and lunch
12:30 Start descending
14:30 Arrival in Permet and free time
19:30 Dinner

Hiking in the mountain around 700 m. / down: 1100 m
Total hiking hours: 6 hours.

Day 10: Benja Canyons
In the morning the group will walk up to Leusa village, for visiting one of the most interesting churches in Albania with very well-preserved frescos. Then turn in Permet for travelling towards Benja . This is one of the most attractive areas of Albania. There the tourists will walk and have the possibility to see the landscape which is full of natural thermal baths. Possibility for bathing and walking through Benja canyons. Overnight in Permet.

Day 11: Korce - Voskopoja
After breakfast, transfer to Korca, the biggest in the southeastern part of Albania. Korca is the city of serenades and the most famous carnivals all over Albania. It is situated at the foot of Morava Mountain .Visit to the museum of Medieval Art (National Museum). It presents the material culture of Albanian people. Visit to the first Albanian school, opened in 1878. In the evening drive to Voskopoja for overnight.

Day 12: Voskopoja sightseeing
In the morning sightseeing of Voskopoja village; situated only of 13 km in the west of Korca is known since the 14th century by the name Moskopoli. Voskopoja was an important centre that remains to this day as an abundant storehouse of well-known centre of art, where some of the most talented Albanian painters practiced their profession. For the moment there are few churches, which can be visited. Walking all the day in Voskopoja and its surroundings. Dinner and overnight in Voskopoje.

Day 13: Ohrid (Macedonia)
After breakfast departure from Voskopja to Macedonia. Leisure day in Ohrid . Depart to the center from where will start the walking city tour: the harbor, the Cathedral Church of St. Sophia (11th C.) the churches St. Clement, St. John Kaneo and St. Panteleimon , Tsar Samoil fortress etc . Afterwards travel to St. Naum monastery, possibility of boat trip to the sources of Drin river. Late in the afternoon travel back to Albania. Dinner and overnight in Pogradec.

Day 14: Flight back
Check out from the hotel and transfer at the airport.

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