Archeological Tour Albania

Day 1: Airpor t- Tirana
Arrival in Tirana and meeting with the guide. Afternoon tour of Tirana including visits to the Mosaics of Tirana, Skanderbeg Square, the Mosque of Et’hem Bej and the National Historical & the Archeological Museum. Tirana is located on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital of Albania since 1920. The Martyr's Cemetery, Grand Park and various government buildings. Overnight in Tirana.

Day 2: Tirana - Durres - Tirana
Drive to Durres on the Adriatic coast to visit the 7th century BC Durres, the historical capital of Albania (1276 - 1920).Here we will visit one of the largest amphitheaters in the Balkans located within the walls of the Roman castle. We will wander through the galleries of the amphitheater, explore the "Enigma of Durresi", and walk through the main gate to the arena in the same steps where, 1800 years ago, people would cheer the winning gladiator asking the Emperor for his freedom. A visit to the archaeological museum will give us a comprehensive view about the history of this 2700-year-old town, which started, as a Greek colony becoming the largest harbor on the Adriatic coast during the rule of the Roman Empire. Later we will visit the Archaeological Museum situated near the sea and the archaeological site at Arapaj Retur to Tirana for the overnight in Tirana.

Day 3: Tirana - Apolonia - Vlora - Saranda
After Breakfast we continue our drive, towards the 7th century BC archaeological site of Apollonia, the second largest Greek colony in Albania. We visit the Odeon, the Pritaneon, the temple of Diana and the monastery next to the site, which is built with marble and stone taken from the temple and the old Greek theatre. We will continue our day with a beautiful drive along the coast of bay of Vlora, through the Coldwater tunnel, next to the ex-dictator's villa and alongside the orange plantations of Radhima. As we leave Radhima the landscape changes as we climb up to 1100 meters above sea level through the forest of Llogara National Park. First stop will be a coffee and photo-shooting stop at the top of the pass, on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, Corfu Island and the Albanian Riviera. After a cup of coffee or local mountain tea we drive down to sea level, on the recently rebuilt "Strada Bianca" road. We continue our drive south through the seven villages of the Himara region. In the little town of Himara we make a short coffee or snack break by the sea. The region of Himara is 72 km long from and rich with natural and historical monuments such as Llamany beach and the 18th century Panormi castle of Ali Pasha, after visiting the springs of Borshi, continue our travel towards Saranda, arriving Late afternoon to our hotel in Saranda. Overnight in Saranda

Day 4: Saranda - Butrint - Ksamil Village - Saranda
All day at the World Heritage site of Butrint. After breakfast we drive to the ancient city of Butrinti, founded in the 7th century BC by the Corkirians, and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995. What began as a Greek colony became one of the most important towns in the Mediterranean and a Roman colony in the 1st century AD. We will admire the theatre, the temple of Asclepeon, the Baptisteries, the Gymnasium, the aqueduct, the largest Basilica in south Albania and the Venetian castle on top of the town, where a very interesting small museum hosts original artefacts discovered during the excavations.optional lunch will be in a restaurant by the sea near the archaeological park in Villages of Ksamil. Just before sunset we go for dinner to Lekuresi Castle located on top of the hill overlooking the bay of Saranda to enjoy the sunset with views of the Island of Corfu in the middle of the blue Ionian waters. Overnight in Saranda

Day 5: Saranda - Gjirokastra
A trip over the mountains from Saranda to the Gjirokastra valley and the town of Gjirokastra. After breakfast we begin our tour to Mesopotam to see the 8th century Mesopotami church. Towards to the town of Gjirokastra, a UNESCO World Heritage town since 2004. On the way to Gjirokastra we will visit the Blue Eye Spring, continue to Gjirokastra Our visit in Gjirokastra starts from the 8th century castle,which is today a museum but, during the dictatorship, a prison.After the castle we visit the ethnographic museum, better known as the birthplace of the dictator, Enver Hoxha. Before checking in to our hotel, we will wander through the old 18th century bazaar looking for souvenirs where, if you look carefully, you can find cups with printed photos of the dictator, later followed by a visit to Antingonea Archaeological Park, overnight in Gjirokastra

Day 6: Gjirokastra- Bylis- Berat
After Breakfast, to visit the remote site of Byllis, sited on a mountain top overlooking the Vjose River valley, which is a very important archeological center in Albania, is one of ancient Illyrian citys inhabited by the tribe of Bylliones. Established in the third century B.C., Bylis flourished as a political, economic, and cultural center of the community. The surrounding wall of Bylis, built in the second quarter of the fourth century B.C., is very well-preserved. It is 2250 m long, 3.5 m wide and 8-9 m high and it surrounds an area of 30 ha. The wall is triangular. The city consisted of several quarters and objects, such as the agora, which sheltered the inhabitants of the villages and their wealth in the event of war. It is very interesting to see:
The theatre,which is larger than that of Butrint and was built in the middle of the third century B.C.
The monumental fountain of the 3rd century. – Several stadium elements. – Medieval cultural objects such as Basilica. In the Church of Bylis which was build on the IV-th century AD, the mosaics have Ilirian (Illyrian) motifs which for the church later where known as pagan ones.
Overnight at Berat.

Day 7: Berat - Tirana
Explore the attractive medieval town of Berat, situated on a hill dominating the River Osum and its gorge. Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage town since 2008. Our visit in Berrat begins from the 4th century BC castle where we will admire the Byzantine era icons in the Onufri Icon Gallery, located within the old cathedral of the town. Some of the icons date back to the 18th century, the downtown bazaar, the Bachelors mosque and the old Town.
For the dinner and overnight travel toward to the capital, Tirana.

Day 8: Tirana - Airport
Drive to Tirana Airport. End of our Services

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