10 Days in Albania

This tour will offer you some of the best of the Albanian natural landscapes as well as provide a good overview of the cultural and historical heritage of the programmed destinations. Starting from Tirana, the colorful capital full of life. Here is the heartbeat of Albania. We are going to look at its past and see the history and culture of this city. There is a lot to be learned and to be seen in this place. After, our journey continues to the awe-inspiring Albanian Alps or how it is differently called The Highlands. Some amazing places to be hiked and conquered. Having to rest in this place is going to be an one in lifetime experience. Then we will head to the south but firstly a quick stop at Shkodra and Kruja, to get to know a very important part of our history. Then we travel to the antique city of Durres to see the amazing Roman amphitheatre and go to Berat. Berat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Albania and Berat is one of them and the only one in this program to be visited.

Our journey continues to the South Riviera. There is this entire coastal road to be enjoyed, it offers during the entire journey a magnificent view, so relaxing and exciting at the same time.

Day 1: Tirana – Petrela
Tirana, the capital and the centre of cultural and social life of Albania. We will start our tour at the downtown Skanderbeg square and have an introductive walk along the pedestrian street and the main boulevard. In the afternoon we drive 15 km south of Tirana to Petrela, a medieval castle that overlooks a beautiful panorama towards Tirana. Here we’ll have dinner and then continue to the hotel.
Overnight in Tirana

08:00 - Breakfast
09:00 - Start tour with Skanderbeg square
12:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Free time, Shopping
17:00 - Departure to Petrela
19:00 - Dinner

Day 2: Koman – Valbona
We travel north towards Koman lake. After 2h 45’ drive we arrive at the ferry terminal. The ferry-boat travel lasts 2 hours and a half in the midst of a spectacular mountain scenery with lush vegetation and then we reach Fierza and continue by van to the town of Bajram Curri. Next to the town lies the Valley of Valbona, a National Park, where we’ll see the canyon of Shoshani and have a short hike towards a natural pond called “Xhema lake”, few km from Valbona village. After the accomodation and the lunch in Valbona, free time to enjoy the landscape.
Overnight in Valbona

05:00 - Breakfast
06:00 - Departure to Koman ferry terminal
09:00 - Ferry embarkation
12:00 - Fierza ferry terminal arrival
13:00 - Lunch in Bajram Curri
14:00 - Departure to Valbona
15:30 - Accommodation in Valbona
16:00 - Hike towards Xhema lake
19:00 - Dinner

To Xhema lake
Uphill: 30 m
Downhill: 30 m
Approximate hiking time: 10 minutes (uphill only)

Day 3: Valbona
After breakfast we hike towards the village of Kukaj (1200 m). Then continue along a good path that leads to a shepherds’ hut wehere we will have the break and enjoy the pastoral landscape. At 1660 m altitude we reach the shepherds’ hut (Stani i Ramës), have a cup of tea and the packet lunch. We descend along the same trail.

08:00 - Breakfast
09:00 - Start hiking
12:00 - Arrival at Stani it Rames 1660m
12:15 - Lunch
13:00 - Descent
15:00 - Arrival to Valbona
19:00 - Dinner

Uphill: 760 m
Downhill: 760 m
Approximate hiking time: 2.5 hours (uphill only)

Day 4: Valbona – Theth
Today we hike along one of the most preserved ancient mule trails in the Albanian Alps. Two hours after we start hiking we reach the Spring of Valbona (1500 m altitude). We have a short break and continue to the Pass of Valbona along a well-marked curvy trail. Next we start descending towards Theth and the trail is mostly surrounded by dense beech forest. After we reach the village, accommodation is provided in the gesthouse.
Overnight in Theth

07:00 - Breakfast
07:30 - Start Hiking
10:00 - Arrival at Valbona’s Spring
10:30 - Start Hiking to Theth
12:30 - Lunch
13:30 - Continue Hiking
16:30 - Arrival to Guesthouse
19:00 - Dinner

Uphill: 790 m
Downhill: 1050 m
Approximate hiking time: 7 hours

Day 5: Theth
Today we will visit the natural and historical landmarks of Theth. Firstly we start with a visit in the village’s catholic church, with its distinctive architecture. Then continue towards the “Lock-in Tower”, where we’ll hear about the centuries old tradition of reconciliation inside the tower. 40 minutes hike from the tower is the Grunas waterfall and its canyon, both Nature Monuments. From here we aer driven to Nderlyse and then hike for an hour to a beautiful natural pool, “The Blue Eye of Kapre”. Return to Theth the same way.
Overnight in Theth

07:00 - Breakfast
08:00 - Departure to Ethnographic museum
08:15 - Arrival to the Museum
09:35 - Arrival to the church
10:15 - Departure to the Waterfall
11:00 - Arrival to the Waterfall
11:30 - Lunch near the waterfall
12:00 - Departure to Ndelysa
14:00 - Arrival to Nderlysa wells
15:00 - Departure to the “Blue eye”
17:30 - Departure to Theth.
19:30 - Dinner

From the guesthouse to the waterfall: 3 hours
From Nderlyse to “Blue Eye of Kapre”: 2 hours

Day 6: Shkodra – Kruja
After breakfast, we’ll be driven to Shkodra, the oldest and most important town of north Albania. We’ll enjoy a short walk along the historic centre and afterwards visit the 2400-year old Rozafa castle. Next, transfer to a traditional slow-food restaurant for lunch, to enjoy eating natural in the Albanian way. In the afternoon, visit to Kruja, the capital of the Albanian National Hero Skanderbeg fighting against the Ottomans in the XV century. Visit the museum, old bazaar and then transfer to Durres in the evening.
Overnight in Durres

06:00 - Breakfast
07:00 - Departure to Shkodra
09:30 - Arrival in Shkodra
10:00 - Sightseeing in Shkodra
12:00 - Lunch
13:00 - Departure to Kruja
14:30 - Arrival in Kruja
15:00 - Sightseeing in Kruja
17:00 - Departure to Durres
18:00 - Arrival to Durres
18:30 - Accommodation at the hotel
20:00 - Dinner

Day 7: Durres – Berat
Durres is the most important seaport in Albania. We’ll visit the 20-century old Roman amphitheatre, the largest in the Balkans, and then the Roman forum and baths in the downtown. Leaving Durres, we drive to Berat, Unesco protected town. Berat is a remarkable Ottoman town, rich in beautiful buildings with great architectural and historical interest. The pine forests above the city, on the slopes of the towering Tomori Mountain, provide a backdrop of appropriate grandeur. There will be visited Berati Castle with its fortified walls and “Onufri museum” housed insider an old church. Visit the rest of the town with Mangalem and Gorica neighborhoods, the medieval center and the Ethnographic museum.
Overnight in Berat

08:00 - Breakfast
09:00 - Sightseeing Durres
10:30 - Departure to Berat
13:00 - Arrival to Berat
13:30 - Accommodation in Berat
14:00 - Lunch
15:00 - Visit Berati Castle
16:30 - Visit the rest of the town
19:30 - Dinner

Uphill: 80 m
Downhill: 80 m
Approximate hiking time: 20 minutes

Day 8: Berat – Shpiragu
Mali i Shiragut - previously known as "Enver Hoxha Mountain" is the little brother of well known Tomorri. Shpiragut is seen prominently when approaching Berat, though the gaze of the visiting tourist is usually attracted to the much more dramatic Tomorri.
But as so often, the best views are not to be had from the highest mountains, but from those from which the highest mountains can be seen at close range and in their full glory. We dare say that the best views of Tomorri can be had from Shpiragut (or the road leading to Mali i Shpiragut)
Overnight in Berat

08:00 - Breakfast
09:00 - Departure to Shpiragu
09:30 - Arrival in Shpiragu
10:00 - Start hiking
12:30 - Reach mountain peak
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Start descending
16:00 - Arrival in Berat
17:00 - Free time and shopping
19:30 - Dinner

Uphill: 740 m
Downhill: 740 m
Approximate hiking time: 4 hours

Day 9: Vlore – Dhermi
Today we travel100 km south to Vlora, where Albania’s independence was proclaimed 112 years ago. Visit the main historic landmarks, a coffee and a walk along the palms surrounding main boulevard. After lunch by the sea in Radhime, we continue to Dhermi, where accommodation will be provided in hotel. In the afternoon we visit the St. Mary’s church on the highest hill of the village.
Overnight in Dhermi

07:00 - Breakfast
08:00 - Departure to Vlora
10:00 - Arrival in Vlora
10:30 - Sightseeing Vlora
13:30 - Lunch in Radhime
14:30 - Departure to Dhermi
16:00 - Arrival in Dhermi
16:30 - Accommodation in Dhermi
17:00 - Visit to St. Mary’s church
19:30 - Dinner

Day 10: Dhermi
From Dhermi we drive to the ruins of St. Theodore’s monastery. Then we hike down to the canyon and beach of Gjipe. Here we can have a swim in the crystal clear waters of the sea, rock climb, or walk inside and enjoy the depth of the canyon. In the afternoon we hike back to the intersection with the main road and drive to Porto Palermo, to visit the 19th century castle of Ali Pasha. Afterwards drive north and have a coffee by the sunset in Llogara and drive to Tirana.
Overnight in Tirana

08:00 - Breakfast
09:00 - Drive to St. Theodore’s Monastery
09:30 - Arrival at St. Theodore’s Monastery
10:00 - Start hiking through canyon and beach Gjipe
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Drive to Porto Palermo
15:00 - Arrival to Porto Palermo
15:30 - Visit Ali Pasha Castle
16:30 - Drive to Llogara
17:30 - Arrival in Llogara
19:30 - Dinner
20:30 - Drive to Tirana

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