Departure date: 31 May, 2012
Days: 7 Days
After breakfast, depart for Vlora. On the way we stop at the Monastery of Ardenica, supposed to have been built in the middle ages, as argued by a stone in entrance dating back to the 1417. Today inside the church you can admire icon paintings of 1743-1745, by Albanian artists such as Konstandin and Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstandin Shpataraku. Proceed to the ancient city of Apollonia one of the most important cities in Roman times, situated on the famous Via Egnatia - The Roman Emperor Augustus Octavian studied here. Visit the site and the Orthodox monastery turned into archaeological museum of the site. Afterwards we continue to Vlora where we visit the Independence Museum, situated in the original house where the first Independent Albanian Government had its offices. Afternoon & evening at
After an early breakfast we depart for Saranda. Drive on the spectacular Albanian Riviera looking down at the Ionian Sea. Breathtaking sceneries await us at the Llogara pass - 1000 m above sea level. We continue on to Saranda and enjoy beautiful views of the bay of Saranda and the Island of Corfu from Lekursi Castle. After lunch we visit the ancient city of Butrint a world heritage site. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of passing civilizations. It is situated in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation. Overnight in Saranda.
After early breakfast we drive to Berat. Stop in Gjirokastra a UNESCO site and museum town with beautiful and very distinct architecture. Visit the Fortress which is used as the venue for the National Festival of Folk Song and Dance. A visit to the Ethnographic Museum which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in is next. After lunch depart for Berat another UNESCO site where we check in at the hotel. The group is then left at leisure to explore Berat. Overnight in Berat.
After breakfast we visit the Castle and the Onufri Museum. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries. The castle used to have over many churches of which 7 still remain including one turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was an Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece. After this interesting experience we depart for Durres one of the oldest (founded in 627 B.C.) and most important cities in Albania where we have lunch. After lunch we take a sightseeing tour of the Amphitheatre situated in the middle of the modern city in an inhabited area, and the Archaeological museum rich in artefacts found in the city and its suburbs. Overnight in Durres.
After breakfast we drive to Kruja - the centre of Albanian resistance against the Turks under our national hero Scanderbeg. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, thus earning the title Champion of Christianity. We visit the Skanderbeg Museum, a very rich Ethnographic Museum and the Old Bazaar. Have a characteristic Albanian lunch in Kruja. After lunch we depart for Tirana where the group is left free to explore the capital city. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast, free to explore until time of transfer to Airport. End of our services.
For more information http://tours.edialtour.com/english/index/tour/tid/27/title/Highlights-Tours-of-Albania/datenisje/2012-05-31