Discover the most beautiful sites in Albania, northern Greece and Macedonia – rich in architecture and history, with stunning archaeological sites that blend contemporary cultures with ancient civilization.
Upon arrival at the airport Mother Teresa, the group will be welcomed by our local guide. Depart for Kruja, a small town located in northeast of Tirana, 560 m above sea level. Kruja has been inhabited since the third century B.C. It was accredited for the first time as a Christian religious center in the year 879. The famous English painter Edward Lear, who visited Kruja in 1848, wrote: “Kruja, a charming little town nestled in the sky.” Visit the castle, its typical Ottoman bazaar, the Museum of Skanderbeg and the Ethnographic Museum. Continue to Durres. Sightseeing and free time for dinner. Hotel accommodation.
08:00 – Breakfast at the hotel.
09:00 – 11:00 – Explore the city of Durres, one of the most ancient cities in Albania, which has the largest port in the country and is the second largest industrial center after Tirana. Durres is located on a small peninsula on the Adriatic coast. The city was colonized by the Greeks in 627 B.C. and was named Epidamnos, later becoming known as Dyrrachium. From the Venetian Tower near the harbor, the medieval city walls take you to the Roman amphitheater (capacity 15,000 spectators), the largest in the Balkans, dating back to the 2nd century B.C. The amphitheater contains a Christian crypt with a rare mosaic. Durres has Roman and Byzantine ruins and a beautiful archaeological museum.
Depart to Berat, followed by free time for lunch. Berat is called the “city of a thousand windows”, divided into an “upper town” of 14th century origin, rich in Byzantine churches; and a “low town”. adorned with numerous ancient mosques. Its famous districts are the Castle, Mangalemi, and Gorica. Even today, its citadel is inhabited by more than a thousand families. There are countless places of interest in and around the Castle, including early Christian churches, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, and the many mosques built in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Transfer to Vlora.
18:30 to 19:00 – A little tour of the old town of Vlora, Independence Square.
19:10 – Check-in at the 4-star hotel and free time for dinner. Overnight in Vlora
8.00 – Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 – 11:20 – Transfer to the ancient city of Gjirokaster, UNESCO Heritage Site.
11:30 – 15:30 – Tour of Gjirokaster. Many houses in Gjirokaster have a local distinctive style with roofs covered in stone slabs, giving it the nickname “City of Stones”. Of great importance and interest are the castle, the Museum of Arms, the Ethnographic Museum – also known as Enver Hoxha’s home – and the home of the Zekate family, an important Gjirokaster family. Lunch at the Cajupi restaurant, overlooking the Ancient City.
16:00 – 17:00 – Transfer to Saranda, stopping on the way to visit a Mesopotam Palone – Christian Byzantine Church. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Saranda.
08:00 – Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the archaeological park of Butrint.
09:30 – 13:00 – Tour of the archaeological area. Butrint was mentioned by Virgil in the Eneid. The city is located across the sea from the Greek island of Corfu, and is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO. The city retains Greek ruins; imposing Roman monuments; an early Christian Church and an Ottoman fort. Butrint has been inhabited almost continuously, from the 8th century B.C. and played an important role in the first Peloponnesian War.
13:00 to 15:00 – Free time for lunch at a local restaurant near Ksamil Park. In the afternoon visit the city of Saranda. Hotel accommodation and overnight in Saranda.
07:30 – Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Ioannina, crossing the border into Greece, stopping along the way for a break.
11:30 to 12:30 – Tour of Ioannina, the largest city of the Epirus region. Built on the shore of Pamvotis Lake, 500 meters above sea level, the city charms all visitors with its beauty and the warm atmosphere. It is a city of 100,000 inhabitants with a centenary history. In all the streets and in all the squares there are traces of its culture and tradition.
12:30 to 13:30 – Lunch in Ioannina. Transfer to Kalambaka.
16:00 to 18:30 – Meteora Tour. Meteora is a religious place with many Byzantine churches and monasteries. It is formed by 24 churches placed on a great impervious rock formation, in the past almost inaccessible. The first churches were built for hermits and monks in order to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, others were built during the fourteenth and fifteenth century to refuge from the Ottomans. Hotel accommodation.
07:30 – Breakfast at the hotel.
08:10 to 12:40 – Transfer to Bitola, crossing the border into Macedonia. Stop for a break during the trip. Free time for lunch at a restaurant in Bitola.
14:10 to 16:00 – Heraklea Tour. Heraklea is famous for its mosaics, ancient theaters, and Roman baths. It is the best-preserved city of the ancient Macedonian empire in the country. Founded in the fourth century B.C., it was conquered by the Romans two centuries later. It was built on the Egnatia Road and became one of the major population centers of the trade route. From the fourth to the sixth century B.C., Heraclea was also an Episcopal center. The earliest excavations date back to the First World War when the ancient glories of the Old City were revealed. Magnificent Roman baths, the Episcopal center, the Baptistery, a Jew temple, portico and a Roman theater are now used for summer concerts and theater shows, preserved in excellent conditions.
16:10 to 17:00 – A short tour of the city of Bitola, famous for its churches, mosques and bells.
Bitola was part of Serbia in the fourteenth century and until1912 was under Turkish rule. For many centuries, Muslims made up the majority of the population of this city, while villages were populated by Slavic Macedonians. Bitola was previously known as Monastiri.
17:00 to 18:20 – Trasfer to Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid.
08:00 – Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the ancient city of Ohrid. Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town was declared a World Heritage in 1980. Thanks to the efforts of St. Clement and St. Naum of Ohrid, the first pan-Slavic University in Europe was founded. The visit comprises of the Church of St Sofia (11th century), the most important medieval monument in Macedonia with magnificent Byzantine frescoes, paintings, and the San Clemente church with the icon of the Annunciation.
12:30 to 14:00 – Free time for lunch at one of the restaurants on Lake Ohrid.
14:00 to 16:30 – Transfer to Tirana, capital city of Albania. Visit of the city. Accommodation in a 4-star Hotel.
08:00 – Breakfast at hotel and free time in Tirana. Depart to the airport.
Discovering the land of the Illyrians, where the history and the culture of the West and East are interweaved. A country so near, yet so far away, that finally opened to the world after years of isolation.
A dive into the heart of the interwoven Balkans cultures, diverse histories and religions; visiting ancient Greek and Roman ruins, Byzantine basilicas, Orthodox monasteries with golden mosaics …
Discovering breathtaking landscapes, ancient cities, royal palaces, archaeological sites and so many stories about the history and peoples of this part of Balkans …
Travel Albania manages and organizes trips and holidays, short trips to the city, beach holidays, family vacations, sea excursions, trekking and much more. We have a decade of experience in incoming tourism services and specific technical training in Italy.
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