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Stranden Albanië

Albania in a Nutshell

Itinerary

  • Itinerary:
    Tirana - Shkodra - Berat - Albanian Riviera - Kruja - Tirana
  • Duration:
    11 days / 10 nights
  • Price:
    From £ 1,185.- per person (excluding flights)
Albania, brimming with natural wonders and rich cultural heritage, is waiting to be discovered by curious travellers. On this adventure you'll take in some of the highlights of this fascinating country. Glide across the mirror-like lakes, explore the bustling bazaars in the medieval towns and spend a few blissful days by the seaside. That's Albania in a nutshell for you!
muziek in albanië
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Days 1-2 – Welcome to Albania!

On arrival at Tirana airport you will be met by our local partners, where you’ll receive your detailed itinerary with travel tips and get assistance for the rental car pick-up. Then you’ll be whisked to your hotel in the city centre.

The following day you’ll explore Tirana with a local guide, who will share with you their insights into the history of the capital and the country, and tell you all about daily life. Discover the story of the national hero at Skanderbeg Square and learn about Ottoman influences at the Et’hem Bey Mosque. You’ll also experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Blloku district, now a trendy area filled with excellent dining and socialising spots. At the new bazaar, you’ll have the opportunity to taste Albanian freshly brewed beer and sample a few local bites.

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Day 3 – Shkodra: Between the Lakes

After collecting your hire car in Tirana, your first journey will be a short drive to Shkodra, one of the oldest cities in Europe. Nestled on the banks of a picturesque lake, it’s ambient old town is lined with inviting cafes and boutiques. The medieval Rozafa castle overlooking the city offers uninterrupted views of the vast Shkodra lake. And there’s the iconic Ottoman bridge too (among other attractions), worth a walk over, even if just for a photo. Your home for the next two nights is a small boutique hotel in the heart of old town, with heaps of Italian flair (not uncommon for Shkodra) and an inviting courtyard.

Familiarise yourself with driving in Albania: it’s safe, but different from home. There aren’t always clear traffic rules, roads, or signs, but there’s a communal sense of looking out for one another. Feeling a bit uncertain? We can arrange this road trip with a private driver for added peace of mind.

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Day 4 – Lake Koman by boat

The following day you’ll venture off to the stunning man-made lake Koman, created in the late 70s that has since become one of the region’s main attractions. You will explore the lake by boat before kayaking down the clear Shala river, surrounded by the huge rock formations and deep gorges of Valbona Valley. To help you refuel after all the paddling and excitement, a hearty lunch will be served at one of the local guest houses before you return back to Koman (the starting point) by boat.

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Days 5-6 – The 1000 windows of Berat

Today you’ll continue your travels to the next Albanian gem, Berat, famed for its Ottoman flair. This town will instantly charm you with its authentic look and beautiful views, and to enhance your experience, we’ll book you into one of the local hotels built in the traditional Berati style, with plenty of wood and stonework. Located in the Ottoman Mangalemi district, you’ll be surrounded by the famous ottoman houses with countless windows that gave Berat its famous nickname. During your stay here, you’ll set off on a culinary adventure. Meet a local chef at one of the restaurants and learn to cook a few delicious traditional dishes, then enjoy your lunch fresh off the stove.

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Days 7-9 – Riviera Life

No trip to Albania will be complete without a few days by the coast and today you’ll head towards the seaside. Stretching over a 100 miles along the coast and washed by the warm waters of the Ionian sea, Albanian Riviera is the best place to slow down, recharge and enjoy the sun. You’ll spend a few days in one of the coastal towns dotted along the shoreline, lazing around on the blissful beaches or exploring the coastline. You’ll stay in a locally run guesthouse with welcoming hosts and lovely atmosphere. And on one of the days we’ll arrange a boat-trip for you to explore the mesmerising Canyon of Gjipe. This won’t take away your beach time as you’ll have a chance to bathe on a stunning white-sand beach hidden between the cliffs, beside the canyon.

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Gjipe Canyon boat tour

There is no better way to discover the Dhermi area than from the water. Hop on a boat and sail along the coast. You’ll get off on a white sandy beach, where the narrow Gjipe Canyon starts from. You’ll hike through the gorge in search of hidden caves before some beach time. That’s a great spot for lunch too – you can get some snacks on the beach or take a little picnic lunch with you. Then you’ll continue your adventures to the mysterious pirate cave.

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Day 10 – Colours of Kruja

Following another scenic drive through Albania’s countryside, you’ll arrive at quaint Kruja. This town was the birthplace of Skanderbeg, Albania’s legendary hero, and of course there is a fortress sat atop a hill. With stunning views and a very impressive museum shedding light on Skanderbeg’s life and deeds, it’s well worth a visit. Otherwise, you can easily spend hours wandering around the 500-years-old Bazaar with myriads of stalls and tiny shops filled to the brim with colourful handicrafts. It’s a great spot to stock up on souvenirs, so you’re in the right place at the right time! You’ll spend your final night in Albania in a charming local hotel in the heart of the town, a great setting to finish your adventure.

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Day 11 – Farewell to Albania

Today you will have your final drive to Tirana airport (around 1 hour) where you will drop off your hire car and board your international flight back to the UK. With plenty of photos and loads of stories to tell at the dinner parties, no doubt!

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Albania in a Nutshell

Accommodation

For this bite-sized trip we offer the following options

Queparo historisch dorp Albanese Riviera
Option
1

Not ready to drive yourself? Choose this itinerary with a private car and driver.

  • Travel sum:
    From £ 1,998.- per person, excluding flights
  • Included:
    As above, plus your driver, their accommodation and, fuel cost.

If heading on a road trip isn’t your dream holiday, why not swap a self-drive for a private car and driver. This way, you’ll have the same freedom of travelling around, but without the stress of driving in a foreign country (or the need to count your beers!). Your experienced driver will whizz you around the country with ease, and the fuel and their accommodation will be paid for too.

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