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Ten days in Albania with arrival on Sunday

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Sunday
02.35 Your Saturday night flight from Oslo arrives at Tirana International Airport early on Sunday.
Our representative will meet you, provide you with the information you need, answer any questions, and drive you to your beach hotel in Durrës (about 45 minutes).

Monday
Enjoy beach life in Durrës. We will provide you with insider tips if you want to explore the surroundings.

Tuesday
After breakfast and check out from the hotel we start driving south.
The main sight today is the ruins of Apollonia, a city founded by settlers from Corfu and Corinth and an important port along the route between Rome and Byzantium.
Archaeologists are now struggling to preserve this fine historical monument.
There is a restaurant at the site, suitable for lunch.​
We continue to Vlorë, which started to rise as Apollonia began to decline after an earthquake in the 3rd century. You will learn about the tumultuous history of this economic stronghold and its dramatic role during the Albanian civil war in 1997.
Accommodation in Vlorë.

Wednesday
The trip continues south along the Adriatic coast after breakfast. We climb up the spectacular Llogara pass and enjoy the mountainous coastal road to Himara, a Greek-dominated coastal city.
After lunch, we discover the upper town around the ancient castle with splendid views out to the sea. Rest your legs after all the climbing in one of the Greek tavernas downtown or enjoy the city beach.
Accommodation in Himara.

Thursday
Breakfast and check out from your hotel.
We continue along the Adriatic coast to Porto Palermo and its castle, which was one of the strongholds of Ottoman Albanian ruler Ali Pasha. The Soviets had a secret submarine base nearby.
Lunch at a panorama restaurant.
After lunch, we continue along the mountain roads to Saranda, a beach town only a few kilometres from the Greek island of Corfu.
There are dozens of dinner restaurants in Saranda, and your guide will help you pick the best one.
Accommodation in Saranda.

Friday
Spend the morning enjoying the Saranda beach. After lunch, we drive up to Lëkurësi Castle overlooking the city.
There you will see and get to climb into some of the notorious small bunkers that Communist dictator Enver Hoxha built along Albania’s borders.
You may also meet some of the shepherds with their sheep or cows.
Downtown dinner and Saranda beach nightlife.

Saturday
After breakfast, we drive you to Butrint, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Albania’s most important archaeological venue.
Butrint was built as a Greek city and later became a Roman colony. Later on, it was an outpost of the Byzantine Empire and assaulted by the Normans, among other forces.
Much of the structures are well preserved, giving you a glimpse into ancient city life.
We drive to the picturesque Ksamil village for lunch and to spend the afternoon on its beautiful beach.
Return to Saranda in the evening.​

Sunday
Breakfast and check out from the hotel. We drive inland and visit the fascinating Blue Eye, a natural more than 50 m deep spring, which produces vast amounts of fresh water every minute that later forms the river Bistricë.
At lunchtime, we arrive in Gjirokastra, another prominent Albanian UNESCO site. Gjirokastra has a unique Ottoman architecture and is also known as the birthplace of former Communist dictator Enver Hoxha.
After lunch, we visit the castle with an American spy plane forced down in the 60’s, a former prison for political detainees, Enver Hoxha’s home and a beautifully restored Ottoman home.
Accommodation in a typical Ottoman-era hotel in Gjirokastra if available.

Monday
We check out from our Gjirokastra hotel and drive north to Berat, which also belongs to the prominent places on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Berat is sometimes called “The White City” or “The City of a Thousand Windows”. You will understand why when you get there.
We will show you unique works by the Christian Orthodox icon painter Onufri – he was not afraid of putting Muslim symbols into his Christian icons.
Also, you will see the Sufi Halveti Tekke – a place of worship for the Sufi Halveti order – and the King Mosque next to it – a national cultural monument.
Accommodation in a typical Ottoman-era hotel in Berat if available.​

Tuesday
After breakfast, we leave for Tirana, where we arrive at lunchtime.
We will guide you through the wild development of the Albanian capital, and its modern life contrasted against its dramatic Communist legacy.
Tirana has plenty of excellent lunch and dinner restaurants to choose from. You will also have time to stroll around and discover the city by yourself.
You will have a day room at a central hotel at your disposal until it is time to leave for the airport.

Wednesday
01.00 We pick you up from your Tirana hotel for the airport transfer.​
01.45 Arrival at Tirana International Airport. Your guide will bid you farewell at the security control.
03.20 Your flight to Oslo departs.

Good to know
The tour includes accommodation, English-speaking guide, transportation, entrance fees and breakfast in your hotel.
The price depends on how many persons you are, and if you have any special requests. Contact us to get your personal price.
Lunch and dinner are at your own expense. According to our experience, this is better than pre-arranged meals as it gives you the freedom to try the Albanian specialities you want.
Your guide will provide you with recommendations according to your wishes and interests.
Remember that the price level is considerably lower than in Norway.
All accommodation is in premium tourist class hotels. Traditional venues are used when possible.
We recommend that you purchase personal travel insurance before leaving Norway.
We do NOT recommend renting a car in Albania to drive yourself. The traffic culture is much different than in Norway.