Highlights of Albania

“Still relatively undiscovered, Albania has a wealth of cultural heritage. This highlights of Albania tour showcases a country ideally suited to the intrepid traveller.”

Highlights

Tirana | Petrela Fortress | Elbasan Fortress | National Museum of History | Lake Ohrid | Pogradec | Voskopoja | Korca | Permeti | Walk in the Benja countryside | Kelcyra Gorge | Gjirokastra | Gjirokastra Castle | Saranda | Butrint | Ali Pasha Fortress | Llogora National Park | Apollonia | Vlora | Berat | The Red Mosque | Durresi | Kruja |

Description of Highlights of Albania

Isolated for many years, Albania is now emerging as a sought-after destination for European cultural tours. With this exciting itinerary you’ll travel from the capital, Tirana, to Lake Ohrid, along Albania’s Adriatic coast, across the White Mountains, through Llogora National Park and finally to the ancient city of Berat, with its churches, mosques and UNESCO-listed centre.

Explore historic fortresses, scenic fishing villages and some of Albania’s most renowned museums. Visit Butrint, dating back to the Neolithic period and one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Balkans, with traces of Ottoman and Roman civilizations. And take a tour of Apollonia, which was founded in 585BC and was once a stronghold of Julius Caesar.

As you roam the highlights of Albania, historic, natural and cultural, there will be no shortage of opportunities to take in stunning views, from mountain passes, across gorges over which eagles soar and where the hillsides are scattered with wildflowers, or from the walls of ancient hilltop fortresses.

Of course a country’s true character is rarely found in its best-known landmarks, but in the areas between them. To that end, you will travel with knowledgeable Albanian guides that can provide superb insights, stay in family-owned accommodations, and eat in small independent restaurants adjacent to the locals.

In many villages and rural areas, life goes on much as it has done for centuries past. As Albania gradually opens up to the world, that is likely to change. This tour is a wonderful way to discover, and understand, a truly unique culture.

Travel Team

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12 Sep 2021
£1153
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19 Sep 2021
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26 Sep 2021
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Small group tour:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
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Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
On this trip we have a balance of time spent in the towns and cities and also out exploring the beautiful scenery on foot, such as hiking in the Llogora Park and walking up to Leusa Village to visit the church. During our walks our Tour Leaders will explain about the local fauna and flora and also village life and customs, and about the importance of safeguarding these for future generations. We will visit Butrint, which is one of the great archaeological sites in the Balkans. By visiting Butrint we are helping to fund the ongoing work to conserve this important historical site.

To help reduce the level of pollution within the urban centres, the sightseeing tours we operate are mostly done on foot, which is also a great way of seeing all they have to offer first hand. When coaches are being used for these small group trips we keep the size of the coach to a minimum, so rather than using gas guzzling 40-50 seaters we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat coaches that use less fuel and therefore admit less carbon.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

During the many years of communist rule Albania was cut off from the outside world, but now times have changed and it’s proving to be a popular destination for visitors looking to experience untouched countryside vistas, see colourful ancient church frescoes, explore bustling cities and swim in the crystal clear coastal waters. Our trip is designed to gain an insight into this fascinating land and to experience the wide variety of sights it has to offer.

We use a local Tour Leader and guides on this trip who know the country very well and who will help to give us a unique insight into the history, customs and culture of Albania and get us that bit closer to the local people. Our Tour Leaders are trained by us in the importance of responsible tourism with guidance given on how they can make a difference. As we travel around Albania we stay in a variety of local, family run hotels and eat out in small restaurant which brings direct economic benefits to the communities we visit. In the small village of Benja, which isn’t normally a stop made by tourists, we will get to sample a traditional lamb barbeque and also have the chance to drink raki with the villagers. We also make a stop in the picturesque fishing village of Lin where we can sample the catch of the day for our lunch thus helping to support the local fisherman.

Our local agent in Albania also feels passionately about operating responsibly and they have their own sustainable tourism pact, which includes ways that they minimise the amount of waste and plastic used and the importance of using local suppliers, they also have an animal welfare policy and support a number of local projects that benefit the communities where they operate trips. Recently they receive the Golden Bee Award for Touristic Entrepreneurship Excellency from the Albanian Government. They were chosen due to the great work they do to help make Tirana a greener capital. They’ve done this by planting new trees and promoting cycling, green energies and recycling practices.

Climate

4 Reviews of Highlights of Albania

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Sep 2019 by

5***** Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Oct 2019 by

A memorable trip Read full review

Reviewed on 24 May 2019 by

We loved the countryside and wild flowers. We particularly liked the visit to a village where they cooked lunch for us which was absolutely delicious.. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 May 2019 by

The scenery and the food were the most memorable parts of our holiday. Read full review

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