Albania & Macedonia Tour

Albania & Macedonia Tour

13 days

Max tour group size:  16 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk 2-3 hours across cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.

 

Let us handle the details

 

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Expert Tour Director

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Local cousine

 

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Handpicked hotels

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Sightseeing with local guides

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Private trasport

 

Your tour includes :                   Your tour highlights :

  • 12 night in handpicked Hotels 
  • Breakfast daily, 12 three-course meals with beer or wine and Coffee/Sweet breaks
  • Multilingual Tour Director
  • Private deluxe coach
  • Guided sightseeing with local guides and select entrance fees
  • The narrow alleys and castle of the city of “a thousand windows” of Berat
  • The Bazaar build of stone of Gjirokastra
  • The warm hospitality of rural families
  • A hypnotic spring and a coffee break in the middle of waterfalls
  • The Bay of Bones and St. Naum Monastery
  • Matka Canyon and Macedonian local food

 

  

 

Tirane  1 night

 

Day 1: Travel day

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Dinner

 

Airport pick-up service available throughout the day (included).  Welcome to Albania! Get settled in the hotel and for those of you not too tired, there is a guided walking tour of the city center before dinner at a traditional restaurant in the evening.

 

 

Berat  2 nights

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Berat

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

vintage Included entrances: Museums, Local Guide

 

 

Transfer to Berat passing through striking hills full of olive trees. After lunch, set out for a walking guide through the Unesco – recognized old town, admiring the White Mosque, the Holy Trinity Church and Gorica Bridge. In the afternoon, enter into the Berat Castle for a guided tour. In the evening enjoy traditional food in a local restaurant on the hill, facing the lights of the city.

 

 

Day 3: Lunch in Countryside & Wine Tasting

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Transfer to the countryside for a home cooked meal. Experience Albanian rural traditions and hospitality.  Home – made wine and “Raki” are pleasant drinks to accompany your food. You will have the chance to learn how to make Raki (October is the months of Raki making). 

In the afternoon we head for a wine tasting experience at The Çobo Winery. After an extensive viewing of the wine making process and detailed explanations, a member of the Çobo family also shares the family’s history and the origins of their wines. After the tour of the grounds, guests are invited to share a glass of wine (taste 5 different types of wine) and exchange stories with a member of the Çobo family while enjoying a variety of homemade Albanian cheeses and locally-grown olives.

 

 

Gjirokaster  2 nights

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokaster

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

vintage Included entrances: Museums, Local Guide

 

 

 

Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover the city of “a thousand steps”, driving through small villages. After lunch, soak up to the rich history of the castle and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above. Step into Zekate house, the oldest Ottoman tower house.  Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses and visit the Ethnographic Museum, Albanian Communist dictator’s home.

 

 

 

Day 5: Typical food from Rural Gjirokastra

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch (cooking session)

 

Drive to Treneshisht and experience a day in an Albanian countryside cottage. Step inside and learn about food, life and traditions of an Albanian family. Three generations of men and women welcome you in their family. Walk through gardens, picking ingredients by yourself, and learn how to cook traditional food. 

In the evening, transfer back to the city and celebrate your day with a relaxed walk by Lake Viroi.

 

 

Himara  1 night

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of the Blue Eye spring and Butrint

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

vintage Included entrances: Museums, Archaeological Park of Butrint

 

Travel to the Blue Eye and marvel at the spring’s shades of blue and nature around it. Drive to Ksamil and enjoy seafood next to turquoise waters. In the afternoon, set off on a guided tour of Butrint National Park where a local guide explains 2500 years of history embedded in the Amphitheater, the castle, the churches and the Lion Gate. 

On the way to Himare, stop for a coffee break at Borsh waterfalls and lend an ear to the sound of crystal cold water. 

Transfer to Himare and enjoy free time in this typical seaside city.

 

Tirana  2 nights

Day 7: Apollonia via Llogara National Park

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

vintage Included entrances: Archaeological Park of Apollonia, Guide with archaeologist

 

En route to Apollonia, stop at Llogara “balcony” for a stunning view from above of the South Coast beaches and then head for lunch to Llogara National Park freshened by the mountain breeze and pine trees.  Set off a guided tour in Apollonia in the afternoon, where an on-site archeologist explains the history behind the temple of Artemis, the Odeon and the Triumphal Arch.  On the way to Tirana, stop for the delicious “Byrek” in the city of Lushnje.

 

 

Day 8: Communist History Tour Tirane

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee/Sweet breaks, Dinner.

 vintage Included entrances: Art gallery and all museum.

 

  • We start our journey of the past at the Bunk’ Art 1 Museum with a full – immersion of the Albanian history of the last 100 years. The ex – nuclear bunker, build to accommodate Communist Dictator Hoxha in the event of attack, tells us the story of the dictator’s time through photographs, items and documents.
  • After we step out of Bunk’ Art 1, we head for “qofte( meat balls ) , typical Tirana’s street food.
  • Enter in the National Gallery of Arts for many socialist realist art. Powerful images give a sense of how “realistic” art was used to create propaganda. Behold the pyramid, the former “Enver Hoxha Museum”. Its once – white marble walls are now crumbling and full of graffiti. Discover its history from our local guide.
  • Coffee break at KomitetiKafe Museum for some raki, communist candy and maybe some coffee also.
  • We will walk through the Blloku area, where we discover the home of Enver Hoxha and other senior members of his regime. We will stop at the Post Blloku memorial, which honors former political prisoners, in an area once forbidden to enter.
  • It is time for another “sweet stop”. The area is well – known for typical pastry products and cake of Tirana.
  • We visit the Museum of Surveillance, the HQ of the “Sigurimi” secret police and the heart of the regime’s phone – tapping network. The “House of Leaves” ( as Known by locals ) hid many stories, being used as the gestapo HQ ( 1943 – 1944 ) and “investigation  and torture house” by Albanian secret police afterwards. You will have free time to wonder around Tirana’s city center before getting back together in the evening for dinner at a local restaurant at the sounds of traditional Albanian folk music, where you will have the chance to learn the steps of various dances. 

 

 

Ohrid  2 nights

Day 9: Ohrid via Elbasan

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

 

En route to Ohrid, we stop in the city of Elbasan for a short walking tour of the ancient castle walls, the churches, mosques, amphitheatre and Ottoman houses within. After a coffee break on top of the last remaining tower of the castle we depart for Macedonia. 

Soon after crossing the Macedonian border, we pay a visit to the cave church dedicated to Archangel Michal, built in one of many natural caves above the village of Radozda. 

Then, head for the city of Struga for lunch by the River Drin before traveling to Ohrid.

 

 

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Ohrid & St. Naum Monastery

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

 vintage Included entrances: Bay of Bones Museum, Boat ride, Local Guide

 

 

Take in all that the charming lakeside city of Ohrid has to offer on a guided tour.  Enter Samuil’s Fortress and walk along its historic 4th-century walls.  See the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, built in the Hellenistic style and walk up to the cliff-top Church of Saint John at Kaneo for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.  Pass by the Church of Saint Sophia and enter the National Workshop for a handmade paper-making demonstration Free time for shopping (visit of stores with the original Ohrid pearl) and lunch.

Then, head for the main harbor and board on a private boat ride to spend the afternoon exploring the medieval Monastery of Saint Naum. See the resident peacocks that roam the grounds and enter the monastery to view its intricate frescoes. 

On our way back, stop at the Bay of Bones Museum, a prehistoric settlement located on Lake Ohrid.

 

Skopje  2 nights

Day 11: Skopje via St. Johvan Bigostri

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee break, Winery tour

 

 

Continue on to Skopje, making stops along the way. 

  • Stop in Bitola, a small city surrounded by mountain ranges, to walk along the most famous street in Macedonia, Sirok Sokak, and have a “lazy” coffee break.   
  • On the way, pass through the wine region of Tikvesh, where you’ll get acquainted with the food and wine of the region on a tour the Winery with an expert guide.  

Taste their finest wines and appetizers, including an assortment of traditional Galichnik cheese and smoked meat; then enjoy a homemade pie with piquant sauces, a fresh salad, a scrumptious entrée and a delicious desert. 

Enjoy a free evening in Skopje.

 

 

 

 

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Skopje & Matka Canyon

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

vintage Included entrances: Local Guide, Museum Entrances, Boat Ride.

 

This morning, set out to explore the beautiful capital city of Macedonia with a local as your guide. Some of the highlight are Mother Teresa Memorial House, opened in 2009 to pay tribute to the life of the celebrated humanitarian, the old railway station and the Stone Bridge, which dates back to 1451. 

 

In the afternoon, continue towards the Matka Canyon known for its butterfly colonies.  Here we embark on a private boat ride to visit the Monastery of the Holy Mother, the central monastery for the churches of the area, now an active female monastery where nuns are busy making priests vestments.  Close by, we head for a short exploration of the Vrelo Cave, one the deepest in the world, before heading back to the city.

In the evening, we get together at a local restaurant for a Macedonian folklore night.

 

 

 

Day 13: Departure

Cutlery-52 Included meals: Breakfast

 

 

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home

 


1290 € / person

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