8 Days









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Albania, one of the last European Nations to breakthrough the iron grip of communism after four decades of suppression lead by the former dictator Enver Hoxha. After his death in 1985, Albania spiriled into country wide revolts as student protests became widesperad. Shortly after the death of Hoxha, his successor Ramiz Alia struggled to keep the “law and order” intact as these protests, demonstrations and strikes continued.  As you travel throughout the country you will take an inside peak and discover the impact communism had not only on an architectual level, but the arts, agriculture, manufacturing and lastly the intellectual and cultural development on todays society. This grand tour allows you to see first hand the repercussions communism left behind.  Today, Albania’s capital still sets precedence on the direction of the country as it aims at reform and modernization; all the while, the rest of the country is still behind.

Day 1

Arrival and overnight in Meet briefly once we arrive at the hotel for a short overview. You will have some time to relax before we head out for dinner. We embark for a short city walking tour with a local expert who will explain the architectural development of the city, and the urban planning of today set forth for Tirana. As we stroll towards the restaurant for fining we will passing through the once neighborhood(Blloku) of Enver Hoxha former Dictator. We dine all together in the city center of Tirana.

Overnight Tirana.

Day 2

After breakfast we head out explore the city. We visit the National Gallery of Arts with a special guided tour by the curator. Here we will see the fantastic socialist realism collection of Al-banian artists. In the afternoon we visit the National Museum, which reflects the history of Albania from antiquity to the after Hoxha era.

Overnight in Tirana.

Day 3

Departing Tirana for the south of Albania. We briefly visit Durres, one of the two ports where Roman via Egnatia started (to end all the way in Byzantium-Constantinople-Istanbul), the continuation of the Via Appia Antica. We pass through Fier, the Albanian ‘Texas’, and continue to Apollonia, second starting point of via Egnatia and one of the mayor archaeological sites in Albania. Overnight on the coast in Vlore, where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and seat of the first Albanian government after the state’s foundation in 1912.

Overnight Vlore.

Day 4

After a brief visit of Vlore, we drive down south the breathtaking and unspoiled Albanian Riviera. Our bus climbs up the Pass of Llogara and reaches altitudes of more than 1000 meters. The views over the Ionian Sea and its white sandy beaches are spectacular. Little villages, old churches and ancient castles complete the picture. We walk up to the castle and abandoned town of Himara and we visit the bay of Ali-Pasha’s fortress. In the afternoon we reach the coastal town of Saranda. Overnights in the best hotel on the waterfront of town. Dinner.

Overnight Saranda.

Day 5

Visit of the archaeological park of Butrint (UNESCO) and its beautiful museum, the most important archaeological site in Albania. On our way to Gjirokastra we walk to the Bektashi Monastery of Melan. We are invited to drink locally produced raki and to learn more about the Bektashi order, to which most of Albanian Muslims belong. Very liberal, without hierarchy, no restrictions in everyday life and a passion for nature are some of the aspects we will talk about with the members of the order. After our visit we continue to Gjirokastra. We stroll along the laid back streets before heading further to the well preserved ‘Ottoman’ town of Gjirokastra (UNESCO site), the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha and notable writer Ismail Kadare. In the afternoon we visit the town including the castle with its famous prison used by King Zog, Italian fascist, Nazis and Communists and the family house of Enver Hoxha.

Overnight Gjirokastra.

Day 6

We make our way through the moutaineous landscape to the town of Permet. As we pass the Kelcyre Gorge the unspoiled rivers and gorges make for a picturesque moment. Permet lies beautifully in the Vjosa valley, the town of heavy battles during WWII and the place where the Congress of the Communist Party elected the first government in 1944. The monument of a fine socialist realist statue still today reminds of the historic fact. On the central square we meet with a Town Hall Representative and discuss on past and future perspectives.

Overnight Gjirokastra.

Day 7

On our way to the north we pass through Tepelene, where the remains of a castle remind of Ali-Pasha’s birthplace. Further up in Balsch was a former prison, where the prisoners force-worked in the refineries. The highlight of the day is Berat (UNESCO), a byzantine-ottoman excellently preserved city, where we walk around visiting byzantine churches and the museum of the most prominent Albanian painter of Christian art during the Ottoman Empire. Late in the afternoon arrival in Tirana and overnight. Before dinner we meet with an intellectual, former political prisoner of the Communist era and we discuss the experiences of our trip. Traditional Farewell dinner in the city.
Overnight Tirana.

Day 8

In the morning individual last walks around Tirana . Group Transfer for airport departure.


8 days/7 nights

Activity Level
Walking: Easy to moderate

To be advised

Included in Price

  • Breakfast – 7
  • Lunch – 7
  • Dinner – 7
  • Fully guided tour, airport transfer, accommodations
  • Entrance tickets to all venues

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