Albania 3-7 night add-on packages
“We had an excellent time and met like-minded people to explore with. It was brilliant. Definitely do the Albania part – it’s an amazing country to visit and the walk over the mountains is an experience!”
Dawn Ballard, June 2017
2020 departure dates: Any (Sunday to Wednesday) min. 2 persons
There’s only one way to improve upon an adventure holiday to Montenegro, and that’s to hop over the border to experience the stunning beauty of its little-visited next-door-neighbour Albania as well! More accessible than ever before thanks to budget airlines now flying into Podgorica (just a few hours from the Albanian Alps), this staggeringly pretty and near-unexplored destination is the perfect addition to our week multi-activity holiday at Lake Skadar. In fact, that’s why we created it.
Our “best of Albania” package takes you on a cultural adventure into the heart of one of Europe’s most exciting new destinations. The tour starts at the remarkable Thethi National Park, and finishes in either Shkodra, ancient capital of the kingdom of Zeta and now the largest town on the shores of Lake Skadar, or capital Tirana (depending on length of your tour). All the while you will learn about blood feuds, the sworn virgins of the mountains, life under Enver Hoxha, one of the most crazed of all European dictators, and much, much more besides.
Your Tour :Leader: Gjergji has worked with Undiscovered Montenegro for 5 years and has consistently succeeded in delivering 5-star trips to his beautiful homeland together with his colleagues, Ardi and Elton, based out of Tirana and Shkoder. He speaks superb English.
Below are the itineraries for the 3-night and week-long options.
3 DAY OPTION:
Day 1 – into Albania!
Transfer to the border at Hani i Hotit, 45 minutes from Podgorica airport, and then a further journey with our wonderful Albanian guides up to the staggering beauty of Thethi National Park. In the afternoon we will explore the attractions of Thethi on foot: the church, the blood feud tower, a beautiful waterfall, followed by dinner and overnight stay at the lovely Villa Gjecaj.
Day 2 – Hiking the Dinaric Alps
After an early breakfast we proceed to Valbona, where we will enjoy the wild beauty of the highest peak in the Dinaric Alps – Jezerca. It’s a beautiful introduction to the untouched and pristine natural trails that Albania can offer, with epic views throughout. At the end of the hike in the beautiful village of Valbona you can relax in your hotel before enjoying a great local dinner featuring delicious locally-made products. Hiking time is 7-8 hours..
Day 3 – Komani Lake boat trip/Rozafa Castle, Shkodra
The boat ride on Lake Komani has been recently voted by travel bloggers as one of the best 5 boat trips in the world! This man-made lake is framed on all sides by sheer limestone cliffs and the contrast with the sapphire waters is remarkable. There will stops along the way at some isolated villages for turkish coffee and raki as the journey also forms part of a “water-bus” route for remote mountain communities. Afterwards we continue to the town of Shkodra on the shores of Lake Skadar for another lovely meal and a guided tour around the famous Rozafa Castle.
Day 4 – transfer back to Montenegro/Podgorica airport
7 DAY OPTION:
Day 1 – Arrival
You will be collected from Podgorica Airport and then transferred across the border between Albania and
Montenegro. Our guide and driver will give you a warm welcome and plenty of useful information on the way to the mountain village of Theth. We will stop in the Valley of Boga for refreshment and after about 1h30 minutes more driving we will arrive in the village of Theth. We will explore the village and the Lock in Tower and there is a short hike to the spectacular Grunas Waterfall and Canyon. Overnight at Villa Gjecaj where we will also taste the delicious food of the village.
Day 2 – Shkodra
Drive to Shkodra after breakfast. We’ll visit the beautiful and legendary Fortress of Rozafa and the
downtown which offers architecture, history, mosques and churches sitting next to each other in
absolute peace and amazing relaxed atmosphere, welcoming Shkodrans and great little restaurants.
Overnight in the Hotel Tradita, group dinner.
Day 3 – Lake Koman boat ride
Early morning breakfast and than transfer to Koman where we will take a boat ride in the eponymous artificial lake built in the 70s by the Communist Regime. The result is one of the 5 most beautiful boat lake rides in the world according to some. We end the ride after about 5 hours wandering through
spectacular mountain cliff views and isolated tiny villages mirrored in the lake. Transfer to Valbona for a visit of the village and an overnight in Villa Dini guesthouse, which offers the best welcome and plenty of information on the surrounding mountains and communities. Group dinner
Day 4 – Prizren
First a little bonus, with a brief foray into Kosovo through the Pass of Morina, a battlefield in the end of the 90s and one of the most welcoming border for Western travellers in the region. We’ll stop in Gjakova for a short walk in the Bazaar and refreshment before driving to Prizren for a visit of the old town and its many charming historical spots. Afterwards we’ll drive the new Highway of the Nation to reach Central Albania to reach Kruja, at about 2000 feet above sea level, by the early evening right on time for a raki aperitif and for a traditional dinner with many culinary surprises!
Day 5 – Fortress of Kruja, Castle of Elbasan
Morning visit of the Fortress of Kruja and then drive South through the ring of Tirana and to stop in Elbasan for a short break. We’ll drive in one of the mountains near the region between Elbasan and Librazhd where we will be amazed by the adrenaline of the driving, the isolation of the locals and the views and stories around. We shall enjoy the local food and raki and optionally swim in the nearby crystaline river. We will then drive to Elbasan to overnight in the Hotel Guri, built into the ruins of an ancient Ottoman castle!
Day 6 – The town of 1000 windows
After breakfast we’ll choose to drive in the direction of Cerrik and Berat through a countryside dirt road through rural scenery of the Devoll (antique Diabolis) valley. After views of the restored Communist
airport of Kucova we’ll reach Berat, the town of the 1000 windows by late afternoon. A UNESCO Heritage site, this stunning hillside village on the steps of the Tomorr mountains is a place of great beauty and tranquility, and the service at the exquisite Hotel Mangalemi is every bit as perfect. There will be time – between more delicious meals! – to visit the Church of the Holy Trinity, a gorgeous 13th century Byzantine church in the ancient citadel of Berat at the top of the hill and explore the town by foot.
Day 7 – Tirana
After a gentle morning, we head back north to Albania’s capital, Tirana. This vibrant city has plenty for both the roving gourmet and the cultural traveller to enjoy – we stay at the Lowen Inn B&B, which has excellent facilities, lovely rooms and is located a mere 800m away from Skenderbeg Square in the centre of town. Your guide will take you to all the most interesting cultural sites, including Et’Hem Bey mosque, the National Art Gallery, the Pyramid and the bustling, vibrant Blloku district. Dinner is at the authentic Oda restaurant, where you eat on low tables as if in a distant relative’s own house.
Day 8 – transfer to Podgorica or Tirana airport (other destinations will incur an extra transfer charge)
Prices are in £ Sterling per person and include all transport, all activities, all accommodation, breakfast, dinners and all guiding (lunches not included).
3 night trips run Sunday-Wednesday, 7 night trips run any day. A 10% discount is available for groups of 4+.
|Discover Albania 3 nights||
Discover Albania 7 nights