Get a snapshot of beautiful Albania with a tour from modern Tirana to the Ionian Sea. In just over a week, you'll take in many of the country's best highlights: see ancient ruins in Butrint National Park, stroll the seaside promenade of charming Sarandë, and tour multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way. End your journey with a fun night in Blloku, one of the capital's hippest neighborhoods.


  • See Greek and Byzantine ruins in Butrint National Park
  • Stroll the seaside promenade of Sarandë on the Ionian coast
  • Take a walking tour of the historic UNESCO-listed Berat
  • Enjoy the nightlife of Tirana's hip Blloku neighborhood

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tirana Tirana
Day 2 Transfer to Kruje, Discover Shkodër Kruje
Day 3 Transfer to Vlorë, Visit Ardenica Monastery & Apollonia Vlorë
Day 4 Transfer to Sarandë via Ioannina Castle & Butrint National Park Sarandë
Day 5 Transfer to Gjirokastra, the "Stone City" Gjirokastra
Day 6 Transfer to Berat Berat
Day 7 Return to Tirana, Explore Tirana
Day 8 Depart Tirana  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tirana

Welcome to Albania
Welcome to Albania

Arrive in Tirana at Tirana International Airport. Depending on your flight time, you may have the option of a city tour with a local guide. If not, unwind at your hotel or grab a bite in a specialist-recommended restaurant.

Day 2: Transfer to Kruje, Discover Shkodër


Today you'll leave for Shkodër, a town on the Montenegro border. This town is a symbol of harmony between all the coexisting religions in Albania, and you'll see Catholic, Orthodox Muslim, and Bektashi monuments while there.

Next, head to Kruje, the hometown of Skanderbeg, a 15th-century national hero who fought the Ottoman Empire. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum, where you'll learn more about local culture, lifestyle, family traditions, and the legend himself. Afterward, browse the old market located on a charming square with cobbled streets, ideal for souvenir shopping.

Day 3: Transfer to Vlorë, Visit Ardenica Monastery & Apollonia

Tour the historic ruins of Apollonia

Spend your morning in Ardenica, touring the last operating Orthodox monastery in Albania (Manastiri i Ardenicës). Its well-preserved frescos and spectacular views all the way to the sea make this a popular destination.

Next, travel to Fier to visit the archaeological site of Apollonia. A former massive antique city, Apollonia is the country's largest archaeological park. Marvel at the surviving structures, like the Bouleterion, theater, Odeon, and the library where the emperor Octavius once studied. Stop for the night in Vlorë, where Albanian independence was declared.

Day 4: Transfer to Sarandë via Ioannina Castle & Butrint National Park

Ruins in Butrint National Park
Ruins in Butrint National Park

After breakfast, start your journey along the Ionian coast. The drive will take you through the charming village of Himare, with a stop at the Ali Pasha of Ioannina Castle on the way. In the afternoon, take an archeological tour of Butrint National Park and enjoy its riches—you'll have Greeks and Byzantine ruins to explore, along with nature trails and beautiful views. Arrive in Sarandë in the late afternoon, where you'll stay the night near its beautiful seaside promenade.

Plan your trip to Albania
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Transfer to Gjirokastra, the "Stone City"

Gjirokastra, the "Stone City"
Gjirokastra, the "Stone City"

In the morning, continue your journey in the direction of Gjirokastra—the "Stone City." Enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the city's castle and the Skenduli House, a famous example of the region's architecture.

Day 6: Transfer to Berat

Historic Berat
Historic Berat

Today you'll visit another UNESCO-listed site: the historic city of Berat. Nicknamed the "City of A Thousand Windows," Berat is known for its characteristic architecture,  and you'll be charmed by its white houses and steep streets on a walking tour. Stops include the castle, a number of mosques, the Onufri Museum, and the Ethnographic Museum.

Day 7: Return to Tirana, Explore

National Museum, Tirana
National Museum, Tirana

Return to vibrant Tirana for your last full day in Albania. Explore at your leisure, discovering the city's iconic sites. A visit to the National Museum located near Skanderbeg Square provides an excellent introduction to Albanian history. In the evening, enjoy the nightlife of the capital in the district of Blloku. Once reserved for the elite of the communist regime, Blloku is now a trendy neighborhood where you can have a drink or find a nice restaurant to relax in on your last day.

Day 8: Depart Tirana

Et'hem Bey Mosque, Tirana
Et'hem Bey Mosque, Tirana

Enjoy one last coffee with your guide at the airport before saying mirupafshim (farewell) and catching your departing flight.

More Great Albania Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Albania? Check out these other Albania itineraries or discover the best time to visit Albania.


Map of Classic Albania - 8 Days
Map of Classic Albania - 8 Days