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 out in Blloku, one of the capital's hippest neighborhoods.

Highlights

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

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Tirana Tirana
Day 2 Shkodra - Kruja Kruja
Day 3 Ardenica - Vlora Vlora
Day 4 Butrint - Sarandë Sarandë
Day 5 Gjirokastra Gjirokastra
Day 6 Berat Berat
Day 7 Tirana Tirana
Day 8 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival 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: Shkodra - Kruja

Shkodra
Shkodra

Today you'll leave for Shkodra, 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 Kruja, the hometown of Skanderbeg, a 15th-century national hero who fought the Ottoman Empire. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum, where you'll learn more 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: Ardenica - Vlora

Apollonia
Apollonia

Spend your morning in Ardenica, touring the last operating Orthodox monastery in Albania. 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 Vlora, where Albanian independence was declared.

Day 4: Butrint National Park - Saranda

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.

Day 5: Gjirokastra

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

In the morning we continue our 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: 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: Tirana

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 your last day.

Day 8: Departure from 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.

Map

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