- See Greek and Byzantine ruins in Butrint National Park
- Escape to scenic Lake Prespa for a boat ride and village visit
- Take a walking tour of Berat, a UNESCO-listed town
- Enjoy the nightlife of Tirana's hip Blloku neighborhood
|Day 2||Elbasan - Prespa - Korça||Korça|
|Day 3||Voskopoje - Korça||Korça|
|Day 4||Benje - Permet - Gjirokastër||Gjirokastër|
|Day 5||Blue Eye - Butrint - Himara||Himara|
|Day 6||Dhermi - Vlore - Apolloni - Berat||Berat|
|Day 7||Berat - Durres - Kruje||Kruje|
Day 1: Tirana
Arrive in Tirana, at Mother Theresa International Airport. Depending on your flight time, you may have the option of a Tirana city tour with a local guide. If not, unwind at your hotel or grab a bite in a specialist-recommended restaurant in the hip Blloku district.
Day 2: Elbasan - Lake Prespe - Korça
Set off toward Elbasan, where the Via Egnatia was developed by the Romans—one of the most important routes of the Roman empire, connecting the Adriatic coast with Byzantium. In the middle of the city, you'll find Saint Mary Orthodox Church, built in 1830 and decorated with restored paintings and frescoes of Onufri. The church has been an important religious and cultural center for the Albanian language.
In the afternoon, escape towards the villages of Lake Prespa. Take in the scenery from the water on a boat ride and enjoy local traditions and cuisine.
Day 3: Voskopoje - Korça
After breakfast, head to Voskopoja (also known as Moscopole), a small mountain village considered a holy place by local Orthodox Christians. The remaining churches in the region are among the most representative of 18th-century ecclesiastical art in the Balkans. In the afternoon, you'll arrive in Korça, a city of art and romanticism otherwise known as "Little Paris." Visit the Medieval Museum (home to a great collection of Orthodox icons), the Orthodox Cathedral, and the Old Bazaar.
Day 4: Benje - Permet - Gjirokastër
After breakfast, you'll head to the famous thermal waters of Benje, located in an idyllic spot under the Katiu Ottoman Bridge. Enjoy a soak in the thermal waters. Once you're back on the road, make a stop to explore the market at Permet, the "City of Flowers," before arriving in UNESCO-listed Gjirokastër where you'll be staying the night. Take a guided tour of the city, with stops at the Gjirokastër Castle and the Skenduli House—an excellent example of the city's traditional stone architecture.
Day 5: Blue Eye - Butrint - Himara
Your first stop today: the Blue Eye, where river water bubbles forth from a 160-foot deep natural pool. From there, you'll visit Butrint National Park, the first UNESCO-listed site in Albania. The park is impressive, with exquisite ruins spanning the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian eras—not to mention an incredible landscape and variety of flora and fauna.
On your way to Himara, take the scenic route—a road surrounded by olive trees and typical villages. Visit the coastal castle built by Ali Pacha of Tepelena. By afternoon, you'll reach Himara, where you can relax for the night.
Day 6: Dhermi - Vlore - Apolloni - Berat
Start with a visit to the beautiful beach and village of Dhermi before hitting the road to Vlora, south Albania's largest city. While there, have lunch and visit the Museum of Independence.
Continue to the archaeological site of Apollonia, where the Roman emperor Gaius Octavius studied in Apollonia of Illyria. Tour the ancient site, with visits to the Odeon, Bouleuterion, promenade, monumental center, and archeological museum. Spend the evening in beautiful, seaside Berat.
Day 7: Berat - Durres - Kruje
Start the day with a tour of UNESCO-listed Berat. Stroll the streets of the Kala quarter, visit the Onufri Museum, and see the city's historic mosques. From there, you'll head to seaside Durres, once an important city for merchants at the start of the Via Egnatia. Nowadays, the city is the main port of Albania. Walk along the promenade, hike the steep streets near the amphitheater, and pay a visit to the archaeological museum.
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 8: Departure
Return to Tirana for your flight home. Enjoy one last coffee with your guide at the airport before saying mirupafshim (farewell) and catching your departing flight.