Situated on the Balkan Peninsula, Albania offers an enticing mix of man-made and natural attractions that make it an ideal European adventure destination.
The southeast European country may be small, but it packs a heavyweight punch when it comes to things to see and do. With Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps, the nation is a treasure trove of attractions. Whether it’s coastal areas, countryside or castles, there’s enough to fill an itinerary for days or even weeks. If you’re thinking of a trip to Albania, here are five of the best multi-day tours currently on offer.
Classical tour (8 days)
This action-packed tour lets you explore the Albanian capital of Tirana and several other notable points of interest throughout the country. After arriving at Tirana Airport, you’ll be met by your expert guide and transported towards the south eastern part of Albania to the city of Elbasan. Over the ensuing days, you’ll visit some of the country’s finest landmarks and attractions including Pogradec, situated on the shore of one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes; Korca, one of Albania’s most important cultural and economic centres; and the Natural Park of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour includes all accommodation as well as your guide, meals and transport. From $953 per person.
Cycle tour (10 days)
If you enjoy sightseeing with the wind in your hair, this tour could be for you. After rendezvousing at Tirana Airport, you’ll be transferred to your city centre hotel. You’ll then meet the rest of your group over a relaxing dinner before exploring the city, visiting the nuclear bunker of Enver Hoxha, the fruit and veg market and the National Museum of History. Over the next days, you’ll travel by bus that’s loaded with bicycles and equipment to such sites as the Lake Ohrid, Pogradec, Tushemisht, and even crossing over into Macedonia to see the monastery of St Naum. At each destination, you’ll embark on scenic bike rides through towns, villages and rolling hills, soaking up the sights as you go. The tour ends back in Tirana where you have the option to stay on for an extra night. From $982 per person.
Albania Explorer “Illyria Route” Tour (7 days)
Albania’s rich and often tumultuous cultural heritage can be explored on this immersive week-long tour that takes in a total of 20 places of interest. Starting in Tirana, you’ll enjoy an early morning breakfast before departing to visit the medieval city of Kruja, best known for national folk hero Gjergj Kastrioti ‘Skanderbeg’, who, in the 15th century, protected Western Europe (after the fall of Costantinople) from Ottoman invasion for 25 years by not letting it pass through Albania. Here, you’ll visit the castle and the impressive Skanderbeg Museum and Ethnographical Museum before the chance to indulge in some retail therapy in the Old Bazaar and enter mosques dating back to the Ottomans era. Over the following day, you’ll see the ancient Lezha city; Albania’s second largest city of Durres; and Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, along with a number of other important spots. The tour ends back in Tirana. From $992 per person.
Mini UNESCO Food Tour (4 days)
This 4-day guided tour invites you to get a taste of some traditional Albanian dishes while visiting some of the country’s most famous places of interest. After collection from Tirana airport, you’ll be driven to Berat, known for it churches, mosques and watchtowers. Here you’ll also sit down to one of three inclusive lunches at a local eatery. The following day, you’ll leave Berat for Gjirokaster, home to well-preserved Ottoman architecture, before moving on the next morning to Butrint, known for its ancient amphitheatre, castle and church. The highlight of this day is the hypnotic Blue Eye spring, famed for its hundred shades of blue. On your last day, you’ll be driven back to Tirana with a stop at Apollonia and lunch at Llogara National Park to bring your tour to a close. From $532 per person.
Individual Hidden Valley Trek in Southern Albania (8 days)
Follow in the footsteps of caravan travel, cross historical Ottoman stone bridges, marvel at medieval frescoes and explore the inside of the a mansion on this 8-day adventure. Starting and ending in the Albanian capital of Tirana, the tour combines trekking in a little-visited mountain valley where locals and villages remain untouched by mass tourism with some of the main highlights of Southern Albania’s cultural sights. During one of the walking trails, you’ll pass several hamlets giving you the opportunity to experience rural lifestyle, meet locals and admire the mountain splendour above as well as Zagoria River below, where the cooling Doshnica Waterfall awaits. Visitors will also enjoy the hospitality of a small homestay and indulge in local cuisine. From $574 per person.