Albania’ cuisine is rich and varied with a notable influence from Ottoman cuisine which has influenced many of the cuisines in the Balkans particularly that of Turkey and Greece which are probably better known than the rest. Albanian cuisine has many similarities to them; however, it varies from the dry style of the Turkish and Greek cuisine, since it has many dishes in the forms of casseroles. Like Greek cuisine it does away with middle eastern strong spices, substituting them with Mediterranean herbs, making the tastes more subtle and European.
Meet at airport and transfer to Tirana where we take a driven tour of the capital’s major attractions including the colorful buildings and we will visit the National Historic Museum in Tirana offering an in-depth introduction to Albanian history from prehistory to present day. Welcome dinner is a traditional affair at one of the traditional restaurants in town, with a rustic setting and a first taste of Albania’s culinary delights. The cuisine of mid-Albania has strong Ottoman influences and therefore meats on charcoal grill, as well as grilled vegetables and yogurt sauces prevail. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast drive to Shkodra the most important city in North Albania, set in a beautiful plateau in front of the largest lake in the Balkans. We will continue to Shkodra Lake and we have lunch Carp baked in the oven Shkodra style. For those not so keen on carp, there are plenty of other choices. Afterwards we continue to Shkodra a town with Italian and Austrian architectural influences. We will have such a delicious delicacy for our dinner at one of the best traditional restaurant.
After breakfast we depart to Kruja – the center of Albanian resistance against the Turks under our National Hero Scanderbeg. We will visit some interesting sites such as the castle with its rich Scanderbeg and Ethnographic museums. After visits a traditional Albanian lunch with several specialties of the area at a restaurant in the castle including: lamb and potatoes baked in an earth ware pot, raisin rice and meat dessert, a unique desert of this region. Afterwards we continue to Durres for special dinner and for overnight.
After breakfast drive to Berat – a UNESCO town for its wonderful architecture. Just before arriving we stop at Cobo winery to taste one of the best Albanian wines. Here we visit the inhabited castle where many families still live within its walls, several small churches from the 15th century and the uniquely beautiful St. Mary’s church turned into Onufri museum, in honor of this great Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century. Lunch in a traditional restaurant in Berat castle run by a family living in the castle, where home cooking will be experienced. After lunch free to explore further this wonderful town. Traditional dinner with Berat specialties’ at Mangalemi and overnight will be at a traditional house in the old quarter turned small hotel
After breakfast, depart for Vlora. On the way we stop at the Monastery of Ardenica. Today inside the church you can admire icon paintings of 1743-1745, by Albanian artists such as Konstandin and Athanos Zografi, as well as Konstandin Shpataraku. Afterwards proceed to the ancient city of Apollonia situated on the famous Via Egnatia – one of the most important cities in Roman times. The Roman Emperor Augustus Octavian studied here. A characteristic lunch of the Muzeqe region with small hens baked in the oven with rice will be had in traditional village restaurant. After lunch a visit of the site and continue to Vlora for overnight. Dinner will be a fresh seafood.
After breakfast we depart for Saranda. We continue to Saranda where a wonderful seafood lunch with, fish carpaccio, and fresh fish grilled awaits us at Ksamil, immediately on the beach in front of turquoise waters at a seaside Restaurant run by a dedicated family. Afterwards we proceed visit the ancient city of Butrint a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries. It is considered the most important archeological site in Albania and the monuments it unveils in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation, are a live testimony of this. After visits return to Saranda, check in and relax at the hotel. Dinner will be on the patio of local restaurant by the sea where we enjoy a delicious fish dinner while the aroma of the sea caresses our nostrils. Overnight in Saranda
After breakfast drive to Gjirokastra a museum town. We are going to visit Blue Eye. Afterwards continue to Gjirokastra a UNESCO World Heritage site for it architecture of stone, and one of the most acclaimed culinary towns of south Albania. Here we visit the Castle which is used as the venue for the National Festival of Folk Song and Dance and has an Arms Museum with weapons from WWI. Next, we visit the Ethnographic Museum which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in and the Zekati family house, probably the most beautiful and famous house in Gjirokastra. Lunch at one of the town’s
traditional restaurants with specialties such us; pasha qofte soup, kukurec, qumeshtor etj. After lunch proceed to permet through the spectacular gorge of Kelcyra on the banks of vjosa river. Permet is one of Albania’s well-known regions for its delicious cousine with some unique delicacies such us tomato jam, which we will be able to sample at a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Permet.
After breakfast drive to Korca one of the most important towns of South East Albania and a well-known culinary town. The path takes us through beautiful landscapes with gorges, mountains and river valleys offering a truly fulfilling experience. Lunch in the traditional family restaurant in Boboshtica just before reaching Korca. After lunch we visit the Museum of Medieval Arts and the Mosque of Mirahori one of the oldest in the country. Dinner and overnight in Korca.
After breakfast we drive to Pogradec, where we will visit the Drilon area where the dictator used to have its fishing villa. Lunch in family restaurant to enjoy unique Koran fish a rare fish of the trout and salmon family, found only in this Lake. Visit at Drilon where the old fishing villa of the dictator is situated. Departure for Elbasan, visit at the castle where a stop for refreshments. In Tirana we will have a farewell fine gourmet dinner at one of the best restaurants in Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast, free to explore until time of transfer to Airport. End of our services.
1.213 Euro per person for minimum 5 Pax sharing a double room
946 Euro per person for minimum 10 Pax sharing a double room
903 Euro per person for minimum 15 Pax sharing a double room
844 Euro per person for minimum 20 Pax sharing a double room
Single supplement = 128 Euro
Note: This prices are valid for the middle and low season.