Known as the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’, Albania and Macedonia are home to a wealth of natural and historic sites, from Lake Ohrid and the well-preserved Ottoman town of Gjirokastër to the important but lesser-known Roman ruins at Butrint and Apollonia. Travelling through spectacular mountain and coastal scenery, explore these two countries that are emerging after years of relative isolation.
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Fly from London (regional connections available) to Tirana with British Airways. Transfer and stay at the Theranda Hotel / Tirana International for 2 nights. Welcome drink. (N)
Morning tour of the town of Kruja and the Skanderbeg Museum. Afternoon tour of the Albanian capital, including visits to the National Museum, Gallery of Arts, the main square and its clock tower. (B)
Travel east to Elbasan, stopping en route at the remains of a Turkish fort. Continue into Macedonia and the town of Ohrid, situated on the east shore of Lake Ohrid. This Unesco world heritage site is known as the ‘Macedonian Jerusalem’ due to its large number of churches. Afternoon tour including St Sophia Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Macedonia; the Church of St Clement at Plaosnik, where the first university in Europe was founded; and the Gallery of Icons, which has the largest collection of icons in the world. Stay at the Hotel Royal View for 1 night. (B)
Morning visit to the Monastery of St Naum. Its position on a rocky overhang provides excellent views across the lake. Cross the border back into Albania and continue south to Korca, historically an important trade town. Visit the Museum of Medieval Arts, which displays more than 150 icons, and the Mirahor mosque, which is the oldest mosque in Albania. Stay at the Regency Hotel for 1 night. (B)
See the Tumulus of Kamenica, the largest ancient burial mound to be excavated in the Balkans. Continue to Gjirokastër, the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, the former leader of Albania. Visit his house museum and also view the city’s fortress. Perched high above the town, it is one of the largest castles in the Balkans and formerly a political prison. Overnight at Cajupi Hotel. (B)
Drive through scenic mountains to the coastal resort of Saranda, via the monastery of Mesopotam. Late morning tour of the Unesco world heritage site of Butrint. Explore the extensive ruins of this Graeco-Roman town and view the third century BC theatre, bath houses and baptistery. Stay overnight at the Hotel Brilant. (B)
Travel to Vlora, a seaport and the gateway to Italy. En route, visit the Ali Pasha castle at Porto Palermo. Stay overnight at the Hotel Vlora International / Partner Hotel. (B)
Morning tour of the Greek and Roman ruins at Apollonia, an important trading port for the Roman empire until the third century AD. Drive to Berat and visit the Onufri Museum of Icons, the King's Mosque and the castle, which has the remains of 42 churches within its walls. Stay overnight at the Mangalemi Hotel (or similar). (B)
Morning drive to view the Ardenica monastery with its exquisite frescoes. Continue to Durrës to explore the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans and the accompanying Archaeological Museum. Return to Tirana to tour the Bektashi World Centre and the art gallery in the prime minister’s office. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Transfer to the airport and fly to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 3411 2135 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.
The four star Hotel Brilant has an enviable location in the centre of Saranda and is within 5 minutes' walk of the central beach. The hotel has a total of 31 guest rooms spread over four floors, each of which are equipped with balcony, air-conditioning, satellite television and safety deposit...
Hotel Cajupi has an ideal location in the centre of Gjirokaster. It is situated on the centre square, the Cerciz Topulli, and is within walking distance of the fortress. The property has 40 guest rooms and public amenities include a restaurant, which serves regional cuisine, and a...
The 3 star Hotel Mangalemi was one of the first hotels to open after the fall of socialism in 1991. It offers comfortable guest rooms and is a great base from which to explore Berat and the castle. Each of the 7 rooms is equipped with an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, central heating, television and mini bar. The traditional woodwork in the dining areas is reminiscent of the old inns that once existed in Berat. Highly acclaimed traditional dishes are served either on the upper floor veranda or in one of the two private dining areas and there is also a bar in the...
Located in the centre of the seaport of Vlora, the Hotel Partner has 57 rooms and is a modern-style 4 star property. One of the centre points of the hotel's design is that all public areas are very brightly coloured. Guests may dine at the hotel's restaurant which offers a variety of Mediterranean and international...
The Regency Hotel is located in the centre of Korca, offering views of the city and the surrounding mountains. It is a 3 star property, featuring modern décor and furniture and the facilities of an international hotel. All of the 18 rooms and suites have television and telephone, a private bathroom including shower and are fully heated or air-conditioned year round with individual room controls. There is a full service restaurant and the coffee shop and bar provides ample opportunity for relaxation after a day's...
The Hotel Vlora International is modern in style. Its 63 en-suite rooms have flat screen televisions, minibar, safe and wireless internet connection. There are two restaurants, a bar and an indoor swimming pool at the...
This small 31 room property is located on the shores of the lake and within walking distance of the old town. The Royal View Hotel guestrooms include a balcony, television, direct dial telephone and en suite facilities. Public amenities include a restaurant, which serves a mixture of Macedonian and international cuisine, and has a summer terrace with views over Lake...
Located close to the old communist party area, the "Blloku", the Theranda Hotel is small boutique property with 14 contemporary designed rooms with modern facilities. There is a small bar with a garden area that is also used as the breakfast...
One of the largest and most prestigious hotels in Albania, the Tirana International is located on Scanderbeg Square in the heart of the city. Each of the 154 rooms and suites features a private bathroom and modern amenities. Try typical Albanian cuisine at the Pergola restaurant which has large terraces for outdoor dining or head to the hotel's Coffee Lounge for something...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
ALL2018: 8 Nights