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Known as the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’, Albania and North 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
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Fly from London (regional connections
available) to Tirana with British Airways.
Transfer and stay at the Colosseo Hotel (or
similar) 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 North 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 North 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
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
Argjiro 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
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.
*25 September 2020 departure has no single supplement
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
ALE2020: 8 Nights
The scenery - the drive between Korca and Gjirokaster was beautiful and most unexpected. Having said that, we loved both countries. The whole experience exceeded our expectations, particularly the food which was good. The people of both countries were so hospitable.Mr Paul Stafford
A most enjoyable tour which I have no hesitation in recommending to others.Mr Colin Perkin
Situated on a plateau in the eastern part of Albania. Korca is a medium sized...
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Ohrid, is the town of Ohrid. This Unesco...
The coastal resort of Saranda is a popular tourist destination among Albanians...
An important maritime and commercial seaport with connections to Italy, the...