Albania & Corfu – Culture, Art and Beach Tour

This tour is designed for those who love to learn and to indulge in natural and architectural beauty.  It combines visits to galleries, mosques, squares, amphitheatres, churches, monasteries, castles, museums and many beaches.  We visit all the best sites Albania has on offer for tourists as well as some other hidden gems.  It is definitely intended for those who love culture, heritage and sunshine!
The towns we visit have everything from dramatic castles perched on mountains to perfectly-preserved Ottoman homes.  We will stay in high quality accommodation and tourists of almost all physical abilities can enjoy this one.
Fully escorted, a fun and knowledgeable guide will be with you for the duration of the trip to impart the story of this fascinating country and will be your personal driver as you move from one destination to the next. We’ve designed this tour for English-speaking travelers with an itinerary that offers a pleasant lack of super-early starts – most departure times are around 9:00 in the morning.  We have managed to avoid long drives – most days you will end up at the next destination with plenty of daylight hours left to explore, relax and eat. The tour allows a lot of flexibility (a good balance of guidance and freedom) and provides opportunities to experience and learn as much as possible from this surprising region of the Balkans!
Here is the itinerary and do contact us if you have any questions!
Day 1
  • Meet with an Albanian Trip representative at the airport in Tirana
  • Transfer to charming hotel for rest
Day 2
  • Visit the History Museum, a great way to gain perspective on the days to come!
  • Visit the Gallery of Arts, accompanied by one of the very best artists from the period of Socialist Realism – our guide will translate the stories of his life as a painter in the communist period
  • Walking tour of the city including Ethem Bey Mosque, Skanderbeg Square, the Block, and the New Bazaar
  • Overnight in Tirana
Tirana is Albania’s small and chaotic capital. You can easily walk around the central area of Skanderbeg Square and the Block without needing to get a taxi.  Just take care crossing the road – Albanians didn’t have cars till the 1990s, and still haven’t got to grips with driving!
Day 3
  • Morning departure to Kruja, a mountain town where resistance against the Ottoman Empire was strong
  • Visit the Castle, the Skanderbeg (Albania’s National Hero) Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Bektashi (Islamic sect known for its relaxed and tolerant attitude) Teqe of the castle.
  • Drive to Durres and visit the Roman Amphitheatre and the (very fine) Archaeological Museum of the town
  • Drive back to Tirana on an alternate countryside road
  • Free time in the evening
  • Overnight Tirana

Durrës is a 2700 year old port and resort town, popular with Albanians in summertime. Although an ancient city, little remains of its archaeological heritage. It does have great seafood, though! It is with great pleasure and pride that we propose to show the new archaeological museum to you! The ancient city of Kruja was the stronghold of Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg, who successfully fought off the Ottomans for 25 years in the 15th century. A museum dedicated to Skanderbeg, designed by Enver Hoxha’s daughter, sits within the citadel walls. The small bazaar is probably the best place to go souvenir hunting in Albania.

Day 4
Ardenica- Apollonia- Berat
  • Drive south and stop for a very nice visit of the beautiful Byzantine Monastery of Ardenica with an amazing church that is painted with elegant frescoes and a spectacular iconoclasts (the monastery dominates the beautiful and fertile fields of Myzeqeja and offers stunning views of the whole region)
  • Transfer to the ruins of Apollonia (with a lunch break on site), an antique town born in the 7th century B.C. as a Greek settlement and with a history that includes Rome and the Byzantine Empire; the museum of the site is just exquisite and we’ll hire a local archaeologist to show us the site and artifacts!
  • Transfer and overnight in Berat
The Church of St Mary at Ardenica is well worth a stop – under communism it was used as a military storeroom which perhaps explains how its wood carvings and icons are so well preserved!
Day 5 
  • Visit Berat, perhaps one of the best-preserved Ottoman cities in the Balkans, with a lively lower town and a beautiful medieval citadel district on top of the hill
  • Visit the inhabited citadel; once inside the walls, we can see ruined mosques and several medieval Orthodox churches, all in tact and with restored frescoes and icons.
  • Visit the famous Onufri museum, housed in a wonderful church and holding the best collection of Albanian icons.
  • Visit the lower town and the Leaded Mosque (named for the roofing material), the Bachelor’s Mosque, the Sultan’s Mosque and the Ottoman han (inn)
  • Overnight in Berat
Berat is Albania’s second UNESCO World Heritage City, with white-washed Ottoman villas clinging to the side of a rocky hill on which sits a small citadel (hidden inside are eight medieval churches!)
Day 6
  •  Transfer to Gjirokastra.
  •  Visit the Ethnographic Museum situated in the house where Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoxha was born in 1908
  • Visit the Skendulaj house, a private visit which will ensure the survival of one of the most beautiful and special houses of the region (42 doors and 62 windows are only some of the elements which have so far marveled all visitors we have brought there!)
  • Visit the Castle of Gjirokastra, its Weapon Museum and the former prison of the Castle -a lot of history can be found here, dating back from the 20th century conflicts and tragedies
  • Overnight in Gjirokastra
Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s two UNESCO heritage ‘cities’ (by normal standards it’s better described as a medium-sized town.)  It’s a lovely place, with cobbled streets and beautiful old stone houses. It’s the birthplace of both Enver Hoxha (infamous) and (famous) writer Ismail Kadare.
Day 7
Butrint –Saranda
  • Transfer to Butrint with a refreshing stop in the stunning natural springs of the Blue Eye, a natural park and perfect place for a little relaxing break
  • Visit UNESCO-protected Butrint facing the island of Corfu and surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Lake Butrint with mountains, hills, flora and fauna.
  • Drive to Saranda to complete the whole tour of Lake Butrintos; have a sunset digestive at the Fortress of Lekuresi dominating the Bay of Saranda and enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Corfu and the surrounding region
  • Check into hotel
  • Overnight in Saranda
According to the Roman writer Virgil, Butrint’s legendary founder was the seer Helenus, a son of the king Priam of Troy, who had married Andromache and moved West after the fall of Troy.  The Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, as well as the Latin poet Virgil, wrote that Aeneas visited Bouthroton after his own escape from the destruction of Troy.  Our visit to the small but rich museum of the site will be amazing!
Day 8
Albanian Riviera –Saranda 
  • Drive to one of the most spectacular faces of the Mediterranean -the Albanian Riviera- through bout 120 km of mountains ending at the blue waters of the Ionian Sea
  • Stops for pictures of the landscape and of the beautiful little villages; refreshment in natural springs or go to the beach for bathing
  • Lunch in the Bay of Porto Palermo where among others we will also visit the beautiful and romantic Castle of Vasiliqia, built in early 19th century by Ali Pasha of Tepelena, the “Mahometan Bonaparte” (this Albanian remained in history because of the literary works of Alexander Dumas [The Count of Monte Cristo] and world famous English poet George Gordon Byron [Child Harold’s Pilgrimage.])
  • Visit of the old village of Qeparo and than relax at the beach
  • Drive back to hotel in Saranda
  • Overnight in Saranda
Day 9
Saranda- Corfu
  • Take ferry to Corfu
  • Short walking tour in the charming Old Corfu town, entering through the only remaining gate of the city walls: Spilia
  • Feel the heartbeat of this beautiful Venetian town as we walk the Jewish quarter to the synagogue (visit upon request), visit the town hall square, the main Catholic Church, the Esplanade where we will go along the Liston Arcade, the Cricket pitch, the Old Fortress and the Palace of the Saints Michael and George (today, the Museum of Asian Art)
  • re-enter the town, through the narrow streets “Kantounia” and visit the magnificent church of St. Spiridon, patron-saint of the island
  • Drive to the central part of the island where stands the Achilleon Palace; visit the interior museum and three terraces with beautiful gardens and masterpieces of the 19th century statuary
  • Transfer to our hotel
  • Overnight in Corfu
Day 10
  • Drive through the valley of Ropa – the largest on Corfu – towards the wonderful resort of Paleokastritsa; on a small hill, stands a small but picturesque Byzantine Monastery of the “Theotokou” where there are interesting post-byzantine icons
  • Day of relaxation at the beach
  • Back to our hotel
  • Overnight in Corfu
Day 11
  • Transfer to the airport for flight home


We will price the tour according to the number of guests and conditions.  Please remember, this tour itinerary is flexible!  We take Albanian Lek, GBP and USD and will discuss payment options with you.

The tour price includes:

  • Transfer in AC vehicle with professional driver.
  • Character boutique family-run 3-4 star hotels with breakfasts (we can send you more details on accommodation before you book the tour.) Accommodation in twin or matrimonial.
  • All breakfasts, welcome and goodbye meals. (This doesn’t mean we’ll be indifferent in recommending dishes, wines, rakis and restaurants where you can partake in a delicious Albanian culinary experience!)
  • All entrance fees to museums and visited areas.
  • English speaking tour guide for the whole trip.
  • Local taxes. (VAT Tax – 20%)

The tour price does not include:

  • Airfare.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Tips for the guide and driver.
  • Anything which is not mentioned in the above section.