One aspect of Albanian culture that interests us is Socialist Realism art – of which Albania has an abundance. The Communist regime took the visual arts very, very seriously and the country is peppered with their works, from mosaics to monuments (many now sadly vandalised or simply neglected).

You can visit the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana to see its collection of Socialist Realism art, but without any context or in-depth descriptions the works can sometimes be more than a little perplexing. That’s why on a recent tour we arranged for our clients a visit to the gallery with one of Albania’s finest Socialist Realism artists, Robert Permeti. Read More

Coming from our very heart and trying to explain a bit of the magic of Tirana, this is a tour that will combine a great quantity of known and unknown stories, public and private spaces, solid and liquid delicacies, walked and driven paths.

We would offer it as a private or group tour for 4 hours (starting from 24.9 euros/person) or as a full day-trip of 8 hours of walking, exploring, tasting, meeting and cruising around  (starting from 46.9 euros/person).

We’ll treat it in the expected Tirana way: let’s start avash-avash at 09h30am. Walk around some central neighborhoods for the first two hours. Take  a break for a (local) drink by noon. Drive in the surroundings for great stories, stops, characters, meetings, taste. Finish at 14h in  the city center again.

Do contact us in order to design your very own special way of visiting Tirana and discussing size of group, prices etc. This is a great way and the luxury of exploring Tirana with and in a very local way.

This tour is designed for those who have 1-2 days free.  You can let us know the days that you are coming and we can go from there! Afterwards, we can either take you back to Tirana or on to another destination (which we can discuss! We are flexible.)  We are offering two separate options, both based in beautiful Gjirokaster:
1. A One-Day Trip encompassing the fascinating history and sites of this UNESCO World Heritage Town
or
2. A Two-Day Trip with the above, but also a focus on the famous Albanian author Ismail Kadare
If you don’t know about Kadare’s works or life yet, let us recommend some of his books before you come!  Start with his popular Chronicle in Stone and/or The General of the Dead Army – neither of which have been difficult for past visitors to order online in English. They have excellent translations and some have in-depth biographies which help explain his complex mind and life situation (he lived through many tragic events.)  He paints a story of 20th century Albania like no other author has, and nowhere can this history come to life better than in Gjirokaster!

If you only have one day free but wish to focus mainly on Kadare, we can certainly help you with this!
Itinerary for the 1-Day Gjirokaster Tour:
  • Depart Tirana early in the morning for Gjirokaster (approx. 3 hour drive.) Thanks to who knows who, we can profit from the substantial improvement of road infrastructure between the two towns! We will happily stop for a bathroom break or coffee on the way.
  • Tour of the Old Town. Visit the beautifully located Castle and the Weapon Museum. Then head to the Bazaar.
  • Enjoy a delicious traditional meal in the romantic atmosphere of the “stone town” and its wonderfully preserved Ottoman era homes. (We can suggest some great dishes to try here!)
  • Visit the neighbourhoods and some of the more than 600 houses and buildings that give Gjirokaster the reputation of being a town of unique legends, witches, dragons and “crazy alleys.” (Enver Hoxha’s birthplace is also here, just to add to the mystique.)
  • Depart back for Tirana or on to another destination of your choosing (we can certainly discuss your plans!)

Itinerary for the 2-Day Weekend Ismail Kadare Tour:
  • Depart for Gjirokaster from Tirana (approx. 3 hour drive.)
  • Check into a charming boutique family hotel.
  • On this tour we will combine visiting all of the sites mentioned in the 1-Day itinerary above over a two day period with trips to some of the corners that Kadare mentions in his books. We will comment on his works and have some deeper discussions on some of the imagery in his writing (which will be easy to imagine walking through his birthplace!) We can be flexible – if you have studied him well, just let us know what you know and we’ll try to design a tour around your readings.
  • Overnight in Gjirokaster.
  • Next day return to Tirana or on to another destination.

Price:


We can discuss this depending on which tour is chosen above and the amount of people with your group! Contact us to get the conversation going.

Tour price will include:
  • All expenses for your guide/driver.
  • Fuel and AC car rental.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Local taxes.
  • Transfers back to Tirana or to next destination.
  • If taking the 2-Day tour, one night in a charming boutique hotel.

Gjiro_Kater

Kadare