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Home » Destinations » Europe » Albania » Cox and Kings Across Albania and Kosovo
Known as the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’, Albania is home to a wealth of natural and historic sites. Beyond the lively capital of Tirana, the country is home to spectacular mountain and coastal scenery and dotted with pretty Ottoman towns like Gjirokastër and Kruja. It is also home to many important Greek and Roman ruins including Butrint and Apollonia. Travelling through this almost forgotten corner of the Mediterranean is both informative and a total delight.
Day 1 – Arrive in Tirana
Fly to Tirana in Albania and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a welcome drink
Day 2 – Tirana
This morning, visit the National Historical Museum, followed by BunkArt – an antinuclear bunker built under the city, that is now a museum and modern art gallery. Afterwards, visit Bektashi World Centre, a Dervish sect that fuses elements of Shia and Sufi Islam. Your afternoon is at leisure.
Day 3 – Apollonia & Gjirokastër
En route to Gjirokastër, visit the most important Roman site in Albania, Apollonia, where the nephew of Julius Caesar once studied. Continue to Gjirokastër, famous for its Ottoman architecture, grand fortress, and being the birthplace of notorious dictator, Enver Hoxha.
Day 4 – Butrint
Depart for the ancient city of Butrint. You travel along the spectacular Albanian Riviera, stopping to visit the historic city of Sarandë. Tour Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the country’s most important archaeological museum. Return to Gjirokastër. This evening, sample traditional cuisine prepared by a local family in the picturesque village of Dhoksat.
(Breakfast and dinner)
Day 5 – Gjirokastër – Berat
Spend the morning touring the key sights of Gjirokastër. Visit Hoxha’s birthplace and learn more about Albania’s recent history. In the afternoon, depart for the town of Berat, pausing en route to sample wine at a renowned local vineyard.
Day 6 – Berat
After breakfast, explore Berat – another UNESCO-listed town – where you visit the Onufri Museum and the town castle. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in traditional houses. In the afternoon, meet a local family and learn how to prepare raki – a strong spirit made using twice-distilled grapes – as well as traditional coffee.
Day 7 – Prizren, Kosovo
Depart Berat and travel north across Albania’s northeastern border to Prizren, the historic and cultural capital of Kosovo. On arrival, explore the cobbled Ottoman streets lined with local artisans as well as the 17th-century Sinan Pasha Mosque and 16th-century Stone Bridge. Overnight at Hotel Kacinari.
Day 8 – Prizren – Pristina
Begin the Day with a visit to Gracanica Monastery and admire its elaborate Byzantine frescoes. Continue to a monument commemorating the Battle of Kosovo, fought in 1389 by the forces of the Prince of the Serbs and those of the Ottoman Sultan. Embark on a tour of Pristina, including both the modern city and the historic Ottoman district, which dates from the 14th century. In the evening, return to Prizren.
Day 9 – Prizren – Kurja
Depart Prizren and return to Albania, travelling to Kruja. This town was the centre of Albanian resistance to Ottoman rule, led by local feudal lord, Skanderbeg. Enjoy an afternoon tour of Kruja’s highlights including the Skanderbeg Museum and the historic Bazaar.
(Breakfast and dinner)
Day 10 – Kruja to London
Transfer from Kruja to Tirana Airport for your flight to London
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