Albania: Land of the Eagle

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Cox and Kings

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.

Highlights
  • Stay one night on Lake Ohrid in Macedonia
  • Tour the well-preserved Roman sites of Butrint & Apollonia
  • View the world’s largest icon museums in Ohrid & Korca
  • Explore the architectural legacies of the Ottoman empire & Communist era
  • Small group size - average 17 people (max 26)
Accommodation

Hotel Brilant, Saranda

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, Gjirokaster

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...


Hotel Mangalemi, Berat

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...


Hotel Partner, Vlora

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...


Hotel Regency, Korca

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...


Hotel Vlora International, Vlora

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...


Royal View Hotel, Ohrid

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...


Theranda Hotel, Tirana

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...


Tirana International Hotel, Tirana

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...

Destinations visited
  • Europe
  • Russia
  • Bath
Tags
  • General interest
  • Small Group
  • Cultural
  • Scenic
  • group

Day 1: Fly to Tirana

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)


Day 2: Kruja • Tirana

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)


Day 3: Lake Ohrid

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)


Day 4: Korca

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)


Day 5: Gjirokastër

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)


Day 6: Saranda • Butrint

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)


Day 7: Vlora

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)


Day 8: Apollonia • Berat

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)


Day 9: Ardenica • Durrës • Tirana • Fly to London

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)


Meal basis

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.


Important information


Standard tour

This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.


Private & tailor-made travel

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 020 3411 2135 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.

• 3- & 4-star accommodation
• Flexible - extensions, room & flight upgrades available
• Average group size - 17 people (max 26)
• Direct international flights with British Airways
• Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
• Experienced local tour manager
• 8 breakfasts
• Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
• Welcome drink

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
14-Sep-2018 for 8 Nights Standard Flight Included
05-Oct-2018 for 8 Nights Standard Flight Included

Why Cox & Kings?

Wherever you choose to travel with Cox & Kings, you can travel with confidence. With over 250 years of expertise, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe in the hands of a dedicated team of regional experts with the best support in country. Over the years, Cox & Kings has sought out and developed working relationships with the finest local agents on the ground. These are all companies that have a detailed knowledge of their own country, a wide network of local representatives and expert guides, an understanding of Cox & Kings’ standards and, not least, an appreciation of the expectations of those who travel with them.

As the longest-established travel company in the world (founded 1758), they have the experience to create travel arrangements of the highest calibre and they offer excellent value for money.

Service is paramount to them and they offer the highest quality! From the personal tour consultants who help you with your initial inquiry through to the detailed itineraries and tour notes sent to you prior to departure, to the expert local guides, who are especially chosen local English-speaking guides who really know their subject and can bring places to life. In addition to providing relevant background information, they can also explain the local way of life, customs and issues in depth, far beyond what is covered in even the best guidebooks.

Cox & Kings arranges group tours made for those who enjoy the company of like-minded travellers. Enjoy savings that group travel affords, while exploring with a small group of people who share your passion for seeing new sights. To enhance your enjoyment of the tour, they like to keep their groups small and manageable. Therefore, numbers are normally restricted to a maximum of 25 and a minimum of 10 people. Their general interest group tours uncover the best the world has to offer, whether that means a destination’s fabulous heritage, charming cultural traditions, mesmerising landscapes or enthralling wildlife.

Cox & Kings also specialise in group tours for solo travellers with no supplements on their dedicated tours, and they also run very popular RA (Royal Academy) art tours. On all of their tours they seek to strike a good balance between organising meals for the group and giving people the freedom to choose where and with whom to eat.

They have won numerous awards, most recently Silver at the 2016 British Travel Awards for Best Luxury Holiday Company and Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company.

Cox & Kings recognises that they have social, cultural and environmental responsibilities to respect the destinations they visit and the people who live there. They believe that their holidays should benefit the local people and their environments and they strive to ensure that the local culture and communities form an integral part of their trips. They wish to maximise the benefits of tourism to each destination, while minimising the environmental impact while abroad.  They also support numerous charities around the globe - Magic Bus http://www.magicbusuk.org/ ,Travel Operators for Tigers http://www.toftigers.org/ and Cool Earth https://www.coolearth.org/cox-kings/.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Cox and Kings

8 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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