Travel to Albania and Macedonia with expert Dr William Taylor to discover a rich variety of archaeological and historical sites, along with spectacular mountain scenery. This tour explores the wonderful Ottoman museum cities of Berat and Gjirokastër, the impressive Roman ruins at Butrint and Apollonia, historic mosques, as well as Byzantine and Orthodox churches. Access to sites not normally open to the general public and meetings with senior clerics will also be arranged.
Situated in the centre of the city, this 19th-century building has been completely refurbished to high standards. The reception features stone floors and extends into a comfortable bar and lounge area. The guestrooms are decorated in light colours, with wood floors and sleek bathrooms. As well as a bar and restaurant, the hotel has a roof garden with panoramic views across the city and nearby castle. Facilities: 30 rooms, bar, restaurant, roof garden, Wi-Fi. Rooms: Air conditioning, television,...
The Hotel Arvi is situated on the attractive Taulantia Boulevard, only a short walk from Durres Castle and the Roman amphitheatre. The 24 simple, and comfortable rooms are all well lit thanks to their large windows, with many rooms offering sea views. All rooms are en suite and feature air conditioning, a satellite television and complimentary wireless internet access. The hotel's restaurant serves both local and Italian cuisine while the cafe-bar is an excellent place to enjoy live music and panoramic views of Taulantia Square and the Adriatic...
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...
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...
Hotel Jaroal has its own private beach and is located a 20-minute walk from the centre of Saranda. The spacious rooms offer modern amenities while the restaurant features a large terrace with sea views. Features: 20 rooms, restaurant, bar with terrace, garden, private beach. Room amenities: Balcony, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, satellite television, minibar,...
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...
Situated just off the main square of the capital, the Tirana International Hotel is a 154-room property. All rooms are en suite with air-conditioning, satellite television and safe. Public facilities include a bar, a restaurant and a wellness centre with...
Fly from London (regional connections available) to Tirana with British Airways. Transfer to Durrës, founded in 627BC and one of Albania’s oldest towns. Tour of Durrës, including the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans. Welcome dinner and stay overnight at Hotel Arvi (or similar). (D)
Drive to Berat and visit the Museum of Icons and the castle, which contains the remnants of 42 churches within its walls. Special access to the King’s Mosque and adjacent Halveti Tekke, containing some excellent Ottoman paintings, has also been arranged. In the afternoon, explore the Graeco-Roman ruins of Apollonia, an important trading port for the Roman empire until the third century AD. Continue to Vlora and stay overnight at the Palace Hotel (or similar). (B, D)
Morning drive through the mountains and along deserted stretches of coastline to the resort town of Saranda. Afternoon tour of the Unesco world heritage site of Butrint. Explore the ruins of this Graeco-Roman town on the shores of Lake Butrint and view the third-century BC theatre, bath houses and the remains of the largest baptistry in the Balkans. Stay overnight at the Brilant Hotel (or similar) in Saranda. (B, D)
Drive to Gjirokastër, stopping en route at St Nicholas’ monastery and the church of Labova, one of Albania’s oldest and best-preserved Orthodox churches, dating from the sixth century. In Gjirokastër, see the birthplace of Enver Hoxha and Zekate House (or similar), an example of Ottoman-style architecture. Stay at the Hotel Argjiro (or similar) for 1 night. (B, D)
This morning, travel through mountainous landscapes to Korca, historically an important trade town. Continue to the Mirahori mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Albania. Stay at the Regency Hotel (or similar) for 1 night. (B, D)
Visit the Museum of Medieval Arts, which displays more than 150 icons, then drive to Voskopojë, stopping en route to see the Shen Kolli (St Nicholas) church, which contains some of the best-preserved 18th-century ecclesiastical art in the Balkans. Drive to Ohrid in Macedonia, via the monastery of St Naum. Its position on a rocky overhang provides excellent views over Lake Ohrid and Ohrid itself, listed by Unesco as natural and cultural world heritage sites. Stay at the Hotel Royal View (or similar) for 2 nights. (B, D)
Morning tour of the town known as the Macedonian Jerusalem due to its large number of churches. See St Sophia cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Macedonia; the church of St Clement at Plaoshnik; and the Gallery of Icons. Also visit the National Museum, housing works of art dating from 1863; Samuil’s Fortress; and the antique theatre, the oldest such building in Macedonia. Afternoon at leisure. (B, D)
Travel to Elbasan to see the Ottoman fort. Continue to Tirana for an afternoon tour of the Albanian capital, including visits to the National Museum, the mosque, the main square and its clock tower. End the day with a visit to the Bektashi World Centre to learn about this Islamic Sufi order. Stay at the Tirana International Hotel (or similar) for 1 night. (B, D)
Morning visit to Kruja, visiting the fortress of Kruja, the Skanderbeg Museum, ethnographic museum, and the old bazaar. Lunch in Kruja, then return to Tirana for free time before transfering to the airport for a flight to London. (B, L)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
A collection of expert accompanied tours focusing on creativity in its many forms. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required. All tours can be viewed at CoxandKings.co.uk/Art.
This tour is fully escorted throughout by a lecturer who has specialist knowledge of the destination and its culture, as well as an experienced local guide.
This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation. Outside Tirana, facilities should be regarded as tourist class. Please visit this tour on our website to see details of the hotels included.
This tour involves some long walks over uneven ground and therefore requires a good level of fitness.
Please note that the exclusive and individual nature of private visits means that they are subject to confirmation nearer the time of departure. Churches, private houses and other buildings often have fluid opening times. If any visits have to be rearranged, please be assured that we will seek alternatives of equal interest.
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 enquire online
Dr William Taylor is an Anglican priest, chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, and a writer and broadcaster on the Islamic world and the Orthodox churches. He has worked and lived in Jordan, Cairo and Turkey, and travelled and lectured in the Middle East and Central Asia.
• International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
• UK departure and overseas airport taxes
• Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
• Local Transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
• Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide throughout
• Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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