Southern Legends and more...

Cultural & Theme Tours, TiranaTraveler pickup is offered to Returns to original departure point

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Tour description provided by Viator

We will present you a tour that you will like for sure. 'The Southern Beauties' will take you to the magnificient mountains of the south, present you the most spectacular seasights you will ever see and show you some of the oldest settlements of mankind through time. The kind of experience you will be glad to have as a past experience in the future.
ItineraryDay 1: Arrival in Tirana (Night in Tirana)Stop At: Blloku, Tirana, Tirana County-Airport pick-upMeeting with the group and introducing with our local guide at Mother Teresa International Airport. During the day we will serve the tour of Tirana, in which the highlights of the capital will be discovered and traditional delicious food will be tasted. Yummy!Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star HotelDay 2: Tirane-Ardenice-Apolloni-Vlore (Night inVlora)Stop At: Apollonia, Fier, Fier CountyWe will start the trip in Tirana. Meeting with the group and introducing with our local guide at Mother Teresa International Airport. During the day we will serve the tour of Tirana, in which the highlights of the capital will be discovered and traditional delicious food will be tasted. Yummy!Tirana is a colorful city filled with café shops and stoned pedestrian streets and all travelers love it. Since we are locals we know where to take you to have the max amount of fun ;).The second stop will be the monastery of Ardenica. The monastery is on top of a hill and it used to be an orthodox church. It was built in the ruins of an old pagan temple which was constructed to honor the Goddess Artemisa. But the monastery itself was named after the Goddess which was thought to protect the agricultural activity of the land, known as Maria Hyjlindi. The place is fantastic and you should give it a look.After a short tour in the monastery we will have a coffee in a local bar and then we will go to the next destination which is one of the biggest archeological in Albania: Apolonia. The archaeological site of Apolonia includes the associated group of structures with original remains from various civilizations, such as Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Medieval. Apolonia used to be one of the most important gateways of the trans-balkanic road ‘Via Egnatia’, while in it’s famous Academy has studied and underwent military training Octavianus. This in not our last stop for our first day of travel.Our last stop for today will be Vlora. The oldest traces of civilization in the area of Vlora date back to the 6th century B.C. In ancient times the city started as a port, and was known under the name of Aulona, famous for its olive groves and vineyards. During the 4th century AD was frequently mentioned as a landing port for ships of goods from the ports of Otranto and Brindisi, as well as an important stop over between the prosperous ancient cities of Apolonia and Butrint. Nowadays the city is one of the most important for the southern part of the country since is the second-biggest port after Durres and also a pinpoint in beach tourism. The city is also known as the city in which Ismail Qemal proclaimed the independence of Albania on November 28, 1912, the most famous date in Albanian history. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star HotelDay 3: Karaburun-Llogara-Sarande (Night in Saranda)Stop At: Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park, Orikum, Vlore CountyAfter the breakfast we will start our journey with Karaburun peninsula. Karaburun-Sazan is the only "Marine National Park" in Albania. Besides the beautiful coves hidden in the rugged coast of the peninsula, Karaburun is home to 20 caves. The biggest and at the same time the most famous is Haxhi Alia cave. According to a local legend, the cave was used by famous pirate Haxhi Ali during the 17th century. After Karaburuni we will go in Llogara where we will eat the lunch. The Llogara National Park is situated in the Llogara mt. and has been proclaimed as a protected zone in 1966. It is known for the famous Llogara Pass. In Albania we have an urban saying that goes like this: only after you manage to drive the Llogara Pass will you be called a real car driver. The Pass offers views of most of the south coast, including the Dhermi and Drymades beaches and the horizon that accompanies the road that lasts for more than 40 minutes is uncomparable with anything else in the world. The Llogara National Park starts at 470 meters above sea level and climbs to 2018 meters and it offers great possibilities of eco-tourism, air sports, hiking and picnics. Ceasar’s Pass (Qafa e Cezarit) named after the Roman Emperor Julius Ceasar who set foot in the area in pursuit of Pompey is also located near the Llogara Pass. In antiquity, Saranda was known as Onchesmus. The present name Saranda derives from an early Christian Monastery, nowadays in ruins dedicated to Agioi Saranda, Forty Saints, Saranda means “40” in Greek. Saranda is the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera and the capital of the Albanian shore for a reason. It will seem to you like a still no-so-developed Maresille. Saranda is known for the deck filled with yachts and boat and a lively summertime.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star HotelDay 4: Butrint-Ksamil-Lekuresi Castle (Night in Saranda)Stop At: Butrint National Park, Butrint, Vlore CountyIn the morning we will go in Butrint. Butrint is one of Albania's major archaeological centers and is protected under UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with more than 180.000 visitors in the last year (Albanians and tourists). Butrint was established as a commercial center but it quickly became an important stop along the merchant trade routes, turning it into an inhabited area during the ancient history of the Balkans welcoming traders and travelers from ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantines and Venetia. A lunch with the sea view is perfect. We will spend the other part of the day in the city of Saranda where we will see Lekurasi castle and during the night we can drink a glass of wine or rakija on the sea side.Ksamil is a village and a former municipality in the riviera of Southern Albania, and part of Butrint National Park. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Sarande. Still it hasn’t lost it’s charm. Ksamil has been said many times to be a travelers heaven. With beaches looking alike Maldives and full of life in Ksamil you will find beauty manifested.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star HotelDay 5: Blue Eye-Mesopotam-Gjirokaster (Night in Gjirokastra)Stop At: Gjirokaster Castle, Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster CountyThe first stop of the day is in Blue eye. The region’s mountainous territory gives for surprising and dramatic landscapes – to be enjoyed. A spot of natural beauty of the former kind is the Blue Eye, known in Albanian as Syri Kalter. Syri i Kalter (Blue Eye) is a karst spring located on the western slopes of Mount Mali Gjerë in Albania. The water flows at a temperature of 12.75 °C, the depth of the source has not yet been established. After the refresh and a coffee in the Blue Eye, it is time to go in Mesopotam. There we can find St. Nicholas Monastery Church. With Its double apse makes it unique in its genre, and some researcher have advanced the hypothesis that this was due to the monastery being used by two religious rites (Catholic and Orthodox). One of the most famous cities in Albania is Gjirokastra, which is part of UNESCO. That's our next stop. The city’s name has either legendary or more mundane origins. Legend claims that during the final siege of the city by the Turks, Princess Argyro, the sister of the feudal lord of the town, despairing for her people, threw herself from the battlements together with her young son rather than be taken alive by the enemy. The name ‘the fortress of Argyro’ comes from this. The modern city of Gjirokastra comprises the old town, a fortress (the original focus of the settlement), the Ottoman districts situated on the ridges leading away from the fortress and the new town on the valley.We will spend the other part of the day in Gjirokastra and we will see many interesting thing.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star HotelDay 6: Gjirokaster-TiranePass By: Gjirokastra Bazaar, Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster CountyFrom Gjirokastra we will head back to Tirane and end our journey.Meals included: • BreakfastNo accommodation included on this day.

What’s included

  • 5x Breakfast
  • 5x Dinner
  • Accommodation included: 5 nights
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private transportation
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Live commentary on board

What’s not included

  • Lunch
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Speed boat to Karaburun
  • Everything that is not mentioned in the included section
  • Personal spending
  • Entry/Admission - Apollonia
  • Entry/Admission - Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park
  • Entry/Admission - Butrint National Park

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Tirana (Night in Tirana) Stop At: Blloku, Tirana, Tirana County -Airport pick-up Meeting with the group and introducing with our local guide at Mother Teresa International Airport. During the day we will serve the tour of Tirana, in which the highlights of the capital will be discovered and traditional delicious food will be tasted. Yummy! Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star Hotel
Day 2: Tirane-Ardenice-Apolloni-Vlore (Night inVlora) Stop At: Apollonia, Fier, Fier County We will start the trip in Tirana. Meeting with the group and introducing with our local guide at Mother Teresa International Airport. During the day we will serve the tour of Tirana, in which the highlights of the capital will be discovered and traditional delicious food will be tasted. Yummy! Tirana is a colorful city filled with café shops and stoned pedestrian streets and all travelers love it. Since we are locals we know where to take you to have the max amount of fun ;). The second stop will be the monastery of Ardenica. The monastery is on top of a hill and it used to be an orthodox church. It was built in the ruins of an old pagan temple which was constructed to honor the Goddess Artemisa. But the monastery itself was named after the Goddess which was thought to protect the agricultural activity of the land, known as Maria Hyjlindi. The place is fantastic and you should give it a look. After a short tour in the monastery we will have a coffee in a local bar and then we will go to the next destination which is one of the biggest archeological in Albania: Apolonia. The archaeological site of Apolonia includes the associated group of structures with original remains from various civilizations, such as Illyrian, Greek, Roman and Medieval. Apolonia used to be one of the most important gateways of the trans-balkanic road ‘Via Egnatia’, while in it’s famous Academy has studied and underwent military training Octavianus. This in not our last stop for our first day of travel. Our last stop for today will be Vlora. The oldest traces of civilization in the area of Vlora date back to the 6th century B.C. In ancient times the city started as a port, and was known under the name of Aulona, famous for its olive groves and vineyards. During the 4th century AD was frequently mentioned as a landing port for ships of goods from the ports of Otranto and Brindisi, as well as an important stop over between the prosperous ancient cities of Apolonia and Butrint. Nowadays the city is one of the most important for the southern part of the country since is the second-biggest port after Durres and also a pinpoint in beach tourism. The city is also known as the city in which Ismail Qemal proclaimed the independence of Albania on November 28, 1912, the most famous date in Albanian history. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star Hotel
Day 3: Karaburun-Llogara-Sarande (Night in Saranda) Stop At: Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park, Orikum, Vlore County After the breakfast we will start our journey with Karaburun peninsula. Karaburun-Sazan is the only "Marine National Park" in Albania. Besides the beautiful coves hidden in the rugged coast of the peninsula, Karaburun is home to 20 caves. The biggest and at the same time the most famous is Haxhi Alia cave. According to a local legend, the cave was used by famous pirate Haxhi Ali during the 17th century. After Karaburuni we will go in Llogara where we will eat the lunch. The Llogara National Park is situated in the Llogara mt. and has been proclaimed as a protected zone in 1966. It is known for the famous Llogara Pass. In Albania we have an urban saying that goes like this: only after you manage to drive the Llogara Pass will you be called a real car driver. The Pass offers views of most of the south coast, including the Dhermi and Drymades beaches and the horizon that accompanies the road that lasts for more than 40 minutes is uncomparable with anything else in the world. The Llogara National Park starts at 470 meters above sea level and climbs to 2018 meters and it offers great possibilities of eco-tourism, air sports, hiking and picnics. Ceasar’s Pass (Qafa e Cezarit) named after the Roman Emperor Julius Ceasar who set foot in the area in pursuit of Pompey is also located near the Llogara Pass. In antiquity, Saranda was known as Onchesmus. The present name Saranda derives from an early Christian Monastery, nowadays in ruins dedicated to Agioi Saranda, Forty Saints, Saranda means “40” in Greek. Saranda is the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera and the capital of the Albanian shore for a reason. It will seem to you like a still no-so-developed Maresille. Saranda is known for the deck filled with yachts and boat and a lively summertime. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star Hotel
Day 4: Butrint-Ksamil-Lekuresi Castle (Night in Saranda) Stop At: Butrint National Park, Butrint, Vlore County In the morning we will go in Butrint. Butrint is one of Albania's major archaeological centers and is protected under UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with more than 180.000 visitors in the last year (Albanians and tourists). Butrint was established as a commercial center but it quickly became an important stop along the merchant trade routes, turning it into an inhabited area during the ancient history of the Balkans welcoming traders and travelers from ancient Greece, Rome, Byzantines and Venetia. A lunch with the sea view is perfect. We will spend the other part of the day in the city of Saranda where we will see Lekurasi castle and during the night we can drink a glass of wine or rakija on the sea side. Ksamil is a village and a former municipality in the riviera of Southern Albania, and part of Butrint National Park. At the 2015 local government reform it became a subdivision of the municipality Sarande. Still it hasn’t lost it’s charm. Ksamil has been said many times to be a travelers heaven. With beaches looking alike Maldives and full of life in Ksamil you will find beauty manifested. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star Hotel
Day 5: Blue Eye-Mesopotam-Gjirokaster (Night in Gjirokastra) Stop At: Gjirokaster Castle, Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster County The first stop of the day is in Blue eye. The region’s mountainous territory gives for surprising and dramatic landscapes – to be enjoyed. A spot of natural beauty of the former kind is the Blue Eye, known in Albanian as Syri Kalter. Syri i Kalter (Blue Eye) is a karst spring located on the western slopes of Mount Mali Gjerë in Albania. The water flows at a temperature of 12.75 °C, the depth of the source has not yet been established. After the refresh and a coffee in the Blue Eye, it is time to go in Mesopotam. There we can find St. Nicholas Monastery Church. With Its double apse makes it unique in its genre, and some researcher have advanced the hypothesis that this was due to the monastery being used by two religious rites (Catholic and Orthodox). One of the most famous cities in Albania is Gjirokastra, which is part of UNESCO. That's our next stop. The city’s name has either legendary or more mundane origins. Legend claims that during the final siege of the city by the Turks, Princess Argyro, the sister of the feudal lord of the town, despairing for her people, threw herself from the battlements together with her young son rather than be taken alive by the enemy. The name ‘the fortress of Argyro’ comes from this. The modern city of Gjirokastra comprises the old town, a fortress (the original focus of the settlement), the Ottoman districts situated on the ridges leading away from the fortress and the new town on the valley. We will spend the other part of the day in Gjirokastra and we will see many interesting thing. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight in a 3 or 4 star Hotel
Day 6: Gjirokaster-Tirane Pass By: Gjirokastra Bazaar, Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster County From Gjirokastra we will head back to Tirane and end our journey. Meals included: • Breakfast No accommodation included on this day.
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