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Highlights of Albania

From £899 for 10 days
Trip Overview
Albania is a fascinating, little known Mediterranean country situated just north of mainland Greece with an incredible history set impressively against a wild and rugged landscape. Past civilisations have left their mark, mainly the Romans and Byzantines, which we see at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Butrint and the famous Berat Fortress, but the real highlight is the warm hospitality received all over this wonderfully undiscovered country.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Tirana.
Ends: Tour of Krujë; visit the ethnographic museum and wander through the bazaar.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: EAVL
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Albania
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts and 1 lunch included

Transport

9 nights hotels with en suite facilities Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Visit Albania's UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Pogradec, Butrint, Berat and Gjirokaster

•    Discover historical monuments including Durres Amphitheatre and Korce Museum Of Medieval Arts

•    Journey through the beautiful Albanian Riviera

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 19th Mar 2021
Returning: 28th Mar 2021
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 2nd Apr 2021
Returning: 11th Apr 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 7th May 2021
Returning: 16th May 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 14th May 2021
Returning: 23rd May 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 11th Jun 2021
Returning: 20th Jun 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 25th Jun 2021
Returning: 4th Jul 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 6th Aug 2021
Returning: 15th Aug 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 3rd Sep 2021
Returning: 12th Sep 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 24th Sep 2021
Returning: 3rd Oct 2021
£949pp
Availability: Good
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Itinerary & Notes
The tour starts at our hotel in Tirana, Albania’s capital. Those travelling on the group flights will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel (approx. 20 mins). This afternoon we'll have an orientation tour of the colourful streets of Tirana, which was made the capital of Albania in just 1920. We’ll see the main sites, including the impressive façade of the National History Museum which is adorned with a gigantic mosaic known as ‘The Albanians’. This is one of the finest examples of late Albanian Socialist Realism in the country, depicting the resilience of the people in their fight against invasion and occupation throughout the centuries, and dominates Skanderbeg Square. The exhibits within the museum give great insight into Albania’s intriguing past and recent history up to the present day. We also visit Et'hem Bey Mosque, one of the oldest buildings in the city.  This monument has been under reconstruction for the last two years so we will be able only to view it from the outside in 2020 as well. Closed under communist rule, it reopened as a house of worship in 1991 despite opposition from communist authorities (Ethem bey Miosque is currently under restoration and is closed, so will be visited only if restoration work is finished). We also explore an area known as Blloku on foot, where villas were once occupied by members of The Politburo (a former leading sect of the Party of Labour of Albania) but which is now the lively centre of Tirana’s nightlife where trendy bars, cafés, and fashionable clubs can be found.  *Comfortable Hotel*
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Reviews
       
Interesting and variedcountry both geographically, politically and socially. Good accommodation. Would have appreciated an included first and last night dinners ( we organised the latter) and/or introductory drinks on the first day. It would have facilitated group sociability.
       
This is a trip which exceeded my expectations. Friendly locals, fabulous landscapes, cheap and cheerful food and drink with the excellent guide, Ed. I have just one gripe which Exodus should consider and act upon. Despite outside temperatures of around 18 - 20 degrees during daylight hours our driver had the air conditioning on most of the time. The only windows that could be opened on the minibus were located in the front doorseat plus a roof window which was only opened once in 10 days for a couple of hours at my insistence. Some of our 15 strong group, myself included, developed dry throats, head colds, coughs etcetera. A week after returning home I am still feeling the effects. And for the last 24 years I have worked outside in all weathers without catching a cold. Tgere was never any need for the air conditioning to be activated within the outside temperature range at this time of year. Opening a window for fresh air would have sufficed. Instead 17 of us were enclosed in an airtight container for several hours on a daily basis breathing the same recycled dry air. Not healthy! There are court cases pending regarding illnesses contracted from air conditioning on aircraft. Take note Exodus.
       
When I told friends I was going to Albania, the most common response was "why?". Albania is relatively new to tourism so it's a great time to explore the country. The locals are curious to get to know us which is a rarity in Europe. Albania doesn't have really show stopping sights but there are a number of significant highlights which hold your interest throughout and make this a fascinating trip.
       
This was a thoroughly comprehensive tour travelling around a large part of the country, involving visiting many fascinating historical sites, museums, the countryside ....various towns,mountainous regions, flat fertile plains and the coast .
       
Overall the itinerary was fine but it could be enhanced. A night was spent in Vlores and a visit made to Durres. Neither town was inspiring and what we saw there was incidental to the trip and would not have been missed if it had not been included. Cut Vlores and Durres out and spend more time in Gjirokaster and / or Berat. Or reroute slightly and include other destinations not on the current itinerary. There was a feeling of being rushed around the Berat Castle area in particular - a quick photo here then move on. No time to take in the scene. The photos have to be good as there's no time to retain a mental impression. The hotel choices were good to excellent and that in Berat exceptional. The minibus concept for transport has shortcomings, particularly when the bus is full. Anyone in an aisle seat has little chance of seeing mountainous countryside as line of vision is directed downwards by the top of the window for a tall person sitting in the middle of the bus.
       
A great trip with a knowledgeable trip leader. We visited numerous castles, mosques and churches. The mountains are magnificent as are the plains, rivers and beaches.
       
A brilliant trip and great introduction to Albania, a beautiful country with such an interesting history. Organisation and itinerary were first class, with an excellent guide and driver. The trip is full on, with a different hotel each night, but was not tiring. All except one (which was still OK) of the hotels very good or excellent quality and in very good locations. Food and drink good and very cheap.
       
This trip gives you a really good taste of Albania. The country was quite different to how I expected and its an absolutely beautiful place. We packed a lot in, but it didn't feel as if it was rushed. I would really love to go again!
       
Overall a very interesting and informative trip.
       
This trip really did exceed expectations. Much better than we thought it would be. Beautiful country, somewhere we knew nothing about, leaves you feeling you want to know more....
       
A very well balanced trip with visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites, free time to explore our own personal preference areas and introductions to Albanian culture.
       
The trip was packed with interesting and 'must-see' visits and activities, but there was still enough time to relax, explore independently, and try the wonderful locally grown food. Mediterranean climate and food. Mountains, fertile plains, and freshwater lakes, natural springs and the sea to swim in. Welcoming, relaxed and friendly people, a fair level of comfort but not 'touristy' - Albania is a great place to holiday!
       
This was my first Exodus trip and it exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed the different aspects of the trip from swimming in the lake in Pogradec (and eating local korani trout afterwards), to the icon museum in Berat, from the walk in Llogora to the Mirahori mosque visit in Korça. Albania is a fascinating country and I enjoyed exploring it with like-minded individuals who were great fun. I found hotel accommodation very good (single supplement basis).
       
This was a good trip which covered the main highlights of Albania. It is interesting to see how the country is progressing and developing in the last few decades since the fall of communism and regional troubles.
       
A guide book can only tell you so much and as I didn’t know anybody else who had been to Albania I really had no idea what to expect. We had a fabulous tour guide, Edjon, which helped make this holiday one of the best I’ve done with Exodus. He knew everything about EVERYTHING Albanian and related the country’s history with knowledge and passion, and most importantly an understanding on long bus trips of when to leave his group in peace to doze! The scenery is spectacular. I’ve never seen so many beautiful little churches and Gjirokaster and Kruge in particular were lovely. Hotels and breakfasts were all of a good standard. None of the hotels had tea/coffee making facilities but all had hairdryers. By day seven I still had money left from the £100 I’d changed into lek and that was after drinking wine with dinner every night! It’s not all beautiful countryside, white stone buildings and UNESCO sites but so much of it is that it’s definitely a place worth visiting. I loved it.
       
We travelled around most of Albania learning its history and seeing its wonderful scenery, eating the foods and meeting the people.
       
a brilliant trip giving us a great out look of the country going from city to villages mountains and the sea. the only criticism i have was the hotel in permeti was cold no heating but still a nice hotel. the guide which started the trip with was very helpful with the information about his country it was sad for him to find that his grandmother was very ill and had to leave us to go back to his family i send my regards to ed and his family .the second guide we had was again fantastic. the churches and icons are fantastic to look at ,the food was wonderful and vearied.a big thank you to our driver that took us around the country with great skill and he always had a smile on his face. overall veiw i have of the trip was the country of Albainia is a lovely place to go to and has changed my impressions of the place and people
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