Albania Explorer Tour - Illyria Route

Despite being a relatively small country with a population of just 2.8 million people, Albania packs a ton of fun, adventure, and wonder in its beautiful and majestic region.

The country was once isolated from the rest of the world, but ever since the end of the Cold War it has opened up to society and made many travelers around the world fall in love with its colourfully ornate architecture, bustling urban areas, and historically significant architecture – particularly the buildings dating back to the Illyrian period.

During your journey to Albania, you’ll find out what everyone else is raving about by exploring Tirana (the capital city of Albania), the ancient city of Lezha, the port city of Durres, and much more. With so much to see and do, there’s no shortage of activities to participate in during this memorable 8-day itinerary.

Tour Highlights:

  • Lezha Castle & Skanderberg Mausoleum
  • Dürres' beautiful coast and ancient sites
  • Beautiful Berat, the 'town of a thousand windows'
  • The 3rd century Ardenica Monastery
  • Scenic Llogara National Park

  • Duration:

  • 8 Days, 7 Nights

  • Guide Price:

  • 4-Star Package from £1,645pp | 5-Star Package from £2,059pp
  • Price Based On: Based on departure from London Luton flying with Wizz Air, meal basis as per itinerary (2 adults sharing) including transfers. See More

  • Tour Type:

  • Shared Guided Tour (maximum number of 30 guests)

  • Star Rating:

  • Superior

  • Accommodation:

  • 4-Star Tour Package
  • 4 The Crown Boutique & SPA Hotel
    4 Hotel Chic Boutique
    4 Buze Boutique Hotel
    4 Hotel Epidamn Boutique & Spa
  • 4-Star hotels will be as specified above or alternatives of a similar standard.

  • 5-Star Tour Package See Hotels

  • Board Basis:

  • Bed & Breakfast

  • Departures:

  • Throughout the year - contact us for further details.

  • Start / Finish:

  • Tirana - Dürres

  • Extensions:

  • Contact us if you would like to extend your Albania Tour holiday.

Note: Please note that this tour is not suitable for children under 7 years old

What's Included:

  • Tour:
  • Albania Explorer Tour - Illyria Route View Full Itinerary

  • Flights:
  • Return flights from chosen UK airport

  • Transfers:
  • Private transfers to/from airport on arrival and departure. Our local representative will meet you at the airport.

  • Accommodation:
  • Accommodation in standard double occupancy rooms in 4* hotels as specified above or ones of a similar standard

  • Meals Included:
  • Breakfasts (excluding drinks) according to itinerary

  • Vehicle:
  • Transportation in modern, air-conditioned cars, buses, and minibuses

  • Guide:
  • English-speaking tour guides where appropriate

  • ATOL:
  • ATOL Protection

What's Not Included:

  • Beverages:
  • Beverages are not included during meals

  • Entrance Fees:
  • Admission/entry fees to museums and other sites as per itinerary

  • Tips:
  • Tips for guide, driver and hotel staff

  • Taxes:
  • Local city/tourist taxes where applicable

  • Cancellations:
  • Trip and tour cancellations and no shows

  • Insurance:
  • Travel insurance

Full Itinerary


Day 1

Arrive in Tirana Airport and transfer to the city. Enjoy free leisure for the day. Then check in to your hotel. Spend four nights at The Crown Boutique & SPA Hotel 4* (or similar).

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Lezha - Shkoder - Tirana

Day 2

After breakfast, make your way to the city of Lezha. This famous ancient city is home to Lezha Castle and the Mausoleum of Skanderbeg, which is dedicated to George Castriot Skanderbeg, an Albanian hero who helped resist the Ottoman empire for 25 years. Enjoy lunch in Mrizi I Zanave and then head to Shkodra. Renowned for its stunning panoramic views and historic architecture, you’ll go on a tour of the city exploring the Old Bazaar, Centrum, Mosque, and Cathedral. Then, explore the Castle of Rozafa, which was built by the Illyrians and endured numerous attacks from the Romans and Ottomans. There is also a museum inside the castle, which details its history and origins. You can also see Shkodra’s Lake, along with the Buna and Kir rivers, from the top of the castle as well. Return to Tirana.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Kruje - Dürres - Tirana

Day 3

Have breakfast and then make your way to Kruja. Whilst there, visit the Skanderbeg Museum, which pays tribute to the hero of Albania, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, a military commander who led the resistance against the Ottoman empire from 1443 to 1468. Then explore Kruje Castle and the Old Bazaar. Leave behind Kruje and proceed to the port city of Durres, a beautiful coastal landscape that features incredible architecture, gorgeous ocean views, and many local attractions. Durres also has the largest Roman ampitheatre in the Balkan region, which was once able to seat up to 20,000 guests at once. Return to Tirana.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner


Day 4

After breakfast, make your way to Berat. Located in central Albania, Berat is home to the Castle of Berat – which has a museum and several churches inside – along with the Mosque of Berat, the Old Bridge of Gorica, and Onufri Museum. You will visit all of these landmarks and more; the Onufri Museum is a particularly important landmark, as it contains various murals and icons painted by the 16th century painter Onufri.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Ardenica Monastery - Apollonia - Vlore

Day 5

Have breakfast, and then head to the Ardenica Monastery. Built in 282, the monastery became famous in the 17th and 18th century for its large library, storing thousands of volumes of novels and reference material. It also hosted many priests, who travelled from around the world to come there and conduct research. The monastery is also where Gjergj Kastriori Skangderbeg married princess Andronika Arianiti. Whilst there, you can also visit the Saint Mary Church, Oil Mill, Konake, and the Oven and the Stall. Following this, head to the Apollonia, the ruins of an ancient city located 10km from the east coast of the Adriatic Sea. Named after the Greek God, Apollo, the city was established in 600 BC, primarily as a Greek trade colony, and was later developed by the Romans to become a bustling city in 200 BC. By the end of the 4th century, though, the city was devastated by a massive earthquake, which caused the nearby malarial swamps to slowly engulf the city, making it inhabitable. The city is also important to the development of Christianity, as bishops would frequently attend the councils of Chalkis and Ephesus between 431 and 451 AD. Whilst there, you will visit the nearby museum, including the Church and Shen Meri Monastery. Afterwards, proceed to Vlora, a coastal city that was once ruled over by the Ottoman’s before the Albanians officially declared independence in 1912. Explore the Museum of Independence. Stay overnight at the Hotel Chic Boutique 4* or similar.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Llogara National Park - Himare - Sarande - Butrint

Day 6

After breakfast, make your way to the southern region of Albania, where you will visit the Llogara National Park and admire the beautiful wildlife and scenery – particularly the Albanian Riviera, a long stretch of shoreline which contains some of the most revered hidden beaches in Europe. Along the way, stop by the seaside villages of Dhermi, Himara, Palase, and more. Afterwards, proceed to Sarande, where you will visit the famous archeological site and UNESCO Heritage Listed Site of Butrint. Once a major port and cultural centre in the ancient Mediterranean, Butrint was established in 7th century BC and later became a Roman colony, before eventually falling to the Turks and Venetians. You can also still see remnants of the city as a fortified trading city, particularly the ruins of the acropolis. You’ll also visit other landmarks like the Venetian Tower, Ampitheatre, Lion Gate, and Mosaic, to name a few. Overall, the city contains over 3,000 years’ worth of history, making it one of the most historically significant regions in Albania. Transfer to your hotel and have dinner at the Lekuresi Fortress in Saranda, enjoying spectacular views of Corfu Island and Saranda Bay. Stay overnight in Saranda at the Buze Boutique Hotel 4* or similar.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Blue Eye - Gjirokaster - Dürres

Day 7

In the morning, proceed to the Blue Eye National Park. Also known as Syri I Kalter, the Blue Eye is a spellbinding freshwater spring, famous for its sparkling clear blue waters, vibrant lush greenery, and astonishing views of the nearby mountains. It also contains a 50-metre-deep pool, which you may be able to swim in, although the rules surrounding this depend on the current conditions and seasonal regulations. After the Blue Eye, head to Gjirokaster, a beautiful hillside town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is well-known for its immaculately preserved architecture, old houses that slope along the hills, and the castle and fortress which have been around since the 12th century. Go on a city tour, visiting the castle and the nearby Weapons Museum as well. You can also marvel at the intricate stonework, which is present in many of the residential houses. From there, visit the Bazaar Mosque, which was built in 1757 during the Ottoman period and contains beautiful artwork, particularly the antique Turkish frescoes. Then, return to Durres for a second time, once again exploring the Roman Ampitheatre and Archaeological Museum. You are also welcome to explore any nearby landmarks that you did not get to see during your first visit to Durres. Stay overnight at the Hotel Epidamn Boutique and SPA 4* or similar.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Dürres - Tirana

Day 8

In the morning, check out of your hotel. Proceed to Tirana airport for your flight. Your journey ends here.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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