Albania

Indulge your curiosity and visit this little known and less explored land perched quietly on the turquoise shores of the Mediterranean. 

Albania

Indulge your curiosity and visit this little known and less explored land perched quietly on the turquoise shores of the Mediterranean. 

Intro

Emerging slowly from a particularly grim and brutal Communist period, Albania has now drawn open its iron curtain, revealing one of Europe's last unspoiled cultures. Travel through fragrant and floral countryside and past sleepy stone-crafted villages, hike the legendary Accursed Mountains and take a boat across spectacular Lake Koman, untouched by mass tourism. 

Follow along Albania's coastline, decorated with the crumbling structures of Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires. Discover ancient cultural legacies that persist until today, and come to understand why Albania became Lord Byron's favourite inspirational retreat.

Why travel with us ?

Albania is a unique country with plenty to recommend it. We offer an in-depth cultural tour covering all of the highlights of Albania interspersed with several little-known surprises. Visit little-changed medieval stone towns, Roman coliseums and vast lakes set amongst towering mountains.

We work closely with our partners on the ground to ensure a unique experience. Our tours are led by knowledgeable guides and focused on giving you an understanding of the culture and mindset of the Albanian people, as well as an insight into both its longer term history and its Communist past, as evidenced by the ubiquitous bomb shelters you will see all over the country.

With extensive first-hand experience of the country, we are happy to customise a tour to suit your needs and interests. We can offer walks in the high mountains of the north or along "Byron's route"" further south, specialist visits of Albania's archaeological sites from Butrint to Appollonia, cycling routes, folk festivals and more. We can also combine trips with any of Albania's Balkan neighbours. Tell us what you would like to do and we will be happy to help you achieve it.
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Quick Facts

Capital: Tirana
Population: Around 2.8 million
Languages: Albanian

Archaeology

Albania has a proud and ancient history, and today is littered with ancient sites that few outsiders have visited. Apollonia, an ancient city in Illyria located on the Aous River, was founded in 588 BC by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth. Excavations conducted by Albanian archaeologists in the 1960s near the modern village of Saraqinishte led to the identification of the fortified city of Antigonea, believed to have been founded by Pyrrhus, the Molossian king, in 296 BC for his wife Antigone. The jewel in the crown, however, is undoubtedly Butrint. Originally ancient Greek, this remarkable site was built upon and extended by Romans, Byzantines and Venetians, each leaving their unique fingerprints on this exceptionally preserved site.

Hiking, Walking & Cycling

More than two thirds of Albania is mountainous landscape making it ideal to discover on foot. Southern Albania walking routes run along the crystal waters of the Ionian Sea, up high ridges and panoramic peaks, through pine forests, olive and citrus groves, visiting monuments that narrate the rich history of the country. In Northern Albania discover the fairy-tale landscapes of the Albanian Alps (or Accursed Mountains). Stay with villagers and discover their proud and vibrant culture and generous hospitality. Cycling tours can also be arranged in either region and throughout Albania.

Adventure Sports

Go river rafting with our experienced guides in Osumi Canyon, Vjosa and Devoli. Try sea kayaking to explore white pebble beaches, limestone cliffs and small hidden bays in the Ionian Sea, or try your hand at some more challenging white-water kayaking on the Valbona, Osum and various other rivers in north and south Albania. Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are also possible in the winter, and canyoning and river hiking are available through the warmer months.

Birding

The fresh water marshes around Butrint are particularly attractive to wintering water birds, such as the little egret, spoonbill, grey heron, little-ringed plover and lapwing. During the migration season, terns, sandpipers, and curlews use the area as a feeding and resting ground. In 1993, the critically endangered slender-billed curlew was spotted here. Typical flora found in the ditches are celery leafed buttercup, watercress, and reedmace. The reed beds are home to frogs, snakes, terrapins, kingfishers and warblers.

Lord Byron, Folk Festivals & More

Take a walking or horse-riding tour in Lord Byron's footsteps through the stunning landscapes of Southern Albania - ancient stone towns, traditional villages, dramatic gorges and remote monasteries. 

Girokastra folk festival - celebrated every 4 years, it features the best of Albanian traditions, including music, instruments, folk art and colourful costumes. 

Culture and Painting tour in the Footsteps of 19th Century Painter Edward Lear. Follow his travels as recounted in his famous book Journals of a Landscape Painter in the Balkans.

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