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Uncover Albania

Uncover Albania's enigmatic history over the course of eight nights/nine days. Along the way, you'll drink in rugged scenery and underrated wines. You'll start in Tirana, the eccentric capital, with its unusual history and rugged surroundings. You'll head to the coast for a stay at Vlore, with its surrounding national park, caves, monasteries, and crowd-free beaches. It's the ideal place to explore the Albanian Riviera from. Then it's time to head into the mountains to the UNESCO-protected town of Gjirokastra, with its distinctive white stone-roofed buildings and opportunities for day trips to other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Finally, you'll return to Tirana for one last night before flying home, although this tour can naturally be extended to include neighbors. All of our tours are custom, and this is just a sample meant to give an idea for what our trips are like, and the opportunities our destinations provide.

One of our team in the region will be available to you during and leading up to the trip to answer any questions and arrange additional excursions and make reservations. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival we will provide you with a local cell phone that you can use to contact our employee (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. You'll have a private driver to take you from place to place. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique and luxury hotels or charming B&Bs With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambience.
Route for Tirana, Vlore, Gjirokastra, Tirana tour

3 Nights in Tirana

3 Nights in Tirana

4 days in Tirana

3 Nights in Tirana

Tirana is a unique destination that combines opposites. It feels both ancient and modern, quaint and cosmopolitan, fast-paced, yet laidback. There are wonderful restaurants here, beautiful nature in the surrounding countryside, and a rich cultural life that will keep you entertained all day and night. The Blloku neighborhood is one of the city’s most vibrant, with excellent bars, restaurants and cafes. The Old Town, meanwhile, has an eclectic mix of historic architecture. This is a lovely destination that still feels untouched, so you’ll really be able to make the city yours. Besides exploring the unique urban atmosphere, there are several fantastic day trips to enjoy. Driving to the city of Berat is always fun, as you can stop at a winery along the way to sample some of the tasty local vintages, then check out an impressive castle. The Albanian Riviera is also relatively close by, and here you can relax along the shore and get in touch with the life of local fishermen. The nearby Dajti Mountain is also an impressive destination, with incredible views over the city and beyond. From outdoor adventures to delectable gastronomy and historic architecture, Tirana really has something for everyone.

Tirana is a unique destination that combines opposites. It feels both ancient and modern, quaint and cosmopolitan, fast-paced, yet laidback. There are wonderful restaurants here, beautiful nature in the surrounding countryside, and a rich cultural life that will keep you entertained all day and night. The Blloku neighborhood is one of the city’s most vibrant, with excellent bars, restaurants and cafes. The Old Town, meanwhile, has an eclectic mix of historic architecture. This is a lovely destination that still feels untouched, so you’ll really be able to make the city yours. Besides exploring the unique urban atmosphere, there are several fantastic day trips to enjoy. Driving to the city of Berat is always fun, as you can stop at a winery along the way to sample some of the tasty local vintages, then check out an impressive castle. The Albanian Riviera is also relatively close by, and here you can relax along the shore and get in touch with the life of local fishermen. The nearby Dajti Mountain is also an impressive destination, with incredible views over the city and beyond. From outdoor adventures to delectable gastronomy and historic architecture, Tirana really has something for everyone.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Tirana

Welcome to Albania! You will be met at Tirana's Mother Teresa Airport by our driver and taken directly to your accommodations in the city center.

Our representative will then meet with you to answer any questions you have and to get you settled for the rest of your trip.

Tirana by Night

Suggestion to explore on your own

Tirana is a lovely city, night and day, as it's filled with countless coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. You can spend time in Grand Park, or experience the busy bars and restaurants of the Blloku area, inside Tirana Castle, or behind the Pyramid situated on the main Boulevard. The city's center also offers many smaller local restaurants, offering popular dishes at good rates.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Tirana

Tirana Like a Local - Full Day Private Tour

Tirana Like a Local - Full Day Private Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Discover Tirana's past on this tour. You'll visit the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Clock Tower, Skanderbeg Square, the New Bazaar, Martyrs' of the Nation Boulevard, Enver Hoxha's Pyramid and various government buildings. You'll also visit the Art Gallery and Socialism Museum, along with the former Communist Party elite’s residential area, Blokku, now a buzzing district packed with modern bars and restaurants This tour includes a visit to a unique collection of Albanian memorabilia, and visiting Bunk'Art, a bunker built to survive nuclear war, converted into an art and history exhibition. On this tour you will have the chance to visit the Dajti Mountain with a cable car, while enjoying amazing landscape sightseeings and delicious local cuisine. Finally you'll enjoy a coffee in the rotating Sky Tower and admire fantastic views of Tirana.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 7-8 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Tirana

Kruja and Durres Private Day Trip & Meeting with Local Craftsman

Kruja and Durres Private Day Trip & Meeting with Local Craftsman

Included in your vacation package price.

An ancient, hilltop town, Krujë is a must-see for those staying in Tirana. The restored old bazaar is packed with authentic handmade goods, including carpets, which you can watch being made on a loom. On this tour, you will also meet with a local lady who still makes rugs and carpets the traditional way. Inside the walls of Kruja Castle, you will visit an ethnographic museum in an Ottoman tower house and the Bektashi Sufi Shrine, where you can learn more about how people have lived here for centuries. After Kruja, you'll visit the city of Durres where you can enjoy lunch with a scenic view of the sea, followed by a visit to one of the largest Roman amphitheaters, which saw gladiatorial combat. For an extra fee, you can meet one of the Sworn Virgins, women who are sworn to celibacy and are treated as men in Albania's traditionally patriarchal villages.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 8-9 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Vlore by Private Transfer

Today you will be traveling to the beautiful Albanian Riviera. We will arrange for a private driver to pick you up at your accommodations at your preferred departure time. The drive to Vlore takes about 2.5 hours, but we have added a stop en route at Berat. This town is UNESCO-protected thanks to its unique style of architecture, with influences from several civilizations that have managed to coexist for centuries. In Berat, you'll enjoy a tour with a local licensed guide.

Vlore by Private Transfer with a Tour in Berat

2 Nights in Vlore

2 Nights in Vlore

3 days in Vlore

2 Nights in Vlore

Vlore has a history as extensive as the beaches and sea caves that line the nearby coast. Founded by the Greeks, and expanded by the Romans and Byzantines, the concrete-heavy center of this city is unremarkable, but the surrounding national park, sea caves, monasteries, beaches, and birding opportunities are anything but.

Vlore has a history as extensive as the beaches and sea caves that line the nearby coast. Founded by the Greeks, and expanded by the Romans and Byzantines, the concrete-heavy center of this city is unremarkable, but the surrounding national park, sea caves, monasteries, beaches, and birding opportunities are anything but.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Vlore

Upon arrival in Vlore, your driver will take you to your centrally located accommodations.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Vlore

Sazan Private Boat Tour

Sazan Private Boat Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore island of Sazan. Adventure begins by boarding a boat in Rradhima, a village just south of Vlora. Upon reaching the island of Sazan, you'll head inland to visit its ghost town. Once home to a sizable garrison, this strategic island hosted quarters for officer's families, as well as a hospital, schools, cinema, and quite a few bunkers. After exploring the ruins, and the time spent snorkeling, you'll get to savor a delicious picnic lunch before heading back to the mainland.


Activity Level : Easy
Duration : 6-7 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Traveling to Gjirokastra by Private Transfer

Time to trade the low-lying coast for tower mountains! Your drive will take you north to Gjirokaster, along a scenic route, with a stop at the Narta Lagoon. This wildlife preserve is famous for its birds, especially its giant flocks of pelicans, as well as a wooden footbridge connecting a 13th century monastery to the mainland. This drive takes about 3.5 hours in total, including the stop.

Gjirokastra By Private Transfer with a Stop at the Narta Lagoon

2 Nights in Gjirokastra

2 Nights in Gjirokastra

3 days in Gjirokastra

2 Nights in Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s most scenic cities, with an authentic atmosphere that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. Here you can revel amid the area's lovely landscape of mountains and plains while taking in the impressive historic architecture. Strolling through the city feels like entering a distant time, with narrow winding streets that will charm you immediately. But the gastronomy here is anything but old fashioned, as you’ll find classic Albanian recipes jazzed up with a few modern twists in Gjirokastra’s many excellent restaurants and cafes. You’ll definitely want to explore the incredible Old Town with the help of a local guide who can show you all the city’s secrets. The distinctive white buildings here are charming, with their terraces, but feature imposing stone walls due to the city's steep hills. A short drive outside the city will impress you a scenic landscape with rewarding vistas. Two other destinations, Butrint and Ksamil, are perfect for day trips. At these UNESCO World Heritage sites you can explore ancient architecture dating all the way back to the 5th century. Gjirokastra is the perfect place to get away from the faster pace of Albania’s larger cities while exploring the unique past this incredible country has to offer.

Gjirokastra is one of Albania’s most scenic cities, with an authentic atmosphere that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. Here you can revel amid the area's lovely landscape of mountains and plains while taking in the impressive historic architecture. Strolling through the city feels like entering a distant time, with narrow winding streets that will charm you immediately. But the gastronomy here is anything but old fashioned, as you’ll find classic Albanian recipes jazzed up with a few modern twists in Gjirokastra’s many excellent restaurants and cafes. You’ll definitely want to explore the incredible Old Town with the help of a local guide who can show you all the city’s secrets. The distinctive white buildings here are charming, with their terraces, but feature imposing stone walls due to the city's steep hills. A short drive outside the city will impress you a scenic landscape with rewarding vistas. Two other destinations, Butrint and Ksamil, are perfect for day trips. At these UNESCO World Heritage sites you can explore ancient architecture dating all the way back to the 5th century. Gjirokastra is the perfect place to get away from the faster pace of Albania’s larger cities while exploring the unique past this incredible country has to offer.

Day 6

Day 6 - Arrival in Gjirokastra

After the journey, your driver will bring you directly to your accommodation in the historic heart of Gjirokastra.

Hike Gjirokastra's Hilly Surroundings

Suggestion to explore on your own

There are numerous hiking trails near the city, some of which offer incredible views of the local landscape and various historic ruins. One of our favorites is the Illyrian city of Antigone, located near the village of Asim Zeneli, six kilometers east of Gjirokastra. This village is the starting point of a three-hour round trip hike to the ruins of Antigone.

Hike Gjirokastra's Hilly Surroundings

Day 7

Day 7 - Your First Full Day in Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra Private Walking Tour

Gjirokastra Private Walking Tour

Included in your vacation package price.

You'll get to know the best of Gjirokastra, also known as "Museum City," on this informative and fun four-hour tour. From the architecture of Old Town to the amazing views from the castle, you'll get to know the layout of the streets while hearing all about the city's unique history from your expert guide.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Traveling to Tirana by Private Car

Today you'll be wowed by the impressive vistas along the Albania Riviera from Gjirokastra to Tirana, and you'll make a few stops along the way. It’s quite a journey, with breathtaking views and mountainous areas winding through national parks. The scenic drive offers potential stops in Vlore, Dhermi, Palermo Castle, Muzine Pass and Buret Mountain, or make a foodie day of it and stop for a seafood lunch close to Vlore. You can also enjoy some delicious organic goat milk yogurt with honey, walnuts and fabulous views in the Llogara National Park.

Tirana by Private Car with a Drive along the Coast

1 Night in Tirana

1 Night in Tirana

2 days in Tirana

1 Night in Tirana

Tirana is a unique destination that combines opposites. It feels both ancient and modern, quaint and cosmopolitan, fast-paced, yet laidback. There are wonderful restaurants here, beautiful nature in the surrounding countryside, and a rich cultural life that will keep you entertained all day and night. The Blloku neighborhood is one of the city’s most vibrant, with excellent bars, restaurants and cafes. The Old Town, meanwhile, has an eclectic mix of historic architecture. This is a lovely destination that still feels untouched, so you’ll really be able to make the city yours. Besides exploring the unique urban atmosphere, there are several fantastic day trips to enjoy. Driving to the city of Berat is always fun, as you can stop at a winery along the way to sample some of the tasty local vintages, then check out an impressive castle. The Albanian Riviera is also relatively close by, and here you can relax along the shore and get in touch with the life of local fishermen. The nearby Dajti Mountain is also an impressive destination, with incredible views over the city and beyond. From outdoor adventures to delectable gastronomy and historic architecture, Tirana really has something for everyone.

Tirana is a unique destination that combines opposites. It feels both ancient and modern, quaint and cosmopolitan, fast-paced, yet laidback. There are wonderful restaurants here, beautiful nature in the surrounding countryside, and a rich cultural life that will keep you entertained all day and night. The Blloku neighborhood is one of the city’s most vibrant, with excellent bars, restaurants and cafes. The Old Town, meanwhile, has an eclectic mix of historic architecture. This is a lovely destination that still feels untouched, so you’ll really be able to make the city yours. Besides exploring the unique urban atmosphere, there are several fantastic day trips to enjoy. Driving to the city of Berat is always fun, as you can stop at a winery along the way to sample some of the tasty local vintages, then check out an impressive castle. The Albanian Riviera is also relatively close by, and here you can relax along the shore and get in touch with the life of local fishermen. The nearby Dajti Mountain is also an impressive destination, with incredible views over the city and beyond. From outdoor adventures to delectable gastronomy and historic architecture, Tirana really has something for everyone.

Day 8

Day 8 - Arrival in Tirana

Once in Tirana, your private driver will bring you directly to your centrally located accommodations.

Day 9

Day 9 - Departure Day

We will arrange for a transfer to Tirana's Mother Teresa airport. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel in central Tirana and get you to the airport in plenty of time for your departing flight.

What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Tirana

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Tirana Airport Transfer
Tirana Like a Local - Full Day Private Tour
Kruja and Durres Private Day Trip & Meeting with Local Craftsman
Tirana - Vlora Private Transfer with a Berat Walking Tour

Vlore

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Sazan Private Boat Tour
Vlore - Gjirokastra Private Transfer with a Stop in Narta Lagoon for the Bird Watching

Gjirokastra

2 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Gjirokastra Private Walking Tour
Gjirokastra - Tirana Private Transfer with a Drive along the Coast

Tirana

1 Night Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Tirana Airport Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website

Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Our local staff are at your service throughout your journey via the local prepaid cellphone which we provide.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.

Glowing Reviews from Our Guests

5 / 5

Average of our Guest's Ratings of vacation packages including these destinations
Review by Sonia & Bryan

Sonia & Bryan

Alberta

Loved every part of our trip and each city or beach had highlights. Thanks JayWay for making my birthday a memorable occasion. JayWay Travel is the go to travel agency who pays close attention to details and creates a memorable holiday to suit your budget.

Loved every part of our trip and each city or beach had highlights. Thanks JayWay for making my birthday a memorable occasion. JayWay Travel is the go to travel agency who pays close attention to details and creates a memorable holiday to suit your budget.

Year : 2019
Visited : Albania
Itinerary : Tirana, Ksamil, Qeparo, Dhermi, Vlore, Tirana
Rating :
5 / 5
Year : 2019
Visited : Albania
Itinerary : Tirana, Ksamil, Qeparo, Dhermi, Vlore, Tirana
Rating :
5 / 5
Review by Russell MacLeod Stormont

Russell MacLeod Stormont

Virginia

Albania and Macedonia were exotic and fascinating and the people were very welcoming to me. Without the localized staff to assist me I do not think this trip would have been so satisfying. I highly endorse all services.

Albania and Macedonia were exotic and fascinating and the people were very welcoming to me. Without the localized staff to assist me I do not think this trip would have been so satisfying. I highly endorse all services.

Year : 2018
Visited : Albania, Macedonia
Itinerary : Tirana, Gjirokastra, Ohrid, Skopje
Rating :
5 / 5
Year : 2018
Visited : Albania, Macedonia
Itinerary : Tirana, Gjirokastra, Ohrid, Skopje
Rating :
5 / 5
Review by Angela & Bill

Angela & Bill

Nashville, TN

Completely boutique, set up to your wishes, inexpensive, assistance always available, wonderful selection of hotels and English speaking guides. We were absolutely pleased by our mussel tour, our vineyard tour and especially the cooking tour. Everything went off like clockwork. We were able to add our extra side trips without difficulty.  Antonia did a fabulous job and enjoyed meeting her in Dubrovnik.

Completely boutique, set up to your wishes, inexpensive, assistance always available, wonderful selection of hotels and English speaking guides. We were absolutely pleased by our mussel tour, our vineyard tour and especially the cooking tour. Everything went off like clockwork. We were able to add our extra side trips without difficulty.  Antonia did a fabulous job and enjoyed meeting her in Dubrovnik.

Year : 2016
Visited : Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria
Itinerary : Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ulcinj, Tirana, Gjirokastra, Ohrid, Skopje, Sofia
Rating :
5 / 5
Year : 2016
Visited : Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria
Itinerary : Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ulcinj, Tirana, Gjirokastra, Ohrid, Skopje, Sofia
Rating :
5 / 5

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