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Gjirokastër Castle

Gjirokastër Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Tirana: 4-Day Albanian Heritage Highlights Trip

1. Tirana: 4-Day Albanian Heritage Highlights Trip

Explore Albania's top attractions in the hands of an expert tour director during a 4-day, 3-night sightseeing tour. Sample authentic Albanian food and visit Unesco World Heritage Sites such as Berat, Gjirokastra, and Butrint. Day 1: Sightseeing tour of Berat via Durres Travel to Berat, stopping in Durres for a short walking tour of the City Walls, Byzantine Forum, Roman Thermal Baths, the Venetian Tower, and the Amphitheater. Transfer to Berat passing through suggestive hills full of olive trees. Then, get settled in the hotel and head out for a guided tour admiring the citadel/castle of Berat with the Red Mosque, recognized by its solitary minaret, and the many Byzantine Churches like the Holy Trinity Church and the St. George Church. Finally, step inside a local home inside the castle of Berat for a coffee, raki, and dessert break. Enjoy the rest of the day wandering in the two main districts of Mangalam and Gorica. Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokastra After breakfast, admire small villages during your transfer to Gjirokaster. Once you arrive in this “city of a thousand steps,” settle into your hotel before soaking up the rich history of the castle and enjoying the view of the “city of stone” from above. Next, see the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses. Visit the Gjirokastra Obelisk dedicated to the first school of Gjirokastra and enjoy the 360º view from there. Next, stop for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Step into Skenduli house, the nicest Ottoman tower house, and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of the Skenduli family. Spend a relaxing evening in the streets of Gjirokaster. Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Butrint & the Blue Eye spring Travel to the “Blue Eye” spring. Admire the shades of blue and surrounding nature before heading to Butrint. There, marvel at 2,500 years of history on a guided tour with a local guide. See the highlights, such as the amphitheater, castle, churches, and Lion Gate. Drive to Ksamil and enjoy lunch by the lake at the Mussel House. Spend your afternoon in Ksamil before heading to Saranda via Lekursi Castle, which overlooks the city. Day 4: Tirana via Vlore and Riviera Road En route to the city of Vlore via the scenic Riviera road, and explore the Ali Pasha Castle with your Tour Director. First, head to the Llogara “balcony” for a stunning view of the South Coast beaches before indulging in lunch at Llogara National. Next, visit a park surrounded by pine trees and a fresh mountain breeze. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who built it, Ali Pashe Tepelena. Then, stop for lunch at a rustic local restaurant along Shushica river. After lunch, visit the city of Vlore, the hometown of the National Independence movement. visit Flag Square with its Independence Monument in the center, the Muradie Mosque, and Vlore Lungomare. Transfer to Tirana. (Hotel accommodation in Tirana is not included on the tour).

Albania: Ancient Landmarks Day Tour

2. Albania: Ancient Landmarks Day Tour

Depart in the early morning on a drive through Albania, known for its centuries of notable world history. Travel from the north to south of the ancient nation, where we will uncover pieces of archeological history that still stand today, including churches and castles.  Learn and understand how life was organized more than 2 millennia ago. We will visit notable people’s homes, including dictators and Nobel winners in the Palorto Neighborhood in our last stop, Gjirokaster, after visiting the beaches and basilicas in Saranda, Ksamil Beach, and Butrint. The drive will take us through the Albanian Riviera, where the natural beauty of the nation can be taken in before discovering the history of the ancient world’s architecture in the next stops. The journey will end in Tirana, with stops in between the three-hour return journey.

Gjirokaster: City Highlights Walking Tour

3. Gjirokaster: City Highlights Walking Tour

Explore the major landmarks, as well as some hidden gems, on a comprehensive walking excursion of the city of Gjirokaster, led by an experienced local guide. Join your guide on an exciting walking journey starting at Cerciz Topulli square, where you'll get information about the tour and have a chance to learn about the history of the city. Move towards the Old Bazaar, stopping at the Neck of the Bazaar to admire the architecture and meet local artisans. Browse through a variety of handmade items made of wool, stone, and wood. You might find the ideal souvenir to take home. Later on, head towards the Argjiro Castle, known for its history, tragedy, and legends. Enjoy breathtaking views of Gjirokaster from 330 meters above sea level. Your last stop of the day will be one of the best-preserved Ottoman-style houses in Albania, the Zekate House, which was built in 1812 and also offers great city views.

From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

4. From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

Your tour will start from Saranda and only in an hour and a half, you will reach Gjirokastra. One of the main characteristics of this place is the intensive use of stone in the building of the houses and streets, which is why it earned the nickname “The City Of Stone”. You will also need to walk a lot to get around the city, so that is the reason Gjirokastra is also called as 'the city of a thousand steps'. You will be exploring the main attractions of the city such as the Castle of Gjirokastra, known as the origin of the city, built in the 12th century, following the Museum of Arms, and the historic center. Your tour will continue with the visit to the house of the Zeka’s family (the most magnificent and characteristic building of Gjirokastra), the museum house of Ismail Kadare, one of the most important writers in the country, and to the final visit and the Ethnographic Museum. During the walking tour of the city, you will notice that all the roads lead to the old Bazaar.

From Tirana: Guided Tour of Gjirokaster

5. From Tirana: Guided Tour of Gjirokaster

Gjirokastër gives a special feeling to all the tourists and after visiting it, you won’t need to wonder why. It has been under UNESCO protection since 2005. Located in southern Albania, Gjirokastër is where you will find a perfect mixture of wild territories and archeological sites. You will first visit the old city center where the bazaar is located. At the bazaar you will see the traditional artisan shops and the cafes in the old style. Then you will continue with a visit to Gjirokastër castle. This fortress was an existing building from the 1200 BC and rebuilt XII century by Ali Pashe Tepelena. You will have the possibility to see the defensive towers, the Clock tower, The church, and the Cistern. Inside the castle, are placed the military objects and monuments from the resistance of the Albanian partisans against the German Nazis in a very interesting museum. The rest of the day will be dedicated to visiting the old neighborhoods of Qafe and Bazaar and learn more about it. You shouldn't miss the Skenduli House. Between the ottoman houses, we will also find the house of Ismail Kadare the great Albanian writer, and the house of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian politician who ruled from 1944 to 1985, that is now the ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastër.

Albania: Local Food & Unesco Heritage - 6 Days

6. Albania: Local Food & Unesco Heritage - 6 Days

Day 1: Travel day We start our journey in Tirana with guided walking tour of the city center, including Skanderbeg Square, Ethem Bey Mosque, National Historical Museum, the Pyramid, Blloku area. Day 2: The Old Capital of Kruja & Mrizi i Zanave Agrotourism We start our journey from Tirana, directly to the city of Kruja. Set off on a guided tour of Dollma Bektashi Teqe , the surroundings and the Castle itself, the Skanderbeg and Ethnographic Museum. Transfer in the village of Fishte and its Albanian Slow Food excellence, you will spend a couple of hours visiting the surrounding and tasting the best Albanian food there is. Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokaster Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover the city of “a thousand steps”, driving through small villages. Step into Skenduli house, the nicest Ottoman tower house and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of Skenduli family Soak up to the rich history of the castle and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses Day 4: The Blue Eye Spring, Butrint National Park & Mussel Tour Boat Ride Continue to Butrint for a guided tour of the Unesco Archaeological site where a local guided explains 2500 years of history embedded in the Amphitheater, the Castle, the Churches and the Lion’s Gate. But before we stop at Blue Eye and marvel at the spring’s shades of blue and nature around it. Set off for a beach day at Ksamil Islands and on the way back to Saranda visit the Lekursi Castle overseeing the city. Day 5: Berat via Porto Palermo Bay & Albanian Riviera Road En route to the city of Berat via the scenic Riviera road, explore the Ali Pasha Castle with your Tour Director. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who build it, Ali Pashe Tepelena. Stop for lunch at a rustic local restaurant along Shushica river. Reach Berat, get settled in the hotel and enjoy an evening in the lights and promenade of this pretty Unesco town. Day 6: Walking Tour & Local Food in Berat (Unesco) This morning set out for a walking guide of “City of Thousand Windows”, where you will admire the Red Mosque, the White Mosque, the Church of the Holy Trinity and the arched bridge of Gorica. In the afternoon Alpeta Winery will welcome you for a cellar and vineyard visit. enjoy lunch with their seasonal home-grown and locally sourced organic delights and their fine wine. Day 7: Departure Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

From Durres: Gjirokaster Guided Tour

7. From Durres: Gjirokaster Guided Tour

Discover a perfect mix of archaeology, history, and natural beauty on this guided tour of Gjirokastër from Durres. See the old city center, castle, and more. Visit the old city center and bazaar and see the traditional artisan shops and cafes constructed in the old style. Visit castle, rebuilt in the 12th century. Learn about Albania's resistance to the Nazis. Spend the rest of the day visiting the old neighborhoods of Qafe and Bazaar, and learning more about them. See historical buildings, including the former residence of Enver Xoxha; Albania's Cold War-era leader.

From Tirana: Private Day Tour of Gjirokastër

8. From Tirana: Private Day Tour of Gjirokastër

Discover Gjirokastër and its imposing castle on a guided day tour from Tirana. Explore the charming streets of the town, the local bazaar, a typical house in the town, as well as the fortress itself. Begin the day with pickup from your hotel in Tirana and travel by car south towards Gjirokastër. Admire the vast rolling fields in one of the most fertile agricultural regions of Albania, passing along a section of the Vjosa River. Upon arrival in the town, be enchanted by its beautiful stone architecture all around you. Start your tour from Cerciz Topulli Square and stroll along the cobblestone streets which flow from the castle at the elevated heart of the town. Make your way to the buzzing Gjirokastër Bazaar, the traditional hub of all activity in town. Watch locals buy and sell at the many shops and stalls. Spot many local cafés where locals of all ages meet and discuss the latest gossip and news while sipping some coffee. Next, continue towards Gjirokastër Castle, with its fantastic views of the town. Enter the castle and explore the grounds as you hear the legend of Princess Argjiro, the supposed founder of the city. Learn more about the many uses of the castle throughout the years under various regimes and rulers. Afterward, head back down into town to the Palorto District. Explore the most exclusive neighborhoods of the city, which was once home to famous Albanian figures such as Communist Leader, Enver Hoxha, and his neighbor, writer Ismail Kadare. Head along the locally-named "Path of Mad People” and visit a typical house of the neighborhood, Skenduli House, notable for its fortress-style design. Finally, hop back into your transportation for the journey back to Tirana, with drop-off at your hotel.

From Tirana: 8-Day Cultural Cities and Saranda Beach Trip

9. From Tirana: 8-Day Cultural Cities and Saranda Beach Trip

Welcome to Albania! Transfer to Tirana and settle into your hotel. For those of you not too tired, there is a guided walking tour of the city center, including Skanderbeg Square, Et’hem Bey Mosque, the Pyramid and the Blloku area. Drive to Gjirokaster to discover the city of “a thousand steps”. Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and have a free time for lunch in one of the local restaurants for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Step into Skenduli house and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of Skenduli family. Visit the castle and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above. Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses before transfer in Saranda in Late afternoon. Travel to the Blue Eye and marvel at the spring’s shades of blue and nature around it. Set off on a guided tour of Butrint National Park where a local guide explains 2500 years of history embedded in the Amphitheater, the castle, the churches and the Lion Gate. Enjoy free time in the idyllic beach of Ksamil before transfer in Saranda. Enjoy your beach town in the unspoiled sand backed by rolling hills covered in olive groves, the grilled meats and cold beers, or add an excursions like: Jeep Safari, Mussel Tour with a boat, Diving Lessons, Corfu day tour In the afternoon transfer to Tirana, get settled in the hotel and in the evening gather with your group to celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner. Transfer to Berat passing through striking hills full of olive trees. On this Unesco – recognized old town with our local guide, you will admire the White Mosque, the Holy Trinity Church, Gorica Bridge and the Berati citadel/castle. Wander around this pretty town with free time for lunch. Transfer to Tirana in the late afternoon.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gjirokastër Castle

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What people are saying about Gjirokastër Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7 reviews

The tour is definitely to be recommended! Interesting destinations including characteristic villages that can hardly be reached and visited optimally with your own or local means. Note on the organization of the trip: they moved and reorganized the stages of the tour in advance to meet our need to end the trip in a different destination from the one planned (we basically left as a group of 7 friends). Mimi, our guide (from 110 and praise!), Told us many curiosities about the history of Albania and tried to satisfy us as much as possible by giving us a truly unique experience. Happy tour future travelers !!

It was interesting journey trought the Albania. We like hotels where we stay. Our guide was very nice young men and tell us lot of Albania. We recomend the trip.