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Gjirokaster

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Our most recommended Gjirokaster Bus & Minivan Tours

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: Durres and Berat Start the tour with a hotel or airport pickup in Tirana and head to Durres for a short guided walking tour and coffee break. Alternatively, you can start with a hotel pickup in Durres. Transfer to Berat, the "city of a thousand windows." Get settled in your picturesque hotel before enjoying lunch in a restaurant with city views. In the afternoon, follow your expert local guide on a guided tour of this fascinating city. Visit Berat Castle/Citadel and explore the upper town with churches, mosques, and 27 watchtowers packed inside its walls. Admire the Ottoman houses, where people still live as they have done for centuries. In the evening, your tour director will guide you to the best restaurants to sample Berat’s typical dishes. Day 2: Gjirokaster 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 heading for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Next, visit Skenduli House, the best-preserved Ottoman house in the old city of Gjirokaster. Hear about its past from your local guide and the house’s owner, a descendant of the Skenduli family. Then, soak up the castle's rich history and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above. Explore the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses before visiting the Gjirokaster Obelisk dedicated to the town's first school. Enjoy its 360º views. Spend a relaxing evening in the streets of Gjirokaster. Day 3: “Blue Eye” and Butrint 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: Llogara National Park and Vlore Transfer to the city of Vlore via Ali Pasha Castle, which you will explore with your tour director. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who built it, Ali Pasha of Tepelenë. Head to the Llogara “balcony” for a stunning view of the South Coast beaches before indulging in lunch at Llogara National Park surrounded by pine trees and a fresh mountain breeze. Visit the city of Vlore, the hometown of the Albanian nationalist movement, in the afternoon. See sights such as Flag Square with its Independence Monument right in the center, the Muradie Mosque, and Vlore Lungomare. After you have explored Vlore, you will get transferred back to Tirana.

From Tirana: Tour to Vlora, Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokaster

2. From Tirana: Tour to Vlora, Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokaster

Travel south along the Albanian coast and explore the best of this region on a guided tour. Spend the day discovering Vlora, Butrint, Saranda, and Gjirokaster. Start your trip with a comfortable ride in an air-conditioned vehicle from your hotel in Tirana. Travel to Vlora, the city of independence. Proceed to Llogara to enjoy the breathtaking views of the coast from a 1043-meter height. Continue to Saranda and see enchanting beaches such as Gjipe Beach, Porto Palermo, Lukovë, and more. Next, visit the National Park of Butrint that holds more than 2000 years of history. Head to the source of the “Blue Eye” before getting to Gjirokaster. It’s a water spring with clear blue waters coming from the depth of the earth, running in the shape of an eye. The road leading to Gjirokaster will take you to the castle of the city and the old bazaar neighborhood. Visit the former homes of Ismail Kadare and Enver Hoxha, which are now museums dedicated to communism. Enjoy this last stop of the coastal tour before returning to Tirana.

From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls and Osum Canyons Day Trip

3. From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls and Osum Canyons Day Trip

Your professional guide will lead you to a wonderful destination in Berat. Be prepared to immerse yourself into the beauty of nature. In about 1 ¼ hour you will reach Bogova,a picturesque village famous for its waters and waterfalls. Along the way to Bogova you will make a pit stop to Polican, a small town being known for weapon production in communism years. After enjoying the Bogova Waterfalls your trip will continue to Canyons on the Osum River.The same river that crosses the entire city of Berat, has created this wonderful canyon, where the adventure lovers are becoming more attracted over the years. Nature here offers a beautiful landscape that you can enjoy in this full-day tour.

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.

Tirana: 8-Day North to South Albania Tour

6. Tirana: 8-Day North to South Albania Tour

Day 1: Travel Day and Tirana An airport pickup service is available throughout the day, following which you can get settled in your hotel. If you are not too tired, there is a guided walking tour of the city also available. Day 2: Kruja and Shkoder You'll begin your journey from Tirana directly to the city of Kruja. From there you will set off on a guided tour of the castle, the Skanderbeg Museum, and the National Ethnographic Museum. You'll transfer for lunch in Shiroke, with Lake Shkoder well known for its fish cuisine. Following lunch, visit the Rozafa Fortress and enjoy amazing views whilst learning the fortress’s fascinating history. Afterwards, get settled in to your hotel in Shkoder and experience the Old Town, St. Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral, the Ebu Bekr Mosque, and Marubi Museum throughout a guided tour. Later, enjoy free time in the evening in the Pedonalja area. Day 3: Koman Lake to Shala River through Koman Lake boat ride Transfer to Koman in the early morning, where you will take a scenic boat ride passing by rocky mountains and vivid green hills towards the Shala River. This river is a hidden paradise which is also referred to as “Albanian Thailand”. Later, enjoy lunch with views over the Mirror River whilst surrounded by the quietness of the mountains and nature. You'll eventually leave this idyllic spot in the afternoon, at which point you will transfer to the seaside city of Durres. Day 4: Berat and Vlore On your fourth day you will transfer to Berat, passing through scenic hills full of olive trees. You'll later take a guided tour to admire the citadel/castle of Berat complete with a Red Mosque, White Mosque, the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the arched bridge of Gorica. Following that, enjoy lunch with city views and take some free time to wander the two main districts of Mangalem and Gorica. In the afternoon you'll visit the city of Vlore, which is the hometown to the National Independence Movement. There you can visit Flag Square, the Muradie Mosque, and Vlore’s Lungomare. Day 5: Saranda via Gjirokaster Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover this "city of a thousand steps” whilst driving through small villages. Once arrived, settle into your hotel before soaking up the rich history of the castle and enjoying the view of the “city of stone” from above. Explore the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden house before stopping for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. On the road to Saranda, you will later stop at the “Blue Eye” spring. Day 6: Butrint and Ksamil Transfer to Butrint for a guided tour of the UNESCO archaeological site. Following that you will have free time for a beach day at the Ksamil Islands, before returning to Saranda in the evening. Day 7: Ali Pasha Castle & Llogara National Park Visit Porto Palermo Castle with your guide, before spending the day at the beach in the bay of Porto Palermo. Along the way you'll stop by Tirana, as well as the Llogara “balcony” to try local products of the area. Day 8: Departure Day Following breakfast on your final day, your tour will conclude.

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: Full-Day Tour to Gjirokastra

8. From Tirana: Full-Day Tour to Gjirokastra

Begin your day tour with a transfer from Tirana. Once there, visit the medieval bazaar and the Ottoman-style houses in the old part of the town. Witness artisan women making handmade doilies, carving wood or silver and other guild shops in the narrow cobbled stone streets of this suburb. While visiting people in their homes, traditional coffee (ground in stone) and mountain tea will be served.  You will also visit Gjirokastra city, the castle and much more. Later, you will have the chance to taste the typical local food cooked by local women. You will also visit the Skenduli House, you'll most likely be shown around by Mr Skenduli himself. The house was built around the year 1700 and has many fascinating features. Later, you will visit the Ethnographic Museum. In the end, you will enjoy free time around the city.

Albania: UNESCO Heritage & Local Food Tour with Nature

9. Albania: UNESCO Heritage & Local Food Tour with Nature

Day 1: Travel day You'll be picked up from the airport. Welcome to Albania! Get settled in the hotel and for those of you not too tired, there is a guided walking tour of the city center before dinner in a traditional restaurant in the evening. Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Berat Transfer to Berat, passing through hills full of olive trees. Get settled in the hotel and head for lunch in a local restaurant facing the city. Set out for a walking guide through the UNESCO listed old town with your local guide, admiring the White Mosque, the Holy Trinity Church and Gorica Bridge. Enter into the Berat Castle for a guided tour. Enjoy a free evening in "the city of a thousand and one windows.” Day 3: Rural Berat, Bogova Waterfall & Wine Tasting Transfer to Bogove and take a 30min walk towards the impressive waterfall. Head back to Bogove village and have a homemade lunch on the river shore, with homemade wine and raki (fruit brandy). In the afternoon, visit the town of Polican, famous for its weapon factories during Communist times. The abandoned factories and people in this remote town are a strong reminder of the country's’ past. After a short drive, you'll arrive at Nurellari Winery.  Enjoy a wine tasting tour in this family-run winery, walk around the vineyard and savor 4 varieties of wine. Head back to the city and enjoy free time in the evening exploring the ancient neighborhoods of Mangalem and Gorica.   Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokaster Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover "the city of a thousand steps.” Get settled in your hotel and head out for lunch in a small, local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Step into Skenduli house (an Ottoman tower house) and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of Skenduli family and your local guide. Soak up to the rich history of the castle and enjoy the views! Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses and visit Gjirokastra’s Obelisk. Day 5: Typical food from Rural Gjirokastra Drive to Saraqinisht and experience a day in an Albanian countryside cottage. You'll learn about the food, life, and traditions of an Albanian family. Start cooking with three generations of Albanian ladies or drink Raki with cheese and olives with “Grandpa” and listen to his Commie stories. In the afternoon, you can take a 40-minute hike to visit 400-years old St. Mary's Church, built on the face of a cliff and with its monastery beneath. In the evening, transfer back to the city, visiting a Communist bunker on the way back.  Day 6: Sightseeing tour of the Blue Eye Spring and Butrint Travel to the Blue Eye Spring and marvel at this beautiful natural area. Then, set off on a guided tour of Butrint National Park where a local guide explains the 2500 years of history of the Amphitheater, the castle, the churches, and the Lion Gate. Drive to Ksamil and enjoy seafood next to turquoise waters. On the way to Himare, stop for a coffee break at Borsh waterfalls. What a sight! Transfer to Himare and enjoy free time in this typical seaside city. Finish the day with your tour leader and group and enjoy an evening of raki drinking.  Day 7: Apollonia via Llogara National Park En route to Apollonia, explore the Ali Pasha Castle. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who built it, Ali Pasha Tepelena. Stop at Llogara balcony for a stunning view of the South Coast beaches and then head for lunch to Llogara National Park freshened by the mountain breeze and pine trees. Set off a guided tour in Apollonia in the afternoon, where an on-site archeologist explains the history behind the temple of Artemis, the Odeon and the Triumphal Arch. On the way to Tirana, stop for the delicious byrek (pastries) in the city of Lushnje. Day 8: Departure Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

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What people are saying about Gjirokaster

Our compliments to our guide Manjola who provided a personal informative introduction for us to Gjirokastra. The tour is well worth taking to get an insight into the history of this beautiful town even though there is much mayhem with the restoration of the main road. You need to be aware however that the afternoon is for you to wander the bizarre area so the tour really concludes around lunch time from which time you are free to take in additional sites. We chose to leave around 4pm as we were returning to Sarande and to stop on the way back at the "Blue Eye" swimming hole which made for a busy but great day out.

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 !!