Religional Albania 6 days/5 nights
07/02/2019 Release by LIVING ALBANIA
Four principal religions live peacefully in this country, Albania.
This is a special tour because it leads to discover the true reality to many strangers of this country, (which is very different from that reported by the media) and of this people, the Albanian, politically divided into several states (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro), but united by the common ethnic origin, language, history, culture and traditions, even if with obvious and particular differences among which the religion that does not divide here but unites the People. In fact there are four primary religious groups Islam - Sunnit and Sufi-Bektash which are part of almost 60% of Albanians; and then Christians - Orthodox and Catholics who are less even thats the first known religion in this country. However almost all Albanians follow the quote of Pashke Vasa, a poet from 1900, who wrote: "Do not look at churches and mosques, the only religion of Albanians is being Albanian". We will travel from Northern Albania (Shkoder) the cradle of Albanian culture to the deep South (Saranda) where we admire the Butrint heritage of UNESCO and the emerald sea of Saranda called the Bora Bora of the Ionian, visit the capital Tirana -real Western Metropol with more than one million two hundred thousand inhabitants traveling with his visit to the six-story underground bunker of the dictator Enver Hoxha last act of the communist dictatorship, in Tirana we will also visit the world center of the Sufi Islamic Sect (Bektashi), and then the sanctuary of miracles as they call it in Albania, that of Sant 'Antonio in Laç-place visited by all Muslim and Christian Albanians, then Kruja -city of the hero symbol of the Albanian resistance against the Turks whose national leader and hero, Skanderbeg, earned the title of "protector of Christianity" to which Rome has dedicated a square and a large statue, and then Durres the port city of Albania already important at the time of the Romans who called "The Adriatic Tavern" with the largest amphitheater of the Balkans, and then Berat the "city of a thousand and one windows" UNESCO heritage with the castle at the top and the Iconographic Museum Onufri the most important of Albania, Ardenica is the Orthodox monastic complex still in use built in 1282 and repeatedly destroyed and recovered and where in 1451 the marriage of Skanderberg, Albanian national hero, was celebrated, we ascended up to 1,000 meters to the Llogora Pass where a breathtaking view of the Ionian coast will deserve a stop, then we will go down to Himare, we will see the most important submarine base of the period of the dictatorship, we will stop in Porto Palermo to visit the Castle of Ali Pasha Tepelene, and tired but happy in the evening we will arrive then in Saranda placed on the beautiful bay from where you can admire the sunset on the island of Corfu (Greece), where you will see the most important archaeological site of Albania- Butrint, and not far away also the most beautiful beach in Ksamil. On the penultimate day we will visit Argirocastro the village and the castle and we will enter the mountains to discover another Albania the less tourist more in contact with the people.
We will be able to taste some local dishes, here in Albania the food and wine is enhanced by natural organic products such as fruit and vegetables, but also by fine wines (from the native grapes of the white Debine and the red Kallmet), with its products highly bio, we will taste some of the most famous dishes among which the Tave Dheu and Kosi, the famous and delicious Byrek, the delicious Kos cheese, the white Feta cheese and the salted sheep butter and then the liquid yoghurt, but also desserts such as Bakllava, Kadaif and Ballokume.
For religious and / or cultural meetings with ecclesiasti and local scholars and for the Holy Masses both with a priest in tow and / or with Albanian priest but in English it is good to proceed well in advance with the reservation, in this case for obvious reasons of time the tour will be modified according to new requests.
1st day: Visit of Kruja, Shkoder
Departure for Tirana with direct flight.
• 11:00 am - Arrival, meeting with the guide and transfer to Kruja.
• 12.30 pm Arrival in Kruja lunch in a restaurant.
• 14.00 Visit of this charming town (only 13,500 inhabitants) placed on the side of a mountain, Croia or Kruja in Albanian is the most important city of the Albanian resistance under the guidance of Gjergj Kastrioti "Scanderbeg" in the 15th century fought with the Ottomans have been successful for over 25 years.
Visit the castle with shopping in the beautiful old bazaar. Climb up to the tower where you can admire a splendid view of Kruja and its surroundings.
Kruja Castle was built in the 4th century on the remains of a previous Illyrian settlement of the III century BC
On the top of the mountain of Kruja we will visit a small hermitage the Teqe of Sari Salltik. Located in a cave in 1000m height, the teqe is one of the most visited places in the area by the professors of Bektash.
In the teq is the tomb of the Baba (name of their proffetes in the religion of Bektash) Sari Salltik, is considered a symbol of unity for the Asian and European religiosity culture.
The mountain bears his name Sari Salltik.
• 5.30 pm Departure for Shkoder:
• 6.30 pm arrival in Shkoder and accommodation at the hotel.
• 20:00 pm dinner in restaurant.
2nd day: Visit of Shkoder and Laç (Sanctuary of St. Antony)
• 8:00 am Breakfast at the hotel.
• 9:00 am Visit of Shkoder -the northern city of Albania who considers itself "The cradle of Albanian culture", the moral capital of the country, visit of the city center, and visit of the largest Catholic cathedral of the Balkans dedicated to St. Stephen, visit of the castle of Rosafa - the monument-symbol and the best observation point on the city and its surroundings, the name of which is linked to the famous Albanian legend of a young girl named Rozafa mother of a child of a few days of life that is sacrificed for the construction of the castle.
• 1.00 pm Lunch in a restaurant.
• 2.30 pm Departure at a time to the town of Laç. We will visit the most known and visited Sanctuary of Albania, the Sanctuary of Saint 'Antonio of Padua or Shna Ndoi as called in Albania (the small Albanian Medjugorie). A place known for the miracles that have taken place and which still seem to be happening, where you find people of the Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim religions from all over the world to pray in this mystical place full of spirituality. Here it will be possible with your own pastor to celebrate Mass in the church dedicated to St. Anthony and if possible we’ll take a "talk" with the monks.
• Booking and accommodation in a hotel in Berat.
• 8.00 pm Dinner in restaurant.
3rd day: Visit of BERAT and APOLLONIA
• 7:30 am Breakfast at the hotel.
• 8:30 am departure to the city of Berat, the City with a thousand windows, (special statute on the Unesco bond).
• 10.15 am arrival in Berat -in 2008 the historic center of Berat was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, as "a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman city", the Castle of Berat where there are 42 churches, many of the which of the IV -V century of which few have preserved over time the original traces, the museum Onufri, housed in the ancient Orthodox Cathedral of the "Dormition of the Virgin", (named after the most important Albanian painter of icons of the sixteenth century), and ancient Orthodox churches Visit to the historical and ancient part of the city the district of Mangalemi with the typical Ottoman houses.
The visit is carried out with an official guide.
• 12:30 pm Lunch in a restaurant.
• 2.00 pm Departure for Vlore with a stop at the archaeological site of Apollonia, the second largest archaeological site in Albania, located not far from the important Road Egnatia (natural continuation of the Road Appia) or the communication road of the port of Durres with Constantinople at the time of the Roman domination.
Founded in 588 BC by the Greek colonists of Kerkyra (today Corfu) and Corinth, Apollonia was one of the most important commercial centers of the time and was defined by Cicero: "magna urbs et gravis "- that is, a large and majestic city whose ancient beauty was brought to light in the early twentieth century by a French team, even though many of its treasures remained hidden.
The visit to the site is carried out with an official site guide.
• 5:30 pm Departure for Vlore.
• 7.00 pm Accomodation in a hotel in Vlore.
• 8.00 pm Dinner in restaurant.
4th day: Llogora, Porto Palermo and arrival to Saranda and Butrint
• 8:00 am Breakfast.
• 9:00 am Departure for Saranda in Italian Santi Quaranta (from the Orthodox monastery of the 40 Saints, the legend tells about 40 martyred soldiers left to die in a frozen lake because they did not deny their Christian Faith), and Porto Edda (Benito Mussolini's daughter) at the time of Italian colonization.
• with a stop at a panoramic spot along the road after the Llogora pass you will be amazed admiring the spectacular breathtaking view of the Ionian coast and then in Porto Palermo residency of Ali Pasha Tepelene with visit of the castle we will pass some famous seaside resorts among the such as Himare, Borsh etc.
• 1:00 pm Lunch in a restaurant.
• 14.00: 30 Visit the site of Butrint, (World Heritage Site - UNESCO) flagship of Albanian archeology. Butrint dates back to the 7th century BC and according to Virgil was founded by Elen- son of Priam King of Troia, the Greeks make Butrint a fortified commercial city (the remains of the acropolis are still visible). Its 6th century BC fortification evokes all the military power of the city and is a symbol of a rich culture and an important and thriving city. It then became an important Roman colony. It then fell under the dominion of the Venetians and Turks, losing its importance over the course of the century and beginning its decline. The city found (only partially excavated) is a very important microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history. Visit to the precious antiquarium (museum) on site.
The visit to the Butrint site is carried out with an official site guide.
• We will support for some photos in the famous seaside resort of Ksamil also called the Albanian Bora Bora where the emerald sea and white sand will amaze you.
• 18:00 Accommodation in a hotel in Saranda.
• 8.00 pm Dinner in restaurant.
In Saranda it will be possible, except for unforeseen events, to officiate or to attend the evening Mass (in Saranda there are no Catholic churches and therefore everything is entrusted to the Marcelline nuns in their little chapel) who will be contacted to verify their consent.
5th day: Visit of Mesopotam, Blu Eye, Gjirokaster and Ardenica
• 7:30 am Breakfast at the hotel.
• 8.30 am Departure for Gjirokaster with a visit to the Church of Mesopotam, the only building that is part of a large monastic complex of the Blue Eye during the road, a small paradise not yet touched by human beings, or a karst . The very beautiful area under the naturalistic aspect is one of the most visited places in Albania.
• 10.30 am Visit to Gjirokaster (World Heritage Site - UNESCO)
Gjirokaster, its name in Greek means Silver Fortress and the city clearly shows the meeting of the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Turkish and Albanian cultures. Visit to the old city, shopping in the various local craft shops, visit the castle on the top of the hill where the National Museum of Arms is located.
We will also visit the ancient Orthodox Church of Mesopotam of the remains of the monastery (unfortunately it is possible only external view as being restored, but still full of charm) important for its sculptural reliefs, always a studies object, in the heads of dog and dragons in flight that are seen between the walls of the monastery. The church of Mesopotam is dedicated to St.Nicholas, a saint between East and West and has in itself the sense of this "door" between two very different worlds. The four domes are supported by a column in the apse area that is the result of a restoration that took place in 1700, while the structure could date back to 1220-1225, which is also apparent from the characters in imperial garments that can be seen in some remains of frescoes unfortunately, however, now not visible.
• 1:00 pm Lunch in a restaurant.
• 2.30 pm Departure for Tirana. On the way we will stop to visit the superb Orthodox monastery of Ardenica, still in use built in 1282 and repeatedly destroyed and recovered and where in 1451 was celebrated the marriage of Skanderberg, Albanian national hero. Built in the thirteenth century, it is built on the promontory of a hill in a dominant position not far from the Road Egnatia (natural continuation of the Road Appia) the communication route of the port of Durrres with Constantinople at the time of Roman domination.The church is dedicated to the Madonna and is famous as a place where the Albanian national hero Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeu celebreated his love with Donika Arianiti. From 1780 there is a school of Orthodox theology for monks still present. Beautiful interior of the church full of precious frescoes and icons of the era.
• 7.30 pm Booking and accommodation in a hotel in Tirana.
• 8:30 pm Dinner in a restaurant.
6th day: Visit of Tirana and turning back to your country
• 7:30 am breakfast.
• 8:30 am Our tour begins with a visit to the center of Tirana, at the Skanderbeg square (Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeu, the national hero who for twenty years resisted the invasion of Albania and Europe) symbolic place of the City (Ethem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower). We will also visit the Orthodox Cathedral located in the city center, a few steps from the Skanderbeg Square. We’ll make a walk in the Taiwan park and boulevard Deshmoret e Kombit (Pyramid of Enver Hoxha, Government Palace, Qemal Stafa Stadium).
(Tirana, the capital of Albania, has almost one million inhabitants, hence almost a third of the entire Albanian population, life is all of another European city very different from all other Albanian cities, here it speaks English and English).
1:00 pm Lunch in a restaurant
Then we’ll visit the world center Bektashi, located north-east of Tirana, and has a vast and remarkable experience with a museum in the basement and a small gift shop where visitors can buy various souvenirs of Bektashi. The teqe is adorned from the top to the bottom of marble mosaics in a breathtaking manner of colors and patterns.
The Bektashi order is a sect of dervishes that bases the elements of thought predominantly of Shia and Sufi into a single blend of Islamic faith and philosophy. Quickly banned from the armed forces in 1862, the Bektashi order re-emerged later, in the nineteenth century, only to be subjected to new outlaw by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, immediately after the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, event that determined the displacement of the quarters General in Albania in 1925. The final restoration of the religious complex was completed on September 8, 2015, in the presence of the leaders of all the Albanian religious communities and of the peoples of the Islamic communities from another place in the Balkans, in Europe and beyond.
Departure for the airport and return to your country scheduled for late evening.
End of the service
€.690 per person in 30 pax
- 5 overnights in double standard room in Hotel 4* e 3*.
- 5 breakfast in buffet at the hotel;
- 5 dinners in restaurant (included a bottle of water 0.33 l. and 1 glass of wine or one beer p.pax.) coffee, and other exluded.
- 6 lunches in restaurant (included a bottle of water 0.33 l. and 1 glass of wine or one beer p.pax.) coffee, and other exluded.
- Transport with car or bus with an expert albanian driver, competent to resolve all the street tour problems.
- Tourist guide for all the time mentioned in program.
- Transport from and for the airport for groups +20.
Entrance fees included in price
1. Tirana: National Storic Museum.
2. Berat: Castle, Museum Onufri.
3. Archaeological site of Apollonia.
4. Ardenica-Orthodox Monastery.
5. Kruja-Castle of Skanderbeg.
6. Porto Palermo: Castle ofi Alì Pasha Tepelena
7. Blu Eye
8. Saranda: Archaeological site of Butrint.
9. Shkoder: Castle of Rozafa.
Specialist guides for the sites of Apollonia, Butrint and Berat.
QUOTES DO NOT INCLUDE:
a) Air tickets for Albania.
b) Lunches, snacks or other not mentioned.
c) Drinks for the meals (excluded what mentioned in “quotes include”).
d) Drinks, snacks ecc…during the tour.
e) Medical insurance (obligatory) supplement.
f) Personal extra and all not mentioned in the “quotes include”.
g) Single room.
i) Offers per S. Mass.
j) All not mentioned in this program.
The package is scheduled with arrival at the "Nene Teresa" airport in Tirana on the first morning of the first day and departure for Italy in the late evening of the 6th day.
Any changes to the aforementioned program consequent and / or due to delays or other factors not depending on our company will not be imputable to LivingAlbania and will not be subject to any refunds and if this involves additional costs they will be charged to the group leader / or responsible for the reservation.
The quotation above is reported and valid only for months of April, May, June (up to about 15), September (from about 15), October, November 2020. Prices are to be considered blocked only when the appropriate deposit is paid confirmation and signing of the relative contract therefore up to that date they may be subject to increasing variations. Therefore to avoid such increases we recommend to block the package with the booking as soon as possible.
Methods of payment will be provided upon confirmation.
* Single room 5 nights €. 100,00
** Medical inscurance (obbligatory) supplement € 20 pax
Hotel in Shkoder 4 * Located very close to the center, this hotel has been built in architectural and cultural harmony with the house. The overall design, the interior and exterior fittings are inspired by the emblematic motifs of the city, creating a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for body and soul. Sheets, rugs and towel motifs depict the ornamental designs of traditional costumes. It has a restaurant that stays in the art of preparing Albanian dishes and its style of serving meze.
Hotel in Berat 4 *, it is located not far from the city center. It has excellent rooms to more types of accommodation very basic even the standard consists of an entrance hall, bathroom with glass enclosed shower and accessories including bidet. The beds are either double or twin. The room is furnished in a modern style with a plasma TV, hot and cold air conditioning and a few frigobars with a balcony.Free Wi-Fi. It has a lounge bar.
Hotel in Vlora 4 * it is located near the city center. It has rooms furnished in a modern way consisting of an entrance hall, bathroom with enclosed glass shower and accessories including bidet. It also has air conditioning in every room, mini-bar and free WiFi. The beds are either a double or twin beds .. It has an "a la carte" restaurant for those wishing to use it.
Hotel in Saranda 4 *. is located in the center of Saranda near the city center and the promenade along the sea where you can take a relaxing evening walk and have a coffee or an aperitif in the many bars present enjoying the scent of the sea and enjoying the sunset over the bay. The rooms are modernly furnished with air conditioning, mini-bar, and free Wi-Fi; It has sea view rooms with a balcony. It does not have an internal restaurant, but is located in the immediate vicinity.
Hotel in Tirana 3 * Located in the Old Town, the hotel was opened in 2012 and offers elegant accommodation with soundproof windows, cable and satellite programs, air conditioning and a minibar. The private bathroom has a shower, hairdryer and etcc. The rooms are decorated in brown and blue tones and feature refined dark brown furniture. The hotel is covered by free Wi-Fi. A breakfast buffet is served each morning at the on-site restaurant.
Hotels may vary according to availability at the moment and in Albania the assignment of the "stars" "*" is free and decided usually by the managers and not by Associations of category Bodies or state structures. The stars shown are credited on Booking.com