Highlights of Albania

10 days
from
985 €
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4.7 / 5 from 23 reviews >
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Trip code: 
AVL
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Enjoy wild landscapes, rich culture and outstanding natural beauty in undiscovered Albania

Albania is a fascinating, little known Mediterranean country situated just north of mainland Greece with an incredible history set impressively against a wild and rugged landscape. Past civilisations have left their mark, mainly the Romans and Byzantines, which we see at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Butrint and the famous Berat Fortress, but the real highlight is the warm hospitality received all over this wonderfully undiscovered country.

Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Butrint, Berat and Gjirokaster
  • Discover historical monuments including Durres Amphitheatre and Korce Church
  • Journey through the beautiful Albanian Riviera

Key information

  • 9 nights hotels with en suite facilities
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private bus

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
(0211) 99 49 02
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Tirana
to
Kruje
  • Day 1

    Start Tirana.

    The tour starts at our hotel in Tirana, Albania’s capital. Those travelling on the group flights will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel (approx. 20 mins). This afternoon we'll have an orientation tour of the colourful streets of Tirana, which was made the capital of Albania in just 1920. We’ll see the main sites, including the impressive façade of the National History Museum which is adorned with a gigantic mosaic known as ‘The Albanians’. This is one of the finest examples of late Albanian Socialist Realism in the country, depicting the resilience of the people in their fight against invasion and occupation throughout the centuries, and dominates Skanderbeg Square. The exhibits within the museum give great insight into Albania’s intriguing past and recent history up to the present day.

    We also visit Et'hem Bey Mosque, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Closed under communist rule, it reopened as a house of worship in 1991 despite opposition from communist authorities. We also explore an area known as Blloku on foot, where villas were once occupied by members of The Politburo (former leading sect of the Party of Labour of Albania) but which is now the lively centre of Tirana’s nightlife where trendy bars, cafés, and fashionable clubs can be found.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Visit Elbasan Fortress en route to Pogradec, offering views across Lake Ohrid.

    After breakfast, we begin our drive to Pogradec (approx. 3 hrs. drive), but en route we make a short stop to visit the fortress of Elbasan. A city influenced by various cultures including Serbs and more importantly Italians, the fortress here dates back to the 15th century. The fortifications originally incorporated twenty-six towers equidistantly spaced from each other along the length of a nine-metre high wall; today the ruins can be seen along the southern wall which remains more or less intact.

    Our final destination for today is one of the most charming resorts in Albania, Pogradec, thanks to its position on beautiful Lake Ohrid with clear waters and mountain views. Keep your eyes peeled for Orhrid trout (known as ‘Koran’ in Albania), a species endemic to the lake. We go for a scenic walk at Drilon Park on the far side of the lake, to discover the waterways and ornamental plants and trees that make up this special ecosystem.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer to the artists' village of Voskopojë; continue to Korçë.

    This morning we continue driving for about an hour to reach Voskopoja Village (formerly known as Moskopole) an important and well-known centre of art where many talented Albanian painters chose to practice their profession. The village has suffered over the years, as many of its treasures were stolen during the second half of the 18th century and this continued during the world wars. We take a 40 minute walk to visit one of the oldest churches representing Voskopoja religious art.

    Another short drive (approx. 30 mins.) takes us to the largest city of south-eastern Albania, Korçë, which sits at the foot of Moravia Mountain, 800m above sea level. This city became an important trading and handicraft centre in the 18th Century and has also been referred to as ‘the city of museums’, being home to the National Museum of Mediaeval Art and Archaeology, the Museum of Education (where the first Albanian School was opened in 1878), and the new museum of ‘Bratko Collections’ displaying antiquities from the Far East. Our visit to Korçë includes the National Museum of Mediaeval Art and Archaeology, Mirahori Mosque (one of the oldest in the Balkans) and the famous church 'The Resurrection'. Korçë has been an important religious centre for Orthodox Christians. It's also worth trying the famous local beer whilst in the city.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Drive via the mountain village of Ersekë to Përmet, famous for its food and wines.

    Our drive through the mountains today is truly spectacular as we enjoy sweeping views across the Gramos and Nemercka Mountains. Along the winding route, we enjoy a short stop in Ersekë, which at 1050m is the highest town in Albania. This 17th century town is surrounded by beautiful green pastures of the Gramos Mountains. Continuing onwards to beautiful Përmet, we make a quick stop at the old bridge of Benje village, and the hot springs, where we have time to relax and swim. After quite a long day (approx. 5 hrs. drive in total) we arrive in Përmet, situated in the heart of the white mountains on the Vjosë River. This evening you’re sure to be in for a treat as Përmet is famous for its food and wine, including 'gliko' sweets and raki.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Gjirokastër via the characteristic village of Dhoksat.

    Drive to the beautiful town of Gjirokastër (approx. 2 hrs. drive), calling in at the traditional village of Dhoksat en route for a home-cooked lunch. In the afternoon we enjoy a guided visit around the famous town of Gjirokastër. Set on a mountain slope, the cobbled streets wind their way between old houses with interesting architectural features including mediaeval towers. The castle is the main feature and stands like a balcony over the town offering wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. We visit the ethnographic museum which is the house of Albania's former dictator Enver Hoxha.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Visit 'The Blue Eye' natural water spring; travel to Butrint and on to Sarandë.

    In the morning we have a short journey (approx. 30 mins) to visit the ‘Blue Eye’, an area where seven artesian wells (natural springs) rise. Named after the largest spring, the water descends to depths of over 50m as it infiltrates the pale-coloured surrounding rock. We then continue to the UNESCO World Hiritage Site of Butrint (approx. 1 hr. drive), a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, the god of medicine, founded in the 4th century BC. Worshippers came to the sanctuary and left symbolic objects or money for the gods and priests in the belief that they would then be healed by the sacred waters.

    We spend the night in the city of Sarandë, which is a stark contrast to the tranquil towns we have stayed in so far.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Vlorë via Porto Palermo Bay to visit Ali Pasha Castle. In the summer we can swim and sunbathe at the small beach here.

    A change of scenery today as we travel through the spectacular Albanian Riviera. We spend time at Porto Palermo Bay and visit Ali Pasha Castle, which was once one of the most important military bases during the cold war. There is a small beach here, suitable for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing in an unspoilt corner of the Mediterranean during the summer months.

    From Porto Palermo Bay, we wind our way up the coast enjoying views to Corfu and miles of olive groves and pine forests, stopping for lunch en route to the popular destination of Vlorë, where the Albanian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in 1912. We arrive in the afternoon and there is time to relax before we explore this vibrant large town. (Total driving time today is approx. 3.5 hrs.)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Visit Apollonia and Ardenica Monastery; drive to Berat.

    We start our journey north today and stop at the wonderful ruins of Apollonia (approx. 1.5 hrs. drive). Originally occupied by the Illyrian tribes and then the Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth around 600BC, Apollonia flourished in the Roman period and was home to a renowned school of philosophy but began to decline in the 3rd century AD when its harbour started silting up as a result of an earthquake.

    We continue inland to the Monastery of Ardenice, built by the Byzantine Emperor in 1282 (approx. 40 mins. drive). The monastery became famous as the national hero of Albania, Gjergj Kastriot (Skanderbeg), married Donika Arianiti here in 1451. Another highlight is the Church of Saint Mary set within the monastery, which reveals frescoes from famous Albanian painters. Finally, we transfer further inland to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berat (approx. 1.5 hr. drive), where we spend a night in the oldest district of the town.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Guided tour of UNESCO site of Berat; continue to amphitheatre and port of Durrës; Continue to Krujë.

    This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the old district of Berat, with its pretty white buildings perched on the hill amid pine forests. We walk through the narrow cobbled streets and finally reach Berat Castle on the slopes of Mount Tomorr, where we are rewarded with breath-taking views (and begin to understand why it is known to Albanians as 'The City of a Thousand Windows'). Within the castle walls are dwelling houses and the Onufri Museum (Museum of Iconography), which we will visit.

    From Berat we drive to the port of Durrës (approx. 2 hrs. drive), the second largest city in Albania and famed for housing the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans. The amphitheatre dates back to the 2nd century AD, seats 15,000 people and contains an early Christian crypt with rare wall mosaics. The city was colonised by colonists from Corinth and Korkyra in 627 BC and was named Epidamnus, but later became Dyrrachium.

    We then drive to the famous mediaeval citadel of Krujë (approx. 45 mins. drive), where Albania's national hero, Skanderbeg, led the resistance against the Ottomans. He kept them from crossing into Western Europe for 25 years, earning the title "Champion of Christ".
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Tour of Krujë; visit the ethnographic museum and wander through the bazaar.

    After breakfast we’ll have a tour of Krujë. We will visit the Skanderbeg Museum, a rich ethnographic museum inside the castle, and enjoy inspirational views out to the Adriatic Coast. We have time to wander through the mediaeval bazaar full of souvenirs and handicrafts. Those travelling on the group flights will be transferred to Tirana airport for your flight back to London (approx. 45 mins. drive).

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Albania

No visa required for most nationalities, including UK passport holders, most other EU nationalities, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand.

Vaccinations

Albania

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 lunch included.

Food in Albania is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country and particularly Mediterranean combining Turkish, Greek and Italian tastes. Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt are present in almost every meal, usually locally sourced. Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha Albania became a self-sustaining country due to its isolation from the world. However the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, means it is still very much a subsistence culture and shows very little sign of changing. In the countryside expect your food to be very locally sourced. Breakfasts are typically eggs, fresh bread, jam, honey and coffee. For lunch and dinner, meat dishes are often goat or lamb, with fish dishes ranging from trout to whitebait. Courses often come in mezze form complimented with a variety of vegetables and salad, freshly baked bread, homemade cheeses, local wines and of course, raki. In the cities along the coast there are a number of restaurants to choose from with an array of Mediterranean cuisine and fresh seafood.

Weather

Albania generally experiences a Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures at 25-30ºC on average in the day, and the warmest months are July and August where temperatures can rise to 35ºC or above. It becomes cooler further inland towards Korçë during these months, especially in the evenings with high temperatures around 25ºC. There is always the small chance of rain in the mountains yet we do not to travel in the coldest and wettest months, which are November to January. Berat also experiences a Mediterranean climate but thanks to its location in the shadow of Mt Tomorr, summers are much warmer than expected for the Mediterranean.

Is this trip for you?

This itinerary includes the main highlights of this fascinating country as well as some well-kept secrets that provide true insight into the Albanian culture. There will be some long drives (maximum 5 hours on day 4) on winding roads through the spectacular wild scenery of southern Albania. All hotels are equivalent to 3 and 4-star accommodation with en suite rooms yet the standard may vary depending on location. Roads in Albania are full of potholes and of a much lower standard to what we are used to in Europe. Although they are currently improving many routes, please be prepared for some bumpy journeys.

Call for general departures:
(0211) 99 49 02
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

We spend each night in a different 3 or 4-star hotel or pension with good service, amenities and en suite rooms. Each night we will be situated within walking distance of local attractions and a variety of choice for restaurants to eat in the evening. The accommodation ranges from comfortable modern properties to older properties bursting with character.

Call for general departures:
(0211) 99 49 02
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
(0211) 99 49 02
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Rod Kantor

    Highlights of Albania

    Overall the itinerary was fine but it could be enhanced. A night was spent in Vlores and a visit made to Durres. Neither town was inspiring and what we saw there was incidental to the trip and would not have been missed if it had not been included. Cut Vlores and Durres out and spend more time in Gjirokaster and / or Berat. Or reroute slightly and include other destinations not on the current itinerary. There was a feeling of being rushed around the Berat Castle area in particular - a quick photo here then move on. No time to take in the scene. The photos have to be good as there's no time to retain a mental impression. The hotel choices were good to excellent and that in Berat exceptional. The minibus concept for transport has shortcomings, particularly when the bus is full. Anyone in an aisle seat has little chance of seeing mountainous countryside as line of vision is directed downwards by the top of the window for a tall person sitting in the middle of the bus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to understand the seemingly endless battles over centuries that the Albanian people have had to fight and the compromises they have had to accept on the road to maintaining their identity as a nation

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guide was very knowledgeable and shared his knowledge generously and frequently on a wide range of subjects, in part leading to the comment made immediately above. He tried hard to please everyone. That is not an easy task and can lead to the wrong result. When an option is offered and half the group go one way and half the other those attempts to please everyone end up disappointing half. Sometimes it's better for the guide to just say what's going to happen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're interested in life in Albania during the last century, and during the communist era in particular, get to Tirana a few days before the trip starts. The trip itinerary allows for surprisingly little time in Tirana and during that time the only exposure to visual information about Albania in the 20th century is a visit to the national museum. However, that museum is far from the best place in and around the capital to find out how Albanians lived and were treated during the communist dictatorship.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Lynn Pugsley

    Surprisingly pleasant country

    A great trip with a knowledgeable trip leader. We visited numerous castles, mosques and churches. The mountains are magnificent as are the plains, rivers and beaches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Entering the home of our hosts for a traditional lunch. The food was all produced locally and the garden was delightful. The infrastructure was also a pleasant surprise - many good roads and hygienic sanitary provisions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    iLife was very knowledgeable and adapted well to our sense of humour. He and our driver went "the extra mile" to point out and deliver extra experiences.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry about hygiene - dress casually - leave high heels at home - get a map or guidebook to research the country and it's history before you go. The trip involves some awkward walking and cobbles so be prepared with sensible shoes. Change money in small aliquot - food is cheap and wine/beer is much cheaper. Try the local restaurants - there are no McDonalds etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was very good. A couple of the hotel rooms were a bit iffy. There could have been other experiences - the trip focuses almost exclusively on churches, mosques and castles.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Pete Batchelor

    Wonderful tour of Albania

    A brilliant trip and great introduction to Albania, a beautiful country with such an interesting history. Organisation and itinerary were first class, with an excellent guide and driver. The trip is full on, with a different hotel each night, but was not tiring. All except one (which was still OK) of the hotels very good or excellent quality and in very good locations. Food and drink good and very cheap.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Not one moment but so much wonderful scenery, unspoilt and historic towns Berat, Gjirokaster, Permet, Butrint, Apollonia, Kruje, lake Ohrid….

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eri was a wonderful guide and excellent ambassador for Albania. He was extremely knowledgeable and taught us so much about Albanian culture and history, as well as taking us to the best restaurants and places to visit. Driver Goshi was excellent also.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for a direct flight from Gatwick (BA) rather than the standard group flight which changed at Vienna and took much longer. You can arrive the night before and have the best part of a day longer in Tirana, and at the end you can have an extra half a day in delightful Kruje. Was cheaper overall too! The trip is full on but no really long journeys on the bus, and well timed stops. Bottled water was provided on the bus and some of the hotels. Kettles were provided in only one of the hotels, so take your own if you drink tea. ATMs charge high fees so take cash (£250 will be plenty for everything) and change it as you go. Plenty of places to change sterling commission-free everywhere you go. Food was good and fresh, and outside of Tirana and Sarande, beer, wine, coffee and ice creams were so cheap.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only problem was restricted leg room on most of the bus seats. Not a problem if you’re under 6 foot.
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Chloe Ford

    Amazing trip

    This trip gives you a really good taste of Albania. The country was quite different to how I expected and its an absolutely beautiful place. We packed a lot in, but it didn't feel as if it was rushed. I would really love to go again!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The majority of the places we visited were absolutely stunning. We also did a lot of extra stuff, like viewing additional churches and mosques, which had lovely frescos and were often situated in lovely villages. Having a mezze dinner with a local family was also a highlight. The food overall was very good and fresh. Having a swim in some hot springs was also lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ed was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The advantage of having a local guide is that they know a lot of people and places, hence why we were able to do a lot of extra experiences.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Definitely take mosquito repellant and bite cream. I didn't see any advice about taking any so didn't bother, but we all got eaten alive! It may have just been the time of year we went, but I wouldn't go again without. We didn't get much time in Tirana, just Sunday evening, so if you especially wanted to look around Tirana, it would be worth coming a bit earlier or staying on afterwards. If you are on the group flight, you don't need to exchange any money at the airport, our guide took us to do that on Sunday. The exchange rate was poorer in the airport too. There is a direct flight available which is a lot quicker, so that might be worth booking instead. The food and drink is very cheap, but I think I spent about £250 which is more than some people have commented, just because I tended to have an alcoholic drink at lunch as well as in the evening and ice creams here and there, so that is worth taking into consideration.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I got a lot of comments when I booked this trip about why I was going as it seems a bit of a 'strange' place to a lot of people to go and visit. I really wouldn't hesitate though. Albania is such an interesting and beautiful country and you see and learn a lot on this trip.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Elisabeth Miller

    Highlights of Albania

    Overall a very interesting and informative trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in Lake Ohrid and the fish meal, mezze meal with locals, historic houses seeing how people lived.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Klodian was very nice and knowledgeable about his country. He has a good sense of humour and a very friendly manner. He could have given us a bit more local information or directions to the nearest supermarkets or other shops from the hotels. Congratulations to Gheti the bus driver for keeping us safe. His reversing and negotiating of hair- pins was superb. A lovely guy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book a direct flight if possible.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Far too much time was wasted waiting in restaurants for meals to arrive especially at lunchtime. Would have been better if we could look for our own lunch and meet up again at a set time. A quieter beach for swimming would have been nice. The music was deafening.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    anita norman

    EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS

    This trip really did exceed expectations. Much better than we thought it would be. Beautiful country, somewhere we knew nothing about, leaves you feeling you want to know more....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to choose. The hotels were excellent as was the food.The mountains, the views, lake Ohrid, learning about the history of Albania,the 'blue eye' swimming in the natural springs, you can go on and on...Soft spot for Berat, beautiful place would like to have stayed longer. The hotel there was 5 star - excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Edjon 'Ed' everything you could possibly want in a guide. Knowledgeable and passionate about his country, warm, friendly and professional.You would be hard pushed to find a better guide. Excellent. A guide like Edjon makes you realise no matter have much you travel, how little you know....always things to learn, wonderful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't change too much money when you arrive. At the moment it is still very cheap here, especially in the mountains.If you have a few spare euros laying around it might be worth taking them with you as around Berat/Tirana prices are often priced in Euros ( exchange rate poor) but it might save you changing anymore cash into Lek later in the trip. A couple of the places we were down to visit as free to visit appear to be now charging a fee. Look at alternatives to the flight Exodus offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Couple of points: Exodus this is a great holiday. But I do have a couple of question for you : You recommended Broken April to read, an excellent book but this trip does not take you to the north so the book does not relate to this trip. This trip could be improved by including Shkoder Castle. Which would link in with the book and give a better overall view of Albania. Also more time in Tirana to visit the museums that would also give you a better understanding of the more recent history of this country as the trip is built more around their past history, not their most recent. Finally although the coastline is beautiful, the two places we stopped overnight on the coast could have been any Mediterranean holiday resort and that time could have been better spent at some of the other places like Shkoder/Tirans and Berat. These thoughts are just feedback, we loved this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Sue Widdowson

    Fabulous trip!

    A guide book can only tell you so much and as I didn’t know anybody else who had been to Albania I really had no idea what to expect. We had a fabulous tour guide, Edjon, which helped make this holiday one of the best I’ve done with Exodus. He knew everything about EVERYTHING Albanian and related the country’s history with knowledge and passion, and most importantly an understanding on long bus trips of when to leave his group in peace to doze! The scenery is spectacular. I’ve never seen so many beautiful little churches and Gjirokaster and Kruge in particular were lovely. Hotels and breakfasts were all of a good standard. None of the hotels had tea/coffee making facilities but all had hairdryers. By day seven I still had money left from the £100 I’d changed into lek and that was after drinking wine with dinner every night! It’s not all beautiful countryside, white stone buildings and UNESCO sites but so much of it is that it’s definitely a place worth visiting. I loved it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to name!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Far and away the best tour leader I’ve ever had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a kettle
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Vittoria Doyle

    Comprehensive look at Albania

    We travelled around most of Albania learning its history and seeing its wonderful scenery, eating the foods and meeting the people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Berat as we drove in. Just beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ed was amazing. His knowledge was exceptional. His enthiusiasm for his country took you along with it. Would love to travel with Ed again.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Its quite a tiring trip purely in terms of the fact that you have only one night in every place. But bus journeys are not exceptionally long. Maybe go a day beforehand, as some of our group did and see a bit more of Tirana.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Russell Millns

    Albainia 2018

    a brilliant trip giving us a great out look of the country going from city to villages mountains and the sea. the only criticism i have was the hotel in permeti was cold no heating but still a nice hotel. the guide which started the trip with was very helpful with the information about his country it was sad for him to find that his grandmother was very ill and had to leave us to go back to his family i send my regards to ed and his family .the second guide we had was again fantastic. the churches and icons are fantastic to look at ,the food was wonderful and vearied.a big thank you to our driver that took us around the country with great skill and he always had a smile on his face. overall veiw i have of the trip was the country of Albainia is a lovely place to go to and has changed my impressions of the place and people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    going for a walk up the hill in permeti and seeing the church of saint mary and looking at the icons inside

    What did you think of your group leader?

    both of our group leaders were brilliant

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    just go it will open your eyes to a wonderful country

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    no
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Katherine Holt

    Albania is a hidden gem!

    This trip offers an excellent introduction to the varied and interesting country that is Albania. Amazing mountain vistas, coastal views, friendly mountain towns and authentic villages. Food is fantastic, wine is good and plentiful and raki also available in a range of 'flavours' for those who like it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed seeing long-forgotten frescos in churches previously abandoned during the communist era. I also found the concrete mushroom bunkers scattered everywhere a poignant reminder of the recent history of this amazing country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders as Ed unfortunately had to leave mid-way through. Ed - super passionate about his country, really gave a compelling impression of what it was like to live through recent history with stories of his family, friends (he has many...). I was really sad to lose him so soon. However Erion was an incredible replacement! He had to pick up half way through - a difficult job, but he is such a professional guy. Knowledgeable and able to explain complex subjects in a really clear way. I learnt a lot about Albania from Erion and he was also good company and very funny guy. I think we were lucky in the end to have two guides - Ed was very much 'heart and passion' and Erion was very much 'educator and friend'.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Order wine by the 0.5 litre rather than the glass as its better value!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some more opportunity for walks would have been good.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on (0211) 99 49 02