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Highlights of Albania - Private Tour

Albania - Trip code PTAB Discovery
Carbon Footprint Leaf Icon
343Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
 
Days 11
Price from Call us
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Still emerging from isolation, Albania's wealth of historic sites, charming rural villages and the colourful capital, Tirana, are all waiting to be discovered. En route, explore the Adriatic Coast, the White Mountains and the peaceful shores of Lake Ohrid. Travelling with a local guide throughout the trip makes this itinerary flexible to suit your interests.

  • Butrint - Discover one of the greatest archaeological sites in the Balkans
  • Llogara National Park - Explore one of the most unspoilt places in the Adriatic
  • Gjirokastra - Stroll along the cobbled streets of this UNESCO-Listed town and visit its hilltop castle
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 10

    Lunch: 1

  • Trip staff

    Driver(s)

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport

    Car

  • i

    Accommodation

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    Trip pace:

    Moderate

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Trip information

Climate and country information

Albania

Climate

Albania has a mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers (ranging from 9 - 11 hours of sunshine a day in Tirana). Temperatures can reach up to 40°C in July. October to April is much cooler and can be wet. Albania is a mountainous country and the high peaks are snow-capped all year with seasonal weather patterns in the mountains that can be unpredictable.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Islam, Albanian Orthodox, Roman Catholic

Language

Albanian, Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


During this trip there is the possibility to make some visits to certain sites of interest both in the cities that you're staying in, and en route during the drives. While we have included some of the key locations, we want to make this trip flexible for you to suit your own interests. Some of the costs for these visits are below, given in order to help you budget for your trip:

Tirana:
Elbasan Fortress - 2 euros

En route to Llogora:
Ali Pasha Fortress - 2 euros

En route to Berat:
Apollonia - 5 euros

Berat:
Iconographic Museum - 3 euros
Berat Castle - 2.50 euros

Durresi:
Roman Amphitheatre: 3 euros

Kruje
National Museum - 4 euros
Ethnographical Museum Kruje - 4 euros


Clothing

Weather is changeable in the mountains and it can be cool, especially at night, so bring a warmer jacket or fleece. A raincoat is essential at all times of year in case of the odd shower. For departures in early spring and autumn it can be colder in the mountains, so bring a warm jacket and pack layers.

You should dress with respect in the rural villages so bring some long trousers and ensure your shoulders are covered when entering churches. Don't forget your swimming costume and a towel for taking a dip in the sea.

Footwear

We recommend taking lightweight walking or trail boots and comfortable shoes or sandals for visiting the sites and towns.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself. Please bear in mind there are lots of stairs in Albania and porterage isn't normally available in the hotels.

Equipment

Take a water bottle, insect repellent, sun hat, sun glasses and sun cream. If you are travelling in the early spring or autumn then you might want to bring gloves, a scarf and a hat for when you are in the mountains. A torch will be useful for the evenings as some areas are not well lit and also for viewing the frescoes in dimly lit churches. Most importantly don't forget your camera.

Tipping

Explore leader
On this private journey, you will be accompanied by a driver-guide throughout the trip, who fills very much the same role as the Explore Tour Leader on our group tours. Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our guides receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a guide that has done a great job or really added to your trip, by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £25 to £30 per person per week as a guideline.

Local crew
In Albania, tipping is a recognised part of life. If you feel the service warrants it then it is useful to keep some small denomination notes for tipping and small purchases.

With that in mind, we can suggest the following amounts as a guideline, which are, of course, discretionary:

For your driver-guide who will be with you throughout the trip, we recommend approximately 20-25 Euros per person.
In restaurants its usual to tip 5-10%, dependent on the service.

Albania

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£4.00
Dinner price
£10.00
Beer price
£1.50
Water price
£0.50
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Albanian Lek.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Sterling, US Dollars and Euros cash is widely accepted in bureaux de change in major towns and cities. Most transactions in Albania are done on a strictly cash only basis using the Lek.
Where To Exchange
Bureau de change in major towns and cities.
ATM Availability
Most larger towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Albania.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques are not widely accepted in Albania, though you should take some as a back-up in case of emergencies.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Car

Accommodation notes

During this trip we use a range of comfortable hotels with perfect locations to discover Albania's historic cities and natural locations.

Two of the highlights may be the hotel in Gjirokaster, with its perfect central location, sun terrace, WiFi, Restaurant and bar. Or the boutique hotel in Korca, which right in the historic district of the city with a garden, and decorated in a traditional Albanian style but with modern amenities such as TV and WiFi.

On day eight of the trip we use a small hotel within the Llogara National Park. It has a restaurant and bar with outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the traditional Albanian cuisine and great views over the surrounding forested mountain slopes. The en suite rooms are simply decorated and most have balconies.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens.
Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
 

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

In Llogora National Park there is an included walk which involves some hilly sections and can be muddy and uneven under foot, depending on the season, so we therefore recommend taking comfortable walking boots with good grip and ankle support, spare walking socks, a water bottle and snacks, sun screen, insect repellent, sun hat and layered clothing (including waterproofs) with you. Pack walking poles if you would normally use them.

If you don't wish to do this walk then the itinerary can be flexible depending on what your interests are.

Exploration of the towns and cities visited on this trip will also mostly be done on foot, so that you can get a proper feel for all the fascinating places that are visited.

Ability to swim

No

Albania

Vaccinations

We recommend protection against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and tetanus. Rabies vaccination is recommended by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office due to the large number of stray dogs in Albania. You should seek further advice from your travel clinic. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Additional Information

Tour Staff

Your trip will be led by one of our experienced driver-guides who is passionate about Albania and bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. All the planning and organisation throughout your journey will be taken care of by your guide, and their dynamic approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Why book this trip

Discover the emerging nation of Albania and its wealth of secrets. From the colourful capital of Tirana to the stunning Lake Ohrid, archaeological sites to beautiful national parks and mountains, this trip unveils some of the treats whilst experiencing natural beauty and rural life.

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise

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