16 independent reviews for Small group Albania vacation

Reviews for Small group Albania vacation

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review 2 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The whole trip was so informative and interesting made more so by the most fantastic and knowledgeable guide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Albania has come a long way but don't expect everything to be completely westernized, e.g. some hotel rooms are still rather basic.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Sadly the country is a long way from instituting recycling and trash so in that sense we did not help. While we filled some water bottles at streams we still used plastic bottles. The local population benefited only indirectly through our tourism.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Top rate

review 1 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Learning from our excellent local guide and leader Kledi about the culture and amazing history of this small country. It ranges from the archaic period through to 20th century communism and we saw traces of all the stages especially in the very well presented museums.. Most exciting was one of our drives through the beautiful and spectacular Albanian mountains

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for a few lengthy drives, although most of the roads, while narrow, are in good condition. Have an open mind to learn about Albania and be willing to meet the locals who are open and friendly.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Albania is only recently open to tourism so the people involved in it certainly benefit and having a dinner with a lovely local village family was a very memorable part of the tour. Just by visiting the UNESCO sites tourists are supporting their conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An truly excellent and memorable tour with a great group. We knew little about beautiful Albania, but returned home having learnt so much, seen so much and experienced so much. The tour is highly recommended as it is well organised and has a very good itinerary. All the hotels were comfortable and very clean although not necessarily luxurious. We had some superb breakfast buffets as well as good food every where.

review 5 Nov 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting Butrint National Park and the village of Voskopoja.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This is not a vacation for those who want a leisurely pace. With one exception (2 nights in Berat) we stayed in a different hotel each night.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

No because tourism always has an environmental impact. However, yes the vacation benefited local people because the hotels and restaurants used were run by locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A great trip to give an introductory flavour of this beautiful country and maybe plan a return.

review 12 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting Berat

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Good shoes and walking poles for steep cobbled streets. You don't need to take euros - sterling accepted at change bureaus and plenty of ATMs.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. Local hotels and local food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Lovely country and people. Wish it had been 14 days and included the north.

review 25 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Mountain villages and towns, wonderful icons, Roman excavations, swimming in Lake Ohrid and the Mediterranean, delicious fish, lamb and salad meals; not to forget the culture of a post-communist, developing part of Europe.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Ensure you have enough time in Tirana; it's not a pretty city but has some excellent museums. Don't leave all your shopping to Kruje - There is a limited range of goods in the bazaar and they look mass produced.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hopefully, yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

it was a fascinating peep into a country with a turbulent past, especially the roman remains, the religious mix and the communist heritage.

review 2 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The changes since I was last there in 2001, not all for the better especially in coastal resorts.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for early(ish) starts, fairly long days and plenty of information, both historical and current.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We ate and drank local produce and stayed in smaller locally owned hotels. Water bottles were refilled daily. Both the guide and driver were locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good. Would prefer more mountains and lakes, avoid Durres. If possible include the reservoir Lake Koman and a cruise(3hr approx) there on. Looking forward to our vacation to Bulgaria's mountains and monastries in September.

review 14 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It's so hard to pick just one thing, so I'm going to choose two. Firstly - the stunning landscapes and wild mountain roads. Secondly - the friendly and open people (the generally negative image held in the UK of Albania and its people couldn't be any further from the truth).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, very much so.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

One of the best vacations we've ever had!

review 9 Jul 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The whole trip was fascinating. Everywhere we went in Albania was amazing. Some highlights were the farmhouse luncheon in the mountains, Blue Eye Spring, Archaeological sites, walking the cobbled village pathways in the old Town of Berat, the lake resort at Podredec, roaming around the cobbled Lanes in Gjirokaster... to name a few. The restaurant in Berat and Permeti were beautiful for the setting and the food and service. The fellow travelers made the whole trip extra special and enjoyable - I loved their company and made some good friends.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be open minded about Albania and embrace the local culture and lifestyle. Treat the people with respect and dignity.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent!

review 17 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

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.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you're interested in what life might have been like in Albania in the last century and during the communist period in particular, get to Tirana a few days before the trip starts or stay on for a few days after. The trip itinerary allows for surprisingly little time in the capital and during that time the only exposure to 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 Tirana to learn about the conditions Albanians were subjected to during the communist dictatorship. The minibus concept for transport has shortcomings 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.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

If it did it was not made clear to us during the trip.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Good.

Read the operator's response here:

We would like to thank Rod for his feedback, although we are sorry he did not fully enjoy his tour in Albania; this tour no longer visits Vlores and an extra night has been added in Berat. We are sorry that Rod was left feeling unsure about whether his trip was run in a manner that benefited the local communities and environment. On this trip, for example, there is the a home cooked lunch in a village close to Gjirokaster, offering a great insight into the life of Albanians and to witness the traditional methods of cooking.

review 21 May 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing a new country

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Expect it to be a fairly superficial tour of highlights rather than an in-depth visit

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Hotels seemed to be locally owned and managed, and all restaurants we visited were local ones. We were given small plastic bottles of water each day, which weren't necessary. I'd have been happy to refill my bottle myself from a larger bottle.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good

review 16 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Loved walking around the Spa town of Vrnjacka Banja in Serbia. Would liked to have stayed here overnight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If possible book a day earlier in Belgrade and if possible visit the Bunk Art 2. Some of the group said it was worth while, i did not have time to visit.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, used local restaurants, with local guides and main guide and drivers from the area. Some of the city tours were on foot.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent guide and very careful drivers. learnt lots of history about the countries, although the more I learnt about Albania the more confused it became, as this country has had a very troubled past.

review 12 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Berat--beautiful city

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This trip is really geared toward older (60+) travelers. Had i realized this, i might chosen another operator.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


review 25 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We loved Albania so it is hard to think of one memorable part but the visits to the Blue eye, Gjirokaster, Butrint & Berat stand out.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

There is a fair amount of driving each day, sometimes very windy roads so take precautions if you need to.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely benefited local people, particularly in villages and small towns

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good

review 19 Apr 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Being priviledged to see the real Albania as its beginning to open up to tourists.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be flexible. The itinerary might change, just go with it. You never know the guide might just know best and add something unexpected and exciting! Be prepared for quite a bit of walking. Take good shoes as most of the paths are cobbled and can be slippery when wet. Take a swimming costume. The beaches are really good for swimming.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Staying in family owned hotels and eating in local restaurants contributed directly to the local economy. However, Albania has a problem recycling plastic so being given a bottle of water a day felt like we were creating an environmental impact, rather than reducing them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A brilliant experience. Fun, educational and eye-opening.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your comments Kay and we are delighted that overall you had a great trip. Regarding the provision of plastic bottles we absolutely agree with you here re this creating a negative environmental impact. We will be investigating the provision of bottles as it is directly at odds with our 2017 'Plastic Purge' campaign where we are working on eradicating all single use plastic from our trips. Please be assured that this is no standard practice and we will do all we can to avoid this in the future.

review 16 Sep 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting some of the art museums and archaeological sites

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Inqire about local resturants

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

In a sense, I feel that it supported local conservations in terms of restricting visitor numbers to archaeological sites, local museums.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Quite enjoyable-in terms of good hotel accomodation

review 4 Jul 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing all Albania had to offer and the historical sights

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

How busy all the days were, with not time to have to ones self. The first day was very tiring after getting up early for the flights then having a half an hour, on arriving at the hotel, before going out sight seeing. Another day needs to be added to the vacation.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefited local people by money spent at each place.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very enjoyable with some lovely memories

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