Albania small group vacation

“This small group vacation in Albania takes you right across the country in nine days – with UNESCO sites, bazaars, Ottoman towns, traditional villages and the charming Albanian Riviera.”

Highlights

Tirana | Kruja | Lehze | Shkoder | Rozafa Castle | Durres | Berat | Ardenice Monastery | Apollonia | Vlore | Llogara National Park | Saranda | Butrint archaeological site | Albanian Riviera | Gjirokaster | Blue Eye National Park | Tepelene Castle | Elbasan

Description of Albania small group vacation

Albania has long been closed off to visitors, thanks to Communism and successive dictators, but gradually its doors are opening and the world is beginning to discover the incredible landscapes and fascinating culture that locked behind the Iron Curtain for so long. Albania is jam packed with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the ruins of Butrint, Ottoman Gjirokaster, and whitewashed Berat – the “city of a thousand windows”.
This Albania small group vacation explores this mysterious country in depth, from Shkoder in the north, on the shores of Lake Skadar, along the idyllic Albanian Riviera, and to incredible Greek and Roman ruins, with plenty of churches, museums, castles and bazaars to visit along the way. Taking a small group tour of Albania allows you to cover a huge amount of ground while affording incredible insight into this often still impenetrable country.

Travel Team

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Date
Price
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21 Apr 2020
£1075
excluding flights
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09 Jun 2020
£1075
excluding flights
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18 Sep 2020
£1075
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
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10 Oct 2020
£1075
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26 Mar 2021
£1150
excluding flights
Available
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22 Apr 2021
£1150
excluding flights
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20 May 2021
£1150
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18 Jun 2021
£1150
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17 Sep 2021
£1150
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14 Oct 2021
£1150
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Available
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Train Travel to this tour
We are able to arrange and book international train travel to and from the start and end points of this tour. Please inquire for details.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Albania small group vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

On this tour we visit the citadel of Berat, the ruins of Butrint and the beautiful town of Gjirokaster which are all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Our visits to these sites help to support local projects to conserve the area's cultural and geographical heritage.

Our guides will brief travelers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental, and when visiting areas of natural beauty such as national parks and surrounding seaside villages we make a point of ensuring that we leave no permanent traces of our stay behind, taking all rubbish with us to protect these valuable tourist attractions.

To minimise our carbon footprint, all vehicles used on the tour have low carbon emissions. Also, all city tours are done by walking to reduce our environmental impact, and we encourage walking instead of using vehicles. We work closely with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues.

We do not send a tour leader from the UK to accompany our tours. We believe that to send a foreign tour leader along to accompany the group is unnecessary and increases the carbon footprint.

we use smaller locally owned properties and avoid larger chain hotels. In our experience, we believe that most properties rely on locally sourced food which helps to cut down on transport miles. Most of our tours include daily breakfast and one main meal only, normally lunch. For dinner we encourage clients to choose their own places to eat and the guide will always be happy to suggest local restaurants which specialize in local dishes.

If you would like to avoid taking flight, we are happy to book trains for you - reaching the start point by train is an enjoyable option and a real alternative to flying.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.

Community

On this tour we visit Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania's national hero, as well as his hometown of Kruja, Shkodra, Durres and the coastal city of Vlore, which all have important historical significance to the Albanian people. Visiting these sites and cities allows our clients to learn about the strong culture of this once closed-off city.

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced.

We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an on going relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved. Our team including Ndrec are all locally based in Albania and take great pride in showing people their country.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit. If meals are included, we use small, locally owned restaurants so the local community will benefit.

3 Reviews of Albania small group vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 28 Oct 2019 by

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




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?




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



Reviewed on 21 Jul 2019 by

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


Tusheti National Park

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


This is an adventure, not a restful vacation.

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


Yes, the Georgians are trying to preserve their unique heritage and need the tourist ££s to assist.

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


Excellent

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for the review.

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2017 by

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


Stumbling on a Sunday Farmers Market in a field near Korca. As far removed from the equivalent in my home city as one could imagine. The Albanian one was in a field with local farmers selling livestock to one another (goats and piglets being loaded into the boots of Mercedes) when not sat around at pop-up bars drinking beer. A glimpse of traditional Albania with a modern twist

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 to the first, not obviously to the last two.

Albania has a real litter problem, roadside verges can be even more littered than the UK

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


Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your vacation in Albania.

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