Albanian Riviera Adventure

8 days
from
£1,349
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Trip code: 
FVV
Way to Travel:
Family Group
Activity:
Family
Min age:
8
Group size:
5–16

Explore the coast of Albania on this fun-packed family adventure both on the water and off. From swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Ionian sea to wandering the streets of pretty UNESCO World Heritage towns, we get a taste of the subsistence culture and rich history of this wonderfully undiscovered country. Spend time with nature as we slowly walk in Llogara National Park, and gently kayak from one inviting beach to another. Visit the ancient ruined city of Butrint, where past civilisations have left their mark, and learn to dance at a traditional folklore evening. With a genuine subsistence culture, some say that visiting Albania is as close as you'll get to travelling back in time. For many, the real highlight is the warm hospitality received all over.

Highlights

  • Kayak to secluded beaches
  • Nature walks at Llogara National Park
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites

Key information

  • 7 nights hotels, all en suite
  • Travel by private air-conditioned minibus
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Minimum age 8 yrs

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation 
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
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.

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Start Tirana; guided city walk and cable car to Mount Dajti National Park

    The group flight usually arrives at lunch time. Those on the group flights will have a transfer to the city centre (approx. 30 minutes). Our trip starts with a guided walk of Albania's colourful capital, Tirana, visiting the new bazaar and the recently renovated Skanderbeg Square, named after the national hero who led Albania's independence of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th Century. We also take the Austrian-made cable car to Mount Dajti National Park (1611m), one of the longest cable cars in the Balkans.

    Hotel Kruja or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    To Llogara National Park via Karavasta Lagoon

    Today is spent surrounded by nature, as we make our way to the Divjaka region and visit the largest lagoon in Albania, spanning an area of 42km2. We'll take a boat to Pelican Island, home to hundreds of Europe's Dalmatian pelicans. We learn about the ecosystem of the lagoon and the birds that have made it their home. In the afternoon, we drive for approx. 2 hours to Llogara National Park, where we stay for the night. This area is known for its vibrant flora and fauna, with over 100 different types of animals and birds, including deer, wild cats and foxes. It's a beautiful region, with refreshing mountain air and close proximity to the sea. It's a popular spot for picnics and hiking. We'll enjoy a nice walk to Ceasar Pass, which is approx. 1-hour from the hotel.

    Alpin Hotel - Llogara, or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    To Qeparo Village via Jali Beach and Gjipe Beach

    This morning we drive to Jali Beach, enjoying the amazing vistas as we wind along the stunning Ionian coastline and pass through small coastal towns. Upon reaching Jali Beach, we have the option to either paddle board or walk to the secluded beach of Gjipe. Hidden in picturesque coves and surrounded by the spectacular canyon, this is a fantastic spot to relax. There is plenty of time to swim and relax here with the family, and there is also the option to do a 1-hour walk inside the canyon. In the afternoon, we drive to the seaside village of Qeparo, where we stay for three nights.

    Hotel Riviera or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Free time in Qeparo; optional walk to the old town

    Today is a free day. The village of Qeparo is split into two parts, the old and new. The old part lies 450m (1480 ft) above sea level, on the western slope of Mount Gjivlash and has an almost abandoned feel to it. There is the option to walk to the old part of Qeparo to enjoy a coffee and the view of the bay. The family can also enjoy swimming in the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea at the small beach by the hotel. 

    Hotel Riviera or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning kayaking at Jali Beach; afternoon free

    Today we head back to Jali Beach, where we can enjoy further water activities, such as kayaking to the caves and secluded beaches nearby. The afternoon is free for you to swim and relax with the family. There are cafes and restaurants here, which makes it an excellent spot to spend the day. We'll then return to Qeparo.

    Hotel Riviera or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Gjirokastra via the ancient ruins of Butrint

    After spending plenty of time on the beach, we now soak up the history and tradition of Albania. We drive for approx. 1.5 hrs to the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located very close to the Greek border. It's one of the country’s most important archaeological sites, tracing its origins back to the Greeks and the Romans. The children will learn about the history and gain a better understanding of this site through a visual reenactment of the city's life. From Butrint, we continue to Gjirokastra (city of 1000 steps). The well-preserved UNESCO town is perched on the steep side of the Drino Valley, overlooking snow-capped mountains. There is a lot to do here, such as exploring its narrow cobbled alleys and 18th Century Ottoman houses. There is a 13th Century castle where you can learn about the fascinating history of this town, which has seen many rulers and has inspired poets, authors and artists. Tonight we'll enjoy a folk music night, where we learn Albanian folk dancing.

    Hotel Kalemi or Hotel Argjiro

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To the old town of Berat

    Today we'll drive to the old town of Berat, with its pretty white buildings perched on the hill amid pine forests. Berat is a lovely town, with narrow cobbled streets leading to Berat Castle on the slopes of Mount Tomorr. There are breathtaking views from the castle and within the castle walls are dwelling houses and the Onufri Museum (Museum of Iconography). We'll visit the Ethnographic Museum of Berat, where the children can dress up in folk costumes. The parents can get involved too! Other activities include drawing and painting, and in the meantime, parents can enjoy the local coffee (or raki, if you'd prefer something a little stronger).

    Hotel Mangalemi or Hotel Belgrad Mangalem 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    End Berat

    We finish our tour in Berat. Those on the group flights will have a transfer back to Tirana after breakfast, in time for their flight which usually departs around lunchtime. 

    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, 2 lunches and 1 dinner 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 (the communist leader of Albania from 1944-1985), Albania became a self-sustaining country due to its isolation to the world. However, due to the lush fertile valleys, fresh mountain springs and Mediterranean climate, it is still very much a subsistence culture and shows very little sign of changing. Expect your food to have been reared/grown not too far from your plate. 

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

Tirana, Albania

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate),

Graded at Leisurely/Moderate, this trip allows the most active a chance to try a host of different activities and includes plenty of free time for those that prefer a more relaxed pace.

Albania is perfect for adventurous families; a wild and rugged landscape, with inviting beaches, pretty rural villages and exceptionally welcoming people. From walking in Llogara National Park to paddle boarding, swimming and kayaking on the glittering Ionian waters, there is lots of fun to be had in Albania. There's also plenty of history and culture to absorb, which we'll do whilst visiting the ancient city of Butrint and the UNESCO towns of Gjiokastra and Berat. We'll even learn a bit of folk dancing!

There is a free day mid-trip so that you and your family can choose to do whatever you like; whether it's enjoying time on the beach together or taking yourselves off somewhere for the day. We've also planned three nights in Qeparo so that you're not constantly on the move.

It is particularly important to note the high temperatures in July and August.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
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 7 nights in 3-star hotels with good service, amenities and ensuite facilities. The accommodation ranges from comfortable modern properties to older properties bursting with character. Our hotel in Tirana is situated in the city centre and is only 300m from Skanderbeg Square. The Hotel Alpin in Llogara National Park has a remote location, and it's also close to a beach. In Gjirokastra and Berat, our hotels are restored historical buildings, bursting with character. We spend three nights at the Hotel Riviera in Qeparo. The beachfront hotel has a garden, bar, sun terrace and a private beach area.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
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

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

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 0208 772 3936