|19 May - 23 May|
Join us in commemorating Regent’s 50th anniversary (albeit a little late for obvious reasons) as we return to the country where it all began; our beloved Albania. In 1970 we set up the first group tours to the then People’s Socialist Republic of Albania and we’ve never looked back. Albania still continues to delight and enthral our travellers and whilst the days of flying into Montenegro, crossing the border on foot (with a trip to the state barber first if you weren't clean shaven!), and being tracked by minders may be gone, it still retains an air of mystery. Even today, Albania is often one of the last countries in Europe that people have to tick off their list.
This short group tour will be accompanied by Neil Taylor, Regent’s former co- director and fount of all travel-based knowledge. Come and pick his brains and relive tales of Albanian travels gone by.
Arrive in Tirana, meet your local guide and transfer to your central Tirana hotel. (D)
This morning you will be welcomed to the country by some of Albania’s top writers, who will give an overview of the country from its Communist era to the present day. You will also get to know your local guide a little better (he happens to have led some of Regent's first tours in the 1970s). Continue the day with a tour of the nation's capital. Visit the National Art Gallery, the 18th Century Et’hem Bey Mosque and the intriguing Bunk’art 2 and House of Leaves; one a communist era bunker and the other an interrogation and surveillance centre, now both tourist attractions in their own right. After lunch, pay a visit to the National Museum of Albania which provides an excellent introduction to Albania’s history, and the fascinating Bektashi Sufi Order Temple. The evening is at leisure. (B,L)
Leave Tirana behind this morning, bound for the south and the beautiful UNESCO-listed town of Gjirokaster. Along the way, stop off at Ardenica Monastery to visit the fine 18th Century Church of St Mary, with its iconostas of saints and sinners, and its golden pulpit. Another few hours on the road finds you in Gjirokaster. Enjoy a group lunch before exploring this well preserved Ottoman town and its imposing Citadel. Here you will find the Ethnographic Museum, located in Enver Hoxha’s former house. Take an evening stroll around the town and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Today you will head to the far south-west corner of the country and perhaps its most famous tourist attraction; the archaeological site of Butrint. Prospering under Ancient Greek and Roman rule, and abandoned after the Byzantines, the settlement has seen a lot in its 2,500 year history. The site is set within an area of National Park, making the experience of visiting all the more pleasurable. Enjoy lunch in the small coastal resort of Ksamil, before returning to Gjirokaster, via the Church of St Nicholas at Mesapotami, and experience the calming and hypnotic blue waters of the Blue Eye Spring. Enjoy another group dinner this evening in Gjirokaster. (B,L,D)
Journey back towards Tirana this morning, making a worthy stop off in another UNESCO-listed town; glorious Berat, or the ‘town of a thousand windows’ (so named due to the many large windows that adorn the houses of the Old Town). One of the highlights is a visit to the Onufri Museum, where many fine examples of Onufri’s work are displayed, including a number of splendid iconostas. Another highlight is the commanding views from the Citadel across to Mt Tomorri. After the majority of the day spent in Berat, return to Tirana Airport for your return flight this evening. (B,L)
Good news for our solo travellers or for those whose travel companion snores - there is no single room supplement on this group tour to Albania.
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
19 May 2022
23 May 2022