Albania · June 5 - 14 2025

10 Day Albania Expedition

From Mountain Villages to the Albanian Riviera, the Bustling Capital of Tirana & Beyond

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Overview

Hermetically sealed for nearly five decades, Albania is shrouded in mystery to most. Under the lengthy communist dictatorship led by Enver Hoxha, the country was effectively isolated from the outside world. The brutal dictatorship and extreme surveillance that went on under Hohxa have undeniably shaped the history and culture of the country. Albania began to emerge in 1990s coming out of seclusion and quickly embarked to find its identity. With a coastline that could easily be the most beautiful in all of Europe, a mountainous hinterland offering premier trekking, and quirky cities like Tirana, Sarandë, and Shkodër, Albania is a diverse and beautiful nation that offers a myriad of adventures.

Highlights

Albania's Fascinating History

Albania's Fascinating History

Ruled over by dictator Enver Hoxha for 5 decades, Albania has a peculiar modern history owing to Cold War paranoia. Citizens lived under extreme surveillance and the nation is home to hundreds of thousands of bunkers.

The Beautiful Albanian Riviera

The Beautiful Albanian Riviera

With nearly 500 km of coastline, Albania is a hidden gem for those who love beautiful and rugged beaches.

A Derelict Military Base on Sazan Island

A Derelict Military Base on Sazan Island

Sazan Island, located in the Bay of Vlorë was constructed to withstand military attack and at its zenith housed 3000 soldiers. Home to countless bunkers and tunnels, we'll get to explore the long forgotten strategic island in the Ionian Sea.

Delicious Cuisine

Delicious Cuisine

Albania sits at the crux of culinary delight with influences from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

Itinerary

Previous

Next

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Tirana

Day 1: Arrive in Tirana

Arrivals into Tirana throughout the day today. You will be transferred to the hotel upon arrival at the airport. If you arrive earlier in the day, you can use this time to begin exploring this vibrant and quirky capital city. 

At 18:00 we plan to have a quick welcome meeting to go over the expedition and to meet your fellow travelers. Following the meeting, there will be an optional dinner with the group over traditional Albanian food.

Not Included

Meals

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Tirana | Kruje

Day 2: Tirana & Kruje

After breakfast, we'll begin our walking tour of Tirana. The tour will start with visits to the Bunk'art 2 Museum and the House of Leaves, both of which give a fascinating overview of what life was like in Albania under Enver Hoxha's dictatorship, which spanned 5 decades. 

For lunch, we will drive to nearby Kruje, where we will have an opportunity to visit the Castle of Skanderbeg, Albania's national hero.

In the late afternoon, we'll explore Tirana's Old Bazaar.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Tirana | Shkodër

Day 3: Shkodër Day Trip

In the morning, depart for a day trip to Shkodër, a smaller city sat on the shores of Lake Shkodër which straddles the Albania-Montenegro border. We will take time to explore what Shkodër has to offer as well as visit the famous Rozafa Castle.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Gjirokaster

Day 4: Gjirokaster

Today we leave Tirana behind, bound toward the south to visit the ancient city of stone in Gjirokaster, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we will have the chance to visit both the Argjiro Castle and Skenduli House, which date back to the 13th and 18th centuries, respectively.

Finally, we will continue onto Sarandë, our home for the next 4 nights as we explore southern Albania. 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Zhulat | Fushebardhe | Sarandë

Day 5: Zhulat, Fushëbardhë & Sarandë

Today, we head toward the Albanian hinterland to trek in nature and visit the villages of Zhulat and Fushëbardhë. In the evening we'll return to Sarandë.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Butrint

Day 6: Butrint

Heading further south, we'll explore the UNESCO World Heritage site and the ancient city of Butrint today. Among the most important archaeological sites in Albania, Butrint was first a Greek polis and later a Roman city. 

Following the visit to the ancient city, we will next visit the mussel farms at Lake Butrint. We'll even get the chance to try the locally sourced mussels for lunch today.

On the way back to Sarandë, we'll make a stop to visit Lekursi Castle before having a free afternoon to explore Sarandë.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Hidden Waterfall | Tatzat

Day 7: Hidden Waterfall & Tatzat Village

Today will take us to explore the beautiful Hidden Waterfall and the partially ruined ancient village of Tatzat. In the afternoon we'll dine on a local lunch with a wine tasting. 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Albanian Riviera

Day 8: The Albanian Riviera

Albania has become known for its stunning coastline, and today is the day we'll get to explore it. We will work our way up the coast toward Vlorë, making stops in Borsh, Porto Palermo, Palase, Qeparo, Himare, and Llogara Pass. 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Sazan Island | Vlorë

Day 9: Sazan Island & Vlorë

On our final full day on the Albania Expedition, we'll board a boat in the Bay of Vlorë to explore the mysterious island of Sazan.

Sazan was closed off to the world for decades, as it housed a military base that featured over 3000 bunkers built to withstand nuclear attack. During the 1990s, the base began to fall into disrepair and now sits mostly abandoned. 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

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Vlorë | Tirana

Day 10: Transfer Back to Tirana & Departures

Today we make our way back to Tirana from Vlorë. We'll make some stops along the route back. 

We plan to make it back to Tirana by the late afternoon. As such, we suggest only selecting return flights that depart after 18:00.

Included

Breakfast

What's included

What's Included

Meals as indicated on itinerary

English speaking guide

Transport

9 nights accommodation (twin room sharing basis)

Boat tour of Vlorë & Sazan

Entry fees at sites listed on itinerary

Wine tasting in Tatzat

Albania visa fee (if applicable)

International airfare to/from Tirana

Alcoholic beverages unless stated on itinerary

Travel insurance

Tips for local staff

Hosts

Nicole Smoot

Nicole Smoot

Expedition Lead


Despite being born and raised in the mountains of Alaska with plenty of backyard adventures that could have kept her busy for a lifetime, the unusual dragon blood trees of Socotra, the truly bizarre landscapes of Iran’s far-flung Sistan and Balochistan Province, the gingerbread-house-like architecture of Sana’a, and the dazzling turquoise lakes of Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains lured Nicole to the other side of the planet and on to get to know these locations extremely well.

the.adventures.of.nicole

Next Departures

10 Day Albania Expedition

10 Day Albania Expedition

From Mountain Villages to the Albanian Riviera, the Bustling Capital of Tirana & Beyond

FROM$3,675.00/pp

BOOK NOW

Extras & Options

Single Supplement

Single Supplement

Opt for a private room. Subject to availability.

FROM$840.00/pp

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FAQs

This 10 Day Albania Expedition will begin and end in Tirana, Albania. The trip starts on the evening of May 18th and ends on the evening of May 27th. 

This 10 Day Albania expedition is rated as easy. We will have some walking each day as we explore cities and villages on foot. 

Most travelers from European countries, North American countries, Australia, and New Zealand may enter Albania visa-free for varying lengths of time. Please check with your Albanian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date entry requirements to determine what visa category you may be in. 

To join any Safar Expeditions departure you will need to carry an active travel insurance plan. 


We recommend using IATI travel insurance for medical coverage and an evacuation plan from Global Rescue

The Albanian Lek (ALL) is the official currency of Albania. The value of the Lek fluctuates between 90-120 ALL to $1 USD. In Tirana, many establishments will take payments by card, but smaller shops and destinations outside of major cities tend to be cash-only. 

Yes, we do provide a suggested packing list and preparation guide for our Albania expedition that can be viewed here

Albanian cuisine is one of the main highlights of the nation with influences from the Mediterranean, Balkans, and the Middle East. Ingredients are fresh and largely organic, featuring lots of fresh veggies, delicious cheeses, and a variety of meat dishes. 


Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or allergies in advance so that we can accommodate your needs. 

It is possible to purchase an Albanian SIM card on arrival at the Tirana Airport, with One Telecom and Vodafone being the best local carriers. 


The hotels we will stay at each night will have Wi-Fi available.

Yes, a minimum of 7 passengers will need to be on this expedition in order to run. If the minimum isn't reached, we will contact you about the potential to still operate the trip but at an additional charge or you will be given the option to cancel and your deposit/payment can either be returned to you or applied toward a different expedition of your choosing.

10 Day Albania Expedition

Albania · June 5 - 14 2025 · 9 nights

FROM$3,675.00/pp

BOOK NOW