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Culture of Balkan in One Luggage

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The Grand Balkan tour is a 13 day odyssey through Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia to see some of the region’s most impressive sights and cities. You will have the opportunity to travel part of the Balkans which contains so much diversity in such a small area.


 

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Overview

Holiday style:

 


 

The Grand Balkan tour is a 13 day odyssey through Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia to see some of the region’s most impressive sights and cities. You will have the opportunity to travel part of the Balkans which contains so much diversity in such a small area. Different cultures will be shown in front of you. The longest travel will be in last day driving you to airport. Accommodation and meals are provided in hotel and restaurants.

 

         

 

 

Short description:

 


 

DURATION: 13 Days
TRIP CODE: D13-MB
GROUP SIZE: 4-12(max)
MIN AGE: 10 Years old
MAX ALTITUDE: 2000m
ACCOMODATION: Hotel x 12 nts
MEALS: 12 breakfasts 12 lunches 12 dinners
DEPARTS: March until December
JOINING POINT: Tirana Airport
IMPORTANT: Make sure your chosen holiday is guaranteed to run beforee you purchase your air tickets and make any other travel arrangements

 

Brief Itinerary: 

 


 

DAY 1
Tirane-Dubrovnik
Time: 5h 45min
Distance: 264 km


DAY 2
Dubrovnik-Podgorice
Time: 2h 25 min
Distance: 149km


DAY 3
Podgorice-Prishtine
Time: 4h 17min
Distance:319 km


DAY 4
Prishtine-Skopje
Time: 1h 36min
Distance:86,8km


DAY 5
Skopje-Oher
Time:2h 28min
Distance:172km


DAY 6
Oher-Korce
Time:1h 35min
Distance:74,2 km


DAY 7
Korce-Ioannina
Time:3h 19min
Distance:245 km


DAY 8
Ioannina-Sarande
Time:2h 17min
Distance:105 km


DAY 9
Sarande-Berat
Time:4h 5min
Distance:232 km


DAY 10
Berat-Tirane
Time:2h 5min
Distance:104 km


DAY 11
Tirane-Budva
Time:3h 25min
Distance:173km


DAY 12
Budva-Dubrovnik
Time:2h 26min
Distance:93,6 km


DAY 13
Dubrovnik-Airport Albania
Time: 5h 30min
Distance:255 km

 

Product Description

Details

DAY 1 - Dubrovnik


Our guide will meet you at Dubrovnik airport and driver you to the city and your hotel. Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities on the Croatian coast. The walls of Dubrovnik girdle a perfectly preserved complex of public and private, sacral and secular buildings representing all periods of the city's history, beginning with its founding in the 7th century. Particular mention should be made of the city's main street, Stradun, the Rector's Palace, the church of St Vlaho, the Cathedral, three large monasteries, the Custom's Office and the City Hall. The Republic of Dubrovnik was the centre of a separate political and territorial entity, and was proud of its culture, its achievements in commerce and especially of its freedom, preserved down so many tempestuous centuries.
Overnight in Dubrovnik.

 

DAY 2 - Podgorice 


After breakfast we will drive to the pretty coastal town of Cavtat, the largest and the only urban centre in Konavle that has been built up deliberately. It is located on the peninsula of Rat, which surrounds the well protected and accessible bay together with the peninsula of Sustjepan. In its harmonious architecture, the centuries-old natural, spiritual and material affiliation to the Dubrovnik Republic can be observed. Once there you will be given some time to stroll around the town or get some coffee. Than you will be driven to the East gate of Dubrovnik where our guide will tell you all about Dubrovnik. We’ll have lunch and after this we’ll be headed towards Podgorica. Podgorica is the administrative capital of Montenegro, its cultural and economic centre. A city with turbulent history and a few landmarks that can showcase its past is known as a city with many names: from Roman Birziminium, to Slavic Ribnica and Podgorica, it was named Titograd, after the communist leader of Yugoslavia - Tito, only to be renamed to Podgorica at the end of 20th century.
Overnight in Podgorica.

 

DAY 3 - Prishtine


After breakfast we’ll start our drive through Prishtina, but first we visit Peja the magical city of Kosove. Visit of Haxhi Zeka’s Kulla at Isniq situated at the foot of the Accursed Mountains at a distance of 12km from Peja traditional Albanian stone houses dating back to the turbulent last decades of the Ottoman Empire, Deçani Monastery built between 1327 and 1335 by the Serbian medieval king St. Stephen of Deçani and was dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord. The monastery is settled in the picturesque valley of the Bistrica. Trip continues to The Monastery of the Patriarchate of Peja it features outstanding examples of paintings from the 13th to the 17th century, Rugova Valley discover the most challenging nature attraction by walking, hiking, fishing, cycling, alpinism and climbing. Day end with a lunch at Burim at the biggest trout pool in Kosova. Have lunch here and then go to Prishtina.
Overnight in Prishtina.

 

DAY 4 - Skopje


Begin with a walking tour of Prishtina, which will include visits to Prishtina’s famous monuments and museums and have a coffee at Bistro Rings, one of Pristina’s best cafes. Visit statue of Mother Theresa (Albanian born humanist and Nobel Peace Prize 1979), George Kastrioti Skenderbeu statue, Carshi Mosque, Kosova Museum, Clock Tower, Ethnographic museum Emin Gjiku and other cultural monuments. After this we will be headed to Skopje. This offers a wonderful view of the central part of Skopje and here the story about the city begins. Afterwards, the Fortress Kale is visited. What follows is a visit to the Mustapha Pasha Mosque, and then the Church of the Holy Saviour and the small museum of Goce Delchev, which is in the same churchyard. Another optional visit is the one to the Museum of Macedonia which consists of three parts: an icon gallery, and an ethnological and historical departments. Then we continue our stroll through the Old Bazaar where two more caravanserais can be seen and two Turkish Baths - Chifte Hammam and Daut Pasha Hammam, dating back to the 15th century. The tour continues towards the modern part of the city on the right bank of the River Vardar. Before we cross the Stone Bridge, which is one of the oldest landmarks of Skopje, we can see the Holocaust Memorial Centre for the Jews of Macedonia and the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Independence, IMRO and the Victims of Communism. On the other bank of the river is the main square Macedonia, with a lot of new statues and monuments. We walk along the main street Macedonia which connects the square to the Old Railway Station. We stay for a short visit to the Memorial House of Mother Teresa and end our tour in front of the Museum of the City of Skopje situated in the building of the Old Railway Station, which was partially destroyed by the earthquake in 1963.
Overnight in Skopje.

 

DAY 5 - Oher


Wake up early and have breakfast, after this we drive to Ohrid. Upon arrival in Ohrid you’ll start the a tour with a visit to the church of St. Sophia, which dates back to the 11th century. The you'll go up to the Roman amphitheater, which dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Afterwards you will continue walking to the Icon Gallery, home to a range of some of the most famous and valuable icons in the world, right after the ones on Athos and in Russia. After that you will carry on walking to Tsar Samoil’s Fortress, named after the first tsar of the Macedonian Slavs, who, having conquered Byzantium, brought most of Macedonia under his rule. Then you will walk to Plaoshnik, where you will visit the newly built St. Clement’s Monastery Church. Dedicated to St. Clement - the patron of Ohrid - and St. Panteleimon, it stands beside the original site of St. Clement’s University, the first university of the Macedonian Slavs, founded in the 9th century A.D. Inside the church you can also see the tomb with St. Clement’s relics. Beside the church you can see the foundations of the 5th-century basilica with beautifully preserved mosaic floors and some swastikas also discovered on the floors. From here you will head towards the Church of St. Jovan at Kaneo, which was built at the end of the 13th century, and is one of the most frequently visited churches in Ohrid because of its beautiful location on the cliffs directly above the lake. After this you will go back to the town on foot. Another option is to return to the town by boat and at the same time to make a tour of the lake providing you with a great view of the town.
Overnight in Ohrid.

 

DAY 6 - Korce


After breakfast, we visit one of the most beautiful cities in Albania, Pogradec. We can enjoy our walk through 1 May Bulevard, with the amazing view by the Ohrid lake. Than we can visit the castle, the museum and churche of Pogradec. After this we will be headed to Drilon, near the border 5km east of Pogradec, Drilon is a lush and delightful park set around the ponds where crystal-clear water originating from Lake Prespa bubbles up from the side of Mali i Thate ('dry') mountain. You can feed the ducks, swans and rent a boat for a quiet paddle around. We will have a break while enjoying a delicious traditional food of the lovely city Pogradec. In the afternoon we visit Korca one of the most important towns of South East Albania and a well known culinary town. In Korca we’ll visit the National Museum of Medieval Arts, which holds some of greatest iconographic works in Europe and further. The first Albanian language school, opened in 1887 and today it houses the National Education Museum. Spend the day exploring the Korca region including a visit to the village of Voskopoja - one of the most important towns in the European part of the Ottoman Empire during the beginning of the 18th century. It is here that the first printing house in the Balkans was established in 1720. There are also some outstanding examples of Orthodox Christian Churches, which escaped the destruction of the communist regime.
Overnight in Korca.

 

DAY 7 - Ioannina


After breakfast we will go to Ioannina, this amazing city where you’ll be able to visit the castle. And the amazing view from lake pamvotis. A modern town except for the old district near the lake which dates from the Turkish occupation. Local craftsmanship produce embroidery and silverwork, there are shops on Odos Averoff, Gastronomic specialties include eels, frogs, trout and crayfish from the lake, cheese from Dodoni and sparkling white wine from the region of Zitsa. Visit the island in the middle of the lake access by boat.
Overnight in Ioannina.

 

DAY 8 - Sarande


After breakfast we’ll drive to Gjirokastra. Known as the City of Stone, it comprises hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls. After entering in Gjirokastra we will visit the castle, the Zekate House, the old bazaar and the ethnographic museum (which is the birth house of the Albanian dictator). Once Gjirokastra has been called the "city of one thousand steps" or "the stone city". We\ll stop here for lunch, and after lunch we’ll be back on road to visit Butrint in Saranda city. Butrinti is15 km away from the city of Saranda, reachable through whatever way. It is a world's archeological richness of UNESCO declared as such after the 90`. The most ancient objects are vehicles of wood belonging to the second millennium before Christ. In the V century part of the city was rebuilt. In the IV - XIII it is mentioned as Episcopal centre. You will see different ruins of civilizations from Hellenistic, Roman, Venetian, and Byzantine. After that we visit the Blue eye. It is the greatest fountain and the most interesting one from the 18 fountains coming from the edge of the wide mountain. It is a natural monument. This natural, deep spring embodies the clear, vibrant blue color which is seen in many of Albania’s water bodies. We’ll go back to Sranda for dinner. The castle is situated in the meddle of the ruins of the Lekures village on the top of a high hill rising over the city of Saranda. In the evening will enjoy a walk through the coastal line of Saranda.
Overnight in Saranda.

 

DAY 9 - Berat


After breakfast we’ll start driving to Berat. During our way we’ll stop to Porto Palermo castle, will pass through Llogara national park and stop there for lunch, and then back to our road to Berat. Going to this city it’s like traveling back in time. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. Being more than 2400 year old, the town it is one of the most attractive towns in Albania. Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known as the "Museum City of Albania". Berat lies on the sides on the Osum River with a backdrop of Mount Tomorr, elevation. Additionally a 2,500 year old castle overlooks the city with numerous, high architectural and historical stone neighborhoods below. Particular things of interest in Berat are the visible trades of stone-working, wood-carving, leather-workers, and especially the landmarks. The landmarks are of historic nature: Byzantine churches, Berati Castle which was toppled and burned many times and re-fortified by each conqueror, and the "City of a Thousand Windows" which are neighborhoods Mangalemi and Gorica located on either side of the Osum River.
Overnight in Berat.

 

DAY 10 - Tirane


Our visit will start in the characteristics neighborhood Mangalemi, near the old bazaar, where we will visit the Ethnographic museum. Our next stop will be at the fortress located on the top of the hill overlooking the Osumi river and the Gorica neighborhood. The castle is the only one in Albania that still has houses and inhabitants within its walls, going about their daily life in exactly the same place their predecessors did centuries ago. We will visit the Castle, St Marys Church turned Onufri Museum which houses an amazingly diverse collection of Icons. We will be able to see also The Red Mosque , The Church of Saint Mehilli, (Michael) , The Church of Saint Triadha (Trinity) and lots of other monuments. We’ll continue our tour to Durres where we will have a little break while we enjoying lunch at the restaurant. Finished here, we travel to Tirana. Once in Tirana we will start with a visit to Et’HemBej Mosque, built in 1789 (one of the most beautiful in the Balkans). We'll walk to the main sites, visit the impressive National History Museum, the facade of which is adorned with a gigantic mosaic known as, 'The Albanians'. During this we can admire other buildings to like: The Clock Tower next to the Et'hemBey Mosque government buildings: at the south end of Skenderbeg Square. The Tabakëve and Terzive bridges (respectively in front of the Parliament building and on Elbasani Street) date from the beginning of the 20th century, The Palace of Culture, where the Theatre of Opera and Ballet and the National Library stand. The Palace of Congress, and President Resident, all this wonderful buildings, extended, along the Bulevard Deshmoret e Kombit, The Bulevard of Albanian History.
Overnight in Tirana.

 

DAY 11 - Budva


After breakfast drive towards Kruja, the historical city which lays on a panoramic view on the top of a hill, 600 km above sea level, centre of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans under our National Hero Scanderbeg With a combination of nature, history, archeology, traditional food and lifestyle, Kruja is one of the most beautiful tourist spots in Albania. We will visit the Kruja Castle. Then we’ll see the Skanderbeg Museum and a rich Ethnographic Museum with almost all items being original from the end of the 19th century. Then we make our way through Kruja’s famous Bazaar, on the way to the castle, a medieval - type bazaar with traditional handicrafts such as filigree, alabaster, silver, copper, wooden made objects, wool carpets, etc. Its main pecularities are that all the shops are made of wood. After visiting Kruja and having a delicious lunch there we’ll go back on road. This time towards the beautiful city of Budva, one of the oldest cities in the whole Adriatic, with charming 16. ct. Center, and marina for mega yachts – today being top tourist destination for younger travelers with all the fun it offers.
Overnight in Budva.

 

DAY 12 - Dubrovnik


After breakfast drive to drive to the Old City of Kotor in Montenegro, a UNESCO site built between the 12th and 14th century in the wonderful bay with the same name. Throughout the centuries, many empires battled for control of the city leaving their mark through a variety of buildings. The largest and most impressive of these is the St Tryphon Cathedral. After the visits we proceed to Dubrovnik where you are free to explore more of this gem of the Adriatic. For centuries, the prosperous port city of Dubrovnik was protected both by the diplomatic skill of its leaders and the walls and fortifications surrounding it. Facing constant threats from powerful enemies, the leaders and the defensive city walls held firm. Take in breathtaking views of Dubrovnik’s port and Old Town, and visit landmarks vital to the political and defensive history of the city. Your guide will reveal why places like the Revelin Fortress, Minceta Tower, and Lovrijenac Fortress were essential structures in the protection of Dubrovnik’s people and prosperity.

 

DAY 13 - Departure


After breakfast, free to explore until time of transfer to Airport. End of our services.

 

Dates and Prices

WHAT'S INCLUDED AND NOT INCLUDED

 


What's included
* English-speaking local guide
* Group airport transfers
* All meals throughout the holiday
* All land transport required by the itinerary
* National park entrance fees
* All excursions mentioned in the itinerary.

 

What's not included
* Travel insurance
* Visas
* Airport taxes
* Airport transfers other than group transfers
* Extra activities and excursions
* Tips for local staff
* Miscellaneous personal expenditure

 

SUPPLEMENTS

 


Rooming on tour & Single Room Option (Not applicable to self-guided holidays).
Most group tours are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book as an individual, you will be roomed with someone of the same gender. However, on many tours we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room. On some of these tours a single room will be provided at some of the night-stops but for logistical reasons not all. Individual Trip Notes clarify this. If, for whatever reason, we are unable to provide a single room as outlined in the Trip Notes, we will refund a proportion of the supplement paid to us for the Single Room Option.

 

Where you are able to purchase a single room, the price does not necessarily guarantee you a single room for every night of the tour.
All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travelers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.

 

Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date.
For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.

 

 

PRE POST TOUR SERVICE

 


Transfers
If you need a pre tour transfer from the airport to the hotel, or the other way around Post tour transfer, from the hotel to the airport, please let us know sending by email your request. After we will make all the arrangement for you.

 

Accommodations
If your flight comes days in advance, or you want to stay longer than other participants of your tour, we can arrange the accommodation for you. If you are interested please send us a request to the follow email address: info@ivisitalbania.com

 

DATA

 


Please send us an email at info@ivisitalbania.com, asking for availability.



Participants & Transit
I Visit Albania consciously chooses to travel in small groups. For this trip, the maximum 16 participants. We guarantee a trip based on the minimum number of permanent participants. This destination is that a minimum of 6 participants. A journey can already with fewer participants are guaranteed. The minimum age for these trips is 18 years.

 

100% No Surcharge Guarantee
Once booked and confirmed we will guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. You will not be approached to pay fuel surcharges unlike the vast majority of other adventure tour operators.

 

Tour Prices
Tour prices shown on this website are a guide only. For flight-inclusive group tours the selling price at the time you book your holiday could be different to that shown here, due to current flight availability. Please refer to the trip notes for details of what is included in the cost.

 

Tour Durations
The tour duration shown above is based on the Land Only length of the tour. Please be aware that the flight inclusive duration of the tour may be longer.

 

Tour Itineraries
Please be aware that the specific itinerary on some of our tours may differ depending on departure date. Please check the relevant trip notes for the most up-to-date information regarding the trip itinerary.

 

Child Prices
Child prices applicable for ages 11 and under at time of travel. (Not applicable to self-guided holidays as these are currently sold to adults only).

 

Price Changes
Any changes to prices will be kept updated on this web page, in accordance with above.

Tour Information

ACCOMMODATION

 


During this trip we stay in different types of accommodation which are always attractive and nicely situated. We stay mostly in small hotels.
Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.
Accommodation and service levels in Albania are generally very good. We try to use smaller, family-run hotels and pensions that might not offer the same luxuries as larger chain-style hotels, but they do provide a warm welcome, a comfortable place to stay and the chance to gain a better understanding of local life.

 

ROOM LAYOUT AND SINGLE

 


* If you go, you do not pay extra fee for traveling alone. We or assume that you are sharing a room (or tent if applicable) with a fellow traveler of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own room, you can for € xxxxx, - additional books a single room.
* If you travel as a couple, share together a room (or tent). You can choose between a 'twin' or a 'double'. A twin room has two twin beds; one has a double bed. Some hotels only have twin rooms and sometimes all doubles have been forgiven so you still have two twin beds.
* If you travel with three of them, two people sharing a double or 'twin' room (or tent) and one participant is assigned to a twin room (or tent) with another fellow traveler of the same gender. If you prefer to have your own room, you can for € xxxxxx, - additional books a single room.

When making the reservation you can specify what kind of room layout you desire.

 

 

BUDGET INFO

 


You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.
The reference amount of pocket money for this trip is € 250, - per person. This amount is an average of what travelers in recent years have spent during this trip to meals and refreshments, additional excursions, entrance fees, any local airport taxes and gratuities. Of course, your own spending habits this also decisive. Souvenirs are therefore not included. During the trip several (optional) excursions, you spot (using the tour leader) can book. If a better excursion can be booked in advance, then it will be listed in the itinerary and on the booking form. So you can still give your group an individual accent.Food
The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

 

Light lunch £: 4.00
Dinner £: 10.00

 

Drink
The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

 

Bottle of Beer £: 1.50
Water £: 0.50

 

OPTIONAL - EXURSIONS

 


Some free time has been allowed for you to explore on your own or with your travelling companions.

 

TIPPING - TOUR LEADER

 


At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
The amount 20 euro, of tipping is a directive except the tips of the Dutch or local tour guide. Travelling is common to eg. Drivers, cooks and guides to tip. Gratuities are often an indispensable supplement to the income, which is usually a whole family depends. In many cases you can give a tip itself. Common expenses (group tips, entrance fees, etc.) are usually paid from the joint pot for which a contribution is requested to all participants. When you are satisfied with the tour leader yourself, you like him / her, of course, give a tip.

 

TIPPING - LOCAL CREW

 


Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approx. €20 for tipping.

 

In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group’s tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

Preparation

PREPARING FOR YOUR TOUR
At least one set of casual / non-walking clothes will be useful for wearing in hotels on this holiday. Whilst walking you must not worry about how you look: comfort and protection against bad weather are of prime importance. Because mountain weather is so very variable, we recommend a number of thin layers rather than a few thick ones. The following list is our suggested guide to help you with your packing based upon our many years of travelling/walking. Using your own judgment for packing is of course important, especially with regard to casual clothing etc but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about packing for your holiday, or are uncertain as to the suitability of your clothing and equipment.
 
 
 
RESERVING YOUR PLACE
 
To reserve your place on this tour you will need to check availability on the I Visit Albania website. Our tours can fill up quickly so you are advised to book as early as possible. If your chosen date is ‘Available’ or ‘Guaranteed’ we will be able to provisionally hold you a space for up to 48 hours. For Self-Guided holidays and Private Journeys simply choose your date of travel and let us know so we can confirm all ground services. The easiest way to confirm your booking is through our website. When you are ready to book, we normally require a 10% non-refundable deposit, but for some holidays this may be more to cover such items as permit fees, internal flights or other non-refundable services. If your travel starts within 60 days of booking, full payment will be required at the time of booking. 100% No Surcharge Guarantee The price paid for our holidays is no longer subject to change. Once booked and confirmed we will guarantee the price you pay will not increase, whatever the circumstances. You will not be approached to pay fuel surcharges unlike the vast majority of other adventure tour operators. The price guarantee applies to all new bookings departing between 1st January 2017 and 31st December 2017.
 
 
ESSENTIAL INFO

Passport Information You need a passport to return six months validity. Vaccinations and Visa The visa is issued on arrival in Albania and is free of charge. As a traveler, you are responsible to have the correct travel documents. No visa required for most nationalities, including UK passport holders, most other EU nationalities, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand. There are no specific health risks. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.
 
DOCUMENTS
• Passport - including appropriate visas
• Photocopies of all documents (keep separate)
• Airline tickets (or printouts of your e-tickets with the airline booking reference)
• Travel insurance details
• Emergency contact numbers
• Trip dossier
• Credit cards/ traveller’s cheques
 
 
 
EATING AND DRINKING

Food in Albania is quite varied thanks to the many influences on the country, particularly Mediterranean, combining both Turkish and European tastes. Dairy products, especially milk and yoghurt are present in almost every meal, usually locally sourced. Meals are reasonably priced at 10-15 euros per person for traditional dishes including baked rice, casseroles, stuffed aubergine and jani meat (beef or lamb sauteed with onions, garlic and spices). Fresh fish is also plentiful and is an important ingredient in many dishes. We reccommend sampling Tirana stew, Elbasani yoghurt and baked phyllo pie. For dessert Baklava is very popular. Your leader will recommend restaurants for each evening. WEATHER & SEASONALITY Albania generally experiences a Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures at 25degC on average in the day, and the warmest months are July and August where temperatures can rise to 30degC. It becomes cooler further inland towards Korca during these months, especially in the evenings with high temperatures around 25degC. There is always the small chance of rain in the mountains yet we aim not to travel in the coldest and wettest months, which are November to January. Berat also experiences a Mediterranean climate but thanks to its location in the shadow of Mt Tomorr, summers are much warmer than expected for the Mediterranean.
 
 
 
CLOTHING
 
• Walking boots and spare laces
• Trainers/ sandals
• Walking socks
• T-shirts
• Trekking trousers
• Short trousers
• Light fleece
• Thick fleece
• Thermal Baselayer shirt
• Waterproof jacket with hood
• Waterproof trousers
• Warm Gloves
• Sun Hat
• Warm Hat
 
FOREIGN EXCHANGE
ATM Availability: Most larger towns. Credit Card Acceptance: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Albania. You can also withdraw cash with your credit card, but (usually) not checkout in shops and restaurants. Make sure you, especially in the mountain villages, have enough cash to pay for your meals. Travellers Cheques: Travellers Cheques are not widely accepted in Albania, though you should take some as a back-up in case of emergencies. Local Currency: Albanian Lek. Recommended Currency for Exchange: Sterling, US Dollars and Euros cash is widely accepted in Exchange Shopps in major towns and cities. Most transactions in Albania are done on a strictly cash only basis using the Lek. Where to Exchange: Exchange offices in major towns and cities. Electric Supply & Plugs 2 Pin Round.
 
 
EQUIPMENT

Take a water bottle, a sun hat and suncream. A torch is useful in case of powercuts/emergencies. Camera. It is also important to bring the following: good waterproof, ankle-high hiking boots, warm clothing such as a fleectrui, light rain gear (waterproof jacket and pants) a daypack, headgear (cap). Sunglasses, sunburn, anti-mosquito repellent, walking sticks (if you like to walk along here) A sleeping bag, you do not have to bring on this trip.
• Daypack/rucksack (size approx. 35 litre capacity)
• 2 Large water bottles (1 litre each)
• Towel (essential)
• Torch
• Camera & accessories
• Binoculars (optional)
• A variety of dry bag/plastic bags
• Sunglasses
• Trekking poles (highly recommended)
• Washing/Shaving kit
• Insect Repellent
• Small personal First Aid kit
• Anti-Bacterial Handwash
• Sun Cream & lip salve
 
FOOTWEAR

Comfortable shoes or sandals for visiting the sites and towns. Clothing We advise you to wear layers of clothing that can be easy on and off in case of change of the weather. Weather is changeable in the mountains and it can be cool, especially at night, so bring a warmer jacket/fleece. A raincoat is essential at all times in case of the odd shower. You should dress with respect in the rural villages so bring some long trousers. Don't forget your swimming costume.
 
LUGGAGE ON TOUR
One main piece of baggage and a daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don’t overload yourself. Please bear in mind there are lots of stairs in Albania and no portarage in the hotels. We advise you to bring your luggage in a flexible backpack, gym bag or a suitcase with a soft top. In connection with the limited luggage we ask you not to take hard suitcase. Take especially not bring too much, but limit you to what you really need. You are responsible for carrying your luggage to the property. Luggage 20kg Airlines are usually one piece of luggage up to 20 kilos. For domestic flights, some airlines apply a lower limit luggage. This is clearly stated in the "travel info" tab, under the heading flight. Please ensure the weight of your main baggage is restricted to 12kg-15kg. The following items can also be useful:
• Face wipes
• Moisturising cream
• Snacks/energy bars
• Padlock for your kitbag
• Small mirror
• Earplugs
• Cold water travel wash (preferably biodegradable)
• Travel adaptor These items are also useful but don’t pack them in your hand luggage – put them in your main bag only!
• Penknife/small scissors
• Safety pins
• Small sewing/repair kit
• Nail clippers Please ensure you carry essential personal medication in your hand luggage rather than checked in bags.
 
MEDICATIONS
We recommend you to take a modest journey pharmacy. Consider including painkillers, disinfectants, sunburn (blisters) patches, anti-fever, diarrhea, constipation, insect bites and motion sickness. In addition, a tick and ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts, against dehydration) is recommended. Our tour guides are also a limited first-aid kit. Use your special medication, please bring enough and ask your pharmacist to prepare a travel document for you. Keep this document in your hand luggage.
 
PERSONALE FIRST AID KIT
Your tour leader will be first aid trained and will carry a first aid kit. However, we recommend that you carry a small first aid kit for personal use. This could contain things like plasters, sterile dressings and bandages, a blister kit, pain killers e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream (for insect bites), sunburn cream, anti-diarrhoea pills e.g. Imodium or Lomotil and rehydration salts e.g. dioralyte.
 
SAFETY AND ADVICE
The safety of customers and staff is at I.V.A always comes first. Through our contacts with agents and local authorities, we continuously monitor the safety situation at all our destinations. For current information on the security situation at your destination, please refer to the central government's website: travel advice.
 
EMERGENCIES AND DISASTERS
Make no trackers at home! Make sure that at home always copies of both your itinerary if you have flight. We will send a list of the hotels we stay during the trip because this change sometimes and rooms are often booked under a different name. In case of emergency we are accessible for both travelers and at home 24 hours a day. Why not call the hotel but I.V.A. During office hours you can call us on +355696040640. Outside office hours, you will be redirected to our emergency service or you can directly call our emergency number: +355696040640 Tip: create a digital file to. Scan your passport, visa, e-tickets and other important documents and email it to yourself. So you have, in case of loss or theft while traveling, always copies of your important papers on hand.

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