"Touring Albania" Albania by SallyM
Albania Travel Guide: 2,166 reviews and 5,875 photos
Having long wanted to visit Albania, we finally got around to booking a tailor-made tour through Regent Holidays.
We had a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and guide/interpreter at our disposal for a whole week, during which we visited Tirana, Kruje, Durres, Berat, Saranda and Gjirokaster. This was luxury indeed.
Some of our hotels were perhaps less luxurious (the hotel in Berat was very dated, whilst the hotel in Saranda wasn't finished yet), but it was a great adventure.
It was a good thing that we had a driver at our disposal - I would have hated to drive on some of the roads we covered. The mountain road on the way down to Saranda was a case in point. "Were you expecting a road like this?" our guide, Ilir, asked me at one point. "Well, I was expecting a road," I replied.
One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the ancient sites of Apollonia and Butrint. Apollonia was hard to get to - one of the roads was closed - but when we eventually found it, we had it to ourselves. My other half asked the caretaker of the small museum on the site (through our interpreter, Ilir) why so many statues were headless, thinking that maybe at some point they had been deliberately decapitated, perhaps for religious reasons. The caretaker's response? "Because they have no heads".
It was almost a disappointment at Butrint to discover a group being given a guided tour - though it was hardly crowded by tourist standards.
- Cons:Litter, unreliable water and electricity supplies
- In a nutshell:Mountains, sea and ruins without the crowds
We saw lots of partially-built houses. All were patriotically flying the Albanian flag. They also had a doll (or even a... more travel advice
We almost didn't make it to Apollonia, as the road was closed and we had to find another route, slaloming between rocks... more travel advice
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