Her mountains have no roads and her beaches have no parking lots or walls. Albania’s rivers run wild with glacial blue water, and her air is fresh and fragrant with the smell of wildflowers and pine. If you are seeking a true escape from the hectic routine of modern life, where you can reconnect with your inner soul, the Grand Tour of Albania is just the experience for you. With the perfect balance of comfort and natural outdoor experiences, the Grand Tour will guide participants in all that Albania has to offer. From hiking in the pristine Albanian Alps to water sports in the rivers and sea of Albania’s abundant natural waters, to evenings filled with traditional culinary treasures from the local farms and wineries, to exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites and culture, there is something for everyone who desires rejuvenation and the experience of a lifetime in Europe’s hidden gem; Albania!
We will start with the 4 Valleys of the Accursed Mountains
Dear visitor, this is the first hiking trail to traverse the 4 valleys, in an area where ancient tracks connect remote regions of the Balkans.
This circuit will take you through the mountains of northern Albania, and southern Montenegro. The ancient routes were cut during the cold war when tensions were high between Yugoslavia and Albania. The route offers a diversity of landscapes and cultural experiences where the level of difficulty ranges from easy to moderate, but requires good physical condition.
Today we drive to Shkoder, one of the biggest Albanians towns and in antiquity has been the capital of Illiria. We arrive on the evening in Shkoder and we will have opportunity to visit Shkodra castle with its stunning views over the rivers Drin and Buna and Shkodra city and lake the biggest in Balkan Peninsula. After arrival at the hotel we will have time for dinner and prepare for the next day
Today will make our first walk on the Albanian Alps. As we reach the Thore pas we get ready to start our walk. The Diagonal pass will lead us towards forests and meadows until we reach Theth. The pass used from shepherds to leave the remote village of Theth during winter and to lead sheep and cattle in the other side of the valley where winters aren’t that harsh.
Overnight in Theth.
Theth is one of the most isolated areas and pristine villages in Albania. During this day we visit the Church of Thethi the Vendetta Tower, Grunas Waterfall and Canyon and we walk toward Nderlysa village for a beautiful walk and we can swim in Blue Eye a beautiful natural pool with cold water. Today we have a late warm lunch beside the cold waters of Kaprrea River in Nderlysa. Afternoon a buss transfer will send us back to the hotel.
We will walk today to another beautiful valley through the Valbona Pass 1966m. This pass connected the valleys from centuries and also families between valleys are related in between. On out walk we will have accompanied by the horses that will carry our luggage as the only way of transportation. Also we admire the beautiful views of Irony Mountains and both valleys.
With the breakfast ''on the go'' we start our last day early to reach the bought in the Koman Lake who will take 2hrs ride to send us at Shala River considered the Albanian Thailande”. The bought trip is considered to be as one of the most amazing scenic lakes formed by the construction of Koman Dam in the early 80’. In the eledic and charmin valley of shala we swim on the crystal and cold waters of the river. We will stay there for few hours to get the boat back and to drive to Berat one of the richest cities of Albania with culture,architecture,nature and culinary
Day 6: Cultural Visit in Berat,Cooking class
Have you ever heard the expression that if you have not visited Berat you have not visited Albania?
This is because Berat is the most beautiful city in Albania in terms of architectural, cultural, human and culinary assets.
This day will be focused on discovering the beauties of Berat. We will visit the castle, the museum of Onufri, the Ethnographic Museum, the medieval center, the church and the mosque.We will have a cooking course at lunch and after the day we will visit the best winery in Albania: Cobo Winery
Day 7: Hike to holly mount of Albanians,Tomori
After breakfast, take a short drive by 4x4 to the trail head and then hike into the rugged Tomor Mountains.
Mountain of Tomorri occupies a very special place in the heart of most Albanians due to its rich historical reputation. This mountain is believed to have healing powers.
A drive through a remote village road witnessing the way people live around the area.
The honest hospitality of the shepherd and occasional members of his family.
The deep forest with its unique aura and animals around.
Unique landscapes from where all the area around is going to be at the palm of your hand.
Enjoying a picnic with local products facing the Tomorri mountain with all his might.
If all this wasn’t enough, experiencing this while riding a mule and hearing the vast legends and stories that are part of this mountain is going to make this a memory you are going to cherish for a long time.
After plenty of time to rest and relax in this lovely city, drive the short distance to Cobo winery for dinner and a chance to taste some of the best wine of Albania.
Day 8: Rafting or river hiking and canyon exploration in Osumi Canyon
After june the level of the water is low for rafting and we organize river hiking and canyon Exploration.
After the breakfast we will drive for around ninety minutes to the ancient Osumi's Canyons.
Visit the Osumi Canyon, one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Europe and swim in a natural pool surrounded by the canyon’s unique, green ecosystem.
We will do rafting from March-June & hiking river and canyon exploration form July-October along of the river Osum through an unspoilt landscape of pine forests and river plains, visiting local landmarks like the Crocodile Head, Love Waterfall and Devils Gate.
DAY 9 :Departure to the historic city of Vlora on the Adriatic coast but before we will visit Ardenica and Apollonia.
First we will transfer (1 hour driving)to Ardenica Monastery Covering an area of 2,500 square meters, the Monastery was built in 282, commissioned by the emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos of Byzantium. Perhaps the most interesting historical event recorded in Ardenica is Skanderbeg’s wedding to his lifelong wife Donika, hosted on April of 1451 at the Chapel of St. Trinity Church, the monastery’s very first church, built in the 10th century.
Transfer to Apollonia.Lunch in Apollonia. Journey into the Classical Period. Several beautiful ruins and important monuments, such as “Promenade B” with its 4th century B.C. Doric columns, the Nymphaeum’s magnificent fountains, and the largest preserved monument of the Park, the Gate of Temenos with the grand Obelisk sitting across from it, as well as many other artifacts and remains, will immerse you in the past and make you forget about any notion of the present. Departure to Vlora city. Accommodation in Semajo hotel and free dinner.
DAY 10- Protected Waters and Mysterious Caves
After the breakfast we will explore the beautiful Karaburun peninsula by speedboat, including the Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park. This is the only reserve of its kind in the country and little is understood yet of the biodiversity of the park; if you’re extremely lucky turtles, seals and dolphins have been sighted previously.
Visit the mysterious cave at Haxhi Aliu, used by traders and smugglers for millennia and now a national monument.
Snorkel in a remote bay, sunbathe on an untouched beach and then eat a picnic lunch on the sand.
Return to Vlore and check into your guest house.
DAY 11 –Departure to Divjaka National Park,Hiking and Bird watching
The largest in the Mediterranean Sea with a surface of 222 square km, the lagoon of Karavasta offers a great diversity of birds and plant species, being absolutely one of the Best Tours in Albania! The great importance of this park comes mainly from the endangered and extremely rare species of Dalmatian Pelican, which 5% of the world population lays in this area. This protected and untouched lagoon offers to all his visitors the perfect escape from the noise of the city and to all birdwatchers the perfect chance to have a close look at one of the rarest bird species still existing.
Day 12 Tirana City
Breakfast and departure to Tirana. Visit Dajti Mount by Cable Car.
Visit of Tirana city. 20 years ago Albania’s capital used to regularly top the list of Europe’s underdeveloped cities. Decades of Stalinist rule left Tirana grey and grim, lacking in both infrastructure and services. The collapse of communism in 1992 required rapid changes for the City.
We will start our day visiting Dajti Mountin .We will take the cable Car to go there and to enjoy the spectacular views.
Considered one of the safest cities in Europe you will be able to spot remnants of its past and traces of the fast changes that it has gone through. We will visit the main sites like the Ethem Bey Mosque, clock tower, Scanderbeg Square, Orthodox Church and the BUNK'ART 2. BUNK'ART 2 is the first major video museum exhibition dedicated to the victims of communist terror.
Day 13TH Departure to the Airport (time:21.00 )
After the breakfast you can visit the city and shops in Tirana
Departure to the airport mather Tereza around 17.00 so we will have time to do the check in and if you want to have dinner.
Read below some of the achievements of Albania Rafting Group in the last 15 years:
The Albania Rafting Group is the best choice if you are looking for Albania Tours, as the most experienced adventure tour operator in the country.
With us, you can explore active and wild activities such as rafting, canyoning, river hiking, kayaking, off road tours, hydro speed, SUP, snowshoeing, caravan mule, cave exploration and a complete tour to discover untouched beaches, all followed by the best traditional Albania food.
Our trips in Albania do not provide high level of difficulty, but every visitor should consider:
! Kindly keep all your clothes and personal belongings in a backpack, which can be easily transported on minivan.
You should have worn for hiking in south of Albania:
Things to bring for rafting, river hiking in Vjosa river or Osumi’s Canyon:
We’re really flexible and none of our itineraries are written in stone, so if you have a particular interest you’d like to include or you need to leave a trip earlier or join later (at a pro-rated fare), just let us know and we can almost always make it happen. Likewise, all adventure travel requires a certain amount of flexibility and we sometimes have to make minor changes to the activities because of weather and availability, but we have plenty of options up our sleeve.