Stop en route to Elbasan to enjoy the sightseeing of Petrela castle, hanging from a rock cliff. Enjoy the scenery of mountain pass and spend time in Elbasan to learn it interesting history of its fortress, religion and people, proud of their tradition in education and trade.
Your driver and guide will meet you outside your hotel and start the tour climbing the mountainous area, south of Tirana. Make a detour from the main road to visit Petrela and its castle, hanging from a rock, where the ancient legends of local tribes, become inspiration for later generation during the medieval period to build castles like this, to protect trade routes and also resist the annihilation from the several armies. The journey take you to Elbasan. After a brief sightseeing of the city center, fortress and the main boulevard, proceed with a walking tour of the fortress. Spend some time to try traditional snack or lunch. Highlights will include the old quarter inside the fortress, mosque and orthodox church. Learn about the story of ancient town of Skampa, the trade center along the famous roman Egnatia road and the evolution through centuries, followed with the medieval Ottoman fortress and the renaissance period and modern city today. Board the bus and the journey will continue toward the Adriatik sea coast and then east inland reaching Tirana in the afternoon.
Good to know:
- Location: Elbasan
- Duration: 10 hours
- Schedule Times: the tour will start at 09:00am and finish at 19:00
- Available days/Dates: Every Wednesday
- Pick up/ Drop off: Tirane
- Service type: Escorted bus tour with professional guide
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
- Transportation AC vehicle, including all taxes, parking and road tolls
- Professional Local Guide English speaking – according to the program
- Entrance fees as detailed in the program
- Extras out of program
- Mother Teresa (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu) is generally celebrated as the only Albanian to win a Nobel Prize, though born in Skopje in 1910 (now in Macedonia but then in the Ottoman Empire).
- Between 1950 to 1985 around 600,000 bunkers were built in Albania, they are nearly impossible to destroy so many are still in existence.
- Noding your head in Albania is a disagreement while shaking the head means “yes”, so it can get pretty confusing for tourists.
- At its closest point Albania is only 10km away from Corfu across the Ionian Sea.
- Hoxha’s official title was ‘Comrade-Chairman-Prime Minister-Foreign Minister-Minister of War-Commander in Chief of the People’s Army’ – quite a mouthful!
- Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha, Albania was declared the world’s first atheist state in 1967.
- Xhiro is the name for an evening walk in Albania. Some of the towns close roads to cars at certain times of the evening so locals can talk their daily stroll.
- Norman Wisdom was a cult figure in Albania where he was one of the few Western actors whose films were allowed in the country under Hoxha’s dictatorship
- Officially 70% of Albanians are Muslim but the number who actively practice is much lower.
- George Kastriot Skanderbeg
- Mother Teresa
- Fan Noli
- Pope Clement XI
- Gjon Mili
- Ismail Kadare
- Ferid Murad
- Inva Mula
- Eliza Dushku
- John and Jim Belushi
- Ermonela Joha