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Origins of Illyria

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
03/06/22 11/06/22 9 days £1,995 ex. flights £250 Carolyn Perry 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Gjirokaster Village, Albania 1

Relatively unexplored

For those of you who want to be ahead of the curve and go to a wonderful destination.

Holy Trinity Church, Berat, Albania 2

Art and architecture

Learn about the art and architecture of Albania, through the expert eyes of Carolyn Perry.

Mountain lakes in Albanian Alps, Albania 3

Diverse landscapes

Travel through the Albanian Alps and alongside spectacular turquoise seas.

Stonemason, Albania 4

The Albanian people

Cliched though it may be to say it, it is the friendliness and humour of the Albanian people that will remain with you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Tirana - Kruja

  • Day 2

    Kruja - Durres

  • Day 3

    Durres - Berat

  • Day 4

    Beat - Vlore

  • Day 5

    Vlore - Llogara - Saranda

  • Day 6


  • Day 7

    Saranda - Gjirokastra

  • Day 8

    Gjirokastra - Tirana

  • Day 9


Day 1

Tirana - Kruja

Kruja, Durres, Albania

Arrive into Tirana and transfer to Kruja. Visit the Citadel of Kruja in the afternoon.

Day 2

Kruja - Durres

Mosque of Faith, Durres, Albania

Drive to the historic town of Lezhe, originally an Illyrian city. Continue onto Durres, one of the Greek colony cities of Albania.

Day 3

Durres - Berat

Historic city of Berat in Albania, an Unesco world heritage site, Albania

Travel to the ancient city of Apollonia, a Greek colony on the famous Via Egnatia. Continue along the Vjose river valley to Byllis and onto Berat.

Day 4

Beat - Vlore

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of Berat, also known as the City of One Thousand Windows. Continue to Vlora, the town where the independence of Albania was announced in 1912.

Day 5

Vlore - Llogara - Saranda

Albania Coastline near Llogara Pass, Albania

Depart along the ‘Albanian Riviera’ through spectacular scenery between the sea and the mountains.

Day 6


Saranda, Albania

Travel from Saranda to explore Butrint, one of Albania’s most well-known UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Day 7

Saranda - Gjirokastra

Gjirokastra roofs

Depart Saranda to Gjirokastra, known as the  ‘City of Stone’, via the Muzina pass.

Day 8

Gjirokastra - Tirana

Gjirokaster Village, Albania

Depart Gjirokastra for Elbasan, via Tepelene the city of the infamous Ali Pasha. Continue to Tirana.

Day 9


Skanderbeg Square with his statue in Tirana Albania

Explore Tirana’s highlights on a full day city tour. Depart in the evening.

Mosque of Faith, Durres, Albania
Durrës, Albania


Known as Epidamnus, the city of Durres was founded in 627 BC by Greeks from Corcyra and Corinth. Its strategic location as a harbour is clear, but Greek and Roman authors also noted the city’s temples and monuments. The city played a part in both the origins of the Peloponnesian War in the 5th century BC and also the Roman Civil War. Continuously inhabited since its foundation, the remains of the ancient city include the Amphitheatre, parts of the Via Egnatia, and various fortifications. The Archaeological Museum is well worth a visit.

Berat Old Town, Albania
Berat, Albania


Lying on the banks of the Osum River, the town of Berat is famous for its Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Traditionally split into two distinct halves, the Muslim Old Town (Mangalem) lies north of the river and its collection of white-washed houses climb up towards the town’s citadel. On the south side of the river, lies the Christian Old Town (Gorica). The two sides are linked by a number of bridges, including an impressive 250-year-old, seven-arched footbridge.

Buthrotum Ruins, Butrint, Albania

Butrint and Byllis

Butrint is one of the largest archaeological parks of the Balkan Peninsula. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric too. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Albania, thanks to its combination of archaeology, nature and Mediterranean panoramas.

Byllis is another important archaeological city in Roman-era Albania, turned by Julius Caesar into a colony. Byllis is a magical place that offers stunning views over the Mallakastra hills and the Vjosa river.  The site hosts city walls, two agorae, a large stadium, theatre and a few houses.

Saranda, Albania
Saranda, Albania


Named after a Byzantine monastery built to honour 40 martyrs, the city was briefly renamed after Mussolini’s eldest daughter during the Italian occupation of Albania. The bombed remains of the town’s monastery stand above Saranda, which looks out over the Ionian Sea. Although popular with beachgoers, and at the heart of the ‘Albanian Riviera’, it is the town’s surrounding sights that draw the most attention. In particular, the remains of ancient Butrint and the mesmerizingly beautiful Blue Eye Spring are close by, and highlights of any trip to Albania.

Group Tour FAQs

Why travel with Steppes Travel to Albania?

Exceptional leaders are the first essential component of a successful groups tour, and in Carolyn Perry, we are confident in this. Carolyn has worked with Steppes for over five years and clients return time and time again to travel with and learn from her, as detailed below from a previous tour client that travelled with Carolyn on a Steppes Greece tour.

“I have taken many group tours in the last 10 years and this was one of the best. The credit goes first and foremost to Carolyn, whose knowledge, wealth of information and command of detail, from the historical to the anecdotal, added so much rich texture to my understanding. I would love the chance to tour with her again.”

What happens on a typical day?

The local guide and Carolyn will brief you of the day ahead at breakfast. After breakfast, at around 7:00 am, set off for a full day of exploring. This may include visits to historical sites and museums or a travel day between cities.

Are June and September good months to travel to Albania?

The weather won’t be excessively hot but the days should be clear and sunny. When travelling in the mountainous areas the weather can vary.

What is the standard of accommodation on this tour?

Accommodation in Albania is a different standard to that of the UK as tourism has not long been a major industry there. There is still a variety of comfortable options and, in some places, very characterful guesthouses and hotels.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

Do I need to be physically fit to enjoy this tour?

You do not need to be particularly fit to participate, there are no long walks involved but there will be a certain number of stone steps and uneven surfaces.

What is Albanian food like?

Albanian cuisine offers a unique blend of Mediterranean flavours. Representing a rich historical past, the food of modern Albania has been developed over a number of years and reflects a fusion of Greek, Italian and Turkish cooking.

From baked lamb with yoghurt to fresh, vibrant salads – the Albanians live for lunch. The main food in Albania is characterised by the use of spices such as black pepper and Mediterranean herbs including oregano, mint, basil and rosemary. In the cooking of meat and fish, chilli pepper and garlic is used to good effect. In true Albanian style take lunch at a local’s house to try homemade sheep’s cheese (feta), made from traditional methods in the mountains and washed down with the local hooch, raki…not for the faint-hearted!

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience Matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Size Matters

Our average group size is typically eight to ten people, smaller than other group tours typically offered – a factor which many of our clients appreciate. Travelling as part of a smaller group provides a more intimate, personalised and relaxed atmosphere.

4.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

3.Like-Minded People

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people – interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

5.Value for money

Our tours are well-priced to ensure you get real value for money. We include gratuities on the majority of our tours and do not pass on currency surcharges. We strive to look after single travellers as well as we can, keeping single supplements to a minimum.

6.Peace of Mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by Carolyn Perry
  • Accompanied by an English speaking local guide
  • Entrance fees for sights mentioned
  • Accommodation throughout
  • Transportation throughout
  • Meals, as per the itinerary
  • Gratuities for local guides. drivers and porters
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions

What is excluded

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas if applicable
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks throughout

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
03/06/22 11/06/22 9 days £1,995 ex. flights £250 Carolyn Perry 15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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