Tirana Skanderbeg

Tirana and a Taste of Illyria

Albania and its capital, Tirana, are amongst the least well-known travel destinations in Europe. Yet in 1848, Edward Lear, the writer of the Owl and the Pussycat and other famous nonsense verses, travelled through this backwater village, as he explored the country that would become the independent state of Albania some 70 years later. His sketches and paintings now provide an historic reflection of this ancient land.

There are not set departure dates for this tour. Let us know when you wish to travel and we will organise your tour.

To enquire about this holiday, please complete this short form.

The country has emerged from decades of total isolation under a strict communist regime, followed by a difficult period of transition to capitalism in the 90s, to become one of the must-see destinations for the adventurous traveller intent on exploring the history of Illyria, Greece and the Roman Empire.

For those with limited time, we offer an introductory 5-day tour, taking in Tirana, the ancient port city of Durres on the Adriatic coast and the hilltop citadel of Kruja, the 15th century home of Albania’s great national hero, Skanderbeg.

Tirana is easily accessible by direct British Airways flights from Gatwick (5 flights a week) and we can quote for land-only or flight inclusive holidays, as required.


If you would like to see more of Albania, why not consider Kudu Travel’s cultural walking tour running 15th – 29th May 2020.

Tirana tomb
Tirana Sarajet
Tirana Durres
Tirana bazaar

From Tirana airport you transfer to this capital of contrasts (30 mins) and check into your charming 4 star boutique hotel in a quiet, central location. Time permitting, you have a guided walking tour of Tirana, starting with the monumental ensemble of the Boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation and the Skanderbeg Square, the National Museum and the 18th century Mosque of Et’heim Bey. The recently opened Bunkart Exhibition is housed in the underground nuclear bunker built in the 1970s. This history museum and art gallery confronts the tragic events of the communist period. From the hotel, it is only a few steps to the Block, formerly reserved for Enver Hoxha and his allies, now a fashionable area alive with restaurants and cafes.

A free day in Tirana to continue your exploration of this bustling, vibrant city. The possibilities are numerous and include: the National Art Gallery; the 2012 Orthodox Cathedral of Resurrection; the 2002 Catholic St. Paul’s Cathedral; the infamous Pyramid built by Hoxha’s daughter, following the dictator’s death; the recently re-built Central Food Market; the Italian Fascist era Governmental buildings along the Boulevard; Ottoman houses on the Pedonalja street and the striking example of the blending of old and new architecture at the TID Tower.

An hour’s drive brings you to Kruja, the cultural heart of Albania. Accompanied by your specialist guide, you will visit the excellent Historical Museum housed in Kruja Castle, the 15th century home of the great national hero, Skanderbeg, standing on top of a hill high above the surrounding plain. The nearby Ethnographic Museum is the 18th century home of an influential family within the Ottoman administration and demonstrates the lifestyle of a wealthy Muslim household. Wander the cobbled lanes of the citadel and the picturesque bazaar before returning to Tirana.

A private transfer by road (45 mins) with your guide takes you to the port city of Durres on the Adriatic coast. This settlement was founded by Greeks in the 6th century BC and served as the main port for their explorations of the Adriatic. Explore the excavated section of the 2nd century AD Roman amphitheatre and the early Christian shrine within it. Later, walk along the ancient city walls and through the central square area, laid out by Italians in 1939, including the Great Mosque of Durres.

Your holiday concludes with a transfer to the airport for your flight.

Trip Price for 2020
£840 per person, based on 2 people travelling and sharing a room
£200 deposit per person
£190 double for single supplement


Price Includes
  • Accommodation for Days 1 through 5, on a twin shared basis, breakfast included
  • transportation in a private vehicle, as described in the itinerary

  • entrance fees for the National Museum and the Bunkart Exhibition in Tirana, the Historical and Ethnographic Museums in Kruja and the Amphitheatre in Durres

  • specialist local guiding in Tirana, Kruja and Durres, as described in the itinerary

Price does not Include
  • Transportation to and from Tirana
  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  • Passport, visa and health documentation
  • Personal expenses (laundry, free time activities, etc.)
  • Meals, other than breakfast
  • 4 nights in hotel Kotoni, a charming 4 star boutique hotel in a quiet, central location in Tirana


Visa and Health Requirements

Visitors from the EU, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand currently require a valid passport, but not a visa, for entry to Albania. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest relevant Embassy.

At present, there are no specific and compulsory health requirements for entry to Albania. You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO.

It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. We can arrange comprehensive cover for UK residents. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.