Albania Itinerary

Tirana to Tirana: Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia Photo Tour

See these countries before they change forever.

I’d love to talk with you about this initial itinerary and how we can work together and design a photo tours just for you!
415-331-3791 or 800-403-7190 (USA/Canada)


Day 01

Arrive Tirana (Albania)

Arrive in Tirana where you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel, perfectly located in the city center on the edge of the city’s Great Park and near all of the city’s principal attractions. Get to know your fellow travelers and Tirana guide over a relaxed welcome dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 02


After a buffet breakfast, tour the back streets of the city center on foot including the Blokk area, the former enclave of the country’s Communist Elite, now the most vibrant part of the city.

Enjoy capturing images of modern Albania, as the new generation enjoys the laid back spirit of its cafe culture. We will tour both fashionable districts as well as working class areas. We will also view the Mosque of Et’hem Bey; the now crumbling Pyramid, a monument to Enver Hoxhia, Albania’s former dictator, the statue of G.K. Skanderbeg (Albania’s national hero) and see the many sights of Skanderbeg Square whose architecture influences range from Ottoman Turkish to Fascist Italian to Soviet Communist.

Then depart for Kruja, home of Albania’s National hero, Skanderbeg, who in the 15th century successfully fought off the Turks for over thirty years. Lunch at local restaurant with delicious traditional dishes.

Photograph the castle and the Dervish tekke located inside the castle walls and talk about their religion, Sufism. We’ll also stop in a craftsmen shop and photograph women working carpets in the old bazaar. Then have a private coffee with the caretaker of the Ethnographic Museum, a preserved, 200 year old ottoman style house. In late afternoon we will return to Tirana and visit a popular local art gallery which exhibits works from Albanian contemporary artists.

Dinner is at a local restaurant.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 03

Tirana – Shkodra – Theth

(By surface approx. 130 Kms/03 plus Hrs)

After breakfast we depart for Shkodra via Lezha.

Shkodra has been an important city for over 2,000 years. Once a part of the Venetian empire, Shkodra’s Italian influence is evident everywhere. Photograph Rozafa castle with its great views over Skodra and enjoy the pedestrian area in the downtown city photographing local people doing their daily shopping. We will visit the mask factory who’s work is mostly sold in Venice and talk to the owner, who is also the director of Shkodra Theatre. Lunch is at traditional restaurant in Shkodra.

After lunch proceed to Theth and settle into a local guesthouse, where we will meet our host family and discuss daily life in the valley followed by a photo session in the local area. We will also meet with representatives from the International Peace Park Project who are trying to build a cross border nature park including territory in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro.

Dinner is at the guesthouse.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 04


Our full day will be spent in the village of Theth where we will experience the warm hospitality of the villagers as we visit and photograph them, their village and their daily lives. Along our way we take time to visit the small waterfall of Grunasi Canyon. A highlight is the pictureasque church and the Kulla e Ngujimit (a tower house used in the past to shelter men from their blood feud enemies. There may even be somebody there who remembers those days. .

Then we depart to the Larger Waterfall of Grunasi. Lunch and time at leisure to enjoy and photograph the nature and waterfalls of Grunasi. In the afternoon we will walk to Ndërlysë Village, spend some time by the water photographing both the people and landscape in and around the village.

Dinner is at the guesthouse.

Overnight in the Hotel


Day 05

Theth – Koman – Fierza – Gjakova (Kosovo)

(By surface 126 Kms, by ferry 03 Hrs, by surface approx. 54 Kms/01 Hrs)

Early morning we depart from Theth as we make our way toward Kosovo. We take the ferry to Fierze (Kukes), a town in the northeastern part of Albania. Passing through the mountains of the “Grand Canyon of Europe” created by the Drini River, the route reveals the wild beauty of the Albanian Alps to our photographers’ eyes. We will have the opportunity to take numerous pictures of unique views of the beautiful surrounding landscape and the lake.

Stopping in Fierza, we have lunch in one of the nearby villages before we proceed to Gjakova, check-in your hotel, in the center of the old town and then photograph the traditional ottoman urban landscape with its bazaar, kula, mosques and Bektashi (Sufi) tekkes, also called lodges.

Over dinner we will meet with a person intimately involved in the reconstruction of the old town after the bombing by the Serbians in 1999 or alternatively, dinner will be organized with the City Mayor of Gjakova, the only women mayor in all Kosovo and discuss the problems of a post-war Kosovo and her challenges as mayor – practice your photojournalistic “photo opps”.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 06

Gjakova – Decani – Gjakova

(By surface approx. 20 Kms/ a half hour)

After breakfast we drive to Dečani, a UNESCO-listed Serbian monastery, where we will meet with an English-speaking monks and spend time photographing the monastery.

Lunch in Dečani with a local family at their traditional house will also be a very interesting cultural and photographic experience. Returning to Gjakova, we will have free time to walk around the old town to find many opportunities to capture images including the hospitable babbas at two Sufi tekkes, the old quarter’s bazaar and the craftspeople.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 07

Gjakova – Prizren – Skopje (Macedonia)

(By surface approx. 135 Kms/02 Plus Hrs)

After breakfast, depart for Prizren, a charming town in southern Kosovo where we will spend the morning walking through the photogenic, narrow streets up to the top of the castle to find breathtaking pictures. Then we return to the town center and visit the League of Prizren House, an intimate museum dedicated to the Albanian independence movement. We will also stop for a private tour and discussion at the Bajrakli Gazi Mehmet Pasha’s Mosque, the most beautiful mosque in Prizren, with one of the local worshipers there.

After lunch in the city center, we will continue our drive to the capital of Macedonia, Skopje, arriving in time to take pictures of the central plaza’s wild spectacle of huge, flood lit monuments and statuary and take in the wonderful, evening ambiance of the city center.

Overnight in the Hotel


Day 08

Skopje – Stobi – Bitola – Ohrid

(By surface approx. 244 Kms/03 plus Hrs)

After breakfast we depart for Ohrid, the Jerusalem of Macedonia, so called for the many churches and monasteries there. The town faces Lake Ohrid, the oldest lake in the Balkans, around 7 million years old and listed as a UNESCO world Heritage site.

On the way there, we will stop and take photographs at the ancient archeological site of Stobi, Macedonia’s most important archeological site. Along our way we will stop again this tome in Bitola, noted for its unique, old and preserved architecture. The beautiful balconies, many architectural details and the usage of rich ornamentation of Bitola are all wonderful for photography. Until 1912 many European Consulates where located in Bitola, earning it the name, City of Consuls.

We will finish our day with arrival and then dinner in Ohrid, accompanied by an entertaining folk performance. Afterwards we will visit with and photograph the performers as well as share a drink.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 09

Ohrid – St Naum – Korce (Albania)

(By surface approx.77 Kms/02 Hrs)

After breakfast, we’ll tour the heart of Ohrid’s old city on foot, visit Samoil’s fortress, and relax at the lake front to people watch, enjoy a coffee and get some interesting portraits. Then we take the van along the winding lakeside road to St, Naum, a famous monastery at the southern end of the lake where we will enjoy lunch and if the weather allows aboat ride along the lakeshore).

Continuing on to Korce, we will explore a local bazaar operated principally by Roma people the Gypsies of Europe. This will be another photographic highlight. For those who are interested, we can visit a local specialty bar, Mesonjetja, once we arrive in Korce, to sample different types of Korce’s reknown, locally produced raki, which is a distilled liquor made from various types of fruit.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 10

Korçe – Përmet

(By surface approx. 130 Kms/03 Hrs)

Late morning we will depart from Korça, driving through pictureasquue southern highlands, via Erseke and the Barmash Pass to Permeti. We will stop en route to have a simple tasty lunch of lamb on a skewer and raki with a local southern Albanian family, taking pictures as we go. Continuing on to Permet, we will stop and see local ladies making gliko, a jam type preserve made out of green walnuts.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 11

Përmet – Gjirokastra – Saranda (Butrint)

(By surface approx. 135 Kms/03 Hrs)

After breakfast depart for Gjirokastra, UNESCO site and the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, Albania’s communist leader who turned Albania into the “ North Korea of Europe” for almost 40 years. On the way, we will visit the village of Erind and taste Lakro, a local specialty. Then continue towards Gjirokastra and enjoy photographing the Ottoman architecture of the town. Next we visit Lazarat village, the so called Albanian ‘Capital of Marijuana’. From the late 90s until very recently, Lazarat earned its fame by refusing to recognize the government’s authority. It’s peak yearly marijuana production is estimated to have been around 4 billion euros. We will talk with and take pictures of the local townspeople.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 12

Butrint and surrounding villages

After breakfast we depart towards Butrint, UNESCO site, it is said to be the resurrected city of Troy. After a short tour we will visit the village of Shendelli, inhabited by people who came from northern Albania to escape inter-family blood feuds. The local women going about their daily activities will make fore terrific photo subjects.

On our way back to our base in Butrint we will make a stop Mursi to see tangerine plantations and photograph the workers pruning the trees and gathering the fruit. We’ll take a coffee break at the Blue Eye, a small, magnificently colored mineral spring frequented by the locals.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 13

Butrint – Saranda – Himara – Llogara

(By surface approx. 101 Kms/01 plus Hrs)

Leaving the hotel we drive south along the Albanian Riviera which offers spectacular scenery along the Ionian Coast. We break for coffee at the “Waterfall Bar”, a popular and photogenic, local hangout.

We will stop to take in the picturesque Porto Palermo castle built by Ali Pasa of Tepelene in honor of his beautiful wife Vasiliki. After lunch at Himara restaurant, we make a stop to see local bee keepers in their daily work.

Dining along the coast we will also take evening pictures of the townspeople and their village.

Overnight in the Hotel

Day 14

Llogara – Apollonia – Berat – Tirana

(By surface approx. 249 Kms/04 Hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel we travel towards Berat, the city of 1001 windows. In the Mangalem quarter we will be able to photograph the old ottoman neighborhood ad its cobblestone streets. Moving on to Berat castle, we will be able capture images of its famous small orthodox chapels and and its icon museum, where we will talk with the curator there. Inside the castle, stop in at the very local and unmarked Plaku Restaurant and enjoy spending time with the proprietor’s wife and her daughter, taking pictures while she cooks a rustic, multi – course lunchtime meal and explains the time honored dishes she is preparing. This is a great opportunity for food photography. Be sure to bring your appetite, as the courses just keep coming!

Overnight in the Hotel


Day 15

Depart Tirana

On time transfer to the International airport to connect with flight to International destinations.






Rogner Hotel
Rupa’s Guesthouse
B, L, D
Çarshia e Jupajve Hotel
B, L, D
Alexander Palace Hotel
B, L, D
Metropol Lake Resort Hotel
B, L, D
The Life Gallery Hotel
B, L, D
Alvera Hotel
B, L, D
Butrinti Hotel
B, L, D
Alpin Resort Hotel
B, L, D
Rogner Hotel
B, L, D

Prices depend on dates, travel season and number of travelers.

Let’s talk soon about a photo tour customized for you and fellow travelers: 415-331-3791 or 800-403-7190 (USA/Canada)

Email us directly: A Different Perspective

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A deposit of $625.00 per person is required along with the Booking Form and the below signed Terms/Conditions Agreement Form to confirm a space on this tour. If there are two travelers on one form, the person signing assumes full financial responsibility.

Deposit Per Person: $625.00

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