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Tirana

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Korce

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Sarande

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Gjirokaster

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Tirana
The capital, with a population of over half a million and growing more cosmopolitan, with new restaurants, shops, and galleries joining the almost surrealist pastiche of testaments to the city’s past. Here, eras collide. We’ll visit Skanderbeg Square, recently renovated with new fountains and rosy granite paving, and home to an 18th-century mosque and minaret, a domed Albanian Orthodox church, a set of government buildings that echo the fascist architecture of Mussolini’s Italy and a Brutalist monolith that houses the National Historical Museum. We'll see the newly opened Secret Surveillance Museum and Bunk’Art, Dictator Hoxha’s five-story underground nuclear bunker.

We’ll spend the first two nights at the centrally located Rogner, an extremely comfortable hotel with a pool and spa.


Korce
Known as the Paris of Albania, Korce is a beloved city of cobblestone streets, high hills, historic spice and food bazaars, and plenty of busy bars and cafes. Renowned for its exceptional cuisine Korce has a laid-back atmosphere with culturally significant architecture and museums. We’ll spend time on personal assignments in and around the city, where the old meets the new. This is where my family lives, so a favorite destination.

We'll spend three nights in a lovely, central hotel with ample time to create, discuss, make excursions.


Voskopoje
While based in Korce we'll visit the beautiful, high mountain village of Voskopoja, known for its spectacular post-Byzantine-style churches with floor-to-ceiling icon paintings.  We’ll dine at a  mountain restaurant with some of the best traditional food in the country.


Permet
Heading west we’ll visit the stunning natural landscape of Permet and head straight to the Benja thermal pools. This region is known for national parks and beautiful green valleys--as well as Raki, the moonshine of Albania! This day is yours to spend as you wish. We’ll conclude with an evening group critique/discussion.

Lodging for one night in a traditional inn.


Gijirokastra
Famed for its intricate, fortress-like Ottoman mansions, and known as the birthplace of both dictator Enver Hoxha and Albania's most influential writer, Ismail Kadare, Gjirokaster is also a spectacular stone UNESCO world heritage city. You can discover the maze of cobblestoned steets, visit the ethnographic museum in Hoxha's birth house, and climb to the towering castle. Before leaving, we'll make a stop at Antigonea, the ancient city dedicated to love.

Lodging for one night in a traditional inn.


Sarande
Our last day and night will be spent in this Mediterranean town known for its deep blue waters, stunning natural environment, and historic significance. Given its location we can swim in both the Mediterranean and Ionian seas! 

Lodging for one night in a seaside hotel


Our trip ends here with a variety of transport options (ferry to Corfu, 8 miles away, with an international airport; or transport back to Tirana, or Rinas airport). Travel help will be given once you book. 

This workshop will be lead by Elena and a native Albanian guide. Each day you’ll meet and photograph local artisans and craftspeople—including small batch distillers and regional chefs. We’ll travel through picturesque villages of cultural and archeological significance as we make our way through this unimaginably beautiful country.  

Price: $4,150

Communist Era Poster

Includes single accommodations for eight nights; breakfast and lunch daily and four group dinners; activities and entrance fees for everything on the itinerary; airport arrival transportation; in-country guides; in-country ground transportation.

Not included: Airfare to Albania, additional meals and recommended trip cancellation/travel insurance.

Click here for more of what’s included—and what’s not. When you sign up for the tour you will be sent links and details of all our stops and accommodations.

ITINERARY 3

Cultural Heritage, Natural Beauty

9 Days: September 16 - September 24, 2022