Cultural Heritage, Natural Beauty
9 Days: May 19 - 27, 2023
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.
Berat is a charming and beloved city as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A striking feature is the collection of white Ottoman houses that dot the hills to the castle. Berat is surrounded by mountains, and locals flock to the outdoor cafes lining the Osum river that runs through the city.
Lodging for one night in a centrally located hotel
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, like lakror--spinach and cheese pie whose recipe has been passed down through generations. 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.
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.
We'll spend three nights in Korce in a lovely, central hotel with ample time to create, discuss, make excursions and book layouts.
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 hotel on the main square.
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 fantastic hotel high above the city
This itinerary includes creating and producing your own softcover magazine. Each day we’ll shoot and make time for editing and sequencing pictures, with one-on-one guidance. Your unique publication will be ready to print once you are home. In addition to photography, all creative endeavors are supported including filmmaking and painting/drawing.
Includes single accommodations for eight nights; breakfast daily and six group dinners; activities and entrance fees for everything on the itinerary; airport pick-up; in-country guides; in-country ground transportation.
Not included: airfare, additional meals and alcohol, 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.
Dan, Double exposure