Walking Albania Tour code: ALWTour style: Classic ExploreTour comfort: StandardTrek grade: Easy to ModerateTOURDURATION8DA...
1Overnight Standard HotelWalking AlbaniaExplore the mysteries of Albania on this scenic trekking holiday. The highlight of...
2Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast3Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast4Overnight Standard ...
Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner8Included meals: BreakfastTour ends KrujaThe tour ends in...
Guideline Local CostsUK AlbaniaTea/Coffee £1.50 £0.70Soft Drink £1.50 £0.90Bottled Water £1.50 £0.50Bottle of Beer £3.50 £...
Vaccinations & ProtectionWe recommend protection against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and tetanus. Rabies vaccination is re...
Need help on Clothing or Equipment?Then we suggest you contact Nomad Travel, our equipment partner, who specialise in kitt...
Booking your tourPeace of mind - book with confidenceYou can book your Explore holiday with confidence, as all monies paid...
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Explore albania walking tour notes 8 days

  1. 1. Walking Albania Tour code: ALWTour style: Classic ExploreTour comfort: StandardTrek grade: Easy to ModerateTOURDURATION8DAYSTour Highlights - 2013/14 Standard ItineraryKruja - Visit the bazaar and the strategic fortress of Skanderbeg, Albaniasnational heroAlbanian Alps - Rural villages, traditional cultures and some of the mostspectacular landscapes in the country, explore the Thethi Valley and hikethe ‘Mutton Path’Llogora National Park - Enjoy stunning vistas of the Llogora Pass,Karaburuni Peninsula and the Ionic coastTirana - Hike up to the Black Cave of PellumbasTour EssentialsAccommodation: 2 nights Simple GuestHouse, 5 nightsStandard HotelIncluded Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 3Dinners, 2 LunchesTour starts in: Vlora (day 1)Tour ends in: Tirana (day 8)Transport: BusCountries: AlbaniaThe Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/71
  2. 2. 1Overnight Standard HotelWalking AlbaniaExplore the mysteries of Albania on this scenic trekking holiday. The highlight of thetrip will be the little visited north of the country where we trek in the stunning‘Albanian Alps’ region. We also walk along dramatic coastlines in Llogora NationalPark. As well as scenic walks, we will visit several traditional coastal villages andhistorical and cultural monuments.We walk for 5 days for 4 to 5 hours each day. Most walks are on well-definedfootpaths and some dirt tracks. We have graded this tour as easy to moderate.Albania’s infrastructure for tourism is still developing. You must come prepared forpoor road conditions, possible electricity shortages and some basicaccommodation.SuitabilityWeve given each of our tours a comfort rating and a tour pace, walking or cyclinggrade to give you a general idea about the level of activity on each tour and thestandard of accommodation you will be staying in at the end of your daysadventure.Often youll stay in different styles of accommodation during your tour; so we makean average rating across the entire tour. For more information on where youll stayeach night, please refer to the day by day tour itinerary.Tour style: Classic ExplorePacked with adventure, these tours offer inspiring destinations and authentic travelexperiences at a reasonable price. Using all kinds of transport and accommodation,we’ll take you off the beaten track to discover the true heart of the people andplaces you visit.Comfort rating: StandardOur mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with otheramenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms willbe comfortable with en-suite facilities.Trek Grade: Easy to ModerateShort to medium duration walks, around 4 to 7 hours per day. Most routes are at lowaltitude and on undemanding terrain. Expect occasional ascents and descents of upto 800 metres per day. You do not need previous experience but should bemoderately active and fit.Your tour itineraryWhile our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day route as printed below, a degreeof flexibility is built into the itinerary. Overnight stops may vary from thosesuggested.Your Tour LeaderA Tour Leader is an integral part of any Explore tour and your tour will be led by oneof our experienced tour leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained.We believe that our Tour Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they arepassionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which theylove to share. Your tour Leader will also take care of all the planning andorganisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this tourfun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you’re travelling alone orwith others.Tour starts in VloraJoin tour in Vlora and check-in at the hotel. Vlora is the point where the Adriatic Seameets the Ionian, depending on your arrival time you may have some time toexplore on your own today.The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/72
  3. 3. 2Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast3Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast4Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast5Overnight Simple Guest House Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner6Overnight Simple Guest House Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner7Drive to Llogora National Park; afternoon walk on the Karaburuni PeninsulaThis morning we will have a short time in the centre of Vlora to see the Monument of Indepence and Muradi Mosque before drivingtowards the waters of the Adriatic, and the landscapes of Llogora National Park. We then take a walk through the forest, along a trailthat starts just beside our hotel. Following a well trodden path we climb to the Qafa e Thelle (Deep Pass), negotiating our way throughdense pine forests towards the wild beauty of the Karaburuni Peninsula. In the afternoon there is the opportunity of an additional shortwalk to Caesars Pass before returning to the hotel for the evening.Hike to Dhjopuri Pass, afternoon visit to Dhermi VillageFollowing a short drive to the Llogora Pass we begin our morning’s walk up to the Dhjopuri Pass, a 600m ascent that provides us withsome great views of the mountains and the coast. At the end of the hike we meet up with our bus to drive on to the village of Dhermi,nestling among the rocky slopes of the Ceraunian Mountains. Taking in its lovely old houses and orthodox churches, we then head tothe beach for the afternoon, before making our way back to the hotel later this evening.Drive to Tirana, afternoon hike to Pellumbas CaveToday we head for Tirana, the capital city of Albania. En route we will stop for a short visit at the Monastery of Ardenica. Often referredto as The Castle of Myzeqe, it is an orthodox site, and the only inhabited monastery in Albania. It is believed that its beginnings dateback to about the 10th Century and that Skanderbeg, the Albanian national hero was married at the St. Triadha Church, in May of1451. This afternoon we then hike up to the Black Cave of Pellumbas, a four hour walk that takes us to a large cave (used also as aprehistoric settlement) lying in the rural hills above Tirana.Drive to the Albanian AlpsAfter breakfast we leave the city and head north, driving towards the mountain village of Thethi deep in the heart of the AlbanianAlps. Our journey takes us by way of Shkodra, and continues on to the picturesque village of Boga, spectacularly situated amongsta ring of 2000 metre peaks. We then drive over the Qafa e Thores (Diagonal Pass) to our traditional village guesthouse in the centreof Thethi National Park. This afternoon we start walking the Mutton Pass (1830m) and pass by the Shepherds Kraal before reachingthe Thore Pass (1676m). During this walk we can enjoy the views which take in the expanse of the Thethi Valley and peaks of the‘Bjeshket e Naumna’ (Accursed Mountains). Here we will be transferred back to our guest house by minibus Please note that the guesthouse has shared facilities.Exploring the Thethi ValleyHeading out of the village this morning we pay a visit to the church and the Kulla e Ngujimit, an old ‘lock-in tower’ that dates back toa time when blood feuds blighted these Albanian highlands. This region is still isolated enough to provide a haven for wild boar, bearand eagles and, as we head past a waterfall and into the Grunasi Canyon, we pass by the remains of ancient bronze aged terraces.After stopping for lunch in a local house, we then walk through the beautiful alpine landscapes of the Kaprea Valley before headingback to Thethi.Drive to Kruja via ShkodraToday we drive through the Boga Valley back to Shkodra where we visit the Rozafa Castle and enjoy views out across Shkodra Lake.We have lunch by the lake where there is a possibility of taking a dip. We then continue our journey onto to Kruja. This afternoon wevisit Kruja’s impressive castle, dramatically perched on the cliffs above the town with views out across the surrounding countrysidetowards the Adriatic. We also visit the Ethnographic Museum, the Skanderbeg Museum and the Dollma tekke (Sufi church) beforeenjoying dinner at one of the castle’s panoramic restaurants.The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/73
  4. 4. Overnight Standard Hotel Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner8Included meals: BreakfastTour ends KrujaThe tour ends in Kruja after breakfast.Accommodation and MealsAccommodation RatingAn important feature of many Explore tours is the wide range of accommodation used, and since the beginning our philosophy hasbeen to select accommodation to suit the itinerary - not the other way round. To help gauge the comfort level on your chosen tour,we have graded the accommodation standards at all night-stops using the rating guide below. Please keep in mind however thatstandards can vary from one trip to the next, and occasionally we may need to change a night-stop without advance warning.Simple - These are often small, family run establishments or campsites which provide a no-frills experience with adequate amenitiesand service standards. Sleeping arrangements are simple, sometimes with en suite facilities.Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, gardenor swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.Booking a Single RoomAll of our tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellerssharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation.Please note that a single room is available on all night stops except for the nights in Thethi.Please refer to our website for single room option prices for this tour.Food & DrinkIncluded Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners, 2 Lunches included in the price of this tour. Please be prepared to pay for non-includedmeals. Please note that costs for drinks and meals can vary depending on location and the prices below are given as a rough guidefor budgeting.Budgeting for your tourYou will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs anditems of a personal nature such as laundry.TippingLocal Crew: Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look tomembers of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leadersmay organise a group’s tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.Local Staff: Accordingly, you should allow approx. €20 for tipping.Tour Leader: At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service youreceive.Foreign ExchangeUp-to-date information on global exchange rates can be obtained at www.oanda.comLocal Currency: Albania: Albanian Lek.Recommended Currency for Exchange: Sterling, US Dollars and Euros cash is widely accepted in bureaux de change in majortowns and cities. Most transactions in Albania are done on a strictly cash only basis using the Lek.Where to Exchange: Bureaux de change in major towns and cities.ATM Availability: Most larger towns.Credit Card Acceptance: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Albania.Travellers Cheques: Travellers cheques are not widely accepted in Albania, though you should take some as a back-up in case ofemergencies.The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/74
  5. 5. Guideline Local CostsUK AlbaniaTea/Coffee £1.50 £0.70Soft Drink £1.50 £0.90Bottled Water £1.50 £0.50Bottle of Beer £3.50 £1.002 Course Meal* £15.00 £4.003 Course Meal** £20.00 £6.00Bottle of Wine £14.50 £3.50Breakfast £5.00*Cheap local fare in a small cafe or restaurant.**Typical food in a simple, reasonably comfortable mid-range restaurant.Joining your tourYou are able to book this tour on a ‘land only’ basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protectedby the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.Booking a land only package with ExploreFor passengers making their own travel arrangements, please ensure you join the group as described on day one of the tour itinerary.If you are considering purchasing your own airline tickets, you can book these through any travel agent, directly with an airline orthrough an online flight consolidator. In all cases, we would be happy to arrange transfers to and from the joining point of your tour ifrequired.Clients booked on ‘Land Only’ arrangements should make their own way to the joining point. Please refer to separate ‘JoiningInstructions’ for time and place of rendezvous with tour leaderBooking a flight inclusive package with ExploreWe have a huge selection of competitive flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us tocompare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the bestflight options to your arrival and departure airport to ensure you get the very best priced flight at all times.On our website we do display a UK flight inclusive package price which is usually based on a London departure. To avoid payingsupplements or to secure the best available fare for your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible,especially for peak travel dates.Group Travel from LondonPassengers with non-group flights booked through Explore should refer to their individual confirmation invoice for flight details.Transfers to and from the airport are not included unless purchased in addition to the tour package.8 days/7 nights Tour including Connecting Group Flights London-Tirana-LondonDepart London to arrive in Tirana the same day (day 1 of Land Only itinerary).Return from Tirana (day 8 of Land Only itinerary) and arrive London the same day.Important informationTravel InsuranceIt is a condition of joining any of our tours that you must have valid travel insurance. It must indicate that you have cover for (atleast) medical expenses and emergency repatriation in the event of illness or injury. We also strongly recommend your policy includescancellation protection as all deposit paid are non-refundable.If you require travel insurance for your tour, Explore Worldwide is an appointed representative of Campbell Irvine Limited, who isauthorised and regulated by the Financial Services authority. Our travel insurance policy is specially tailored to the needs of theadventure traveller and will cover you for any included activity on any Explore trip. You can either purchase this at the time of bookingor call us 0844 499 0901 after you have booked.Visa RequirementsAll visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.For Albania entry visas are not required for UK, AUS, NZ, CAN, USA citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/75
  6. 6. Vaccinations & ProtectionWe recommend protection against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio and tetanus. Rabies vaccination is recommended by the Foreign andCommonwealth Office due to the large number of stray dogs in Albania. You should seek further advice from your travel clinic. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of eastern Europe, at specific times of theyear. Check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure.The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following theNHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.Know before you goWe strongly recommend that you check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about yourdestination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs, including advice re: the legality of and localattitudes towards same-sex relationships. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice follow the link at http://www.explore.co.uk/Traveladvice/Preparing for your tourAltitude: On TrekGradient ChartClimateAlbania has a mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers (ranging from 9–11 hours of sunshine a day in Tirana). Temperatures canreach up to 40°C in July. October to April is much cooler and can be wet. Albania is a mountainous country and the high peaks aresnow-capped all year.Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable. For up-to-date information on the weather worldwide please visit www.bbc.co.uk/weather.Packing for your tourTo assist with packing for your tour, we have detailed some of the essential items you should take with you.LuggageUnfortunately it does occasionally happen that luggage does not always reach its destination on the same flight as its owner, orpossibly it may be damaged in transit. If you are unlucky enough for this to occur, it is important that you file a PIR (PropertyIrregularity Report) with the airline before leaving the airport. This is essential when you come to make a claim either against theairline or from your travel insurance companyOne main piece of baggage and a daypack. Total allowance: 44lb/20kg. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggageso don’t overload yourself. Please bear in mind there are lots of stairs in Albania and no portarage in the hotels.Trek Kit BagFor an exclusively designed Explore Trek Bag, follow the relevant link at www.nomadtravel.co.uk/exploreClothingWeather is changeable in the mountains and it can be cool, especially at night, so bring a warmer jacket/fleece. A raincoat is essentialat all times in case of the odd shower. You should dress with respect in the rural villages so bring some long trousers. Dont forgetyour swimming costume.FootwearLightweight walking/trail boots for walking in and comfortable shoes or sandals for visiting the sites and towns.EquipmentTake a water bottle, a sun hat and suncream. A torch is useful in case of powercuts/emergencies.Personal First Aid KitFor an exclusively designed Explore Medical Kit, visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk/exploreThe Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/76
  7. 7. Need help on Clothing or Equipment?Then we suggest you contact Nomad Travel, our equipment partner, who specialise in kitting people out for adventurous travel.You receive a special 10% discount in-store or online. Visit one of their stores, phone 0845 260 0044, or visit their websitewww.nomadtravel.co.uk/explore for further information.General informationCountry infoArea: 28,748 sq km.Population: 3.6 million.Language: Albanian, Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects.Religion: Muslim (70%), Albanian Orthodox (20%), Roman Catholic (10%).Local Time: GMT +1.Electric Supply & Plugs: 220V with frequent and long lasting power cuts.Maps & BooksRecommended Books: Edith Durham: High Albania, Gjergj Fishta: The Highland Lute, Edward Knight: Albania: A Narrative of RecentTravelWhy choose ExploreWe’ve been creating award-winning pioneering adventure holidays for over 30 years, earning the trust of thousands of delightedcustomers, who feel safe in our hands. Our tour leaders have expert local knowledge and our tours are designed to take you off thebeaten track to see the most exotic, inspiring and dramatic places in the world.▪ With over 30 years experince, we are passionate about what we do.▪ Pioneering small group adventures & tailormade holidays.▪ Award winning tour leaders who you can trust.▪ Responsible travel is and always has been one the driving principles of Explore.Our adventure holidays are full of exciting things to see and do, exploring in small groups travelling by bus, boat, plane, rickshaw,camel, elephant, or any number of unusual forms of transport . Often you will stay in family run hotels and village houses and enjoyauthentic local cuisine. In this way, it’s easy to discover the true heart of the people and the place you travel to – and make somenew friends along the way. Each tour is uniquely different, so please feel free to browse through our tours to see what may whet yourappetite.Our commitment to the environmentWe are passionate about sustainable travel and work hard to create tours where your holiday delivers real benefits to the localcommunities. We minimise our impact by travelling in small groups, respecting local cultures and traditional, reducing waste andoffsetting 100% of the CO2 from our flights.When you travel with Explore, you are directly contributing to local economies and helping empower the people you meet. Wecurrently support a range of charities and good causes, including: The Sunshine Orphanage (which cares for abandoned children inLuxor, Egypt), Education for All (sponsoring children through their secondary education in Morocco), The Hope Foundation (helping anIndian Village to recover from the 2004 Tsunami) and the Mufindi Orphanage, which support AIDS orphans in Tanzania.We also care passionately about the world’s wildlife. We are patrons of the Born Free Organisation, Travel Operators for Tigers (helpingsave the Bengal Tiger from extinction) and Friends for Conservation. We have also adopted a beautiful Sri Lankan Elephant called‘Serendip’.We are delighted to have received a Five Star sustainable tourism status from the Association of Independent Tour Operators inrecognition of our on-going commitment to sustainable tourism.Carbon OffsetAs a responsible tour operator, we have included in our tour prices the costs of offsetting CO2 emissions fromall international and domestic flights forming part of the tour. Our chosen offset partner is Climate Care. If youare making independent flight arrangements to join one of our tours, may we urge you to take responsibilityfor your CO2 emissions by offsetting through Climate Care, or a similar offsetting scheme.Earth Matters• For years Albania cut itself off from the outside world. Our trip is designed to gain an insight into this fascinating land. In doing sowe interact closely with local people and work with an expert resident guide.• For further information on responsible travel go to http://www.explore.co.uk/ ResponsibleTourism/The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/77
  8. 8. Booking your tourPeace of mind - book with confidenceYou can book your Explore holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected. Explore is a fully bondedtour operator licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and by ABTOT.The air holiday packages (Tours including flights) that we advertise are ATOL protected, since we hold an Air Travel OrganisersLicence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2595. In addition, As a member of the Association of BondedTravel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), Explore has provided a bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, PackageHolidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. Please note that packages booked outside the UK are only protected when purchaseddirectly with Explore.Reserving your placeTo reserve your place on this tour you will need to check availability on the Explore website or through our dedicated call centre basedin the UK where you can. Our tours can fill up quickly so you are advised to book as early as possible. If your chosen date is ‘Available’or ‘Guaranteed’ we will be able to provisionally hold you a space for up to 48 hours.The easiest way to confirm your booking is through our website. When you are ready to book, we normally require a 10% non-refundable deposit, but for some holidays this may be more to cover such items as permit fees, internal flights or other non-refundableservices. If your travel starts within 60 days of booking, full payment will be required at the time of booking100% No Surcharge GuaranteeThe price paid for our holidays is no longer subject to change. Once booked and confirmed we will guarantee the price you pay will notincrease, whatever the circumstances. You will not be approached to pay fuel surcharges unlike the vast majority of other adventuretour operators. The price guarantee applies to all new bookings departing between 1st January 2012 and 31st December 2013.Tour Itinerary VersionsItinerary details may vary depending on departure date and alternative itineraries for this tour may exist. Please refer to the datesand prices page on our website to check which itinerary operates on each departure date.Please ensure that you have an up-to-date copy of these trip notes immediately before you travel, as from time to time our itinerariesmay be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. You will be informed of any major changesto your tour but small changes may just be added to these trip notes These trip notes were last updated onPlease note: 2010 itinerary versions are applicable to tours departing in 2010. 201/12 itinerary versions are applicable to toursdeparting from 1st January to 31st December 2011. For tours departing during 2012, itineraries may be subject to change and will beconfirmed by the publication of the 2012 brochure/s in Autumn 2011.These tour notes were last updated on 18/04/2013 12:19:18The Adventure Travel Experts available online 24/78