From: 97 EUR
Tour ID EL01
– Departure time: 08:00
– Pick up from selected hotels in Tirana
– Off-Road Experience in the hinterlands of Tirana
– Guided visit of Elbasan
Tirana is surrounded by 12 castles. Different trade routes connect them with each other and with the main road Durrës – Tiranë – Dibër which has been used since the 4th century BC. These routes wind their way through the green belt of mountains and hills surrounding Tirana.
Elbasan lies close to a junction of the two branches of the Via Egnatia – one of the most important trade routes of the Roman Empire which connected the Adriatic coast with Byzantium. By the fourth century AD, this place had grown into a real city protected by a substantial Roman fortress with towers.
In 1466, the abandoned ancient city was reconstructed under Sultan Mehmet II, and a massive four-sided castle with three gates was built over the ruins of the roman castle.
The guide will pick you up at your accommodation to start the tour. Today we will drive on one of the ancient trade routes connecting Tirana with its surroundings. At first, you will head to the hinterlands to the East of Tirana. Leaving the asphalt, the drive follows a gravel road along the slopes of the “Mali me Gropa” Mountain. After passing the village of “Shën Mëri”, it turns to the south on an old cobblestone trade route. Not much is left of the old road, the cobblestones have almost disappeared, but it is still passable by 4×4 vehicles.
We will drive through dense forests, small fields and lakes, until we reach the mining town of Letan. From there the drive continues up to Elbasan.
The visit of Elbasan starts with a walk through the main promenade. We will visit the Bezistan Basilika, built in the 5th century A.D.
Then we will enter the Castle of Elbasan. Unlike other fortifications in Albania it is built on a field, and not on a mountain or hill. A very interesting monument which lies inside the castle is the King’s Mosque, built during the Ottoman period. Next to the mosque lies the Orthodox Church of St. Mary, built during 1483 – 1556. There lie some amazing frescoes painted by Onufri, one of the most famous Albanian painters.
A Byzantine castle, a mosque, an Orthodox church: all in one site. Not only an amazing example of religious coexistence, but a perfect setting to have a traditional lunch.
Transfer to Tirana in the afternoon.
The price includes:
Off road tour with a 4×4 vehicle
Transfer back to Tirana
Accompaniment by an English-speaking guide
Guided visit of Elbasan
Traditional lunch in Elbasan
The price does not include:
Any type of insurance
Other expenses not mentioned in the program
This is a private tour. It starts and ends in Tirana. We will pick you up from your hotel or another location in Tirana on request. Return to original departure point.
As this is a private tour, we can start it earlier or later on request. Please contact us prior to booking if you would like to change the start time.
If you are accommodated outside of Tirana or in another city, we can pick you up against additional charge, enabling your participation in the travel (distance permitting).
Not wheelchair or stroller accessible
Not recommended for pregnant travellers
Nor recommended for travellers with heart problems or other serious medical conditions
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
What you need to bring:
Comfortable shoes for traveling and sightseeing
Reusable water bottles (at least 1 litre in total)
Any prescription medication you might need
Passport or ID
Free cancelation: 48 hours before the experience’s start time