South Albania Guided TourAlbania & North Macedonia
This 14-day private Albania guided tour will showcase the beautiful south of the country, and dips into North Macedonia for a two-night stay in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ohrid
From £1,260 per person
Based on 06 travellers sharing 03 Double or Twin rooms. Payable in GBP, USD or euro. Your money is held in a UK trust account administered by Protected Trust Services, and is released to us only when your tour begins.
Please read our Covid-19 cancellation policy in our Terms & Conditions.
South Albania Guided Tour Highlights
Relax for a two nights in Ohrid, North Macedonia • Discover Albania’s UNESCO cities of Berat and Gjirokastra • Get off the beaten track in remote Mokra and Kurvelesh • Swim in the Ionian Sea • Explore the atmospheric ruins of Butrint • Enjoy a wine tasting (or two) • Soak in the sulphur springs at Benjë
South Albania Guided Tour in Brief
Our South Albania Guided Tour takes you to the key cultural cities of Korça, Berat and Gjirokastra, as well as dipping into North Macedonia for a two-night stay in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ohrid. We also get away from standard Albanian tour itineraries, taking you to two more remote and little-known spots – the mountains of Mokra and the dramatic canyons of Kurvelesh.
Although we travel at a relaxed pace and have designed this tour to have reasonable drive times, there are two longer days – Mokra to Ohrid and Korça to Përmet. However, the scenery on both days is truly spectacular so we don’t think you’ll get bored…
We’ve scheduled in downtime along the way, at Ohrid, Gjirokastra and the Albanian Riviera. We can of course tweak the itinerary if required – you might prefer to swap the Riviera for hiking in Zagoria valley, or to add another cultural destination.
You’ll be escorted by one of our friendly and experienced drivers, with local guides to show you the cities and sites along the way.
The Drive Albania Difference
We live and work in Albania, and are travelling the western Balkan region constantly. Our tours are designed with the latest on-the-ground knowledge, and combine the most interesting destinations with the most beautiful routes.
Our itineraries are designed to have realistic drive times – we don’t think anyone wants to spend all day in a car. This allows us to travel at a relaxed pace, and where possible we avoid over-developed towns and cities and instead focus on more traditional spots.
We choose drivers and guides with big personalities and great language skills – our thinking is that if you’re travelling together for a week or more you’ll appreciate being able to have a decent conversation.
South Albania Guided Tour Information & Prices
Day 01: Arrive Tirana. Overnight Shijak
We’ll be waiting to pick you up at the airport. It’s a short drive to our first overnight stop, a restaurant-with-rooms recently opened by chef Fundim Gjepali (one of the country’s finest). Here we can relax with a glass or two of local wine in relaxed rural surroundings.
Day 02: Shijak to Mokra
We’ll begin the tour with a relaxed drive south, taking small backroads through unspoiled countryside. As we progress the scenery will gradually get more mountainous and dramatic, before we arrive at our destination, a remote but very comfortable farm with log cabins in Albania’s wild Mokra region. Here we can go hiking or horse riding, or just take in the views.
Day 03: Mokra to Ohrid
The longest drive of the tour will bring us to Lake Prespa, where we’ll take a boat ride to mysterious Snake Island. After pausing for lunch we’ll cross into North Macedonia, driving the spectacular road through Galičica National Park from Lake Prespa to Lake Ohrid. With a couple of detours along the way, we should arrive in the early evening – just in time to take a beer by the lake, or even a short boat ride at sunset.
Day 04: Ohrid
A day to explore Ohrid. It’s possible to make a day trip to nearby Bitola, too, if you’re feeling full of beans.
Day 05: Ohrid to Korça
An easy drive this morning, as we loop around Lake Ohrid and continue south to possibly our favourite Albanian city, Korça. Until recently it was more or less cut off from the rest of Albania due to the poor state of the roads, but now it’s definitely connected, and previously dilapidated buildings have been brought back to life. We’ll pay a visit to the unmissable Museum of Medieval Arts, and wander its cobbled streets before ending the day with a beer in the lively bazaar.
Day 06: Korça to Përmet
You’ve already been spoiled with scenery, but today might just be the most beautiful drive of the tour. It’s too far to attempt to reach Gjirokastra in one go from Korça, so we’ll break the journey in sleepy little Përmet. But before checking into our hotel we’ll detour to the sulphur springs at nearby Benjë, for a well-earned soak. Përmet itself is famed for both the quality of its cuisine and also its raki – we’ll be sure to sample both.
Day 07: Përmet to Kurvelesh
A much shorter drive today, but with plenty of options for detours. We’ll pass through the famous Këlcyrë Pass, which has been a battleground since before recorded history, before climbing up into the mountains of Kurvelesh. Here we’ll be staying at a very simple guesthouse perched on the edge of a huge canyon system. The views are out of this world, and it’s possible to hike down to the bottom of the canyon (though the path is very steep). In the evening our hosts will prepare a delicious home-cooked meal for us.
Day 08: Kurvelesh to Gjirokastra
We’ve a short drive to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Gjirokastra, but there are plenty of detours to make along the way. We’ll arrive in the early afternoon, giving us time to wander its cobbled streets and visit the huge castle, built by Ali Pasha of Lord Byron fame in the Napoleonic era.
Day 09: Gjirokastra to Riviera
We can make a relaxed start to the day, and spend more time in Gjirokastra if required. Whenever we’re ready we’ll hit the road, taking a winding route through the mountains to the Ionian coast. Along the way we’ll stop at the Sryi i Kalter (Blue Eye Spring) and of course the atmospheric ruins of Butrint. We’ll reach our next stop, a small village on the Albanian Riviera, in the early evening. Time to enjoy a glass of wine as the sun goes down.
Day 10: Riviera
A day to relax by the beach, or to explore the villages of the Riviera.
Day 11: Riviera to Berat
Our journey continues as we push on northwards, to our third UNESCO World Heritage City, Berat. This Ottoman town has a laid-back vibe all its own and not much happens here. Certainly don’t expect crazy nightlife – everyone seems to be in bed by ten o’clock. We happen to be in one of Albania’s best wine regions, so a tasting (or two) can be arranged with advance notice. We’ll be sure to be on the main boulevard by sundown, though, as seemingly the whole town turns out for the nightly xhiro (promenade).
Day 12: Berat to Tirana
We’ve plenty of time this morning to explore Berat, if we didn’t yesterday. Whenever we’re ready we’ll make a move, driving the backroads north to Tirana. There are of course plenty of optional detours along the way. Before checking into our central Tirana hotel we’ll pay a visit to the huge and “secret” nuclear bunker on the outskirts of town, Bunk’Art.
Day 13: Tirana
A day to explore Tirana on foot. It’s not a huge place, but there’s a lot going on! In the evening we’ll take you to one of our favourite restaurants, Mulllixhiu, for a farewell meal. Chef Bledar Kola is gaining an international reputation for his innovative take on Albanian cuisine.
Day 14: Depart Tirana TBC
We’ll get you to the airport in time for your flight!
Spring / Autumn (01 April – 15 June & 16 Sep – 31 Oct)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £1,990 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £2,290 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £1,690 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £1,890 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £1,490 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £1,790 per person
05 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms + 01 Single rooms – £1,390 per person
05 travellers in 05 Single rooms – £1,590 per person
06 travellers in 03 Double or Twin rooms – £1,260 per person
06 travellers in 06 Single rooms – £1,560 per person
Summer (16 June – 15 September)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £0,000 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £0,000 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £0,000 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
05 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms + 01 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
05 travellers in 05 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
06 travellers in 03 Double or Twin rooms – £0,000 per person
06 travellers in 06 Single rooms – £0,000 per person
SUV-style vehicle with AC and Green Card border insurance; minivan for larger groups
Fuel & road tolls
Local guides in Ohrid, Korça, Gjirokastra, Butrint, Berat & Tirana
Accommodation as indicated
All breakfasts; 04 x evening meals (Shijak; Mokra; Kurvelesh; Tirana)
Personal travel insurance
Meals unless indicated
Museum & attraction entrance tickets
Please read our full Terms & Conditions before booking.
Our South Albania Guided Tour is ideal for spring and autumn, when temperatures are pleasant and the summer crowds absent. However, it can easily be run in high summer, or even in mid-winter, with minor adaptations.
Our South Albania Guided Tour can be customised very easily. For instance, if a full day on the beach doesn’t appeal we can add an extra destination inland without issues. There are countless options, so treat this is a starting point and together we can create the perfect tour for you.
We stay in comfortable en suite accommodation throughout. However, in Kurvelesh the bathrooms are shared. Alternative accommodation can be arranged if this isn’t for you!
Shijak – Agroturizem Gjepali
Mokra – Comfortable Log Cabins
Ohrid – My Grandparent’s House
Korça – Bujtina e Bardhe
Përmet – Hotel Villa Përmet
Gjirokastra – Hotel Praga
Kurvelesh – Village Homestay
Riviera – 3* Beachside Hotel
Berat – Hotel Onufri
Tirana – Sarajevo Art Hotel
We’ll get around to writing this part one day, we’re sure. In the meantime, you can read our A-Z Albania Travel Guide to get an idea of what it’s like to travel here.
Doesn't Hit The Spot?
If our South Albania Guided Tour isn’t quite what you’re looking for, don’t worry. We can customise it around your interests. So if you want some beach time, hiking, or more cultural exploration, just let us know and we’ll put together something that works for you.
Book With Confidence - We Offer Full Financial Protection
As a UK-registered company, we have to comply with tough consumer-protection legislation. That's why we're proud to be members of Protected Trust Services. When you pay for your holiday, your money will be held in a British HSBC trust account administered by the independent PTS trustees. We only receive payment once the tour is run, so in the unlikely event of our going bust or your not being satisfied with the tour, your money is safe. To read more about how the process works, please visit the PTS website