North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour09 Days - Albania & Kosovo
Our unique North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive tour combines spectacular mountain scenery with the region’s cultural highlights
From £381 per person
Based on 04 sharing 02 Double or Twin rooms.
Payment can be made 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.
North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour Highlights
• Cruise through the Albanian Alps on the Lake Koman ferry •
• Visit the extraordinary Serbian Orthodox monastery of Visoki Dečani •
• Hike Kosovo’s beautiful Rugova valley •
• Spend a night at restaurant-with-rooms Mrizi i Zanave •
• Walk the ramparts of Rozafa Castle in Shkodër •
• Enjoy a beer in Gjakova’s lively bazaar •
• Explore Prizren’s Ottoman backstreets •
• Drive the spectacular roads of Dibër region •
North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour in Brief
This 09-day tour from Tirana will take you through some truly spectacular landscapes, and includes overnight stays in cultural centres such as Prizren, Shkodër, Gjakova and Kruja.
We’ve included a two-night stop in the beautiful valley of Rugova, the eastern-most outcrop of the Dinaric Alp mountain range. Here you can hike, mountain bike, or even sample a zip line and via ferrata.
Our North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour also includes the epic Lake Koman ferry journey – widely regarded as one of the most beautiful inland ferry journeys in the world.
The tour passes through two of the Balkans’ best wine regions, Kallmet in north Albania and Rahovec in Kosovo, and you’ll spend one night at the acclaimed restaurant-with-rooms Mrizi i Zanave, just north of the village of Kallmet itself.
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 you to travel at a relaxed pace, and where possible we avoid over-developed towns and cities and instead focus on more traditional spots.
If given advance notice, we can arrange local guides along the way for you, as well as any activities the area you’re passing through has to offer, whether that be wine-tasting, zip-lining, horse riding or even a boat trip.
North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour – Overnights
This tour includes a two-night stay in the mountains of Rugova, Kosovo
This region in northeastern Albania has always been cut off from the rest of the country, due to poor road connections. All this changes in 2021, though, with the opening of the new Rruga Arberit road. Get there before everything changes! You can stay in a comfortable hotel in the regional capital, Peshkopi, or if you prefer in a simple village guesthouse (there are several to choose from). Be aware, Dibër is home to the region's highest peak, Mt Korabi (2,764m). The climb is not technical and can be undertaken by anyone with good fitness.
This sleepy village on a backroad between Shkodër and Lezhë is home to the acclaimed restaurant-with-rooms Mrizi i Zanave. Chef Altin Prenga has created something very special here. All the produce sold in the restaurant is grown locally - Altin reckons he's providing a livelihood for about 700 families in the area. A stay here is a highlight of any tour of northern Albania but please be aware, there are very few rooms, so availability can be an issue.
Gjakova competes with Prizren for the title of most charming Kosovar city. It's had a turbulent time over the past decades (it suffered hugely during the conflict of the late 1990s), but has bounced back and exudes youthful energy. We strongly recommend taking a tour with a local guide to gain some insight into Gjakova's history, but you can of course wander its Ottoman streets independently. Be sure to take a beer in the bazaar - after evening call-to-prayer it fills up with spectacularly beautiful young people (it must be something in the water).
Kruja has an extraordinary history - it was here that Albania's national hero, Skanderbeg, launched his rebellion against the Ottoman Turks. His memory is commemorated in a rather strange museum in the castle walls, but Kruja's main draw is its charming little bazaar, which is the best shopping opportunity in Albania. In the evening, be sure to dine on the terrace of Hotel Panorama's excellent restaurant - the views across to the Adriatic Sea are incredible.
Prizren is undoubtedly one of our all-time favourite Balkan cities (we spend a lot of time here!). It's a lively little place, particularly in summertime when the Kosovar diaspora returns home. Be sure to make the (steep) climb up to the fortress overlooking the city in time for evening call-to-prayer.
We love Rugova - this easterly outcrop of the Dinaric Alps is one of the region's best destinations for hiking. There are numerous marked trails, as well as a zip line and via ferrata. Even the drive up the valley from the town of Peja feels like an adventure. For accommodation, we generally use a small and very simple guesthouse with log cabins, but homestay options are available too.
The ancient city of Shkodër has been fought over for millennia, and in the 1400s was even graced with the presence of Sultan Mehmet II, conquerer of Constantinople (a few hundred soldiers in Rozafa Castle managed to hold him off). Today it's a bustling city, with a charming Italianate centre and, of course, the remains of the fortress that broke Mehmet's heart. Be sure to visit the fascinating Marubi Photographic Museum, and the Venice Art Mask Factory, which produces masks for the Venice Biennale.
North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour Information & Prices
We provide the specific itinerary for our North Albana & Kosovo Self Drive Tour on payment of the deposit. Detailed route information is provided once the balance is paid in full.
Sadly on more than one occasion in the past we’ve invested a lot of time and effort designing self-drive tours, only for our prospective clients to take our routes and then make the tour independently. The value we offer is in our knowledge of local road conditions, which allows us to create realistic itineraries without insane drive times, using the most interesting and beautiful routes.
Thank you for your understanding!
Spring (15 April – 14 June) & Autumn (01 September – 15 October)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £574 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £714 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £492 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £584 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £381 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £520 per person
Summer (15 June – 31 August)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £662 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £823 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £562 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £669 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £433 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £593 per person
• VW Golf-size or compact sedan car with full insurance (09 days hire)
• Delivery and collection of vehicle to your Tirana hotel, or the airport
• Accommodation as indicated, or close substitutes (08 nights)
• Route planning with road books
• All breakfasts
• Lake Koman car ferry
• Personal expenses
• Personal travel insurance
• Museum & attraction entrance tickets
• Local guides (can be arranged on request)
Our North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour to run from mid April through to early October. The limiting factor is the Lake Koman car ferry, which doesn’t run during the winter months.
Our North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive Tour can of course be customised. If you wish to climb Mt Korabi, we can factor in two nights in Dibër. If for some reason you prefer to visit Valbona rather than Rugova, that’s no problem (but we wouldn’t recommend Valbona over Rugova). Theth may be reachable by road car in 2021, depending on the progress made on the ill-conceived road currently being built.
We’ve priced this tour around standard 3* hotels. We can of course upgrade accommodation on request, and we’ll only charge the difference in cost. In some locations we can substitute homestays for hotels, too.
Dibër – Hotel Korabi Peshkopi or village guesthouse
Fishtë – Mrizi i Zanave
Gjakova – Hotel Çarshia e Jupave or traditional guesthouse
Kruja – Hotel Panoroma
Prizren – Hotel Centrum
Rugova (02 nights) – Simple log cabins or village guesthouse
Shkodër – Hotel Tradita
We’ll get around to writing this very shortly! 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 North Albania & Kosovo Self Drive 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