South Albania Self Drive Tour09 Days - Albania & North Macedonia
Our South Albania Self Drive Tour dips into North Macedonia to include two nights in the UNESCO City of Ohrid
From £369 per person
Based on 04 travellers sharing 02 x 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 Self Drive Tour Highlights
Drive some of the most beautiful roads in the Balkans • Spend two nights in Ohrid, North Macedonia • Lose yourself in the ruins of Butrint • Explore Berat’s ancient Citadel • Soak in the hot sulphur springs at Përmet • Relax with a full day on the Albanian Riviera • Wander Gjirokastra’s cobbled streets • Dine al fresco in Korça’s atmospheric bazaar
South Albania Self Drive Tour in Brief
This is a relaxed self drive tour, that sticks to asphalt roads throughout. There might well be a few bumps along the way (this is the Balkans), but it is realisable in a standard road car.
You’ll drive some of the most beautiful roads in the region, and enjoy spectacular views. There are no excessively long drives, but you do have to accept that Albanian roads are narrow and twisty, and rarely have crash barriers. We will give you route options where possible, but a lack of paved roads in south Albania sometimes makes this impossible.
Each night you’ll sleep in comfortable 3* hotels in key cultural cities and towns. Accommodation can be upgraded at cost, and in some locations we can swap hotel accommodation for homestays if preferred.
This tour can of course be adapted around your interests.
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.
South Albania Self Drive Tour – Overnights
Our South Albania Self Drive Tour includes two-night stays in Ohrid and on the Albanian Riviera, though we can of course adapt it to taste, or to remove the border crossing if Covid remains an issue
In high season we tend to avoid the Albanian Riviera - it's just too damn busy. But in spring, autumn and early summer it's a delight. The beaches are picture-perfect and (for now) undeveloped compared with the Greek and Montenegrin coastlines. We generally advise people to steer clear of Ksamil and Saranda, and instead stay at a quiter spot, but this is down to personal preference. Let us know what kind of vibe you're after, and we'll plan around that.
This tiny little city (large town, really) is a must on any south Albania self drive tour itinerary. Its ancient Citadel has been continuously inhabited since pre-Roman times, though most of its ramshackle buildings date from the Ottoman era. If you've visited any of the older towns of central Anatolia, it will feel very familiar. You're in one of Albania's finest wine regions, here, so we recommend stopping for a tasting at one of the local wineries - or even staying the night at one, if you prefer to be out of town.
Gjirokastra is one of our favourite Balkan cities, with an atmosphere all its own. The Old Town is built around a huge and intimidating fortress, built originally in the Napoleonic era by Ali Pasha (of Lord Byron fame). Expect cobbled streets, huge old stone houses, many dating back to the 18th century, and lively bars in summertime. It's perfect for a one- or two-night stop, and there is plenty to explore in the surrounding countryside, too.
Just a few years ago, Korça was Albania's forgotten city. Bad road connections and a lack of accommodation meant it was almost ignored by international travellers (it was about five bumpy hours' drive from Tirana). Not any more… The drive time from Tirana has been cut in half, the previously neglected bazaar has been beautifully restored, and its derelict Ottoman han is now a chichi boutique hotel. Korça is also home to one of the region's finest museums / art galleries - the Museum of Medieval Arts. There's plenty to see in the area too, including the mountain villages of Voskopoja and Dardhë.
A highlight of any road trip through the region. Ohrid is a UNESCO World Heritage City, with an Ottoman old town that tumbles down to the shores of Lake Ohrid. We generally recommend two nights here, as it's a great place to relax, though you can also use it as a base for day trips - historic Bitola is easily reached. Be sure to take a boat trip at sunset, and then enjoy a relaxed meal at one of the lakeside restaurants.
Përmet is famed for its raki and is perhaps the sleepiest spot in Albania (the two might be connected). Be sure to visit the nearby sulphur springs to soak and take in the mountain views, and adventure-seekers should consider a rafting adventure on the river Vjosa - one of Europe's few remaining "wild rivers". A short hike above Përmet is one of the region's finest Orthodox churches, St Mary's - it's well worth breaking a sweat for.
South Albania Self Drive Tour Information & Prices
We don’t give detailed day-by-day itineraries for our self-drive tours until a deposit has been paid. Specific route information for our South Albania Self Drive Tour is provided when the balance is paid in full.
We have to be circumspect about sharing route information as the value we offer is in creating self-drive tours with realistic drive times, and that travel along the most beautiful and interesting routes. On more than one occasion we’ve designed tours for clients, who have then followed our routes independently.
Thank you for your understanding.
Spring (01 April – 14 June) & Autumn (10 Sep – 31 Oct)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £559 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £712 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £483 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £585 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £369 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £521 per person
Summer (15 June – 09 September)
02 travellers sharing a Double or Twin room – £688 per person
02 travellers in 02 Single rooms – £890 per person
03 travellers in 01 Double or Twin + 01 Single room – £604 per person
03 travellers in 03 Single rooms – £739 per person
04 travellers in 02 Double or Twin rooms – £461 per person
04 travellers in 04 Single rooms – £664 per person
• VW Golf-sized or compact sedan vehicle with AC and Green Card border insurance (09 days hire)
• Delivery and collection of vehicle to your Tirana hotel or the airport
• Accommodation as indicated (08 nights)
• Route planning & road books
• 24-hour support (WhatsApp)
• Road tolls (there are none on this itinerary)
• Personal expenses
• Personal travel insurance
• Local guides (can be arranged on request)
• Meals unless indicated
• Museum & attraction entrance tickets\
Please read our full Terms & Conditions before booking.
We’ve designed our South Albania Self Drive Tour to run from early April through to late October. Please be aware, from mid-June to early September accommodation on the Riviera is under enormous pressure due to a lack of availability, and the nicer hotels generally have a three- and sometimes even five-night minimum stay policy.
We can of course customise this tour around your interests. For instance, if two nights on the beach is too much for you, we’d suggest spending two nights in Gjirokastra instead. Just let us know what you enjoy and we’ll work around that!
We’ve priced this tour around standard rooms in 3* hotels. It is possible to choose alternative accommodation – we’ll only charge the difference.
Albanian Riviera (02 nights) – Depending on village chosen
Berat – Hotel Onufri
Gjirokastra – Hotel Kastro
Korça – Hotel Bujtina e Bardhe
Ohrid (02 nights) – My Grandparent’s House
Përmet – Funky Guesthouse
We’ll get round to writing this soon, so in the meantime you can check out our comprehensive Albania Travel Guide.
Doesn't Hit The Spot?
If our South Albania 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