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TOUR to the MEDIEVAL VILLAGE & CASTLE OF GJIROKASTER

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48
Itinerary

Day 1

Leaving from the port of Saranda, you will take a fascinating ride through Albanian countryside, passing by the village of Mesopotami, till Gjirokaster village where you will arrive some 1 ½ hours later.

Gjirokaster is a fascinating and historic small town listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Largely medieval, with some lovely architecture to admire, reflecting the town’s wealthy past, it is built on a hill overlooking the surrounding valley and mountains.

On arrival at the village, you will visit the large medieval Castle on the top of the hill dating back to the 4th cent. AC, later used as a local fort by the troops of Ali Pasha, the ruler of the region during Ottoman times. The castle also houses a museum with weapons & armory from medieval times, as well as from the I & II World Wars.

In Gjirokaster, you will visit the beautiful old part of the town, with its stone houses and the Ethnographic (Folklore) Museum (used to be the house of ex-dictator of Albania Hoxha during whose reign Albania was closed to visitors).

Lunch: 1 mixed salad per 4 persons,1 yogurt dip called “salc kosi” per 2 persons, 1 piece of traditional vegetable and cheese pie per person, 1 main plate of chicken (or veal option) per person served with French fries, 1 fruit plate per 4 persons (fruit of the season), 1 carafe of house wine and 1 large bottle of water per 4 persons.

Tour Timings Breakdown:

00:00 Departure from Saranda for Gjirokaster.
01:10 Arrival at Gjirokaster & coffee break.
02:00 Visit of the Castle & the old city.
04:00 Visit at the local Folklore Museum.
05:00 Lunch at the local restaurant of the Old Town..
06:00 Departure for Saranda.
07:00 Arrival back at Saranda.

Notes

• From Saranda to Gjirokaster the distance is 61 km and takes 1 ½ hours by bus.
• Most of the road is in good condition.
• Coffee break in the centre of the old city, at a historical place called Freskia.
• Comfortable shoes are recommended for the walk through the town.
• The walk from the bus square to the castle is some 100 meters uphill and takes about 10 min.
• The walk from the castle to the Ethnographic (Folklore) museum is down hill and through the old centre.
• This tour is not recommended for people with walking difficulties.