Europe Explorer Grand Tour "ionian Route"

Europe Explorer Grand Tour "Ionian Route"

Experience operated by

Jorge and your team

We are a team of adventurers that will help you discover the best places in the world. We'll guide you throughout the adventures so you can live unique and life changing experiences.

We are a team of adventurers that will help you discover the best places in the world. We'll guide you throughout the adventures so you can live unique and life changing experiences.

Start planning your experience

 

About experience

Itinerary

Day 1: Durres and Berat (UNESCO).

Stop At: Durres, Durres, Durres County
After breakfast, we depart to Durres. Durres is Albania's second largest city. Durres is one of the oldest towns in the country. Legend says that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his own name and named the port area after his grandson, Dyrrah. It was for centuries the largest port on the Adriatic, and the start of the Via Egnatia to Constantinople. We visit the Roman amphitheater and the Archaeological Museum, situated near the sea and rich in objects excavated in Durres.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Berat, Berat, Berat County
Continue to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit to its castle of Berat with Onufri museum and other churches inside; Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th. Many of his wonderfully painted icons still remain in the museum while others can be found in churches in Albania and Greece where he worked.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Berat, Hotel Gega 3*, or similar.



Day 2: Ardenica Monastery - Apollonia (UNESCO) - Zvernec Monastery - Kanina - Vlore.

Stop At: Ardenica Monastery, Ardenice Albania
After breakfast we continue to Ardenica Monastery. The monastery of Ardenica is known as a place where our National Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg married princess Andronika Arianiti. It is a Byzantine structure occupying a surface area of about 2,500 m². This monument consists of the Saint Mary Church, Saint Triad chapel, the konake, the oil mill, the oven and the stall.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Apollonia Archaeological Park, Pojan Albania
We continue the tour to Apollonia, which was founded in 588 BC and taken by Aristotle as a model in his analysis of oligarchy, because of its distinct and separate Illyrian and Greek communities. It was a vital stronghold in Caesar's civil war with Pompey and also important in early Christian history with its bishop attending the councils of Ephesus and Chlalkis in 431 and 451 AD. We visit its museum, Shen Meri Monastery and Church.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Vlore, Vlore, Vlore County
Then, departure to the coastal city of Vlora. Vlora is the city where Albanian independence from Ottomans was proclaimed on November 28th, 1912. Visit to Museum of Independence, Kanina castle, centrum, and Zvernec Monastery.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight, in Hotel Martini 3*, or similar.

Day 3: Orikum - Llogara National Park - Himare - Butrint (UNESCO) - Saranda.

Stop At: Sarandë, Albania
After breakfast, we departed for Saranda. On the way to Saranda first we will stop to visit Orikum (visit to this antic city). Then, we will have a stop at Llogara Pass (coffee break) at the altitude of 1020 meters and enjoy the spectacular view of Ionian Sea and Albanian Riviera. Along the way we will see many other interesting picturesque villages like, Palase, Dhermi, Qeparo, Himara, Borsh, etc. Another stop to Porto Palermo (ex-navy submarine base) where it will be a visit to Ali Pashe Tepelena’s castle constructed over a very beautiful hill inside the sea. After arrival to Saranda accommodation to the hotel (Grand Hotel 3*, or similar).
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Butrint National Park, SH81, Butrint Albania
After lunch we visit ruins of Butrint antic city, Albania's most important archaeological site. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but no evidence of this has yet been found. Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which we can still visit. The rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history, and its 6th century BC fortification evokes the city's military power and symbolizes the rich culture of the once thriving ancient city. Exploration of amphitheater, Venetian tower, mosaic, lion gate, etc.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Saranda, in Hotel Kaonia 3*, or similar.


Day 4: Igumenica - Parga - Nikopolis (UNESCO) - Preveza.

Stop At: Igoumenitsa 461 00, Greece
Departure to Igumenica in Greece. Igumenica is a small town located among green hills and mountains. It serves as a so called binding link between Italy and Greece and this fact traditionally attracts multiple tourists
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Parga, Parga, Preveza Region, Epirus
Then continue to Parga, which is a small town on the Ionian coast of mainland Greece, just between the cities of Igoumenitsa and Preveza, in the region of Epirus. We will have a visit to the historical castle which overlooks the town (from a headland to the west of the town) and the beaches.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Preveza, Preveza, Preveza Region, Epirus
Then continue to Preveza. Then we head to Preveza where we will visit the ancient city of NIkopolis. Nikopolis – city of Nike (victory) – was founded in 31 BC by Octavian Augustus, in honor of his victory over Antonios and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Aktio. Evening in this very typical greek city.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Hotel Preveza City Comfort, or similar.



Day 5: Patras - Olympia (UNESCO).

Stop At: Patras, Patras, Achaea Region, West Greece
After breakfast, continue to Patras. In the morning we will depart for Patras. Primarily known for its busy port and ferry departures to Italy, not to mention the fantastic carnival held annually to kick off the Lenten season, Patra and the surrounding area offer a wealth of things to do and see. There is a sprawling metropolis by the sea with a wonderful old section. Neoclassical buildings, cathedrals, museums, shops, bars, cafes and vibrant nightlife make this area a treasure waiting to be found. Within easy reach are mountains, lakes, caves, and villages, all with magnificent natural scenery. We will have a city tour. The city tour will also see the Ancient Odeon, the oldest in Greece, the old city of Patras and the stairs that connect it with the center. Also the marina, the main square named King George I, the square of 3 Allies with the solar clock and the harbor.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Olympia, Greece
Then continue to Olympia archeological site. Built on the banks of the River Alfios, the lush green sanctuary of Olympia once housed the original ancient Olympic Games, held every four years in honour of Zeus. We enjoy a tour through its remains, including the Temple of Zeus, the Palaestra, and Phidias's workshop. We continue onto the local museum which houses the impressive statue of Hermes of Praxiteles.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Olympia. Zorbas Hotel, or similar.


Day 6: Mystras - Sparta - Mycenae - Corinth.

Stop At: Mystras, 6km NW of Sparta, Sparta, Sparta Municipality 23100 Greece
After breakfast in the hotel, travel deep into the Peloponnese to Sparta, where history hangs between reality and legend. Afterward, enjoy the included visit of the medieval BYZANTINE CITADEL OF MYSTRA, at one time known as the “Florence of the East.” Then we proceed to Mycenae. Here you will visit the city’s fascinating Archaeological Site, as well as the Tomb of Agamemnon. Later enjoy the included excursion to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE and the MUSEUM OF MYCENAE, a city fortress cursed by the gods but rich in gold and warrior kings.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Corinth, Corinth, Corinthia Region, Peloponnese
Afterward, continue to Corinth. Visit the site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (6500-3250 B.C.). It is located at the northern base of the hill of Acrocorinth at the site of today’s agglomeration, Ancient Corinth. Its fertile soil but mainly its strategic location at the intersection of land routes from the Balkan peninsula of Aimos and mainland Greece on towards the Peloponnese and waterways that connect the western Mediterranean to its Eastern counterpart, to Asia Minor and to Syro-Palestine, offered the region from very early on enormous potential for communication, growth and prosperity. Leisure time for self walking in the Plaka (old town) area.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Corinth. Bakos Hotel, or similar.


Day 7: Epidaurus - Athens (UNESCO).

Stop At: Epidaurus Archaeological Museum, Asklepieion, Epidavros 210 52 Greece
After breakfast drive on and visit the splendid Theatre of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Athens, Athens, Attica
After that, proceed to Athens. Then continue on a sightseeing tour of the ancient city. Along with your expert guide, go see the city centre, Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National Library. On your way to the Acropolis you will pass Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Make a short stop at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Then, at the Acropolis, visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the famous Parthenon. Your first taste of Athens would not be complete without a visit to the Acropolis Museum, a modern architectural building where, at last, the statues have found their home. After the tour, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. At the end of the visit, return to your hotel.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Athens. Museum Hotel, or similar.


Day 8: Delphi (UNESCO)

Stop At: Delphi, Delphi, Phocis Region, Central Greece
In the morning, after that fascination with history, monuments and enlightenment, it’s time to drive through the plains of Eliad and Achaia to the magnificent bridge crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and Itea before you finally arrive in Delphi, a city once regarded as the centre of the world. According to mythology, Zeus sent out two eagles from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world, and it was in this location that they met. The sanctuary of Delphi is set within the most spectacular landscape. The sanctuary at Delphi was revered in antiquity as a center of pilgrimage, home to the Pythia (Oracle) in the Temple of Apollo. We walk along the Sacred Way - the path followed by ancient visitors through the sanctuary. We then visit the local museum, where we'll find the bronze Charioteer statue and the omphalos stone. Check-in at the hotel and spend the night.
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Delphi, Fedriades Hotel, or similar.


Day 9: Kalambaka - Meteora (UNESCO)

Stop At: Kalambaka, Kalambaka, Trikala Region, Thessaly
After breakfast continue to Meteora, for a visit to the fascinating cliff-top monasteries. The cliffs, which average a height of 1,000 feet, were first inhabited in the 9th century by a group of hermit monks who lived on the rock towers. In the 11th and 12th centuries, basic monasteries were built and by the 14th century the great monastery of Meteoron was constructed. The difficult access gave the monks an ideal refuge, as well as protection during the Turkish occupation. Today 6 monasteries remain out of the original 20. Views of the entire valley from the magnificent rock towers, and the peace of the surroundings, make this a unique place to visit. At the end of the day you’ll drive to Kalambaka, a lovely city with beautiful gardens and magnificent views of the Meteora rocks.
Duration: 2 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Kalambaka, Hotel Doupiani House 3*, or similar. (B)


Day 10: Kastoria - Korce. (Albania).

Stop At: Kastoria, Kastoria, Kastoria Region, West Macedonia
After breakfast, we will travel to Kastoria. From a distance it looks like an Impressionist painting; houses, churches, trees seen through a haze, their reflections shimmering in the lake. This landscape is magnificent. We have a walking tour to enjoy from closer and to see impressive aristocratic lakeside mansions surrounded by clusters of tall trees, interspersed by Byzantine churches. We will see the locals sipping coffee or promenading by the lake, with the fishermen in their flat-bottomed boats offshore and pelicans keeping hopeful watch alongside.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Korce, Korce, Korce County
Then continue to Korce. Visit to the Museum of Medieval Art with the richest icon archive in all Europe; The First Albanian School; Traditional Old Bazaar; Cathedral(1992); Mosque of Iljaz Bej Mirahori (1484), and The Old Bazaar. Then continue to the ancient village of Voskopoja very famous for its monasteries, and sits 1,150 meters above sea-level and is a perfect place for hiking and walking. Visit to original 18th century Orthodox churches, complete with frescos (to include: St. Nikolla, St. Thanasi, and St. Maria) Visit the Monastery of St. John the Baptist (Shen Prodhom), with an original structure from the 15th century.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Return to Korca and overnight. Hotel Hani Pazarit or similar.


Day 11: Pogradec - Lin - Elbasan - Tirane.

Stop At: Elbasan, Elbasan, Elbasan County
After breakfast travel to Elbasan. Elbasan which was a very important city in ancient times where in Roman empire time was called “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Rome-Naples-Bari-Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. City tour to visit: Elbasan Castle (dating back to 4rth Century BC), The Clock, The ethnographic Museum, Church, The Old Mosque.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Tirana, Tirana, Tirana County
Then we continue to Tirane. Leisure time to walk in the city.

Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Tirana Kruja Hotel 3*, or similar.

$2,294.53 Per Person

from
$  
2,294
.53 USD
Per Person