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Things to do in Gjirokaster

Our most recommended things to do in Gjirokaster

From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls Day Trip

1. From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls Day Trip

Your professional guide will lead you to a wonderful destination in Berat. Be prepared to immerse yourself into the beauty of nature. In about 1 ¼ hour you will reach Bogova,a picturesque village famous for its waters and waterfalls. Along the way to Bogova you will make a pit stop to Polican, a small town being known for weapon production in communism years. After enjoying the Bogova Waterfalls your trip will continue to Canyons on the Osum River.The same river that crosses the entire city of Berat, has created this wonderful canyon, where the adventure lovers are becoming more attracted over the years. Nature here offers a beautiful landscape that you can enjoy in this full-day tour.

Tirana: 4-Day Albanian Heritage Highlights Trip

2. Tirana: 4-Day Albanian Heritage Highlights Trip

Explore Albania's top attractions in the hands of an expert tour director during a 4-day, 3-night sightseeing tour. Sample authentic Albanian food and visit Unesco World Heritage Sites such as Berat, Gjirokastra, and Butrint. Day 1: Sightseeing tour of Berat via Durres Travel to Berat, stopping in Durres for a short walking tour of the City Walls, Byzantine Forum, Roman Thermal Baths, the Venetian Tower, and the Amphitheater. Transfer to Berat passing through suggestive hills full of olive trees. Then, get settled in the hotel and head out for a guided tour admiring the citadel/castle of Berat with the Red Mosque, recognized by its solitary minaret, and the many Byzantine Churches like the Holy Trinity Church and the St. George Church. Finally, step inside a local home inside the castle of Berat for a coffee, raki, and dessert break. Enjoy the rest of the day wandering in the two main districts of Mangalam and Gorica. Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokastra After breakfast, admire small villages during your transfer to Gjirokaster. Once you arrive in this “city of a thousand steps,” settle into your hotel before soaking up the rich history of the castle and enjoying the view of the “city of stone” from above. Next, see the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses. Visit the Gjirokastra Obelisk dedicated to the first school of Gjirokastra and enjoy the 360º view from there. Next, stop for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Step into Skenduli house, the nicest Ottoman tower house, and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of the Skenduli family. Spend a relaxing evening in the streets of Gjirokaster. Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Butrint & the Blue Eye spring Travel to the “Blue Eye” spring. Admire the shades of blue and surrounding nature before heading to Butrint. There, marvel at 2,500 years of history on a guided tour with a local guide. See the highlights, such as the amphitheater, castle, churches, and Lion Gate. Drive to Ksamil and enjoy lunch by the lake at the Mussel House. Spend your afternoon in Ksamil before heading to Saranda via Lekursi Castle, which overlooks the city. Day 4: Tirana via Vlore and Riviera Road En route to the city of Vlore via the scenic Riviera road, and explore the Ali Pasha Castle with your Tour Director. First, head to the Llogara “balcony” for a stunning view of the South Coast beaches before indulging in lunch at Llogara National. Next, visit a park surrounded by pine trees and a fresh mountain breeze. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who built it, Ali Pashe Tepelena. Then, stop for lunch at a rustic local restaurant along Shushica river. After lunch, visit the city of Vlore, the hometown of the National Independence movement. visit Flag Square with its Independence Monument in the center, the Muradie Mosque, and Vlore Lungomare. Transfer to Tirana. (Hotel accommodation in Tirana is not included on the tour).

Gjirokaster: Old Baazar and Cfaka Walking Tour

3. Gjirokaster: Old Baazar and Cfaka Walking Tour

We start from the center of the old town, the “Cerciz Topulli Square” and head towards The “Old Bazaar” which is not a Bazaar anymore. This is the first neighborhood outside the walls of the castle and lies along beneath the Castle walls. The characteristic cobblestone and some of the oldest houses are the most beautiful elements of this neighborhood. After passing the “Zerzebili” bridge, we reach another ancient neighborhood in town called “Cfaka”. Here we will pass some old houses which are first monument category and also a tekke which belongs to the Bektashi Order. It is a beautiful combination of Nature, many sheep on top of hills, and old houses to arrive in our last destination, the “Ali Pasha Bridge”. This bridge is a remaining of the aqueduct which Ali Pashe Tepelena build more than 200 years ago to bring water to the castle. The whole trip takes approximately 3 hours and you should be prepared to walk on a not so comfortable terrain.

Albania: Ancient Landmarks Day Tour

4. Albania: Ancient Landmarks Day Tour

Depart in the early morning on a drive through Albania, known for its centuries of notable world history. Travel from the north to south of the ancient nation, where we will uncover pieces of archeological history that still stand today, including churches and castles.  Learn and understand how life was organized more than 2 millennia ago. We will visit notable people’s homes, including dictators and Nobel winners in the Palorto Neighborhood in our last stop, Gjirokaster, after visiting the beaches and basilicas in Saranda, Ksamil Beach, and Butrint. The drive will take us through the Albanian Riviera, where the natural beauty of the nation can be taken in before discovering the history of the ancient world’s architecture in the next stops. The journey will end in Tirana, with stops in between the three-hour return journey.

Gjirokaster: City Highlights Walking Tour

5. Gjirokaster: City Highlights Walking Tour

Explore the major landmarks, as well as some hidden gems, on a comprehensive walking excursion of the city of Gjirokaster, led by an experienced local guide. Join your guide on an exciting walking journey starting at Cerciz Topulli square, where you'll get information about the tour and have a chance to learn about the history of the city. Move towards the Old Bazaar, stopping at the Neck of the Bazaar to admire the architecture and meet local artisans. Browse through a variety of handmade items made of wool, stone, and wood. You might find the ideal souvenir to take home. Later on, head towards the Argjiro Castle, known for its history, tragedy, and legends. Enjoy breathtaking views of Gjirokaster from 330 meters above sea level. Your last stop of the day will be one of the best-preserved Ottoman-style houses in Albania, the Zekate House, which was built in 1812 and also offers great city views.

Gjirokaster: Wood Crafting Class

6. Gjirokaster: Wood Crafting Class

Take a traditional wood crafting class in the heart of Gjirokaster at a master workshop. Enjoy some glasses of raki or homemade wine as you create your own souvenir to take home with you. Meet your host in Cerciz Topulli square and take a short walk to the workshop of Master Nurce. Get familiar with the various wood types you will be using and learn a little bit about this local tradition. Learn how to make small wooden signs with text or drawings, small necklaces, key hangers, or small mirrors. After choosing what you wish to create, get some help and inspiration for your design from your master instructor. Begin carving your own personalized item with expert guidance. While working, you can enjoy some glasses of raki or homemade wine. After some time and patience, admire your own personal creation and take home a treasured souvenir as a memento of your visit to Gjirokaster.

Albania: North to South Tour - 8 Days

7. Albania: North to South Tour - 8 Days

We start our journey in Tirana with guided walking tour of the city center, including Skanderbeg Square, Ethem Bey Mosque, National Historical Museum, the Pyramid, Blloku area. Day 2: Thethi via Shkoder En route to Shkodra, a small city situated at the foot of the Albania Alps, stop and visit the hilltop Rozafa Castle. Enjoy its amazing views and the fortress’s fascinating history. You'll transfer for lunch in Shiroke, with Lake Shkoder well known for its fish cuisine. Experience the Old Town, St. Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral and the Ebu Bekr Mosque on a guided tour before transferring to Theth, where on route you will stop in the mountain village of Boge and Thore Pass surrounded by mountains. Day 3: The Blue Eye of Theth & Grunas Waterfall and Canyon Spend a day exploring Theth National Park on a leasure hike. Marvel at the view and sound of Grunas waterfall and Canyon. Enjoy a refreshing bath and lunch at the Natural pools of Nderlysa. Be amazed at the Blue Eye of Theth, after hiking through stunning scenery. Day 4: Durres via Kruja Leave the northern village of Theth and head for the city of Kruja. Set off on a guided tour of Dollma Bektashi Teqe, the surroundings and the Castle itself and the Skanderbeg Museum. Head for lunch in a local restaurant in Kruja, with a tremendous view of the city and valley of Kruja. Enjoy free time to wander around the Old Bazaar, transfer to the seaside city of Durres. Day 5: Saranda via Gjirokaster Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover this "city of a thousand steps” whilst driving through small villages. Once arrived, settle into your hotel before soaking up the rich history of the castle and enjoying the view of the “city of stone” from above. Explore the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden house before stopping for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. On the road to Saranda, you will later stop at the “Blue Eye” spring. Day 6: Butrint and Ksamil Transfer to Butrint for a guided tour of the UNESCO archaeological site. Following that you will have free time for a beach day at the Ksamil Islands, before returning to Saranda in the evening. Day 7: Vlore via Ali Pasha Castle & Riviera Road Visit Porto Palermo Castle with your guide, before spending the day at the beach in the bay of Porto Palermo. Along the way you'll stop by Tirana, as well as the Llogara “balcony” to try local products of the area. Sightseeing tour of Berat (UNESCO) & Tirana Set off from Vlore to reach Berat, the “City of Thousand Windows”, where you will admire the Red and White Mosque, the Church of the Holy Trinity and the arched bridge of Gorica. In the afternoon Alpeta Winery will welcome you for a cellar and vineyard visit. enjoy lunch with their seasonal home-grown and locally sourced organic delights and their fine wine. Transfer in Tirana in afternoom

Albania: Local Food & Unesco Heritage - 6 Days

8. Albania: Local Food & Unesco Heritage - 6 Days

Day 1: Travel day We start our journey in Tirana with guided walking tour of the city center, including Skanderbeg Square, Ethem Bey Mosque, National Historical Museum, the Pyramid, Blloku area. Day 2: The Old Capital of Kruja & Mrizi i Zanave Agrotourism We start our journey from Tirana, directly to the city of Kruja. Set off on a guided tour of Dollma Bektashi Teqe , the surroundings and the Castle itself, the Skanderbeg and Ethnographic Museum. Transfer in the village of Fishte and its Albanian Slow Food excellence, you will spend a couple of hours visiting the surrounding and tasting the best Albanian food there is. Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Gjirokaster Transfer to Gjirokaster to discover the city of “a thousand steps”, driving through small villages. Step into Skenduli house, the nicest Ottoman tower house and listen to its history and details from the 10th generation of Skenduli family Soak up to the rich history of the castle and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above Pass by the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses Day 4: The Blue Eye Spring, Butrint National Park & Mussel Tour Boat Ride Continue to Butrint for a guided tour of the Unesco Archaeological site where a local guided explains 2500 years of history embedded in the Amphitheater, the Castle, the Churches and the Lion’s Gate. But before we stop at Blue Eye and marvel at the spring’s shades of blue and nature around it. Set off for a beach day at Ksamil Islands and on the way back to Saranda visit the Lekursi Castle overseeing the city. Day 5: Berat via Porto Palermo Bay & Albanian Riviera Road En route to the city of Berat via the scenic Riviera road, explore the Ali Pasha Castle with your Tour Director. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who build it, Ali Pashe Tepelena. Stop for lunch at a rustic local restaurant along Shushica river. Reach Berat, get settled in the hotel and enjoy an evening in the lights and promenade of this pretty Unesco town. Day 6: Walking Tour & Local Food in Berat (Unesco) This morning set out for a walking guide of “City of Thousand Windows”, where you will admire the Red Mosque, the White Mosque, the Church of the Holy Trinity and the arched bridge of Gorica. In the afternoon Alpeta Winery will welcome you for a cellar and vineyard visit. enjoy lunch with their seasonal home-grown and locally sourced organic delights and their fine wine. Day 7: Departure Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

From Tirana: Guided Tour of Gjirokaster

9. From Tirana: Guided Tour of Gjirokaster

Gjirokastër gives a special feeling to all the tourists and after visiting it, you won’t need to wonder why. It has been under UNESCO protection since 2005. Located in southern Albania, Gjirokastër is where you will find a perfect mixture of wild territories and archeological sites. You will first visit the old city center where the bazaar is located. At the bazaar you will see the traditional artisan shops and the cafes in the old style. Then you will continue with a visit to Gjirokastër castle. This fortress was an existing building from the 1200 BC and rebuilt XII century by Ali Pashe Tepelena. You will have the possibility to see the defensive towers, the Clock tower, The church, and the Cistern. Inside the castle, are placed the military objects and monuments from the resistance of the Albanian partisans against the German Nazis in a very interesting museum. The rest of the day will be dedicated to visiting the old neighborhoods of Qafe and Bazaar and learn more about it. You shouldn't miss the Skenduli House. Between the ottoman houses, we will also find the house of Ismail Kadare the great Albanian writer, and the house of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian politician who ruled from 1944 to 1985, that is now the ethnographic Museum of Gjirokastër.

From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

10. From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

Your tour will start from Saranda and only in an hour and a half, you will reach Gjirokastra. One of the main characteristics of this place is the intensive use of stone in the building of the houses and streets, which is why it earned the nickname “The City Of Stone”. You will also need to walk a lot to get around the city, so that is the reason Gjirokastra is also called as 'the city of a thousand steps'. You will be exploring the main attractions of the city such as the Castle of Gjirokastra, known as the origin of the city, built in the 12th century, following the Museum of Arms, and the historic center. Your tour will continue with the visit to the house of the Zeka’s family (the most magnificent and characteristic building of Gjirokastra), the museum house of Ismail Kadare, one of the most important writers in the country, and to the final visit and the Ethnographic Museum. During the walking tour of the city, you will notice that all the roads lead to the old Bazaar.

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What people are saying about Gjirokaster

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 10 reviews

Our compliments to our guide Manjola who provided a personal informative introduction for us to Gjirokastra. The tour is well worth taking to get an insight into the history of this beautiful town even though there is much mayhem with the restoration of the main road. You need to be aware however that the afternoon is for you to wander the bizarre area so the tour really concludes around lunch time from which time you are free to take in additional sites. We chose to leave around 4pm as we were returning to Sarande and to stop on the way back at the "Blue Eye" swimming hole which made for a busy but great day out.

The tour is definitely to be recommended! Interesting destinations including characteristic villages that can hardly be reached and visited optimally with your own or local means. Note on the organization of the trip: they moved and reorganized the stages of the tour in advance to meet our need to end the trip in a different destination from the one planned (we basically left as a group of 7 friends). Mimi, our guide (from 110 and praise!), Told us many curiosities about the history of Albania and tried to satisfy us as much as possible by giving us a truly unique experience. Happy tour future travelers !!

It was interesting journey trought the Albania. We like hotels where we stay. Our guide was very nice young men and tell us lot of Albania. We recomend the trip.

Interesting destinations but perhaps too busy considering the distance to be covered.