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Things to do in

Gjirokaster District

Our most recommended things to do in Gjirokaster District

Day Trip to Saranda and Butrint National Park from Corfu

1. Day Trip to Saranda and Butrint National Park from Corfu

Explore the beauty of Albania on a guided day trip from Corfu. Step back in time at the ancient Greek and Roman city of Butrint. Visit an archaeological museum in a Venetian castle. Savor a delicious buffet lunch at a restaurant in Saranda.  Board the airconditioned bus at your meeting point on the island of Corfu. Sit back and enjoy the ride to the port city of Saranda. Enjoy a 20-kilometer guided bus tour of the stunning southern coast and its virgin shores and islands. Pass through small villages and through endless fertile plains that lead to a great lake. Arrive at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint, where the ancient Greek city of Buthrotum disappeared under layers of silt and vegetation until its was found by archaeologists.  Tour a Venetian tower and see the remains of the theater and Temple of Asclepius. Continue to the ruins of the ancient gymnasium and Roman Baths and admire a priceless mosaic floor in the Roman Baptistery. Travel back in time as you explore the Cyclopean walls and get panoramic views of the lake and plains from the top of the hill. Return to Saranda for a mouth-watering lunch, and then take a guided walking tour before sailing back to Corfu.

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: Durres and Berat Start the tour with a hotel or airport pickup in Tirana and head to Durres for a short guided walking tour and coffee break. Alternatively, you can start with a hotel pickup in Durres. Transfer to Berat, the "city of a thousand windows." Get settled in your picturesque hotel before enjoying lunch in a restaurant with city views. In the afternoon, follow your expert local guide on a guided tour of this fascinating city. Visit Berat Castle/Citadel and explore the upper town with churches, mosques, and 27 watchtowers packed inside its walls. Admire the Ottoman houses, where people still live as they have done for centuries. In the evening, your tour director will guide you to the best restaurants to sample Berat’s typical dishes. Day 2: Gjirokaster 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 heading for lunch in a small local restaurant for a taste of the city’s authentic dishes. Next, visit Skenduli House, the best-preserved Ottoman house in the old city of Gjirokaster. Hear about its past from your local guide and the house’s owner, a descendant of the Skenduli family. Then, soak up the castle's rich history and enjoy the view of the “city of stone” from above. Explore the Ottoman Bazaar and historic wooden houses before visiting the Gjirokaster Obelisk dedicated to the town's first school. Enjoy its 360º views. Spend a relaxing evening in the streets of Gjirokaster. Day 3: “Blue Eye” and Butrint 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: Llogara National Park and Vlore Transfer to the city of Vlore via Ali Pasha Castle, which you will explore with your tour director. Marvel at the architecture and listen to entertaining legends about the man who built it, Ali Pasha of Tepelenë. Head to the Llogara “balcony” for a stunning view of the South Coast beaches before indulging in lunch at Llogara National Park surrounded by pine trees and a fresh mountain breeze. Visit the city of Vlore, the hometown of the Albanian nationalist movement, in the afternoon. See sights such as Flag Square with its Independence Monument right in the center, the Muradie Mosque, and Vlore Lungomare. After you have explored Vlore, you will get transferred back to Tirana.

From Tirana: Tour to Vlora, Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokaster

3. From Tirana: Tour to Vlora, Butrint, Saranda & Gjirokaster

Travel south along the Albanian coast and explore the best of this region on a guided tour. Spend the day discovering Vlora, Butrint, Saranda, and Gjirokaster. Start your trip with a comfortable ride in an air-conditioned vehicle from your hotel in Tirana. Travel to Vlora, the city of independence. Proceed to Llogara to enjoy the breathtaking views of the coast from a 1043-meter height. Continue to Saranda and see enchanting beaches such as Gjipe Beach, Porto Palermo, Lukovë, and more. Next, visit the National Park of Butrint that holds more than 2000 years of history. Head to the source of the “Blue Eye” before getting to Gjirokaster. It’s a water spring with clear blue waters coming from the depth of the earth, running in the shape of an eye. The road leading to Gjirokaster will take you to the castle of the city and the old bazaar neighborhood. Visit the former homes of Ismail Kadare and Enver Hoxha, which are now museums dedicated to communism. Enjoy this last stop of the coastal tour before returning to Tirana.

Gjirokaster: City Highlights Walking Tour

4. 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.

Albania: Ancient Landmarks Day Tour

5. 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: Old Baazar and Cfaka Walking Tour

6. 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.

Gjirokaster: Wood Crafting Class

7. 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.

From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls and Osum Canyons Day Trip

8. From Berat: Bogovë Waterfalls and Osum Canyons 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.

From Sarandë: Gjirokaster Half-Day Trip with Castle Tickets

9. 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.

Gjirokaster: Traditional Albanian Cooking Class with Wine

10. Gjirokaster: Traditional Albanian Cooking Class with Wine

Make your own way to Cerciz Topulli square, where you’ll join up with your host and walk over to restaurant Gjoca (the oldest chef in town). Meet your chef inside and begin the class with a glass of raki, wine or a cup of tea while chatting with your group mates. The food you are going to prepare is traditional of the city of Stone and the food is mainly based on vegetables and a little bit of meat. Prepare an authentic meal under the guidance of your instructor, where is included the furnace cheese (white cheese in oven) the unique Qifqi (Rice balls) found only in Gjirokastra, stuffed peppers with cottage cheese, traditional cheese pie and meatballs and in the end another characteristic dessert called Hasude. After all of your hard work, sit down with your group to savor each of your dishes. Pair your menu with a complimentary glass of wine or a soft drink and chat with your fellow chef while you eat. Your cooking class will conclude after the meal.

Frequently asked questions about Gjirokaster District

What top attractions are a must-see in Gjirokaster District?

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What people are saying about Gjirokaster District

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 204 reviews

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 !!

The trip to Butrint and Sarande was definitely worth it. I would definitely recommend it. The organization went smoothly. Just before the entrance, a lady from Ionian Cruises gave us plastic boarding passes, with which we could easily board and disembark. Butrint and Albania was a very interesting and our guide really engaging.

The trip as a whole was very well organized, only the time for shopping was a bit too long.

סיור מעניין לאתר ארכיאולוגי חשוב, וגם השיט עם נופים יפהפיים

Very knowledgeable guide - fun trip with great lunch.