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Approximately 6½ Hours
Set out on a panoramic drive to Gjirokastra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site town on the slopes of the Mali I Gjere hills. Overlooking River Drino, it is one of the most attractive towns in Albania and is nicknamed 'the town of a thousand steps'.
Upon arrival in Gjirokastra, visit the Old Fortress built in the 4th century. It is the largest castle in Albania and is situated on the top of a hill offering brilliant views. The National Amory Museum sits at the main entrance and tells the story Albanian weapons through the ages.
Explore the Old Bazaar Quarter, with shops huddling in narrow cobblestone streets and a church that dates to 1780. Your guide will point out the Bazaar Mosque, built in 1757. It has a circular stone roof and a tall minaret.
Walk with your guide through the Mecite Quarter, which features 17th-century Turkish baths, the Mecite Mosque, and the Varosh Church (1776). You will stop at the Hotel Cajupi for a snack, including sampling local wines and a traditional Albanian pie; then, enjoy a little free time to explore the charming bazaar area.
Continue with a scenic drive to the Mesopotamian Monastery. Although the interior of the monastery is still under reconstruction since work began several years ago, a brief stop will be made to allow you to view the exterior. Capture photos of this fine example of a Byzantine Fortified Monastery, built in the 12th century. The church was reconstructed in the 17th and 18th centuries and is named Saint Nicolas Church. After the visit, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the local delicacies at a restaurant.
Enjoy a scenic drive back to the ship.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Travel time to Gjirokastra is approximately 1½ hours each way.