Gjirokastra

  • Port

    Sarande, Albania

  • Activity Level

    Strenuous

  • Excursion Type

    All

  • Wheelchair Accessible

    NO

  • Cost

    USD USD

    Price between $51-$100
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 6½ Hours

  • Meals Included

    Yes

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 back 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.

Back on the coach, you'll head out of town to the Blue Eye Spring. Legend holds that, at this beautiful spot shaded by centuries-old oak trees, a twelve-headed dragon held back the spring waters from the villagers. Pagan rituals held here required the obligatory sacrificing of young maidens to appease the gods.

On a happier note, you will enjoy a scenic drive back to the ship.

Notes:

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Travel time to Gjirokastra is approximately 1½ hours each way.