Albania’s time has come! This stunningly beautiful country has made Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2023, and western media is starting to notice! After a hugely successful debut season in 2022, this action-packed adventure holiday covers lakes, mountains and sea in one amazing week! Ideal for couples, friends or families with active young adventurers, those who have already done our multi-activity holidays in Montenegro will love this one! More accessible than ever before thanks to budget airlines like easyJet and Wizzair now flying into Tirana, this package takes you on an adventure into the heart of one of Europe’s most exciting new destinations.
From the shores of Lake Skadar to the UNESCO protected Berat, city of a 1000 windows, you can go hiking to hidden waterfalls, white-water rafting or river hiking in the gorgeous Osumi canyon, kayaking in several locations, take a 4×4 off-road exploration and more besides with our team of bilingual guides, all in some of the most stunning natural beauty that you’ll ever have seen!
- SUP & kayaking
- river wading
- donkey and 4x4 tours
- coast, mountains and lake locations
- local cuisine
You will be collected from Tirana Airport and then your guide and driver will give you a warm welcome before transferring you to your accommodation, the awesome Lake Shkodra Resort on Lake Skadar, where you get to stay in a treehouse or glamping bell tent right on the shores of the lake (swimming obligatory)! Group welcome dinner and introduction to the program that lies ahead. Overnight at Lake Shkodra Resort.
Being right by the lake means it’s an ideal location for some kayaking! Paddling on the calm, warm waters is a perfect activity for those who like workouts and for those who like swimming – and you can even paddle a little way down the Bojana river, too. In the afternoon, we will make a visit to Rozafa Castle, which stands proud on a hilltop overlooking the town of Shkoder, and you will learnt he myths and legends that shaped this amazing area. Overnight at Lake Shkodra Resort.
No visit to this part of Albania is complete without a trip to the Albanian Alps. An astounding landscape awaits you after a car journey on one of the most amazing roads you’ll ever have travelled – and which is now more accessible than ever thanks to the new asphalt road! We will make a short hike to the gorgeous Blue Eye Waterfall, during which you will learn about blood feuds, sworn virgins and more. The scenery up here is staggeringly beautiful! Overnight at back at Lake Shkodra Resort.
Our eventual destination is Berat, city of 1000 windows. This stunning hillside village on the steps of the Tomor mountains is a place of great beauty and tranquility. We suggest a walking tour of the old town and its castle, which affords wonderful views over the mosques onto Mt Tomor itself. As it’s a slightly longer journey, we will break it up with lunch at Mrizi i Zanave, one of Albania’s very best organic restaurants. The tasting menu here is an absolute highlight and well worth the stop! Overnight at Hotel Castle Park, Berat.
The nearby Osumi canyon offers the opportunity for many amazing activities! Until the end of June, we can go white-water rafting on a class 3 river – the hollows, natural sculptures, waterfalls flow in different shapes. You go through natural wonders like “the Cathedral”, the champagne waterfall, the Devil’s Gate and the Love Waterfall, whose legend says those who kiss under it will remain forever in love. From June/July, when the water levels on river are too low for rafting, you can instead travel parts of the same route on “foot”, splashing in and out of the natural pools and waterfalls! Overnight at Hotel Castle Park.
Mount Tomor, with an elevation of 2417 metres, has undoubtedly a special place in every Albanian’s heart – many legends surround it! We drive to the foothills by 4×4 and then ride mules (or hike, it’s up to you, kids!) into the deep forest and then up the slopes of the mountain with nature all around. We will enjoy a picnic of local products and gaze upon views fit for kings down below!
Additionally, if you fancy some more paddling, we can arrange for some stand up paddle-boarding lessons on the twin mountain lakes. Falling in positively encouraged…!
Today is all about having it your way. After an action-packed week, you might want to kick back and relax by the turquoise sea at your lodgings. Adventure beckons as always, though. Radhime is the gateway to Karaburun-Sazan National Marine Park, packed with wildlife, pristine shores and a network of fascinating military bunkers dating from communist times. We can arrange an optional private boat trip to the spectacular Haxhi Ali cave and for swimming in crystal clear waters along an untouched peninsular where two seas meet - the Ionian and the Adriatic. You may even catch sight of schools of fish such as tuna or even dolphin poking their fins out of the water.
In the evening, if you're going your own way, we recommend gorging on fresh, cheap seafood at the restaurant run by the Radhime Fishing Cooperative, close to your accommodation. For something truly different, though, we can arrange an evening visit to shepherds living traditionally in a hill village above the sea. Here you will have the chance to watch the goats rounded up for bed, before enjoying a traditional Albanian feast prepared over the fire in the sač - the best of warm Albanian hospitality!
Return to Tirana airport (other destinations would incur an extra transfer charge)
Inclusions / Exclusions
- all accommodation
- all activities
- all meals
- full time English-speaking guide
- all transport from start point to end point
- International Flights
- Non-airport transfers
- Drinks and alcohol
Requires a spirit of adventure and reasonable level of fitness to complete tours such as hiking, kayaking or canyoning, usually taking 4-5 hours including breaks. You will need to be able to hold a paddle and walk uphill for 30 minutes without a break (on kayaking day trips, adults can paddle for younger children, but this is not recommended on the week-long kayaking holidays!). Activities may take place in challenging conditions such as hot sunshine.
For Families – moderate trips can have challenging elements depending on the children’s experience of the outdoors and level of fitness. Consider the amount of physical activity expected and how long they will need to participate. There will be less downtime than resort-style holidays. All our multi-centre trips are moderate due to the travel time between locations.
Pre-arrival information and kit list
There are some useful items we recommend you bring along to get the best from the holiday.
- Sun cream
- Hiking boots (for walks early/late season & anyone with weak ankles), otherwise trainers or hiking sandals
- Mosquito repellent
- Water bottle – we recommend a LifeStraw Go 2-stage Filtration bottle, or a similar model from Purewell, which can turn 1000 litres of any freshwater into clean drinking water. You can find them on ebay, Amazon, etc.
- Towel for the beach & wild swims, ideally one of those quick dry sports ones
- Jelly shoes or trainers for kayaking/canoeing
- A fleece and/or light jacket, essential for those also journeying to the north of Montengro and/or Albania
- Sun hat & sunglasses
- Some warm clothes (for visits in April/May and Sept/Oct)
- Binoculars - essential if you enjoy bird watching!
- Rain jacket / kagoul
- 1st Aid Kit including any medications you will need during your stay
- Cash – many places don’t accept card payment
- Any required printed out documents, eg. boarding pass for airline (there are no printing facilities during your trip)
- Tea bags (black tea bags are available locally but they are very weak)
- Filter coffee (only for true coffee afficionados as Nescafe is available)
- Tampons – these are not always available locally
Also, just a reminder to make sure you have the right travel insurance to cover outdoor/water activities – a condition of booking with us.