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Highlights of Albania AB

Visiting: Albania
Trip Duration 11 Days
 

Reviews for Highlights of Albania

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Europe's Last Frontier reviews verified by reevooReevoo

49 reviews

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Europe's Last FrontierScores 8.4 out of 10 based on 49 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Mathew

Cardiff
I thought the trip provided an interesting overview of Albania. The tour leader, Erion, was extremely knowledgeable about Albania, both historical and of recent times. He is also a very helpful, educated person with a very good grasp of English and a good sense of humour.

The accommodation was very good - very comfortable hotels and always located close to the town centres.

The itinerary was about right - although from my own perspective possibly too many religious places. However, for a country with such religious relevance this was not to be unexpected. It was nice to have some downtime from the sightseeing where each person could do their own thing, including appropriate siestas after lunch.

The bus driver, Fhati, (excuse the spelling) was also very professional and skillful.

All in all, a very good little trip.
Confirmed traveller: 23 August 2017
Published on: 04 September 2017
(7 out of 10)

Maeve

Dublin
Albania is a very interesting country with lots to see & do. Castles, forts, churches etc. to visit. Stunning scenery & a beautiful coastline. I did not know much about this corner of Europe so there was a lot to discover.
Confirmed traveller: 23 August 2017
Published on: 03 September 2017
(8 out of 10)

Paul

Milton Keynes
Interesting tour. Lots of history and culture with nice scenery. Last days better than the start. Found the food a bit repetive at times. Tour leader had a good sense of humour and the driver did an excellent job. Well worth doing.
Confirmed traveller: 23 August 2017
Published on: 25 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Graham

Dublin
A great holiday. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Both driver and guide excellent,even if air con on bus not working too well at first. Hotels of a very high standard,except for hotel Alpin which was an unpleasant experience due to a couple of obnoxious waiters. Itinerary good for the most part, especially days 1-6. Food and drink very good value.

In terms of constructive criticism, Ed needs to be reigned in a bit. He knows his stuff but sometimes less is more. We didn't need to know every single tiny thing about the rise of Albanian nationalism in the 1880's, for instance. Sometimes what was called for was a few quick words then free time. Instead Ed would be bending our ears which could get irritating . If he could curb this annoying habit he'd be a first rate guide.

Day 7-10 need to be looked at again. There has to be a two night stay in either Saranda or Berati, replacing the Llogora National Park which was a waste of time. Too many small stops took up driving time. Ali Pasha's Fortress, for instance, was somewhat underwhelming. Berati should have been a great stop as the hotel was lovely, however we arrived at 4pm and were told to meet again in the lobby at 4.45 to do the Ethnographic Musuem and then the Castle. This proved all too much for the group's patience and temper. The mood disintegrated as the sweltering heat and Ed's warbling as we trouped around a ridiculous number of churches, each one the same as the next. So our big seven course meal in a restaurant up in the castle, which was supposed to be a memorable occasion, proved to be nothing of the sort, as we all sat there punch drunk from all the castles and churches. A better idea would have been to present two options to the group ; the sightseeing fanatics could do museum and castle as above, but those who would prioritise rest time could have missed out the museum and have been picked up at 6pm to go up to the castle, which in my view would have made all the difference.

To finish on a positive note, the stay and meal in the Hotel Panorama in Kruja made for a great setting for the last meal.
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 22 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Norma

Belfast
Excellent trip, well organised & very good guide & bus driver - they made the trip!
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 20 August 2017
(8 out of 10)

Linden

Kansas City
Ed is a really good guide. Throughout the tour he was enthusiastic about Albania, and I appreciated how he could recommend food and restaurants and help us to order. Although, it would have been nice if he had eaten with the group more often as he rarely did so. Ed sometimes overwhelmed the group with information. In museums, I think many of the group would have preferred to wander around at our own pace, especially since the information for most exhibits was provided in English. That said, Ed is one of the best guides that I have had on a group tour. Our driver, Fati, was also professional and drove safely.

The accommodation was much better than I expected. The exception was Hotel Alpin, which was sub-par. The staff were not friendly and food the was average at the restaurant.

I think some changes to the itinerary of the last few days would improve the trip. Firstly, I think it would be better to continue past Saranda and have one afternoon at a nice, sandy beach. There wasn’t much to like or do in the party town. I would also skip the Llogora National Park. The aforementioned accommodation at Hotel Alpin was not great and there was nothing to do in the evening. There was also a poor choice of restaurants. I think it would have been better to continue onwards closer to Berat to reduce the amount of traveling on the following day.

The itinerary was overloaded on the ninth day with a lot of driving involved and a lot to see. An extra day would have allowed us to take on a more relaxed pace. It would also have been nice to have some free time to explore Apollonia because we didn’t have the chance to see very much of the ruins. We spent more time at the on-site museum and monastery. On the last full day, Ed suggested that we leave Durres early and get to Kruja in time to visit the fortress. This was a good end to the trip, and it should be permanently added to the itinerary of the tenth day.
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 20 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Andrew

Bromsgrove
Overall a very interesting and enjoyable tour. Hotels were clean and comfortable, breakfasts adequate to good. Itinerary was good but a bit rushed towards the end - would have been better to have had 2 nights in Berat and missed Saranda or the national park which were the two least interesting stops (and Saranda was noisy). Other towns were all very interesting. Mountain scenery was great.
Weather was very hot but guide rearranged schedules so we did more walks in the evening. Coach and driver (Fatti) were very good. Ed was an enthusiastic and energetic guide and organised things well. His explanations could have been shorter and clearer at times. The small group of 10 of us worked well.
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 19 August 2017
(8 out of 10)

Katherine

Windsor
Hotel Alpin should be removed from the programme as it is not up to the standard of the other hotels. Also the trip could be one or two days longer to really spend more time in Burat.
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 18 August 2017
(10 out of 10)

Jane

Chesham
I really enjoyed this excellent trip. Ed, our leader, was very enthusiastic and well-informed. I particularly enjoyed the Icon Museum. Another night in Berat would have been good, perhaps by extending the trip by a day. A tip would be to take shoes with a good grip, as some of the cobbles are a bit slippery.
Confirmed traveller: 16 August 2017
Published on: 18 August 2017
(10 out of 10)

Thomas

oxford
Quite a busy tour with a lot to see and do. Very nice friendly people, not too many other tourists around a lot of the time! Beautiful churches and castles, stunning icon museum. Very hot in July, lots of sunscreen needed. Excellent leader (Ed), very enthusiastic and involved, also extremely well informed. Local guides also very good. Easy to change money everywhere, can't change it back in UK so free gift to Oxfam shop. No chance of doing laundry but only 10 days so not a problem. Amazingly good coffee almost everywhere!
Confirmed traveller: 17 July 2017
Published on: 19 July 2017