- This was an excellent - if somewhat busy - introduction to Albania. Our guide was a lot of fun and full of anecdotes about life in Albania. He was also very helpful with every sort of small problem that may have arisen - including some that were not related to the tour per se. He also was great about meals - organizing group meals when we wanted and giving us recommendations to go on our own when we felt like it. The hotels were also very good - except the one in Korca, which left a lot to be desired.
Apparently, the tour had been a two-week tour but it has now been reduced to 10 days, while trying to fit the same number of visits in. This made it a bit of a rush at times and we had very little free time to ourselves to just relax and assimilate everything we had seen.
I would suggest cutting out some of the less important museums and some of the more repetitive churches and concentrating more on the better ones. For example, the museum in Kruja was excellent, as was the one in Tirana, but I felt we were rushed through them. Other museums were less interesting and could be eliminated from the tour.
It would also have been nice to have a bit more explanation of some of the icons that we saw in the churches. In the museum in Korca, the woman gave a very good explanation of the icons there and it would have been nice to have this kind of information for some of the churches as well.
Finally, I would recommend starting the tour in Kruja (about equidistant from Tirana airport as Tirana itself), having the first night there and then spending the next morning at the History Museum in Tirana and then going on. Tirana really doesn't merit much more time, and Kruja is a much nicer town to walk around.
Having said all this - in a manner of constructive criticism - I would definitely recommend this trip. It would have been impossible to see and do all that we did if we had not been with a group and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Explore.
Published on: 31 July 2016