This wonderful excursion gives a good overview of the museums and bazaar of Kruja and the historical landmarks in the capital city of Tirana.
Depart from the pier and drive inland to hillside Kruja, where in the mid-15th century George Skanderbeg commanded the Albanian troops and held off attacks by the Turks. He is still regarded as a national hero, as you will see by touring the Museum of Skanderbeg which is housed in the castle overlooking Kruja.
From there it’s on to the National Ethnographic Museum, which occupies an 18th-century house and has on display beautiful exhibits of traditional items such as tools, personal objects and crafts. Another highlight is Kruja’s more than 100-year-old bazaar. Here, in open shops lining the cobbled streets, you will find goods as varied as wool carpets, religious icons and ornamental filigree.
Following a traditional meal that will be accompanied by Albanian music and dancing, you will rejoin your coach and make the drive to Tirana. Stopping at the hilltop Martyr’s Cemetery, you will observe the graves of the 900 locals who lost their lives in World War II and an inspirational statue of Mother Albania. A panoramic drive through Tirana highlights notable sites such as the Orthodox churches and the controversial Pyramid building, which was constructed as a museum for Albania’s former Communist leader.
Tirana also has its modern side, best expressed in its soaring twin towers and European trade center. Following your driving tour, you’ll enjoy a walk about the city center, starting in Skanderbeg Square which is surrounded by landmarks such as the Palace of Culture, National Theater and Ethem Bey Mosque. After a refreshment break, you’ll re-board your coach and travel back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 4 hours of easy to moderate walking/standing and includes some steps to negotiate and cobblestone surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.