Discover Tirana, where the capital’s past is reflected through historical landmarks and a Communist-era film studio, after which you’ll ride a cable car to the top of Dajti Mountain.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a one-hour drive through the scenic countryside as you drive inland to Tirana, which lies in the shadow of Dajti Mountain. Your first stop will be Skanderbeg Square in the center of town. A statue of Skanderbeg on horseback looms over the square, a monument to the Albanian national hero who repulsed numerous Turkish invasions in the 15th century.
Numerous architectural landmarks surround the square, including the Palace of Culture, National Theater and the Ethem Bey Mosque, Tirana’s oldest building. Although closed for decades during the Communist era, the 18th-century mosque reopened in 1991 and, as you will see, the interior is exquisite. The frescoes and rare Islamic still life paintings are especially remarkable.
Following a short refreshment break, you will drive to Kinostudio, a film studio founded in 1952. Its first film was “Skanderbeg,” which won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. You will visit the building that once housed Kinostudio and several similar film ventures. While the companies have since closed, they leave a legacy of 200 films, largely propaganda, as they were co-produced by the Communist regime.
For the ultimate perspective of Tirana, you will then ride a cable car to the top of Dajti Mountain, nearly 5,300 feet above sea level. After taking in the sweeping panoramic views, you will re-board your coach and retrace your route back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking and includes some steps to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.