Life in Albania, both past and present, is openly displayed on this excursion to Kruja, where you will browse several museums, a bustling bazaar and a local residence.
Depart from the pier and make the one-hour drive inland toward Kruja. As you approach the town, the terrain will gradually rise and change from craggy limestone outcroppings to a fertile landscape of oak trees and conifers nourished by abundant mountain springs.
Here in the mid-15th century, the charismatic George Skanderbeg commanded the Albanian troops and held off attacks by the Turks over the next 25 years. He is still regarded as a national hero, as you will see by touring the Museum of Skanderbeg, housed in the castle overlooking Kruja. It contains an enlightening collection of Skanderbeg’s personal belongings and exhibits that showcase what life was like in Albania at the time.
Next, it’s on to the National Ethnographic Museum for a further glimpse into Albanian history. The museum occupies an 18th-century house adorned with frescoes and displays an abundance of traditional items such as tools, personal objects and crafts.
Much of Kruja clusters around the bazaar, which has been operating for more than 100 years. Here, in open shops lining the cobbled streets, you will find goods as varied as wool carpets, religious icons and ornamental filigree and time permitting, you will have an opportunity to shop for a bit.
For an even deeper look into the local lifestyle, you will then be warmly welcomed into one of the nearby homes for a beverage. Afterwards, you will rejoin your coach and return to the pier in Durres.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 3 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.