Southern Balkans – Croatia/Albania + Corfu

Say hello to the Southern Balkans – steeped in medieval history, overflowing with kooky towns, and blessed with a spectacular coastline. This 11-day/10-night tour from Split, Croatia to the Greek island of Corfu is well-rounded, as there are battle zones, beaches, bunkers and bars all together in one Balkan adventure. Discover this region’s epicurean delights, explore the political history of Albania’s capital, Tirana, lay beachside on the Albanian riviera and wind-up sun-kissed on the beaches of a Greek island.

Dates:  Currently planned for Sept 1-11, 2023 – max 10-12 participants – please contact me if interested

Start Location: Split, Croatia / Finish Location: Corfu, Greece; Accommodations: Hotel 10 nights; Included Meals: 9 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners; Transportation: Private vehicle, ferry; Leader/Guide: 1 English speaking tour leader throughout. Local guides will also be used in some locations.


Day 1 (Friday) – Split, Croatia – Take your included transfer from airport to the hotel. In the afternoon meet your local leader and enjoy included welcome dinner tonight in one of the restaurants.

Day 2 (Saturday) – Split, Croatia – This morning, join a local guide for a walking tour of this stunning seaside town and get to know its history. See the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city, as well as the Cathedral in Diocletian’s Peristyle and Jupiter’s Temple. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian’s Palace – Split’s most imposing structure and some of the most interesting ruins on the Adriatic coast. Portions of the Palace are over 1700 years old and there’s ample time to walk around.

Day 3 (Sunday) – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Journey to Dubrovnik (approx. 4.5 hours) following the sea and passing through many small towns and villages located on the coast. Last stretch of the drive will be on the famous vine region, peninsula Peljesac. Make a stop in one of the wineries here for a chance to try local variety of red wine, called Dingac. When arriving in Dubrovnik take some time to rest up before taking a public bus to the old town, where you will join your local guide for an included guided walking tour.

Day 4 (Monday) – Tirana, Albania – Today take a long ride in your private transfer traveling from Croatia, across Montenegro into Albania (approx. 6 hours). Prepare for the long day as you will have to cross multiple borders, and long waiting times are not unusual. In the afternoon make your way to Tirana where you will have some time to rest up before heading out to explore the town on your own.

Day 5 (Tuesday) – Tirana, Albania – This morning, take a leader-led orientation walk around the city to get your bearings. Included, is a visit to a museum called Bunk’Art. This museum is quite the experience actually just to get to, as you’ll head through a long, dark tunnel in the hillside that leads you to the entrance, on the side of a still-active Albanian military base. From here, you’ll descend into 3000 square meters of underground space, which was originally meant as a bunker in the 1970s for Albania’s political elite. Now, it houses different exhibitions of Albanian modern history and contemporary art. Afterwards you have time to explore this eclectic city.

Day 6 (Wednesday) – Dhermi, Albania – Time to get your hiking shoes on with a hike out of town to Pellumbas, Black Cave and Erzeni River. Firstly, drive out of Tirana to Pellumbas: a small village around 25 kilometers southeast of Tirana, where you’ll pass through villages in the epicurean Erzeni Valley, passing the hilltop Petrela Castle. Once arrived, start hiking to the Black Cave and up Erzeni river canyon, where you’ll find that nature creeps up quickly – streaming rivers, possibly the occasional turtle, birds, etc. Continue into the huge entrance of Black Cave and explore the cavern with its spectacular stalactites. Afterwards, prepare to descend to the rocky Erzeni River down a very steep forest trail. You’ll be rewarded with cool water pools among giant boulders and trees. (Total driving ~3.5 hours).

Day 7 (Thursday) – Dhermi, Albania – Wake up on the calming shores of Dhermi Beach, with your day being as clear as the blue waters of the surrounding seas. There’s a range of optional activities that might strike your fancy: hiking, sea kayaking, or even a boat excursion to the Karaburun Peninsula. The best thing is that there’s no need to rush – go as fast or as slow as you want!  If you want some other recommendations on what to do, hit up your group leader.

Day 8 (Friday) – Gijrokaster, Albania – Leave the sparkling Adriatic shores behind and take private transport to Gjirokaster, stopping at the Blue Eye Spring en route (approx. 2 hours). This feat of nature has to be seen to be believed – a kaleidoscope of blues and greens pulsating from a natural river spring from a depth of more than 50 meters. Take the time to explore the surrounding parks and take in the different vantage points of the spring. Onwards to Gjirokaster (approx. 1 hour): a well-preserved Ottoman town in Albania’s south. Once arrived, visit one of the traditional tower houses with a local guide and taste their traditional coffee ‘on the stone’, roasted on the fire right in front of you. If you are lucky, you may even get your fortune read. You’ll spend the night here, so explore the quaint cobblestoned streets and perhaps find some speca me glize (stuffed peppers) to have for dinner.

Day 9 (Saturday) – Corfu, Greece – Hop on a private transfer south to Saranda (approx. 1 hour) – a coastal resort town near the Albania-Greece border. Then, take a hydrofoil ferry to Corfu (approx. 2 hours), an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea. Corfu is known for its mountainous landscapes that extend to the shores, and its cultural heritage, spent under rule from Venetian, French and British influence, before being united with Greece in 1864. Your group leader will take you on an orientation walk near where you’re staying, and afterwards, the afternoon is free for you to explore every corner of the island, or simply pull up a towel on one of the island’s many beaches.

Day 10 (Sunday) – Corfu, Greece – Today is a free day for you to spend at leisure. In the evening meet your group for a farewell dinner.

Day 11 (Monday) – Departure Day – There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at check-out time.

Includes: 10 nights accommodation (double occupancy in rooms with twin beds or singles available for a supplement), 9 breakfasts, 2 dinners, transportation by private vehicle or ferry, activities/entrance fees noted in itinerary, 1 English speaking tour leader throughout (local guides will also be used in some locations), arrival transfers.

Cost as outlined: $3650 pp + $1000 single supplement.  (Trip subject to cancellation or modification depending on interest.)

Not included: flights, departure transfers, international airport departure tax, any visas required, services not mentioned in the itinerary, late check out at hotels, meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, drinks with included lunches and dinners, tips for leaders, guide and driver, expenditure of personal nature, personal insurance, optional activities.

Please contact me if interested or if you have any questions.

Hoping you can join us!!!