Two day trip Saranda - Butrint - Blue Eye - Gjirokastro
09.15 departure time from Corfu´s new port
Passport control in Saranda port
A short stop to a café in Saranda city
With our guide will then visit the ancient
city of Butrint.
Lunch stop in Saranta.
Free time around the town, with or without our guide.
Visit the most beautiful of the 18 springs Blue Eye.
Sleep overnight in a hotel in Saranda.
With our guide we visit the old town of Gjirokastro,
the fortress and the House of Hodsja for lunch.
Return in Saranda´s port for the departure to Corfu.
Boat ticket ( port taxes included )
Entrance to the archaeological center - Butrint and the museum of Gjirokastro
Bus in Albania
Bus in Corfu ( from the place of your residence to the port and back )
For the more adventurous who wish to enjoy a different experience the following two days cruise to the fascinating country of Albania is on offer. After our departure from the port of Corfu we travel along the Albanian shores and we will approach the port of Saranda city. Once our passports are checked the local tourist guide will introduce you to the ancient city of Saranda. A guided tour is coming up to enjoy a 20km tour by coach of the south coast with its virgin shores and scattered islands. Moving on from the mainland we pass small picturesque villages, endless fertile plains leading to a great lake.
The highlight of the first day will be the excursion to Butrint - designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1997. Over the centuries, the ancient town had disappeared under layers of silt and vegetation - but archaeologists have uncovered one of the best remains of a working town in the Mediterranean. At the edge of the lake where the ancient city of Vouthrota is situated, with its well maintained archaeological monuments and ancient theatre, the visitor is taken 2500 years back in time to the 3rd century A.D. The ancient gymnasium, the Roman ablutions, the ancient temple with the priceless mosaic floor and the enormous stone walls will take you back to a time not known to man. Upon reaching the top of the hill lies the castle of Ali Passa, an oddment of the Ottoman Empire, from this position we have a panoramic view of the Ancient City, the lake and the vast plains, a breathtaking sight. Upon our return to the city of Saranda lunch is served. The afternoon allows for a tour of the town and a visit to the Blue Eye, which is the most beautiful of the 18 springs pf Messopotamia. The day ends with the return in Saranda to a hotel for the night.
Our second day is dedicated to the exploration of Gjirokastro. The old city of Gjirokastro is extended on the slopes of the mountain Mali I Gjere south of Albania and its population is going up to 30.000. The origin of its name comes from the princess Argiro and the castle which is the symbol of the town. The castle is built on a hill on the 4-5th century, at the left side of the river Drino. It is protected by 7 towers and in 1811 - 1812 is reconstructed from Ali Pasha Tepelena. In the castle is sheltered the Museum of Arms, which we are going to visit. In the interior of the castle, as in the market of the city, shops are all over to buy some souvenirs.
Gjirokastro or Museum Town like it´s called, is a small city, but it´s distinguished for its architectural style. It was established on the 13th century, but on the 14th was declined and so it was conquered by the Turkish. It is situated between Tirana the capital of Albania and the city of Saranda. From the capital city the distance is about 120 kilometres and it is also called the Stone Town. Since 1968, Gjirokastro, is the place that the National Traditional Festival is organised every five years and many musicians and dancers from all over the country participate. By busses and our guides we visit the unique old fortress, the museum and the House of Hodsja, where we will enjoy a tasteful lunch. At 17.30 in the afternoon we are getting ready for the departure back to Corfu.
Passport or identity card, photo- or video camera, glasses, hat, comfortable shoes, carry with you a small bottle of water for the tour to archaeological monuments. Duty Free is available.