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From Corfu Main Port

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From Lefkimmi Port (South Corfu)

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Two days trip to Saranda City, Butrint National Park, Blue Eye and Gjirokastro

Departing Port: Corfu Main Port View pickup points
Daily Cruiser

For more adventurous travellers seeking something out of the ordinary, we offer the following one-day cruise to the fascinating country of Albania.

Day 1
From the Port of Corfu, we follow the Albanian coast to the city port of Saranda. After a short coffee break in Saranda, a 20 km guided coach tour reveals the south coast’s virgin shores and scattered islands. Moving on from the mainland, we pass small picturesque villages and endless fertile plains that lead to a great lake.
The highlight of your day will be the excursion to Butrint – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over the centuries, the ancient town had disappeared under layers of silt and vegetation, but archaeologists have since uncovered one of the best remains of a working town in the Mediterranean. At the edge of the lake is the ancient city of Vouthrota, whose well-maintained archaeological monuments and ancient theatre take visitors back 2,500 years till the 3rd century A.D. The Venetian Tower near to the entrance, the Temple of Asclepius, the ancient gymnasium, the Roman Baths, the Roman Baptistery with its priceless mosaic floor, the Lion gate, and the enormous Cyclopean walls will transport you to a time and place unrecognizable to modern man. At the top of the hill stands the Venetian Castle, whose panoramic view of the Ancient City, the lake and the vast plains below is truly breathtaking. Lunch is served upon our return to Saranda. The coffee break in the old castle of Licoursi, with its spectacular views over the city, is a must for any visitor. The afternoon allows for a walking tour of Saranda, as well as a chance to experience the plentiful cafeterias, bars, and seafood restaurants that line the promenade.

Day 2
Our second day is dedicated to exploring the ancient city of Gjirokastro. With a population of almost 30,000, the city extends along the slopes of Mali I Gjere, a mountain in the south of Albania. Gjirokastro’s name derives from both the princess Argiro and the castle, which is the symbol of the city. Built in the 4-5th century, the castle stands on a hill to the west side of the river Drino. Protected by seven towers, it was reconstructed by Ali Pasha Tepelena in 1811-12 and currently houses the Museum of Arms, which is included in our visit. Both the market in the main city and the shops inside the castle contain a range of souvenirs for you to purchase.
Situated between Tirana, the capital of Albania, and the city of Saranda, Gjirokastro is a small city with a distinctive architectural style. Established in the 13th century, the city went into decline in the 14th century and was conquered by the Turks. Located about 120 km from the capital, it is also known as the Stone Town. Since 1968, the National Traditional Festival has been held in Gjirokastro every five years, and many musicians and dancers from all over the country participate. Travelling by bus, our guides take us to the unique old fortress, the museum, the House of Hodsja and at a restaurant in the main square where we enjoy a tasty lunch. On the way back, we visit the magical Blue Eye – an underground spring more than 50 meters deep that creates a lake whose turquoise waters will fill you with feelings of energy and peace. In the afternoon we prepare to sail back to Corfu.

Highlights
  • Coach transfer to and from the hotel and the Port of Corfu
  • Full day with a professional guide
  • Short coffee break in Saranda
  • Explore the ancient city of Butrint
  • Lunch at a sea view restaurant in Saranda
  • Visit to Licoursi castle
  • Guided walking tour of Saranda and free time
  • Visits to Gjirokastro Castle and the Museum of Arms
  • Visit to Hodsja’s House (folklore museum)
  • Lunch at a restaurant in the city of Gjirokastro
  • Free time to stroll around Gjirokastro
  • Visit to Blue Eye

Itinerary

Day 1 (in Greek time)

08:50 Passport control and duty free shopping
  • 09:00 Boarding and on-board check in
  • 09:15 Departure from the main Port of Corfu
  • 10:00 Arrival at the main Port of Albania (Saranda). Passport control and coach boarding
  • 10:10 Departure from the Port to the sea view restaurant of the Hotel in the city of Saranda. Short break for coffee,
    Money exchange, WC, luggage drop of.
  • 11:10 Departure from the restaurant
  • 11:40 Arrival at the archaeological area of Butrint. Tour lasts between 90-110 minutes depending on age. The tour for elderly or disabled guests will include 70% of the archaeological area (with a separate guide when necessary). There is a small bar/ kiosk at the entrance to the site. Public bathroom facilities are available at the end of the tour in the Venetian Castle on the Acropolis hill.
  • 13:30 Departure from Butrint
  • 14:00 Arrival at the same restaurant in Saranda for a buffet-style lunch
  • 15:20 Departure from the restaurant
  • 15:30 Arrival at the castle of Licoursi
  • 16:30 Departure from the castle of Licoursi
16:40 Guided tour of the archaeological area in Saranda city centre. Free time to stroll around the city

Day 2 (in Albanian time)

08.00 Departure from the Hotel
  • 09:45 Arrival at Gjirokastro. 15 minutes walking up to the castle.
  • 12:00 Visit the house of Hodsja
  • 12:50 Arrival at the restaurant in the main square of the town for lunch
  • 14:20 Departure from the restaurant
  • 15:20 Arrival at Blue Eye
  • 16:20 Departure from Blue Eye
  • 17:00 Arrival at the Port of Saranda. Passport control, boarding
  • 17:20 Departure from the Port of Saranda
18.00 Arrival at the main Port of Corfu. Disembarkation and passport control (19:00 Greek time)

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Two days trip to Saranda City, Butrint National Park, Blue Eye and Gjirokastro

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