4 Free Walking Tours in Albania
Free walking tours? Yes, you read that right. Since the best way to experience any new destination is by walking around, Elite Travel Albania will start offering four FREE walking tours in some of the most important cities in Albania. These tours will last for two hours and young, English-speaking local guides will be your companions. You can find them twice daily in all of these cities. From April to November the first tour will start every day at 10 AM and the second at 6 PM. From November to April the first tour will start at the same time and the second at 2 PM. So, where will you have the opportunity to join these free walking tours?
Tirana Free Walking Tour
Tirana is a collision of the new and the old. It seems as if it has awakened from the communist period has changed into a loud and colorful city. Despite being a little chaotic sometimes, Tirana never fails to entertain you with its vibrant atmosphere. A walking tour is the best way to explore the Albanian capital. You can start with the famous Skanderbeg Square, which is the main plaza. Then you can continue with some of the important buildings around such as the Clock Tower, Et’hem Bey Mosque, and the National History Museum. Afterward, you can continue visiting Pazari i Ri (New Bazaar), one of the biggest, recently renovated farmer’s markets in Tirana, and the St. Paul Catholic Cathedral. Next up, you will come across two sights related to communism: the Pyramid of Tirana and the Blloku area. There you can see how these pieces of Albania’s dark past have transformed into spaces that add life to the capital. Moving on, you can visit Mother Tereza Square and the National Gallery of Arts nearby. Lastly, you can stop by the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the whole Balkan Peninsula.
Durrës Free Walking Tour
Durrës, the second-largest city in Albania, and one of the oldest settlements in the Mediterranean with amazing historical and archeological sites. The journey in Durrës starts at the Venetian Tower and Byzantine walls. Next, you will come along the Durrës Amphitheatre which was constructed during Roman times. It could accommodate hundreds of spectators who used to watch Gladiator fights. Moving on, nearby you will also find the Forum which dates to the 5th and 6th century, as well as Thermas dating to the second century. Lastly, you will be visiting the beach area along the city’s main promenade and enjoy this part of the Albanian coastline.
Saranda Free Walking Tour
Saranda, one of the most important cities in the Albanian Riviera. With around 300 sunny days per year, it is no surprise that the coastal city is bustling with tourists. Not only does Saranda have beautiful views but also an impressive history. It is believed that the city dates back to ancient Epirus and has been occupied later on by the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Italy and Greece as well. First off, you will discover the city’s main promenade along the seaside. It is one of the main touristic points of Saranda and recently reconstructed with a fresh and modern look. As you keep walking you will come across a small fisherman port and arrive at the Orthodox Church of Saint Haralambos, which is the largest in Saranda. Up next, another important landmark is the open museum in the Synagogue. It is definitely one of the best places to visit in Saranda. Another interesting sight is the Saranda Art Gallery with a collection of different art pieces from local Albanian artists showing folklore and history of the region. Lastly, you will cross the local market in Saranda. There you can find all kinds of produce locally grown in Saranda or the neighboring villages as well as locally produced delicacies, like honey, jam, olive oil, cheeses, wines, and raki.
Elbasan Free Walking Tour
Elbasan, located right in the middle of Albania and the third-largest city. It is a center of culture, history, and tradition with lots of interesting sights. Start your visit with a stroll through the main promenade, where you will see the Castle of Elbasan and the Clocktower. Nearby you will find ruins of the Bezistan Basilica. An early Christian basilica built during the Byzantine period in the 5th century A.D. Next, you will be entering the castle visiting the King’s Mosque, one of the oldest in the country. And as you proceed with the tour, very close to the mosque you will find the St. Mary church. This Orthodox church was built during 1483-1556 and it is home to some amazing frescoes by Onufri, one of the most famous Albanian painters. Moving on, you will pass by Elbasan’s open market with fresh produce. Lastly, you will walk towards Salih Ceka Professional School. This school is becoming an essential player in preparing students for jobs of the future and assuring Elbasan’s evolvement in the long run.