Gjirokastra Stone City Guaranteed excursion from Saranda

Code: 18121518041
Full day Excursion
  • gjirokastra castle excursion
  • old house gjirokastra
  • souvenirs gjirokastra
  • view point gjirokastra castle
  • castle of gjirokastra
  • gjirokastra bazaar
  • gjirokastra old town
  • Gjirokastra views
  • hand made experience
  • how to sew
  • inside gjirokastra castle

Tour Features

Gjirokastra Stone City Guaranteed excursion starting from Saranda.

This guaranteed excursion will bring you inland in South Albania. Gjirokastra’s old town is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The neck of the old bazaar, (Qafa e Pazarit), the heart of the old town, is the intersection of five stony streets. Each one of these streets takes you to historic sites, monuments, or characteristic houses of the town. It is also the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, the communist head of Albania from 1944-1985.

This mighty fortress towers over the town; its ramparts provide outstanding views not only of the town but of the surrounding countryside. Built in the 4th century, there are displays of weaponry, a captured American aircraft, museum displays, and even a former prison. Be sure to look for the story of Argjiro, a princess who jumped to her death from the heights rather than surrender to Ottoman invaders.

Local ladies still make handmade doilies. You will be able to both watch and participate in the creation of this famous doily made with Albanian patterns.

Free time for lunch and shopping. Look for that one-of-a-kind souvenir: an Albanian t-shirt—red with the nation’s emblem. It’s quite likely none of your friends will have one!

So, uncover the mystery and history of South Albania in this unique guaranteed excursion tour of the UNESCO town of Gjirokastra.

Itinerary

This tour starts in the city of Saranda, located on the coast in the southern part of Albania. It was named in honor of the Byzantine monastery of the Agioi Saranda (Forty Martyrs of Sebaste). The Venetians called it Santa Quaranta when they controlled it. During its annexation by the Italians in World War II, Saranda was renamed “Porto Edda” in honor of Mussolini’s daughters. Saranda is included in some cruise itineraries. This is a perfect shore excursion if your cruise includes this lovely destination.

After meeting the guide in Saranda, you will travel northeast for 1 ½ hours through the coastal mountains into the Albanian interior. Your destination is Gjirokastra: “City of Stones.” As you near Gjirokastra and descend into the broad, beautiful valley, you will be able to see Greece—the border is very close. In 370 B.C., a Greek general named Pyrrhus led campaigns against Rome and achieved a Pyrrhic Victory—a term still in use today to label any conquest that costs the victor more than it was worth. He won at great expense and is said to have commented, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”

Gjirokastra’s old town is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The neck of the old bazaar, (Qafa e Pazarit), the heart of the old town, is the intersection of five stony streets. Each one of these streets takes you to historic sites, monuments, or characteristic houses of the town. It is also the birthplace of Enver Hoxha, the communist head of Albania from 1944-1985.

You will walk through the old bazaar with its wood and stone carving shops and pass through streets with the old houses and buildings protected by UNESCO towards the Castle of Gjirokastra. This mighty fortress towers over the town; its ramparts provide outstanding views not only of the town but of the surrounding countryside. Built in the 4th century, there are displays of weaponry, a captured American aircraft, museum displays, and even a former prison. Be sure to look for the story of Argjiro, a princess who jumped to her death from the heights rather than surrender to Ottoman invaders.

Local ladies still make handmade doilies. You will be able to both watch and participate in the creation of this famous doily made with Albanian patterns.

Free time for lunch and shopping. Look for that one-of-a-kind souvenir: an Albanian t-shirt—red with the nation’s emblem. It’s quite likely none of your friends will have one!

Drive back to Saranda through the Albanian countryside.

Tour details

Tour details

Kindly find as below all the details of this tour

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Elite Travel Albania. Rruga Mitat Hoxha 23, 9700. Saranda, Albania
The local guide will be waiting for you with ETG Welcome Sign
DEPARTURE TIME The tour will depart on 09:00. Please be there 15 minutes in advance
RETURN TIME The tour will end approximately at 16:00.
INCLUDED
Entry to Castle of Gjirokastra Transportation
Handmade Doily Sewing Experience English speaking guide
NOT INCLUDED
Lunch
Guide/Driver gratuity

This tour is operative all year round on the selected dates. Kindly check the calendar or contact us for any questions.

Meeting point

Meeting point

Booking with us

Booking with us

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