Sea to Summits

This tour is perfect for outdoor loving people who enjoy a good balance of exploring cultural sights and history, discovering Albania’s natural beauty on moderate hikes and sun and swimming at the beach.

This tour is designed for people who visit Albania’s South for the first time and favour to combine scenic hikes for average fitness levels with most of the cultural highlights in an 8 day itinerary. The itinerary covers Albania from Tirana to the southern tip at the border with Greece. It takes in both the Adriatic and Ionian shore, a whole lot of national parks and two of the most remarkable cities of the Balkans: Gjirokaster and Berat, both dominated by castles and very distinct Ottoman houses. 

Trip duration 8 days
Average daily walking time 3-6 hours
Difficulty 2 / 4
Comfort level comfort

Rainbow over Llogara Pass. S2S-overview-2 S2S-overview-3

“Sea to Summits” Highlights

  • watching aquatic birds and immersing in the beauty of Karavasta Lagoon on foot and by boat
  • hidden beaches, azure waters and small Greek-influenced villages of the Ionian Coast
  • wandering the cobblestone streets of the museum cities of Gjirokaster and Berat
  • a bath in the hot springs of Benje after an active day of hiking, with the spectacular Nemercka mountain face in sight
  • following the pilgrims’ path to the Bektashi shrine on Mt Tomorr (2379m)

We will start by exploring the Karavasta Lagoon, a Ramsar listed habitat, home to many aquatic bird species and famous for its pelican population, before we continue our travels south to the archaeological site of Apollonia, an ancient Greek city located at the Via Egnatia, the main connection between the Western and Eastern Roman Empire.

Leaving the Adriatic coast behind, we cross Llogora Pass to enjoy spectacular views from the mountains that plunge from 1400m height right into the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea.

The onwards journey we visit Qeparo Fshat, an old hilltop settlement and our favorite village along the coast, as well as discover how fast sandy beaches can transform into rugged cliffs. We will end the day at the tranquil hidden beach of Gjipe where we spend an easy afternoon.

An obstacle that we will overcome on the next day is the Gjere mountain range. At about 1600m views of Corfu, the coastline and several other ranges are breathtaking. From the top we descend into the Drinos Valley and explore the truly unique city of Gjirokaster.

Following this already well-known destination, our tour goes off the beaten track into the Zagoria Valley. Only one road goes in and instead of traveling over 100km out of it and on to Permet, we cross the 1450m high pass by foot on an ancient but still utilised trail to the Vjosa Valley. In the early evening we can reward ourselves for our effort with a plunge into the hot sulfuric springs ­­at Benje.

After having travelled Albania for a couple of days you might have noticed the absence of proper thick forests, but your impression will change when we pass through the Bredhi i Hotoves national park and journey over a less traveled road along the wild Osumi River Canyon towards Mount Tomorr. On top of one of the peaks to their surprise one finds a Bektashi shrine at nearly 2400m, from where we descend into Polican, former home of Enver Hoxha’s secret arms factories.

The visit to the so called “city of thousand windows”, or simply Berat, will be the last highlight of the tour before we will have to say farewell at Tirana’s Rinas Airport.

  • Arrival at Rinas airport & transfer to the city
  • Walking tour of Tirana, possibility to visit the colourful neighborhoods, the national history museum, central bazar or headquarters of the Bektashi sect
  • Cable car trip to Mount Dajti and hike to the very top with brilliant views of town
  • Dinner depending on timing either at Mt. Dajti plateau or in the city center
  • Optional nightlife in “Blloku” district, the formerly closed off communist quarter
  • The schedule of the first day is dependent on the time of your arrival.


Mosaic decorating the National History Museum, Tirana Dajti Express, the cableway up to Mt Dajti with great views over Tirana Hiking to the top of Mt Dajti 

Hike details

Effective walking: 3 h
Distance: 5 km
Ascending: 0 m
Descending: 775 m

  • Transfer from Tirana to Divjake, the nearby Karavasta lagoon we are going to visit is the biggest in the Balkans
  • Relaxing stroll along the bank of the main lagoon, many aquatic birds nest here
  • Boating to Pelican Island, the best opportunity to watch these amazing birds
  • Lunch at a waterside restaurant where the boat drops us
  • Afternoon walk in the northern forest leads us to the oldest tree of the park and the Terbufi channel where we can meet the local fishermen, on our way there are many opportunities to watch wildlife
  • Boat transfer on the channel that continues with a walk on a narrow strip between the Godulles e Pishes and Spiaxho lagoon and further along the beach to the hotel
  • Leisure time at the beach for swimming and enjoying the sun


Arrival at Karavasta Lagoon S2S-day-by-day-5 Popular fishing method using a big net which is draped across the channel and, when lifted, catched the fish

Hike details

Effective walking: 4.5 h
Distance: 12 km
Ascending: 0 m
Descending: 0 m

  • Scenic drive over a dyke separating the Godulla & Karavasta lagoons
  • Transfer to and tour of the ancient ruined town of Apollonia, the monastery and museum
  • Lunch at a restaurant overlooking Vlora, Sazani Island and the Karakorum Peninsula
  • Transfer to Llogora and summit circle hike above the turquoise Ionian Sea with breathtaking views
  • Dinner at a panoramic restaurant high above the sea
  • Transfer to the hotel in the Greek influenced city of Himare

In acient time, this used to be a Greek city located at the Via Egnatia View from Llogara Pass, with Greek island Corfu in the far distance Small shepherds' summer camp near Llogara Pass

Hike details

Effective walking: 4 h
Distance: 10 km
Ascending: 625 m
Descending: 450 m

  • Transfer to Kudhes, a village perched on a hillside full of olive trees
  • Hike across the hills to the old town of Qeparo, the only village where buildings remain unchanged in the traditional style
  • Lunch in the old hilltop part of Himare
  • Transfer to Jal Beach and hike over cliffs to the secluded oasis of Gjipe
  • Time to explore the adjacent Vuno Canyon with 70m high walls, or to be spent relaxed at the wonderful beach
  • Possibility to watch the sunset from St. Thodre Monastery with views of the sea, Llogora and the coastal mountain range
  • Transfer to and stay at the previous night’s hotel in Himare

Enthroned over the Ionian Sea: Qeparo Fshat Ali Pasha Fortress between Himare and Qeparo From the beach, a canyon holds ready a small green oasis

Hike details

Effective walking: 5.5 h
Distance: 12 km
Ascending: 600 m
Descending: 600 m

  • Scenic transfer on the windy coastal road passes Porto Palermo and the Ali Pasha castle before entering the Delvine plain
  • Hike from the top of Sopot Mountain with distant views in every direction towards a wonderful forgotten monastery of St. Mary over Goranxi
  • Lunch at the green meadows of the monastery
  • Short transfer to Gjirokaster and check in at the hotel housed in a traditional building
  • Choose to join us on a guided city tour or explore the cobblestone streets and Ottoman houses on your own

Orthdodox St. Mary's Monastery, a cultural monument build around 1600 Gjirokaster's clock tower overlooks the Old Town Traditional house with stone roof, Gjirokaster

Hike details

Effective walking: 4.5 h
Distance: 11 km
Ascending: 150 m
Descending: 1400 m

  • Drive through the Drinos Valley with a stop at Lavoba e Kryqit, one of the most beautiful churches in Albania
  • Arrival in the Zagoria Valley after a scenic drive through the Suha Canyon
  • Hike from the village of Sheper on an ancient trail, passing shepherd summer huts, to Leuse, which lunch en route
  • Exploration of the village and its church with amazing mural paintings
  • Transfer to Lengarica Canyon, the village of Benje is located at its entrance as well as a finely crafted ottoman bridge
  • Relaxation at the hot springs of Benje

Various icons and frescoes decorate the interior of orthodox St. Mary's church Looking down on Permet on the Eastern side of Nemercka range Ottoman bridge at Benje hot springs, Nemercka range in the background

Hike details

Effective walking: 6 h
Distance: 13 km
Ascending: 650 m
Descending: 1300 m

  • Scenic ride that passes the thick forests of Bredhi i Hotoves National Park and the wild Osumi river canyon on the way to Corovoda
  • Stop at the Bogova waterfall for lunch before our arrival at the Bektashi Shrine
  • Hike from Mount Tomorr to Polican
  • Transfer to Berat and dinner at the castle or by the river
  • Optional evening stroll of the illuminated city of Berat by night

In spring, the canyon carries a lot of water from melting snow, and gushing waterfalls thunder down the steep cliffs Views from Mt Tomorr (2416m), the holy mountain of the Bektashi faith Berat at night

Hike details

Effective walking: 6 h
Distance: 15 km
Ascending: 100 m
Descending: 2100m

  • City tour of the traditional neighborhoods of Berat, the castle and mosque. The length of this tour very much depends on the time of your departure from the airport.
  • Transfer from Berat to Rinas Airport
  • Farewell coffee

Berat - the city of thousand windows Traditional copper smith at work S2S-day-by-day-24

Services included:

  • 7 nights accommodation in hotels
  • half board
  • English and German speaking guide
  • all transports within Albania incl. transfers from/to Tirana Airport
  • 2 boat trips

At your own:

  • insurance
  • airfares to and from Tirana Airport, AL
  • picnic / lunches (sandwiches, etc)
  • entrance fees (as indicated)
  • tips and personal expenses for drinks and souvenirs

Tour price per person: 599€
Group size: 8-15 persons

Available dates: mid April to mid June, September to mid October

If the minimum number of participants isn’t reached one month before departure date, the tour can’t be realized.


Didn’t find what you were looking for? Get in touch with us and we will be happy to tailor a tour that suits your needs, organise transport or accommodation, or simply give advice for your independent visit to Albania.