Embark on a journey of discovery through Albania, a land rich in nature, myths, and legends. You will be transported back in time as we follow the ancient caravan routes of Zagoria, Pogon, Lunxheria, Libohova, and Antigonea, which merchants and their caravans used over 2000 years ago.
Our journey will lead us to explore ancient ruins of the Illyrian civilization, medieval villages, numerous churches, and remote monasteries. Of great interest are also the uniquely designed bridges built during the era of Ali Pasha. For the first and last night, you will stay in the beautiful city of Gjirokastra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, while in the following days, you will be guests of locals who will warmly open their homes to you and serve you the best of local culinary traditions. The climax of this extraordinary trekking adventure will be the ascent of Swallow’s Rock. As you immerse yourself more and more in this mystical land, replete with intricate myths and legends, you will get to know Albanian rural traditions. We expect approximately 170 km of riding with an average of about 6 hours per day. The horses used in this trekking are a mix of the local breed called Tarpan and Arabian horses: small but perfectly suited to the rocky terrain, well-balanced and reliable, allowing you to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views. Your luggage will be transported by car, while you can keep the essentials with you in convenient saddlebags.
We await you for an adventure characterized by harmony between humanity, horses, nature, and culture.
Guaranteed shared departure dates, minimum 1 person departing from Italy.
Take a flight to Tirana (TIA) or to Saranda's Port arriving by 3.00 p.m. Meeting with the corrispondents and transfert by minivan to Gjirokastra, 250 km away. After approximately 3 and a half hours you will arrive to the town, check in and welcoming buffet. In the evening, tour around the city's center, the bazar and, if time allows it, the castel, the church and the mosque. Dinner in a traditional restaurant and presentation of the trip.
Breakfast and then everyone on horseback, riding through the countryside with its varied landscapes: hills, valleys and rivers. We will pass close to a lot of small suburbs and local farms, Santa Triada castle's ruins, a control base for merchant's caravans. Pic-nic lunch and, in the afternoon, arrival to the village of Karjan, which was already inhabited in medieval times. Dinner and overnight stay with a family.
Departure following the runway, which passes through beautiful mountain's landscape, northwards. Come to labova's village, we will have a break to visit the church. It's here where was born Vangjel Zhapa, the organizer of first Olympic Games. We will continue among the endemic vegetation: mountain tea, wild rose and oregano, to the Cajupi valley, where we are going to have a pic-nic under trees and to drink some water from a famous source, a caravan crossroads.
We will go on along the old, medieval tracks to the Nderan village, in the middle of Zagoria region, where we will stay for two nights: a famous place thanks to the deliciousness of its honey and its typical products. Dinner and overnight stay with families.
Hearty mountain breakfast before to take us on saddles along the most important rail for the trades of South Albania. The rock formation of Zhej, Hoshteva's church, with its various heathen elements is very beautiful and the Liliar reservoir, built by Ali Pasha, is very interesting. We will pass on a medieval bridge, which link an old monastery to Nderan, where we are going to enjoy another family's night.
A thrilling morning into a wide valley, perfect for long rides. Crossing Pogoni's region will be a real journey into the past: byzantine monuments and ancient bridges and ruins throughout the area. We arrive, in the late afternoon, at Polican's village, inhabited by a curious greek minority. You will have some free time to wander around the medieval monuments before enjoying a delicious dinner.
More mountains, rivers and beautiful forests to reach the top of Swallow Rock, from where the Suha River can be seen. A little break for lunch near to the most ancient Albanian's church: Labora's church, whose construction it's said to date back to 554, at the behest of Giustiniano.
In the afternoon, we arrive at Libohova's town, at the foot of Bureto's mountain, an ancient human settlment, now inhabited by a noble family. Dinner with typical dishes and overnight stay with families.
We advise waking up early to enjoy the sunrise which enlight the entire valley. You will have some free time for a short walking tour around the village before to get in the saddle and to reach, after 3 hours riding, the Antigonea National Park. It will be very interesting the story of the monuments you are going to see. In the afternoon, we wil come back to Gjirokastra. Last dinner in a typical restaurant at the bazar, and overnight stay at Babameto on the outward journey.
Breakfast and transfert to Tirana's airport (or Saranda's port) between 9.00 and 12 noon.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|From 25 February 2023 to 2 December 2023
(B / L / D): B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = Dinner
Shared guaranteed departure dates, minimum 1 person departing from Italy:
Difficulty level: From ° to °°°°°
DURATION: 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
DIFFICULTY: °°° (INTERMEDIATE)
AGE: minimum 14 years
ACCOMMODATION: traditional accommodation
EQUIPMENT: ENGLISH TREKKING SADDLE
HORSES: ALBANIAN SADDLE HORSES
GAIT: 6/7 H PER DAY IN THE SADDLE. It mainly proceeds slowly due to the mountain grounds, which your horses know well. However, there will be no lack of terrain for trot and gallop. A good level of control is required at the three paces.
TYPE : Itinerant with overnight stay in basic rooms. Support means for luggage
The first and last night will be in Gjirokastra, also called “the city of 1000 steps”, in accommodation with traditional architecture. The city of Gjirokastra, located in southern Albania, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, with its Ottoman-style castle, churches and monasteries. The 5 nights itinernti of our trekkig will be in typical houses of the Albanian countryside.
Note: The itinerary described above is to be considered indicative. It could be subject to variations due to weather conditions or circumstances beyond our control.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
from € 1,280 - excluding flights
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights
from € 1,120 - excluding flights
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