Explore thousands of years of civilization and history on this tour into Albania from Montenegro. This full-day excursion is a favorite among many who come to explore Skadar (or Shkodra in Albanian), Albania’s fifth-largest city.
Albania, country of rich cultural heritage and tradition that was totally isolated from the rest of the world for more than 50 years of 20th century.
Skadar is one of the oldest cities in Europe a city that has been inhabited by everyone from the Illyrians to the Slavs and the Ottomans. As you explore formidable fortifications, streets and even twentieth-century sites of important significance with us, we are certain you’ll feel that history.
The excursion departs from your hotel along the coast passing the famous Sveti Stefan where we will take a short photo break.
During your ride to Albania you will have opportunity to see beautiful coastline and small maritime towns while your tour guide will tell you more about Montenegro and Albania.
We travel by coach to the South along the Adriatic coastline, passing towns Petrovac, Sutomore and Bar – the largest Montenegrin port where European and oriental cultures begin to mix.
Road from Bar to the border is about a 45 minute drive and passes through old villages inhabited mainly by Albanians.
We will cross the border in the place called Sukobin and we will take a break at the restaurant which is located right next to border crossing point between Albania and Montenegro.
We continue our journey sightseeing Albanian villages near three rivers Bojana, Drim and Kiri that surround fortress Rozafa.
We come to Skadar, town on Skadar lake, the old mercantile center with medieval fortress.
We will visit the ruins of the Venetian fortress Rozafa – at the entrance of the town, 3km south of the city centre which is located on rocky hill 133 m high. It is one of the biggest and most famous castles in Albania.
Every self-respecting medieval castle or fortresses has its legends and legends recounting the host cities of the castle in the distant past.
According to an old Serbian ballad, «The Building of Skadar on Bojana River» the three Serbian brothers who were building the castle couldn’t get the walls to stand. A man passing by told them they could make the walls stand if one of the brother’s wives were sacrificed. So, the name of the fortress «Rozafa» comes from the name of the youngest brother’s wife because she was a victim in a walled fortress.
Of course, the Rozafa was named after the Albanian version of the same legend.
Historians tell us background of the castle’s characteristics in many ruling periods that each left their own signs and markings on the grounds, including the rule of Dusan’s empire, a distinct Venetian flare and Ottoman architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Archaeological excavations have yielded finds extending from the early Bronze Age until the present day. Within its massive defensive walls stand the Church of St. Stephen, several Venetian administrative buildings, a belfry and some medieval buildings. There is also small museum and traditional restaurant.
Rozafa Castle offer some beautiful views of Skadar and surroundings, Skadar Lake and waterways. There are belvedere, which permit you to enjoy in the best way all the panorama in different directions.
After visiting the fortress we will go to lunch in a traditional Albanian restaurant situated on the bank of the river Bojana.
When we finish our lunch, we go on a one-hour boat ride, during which we will have the opportunity to see Skadar from another perspective.
Skadar is the point of entry for the sublime natural landscapes in almost every direction from the city. East is Drin River that flows through canyons, right to the west is the Adriatic Sea and its sandy beaches, and northeast are the Albanian Alps where the country’s tallest peaks can be conquered.
The Skadar lake is the largest lake in the Balkans, stretching between Montenegro and Albania and ultimately runs through the Bojana River into the Adriatic. The lake’s calm fresh warm water makes it perfect for water sports, fishing, bird and butterfly watching.
After finishing boat ride we will go to Skadar city center. On the way to the city center by coach, various buildings will show you two face of city – traditional and modern one.
Its title of «Cultural Capital of Albania» comes more from its rich cultural history rather than what it has to offer in the way of sights.
It’s a town known for its music, literature, and ancient relics, but a town that’s also changed quite a bit in appearance through the centuries due to floods, wars, and communist dictators, so most of what you will see is fairly modern.
Its tradition of religious (and ethnic) tolerance still visibly apparent in the center with the largest mosque in the Balkans, a Catholic Cathedral and Orthodox Church.
Skadar is very proud of the monument of Mother Teresa – the nun is portrayed with hands crossed on her chest as a symbol of her faith that she carried throughout her life. Albanians are very proud that their country gave the World this Saint person!
This capital of Skadar district is located at the shore of Skadar Lake and is famous for bazaars and mosques which give Skadar oriental appearance.
Upon arrival we will walk by the most popular pedestrian street «Kole Idromeno» (Piazza), which has been preserved in the old style. It contains many bars and restaurants with terraces, flowers and fancy shops.
Street trade is well-developed, on the streets in the center you can buy all kinds of stuff. We will catch a little of the Skadar bazaar atmosphere in the streets, where people still sell everything under the sun: fresh fruit and vegetables, tobacco, chickens, wedding dresses, shoes, screws, spare parts, curtains, glasses…
After sightseeing enjoy free time before returning to Montenegro to browse the shops and soak up the atmosphere in Skadar…
Price: From 55,00 € per person
Price includes: Bus transport, guide, ticket for Rozafa castle, local transportation to the fortress, boat ride 1 h, lunch, fees in Albania.
Map of Excursion Skadar – Albania