Bunkers of Albania
Albania used to be a country that experienced communism in the 20th century and it was part of the eastern bloc. During the Cold War, leader Enver Hoxha decided to forficate the country with thousands of bunkers against possible attackers. In Albania, these constructions stay still strong and we would love to show them to international tourists.
- Visit BunkArt 1 in Tirana
- Explore hidden communist air bases of Gjader and Kucove
- Take photos of unique bunkers
- Have a drink/meal in a bunker
- Spend a day at Sazan Island
- Learn about Albanian communist history
- Small group size
- Professional tour guide/driver
- Transportation as per itinerary
- Entrance fee BunkArt 1
- Entrance fee House of Leaves
- Entrance fee Rozafa castle
- Boat ticket to Sazan Island
- Entrance fee Porto Palermo fortress
- Entrance fee Butrint archeological park
- Entrance fee Gjirokaster castle and Museum of Weapons
- Entrance fee Ethnographic Museum of Gjirokaster
- Accommodation in twin/double room with breakfast
- Personal expenses
Day 1. Tirana
Meet with our professional guide at your hotel lobby or we can arrange airport pick up at Tirana international airport. Next, we continue with the city tour of the capital of Albania. Tirana is a vibrant city with a rich and busy life. The guided walking tour takes to spots like Mother Theresa square, where is founded the University of Tirana. A walk through the main boulevard will encounter places that have created the history of Tirana since medieval times. Skanderbeg Square holds out many great stories which you should not miss. We will discover the diversity of religions in the city at the Orthodox cathedral, the Catholic cathedral, and Et'hem Bej Mosque located only 5 min far from each other.
After lunch, we transfer to the largest bunker in Albania. BunkArt 1 is a complex of underground tunnels built during the 70s for the protection of the communist elite leaders. In the evening you can explore the buzzy nightlife of the Blloku area. Accommodation in Tirana.
Day 2. Tirane – Shengjin – Shkoder (130 km)
After breakfast, we drive north of the country. Our first destination will be the ancient port of Shengjin. Besides being a popular summer destination, Shengjin used to be an important station during communist times. Here were constructed several bunkers, tunnels, and the port was turned into a great defensive wall against any attack from the sea. We will drive to some rural hills to visit from inside these fortifications and get more familiar with their history. After lunch, we continue towards Shkoder. First will appear the symbol of the city, Rozafa castle. Built during ancient times by the Illyrian tribe of Labeat, it offers great views and an interesting legend. In the afternoon we bond with locals on the main promenade. Accommodation in Shkoder
Day 3. Shkoder – Kruje (85 km)
In the morning we wake up with the desire to discover another hidden part of Albania. Driving through the agricultural land of Zadrime, we arrive at a mysterious airbase. Gjader airport was built during the 70s and was considered the most expensive project in the Albanian military. It introduces an ensemble of tunnels and bunkers, rare in their kind. We continue our journey to Kune lagoon, not only rich in flora and birds but also bunkers. In the afternoon we head towards the historical city of Kruja. Accommodation in Kruja.
Day 4. Kruje – Berat (135 km)
After breakfast, our trip carries on to the Adriatic Sea. We will visit the Cape of Rodon which is beautifully located on the coast and is full of history and bunkers. The military history of this area starts in medieval times during the reign of Skanderbeg and continues to extend during communism. Today several bunkers stand by the beach where lots of people come to enjoy the sunshine. Later we drive further along the Adriatic Sea to stop for a drink at a bunker bar. Down south we reach Kucova city or Stalingrad, the name of the city during communist times. In the 50s was built an airbase, which has resisted the times and today is the NATO base. The afternoon we spend in Berat castle. Accommodation in Berat.
Day 5. Berat - Sazan Island – Vlore (150 km)
Today we head towards the Ionian Sea. In Vlore, we get on board a boat that will sail to the largest island in Albania. Sazan Island is strategically positioned in the Bay of Vlora and since ancient times has served as a military zone. During communism, this island became inhabited by Albanian soldiers and their families. Today it seems like time has stopped, but while walking around the island we can experience what used to be once a lively town with schools, hospitals, and houses. After visiting the island, we stop at a beach by the Karaburun peninsula to relax in the clear blue sea. Accommodation in Vlore.
Day 6. Albanian Riviera (90 km)
This morning we wake up in the mountains. Not far is the Ionian Sea which we will fully explore during the day. Through the coastal road, we continue to visit lots of villages with amazing vacation atmospheres and rich history. Porto Palermo bay is a place where the communist built the submarine base. The area is completed with Ali Pashe Tepelena fortress standing glamorous in the middle of the sea. The journey will carry along the small beaches of the Albanian Riviera to arrive in Saranda. Accommodation in Saranda.
Day 7. Sarande – Gjirokaster (90 km)
Today is dedicated to the history of the area. We will drive further south to visit the archeologic park of Butrint. The ruins found here date back to the 8th century B.C representing a long living history of the Illyrians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantine empires. A walk inside the city guided by our knowledgeable guide, surrounded by beautiful nature and ruins will make you feel like you are in another past world.
Not far from the park are located Ksamil Islands which are so well-known for their sandy beaches and views of Corfu Island located only 4km across the sea.
The next destination is the city of Gjirokaster, a site listed under UNESCO World heritage in Albania. The town hosts unique local architecture which has been nicknamed Stone City. Argjiro castle stands with pride at the top of the hill and can be seen from all over the city and the valley. The walking tour will include a visit to the birthplace of communist leader Enver Hoxha. Accommodation in Gjirokaster.
Day 8. Gjirokaster – Korce (200 km)
In the morning we take a road less traveled through the southeast of Albania. This part of Albania is rural with beautiful mountains, valleys, friendly people, and good food. Of course, we will face many bunkers during our trip. We will stop for lunch at a local farm and see the mushroom bunkers in Erseke. On arrival at the city of Korce, we take a walking tour through the old bazaar and the boulevard. The city of Korce is known as "The Little Paris" due to its architecture and history. Accommodation in Korce.
Day 9. Korce – Tirane (165 km)
On the last day, we will explore the surroundings of Lake Ohrid. The village of Tushemisht is remarkably known for its fish farms. Nearby is Drilon park, which served as the summer residence of leader Enver Hoxha. West of Lake Ohrid, is the village of Lin where are founded bunkers with great views. Accommodation in Tirana.