Taste of Albania: After meeting your guide you will firstly start the visit of Vlora. Vlore, the independency city is picturesquely located on the Bay of Vlore. Vlore has a long history as it, not unlike other ancient towns along the coast, was first founded by Greek colonists in the 6th century BC. Later, it was an important port of the Roman and the Byzantine Empires. Changing hands several times over the centuries, Vlore finally fell to the Ottomans in 1417. It was in Vlore that five centuries later - in 1912, during the First Balkan War, Albania declared its independence from the Ottomans, only to be occupied by the Italians a couple of years later.
History speaks for itself in Vlore while visiting the city. In the centre is the Flag Square, where the people gathered to celebrate the raise of the flag. And in front of the square is the building where the flag was raised and the Declaration of Independency was signed. More from history that you will visit in Vlore is the Muradie Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the whole country which survived the communist suppression which you are going to visit.
After Vlora you will be transferred in Ardenica for approximately 1 hour drive. Once in Ardenica you will visit Ardenica monastery. The Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Ardenica or simply Ardenica Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery. Built by Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282 after the victory against the Angevins in the Siege of Berat, the monastery is famous as the place where, in 1451, was celebrated the marriage of Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, with Andronika Arianiti. In 1780 the Monastery started a theological school to prepare clerics. It had an important library with 32,000 volumes that got completely burned by a fire in 1932.
After the dose of history you will be transferred in Prifti family winery, which is located very near to Ardenica monastery.
The winery have a surface of 12-hectare vineyard, planted by hand on the coasts of Albania. The view is stunning: Ardenica, an orthodox monastery from 750 years back is standing like a guardian over this Mediterranean landscape covered by pine trees and grapevines. The monastery, strategically located in the axes of Ancient Greece and Rome, is even today an outstanding part of local and national culture. Albania wine is the unique produce of a historic terroir: hit by the Mediterranean breeze every evening and abundantly exposed to sunlight during the day, the slopes have an ideal loamy soil composition, a perfect mix of 30% sand, 50% silt and 20% clay, full of organic matter. It keeps the moisture and is nutrient rich, makes them ideal for cultivation Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for growing highest quality wine.
After wine tasting in Prifti family winery you will be transferred back in Vlora for the end of the jorney.
Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the Hotel Partner, Rr. Pelivan Leskaj, Skele, Vlore/Albania.
Duration: 5.5 hours.
Start/opening time: At 8am.
-End/closing time: At 1.30pm.
Languages: English, German, French and Italian.