Apollonia and Berat UNESCO tour from Tirana

I really enjoy guiding the Apollonia and Berat tour, because it combines two impressive historical sights. During the Apollonia and Berat tour, you will get to see the ruins of an ancient city in the Apollonia archaeological park. Afterwards, you will walk through the historical city center of Berat city, which is a UNESCO heritage site.

Why should I go on an Apollonia and Berat tour? You should go on an Apollonia and Berat tour, because you can explore two historical highlights in Albania in only one day. In Apollonia, you can see the ruins of an important Greek and Roman city. In Berat, you can explore the historical neighborhoods, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. And you will enjoy a fantastic panoramic view from Berat castle.

Many tourist guides about Albania highlight Berat as a must-see attraction, whereas Apollonia is less mentioned. However, the Apollonia archaeological park is very impressive. Just imagine standing underneath the massive pillars, that you see in the picture above. Why not explore Apollonia and Berat in a convenient day tour from Tirana?

Apollonia and Berat Tour Details

During the Apollonia and Berat tour, you will visit two of the most impressive historical sights in Albania in only one day!

In the morning, you will visit the Apollonia archaeological park in the center of Albania. In the park, you can explore the massive ruins of the ancient city of Apollonia.

During the Greek and Roman empires, Apollonia was a great and important city. It hosted a famous school of philosophy, which attracted important personalities. And it was a gateway to the Via Egnatia, which was an important trade route through the Balkans during the Roman empire.

In the afternoon, you will visit the romantic city of Berat. The historical city center of Berat is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The old city center is made up of little white houses that were built on the hillside. These typical houses were built for the local craftsmen and merchants during the Ottoman empire.

From the bottom of the hill, you will see all the little white houses, which are stacked on top of each other on the hill. All the little windows of the houses look down on the valley and refect in the sunlight. Therefore, Berat is also known as the “city of a thousand windows”.

Another highlight in Berat is the Kala Castle. The castle of Berat is located on the top of the hill. Therefore, it has a stunning panoramic view in all directions. From the castle, you can look down on the Osum river, the historical neighborhoods and the old bridge. Whilst you are surrounded by magnificent mountains and beautiful ruins.

In short, the Apollonia and Berat tour gives you a chance to see the best historical highlights in Albania in only 1 day. The tour starts very conveniently from Tirana and it includes pick-up and drop-off at your hotel. Are you ready to explore Albania’s historical centers with private transportation and a private tour guide?

About me

About me

I am an Albania Tour Guide, who organizes 1-day, 2-day or multiple day private tours in Albania. I arrange your transportation and I am your English speaking guide. So that, you get to experience the most beautiful places in Albania!
Kind regards, Manon

Apollonia and Berat Tour Itinerary

On the Apollonia and Berat tour itinerary below, you will see all the highlights you will visit during the tour. 

The day starts early with pick-up in Tirana city, because Apollonia’s archaeological park is best explored in the morning, before the afternoon heat. I will guide you through the ruins of the ancient city and you can imagine what this important city was like during the Greek and Roman empires. 

Then in the afternoon, you will walk through the romantic city center of Berat. Berat is by far the most beautiful historical city in Albania, therefore, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Pick-up for the Apollonia and Berat tour

The Apollonia and Berat tour starts in Tirana city. You will be picked up from a location of your choice in Tirana. When you make the booking, you can choose from the following pick-up locations:

  • 117 popular hotels in Tirana
  • Tirana International airport
  • Custom pick-up location

If you cannot find your hotel’s name in the list of popular hotels, you can simply add it as a custom pick-up location. 

Please bear in mind that the Apollonia and Berat tour starts at 7:30 AM and the pick-up starts 30 minutes before the start time.

Pick-up service in Tirana is included in the price of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

Itinerary for the Apollonia and Berat UNESCO tour from Tirana

Apollonia Archaeological Park
Apollonia is an impressive archaeological park about 12 km from the city Fier in the center of Albania. At the archaeological park, you can see the ruins of an ancient Greek and Roman city.

Apollonia was founded by Greeks from Corinth and Corfu in 588 BC. The main Greek colonist Gylax, named the city after himself “Gylakeia”. But soon after, the city changed it’s name to Apollonia, after the god Apollo.

In the ancient times, Apollonia was an important city. The city had a famous school of philosophy. The nephew of Julius Caesar, called Octavius, studied in Apollonia. Another famous student was Agrippas, who was an important general and statesman during the Roman empire.

Apollonia was also an important economic and trade center. The Roman philosopher Cicero, wrote that Apollonia was “a great and important city”.

Apollonia is located a few kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, however, it was connected to the sea, by the Aoos River. Therefore, Apollonia became an important gateway to the Via Egnatia. The Via Egnatia was an important trade route through the Balkans during the Roman empire.

The ruins of Apollonia were discovered in the beginning of the 19th century. The highlights in the archaeological park are the theatre and the impressive pillars of the administrative center. The park is set on a hill, surrounded by olive groves and it has beautiful views all around.

Berat Castle
The Berat Castle is an enormous fortress called “Kala” on the top of the hill in Berat. From the castle, you will have amazing views in all directions and see the historical town and river below.

Within the castle walls, you will see a village-like neighbourhood, called Kala. Until this day, some people are still living within the castle walls. The castle dates back to the 13th century and there are many Byzantine churches within the walls and one Ottoman mosque.

Museum of Iconography “Onufri”
The Museum of Iconography is a museum with religious painting from several Albanian monasteries. The museum is located within the castle walls in the largest church on the premises, called “the Church of the Dormition of St. Mary”. The museum is named “Onufri” after the Albanian fresco and icon-painter.

Mangalem Quarter & Gorica Quarter
Then in the afternoon, we will visit the Mangalem & Gorica Quarters. These are the traditional neighbourhoods build on the side of the hill. You will see hundreds of little white Ottoman-style houses. From the bottom of the hill, it looks like the little houses are stacked on top of each other. Therefore, Berat is called “the city of a thousand windows”. In short, Berat is a very romantic city with an Italian atmosphere.

Drop-off service after the Apollonia and Berat tour

After the Apollonia and Berat tour, you will be dropped off in Tirana city. When you make the booking, you can select a drop-off location of your choice in Tirana.

For the drop-off service, you can choose one of the 117 popular hotels in Tirana, Tirana International Airport or write down a custom drop-off location.

Drop-off service in Tirana is included in the price of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

Apollonia and Berat Tour Highlights

The highlights of the Apollonia and Berat tour show you Albania’s history. During the visit in the morning, you will go back to the ancient times. When Apollonia was an important city and economical center during the Roman and Greek empires. The ruins and the Apollonia museum give you a good impression of what life was like centuries ago. 

Then in Berat, you will see how the historical houses and the ruins of the Berat castle are still inhabited. Although the historical city was built in the Ottoman period, it is still very much alive today. Many of the historical houses were lived in by craftsmen and merchants in the Ottoman period, and they have been converted into restaurants, cafes and hotels today.

Apollonia archaeological park

Apollonia is an archaeological park in center of Albania. In the ancient times, Apollonia was an important Greek and Roman city.

The city was founded in 588 BC by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth. However, it was during the Roman period that the city of Apollonia really flourished.

In the 4th century AD, Apollonia was an important economic city and trade center. The city was known for its famous school of philosophy. Cicero, a famous Roman public speaker, called Apollonia “a great and important city”.

And the city was also one of the most important gateways to the Via Egnatia, which was a Roman trade route through the Balkans.

The ruins of Apollonia were re-discovered in the beginning of the 19th century. The park is set of a hilly plateau and it is surrounded by calming nature.

The historical center of Berat

The historical center of Berat is a touristic highlight and a UNESCO World Heritage site in Albania.

In Berat’s old city center, you can see the white houses that were built on the hillside. From the bottom of the hill, it looks as if the white houses are stacked on top of each other, with their windows looking down on the valley. Therefore, Berat is also called the “city of a thousand windows”.

The classic white houses, were build during the Ottoman empire. Most of the typical houses date back to the late 18th and 19th century. And they used to be inhabited by craftsmen and merchants. Many of the houses are very well-preserved. Even though, they were inhabited continuously.

Berat is a lovely and romantic city to stroll through. The old streets, which lead up the hill, are covered with cobblestones. And many of the historical houses have been converted into restaurants, hotels and cafe’s.

The Castle of Berat

The Castle of Berat is a sight, that you cannot miss during your visit to Berat.

The castle is located on the hill-top above the historical city. Therefore, you will have a panoramic view from the castle in all directions. You can see impressive mountains, the Osum river, the Mangalem and Gorica quarters and the Old Gorica Bridge.

The Berat Castle, is known as Kala castle. It was originally built in the 4th century BC, but most of the current remainders date back to the 13th century. Within the castle’s walls, there is a large number of little churches and one mosque.

What is interesting about the castle of Berat, is that there are still people living inside the castle’s walls. If you walk on the old cobblestone streets, you can see people live their lives inside their courtyard or garden. It is inimaginable that these people live within a monument with such an amazing panoramic view from their garden.

Apollonia museum

Another highlight to visit in the Apollonia archaeological park is the Apollonia Museum.

On the park grounds, there is a Byzantine monastery and the Church of St Mary. The Apollonia Archaeological museum is located inside the monastery.

The museum was established in 1985, but it was closed in the 1990s, due to major thefts and the unstable political situation. The museum was reopened in 2011.

Inside the museum, you can see a collection of items from the excavation of Apollonia. The excavation began after the first World War.

You can get full information about the thousand years of history of Apollonia. And you will learn about its beginning, the Illyrians, its politial organizations, its trade, the wine and consumption, the life of children and woman, the art, the wars, the culture, the education and the cemetries of Apollonia.

If you are not convinced yet, then trust the Lonely Planet, who call the on-site Apollonia Museum “excellent”.

What is included in the Apollonia and Berat tour?

  • Private transportation with a/c vehicle
  • Private tour guide in the Apollonia Archaeological Park and Berat city
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off in Tirana
  • Entrance fee to Apollonia Archaeological park
  • Entrance fee to the Museum of Iconography ‘Onufri’
  • Entrance fee to the Castle of Berat

What is excluded from the Apollonia and Berat tour?

  • Meals and drinks
  • Tips and gratuities

At what time does the Apollonia and Berat tour start?

The Apollonia and Berat tour starts at 7:30 AM from Tirana city.

You will be picked up from a location of your choice in Tirana. Pick-up starts 30 minutes before the start time of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

When you make the booking, you can choose from the following pick-up locations:

  • A list of a 117 popular hotels in Tirana
  • Tirana International Airport
  • Custom pick-up location

If you are not able to find your hotel in the list of 117 hotels, you can simply add the hotel name as your custom pick-up location. So that, I will be able to pick you up from your hotel.

What is the duration of the Apollonia and Berat tour?

The Apollonia and Berat tour lasts 1 full day, approximately 10 hours.

In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Tirana. The drive from Tirana to Apollonia takes roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes. 

After exploring the Apollonia Archaeological park, you will travel onwards to Berat city.

After exploring the Berat castle and the historical neighbourhoods in Berat, it will take about 2 hours to drive back to Tirana. Therefore, you will return to Tirana in the evening.

Where is the pick-up location for the Apollonia and Berat tour?

When you make the booking for the Apollonia and Berat tour, you can enter a pick-up location of your choice in Tirana city.

You will be able to choose from the following pick-up locations:

  • A list of a 117 popular hotels in Tirana
  • Tirana International Airport
  • Custom pick-up location

Most popular hotels are included in the list of hotels in Tirana. However, if you are unble to find your hotel name, you can simply add it as a custom pick-up location.

The Apollonia and Berat tour starts in the morning at 7:30 AM. Moreover, pick-up for the tour will start 30 minutes before the start time of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

Pick-up service in Tirana is included in the price of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

Where is the drop-off location for the Apollonia and Berat tour?

After the Apollonia and Berat tour, you will be dropped off in Tirana city. You can indicate a drop-off location of your choice in Tirana, when you make the booking.

You will be able to choose from the following drop-off locations:

  • A list of a 117 popular hotels in Tirana
  • Tirana International Airport
  • Custom drop-off location

Most popular hotels are included in the list of hotels in Tirana. However, if you are unble to find your hotel name, you can simply add it as a custom drop-off location.

Drop-off service in Tirana is included in the price of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

On the Apollonia and Berat tour, how long will it take to travel to our destination?

From Tirana city, it takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive to the Apollonia archaeological park. 

After you have explored the Apollonia archaeological park, it will take only 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive to Berat city. 

In the late afternoon, after you have enjoyed your time in Berat city, it will take about 2 hours to drive back to Tirana. 

Can I bring luggage on the Apollonia and Berat tour?

Yes, you can bring 1 or 2 pieces of luggage on the Apollonia and Berat tour.

If you have more luggage, you might be able to store them at your hotel in Tirana and collect them upon your return from the Apollonia and Berat tour.

Is the Apollonia and Berat tour a private tour?

Yes, the Apollonia and Berat tour is a private tour. You will travel from Tirana to Apollonia and Berat in a private vehicle.

Moreover, I am your private tour guide in Apollonia and Berat. Since it is a private tour, you will also have the freedom to customize the itinerary to meet your preferences. For instance, we can spend more time at a touristic sight, if you wish to do so.

Can I customize the itinerary of the Apollonia and Berat tour?

Yes, you can customize the itinerary of the Apollonia and Berat tour.

The Apollonia and Berat tour is a private tour, which includes private transportation. Therefore, you will have the choice to customize the itinerary as you please.

For any questions regarding customizing your tour, you can contact me on contact@albaniatourguide.com. Or you can book an Albania Planning Session via skype, by clicking this link.

Does the Apollonia and Berat tour include a tour guide?

Yes, I will be your private tour guide during your Apollonia and Berat tour. I will personally guide you during the sightseeing in Apollonia and Berat.

Moreover, you will travel by private transportation during the Apollonia and Berat tour, therefore, you will have the flexiblity to customize the itinerary if you wish.

What should I bring on the Apollonia and Berat tour?

The essential items to bring on the Apollonia and Berat tour are:

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Sunscreen

Comfortable walking shoes
During the Apollonia and Berat tour, you will walk to explore the historical sights. Especially in Berat, the cobblestone streets are slippery and steep. Therefore, you will definitely need comfortable walking shoes during the tour.

Sunscreen
Both Apollonia and the Castle of Berat are located on the top of the hill. Therefore, you will be exposed to the sunshine during the sightseeing. Therefore, I definitely recommend sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, so that you will be able to enjoy your tour without having to worry about getting sunburn.

When is the Apollonia and Berat tour available?

To check the availablity for the Apollonia and Berat tour please follow these steps:

  1. Press on the Book Now button
  2. Select the number of adults (on the right hand side).
  3. You will see the available dates on the calendar (on the right hand side).

 

What is the best time to go on an Apollonia and Berat tour?

The best time to go on an Apollonia and Berat tour is year-round.

The Apollonia archaeological park and the historical sights in Berat are open throughout the year. Moreover, we can vary indoor and outdoor activities, should there be unexpected rain.

What if my preferred date for the Apollonia and Berat tour is not available?

If you have pressed on the Book Now button, but you could not find your preferred date for the Apollonia and Berat tour, you can get in touch by email.

You can email me on contact@albaniatourguide.com . Please specify the date, number of travellers and the tour you would like to book in the email. Then I will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

What is the price for the Apollonia and Berat tour?

To check the price for the Apollonia and Berat tour, please follow these steps:

  1. Press on the Book Now button
  2. Select the number of adults (on the right hand side).
  3. Select your preferred date from the calendar (on the right hand side).
  4. You will see the total price, just below the calendar.

How can I book the Apollonia and Berat tour?

  1. Press on the Book Now button
  2. Select the number of adults (on the right hand side).
  3. Select your preferred date from the calendar and the start time.
  4. Press on check-out
  5. Select your pick-up and drop-off location and press continue
  6. Enter your first name, last name, email address and phone number
  7. Press “Go to a secure payment site” and you will be redirected to Paypal to complete the payment.

If you have any questions about your booking, you can email contact@albaniatourguide.com . And I will personally respond to you as soon as possible.

How late can I make a booking for the Apollonia and Berat tour?

You can make a booking with me up until the day before the tour starts. Just keep in mind that the Apollonia and Berat tour may not be available, if you book at the last minute!

Especially, since I lead the private tours through Albania personally, so I cannot take more than one booking on each date.

I recommend booking at least one week in advance, in order to have the best chances of finding availability.

What is the cancellation policy of the Apollonia and Berat tour?

We will charge a cancellation fee of 100% if booking is cancelled 1 day or less before the event.

Where can I ask a question about the Apollonia and Berat tour?

If you have any questions about the Apollonia and Berat tour, you can reach out by email. My email address is contact@albaniatourguide.com.

I will personally respond to your email as soon as possible.

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