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Full Day Trip to Durres, Apollonia and Ardenica Monastery

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Travel through time exploring the important Albanian ancient sites of Durres and Apollonia, along with the medieval Monastery of Ardenica.

Highlights

  • Enjoy fantastic aerial views
  • Step back in time on a history tour
  • Marvel at the sights

Description

This full day tour will encompass over 2500 years of Albanian history and regional development, as we travel from Durres to the Apollonia Archaeological Park, and to the Ardenica Monastery. We begin our tour by driving towards Albania's second largest town, the port city of Durres. Founded around the 7th century BC, Durres also known as Dyrrachium, became an integral part of the Roman Empire, so much so that the Via Egnatia initiated in this city. Following the Albanian Declaration of Independence in 1912, Durres even served as the capital of the Principality of Albania for a short period of time. We will explore its most priced attraction, the Amphitheatre of Durrës, that once had a capacity for 20,000 people, and is considered the largest amphitheatre in the Balkan Peninsula. Then we will have a quick coffee break by Durres' Marina, or the city's contemporary modern center. We will continue our journey to the village of Pojan, where majestically stands the UNESCO patrimony of Apollonia’s archaeological park. Founded around 600 BC, Apollonia was home to a renowned school of philosophy and acquired fame as an important cultural center that attracted brilliant students including the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Sadly, the city was abandoned in the 4th century AD, yet to this day it offers amazing landscapes that have changed little since its heyday as one of the biggest ancient settlements in the Adriatic sea region, now presenting the perfect grounds to reflect on the fleeting nature of human existence and development, amidst its ruins, as we will visit the Church of Saint Mary, the Archaeological Museum, the Odeon, the library, and its most photographed monument: the Bouleuterion. Our journey will continue to the Ardenica Monastery - the last monastery where monks still live today. Built in 1282 as an Eastern Orthodox monastery, it is known as the place where in 1451 was celebrated the marriage of Albania's national hero Skanderbeg with Andronika Arianiti. In 1780 the Ardenica Monastery started a theological school to prepare clerics in Greek Orthodoxy, and it had an important library with 32,000 volumes that sadly were completely burned by a fire in 1932. Free time (lunch optional). Return to Tirana and drop off in the same place as the pick-up.

Includes

Transport with a/c vehicle Guided tour of sea port city of Durres Guided tour of the Archeological Park of Apollonia Guided tour of the Ardenica Monastery Driver / Guide Hotel pick-up and drop off Entrance fees in mentioned monuments and museums

Important Information

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Due to uneven surfaces, this tour is not recommended for those with walking disabilities or using a wheelchair
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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