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King Skerdilajdi Tour- Horse- riding in Southern Albania

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  • 8 Days

Bora Dani

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King Skerdilajdi Tour- Horse- riding in Southern Albania

Our specialty is long riding tours involving the gamut of paces (mountain ascents, challenging trots in tricky terrains, etc.), our objective being to offer a harmonious sojourn between horses and humankind in memorable settings. We offer our guests a slice of the Albanian way of life, a glimpse of our traditions, an opportunity to share in the village families’ daily doings.We carry the luggage by car, packing only the most necessary items.

DAY 1

Arrival and visit Gjirokaster

Arrival at Rinas airport, early in the morning. The 250 km drive to Gjirokastra with a minivan takes about 3-4 hours. Sit comfortably in a traditional hotel, in the center of the historic city before a welcome lunch. After lunch, the riders have prepared for you a walk through the old bazaar. To visit locations: Enver Hoxha's house, Gjirokastras castle, the church and the mosque of the old bazaar as well as Skedulis house (which represents an ideal piece of Gjirokastras traditional life). In the evening our staff will let you know what's planned for the next day. We will deal with all the wishes you could have. We will distribute a map so you can get to know the itinerary. Read more

Gjirokaste, 1 night
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DAY 2

Gjirokastra, Viroi Park

We will start riding with the small lake of Gjirokastra, Viroi Park, (altitude: 220 m above sea level). It is amazing how suddenly these ecosystems change from horizontal to vertical; the roughness of this area and the contrast that exists. You will ride through hills, small rivers, pine forests and steep climbs. Lunch will be a little picnic, in the monastery of Cepo. An important sect-like property, with a curious and historic location to the north of the "Wide Mountain" -one of the best views of the Drinos Valley. Nowadays what is left are only a basilica and dozens of inns (which always functioned as accommodation for the travelers). After lunch, we ride towards Plesat village and Kardhiq river. The inhabitants associate the unique rocks of this area with the belief in many gods "Gods of the Light" (The Light Gods). Scientifically: It is said that the 3-4m high columns were designed for erosion. After 5-6 hours the riding has come to an end in the Zhulat village, an important center in the area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLaberia. The bourgeois Gezetsbuch of Laberia was founded in a castle and tradition describes it as a concept that was later reorganized by Zhulati Juli Pope (XI century). On top of that, the tradition and the documentation The Code was once again written by Idriz Suli (ideologist of the XVIII century). His statue is under a plane tree, in the center of the village. You will spend the evening in a village house where you can enjoy the traditional drinks and food. Read more

Zhuliat 1 night
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DAY 3

The traces of King Skerdilajd’s army

After a family breakfast , prepare for another long and interesting day that follows the traces of King Skerdilajd’s army through the Pass of the Rock around 2,300 years ago. He is mentioned for the first time as the commander of the 5,000 troops sent by QueenTeuta in 230 BC against Epirus. Skerdilajdi was the youngest brother of King Agron ( who died in 230 BC) and one of the principal supporters of Queen Teuta when she assumed the royal responsibilities until Agron’s infant son Pinnes became an adult .He led the invasion army to the capital of Epirus, Phoinike (Finiq) and played a determining role in Teuta´s plans to create an Adriatic Front against Rome. This trail combines beautiful woods, mountain ascents, rocky landscapes and ruins of ancient civilizations. Basha Stones, Dhespina cave, the Rock of Kaze, The valley of Cheries , the Crooked Brook , Shameti Brook, Trullas Neck, Derrasa hole are some of the local toponims you will find along the ride. Lunch-break will be at an ancient spring in the middle of the platan woods.The ride continues through the mountains of Borsh to reach this village during the afternoon after a total of 9 hours of riding. The whole day´s landscape offers images of wild, untouched nature. Flowers, old trees, streams, shepherds, hundreds of goats, sheep and cows will be part of this riding experience. Be prepared to walk during the day on difficult paths and steep downhills. Good mountain shoes are reccommended. We will be joining the family house late in the afternoon and enjoying the traditional food rich in olive oil. Wine, raki and mountain tea will accompany your meal. Read more

Borsh 1 night
DAY 4

Borsh´s Castle

After a traditional breakfast in the house of a typical shepherd-family, another riding experience awaits. Borsh´s Castle (known historically as the Castle of Sopot) is located on a hill at 500 meters above sea level and dates from around the IV-III century B.C. Its surface is rocky and the remains of an ancient wall on the southwest side is a length of about 10 meters and a height of 1.33 m. Fragments of black-glazed ceramic (IV century BC) have been found in front of the town, that period marking the biggest development of the city. In the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Justinian put it on the list of fortifications ( 527-565). Sopot is mentioned in 1192 in memory of Anna Komnenes, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexis I Komnenai. In 1266, Sopot lies in the French power of Charles I of Azhuin and then in German hands, and later on, for a long time under the Republic of Venice. In the Middle Ages, it was adapted for military garrison and developed to a full fortification in the time of Ali Pasha. The mosque was built at the castle by Haxhi Bendo, one of the supporters of Ali Pasha. This is going to be a short day of three hours of riding. You will start from the Borsh seaside and take the old road through olive groves and citrus orchards. Many defence bunkers remain along the seaside of Piqeras, an old fishing village. We stop riding at the village house and drive to the sea for a lunch break on the beach and some hours of rest and swimming before a splendid seafood supper complete with samples of the special local cheese and coastal salad. An evening stroll around the village or to the coast (20 minutes) makes for the sweetest sleep. Read more

Piqeras 1 night
DAY 5

Trekking through Lukova and Nivica

Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Ionian Sea consists of the traditional coast byrek ( pie),biscuits , butter, fresh milk and honey. This riding day will start with a trek through olive- tree terraces to the beach of Bunec. We will ride up to Lukove village and down to the sea again through a challenging landscape to reach the Shpella beach for lunch and a refreshing dip in the lovely waters.The trail towards the ruins of the abandoned village of Hundecova is as pretty as it is rocky. After five hours of riding, the famous Orthodox village of Nivica offers a nice view of the White Mountain and the valley of Kalasa. You can visit the church and the village in the afternoon before yet another memorable meal. Read more

Lukove 1 night
DAY 6

Riding through hills and valleys

An abundant breakfast fortifies for the ride back to King Skerdilajd Army´s route. South of the valley of Kalasa River is the very spot where Skerdilajd’s army stoped to face the Epirot army in 229 BC. Following three hours of riding through hills and valleys, the picnic is spread in the shade at the White Mountain’s foot. Smooth galloping paths enliven the ride to Fushe-Verria, a village renown for medieval fairs. This evening’s repast in the family garden is enhanced by the fresh mountain breezes. Read more

Verria 1 night
DAY 7

Riding back in Gjirokaster

The final family breakfast precedes an 8-hour ride back to Gjirokastra, packed with adventures and new destinations. The church of Senica, built in the XVII century, was recently reconstructed. In two more riding hours, you will reach the Skerfica mountain neck named after the King Skerdilajd Army Pass where you can enjoy the cold mountain water. On the way to the village of Fushebadha is an old phosphor mine , an ex- labour camp for political prisoners. Steep slopes, an interesting karst ecosystem, and the startling beauty of pine forests fill almost two hours and the downhill from Bushwbardha to the valley of the river of Kardhiq offers impressive views with chances of gallops. After six hours of riding, we are back at the Monastery of Cepo where we will rest for one hour before riding two more back to Gjirokastra and Viroi Lake. Pine woods, mountain valleys, cool springs, fresh air and flowered landscapes will make up the panorama of this day. A farewell dinner is offered in the evening before your final, most satisfied snooze in the lovliest part of the town. Read more

Gjirokaster 1 night
DAY 8

Departure

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transfered to Rinas airport.

Tirane

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Gjirokaster
Hotel Old Bazaar
Day 2
Location Zhulat
Hotel Hotel Zhulat
Day 3
Location Borsh
Hotel Hotel Borsh
Day 4
Location Lukove
Hotel Hotel Lukove
Day 5
Location Verria
Hotel Hotel Verria
Day 6
Location Gjirokaster
Hotel Old Bazaar

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers

More information

  • WiFi hotspot in car, Albanian cellphone number, all breakfasts and dinners included.

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