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Christian Roots of Albania


the church of Durres. We head toward Apollonia, (ancient Hellenic city) and visit the site, museum and the church of Saint Mary, built in the 13th century. After lunch, travel to the coastal town of Vlora, with stops at several coastal villages and the Castle of Palermo. Arrive in Saranda, opposite the Greek island of Corfu. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)


DAY 5: SARANDA / BUTRINT / KSAMIL ISLANDS


Today visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint, Albania’s most important archaeological site and the “gem of the country.” Tour Butrint National Park. Strategically located, Butrint was the site of an Epirot city, a Roman colony and a bishopric. Buthrotum was recognized by the Council as a Christian center. Visit the paleo-Christian mosaics, the Paleo Christian Basilica and other early Christian sites. Lunch at a local restau- rant. We continue to a beautiful beach at the Ksamili Islands for free time by the sea. Dine at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)


Belltower of St. Mary church, Voskopoja, Albania


DAY BY DAY ITINERARY DAY 1: USA


Depart for your overnight flight. Breakfast and dinner will be served on board. (B,D)


DAY 2: TIRANA After passport control you will be greeted by your Homeric Tours representative and transfer by private air-condition motorcoach to your hotel. Rest of the day is for relaxation. In the evening a welcome dinner has been arranged at a local restaurant. (D)


DAY 3: TIRANA / LAC After breakfast we make a short excursion to the old town of Lac. Visit Saint Anton church, believed to have healing powers. History here dates back to the 12th century and is filled with tales of mistreat- ed monks by enemies of Christians, including the Ottoman Empire. Return to Tirana. Afternoon visit to the Archaeological Museum and the National Gallery of Arts. Dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)


DAY 4: DURRES / APOLLONIA / VLORA / SARANDA After breakfast, we make a short stop to explore the City of Durres, once a major Roman port, visit- ing the Amphitheater and Archeological Museum. Continue to Via Egnatia Apostle Paul penetrated the heart of Albania and tradition holds that he introduced Christianity into Albania and founded


DAY 6: SARANDA / PHOENICE / MESOPOTAM


After breakfast, we travel towards the


Mesopotamian site, a 12th century Byzantine Monastery mentioned in the Battle between the Norman Crusaders and the Byzantines. Explore the historical Christian site. Nearby, the ancient city of Phoinice, its Roman theater with 15,000+ seats, is one the largest in the world. Lunch at a local restaurant. After we visit the synagogue of Saranda which dates from the 5th or 6th century and was converted to a church, prior to being abandoned. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,L,D)


DAY 7: GJIROKASTRA After breakfast, we travel to Gjirokastra to visit the church of Labove e Kryqit, one of the oldest churches in Albania. A holy relic believed to be a fragment of the true cross was stolen from here during the civil unrest of the early 1990s. This afternoon we will walk in the Old Town of Gjirokastra and visit the Ethnographic Museum, once the house of the communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. Visit the Castle of Gjirokastra, one of the largest castles in the Balkans. (B,L,D)


DAY 8: PERMET / LEUSE After breakfast, we drive through the Kelçyra Gorge, a famous battle site between King Philip of Macedonia and the Roman army of Proconsul Paulius Emilius. After lunch, we visit the Byzan- tine Church of Saint Mary of Kosina. Enjoying the views of the Vjosa Valley, we reach the small


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11 Days / 9 Nights, Tirana, Lac, Durres, Apollonia, Vlora, Saranda, Butrint, Ksamil Islands, Saranda, Phoenice, Mesopotam, Gjirokastra, Permet, Leuse, Korca, Voskopoje


TOUR FEATURE INCLUDES: • Round-trip air: USA – ALBANIA – USA


• Meet and assist upon arrival by your Homeric Tours representative


• Private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach throughout


• Professional English speaking Orthodox guide(s) • Your choice of 4 or 5 star hotels • 9 Nights of hotel accommodation • Full board; breakfast, lunch and dinner daily • 8 Days of sightseeing tours • All transfers • All entrance fees • Hotel taxes and service charges • Porterage of one suitcase per person • USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program


The itinerary may be modified and tailored to the specific requirements and budget of your group * Ask about our church donation program


city of Permet. Explore Permet by foot with a 1/2 mile walk to the village of Leusa, where we see the Byzantine Church, a great example of rural archi- tecture. Overnight in Permet. (B,L,D)


DAY 9: KORCA Today we explore Korça, the regional capital of southeast Albania. Its location is dominated by the Morava Mountains to the east. The town of Korça was called “Little Paris” in the 1930’s because of its thriving intellectual life. The highlight of the town is the beautiful 13th Century church of Mborja. The frescos are of the finest workmanship in the region. Dine at a local restaurant and overnight in Korça. (B,L,D)


DAY 10: VOSKOPOJE / TIRANE After breakfast, we drive to the village of Voskopoja considered a sort of Holyland to local Orthodox Christians. The village had 24 churches during the 18th century. The remaining churches in the region are among the most representative of the ecclesiastical art in the Balkans. Characteristically their murals are comparable to Mount Athos and Meteora in Greece. After lunch, we continue to Tirana for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)


DAY 11: USA After breakfast we depart for the airport for our flight home. (B)


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