5.0

HIDDEN ALBANIA PRIVATE TOUR

Price

From 69 €

5.0

HIDDEN ALBANIA PRIVATE TOUR

  • 1-3 Days
  • Only You and Your People On Tour
  • Behind-the-scenes Access
  • Experienced English Guide
  • Free rebooking or flexible cancelation
  • Tailored Program, Your Pace, Your Guide, No go places

UNCOVERED

With expert knowledge, artifacts, and direct witnesses uncover the hidden history of the North Korea of Europe

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

The Cold War scars of beautiful Albania. Abandoned, derelict Communistic places with a strong legacy

LOCAL TOUCH

Tour where you meet and talk to the local Albanian people with the help of your guide

BEST OF

Albania’s most compact Communist Tour with shocking non-touristic locations

UNCOVERED

With expert knowledge, artifacts, and direct witnesses uncover the hidden history of the North Korea of Europe

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

The Cold War scars of beautiful Albania. Abandoned, derelict Communistic places with a strong legacy

LOCAL TOUCH

Tour where you meet and talk to the local Albanian people with the help of your guide

BEST OF

Albania’s most compact Communist Tour with shocking non-touristic locations

What is included in your Hidden Albania Private tour?

THE OTHER FACE OF ALBANIA

  • THE PRICE IS FINAL, NO HIDDEN FEES
  • VISIT TIRANA, BERAT, KUKES OR SPAC
  • BATHE AND RELAX AT THE ADRIATIC SEA
  • PRIVATE DRIVER, PRIVATE ENGLISH GUIDE
  • ACCESS TO NO GO PLACES
  • HISTORY WITH YOU
  • TOURS IN ENGLISH

Hidden Albania Tour

ALBANIA: THE NORTH KOREA OF EUROPE

There are places in this world that are still unknown, undiscovered, and have been isolated from our eyes. A destination where history has frozen to allow adventurers just like you the opportunity to glimpse a time of the past – and tours like these are as rare as they come. Where relics and monuments of military campaigns and ideological alliances can be uncovered on the very overgrown paths of discovery. Where decades of communist control are peeled away to find centuries of Ottoman occupation, no wonder it was called the North Korea of Europe. Truly an adventure tour if there ever was one. And now, it’s your chance to experience such an exhilarating tour.

  • Sneak into the history of the once most isolated country in Europe
  • Become a fan of bunkers – there are more than 170 thousand of them! 
  • Walk in the footsteps of the dictator,  Enver Hoxha
  • Touch the dictator’s nuclear shelter now turned into an artwork
  • Explore the bunkers, shelters but also the military machinery
  • Visit the feared Political prison where a revolution took place
  • Explore an abandoned military island
  • Meet ordinary Albanians who remember Communist times
  • BONUS: Visit the stunning Adriatic sea and bathe in the stretches of deserted beaches.
WHY TOUR ALBANIA WITH US?

The beautiful state of Albania, which is located across the entrance to the Adriatic sea from the boot heel of the Italian coast will have you delving deep into the most influential events of the 20th century. It’s one of the last uncharted gems of Europe, where even local expert guides are still discovering more about its isolated and mysterious past as it held years of tyrannical oppression, foreign conquests, and nuclear paranoia. Yet in contrast, they are a fighting people, and the stories of the locals recall uprisings, espionage, and wartime heroism. You are about to enter the real life set of a James Bond film, where you take the lead role.

Move over 007

You will travel around its past Ottoman and Fascist occupation to the overthrown Communist ideology, wind through its role in World War Two fighting off Nazi invaders, and visit and shoot (photograph that is) its now heritage sea-facing mushroom bunkers that litter the landscape like the set of a Star Wars TV series. You will learn more about its long-standing communist ruler, Enver Hoxha, whose paranoia led to his political handshakes with some of modern history’s most powerful leaders, like Stalin and Mao. You will witness its stunning and unaltered beauty of nature from the Adriatic sea in the West to the mountains in the East and North. You will meet fascinating people – “the sons of eagles,” which are rich in customary traditions, delicious cuisines, and cultural delights. You will be taken to the locations of its abundant past, from underground bunkers, ghost towns, and abandoned industrial factories, to its unapologetic labor prison, and even an ex-military island.

Tours to remember 

The stretching beaches with their sky blue water, the Adriatic coastline with its gorgeous picturesque seaside, the mountainous hiking trails, and all the tourist spots in the capital city, Tirana are waiting for you to discover. These adventure tours are exactly why you love to travel and explore new territories. Together with the magnificent beaches they will fill you with wonder and have you sharing your amazing experiences for years to come. Whether it be for a one, two, or three day tour, Albania will stay on your list of favorite destinations. You’ll just wish you had more time…

1-day tour from Tirana: MIG HUNTING

Tirana –> Berat -> Tirana

On the way to Berat, you will explore the abandoned communist industrial centers called the “Steel of the Party” – a project for industrialisation of Albania that dictator Enver Hoxha was so proud of, and nowadays it’s a paradise for urbex. Via the hills of Belshi full of lakes, vineyards, and olive orchards we will sneak into the oil mining town of Kucove. There an oil well can be seen in the Graveyard of the town. Besides being the most important military airport of the Communist era, a Soviet MIG jet is still displayed to witness the once ‘pride’ of the Communist Air Navy of Albania. By the way, it was made in China and you will find out why. Here we dive deep into the isolation story of Albania under the Hoxha regime, when Albania earned the nickname “the North Korea of Europe”. You will learn all the way from a paranoid country into a NATO member state.

Finally you will reach  Berat, “the City of a Thousand windows,” which is one of the few places untouched by the Communist era. It is rather historical, full of white Ottoman houses listed in UNESCO. Upon arrival in Berat you visit the Onufri museum and Bizantine Chapels, go down to find Mangalemi and Gorica, the 1001 window neighborhood. This place really has to be seen to be believed – the views from the castle and walking on the quaint stone roads going every which-way is truly unique. We are not taking you to the city for a regular city tour, and at the end of your visit you might try a traditional Albanian meal of cow’s brain and intestines… or a more normal option if you prefer!

2-day tour from Tirana: GULAG REVOLUTION

Day 1: Tirana –> Spac Prison -> Kukes

At the entrance of one of the worst jails in Albania you will meet a former political prisoner. Mainly political but also ordinary prisoners were taken here. The place is still very isolated and adjacent to a functioning chrome mine. The once upon a time prisoner here, will lead us through what remains from the Communist relics and will explain the living conditions, the authorities attempts to transform everyone into a spy, many tragic events but also a few funny ones. The most important one was the uprising that took place there which was suppressed not by violence, but by turning off the water supply. At the end of the day we will drive to the hospitable city of Kukes. Check in at the local hotel and enjoy an evening stroll in one of the less touristy towns of Northeastern Albania. 

Day 2: Kukes –> Tirana

After breakfast you will walk to the old offices of Radio Kukesi. Built in the Communist times it still proudly shows an interesting relief at the entrance facade. Local employees will share what this media used to look like in the Communist days. It has a bunker underneath, just in case of an eventual attack the broadcasting could have been done from here. There is a tiny but interesting museum too. Then you will explore the city underneath. A whole town was built here in the 1970s, replacing the old original one (sunk by an artificial lake that still produces energy). But a town so close to the Yugoslavian border needed logistics and infrastructure to be used as a shelter from the army and the civilians in the eventual case of a conflict. It has, of course, been abandoned by the authorities and most of the locals know very little or almost nothing about it. We will try to find our way into the entrance of the former bunker hospital of Kukes. Be ready to walk in full darkness and in a damp and cold atmosphere (quite a blessing in the hot summer season in Albania). After enjoying lunch, it’s away to Tirana, where we will arrive in the  early evening. 

3-day tour: ISLAND OF WAR

Day One: Tirana -> Lagoon of Narta -> Vlora/Rradhima

Our first stop from Tirana is the famous Lagoon of Narta, which includes a birding and nature site on the Adriatic shores of Albania. Flamingoes, pelicans and other gorgeous bird species inhabit the lagoon, and even if you are not a fan of beach holidays, you will love the seaside, especially in the summertime. After this “soft start,” we get our gear ready for the next day’s exploration, spending the night in Viora or Rradhima. 

Day Two: Vlora/Rradhima -> Sazani Island -> Vlora/Tragjas -> Gjirokaster

You will take a speed boat to the most isolated island ever – Sazan, a former military base, and in the Vlora Bay (6 – 7 hours). The ride there will take almost 1h depending on the sea and weather conditions. Life jackets will be provided to participants on the tour. After reaching the island we will head to the depth of Sazan in order to visit the ‘ghost’ town that remains from the former military base of the then paranoid Albania. You will be amazed by the urban settlement with a complex for the habitats of the families of the officers, as well as a cinema and hospital. Right next to them, the remnants of bunkers conceived to host the military and civilian population of the island in eventual cases of war can still be seen. There are even bunkers that were built to host a kindergarten, & school, etc. Then in the shade you will ‘savor’ a delicious picnic lunch and then head to the shore again. Time for a swim and for exploring a bit more of the untouched and pristine nature of the island that has managed to cope with the time a lot better than the man-made constructions and buildings. Back to Vlora.

There is one more special thing waiting for you: Visit and lunch with shepherds in Tragjas.

You will hike to the village of Tragjas (to the old one), nowadays a ghost settlement since 1944 when the Nazis vandalized it since the village was found to have helped British SOE that were parachuted in the area trying to help local partisans develop a resistance. You will meet one of the most special and delicious producers of food and spirits in the area of Vlora. Still a small secret of ours that manages to delight food, history and raki lovers.

Drive to Gjirokastra. Overnight in Gjirokastra.

Day Three: Gjirokaster -> Tirana

You will visit the town that produced the infamous bunkers, and was the birthplace to the leader, Enver Hoxha. Gjirokaster is the most unusual town in Albania (and maybe in the region). You will explore the haunted routes that climb up the wide mountain, you will visit the castle and its former prison and weapon museum, will talk about the Chronicle in Stone, Pyrrus of Epirus, Ali Pasha of Tepelene, Lord Byron, Enver Hoxha, and so much more. This is a very fertile land for history and imagination. You will see the sites in the town (Skenduli House and its bunker, the Tunnel Bunker under the castle). Then you will visit the once upon a time bunker production factory, or what remains of it (recently converted into a scrap metal gathering site used by some local communities). We will let you enjoy some time alone in the small roads of it and will invite you to have dinner in one of the small taverns, where our ambition is to surprise you with local delicacies you might have not heard of. 

Tour Safety

Visiting all the spots in Albania is risk-free, although some places don’t have entrances and are thus visited at your own risk. We made exploration as safe as possible, however, always watch your safety with proper clothing, shoes and protective gear.

During the Corona pandemic, we have ensured the absolute safety of you and your fellow travelers by an airline-level of disinfection and precautionary measurements: antibacterial gel, disinfected buses and cars, option to agree for all travelers, travel guides and drivers to wear masks. Together we can make sure you come back home safe and thrilled.

Due to actual constraints in some locations of Albania, ChernobylX keeps the right to change the program of the itinerary, informing you about any constraints.

IS IT SAFE TO VISIT Albania?

Albania is a very safe country with low criminality, especially in the cities. Our tour guide takes care of your safety and helps you to watch your belongings. Most of the itinerary and program is risk-free. 

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You are all covered for the Trip of your lifetime

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Full adventurous programme during your stay in Albania
  • Professional English Guide
  • Pick up and drop off at your address in Tirana
  • Exploring safe and hidden places, abandoned buildings or locations
  • Tickets to museums
  • Access to non-touristic sites
  • Hotel accommodation (2 and 3 day tours)
  • Meet up with Locals, access to a Communistic artifacts collection
  • Comfortable transportation with A/C and Wi-Fi
  • VIP tour spots for other X destinations: Fukushima, North Korea, Baikonur….

FAQ

FAQ

We love things fast, however immersing ourselves into the Communist era really takes time and visiting non-touristic spots, abandoned evidence of the dictatorship, Enver Hoxha’s  career or his hometown, one needs to dive deep to uncover the truth. With a 1 day tour you visit the best of Albania – Tirana and Berat, which gives you a great feeling of the past.  However with 2 and 3 day tours you really need to see the rough life of an ordinary Albanian soldier, living and deciding upon the fear from all neighboring states. The costs for more day tours are just a bit higher, but the experience is exponentially better.

If you are from one of the countries: 

All EU countries, China (Hong Kong), Macedonia, Andorra, Hungary, Norway, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Australia, Island, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Israel, Republic of Korea, Argentina, Japan, Czechia, Barbados, Canada, Romania, Belgium, Kazakhstan, San Marino, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Vatican, Brazil, Chile, Serbia, The United Kingdom, Croatia, United States of America, Bulgaria, Latvia, Singapore, Estonia, Lichtenstein, Slovakia, Denmark, Lithuania, Slovenia, Finland, Luxemburg, Spain, France, Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Taiwan (China), Greece, Montenegro, Turkey, Netherlands, Monaco, Ukraine, Bahamas, Switzerland, New Zealand

You may enter the Republic of Albania as a tourist without a visa. You may stay up to 90 days within a six-month period in Albania without applying for a residency permit. If you wish to stay in Albania longer than 90 days you may apply for a residency permit once you enter the country.

There are no active restrictions for your travel to Albania. 

We recommend booking your Albanian tour in advance, last minute bookings might not be accepted or may not have access to all visited sites, especially those where entry needs to be booked in advance. You are free to move the date of your tour without any penalties up to 48h before the tour. If you want to cancel your tour, a 20% non-refundable fee is charged to you in case you cancel 60 days or less before the tour date.

If you waited for a sign,
this is it...

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