2. Fom Tirana: Shkodra lake, Rozafa Castle and Lezha city
Join us for an unforgettable day trip to explore the stunning attractions of Shkodra and Lezha ( Scutari and Lisus ), two of Albania's most historic cities. We'll meet at 9:00 AM sharp at your hotel in Tirana before setting off on our adventure. Our first stop will be in the city of Lezha. We will visit the city and then proceed to visit the tomb of the national hero of Albania, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg. Then we continue the trip to visit the iconic Rozafa Castle, also known as the Fortress of Shkodra, located just 3km south of the city center. This massive defensive structure sits atop a rocky hill overlooking the town and has a fascinating history dating back to the early Bronze Age. Archaeological excavations have yielded an impressive array of artifacts, revealing the castle's long and storied past. Within the castle's walls, you'll discover a treasure trove of architectural wonders, including the Church of St. Stephen, several Venetian administrative buildings, and some medieval rooms. From the castle's ramparts, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, including the nearby Buna and Drin Rivers. Next, we'll head to Shkodra Lake, located on the border of Montenegro and Albania. This vast body of water was once a bay of the Adriatic Sea but was cut off when sea levels dropped thousands of years ago. Today, it's the largest lake in the Balkans, spanning over 41km in length with a surface area of between 370-530 km2. As one of the largest bird reserves in Europe, Shkodra Lake is a paradise for bird watchers, with some 240 species of birds inhabiting its shores. Among the most impressive are the last remaining pelicans in Europe, whose majestic wingspans can be seen gliding gracefully over the water. Our next stop will be the Catholic Cathedral, one of the largest in the Balkans and dedicated to St. Stephen. After a reconstruction in 1991, the cathedral was inaugurated by Mother Theresa, and two years later it was visited by Pope John Paul II. Inside the cathedral, you'll find a copy of the Shroud of Turin, which bears the negative image of a man that some believe to be Jesus of Nazareth. Finally, we'll take a leisurely stroll along Shkodra's bustling main boulevard, where you'll soak up the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy the city's unique blend of history, culture, and modernity. Don't miss the opportunity to sample some of the local cuisine, which is renowned for its delicious flavors and fresh ingredients. This day trip is a must-do for anyone visiting Albania, so don't miss out on the chance to explore the magic of Shkodra and Lezha with us!