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Duration: 1 Day
Location: Berat, Albania
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See some of Albania’s best preserved architecture  from the Ottoman period, a beautiful hillside city beside the River Osum dominated by a mighty citadel with mosques, churches and cobbled streets. Leaving the dock we take a two hour drive southeast to Berat, known for its traditional character. This brought it a designation as Albania’s third Unesco World Heritage Site.

Originally the Illyrian city of Antipatrea, the Ottomans arrived in the 15th century. We will pass a number of ancient orthodox churches and mosques in the lower city, including the 16th century lead mosque, named for its lead covered dome. Higher on the hillside clusters of tiered houses with abundant windows-cling to the slopes. These light-filled residences provide the origin of Berat’sepithet, ‘city of a thousand windows’. Even higher lie the stone citadel known as the Kala. Site of the ancient Illyrian city much of the mighty wall circuit dates to the 13th century. As it expanded over time many different architectural styles were included from Roman, to Byzantine and Ottoman. The views across the gorge and plain are spectacular as are the wonderful collection of 16th century icons by the great painter Onufri to be seen in his museum, the ancient cathedral church. 

A lunch of tradition Albanian cuisine follows, an opportunity to shop and as we return to Durres a stop at a winery to sample a selection of wines made exclusively from Albanian grapes which have a characteristic sweetness. Afterwards re-join your coach for the return journey to Durres pier.

Tour of Berat.

Images from the tour