26 days in Northern Greece & Albania Itinerary

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1
Thessaloniki, Greece
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Kalambaka, Greece
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Parga Municipality, Greece
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Ioannina, Greece
— 1 night
Drive
5
Gjirokaster, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
6
Saranda, Albania
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Himare, Albania
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Dhermi, Albania
— 3 nights
Shuttle
9
Vlore, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
10
Durres, Albania
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Tirana, Albania
— 3 nights

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Thessaloniki, Greece — 3 nights

Mother of Israel

A city with a stormy history and a cosmopolitan heart, Thessaloniki attracts visitors with its diverse culinary scene, dynamic nightlife, and youthful energy.
Go for a jaunt from Thessaloniki to Ormos Panagias to see Trani Ammouda Beach about 1h 35 min away.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Thessaloniki online vacation planner.

If you are flying in from The Netherlands, the closest major aiport is Thessaloniki Macedonia International Airport. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in July, and nighttime lows around 23°C. You'll set off for Kalambaka on the 1st (Tue).
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Highlights from your trip

Kalambaka, Greece — 2 nights

The gateway to one of the largest monastery complexes in Greece, the small town of Kalambaka nestles against a landscape of imposing rock formations rising 400 m (1,300 ft) into the air.
On the 2nd (Wed), take in the spiritual surroundings of Agios Nikolaos Anapaphsas, take in the spiritual surroundings of Monastery of the Great Meteoron, admire the natural beauty at Varlaam Monastery, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Roussanou Monastery, then contemplate the long history of Agios Stefanos, and finally pedal to the sights with Meteora e-Bike. On the 3rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Pamvotis.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Kalambaka trip app.

Traveling by bus from Thessaloniki to Kalambaka takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from Thessaloniki in August since evenings lows in Kalambaka dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Parga Municipality.
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Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Parks
Side Trip

Parga Municipality, Greece — 3 nights

Most visitors to Parga come because of the Ionian coastline's verdant landscape and traditional character.
Visit Valtos Beach and Lichnos Beach for some beach relaxation. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Pargas Distillery - Amicos Cocktail Bar and Venetian Castle of Parga. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Acheron, kick back and relax at Alonaki Fanariou Beach, delve into the distant past at Ali Pasha Castle, and identify plant and animal life at Valtos Kalodikiou.

To find maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Parga Municipality attractions website.

You can drive from Kalambaka to Parga Municipality in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Traveling from Kalambaka in August, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 25°C in Parga Municipality. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Ioannina.
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Ioannina, Greece — 1 night

Ioannina, often called Yannena within Greece, is the capital and largest city of Epirus, an administrative region in north-western Greece. On the 6th (Sun), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iera Moni Agiou Nikolaou Filanthropinon.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Ioannina trip planner.

Getting from Parga Municipality to Ioannina by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Ioannina can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Gjirokaster.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping
Side Trip

Gjirokaster, Albania — 1 night

City of Stone

Along with the central Albanian town of Berat, Gjirokastra serves as a striking World Heritage Site known for its Ottoman architecture.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Nature&joy, then steep yourself in history at Zekate House, and then brush up on your military savvy at Gjirokaster.

For more things to do, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Gjirokaster attractions planner.

Drive from Ioannina to Gjirokaster in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Saranda.
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Wildlife · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Saranda, Albania — 3 nights

A popular summer destination for its inexpensive accommodation and stony Mediterranean beaches, Saranda has become a favorite of both Albanian and foreign travelers.
On the 9th (Wed), kick back and relax at Pulebardha Beach and then stroll through Mirror (Pasqyra) Beach. On your second day here, step into the grandiose world of Lekuresi Castle and then explore the activities along Blue Eye.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Saranda driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Gjirokaster to Saranda takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Himare.
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Find places to stay Aug 8 — 11:

Himare, Albania — 3 nights

Get outdoors at Livadhi Beach and Llamani Beach. We've included these beaches for you: Gjipe Beach and Jale Beach.

To find other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Himare trip planner.

You can drive from Saranda to Himare in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. August in Himare sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Mon) to allow time for the car ride to Dhermi.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites
Side Trip

Dhermi, Albania — 3 nights

Take a break from the city and head to Dhermi Beach and Pirate's Cave. Change things up with a short trip to Llogara National Park in Llogara National Park (about 30 minutes away).

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Dhermi trip itinerary planning app.

Dhermi is very close to Himare. In August, daytime highs in Dhermi are 39°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. On the 17th (Thu), you'll travel to Vlore.
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Side Trips

Vlore, Albania — 1 night

Vlorë is the third largest city and a municipality in Albania. Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Zvernec Monastery, step into the grandiose world of Kanine Castle, and then get outside with Bora Bora Beach.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read Vlore trip builder.

Getting from Dhermi to Vlore by shuttle takes about an hour. Other options: drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Dhermi to Vlore due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Dhermi in August, Vlore is a bit cooler at night with lows of 21°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Durres.
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Outdoors · Historic Sites
Side Trip

Durres, Albania — 2 nights

Durrës, historically also known as Epidamnos, Durazzo and Dyrrachium, is the largest port and second largest city and a municipality of Albania. On the 18th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at The Beach Bar, then get engrossed in the history at Durres Archaeological Museum, then contemplate the long history of Durres Amphitheatre, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Fatih Mosque. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Old Bazaar (Pazari i Vjeter) and then kick back and relax at The General's Beach.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Durres trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Vlore to Durres by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of car and train. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to drive to Tirana.
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Side Trips

Tirana, Albania — 3 nights

Tirana, the largest city in Albania, represents one a lively and fast-paced metropolis.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Muzeu Historik Kombetar and Bunk'Art 1. Step out of the city life by going to Dajti and Spille Beach. Step out of Tirana with an excursion to Kruja Castle in Kruje--about 58 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: brush up on your military savvy at BunkArt 2, learn more about the world around you at National Archaeological Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Et`hem Bey Mosque, and make a trip to Skanderbeg Square.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Tirana trip planner.

You can drive from Durres to Tirana in an hour. Another option is to do a combination of train and car. Expect a daytime high around 39°C in August, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel back home.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Outdoors
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Find places to stay Aug 20 — 23:

Albania travel guide

3.9
Castles · Landmarks · Military Museums
Land of the Eagles
With its young bustling metropolis, networks of cobblestone pedestrianized streets, coastal beach towns, and cities of ancient ruins, Albania will continuously surprise you. As you reach each new major town and discover how completely different it is from the last, your appreciation will deepen for this tucked-away land steeped in history. Travel, eating, and accommodation here is very inexpensive, freeing you from budget concerns and allowing you to travel in the style that you want. Meanwhile, you may find yourself going days without spotting another tourist. While this means that many things will not be customized for visitors (non-English menus, sparse accommodation, and fewer international transportation options), you'll experience the feel of authentic Albania.
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