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Private Day Tour of Gjirokastra & Blue Eye from Tirana or Durres

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From125 €
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From125 €
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12 Hours
Tirana & Durres
Gjirokaster & Blue Eye

Join us in this Day Tour of Gjirokastra and The Blue Eye to explore the secrets behind this Stone City and Castle of Gjirokaster. Part of Albanian UNESCO World Heritage. This Tour brings you nearer to the Unique Architecture, Local life, delicious food, and a stunning water spring. It is a complete guide with the best of what to visit in Gjirokaster, carefully selected by us, along with the last destination being The Blue Eye.

Probably it is one of the steepest cities in the world, as Ismail Kadare describes it in his book. Gjirokastra will amaze you with its unique architecture and its dominant castle of Gjirokastra on the top of the hill. It is a city with a rich and glorious history, culture, and delicious local cuisine. Tour of Gjirokaster will start with the Pride of the city, the Castle of Gjirokaster. Walking through the coble stone paths sliding from the castle, you will explore a charming city, strangely attractive, and very Instagramable. While in Gjirokastra, we will explore also most of the Historic city, including some characteristic houses to understand more about how everyday life was organized in the family. Lastly, our final stop will be The Blue Eye water spring, which will leave you speechless and eager to jump in those vibrant blue colors and take a dip.

star rating  Andi and his sister were really welcoming! They told us lots about not just Albanian food but also Albanian history and culture, and the food we prepared was insanely good.... read more

Kirsten d
August 11, 2019

star rating  Our guide Andi was fabulous and went above & beyond. He was very accommodating with our requests, even when they were last minute and we already had so much planned... read more

suelonghini
August 5, 2022

star rating  I found the website Go As Local in google and started browsing through it.. I immediately found the whatsapp chat option and started chatting and asking about questions related to... read more

Fatima A
January 1, 1970
Tour Details
Tour of Gjirokastra

The history of the “Stone City” of Gjirokastra dates since the IVth Century AD. Known as Argyrokastro (Silver Castle) it has been an important economic, political and cultural city since the early Byzantine Era.  Since 2005 the City is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In addition, it is known for its highly preserved Ottoman Style Buildings and Architecture.

The main components of the unique style are

  • Stone House Rooftops
  • Unique “Small Fortes” house style
  • The old Bazaar

Blue Eye 

The “Blue Eye” is a water spring and a natural phenomenon occurring in a village in Finiq, southern Albania. The clear blue water of the Bistricë River can be seen from a depth of more than 50 meters, which is truly a magical view and makes the Blue Eye one of the most preferred destinations among tourists.

 

Departure & Return Location

Hotel Pick Up in Tirana

Departure Time

08:00 am

Price Includes

  • Hotel Pick Up / Drop Off in Tirana
  • Comfortable AC vehicle
  • Professional tour guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Lunch or snacks in Gjirokaster
  • Personal Spendings and Souvenirs

Bring with you

  • Sunscreen & Hat
  • Comfortable Shoes & Clothes
What to Expect

Places to be visited during this Guide :

  • The Castle of Gjirokastra (Ticket Included)
  • Visit at a "Typical Fortress Style" House
  • Visit at the Old Bazaar
  • City tour of Gjirokastra
  • Visit at the “Mad People street”
  • Blue Eye natural Spring
Itinerary
Tour of Gjirokastra and Blue Eye

Heading to Gjirokastra

Leaving Tirana at 8:00 we will head towards Gjirokastra, situated 230 Km from Tirana, described as “a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town, built by farmers of the large estate”. Driving through deep South Albania, the road is mainly surrounded by planted fields in one of the most fertile regions of Albanian agriculture. In addition, we will drive by the Vjosa River, one of the very few wild rivers in Albania and the Balkans. 

A commercial Walk through the History - The Traditional Bazaar of Gjirokastra

Once we get into the city you would understand that this city is not like the others. The historical part start at one of the main squares of the city under the name of one of the most famous Albanian Patriots of the 19th century, Cerciz Topulli. It is where most of the cobblestone streets are ending their impetuous run from the high of the castle. 

Dating from the 17th Century, during the Ottoman era, has been the heart of the city that pumps life into all directions. It was the most important economical district of the city where the rumors and the gossips of the time were spread quickly through the people. Most people would buy, sell or just chill while sipping coffee. In a time where also a lot of marriages are arranged, it was the perfect central place to meet for the families to meet before the ceremony.  

Today, restored and nicely presented to the visitor, this side of the city will bring the history in front of you through the souvenirs or interesting tales of the welcoming, local vendors. 

The castle of Gjirokastra

Wondering through the Bazaar we will reach the Gjirokastra Fortress. Build on the top of the hill, into a naturally well-protected position, this was the first settlement of life in the early city.  Closely tied with the fascinating Legend of Argjiro, the young princes who sacrificed herself, this castle is often called the Crown of the City. Heavily restored for the last time in the 19th Century it has been used much time as a fortress and prison from all the regimes and political casts of the time. Despite the Historical values, it offers the same great view of the stone city, lazily  settled on the steep parts of the city. 

The most famous Neighborhood of the City Palorto District

In addition, the tour of Gjirokastra continues into one of the most famous parts of the city. Situated not far from each-other are standing the family house of Enver Hoxha (former Communist Leader) and his neighbor, Ismail Kadare (the most famous modern Albania Writer). Both, are saying on the pedestal as the most important figures in Politics or Literature in the 2oth Century. In addition, before leaving this part through “The path of Mad People” and its interesting story we will be able to visit one very interesting house. 

Typical House of Gjirokastra- Visit in one of the most well known families of the city

The typical Fortress-looking style of the houses is one of the reasons why the city is part of the UNESCO Heritage. Unique, chick, and very functional, every house was projected to function independently. 

Furthermore, the house that we will be visiting has still functional all the components that qualify it as one of the most beautiful houses of the Balkans from that period. Since Gjirokastra is a place with a very little amount of water, the house was built with an independent system of collecting, filtering and preserving water. Divided in many family and ceremonial rooms, it also has its own “private bunker” in case of bombardments. It is defiantly like living in the past. 

The "Blue Eye" Water Spring

Our last stop will be in one of the most amazing natural phenomena in Albania. Located in a village near Finiq, the Blue Eye or Syri i Kaltër is a water spring that perfectly describes Albania’s natural beauty – breathtaking. Full of vibrant blue water so clear you can see all the way to the bottom and the sunlight makes it a magical place, especially to take some neat photos or have a quick swim. The spring is an easy hike from the parking area and you can refresh in a cafe nearby while there.

End of the Tour - Return to Tirana

After the visit and some private free time, we will start our way back to Tirana.

Map
The Day tour of Gjirokaster and Blue Eye from Tirana & Durres
Photos

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