After breakfast depart to the ancient city of Apollonia one of the most important ancient centers in Roman times on the famous Via Egnatia. The famous Roman orator Cicero, astonished by the beauty of Apollonia named it in his Philippics, “magna urbs et gravis” – a great and important city. Established in the 7th century B.C., by Greek settlers from Corinth and Corcyra, the ancient city is located 11 km to the west of the city of Fier. Archaeological excavations have revealed that Apollonia achieved its zenith in the 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. In the first century B.C., Octavian Augustus studied philosophy there until he heard news of Caesar’s murder in the Senate and went on to become the next emperor. Visit the city and an Orthodox monastery turned into archaeological museum. We leave Apollonia to go in another antic city. These 2,413 years-old cities, the pride of Albanian architecture which is under the protection of UNESCO, is located 120 km from Tirana. The city forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes, traditions and outlook. Berat is a treasure-trove of Albanian history, culture and a testament to the country’s tradition of religious harmony.
Established in the 3rd century B.C by an Illyrian tribe of central Albania with a protective castle, it was known as the fortified city of Antipatrea. In 1417 the town was occupied by the Ottoman who built quite a few mosques in the area below the town’s old castle. The castle is the only one in Albania that still has houses and inhabitants within its walls. We will visit the Castle, St Marys Church turned Onufri Museum which houses an amazingly diverse collection of Icons and two other churches not open to the public. Onufri whose name has been given to this Icon museum was an Albanian master painter of the 16th century who painted many church icons in Albania and Greece and is famous for its red color named after him. Berat is also famous, as two of the oldest bibles “New Testaments” one from 6th century and one from 9th century AD has been found here.
After the visits we drive back to Tirana.
This day trip starts and ends in Tirana