A Hero's Realm: Historic Kruja with Folklore Performance

A Hero's Realm: Historic Kruja with Folklore Performance

From (USD)
$ 296

Choose your date

change
change

Choose an available time

Choose your language

change

Private Car (Seats 2)

Private Minivan (Seats 6)

Private Van (Seats 12)

Private Minibus (Seats 18)

    For Groups of 20 or more, please contact our GoTo Crew.

      $ 0.00

      JavaScript is required to complete booking

      Durres, Albania
      5.5 Hours
      Moderate
      From (USD)
      $ 296
      • Sights of Kruja: Tour atmospheric winding lanes and take in wide Adriatic views from the ruins of the hilltop castle where Skanderbeg, Albania's national hero, held off invading Ottomans during three long 15th-century sieges.  
      • Skanderbeg Museum: It was designed by the daughter of a brutal Communist dictator, but it's quite nice, and called the Balcony of the Adriatic for its views. See relics of Albania's great defender, including his giant sword and goat's-head helmet.
      • Old Bazaar: Wander a narrow cobbled street where tile-roofed shops and studios offer antiques, filigreed jewelry, woven rugs, olivewood baskets, carved boxes, and traditional white felt hats known as qeleshes. 
      • Snack and Show: Enjoy colorful folkloric music and dance by performers in traditional national garb, hearty Albanian finger food, and stunning city and mountain views at the aptly named Panorama Hotel.

      Meeting point

      Please make your way to the Durres Bus Terminal at Rruga Hafiz Podgorica to meet your guide.

      Helpful hints

      In need of retail therapy after your tour? Shopping is available 7 days a week, although early closing at 3:00pm on Sundays is generally observed. Look for traditional Albanian souvenirs - embroidery, woolen items and Raki Skrapari, the local liquor.

      Getting around

      Plan to walk a total of 1 mile with up to 40 steps over varying surfaces including old slippery cobblestones, even surfaces and inclines.

      Activity type

      Cultural, Scenic, Walking Tour

      Transportation used

      Vehicle sizes vary, depending on the size of the group.

      Included amenities

      Guide
      Beverages
      Snack

      Languages

      English, German, Spanish, Italian, French

      Tour ID

      TR-EUR-ALB-DURR-EN-1005

      Tour Participation Requirements

      Activity Level

      This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.

      Age restrictions

      Suitable for all ages. Travelers must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the cognac and wine tasting portion of the tour so bring photo ID for proof of age.

      Special Medical Restriction

      Travelers must be in good health, disclose their physical fitness and advise any conditions that might impact their participation in the tour.

      In the year 1190, the mountain stronghold of Kruja became the capital of the earliest autonomous Albanian state. But in a region where hostile takeovers were the norm, control changed hands repeatedly during the Middle Ages – and Kruja's importance rose and fell with each new landlord's fortunes.

      Beginning in 1443, a go-getting Albanian named George Kastrioti Skanderbeg forged an alliance with local feudal lords and marched his 10,000-man army from victory to victory against the better-equipped Turkish Ottoman forces then occupying the kingdom.

      Under Skanderbeg's red double-eagle flag, the fortress at Kruja held off no less than three sustained Ottoman sieges during his 25-year campaign – not only refusing the great Mehmed II (aka "The Conqueror") an Albanian victory, but preventing a deeper plunge west of the Balkans. Finally, in 1468, the mighty Skanderbeg was defeated – not by Turks or in battle, but by malaria. 

       This one man, larger than life in nearly every way (including the scale of the statues honoring him), is Albania's Caesar, George Washington, Frederick the Great, Duke of Wellington, and Napoleon, all rolled into one. And yet, by all accounts, he was devoid of ego.

      After his death, he was universally acknowledged a heroic symbol of resistance in books and poems. Composers celebrated his exploits in operas. Monuments and squares honor him in Rome, Vienna, Geneva, Paris, Brussels, Durres, Skopje, Prishtina, even faraway Rochester Hills, Michigan.

      But perhaps the greatest (albeit gruesome) tribute came from his fiercest foes. When the Ottomans discovered Skanderbeg's grave about 20 miles northwest of Kruja Castle, they dug it up and made amulets of his bones, confident of the courage they would bestow.

      Blood brothers

      According to legend, Skanderbeg personally killed 3,000 Ottoman soldiers, and could slice two men in half with one stroke of his huge sword. (It's in the museum; judge the likelihood for yourself.) But he wasn't alone in the blood-soaked resistance to the Ottomans. His efforts, if not his sterling reputation, were matched in what is now Romania by Prince Vlad III; aka Vlad Dracula; aka Vlad the Impaler.

      Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.

      Reviews0

      Write a Review

      Durres, Albania
      Durres, Albania
      Great photo opportunities
      Bring money
      Bring water
      Bring snack
      Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear light clothing
      Wear Hat
      Wear Sunglasses

      Looking for other experiences in Durres Tours?

      General disclaimer

      Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.

      To book this tour for a large group, visit ourGROUPS PAGE for special discounted group rates