Guided Berat Tour: the Fortress, Onufri Museum, Wine Tasting, & Lunch

Guided Berat Tour: the Fortress, Onufri Museum, Wine Tasting, & Lunch

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$ 203

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      Tirana, Albania
      8 Hours 45 Minutes
      Moderate
      From (USD)
      $ 203
      • Cobo Winery: Taste delicious wines made by a family leading the resurgence in Albanian winemaking. Snack on local cheese and olives and admire a collection of paintings by artists banned during the Communist era.   
      • Berat Fortress: Tour the imposing ruins of the "Kala," a mostly medieval castle (the site dates back to the 4th century B.C.) on a hill 700 feet above town. The neighborhood within its walls is still occupied today.
      • Onufri Museum: Visit an 18th-century church in the fort with more than 170 magnificent liturgical artworks, the majority by Onufri, a 16th-century Albanian icon master renowned for his vibrant reds and lifelike figures.
      • Lunch and free time: Enjoy a hearty Albanian lunch of cheese and chard burek (pie), meats, salad, dessert, and beer or a soft drink. Then explore the cobblestone streets of this lovely town, built on steep terraces along the Osumi River.

      Meeting point

      Please make your way to the Kristal Center Bus Stop at Bulevardi Zogu I that is close to Tirana International Hotel 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 75 steps over varying surfaces including cobblestones, gravels and flat terrain.

      Activity type

      Bus Tour, Scenic, Food & Wine.

      Transportation used

      46-seat Air-conditioned Motorcoach

      Included amenities

      Guide
      Beverages
      Snack
      Lunch

      Languages

      English, German, French, Spanish, Italian

      Tour ID

      TR-EUR-ALB-TIRA-EN-1006

      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 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.

      About 60 miles south of Tirana, in the shadow of 8,000-foot Mount Tomorr, the fortress city of Berat has been a strategic crossroads for 25 centuries. Fought over by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Serbs, Bulgarians, Ottomans, and Albanians, its walled hilltop citadel has been sacked, burned, toppled, and rebuilt countless times.

      Today, the majestic ruin of Kala Castle's upper fortress stands broken but strong, providing million-dollar views (roughly 123,500,000 leks worth) of the Albanian mountains above and riverside neighborhoods below – where a picturesque avalanche of white, many-windowed homes cascades down steep forested hillsides carved by the waters of the Osumi River.

      Within the citadel walls of this World Heritage Site, the winding cobbled lanes of the Kala quarter remain inhabited to this day, creating a living museum where the chain of Balkan history survives unbroken. Old frescoed Byzantine churches abound, including the one that houses the museum where Onufri's painted icons are the star attraction – vividly demonstrating why he's considered an undisputed master of this sacred art form.

      But it's Berat's unusual cultural and geographic intertwining of Eastern and Western influences that defines this small, unique city. To grasp that, you need look no further than the seven-arched Gorica bridge, dating back to 1780.

      Far more than just crossing the Osumi, this architectural landmark creates a symbolic bridge between the Ottoman quarter of Mengalem, so famous for its windowed houses, and the Orthodox Christians of the Gorica quarter on the opposite bank. This longstanding and peaceful coexistence of cultures gives Berat a distinctive flavor that's not only fascinating, but delicious. As a taste of burek at lunch, and red or white shesh at Cobo cellars, will prove.  

      Paint praise

      Many religious art scholars believe that master icon-painter Onufri's trademark red pigment has never been equaled, and that he took its composition with him to the grave. This information gap is not surprising given that Onufri's very existence only came to light in the early 20th century. We do know he was educated by the Venetians and went on to found a painting school in Berat. And that he had a son Nikola who, alas, never got a full dose of his dad's painting genius. Or the secret formula for that red paint.

      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.

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      Tirana, Albania
      Great photo opportunities
      Bring photo ID
      Bring money
      Wear comfortable shoes
      Wear light clothing
      Wear Sunglasses
      Wear Hat

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      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