Your browser (Internet Explorer {{browserVersion}}) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all the features of this and other websites.
Update my browser

ADRIATIC RICHES & ASPECTS OF ALBANIA

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Zagreb
  • Split
  • Hvar
  • Korčula
  • Mljet
  • Dubrovnik
  • Skadar Lake
  • Tirana
  • Berat
  • Sarande
  • Corfu

17 Days Expedition Voyage
  • Departing:
  • 11 May 2023 New release

Join us as we skirt Croatia’s pristine coastlines and embrace its remote islands during our time aboard the luxury small ship MS Antaris. Dock in idyllic harbours to wander historic walled cities and tread the soft sands of beautiful beaches. The seldom-seen towns and isolated regions of Montenegro and Albania complement our voyage on this journey for just 30 guests.

Map
MS Antaris
MS Antaris

Private Charter of the MS Antaris

Cruise between each stunning island aboard the MS Antaris. On board, you’ll find just 18 cabins, most with balconies. Gaze out to serene shores while relaxing in the jacuzzi or dining in the onboard restaurant. And, in the spirit of adventure, we choose to drop anchor when and where we please. 

Adriatic
Adriatic

Adriatic Antiquities and Sublime Vistas

Discover the historic old towns of Kotor and Korčula. Their fortifications tell tales of conquest and resistance, while their untarnished beauty remains undeniable. Explore them both with a local guide. 

Albania
Albania

Admire the Architecture of Albania

Behold the ‘City of a Thousand Windows’. Berat’s striking Ottoman houses, hilltop castle, Byzantine churches and mosques, have all helped to earn it a UNESCO World Heritage listing. 

Greece
Greece

The Enduring Grandeur of Greece

After soaking up the natural treasures of Kanoni and Mouse Island, conclude your journey in Corfu with a choice of experiences. Appreciate the grandeur of the Byzantine Monastery and Achilleion Palace or delve further back into antiquity at the Archaeological Museum.

 

 

Itinerary

Upon your arrival in Zagreb, check into the majestic Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, where we stay for two nights in Deluxe Rooms. 

Croatia’s capital and principal city, Zagreb serves as the hub for all things art, business and entertainment. Church spires and cobblestone streets point the way to a wealth of parks and public spaces, where you’ll find the locals enjoying baked goods and coffee. One of the city’s distinctive blue trams is at our beck and call for our jaunts to each historic landmark. At Kamenita Vrata, or Stone Gate, we hear the story of the city’s thirteenth-century fortifications. We also visit the historic St Mark’s Church. Boarding a funicular, we negotiate a steep, yet very short, incline to the city’s Upper Town. Here, we find Lotrščak Tower, which at various times throughout its history has served as a fort, a warehouse and a residential building. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city. 

Enjoy free time on Ilica Street, one of the city’s most popular shopping streets, and perhaps pick up a souvenir or enjoy a drink in one of the area’s many bars. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers better during a Welcome Dinner.

We make for the coast this morning, and the vibrant city of Split. Admire the historic and beautifully preserved edifice of Diocletian’s Place. We then head to the nearby Cathedral of Saint Dominus, resplendent with its ornate sculptures and elaborate murals. Take some time to soak up the atmosphere in the People’s Square or walk along the palm-lined esplanade. Our luxurious vessel awaits our arrival in the harbour and, later this afternoon, we step aboard. Crossing the bay, we shortly arrive on in Nečujam, on the island of Šolta. Spend late afternoon swimming, snorkelling or sunbathing, before sitting down to dinner in our ship’s restaurant.

After breakfast, we sail to the nearby island of Brač. Relax and swim in the warm waters off the island’s famous beach Zlatni Rat, otherwise known as ‘Golden Horn’, close to the charming town of Bol. We then return to our ship for lunch and cruise to the adjacent island of Hvar. Fringed by pine forests and on the edge of the Adriatic’s impossibly clear waters, Hvar is indeed an idyllic port of call. Here, we explore the town of Stari Grad. Enjoy some free time to wander the town, enjoying its charming marina and relaxed atmosphere. Bask in the gradually fading rays of a setting sun while spending some time in the pastoral area of Stari Grad Plain. Here, we dine at Hora Farmstead, whose traditional ‘peka’ meals and island wine sustain us at the end of the day’s sightseeing.

En route to the small island of Vis, we stop at the Paklinski group of islands to enjoy a spot of swimming. Arriving on Vis this afternoon, we savour the remoteness of this tranquil paradise. The Archaeological Museum features a range of exhibits from the third century BC, as well as more modern items pertaining to the shipbuilding and viticulture industries. Afterwards, stroll along the promenade and make notes of some of the bars and restaurants that pique your interest for when we return for this evening’s dinner.

Today, we set sail for the tiny island of Biševo, with a population of a mere 20 people. We make the most of the relative isolation afforded us here. Boarding a small boat, we ease our way into the magical Blue Cave. Our guide navigates us through a narrow channel, which opens up into a pool of seemingly illuminated and vibrant blue water. Returning to our luxury vessel, we are delivered to one of Croatia’s largest islands, that of Korčula. We take a tour of the Old Town, admiring the expanse of red rooftops that dominates the skyline. Here, the Gothic-Renaissance-style St Mark’s Cathedral stands as a landmark of stone architecture, and its bell tower grants us unparalleled views over the island. Tonight, select from one of Korčula’s plentiful seaside restaurants.

A slender island to the south of Korčula, Mljet is a picture of beauty, even by Croatia’s high standards. A densely forested and isolated island, Mljet is rich in flora and fauna, which we spy while exploring on foot. In Mljet National Park, we see the aptly named, saltwater, Large and Small lakes. Upon the islet of Melita, standing all alone, is a 12th-century former Benedictine monastery. Return to our ship, where you are invited to join the captain during this evening’s dinner.

We briefly return to the mainland this morning, stopping along the way to enjoy a swim. On arrival in Ston, we take a short boat ride to an oyster farm, where we savour the slippery molluscs along with a glass of wine. Shortly after, we anchor off the island of Šipan. Take your time to unwind as you please, as we enjoy an evening at leisure. Relax on the island’s serene shores as the sun’s orange glow slowly disappears below the horizon.

We now dock in the harbour of Dubrovnik. ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ guides us inside its ancient fortifications, inviting us to share in its abundant treasure. We trace the old city walls, arriving at Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Dominican Monastery. The Rector’s Palace blends Gothic and Renaissance styles and is remarkably well-preserved. Return to our ship for our final evening on board.

We farewell the MS Antaris this morning, and our travels continue by road. We wind our way along coastal roads, tracing dense forests. Crossing the border, we arrive in Montenegro and the town of Perast, on the Bay of Kotor. From here, we gaze upon Our Lady of the Rocks, a small island which harbours a Roman Catholic church bearing the same name. Close by, we find our harbourside accommodation. The Regent Porto Montenegro hosts us for this evening’s dinner; the glittering white interiors of its Murano Restaurant complementing the bay’s shimmering waters. Our Deluxe Sea View Rooms offer an outlook to the marina, as well as to the mountains beyond. 

This morning, trace the old city walls of Kotor. Erected during the Venetian period, they snake their way dramatically across the hillside. Wander cobblestone laneways, where balconies are adorned with terracotta pots and we find ourselves enthralled by the city’s legion of stray cats. Straddling the borders of Montenegro and Albania, Skadar Lake is the largest lake in the Balkans, and a national park that is home to a diversity of wildlife. Progressing in a southerly manner, we make our next border crossing, this time into Albania. Arriving in the capital, Tirana, we make ourselves comfortable at the Maritim Hotel Plaza Tirana, before gaining an introduction to the region courtesy of a wine tasting. 

A retort to its communist past, the Tirana of today is quite literally a colourful city. Its buildings, now alive with lashings of bright pinks and yellows, were reimagined by then-mayor Edi Rama. At the Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg Museum, we hear the story of another of Albania’s notable figures; Skanderbeg led a fierce rebellion against the Ottomans during the 15th century. The Old Bazaar of Krujë, meanwhile, leads us along cobblestone paths, past a succession of stalls, where we see artisans plying their trade and selling their wares, as has been done here for over 400 years.

Today, we head to the riverside city of Berat. Its historic centre displays a rare and incredibly well-preserved example of an Ottoman-era town, whose cultural value is recognised by its designation as a World Heritage site. While the ancient Berat Castle still occupies pride of place over the city, its neighbouring houses wind their way around the hillside below. Neatly stacked upon one another, their white walls and wide windows seem to gaze out from their steep surrounds in an almost conspired uniformity. This striking sight has earnt Berat the epithet ‘City of a Thousand Windows’. In the distance, Mt Tomorr looms large. This afternoon, we return to the coast, acquainting ourselves with the seaside city of Sarandë. Checking into Hotel Butrinti, we delight in the sea views from our Deluxe Suites.

The ancient artefacts of Butrint National Park attract our attention today. Jutting out into Lake Butrint, the park features relics from the Greek, Roman and medieval periods, including its Greek amphitheatre, temple to the god Asclepius and several Roman villas, among many other historic ruins. This is not only a meeting place for those concerned with past events though; the park supports diverse ecosystems, thanks to its complex system of lakes, swamps and islands. Over 1200 different plant and animal species have been identified here, some of which are endemic to the area. Following our exploration, we return to Sarandë to dine and relax at Hotel Butrinti. 

This morning, a ferry whisks us across the Strait of Corfu. Admire views of crystal-clear waters from one of the island’s many restaurants as we rest for lunch. 

Ready for some exploration, perhaps set out on a Your World experience:
— Join a guide for a scenic drive of the island, before continuing on foot to discover the idyllic peninsula of Kanoni. Afterwards, the tiny island of Mouse beckons. Here we find the Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator. Following a visit to the nineteenth-century villa Mon Repos, enjoy a wine tasting, before dining in the Old Town.
— Explore the island on your own schedule before meeting back up with the rest of our group for dinner in the Old Town.

Make the most of our final day in Corfu with one of these full-day Your World experiences:

— See the striking Byzantine Monastery at Paleokastritsa. Wander the grounds and hear about the day-to-day life of the resident monks. Afterwards, head to a local olive mill, where you’ll learn more about the lifestyle of the Corfiots. On your way back to town, stop in at Gastouri, otherwise known as Achilleio for the grand Achilleion Palace that stands here. Pause for lunch at the Yacht Club of Corfu. 
— View antiquities from the ancient Greek city of Corcyra at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu. Other exhibits here also display relics from around the island, including several pieces of art and architecture. From here, head to the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, which comprises around 15,000 works of art. In-between each visit, sample some local cuisine.
— Soak up the sights, sounds, tastes and atmosphere of the island as you wish. A shuttle bus will drop you off in the morning and pick you up again in the afternoon, with the remainder of your day at leisure. 

This evening, we celebrate our journey during a Farewell Dinner at one of Greece’s finest restaurants.

Farewell your fellow travellers as our journey concludes in Corfu.

Keep Exploring

Canary Islands

THE CANARY ISLANDS & IBERIAN PENINSULA BY SMALL SHIP

Discover Europe’s westernmost coasts and far-flung islands by small ship. 

EVERYTHING CONSIDERED & INCLUDED

Curating journeys for over 25 years, we know that sometimes travelling can be a chore. Enjoy each enriching experience, knowing we have considered every last detail.
Margaret River

Safety & Flexibility

Learn about our new booking conditions and additional measures we are taking throughout our journeys.