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Intrepid partners with MEET to launch first stand-alone trip to Albania

  • Berat
  • Karavasta Lagoon.
  • Kruja

New tour will enable travellers to visit protected national parks in an authentic and sustainable way.

Intrepid Travel has partnered with MEET Network to create a new 9-day expedition around Albania, exploring parts of the country rarely visited by tourists. This is Intrepid’s first standalone trip in Albania, departing for the first time in September 2023.

Albania has been soaring in popularity in recent years, thanks to its stunning and diverse landscapes of mountains and coastlines, along with its fascinating culture. Described by its tourism board as “Europe’s last unturned stone”, Albania is focusing on alternative travel, promoting agritourism and ecotourism – rather than package beach holidays – by encouraging visitors to immerse themselves in nature and meet local communities to have a more enriching experience.

The trip begins in the capital Tirana, then heads north to the stunning mountain and lakes region of Lake Koman to hike along the River Shala. The tour then heads down the coast towards the remarkable landscapes of Divjaka-Karavasta National Park and Bay of Vlora for some bird watching and local craft experiences. The tour includes a visit to Berat, also known as the “town of a thousand windows” before finishing back in Tirana with plenty of time to explore the lively and vibrant capital.

MEET is a network of Mediterranean protected areas that work with tourism operators to create sustainable, high quality ecotourism experiences that benefit conservation and local communities. All MEET Experiences are nature-based, cultural experiences with a low ecological footprint and a maximized social impact which allow travellers to discover a new side of the Mediterranean. The MEET experience on this trip takes place in Divjake-Karavasta National Park, which includes a visit to the nature protected area of Karavasta Lagoon and the conservation tower to learn about the bird rehabilitation centre treating wild birds on their migratory route.

“We‘re extremely proud of our partnership with MEET as their ethos of responsible travel aligns with our mission to create positive change through the joy of travel.” says Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA for Intrepid Travel. “This is the third trip we’ve developed in partnership with MEET and is another example of Intrepid’s commitment to providing sustainable, experience-rich trips to conscious travellers looking for truly authentic experiences, and to have a positive impact on local communities.”

Alessandro Galli, President of MEET, said: “During the last couple of years, we have experienced first-hand the great need and desire for change in the tourism sector. We have worked tirelessly with our partners in Albania – from Protected Area Managers to Tour Operators, from hoteliers and restaurant owners to local artisanal craftsmen – to bring to life a totally new concept of tourism, based on fairness, local peculiarities, and sustainability. We are proud to see that this model is now being recognized by Intrepid and even more proud to see Albania in the spotlight with such a high-quality, low-impact product.”

Intrepid’s new 9 day Albania Expedition includes accommodation, ground transport, selected meals and activities. Highlights include:

  • MEET Experience: Start your day early with a sunrise breakfast in one of the bird watching towers on the western side of the Karavasta Lagoon.
  • Stay two nights in a cosy family-owned village guesthouse by the aquamarine waters of the Shala River, spend time hiking the gorgeous natural surrounds, enjoying water activities and home-cooked meals.
  • Sit down to a farm-to-table dinner made with fresh ingredients grown on-site at one of Albania’s top culinary destinations – Mrizi I Zanave farm (“Shade of the Fairies”).
  • Visit the village of Babunje, where you’ll have a chance to participate in a hands-on craft experience, homemade raki and a coffee reading with a group of farmers and artists.
  • Hike to the old village of Tragjas, where time has stood still since the area was bombed during World War II. From the ruins of the old village, a family has created an animal farm that utilises traditional and sustainable farming and conservation practices.
  • Travel to the small city of Berat, known as the “town of a thousand windows” and one of TIME magazine’s World’s Greatest Places for 2023.
Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.