Immerse yourself in the beauty of the ancient Greek architecture of Apollonia and explore the ancient marvels of the Ardenica Monastery on the Ardenica and Apollonia day trip from Tirana.
While discovering these two sites that are a hidden gem in Albania you will be speechless at what they have to offer. Apollonia is located on the banks of the last wild river in Europe, the Vjosa River. The pillars and theater of Apollonia will remind you of the days when Greeks used to believe in Gods and built houses for them.
Apollonia isn’t a modern, occupied city. Instead, it is the ruins of a city that used to be a major port and departure point for travelers along the Via Egnatia. Today it is an archeological park and museum open to the public with footpaths and sights spread over several hectares.
Once upon a time here began one of the most important streets connecting the West with the East, or Rome with Constantinople. Apolonia is the oldest city in Albania, one of the largest in the Adriatic basin, and the most famous among the 30 other cities of the same name, of ancient times.
Apollonia is one of the largest archeological centers in Albania. Written testimonies show that the ancient Illyrian city was built in the first years of the 6th century BC in 588 by colonists coming from Corinth and Korkyra after they found the Epidam – Dyrrah.
Earlier in this area was an Illyrian settlement, with the arrival of colonists the city was named Apolloni in honor of the god Apollo. The geographic position of the city has played an important role, so Apollonia was erected not far from the sea, communicating through the Vjosa River (Aoos) in a rich area of southern Illyria inhabited by the Illyrian tribes of Taulants.
The ancient city is part of the UNESCO heritage list. The site is very well preserved and shows you about the past. Apollonia’s Beauty has attracted many visitors. Considering Apollonia a great and important city of the past. Things that you can see from the ruins that are almost perfect.
Situated on the top of the hill this lovely place gives the chance to get back in middle age history. Once you walk in the guy who looks after this place welcomes you and guides you in the Monastery. This place is so relaxing and peaceful, the original pictures from Kostandin Shpataraku are amazing.
Accordingly to the Albanian Encyclopedia, a stone with an inscription bears the date of its construction in 1417. The Ardenica Monastery consists of the Church of St. Mary and the chapel of St. Triada. The Church of St. Mary according to the inscription on the murals was built in 1743 and was painted two years later by Athenian painters and Constantine Zografi.
The iconostasis bears several icons belonging to Constantine the Swordsman, among which there is an icon of St. John Vladimir. The church features a triple basilica with a flat ceiling.
Moreover, on this day trip to Apollonia from Tirana, you will get to see Ardenica and the monastery. The monastery is located on the gorgeous hills of Ardenica. It is one of the most spiritual places you will visit in Albania. Why so remains to be discovered when you are there. It is a hidden jewel and a marvel of Albania’s landmarks.
Book the Ardenica and Apollonia day trip from Tirana, a tour of wonderful discoveries. Ardenica and Apollonia should be visited when in Albania. Visit Albania, a country that has a lot to offer.
We meet at 8:00 am at the Scanderbeg Square to start our journey towards the city of Fier, where both sites are located in a small distance from the city. We visit Apollonia, the city where you will feel closer to the Greek architecture and ancient Illyrian period. You will see how this place is almost perfectly preserved from time and from the human hand. You will fall in love with the white pillar that make it look like the Parthenon & Acropolis. On our way back we stop at the Ardenica Monastery which is an amazing orthodox spiritual place. Built with stones that come from the ancient city of Apollonia, the monastery is named after Saint Mary and is called St. Mary’s Church. This place will make you feel spiritual more than before. A place to be and visit when you are in Albania. After our explorations we will head back to Tirana.