We (my wife and I) travelled the North of Albania with Albania TravelNet on a private tour in autumn 2010. I have only the highest praise for Enea Kuni and his team. Everything was just perfect, from the preparatory meeting in Tirana to all kinds of accommodation to the restaurant tips. Enea made us feel totally safe and secure. As you suspect, he is a real pro who knows a lot about Albania and who is eager to share his impressive knowledge. Plus, he is really concerned about his customers' well-being. I recommend you book your tour of lovely Albania via Albania TravelNet.Edited: 11 years ago
We had a great experience with Albania TravelNet in October 2011. Enea was an excellent tour guide and driver, in our case. He was very intuitive in anticipating our needs and interests and very knowledgeable about all things Albanian. He also loves food and we had some very memorable meals with him. He is very professional and attended to all the details. We have no reservations about recommending Albania TravelNet for a tour of this fascinating country. Unfortunately our tour was cut short by a family emergency and Enea was extremely helpful in getting us back to Canada as quickly as possible and was very reasonable about expenses. The hotels he chose were all good and his restaurant recommendations were wonderful. His English is excellent.
Just returned from a one-week tour of Albania with Enea through Albania TravelNet. It was a wonderful experience. He has an engaging personality and delivered a very informed and professional tour. We enjoyed great food, historic attractions (with no crowds) and nice hotels in a beautiful country. PS...Albanians seem to love Americans. We felt very welcome everywhere.
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My husband, son (age 15), and I had an excellent experience with Albania TravelNet in late June/early July 2012. (For more info, see this other Trip Advisor post I made about it: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294446-i4584-k4463485-Holiday_in_Albania-Tirana.html#33126268)
Enea was a wonderful communicator and organizer before the tour. He suggested an itinerary which we amended slightly before it was finalized. It was helpful to have him provide a general framework for our trip but I also appreciated the fact that his initial suggestions were not set in stone.
Eni was a terrific guide, who spoke perfect English (she'd lived briefly in America and plays Ultimate Frisbee with Americans in Tirana!). Saimir was an excellent driver (no small feat in Albania).
The three of us traveled in an air-conditioned van with Eni as our translator/guide and Saimir behind the wheel. We've never enjoyed the luxury of this sort of private tour before, but the Albania TravelNet prices made it very affordable.
We were very impressed by the quality and variety of the hotels that Enea found for us and for the delightful restaurants that Eni recommended. There wasn't a single snafu in our entire trip, which I don't think I can say about any other travel experience.
The hotels were included in the price, but we preferred to eat our meals on a pay-as-you-go basis (besides breakfast, which was included at every hotel). This system worked out great because, that way, we ate whenever we got hungry and, as noted above, enjoyed some wonderful off-the-beaten track restaurants, cafes, etc., due to Eni's recommendations.
Eni and Saimir made sure that all of our needs were met, but they were also very flexible when we wanted to make changes to the day's agenda. We enjoyed their company very much, but we also had plenty of time to explore on our own, when we so chose.
The only change I would suggest, if I were repeating this trip, is that I would not go to Durres, which was our first stop after the airport in Tirana. Note, however, that the Durres stay had been at MY insistence. (My husband and I had been in Albania back in 1989, when few Americans could enter. We had fond memories of our visit to Durres. But now Durres is very overbuilt, and we were even advised not to swim in the ocean there because the city has grown so quickly that the sewage needs have not been properly addressed.) There are some ruins to see in Durres, but there is so much to see ELSEWHERE in Albania (as well as beautiful ocean water to swim in) that I recommend skipping Durres entirely.
But, overall, it was an extraordinary trip. I highly recommend Albania as a travel destination for anyone who wants to visit an intriguing country with beautiful scenery and uncrowded historic sites. And I give Albania TravelNet my highest recommendation as well.
Enea Kumi at Albania TravelNet was our guide for an 8 day trip around Albania and 2 nights in Macedonia (at Lake Ohrid, I highly recommend). Right from the first e-mail contact, all was handled very professionally by Mr. Kumi. Nothing was left to chance but the weather (which as hot, otherwise fine). Mr. Kumi is a great guide, nice guy, always on time, well educated, knows the culture, speaks flawless English, and has a good sense of value for money. The hotels he picked were very good choices.
As for Albania, it's a great destination. There is a lack of infrastructure which probably limits visitors. The people like Americans and the younger ones often speak English. I would advise to travel in a cooler season than early September since the A/C never worked very well except in one hotel. If you eat meat and like wine and raki (grappa, not the Turkish variety), there is an abundance of both as well as grilled veggies and salads. Food is clearly Italian influenced. Water is safe so no problem eating salads, etc. Tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes! Mr. Kumi is clearly a master of raki production, inherited skills from his family. Salt water fish is only available by the coast but inland there was even live trout.
I travelled in Albania end of September with Enea Kumi as my guide/driver, before travelling in Macedonia myself. What others have said above do check. He is very professional and efficient, from the moment I sent in my booking request. Everything is well organised. Very knowledgeable and very good English. I had a great time and Butrinti is well worth visiting. Not many sites where you can see how a town/city evolved and expanded.