Seminar ins and outs, practical information
Seminar specific items
The price for the seminar will be about 1100 Euro per person , based on sharing a double room in the hotel. Breakfast and dinners are included, lunches on excursions. All transportation for excursions and admissions to museums etcetera is included.
Pricing for the roundtrip will be about 750 Euro per person, all included as above, the short dance course will be about 500 Euro per person.
Fill in the application form as completely as possible. We ask you your address and phone number (or mobile) just in order to be able to reach you. Your information will be saved as confidential. Do not send any money. When the minimum of participants is reached we will ask you to send a small amount in advance as an insurance that you take part. There will be no selection to level, experience, gender or other items. First comes, first goes until the maximum number of participants is reached.
We made the choice to do the main part of the seminar in Mirdita. In summertime the coastal regions are overcrowded with inland Albanians and Albanians from the diaspora like Macedonia, Kosovo and Italy. The region of Mirdita is free from tourists and our hotel is situated in the mountains. Tirana will be relatively quiet in this time of year and can be reached easily by almost every way of travel. Tirana offers us modern hotels with air-conditioning, numerous shops with things of your interests, bars and restaurants. For the seminar there are the special locations like the Opera building and the Academy of Fine Arts for exercise rooms, with necessary facilities. In case of problems with teachers or musicians other people will be available in short notice, without the problem of lodging them.
Genc Kastrati finished his study at the Academy of Fine arts in historical dancing, which is the Albanian equivalent of folklore dancing. By that time he already was a solo dancer at the National Ensemble but now also became choreographer for the ensemble and presented his first complete concert in 2011. Apart from this job, Genc is also teacher at the Art Academy, the Academy of Sports and member of the scientific council of the National Centre for Immaterial Culture, and occasionally involved in teaching at amateur groups. From 2010 onwards Genc has been teaching at workshops in Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands. In Tirana Genc will be assisted by a female professional dancer for the women’s dances.
The excursions have a folklore element in it as well as a recreational one. Depending on the seminar and participants we will visit at least some ethnographical museums and other events.
We will use English as the standard language for communication during the seminar. Genci and Helga speak Italian and some English, but you will understand them and we will have a translator at hand as much as possible. We also will provide you with basic Albanian words for dancing. We ourselves are able to communicate with you in Dutch, French and German as well.
Don't worry about taking Albanian leks with you. Everywhere in Albania you are able to pay with Euros. US dollars may be accepted also, but Euros are best accepted. In the major cities you will find "bankomats" on almost every corner from different banks to collect money from. In many cases you are able to choose between Albanian leks and Euros. Mastercard and Visa are the most used credit card systems, but also American Express and others might be accepted. In case of doubt, just let us know and we'll find out for you. Western Union has many exchange offices in almost every town. It is wise to collect some money from the airport bankomats for the first days for lunch and drinks. In Kosovo the Euro is the local currency for everything.
Climate and other daily things
Tirana can be very hot at this time of year. That's why we chose to lodge in a modern hotel with air-conditioned rooms in the very centre of Tirana. We will have lessons in the morning when it is not too hot and allow the afternoon for a siesta.
In the Mirdita region however, the evenings and nights may be a bit chilly and rains are not unusual in this mountainous region so take some warm clothes with you.
For the excursions we suggest you to bring your swimsuit as well.....
Hotel and family guesthouses - Double or single rooms
In Tirana the hotels have not so much rooms. Our hotel has about 14 rooms, the hotel in Mirdita has more rooms. This limits the number of available single rooms. In case you may like a single room, please contact us for possibilities. We have locations in other hotels nearby at hand, but not too many.
Be aware of the fact that a single room in Tirana or in Mirdita might bring extra costs to you, so please inform in advance.
Hotel Theranda is located in the very centre of Tirana since 2008. Just behind the busy Boulevard Bajram Curri and Blloku (the former governmental area) it is a surprisingly quiet area at night. The garden bar is relaxing and it has a conference room. All rooms are equipped with modern bathrooms, air conditioning, telephone, TV and Internet connection. Breakfast buffet is European with Albanian specialties.
Hotel Marub, or rather Eco-hotel Marub is located just outside the town of Rubik, a bit way up the mountain. On one side of the hotel the rooms are air-conditioned, on the other side rooms are near the mountain edge and are more cool, no air-conditioning needed.
Eating and drinking
During the seminar you are expected to see for your own lunch or drinks in the free time to your own taste and needs. In Tirana there are small bars, restaurants and fast food services on almost every corner. Hamburger, suflaki, tost, qofte, kebab, fruits, whatever you like, for just little money. Food is usually fresh. Be aware of the fact that small bars or fast food restaurants may have no toilets at all. The hotel Marub can provide you with lunch as well and a small local bar is nearby serrving fresh local food (the best choice...).
Getting there and getting back
By plane: the easiest way to get to Tirana. You will arrive at Mother Theresa Airport (TIA), formerly known as Rinas Airport. We expect all participants to arrive in the afternoon and a taxi bus will be waiting to bring us to Mirdita. If you arrive earlier or later, just let us know and we see to it that you get transport, although this is not included. If you come another way, see that you get to the airport in time.
By boat: there are several ferries from Italy to Albania of which the ferries to Durrës are the best known ones. From Durrës you can take a bus or taxi to Tirana centre.
By train: there is only one international train connection from Podgorica to Tirana.
By bus: there are many busses running from cities like Athens, Thessaloniki, Skopje, Sofia, Istanbul and Prishtina to Tirana on a regular basis. Tickets can be bought at the regular travel agencies in these cities.
By car: Albania can be entered by car from several places. South from Igoumenitsa, east from Struga and more to the north east at Morin near Kukës, north from Podgorica through Han i Hotit or from Ulqinj through Muriqan. Drivers need to prove their ownership or license to drive the car in case of a leased or hired car. No visa required for most countries, check this before leaving.
Travelling from Albania to Serbia through Kosovo is not possible. Serbia is not accepting the border with Kosovo as a true border and they cannot give you a visum for Serbia there. From Kosovo you have to enter Montenegro or Macedonia before you may enter Serbia. On the excursion we will enter Kosovo from the Albanian border at Morinë and will encounter no problems.
Although travelling to and leaving from Tirana is your own concern, we have a company with experienced people at hand which may help you to plan your trip to your satisfaction. The company is based in Tirana nearby our Hotel, run by well educated English speaking personnel, focused on the foreign visitor. Transport or tickets for plane, bus or boat can be arranged. Staying nights before or after the seminar in Albania could best be arranged with this company, with discounts on hotels according to the contracts the company has with many hotels throughout Albania. Staying before or after the seminar dates in our hotels will be booked at reasonable prices.
When the number of participants has reached the minimum amount, we will ask for a small amount as a pre-payment. After having received the amount as a confirmation our cancellation policy will be activated. We will inform you in time after registration, before the pre-payment date, as the cancellation policy differs for seminar, roundtrip and short course.