Best new adventure trips of 2009

After arriving in Saranda, Albania, via a ferry from the Greek island of Corfu, you'll explore Butrint National Park, which protects an ancient city that dates back to the 4th century B.C. You'll visit excavations on site which show the remains of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine societies. In the city of Gjirokastra, which is perched 1,000 feet above sea level between the Gjere Mountains and Drinos River, you'll see an Ottoman fortress and a 17th-century Sufi monastery still in operation, among other sites. Then, you'll spend five days walking in the Albanian countryside, following a footpath hiked by the English poet Lord Byron for part of the way. You'll pass through Fausta Antigonese (where a battle between King Philip of Macedonia and the Romans took place), tour Byzantine churches, witness life in rural villages, and even stop for a dip in natural hot springs along the way.

Trip planning: Departures are scheduled for June 8 and September 20. Prices include accommodations, all meals, ground and boat transportation, sightseeing and activities, guides, and basic travel medical insurance. Airfare is extra. Round-trip June airfare from New York to the trip start point in Corfu, Greece, starts at $1,454, including taxes, on Olympic Airlines.

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