Day 1 Fly to Corfu and spend the evening and night in the old town, built by the Venetians and arguably the most beautiful town in Greece. Stay in Corfu Town.
Day 2 In the morning wander the narrow streets and visit the Byzantine museum (an exhibition of icons housed in a restored church) and the Archaeological Museum (small but with some excellent ancient art, including the famous Medusa pediment). In the late afternoon take a walk in the wooded ‘Mon Repos’ park on the sea-cliffs just to the south of Corfu Town, where Prince Philip was born and which also contains the ruins of a couple of small ancient temples. Stay in Corfu Town.
Day 3 Take the one hour long ferry ride across to Igoumenitsa and drive up to Ioannina, an Ottoman town located on a lake at the foot of the Pindos mountains. On the way visit the Nekromanteion, a small Hellenistic site where Odysseus paused on his travels and have lunch on the river Acheron, one of the ancient rivers of the Underworld. After lunch visit the site of Zeus’ oracle at Dodona, the main feature of which is the huge Hellenistic theatre. Stay in a hotel within the castle walls in Ioannina.
Day 4 Drive south from Ioannina and visit the sites of Nikopolis, built by the emperor Augustus to celebrate his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium, and Kassope, a beautifully located Hellenistic site with incredible views over the Ionian islands and the Ambracian Gulf, which Augustus emptied of its population in order to fill up Nikopolis. Lunch on the river Louros. Dinner on the island in the lake in Ioannina. Stay in Ioannina.
Day 5 Head north from Ioannina and spend the first half of the day touring the unspoilt stone villages of Zagorochoria, where there will be plenty of opportunities for walking. After lunch head into Albania stopping at the Ottoman bridge and hot springs at Benja and for coffee in the town of Permet, the birthplace of Albanian communism. Drive on down the Vjosa and Drino valleys to the crumbling Ottoman town of Gjirokastra, home of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian dictator, and the author Ismail Kadare. Stay in Gjirokastra.
Day 6 Explore the town of Gjirokastra, the castle with its armaments museum and the ethnographic museum. Lunch in Gjirokastra. Drive an hour to the coast at Saranda stopping briefly at the ‘Blue Eye’, a local beauty spot, and the monastery church of Mesopotam. Continue down coast to Butrint. Stay in Butrint.
Day 7 A day with no travelling. The site of Butrint, the archaeological highlight of the trip, is a hundred yards from the hotel. Spend the morning exploring the site and the museum, and in the late afternoon take a boat trip to one of the small sites across the lake, or go for a walk on the Vrina Plain. Dinner in Saranda at the restaurant in Likures castle overlooking the Straits of Corfu. Stay in Butrint.
Day 8 Take the morning ferry to Corfu and fly back to England.