Balkan Tour

Balkan Tour

This tour combines some of the lesser known countries in the Balkans; Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, by trying to show the best each of these countries offers. Albania offers a mixture of cultural elements with 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a rich archaeological legacy. Macedonia offers some of the most excellent religious relics, with Ohrid having the biggest Icon museum in the region as well as many beautiful churches. This theme is carried over into Kosovo the newest state in Europe, where we combine religious monuments with tasting of wine and local foods. The Tour will end up in Montenegro which has made a name for itself based on its wild natural beauty.

Itinerary

Day 1: TIRANA AIRPORT - TIRANA (17 KM)

Stop At: Tirana, Tirana, Tirana County
Meet at airport and transfer to Tirana. What to Visit: Clock Tower, Scanderbeg Square. Positioned in the city center, this tower has become a symbol of Tirana. It is one of the oldest constructions in Tirana, built in the 1820. Et’hem Bey Mosque, construction of this mosque took about 28 years and finished in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania with very interesting decorations and art-work within it . National Historic Museum, the main museum in Tirana, it is in the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts ranging from ancient times through Hoxha’s regime. Also we will visit ,National Art Gallery, National Archaeological Museum of Albania, Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral. Overnight in Tirana.
Duration: 4 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Tirana.

Day 2: TIRANA - APOLLONIA - VLORA (230 KM)

Stop At: Apollonia Archaeological Park, Pojan Albania
After breakfast we depart for the archaeological site of Apollonia one of the most important ancient centers in Roman times on the famous Via Egnatia. Due to its fame and importance it was known as Apollonia Prima built to honour Apollo. Caesar chose to send his nephew Augustus Octavian to study oratory in Apollonia which is testimony to the importance of this ancient city. Visit the city and an Orthodox monastery turned into an archaeological museum
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Vlore, Vlore, Vlore County
In the afternoon, we reach Vlora, where Albanians claimed independence from Ottomans in 1912 and visit the Museum of Independence and then we will visit the Zvernec Monastery. Overnight in Vlora.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Vlora.

Day 3: VLORA - LLOGARA NATIONAL PARK - ALI PASHA CASTLE - SARANDA (160 KM)

Stop At: Llogara National Park, Llogara National Park, Vlore County
After breakfast we depart to Saranda through the spectacular Albanian Riviera with its traditional villages. At the Llogara National Park we stop at around 1100 metres where spectacular views of the Ionian Sea can be admired.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Ali Pasha Castle, Sh8 Porto Palermo, Porto Palermo Beach, Vlore Albania
We will have time to stop near the sea at Himare town before continuing to the well preserved Ali Pasha castle at Porto Palermo.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Saranda, Saranda, Vlore County
Then we drive to Saranda. Saranda is the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, and come the summer months it seems like half of Tirana relocates here to enjoy the busy beach and busier nightlife along its crowd-filled seaside promenade. The town’s beaches is special and Saranda is a great base for exploring the beaches of the riviera. Free afternoon is Saranda. Overnight in Saranda.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Saranda.

Day 4: SARANDA - BUTRINT (UNESCO) - BLUE EYE - GJIROKASTRA (UNESCO) (70 KM)

Stop At: Butrint National Park, SH81, Butrint Albania
After breakfast we will drive to the wonderful classical site of Butrint, whose extensive remains lie hidden in woods. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: The Blue Eye, Vlore 9706 Albania
Then we will have a wonderful drive, with ever changing scenery and takes us over the hills to the UNESCO town of Gjirokastra, with an en-route stop at the famous ‘Blue Eye’, an exquisitely colorful pool and source of fresh water
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster, Gjirokaster County
Then we will drive to Gjirokastra. Gjirokastra is known as “The Stone City”, part of UNESCO World heritage and is situated in Southern Albania. In Gjirokastra we will visit the medieval bazaar and the Ottoman-style houses in the old part of the town, where you will see artisan women making handmade doilies, carving wood or silver and other guild shops in the narrow cobbled stone streets of this suburb. We will visit the castle of Gjirokastra one of the most beautiful castle in Albania and then we will visit the Skenduli House. The house was built around the year 1700 and has many fascinating features. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Gjirokastra.

Day 5: GJIROKASTRA (UNESCO) - BERAT (UNESCO) (145 KM)

Stop At: Berat, Berat, Berat County
After breakfast will drive to Berat. Berat, known as ‘The City of one thousand windows’ because of its remarkable collection of fine traditional ottoman style houses. Berat, is one of the oldest cities and the pride of Albanian architecture. The three major neighborhoods of the old city are Mangalemi, Gorica, and the Kala where the castle itself is located. We will start our tour with the castle area, then will visit the Museum of Iconography ‘Onufri’ which bears the name of the renowned fresco and icon-painter Onufri, who has left a rich inheritance. This museum is located within the cathedral of St. Mary’s Assumption. Then, we will visit the Red Mosque, recognized by its lonely minaret and St. Trinity Church. Across the Osumi River lies the Gorica neighborhood, whose houses face those of Mangalemi. The arched bridge of Gorica, built in 1780, is a beautiful architectural monument constructed to link Gorica with Mangelemi. Overnight in Berat.
Duration: 6 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Berat.

Day 6: BERAT (UNESCO) - ELBASAN - STRUGA - OHRID (160 KM)

Stop At: Elbasan, Elbasan, Elbasan County
After breakfast depart for to the city of Ohrid. On the way we drive through rural villages with wonderful countryside landscapes. We stop at Elbasan for a visit at the castle.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Struga, Struga, Southwestern Region
Afterwards proceed to Struga famous for its wall of water where the Black Drin River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. Struga is small and easiest to get around is by walking. To visit the cave churches on the west coast of Ohrid lake take. A 15 minutes walk along the lake will take you to Kalishta village and cave monastery.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Ohrid, Ohrid, Southwestern Region
Free afternoon in Ohrid. Overnigh in Ohirid.
Duration: 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3*- 4* hotel in Ohrid.

Day 7: OHRID (WALIKING TOUR)

Stop At: Ohrid, Ohrid, Southwestern Region
After breakfast visit: Church “St. Sofia”, built between the 11th and 14th century, was the seat of the Archbishop. “St. Clement”, a classic Orthodox Byzantine church, dominating the Old Town, demonstrates the link between Byzantine and Italian Renaissance art. At “Plaoshnik”, in the 9 the century, St. Clement of Ohrid founded the first University of Europe and educated 3.500 students, St. John at Kaneo, stands alone on a small promontory which juts out into the Lake at the western end of the Old Town, and provides spectacular panoramic views of the Lake and surrounding mountains, Samuil fortress, etc. Other visits include: Saint Painteleimon Church, The Holy Virgin of Peribleptos Church, Icon Gallery, and old Bazaar. Overnight in Ohrid.
Duration: 6 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Ohrid.

Day 8: OHRID - STOBI - SKOPJE (250 KM)

Stop At: Stobi, Sito Archeologico, Skopje Republic of North Macedonia
After the breakfast drive to Stobi one of the most important archaeological sites in Macedonia. Lying in a fertile valley just a few minutes off the central north-south highway that connects Macedonia with Greece, the ancient city of Stobi was a vital trade route in its days. Visit the excavation sites with beautiful remains such as a 2nd century amphitheater, the Theodosia palace and early Christian ruins with extensive and ornate mosaic floors.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Skopje, Skopje, Skopje Region
Afterwards depart for Skopje where we take a guided tour of the main sites. Visit the old Turkish bazaar, Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, stone bridge and the Macedonia Plaza. Overnight in Skopje.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3*- 4* hotel in Skopje.

Day 9: SKOPJE - GRACANICA MONASTERY - PRISHTINA (97 KM)

Stop At: Gracanica Monastery, Gracanica Kosovo
Morning we drive to Prishtina and then we visit Gracanica Monastery which was constructed on the ruins of an older 13th century church of the Holy Virgin, which was built on the ruins of a 6th century early Christian basilica. Of the former monastic compound, only the church has survived.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Pristina, Pristina
Continue to Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo. Pristina is a fast-changing city that feels full of optimism and potential, even if its traffic-clogged streets and mismatched architectural styles don't make it an obviously attractive place. While the city does have a couple of worthwhile museums and galleries, and serves as a base for interesting nearby sights, for most visitors Pristina is a place where the atmosphere is as much an attraction as any classic tourist sight. Overnight in Prishtina.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Prishtina.

Day 10: PRISHTINA - PRIZREN - DECAN MONASTERY - PEJA (160 KM)

Stop At: Prizren, Prizren
After breakfast we drive to visit Prizren, a true open air museum, one of the most beautiful towns of Kosovo. It is situated on the slopes of the Sharr Mountains and on the banks of the river Bistrica. The craftsmen of Prizren are well known for their beautiful gold and silver articles and other folk handcrafts. From all the cities of Kosovo, Prizren has best preserved the architectural style of the past.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Visoki Decani Monastery, Rruga Sali Ceku the Prokletije Mountains, Decan 51000 Kosovo
Visoki Decani Monastery is situated in the western part of the UN administered Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohia. It was built between 1327 and 1335 by the Serbian medieval king St. Stephen of Decani and was dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord. The monastery is settled in the picturesque valley of the Bistrica river surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Prokletije mountain range It is the largest and best preserved medieval monastery in Serbia. During its turbulent history the Monastery was an important spiritual centre with developed artistic and intellectual activities. Although the monastery buildings suffered damage from the Turkish occupation, the church has been completely preserved with beautiful 14th century fresco paintings. Today a young brotherhood of 30 brethren lives in the monastery continuing the centuries old tradition of the past. The brotherhood has developed various activities: wood carving, icon painting, book publishing.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Pec, Pec
Peja is Kosovo's third-largest city and one flanked by sites sacred to Orthodox Serbians. With a Turkish-style bazaar at its heart, Peja would be a worthwhile stop on its own, but for most visitors the real reason to visit is to use the town as the launch pad to some wonderful mountain adventures in the spectacular nearby Rugova Valley and surrounding mountains. All of this means that Peja is fast becoming Kosovo's international tourism hub.Overnight in Peja.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Peja.

Day 11: PEJA - KOLASHIN - CETINJE - BUDVA (290 KM)

Stop At: Kolasin, Kolasin, Kolasin Municipality
After breakfast a long drive through magnificent natural beauty of the North West Kosovo and Montenegro takes us to Kolašin which is Montenegro's most famous ski resort.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Cetinje, Cetinje
Rising from a green vale surrounded by rough grey mountains, Cetinje is an odd mix of erstwhile capital and overgrown village, where single-storey cottages and stately mansions share the same street. Several of those mansions – dating from the days when European ambassadors rubbed shoulders with Montenegrin princesses – have become museums or schools for art and music.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Budva, Budva, Budva Municipality
Continue to Budva. Once a small and quiet coastal town, today, Budva is a metropolis of Montenegrin tourism and one of the loudest and most packed towns at the Montenegrin coast during the summer. Its life began on the headland two and a half millennia ago and has poured out of the ramparts towards luxurious yachts, new buildings, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs where amazing fun awaits. Budva has its own Hawaii – an island opposite the city with beautiful beaches, ice cold refreshments and seafood specialties.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Budva.

Day 12: BUDVA - KOTOR (UNESCO) - BUDVA (35 KM)

Stop At: Kotor Old City, Stari grad, Kotor, Kotor Municipality 85330 Montenegro
After breakfast drive to visit The Old City of Kotor a well preserved urbanization typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) is often called Europe’s most southernmost fjord. And it certainly looks like one, with towering peaks and a rocky coastline dotted with pretty waterside towns. But both the water and the climate are more Mediterranean than Scandinavian. The bay’s not actually a fjord either, but rather a ria – a submerged river valley made up of four connected bays making up a butterfly shape which stretches inland from the coast. But the scenery is as stunning as any ‘proper’ fjord, and when you add in bags of history and culture then you can see why Kotor has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Budva, Budva, Budva Municipality
Free afternoon in Budva. Overnight in Budva.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Budva.

Day 13: BUDVA - SHKODRA - TIRANA (190 KM)

Stop At: Shkoder, Shkoder, Shkoder County
Shkodra is one of the most important cities of Albania and is also known to be the center of Albanian Catholicism, Culture and Harmony between different religions. After visiting the Castle area you will have the chance to explore the Leaden Mosque and Catholic Church and notice the diverse religious elements and architecture. Then we will take a tour at Pedonalja, called Kole Idromeno street that is the old center of Shkodra, very Mediterranean taste passing through mosques and churches. The lake of Shkodra is also suggested to visit, to bath, or to eat some of the best dishes of Albanian cuisine like Krap ne tave typical for this region. The Theatre Migjeni represent also a chance to see and admire concerts or performances depending by the season. Then we will visit the famous Viennese mask factory which is located near the city of Shkodra. The Venetian masks made in Shkodra are all crafted by hand. They combine traditional techniques with new contemporary decoration.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: 3* - 4* hotel in Tirana.

Day 14: TIRANA - TIRANA AIRPORT (17 KM)

Stop At: Tirana, Tirana, Tirana County
After breakfast transfer to Airport.
Duration: 30 minutes

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.

Informacion Adicional
"Confirmation will be received at time of booking"
"Not wheelchair accessible"
"Children must be accompanied by an adult"
"Near public transportation"
"Most travelers can participate"
"This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate"



Start Time: 8:30 AM
Duration: 14 Days
Start location: Traveler pickup is offered
We will pick up at the airport

Airports

  • Rinas Airport, Tirana Albania



Cancellations and refunds: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

Included

  • 13x Breakfast
  • Accommodation included: 13 nights
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Driver/guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Entry/Admission - Apollonia Archaeological Park
  • Entry/Admission - Ali Pasha Castle
  • Entry/Admission - Butrint National Park
  • Entry/Admission - The Blue Eye
  • Entry/Admission - Stobi
  • Entry/Admission - Gracanica Monastery
  • Entry/Admission - Visoki Decani Monastery
  • Entry/Admission - Kotor Old City

Not Included

  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • All Fees and Taxes

Facilities

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