Day 1: Tirana – Kruja – Marikaj – Tirana
If the group lands in Albania early in the morning then we travel directly to the city of Kruja to visit the castle and Scanderbeg Museum. Kruja was the most important town for the Albanians during the 15th century, which withstood successfully to at least 3 major sieges by the Ottoman Empire. The museum we will visit is dedicated to the Albanian medieval hero Gjergj Kastrioti called otherwise as ‘Scanderbeg’. He is considered the most important figure for all the Albanians wherever they live. Lunch will be in an agri-tourist center where will experience the true Albanian hospitality. Free time in the afternoon in Tirana. Dinner on group expenses.
Day 2: Tirana – Durrës – Berat
On our way to Berat our first stop will be in the historical city of Durres where we will take a guided walk through the town centre, fortification walls dating back to 5th century AD and the Roman Amphitheater as one of the biggest in the Balkans. We continue traveling to Berat, a UNESCO Heritage Site. After having lunch in the castle we take a guided walk through the beautiful alleys of Berat Castle. In the afternoon we walk through Mangalem and Gorica neighborhoods to finish in grandeur with a photo shooting of Mangalem quarter by night. Dinner on group expenses.
Day 3. Berat – Ardenice – Gjirokastër – Sarandë
Breakfast in Berat. Today we travel to the monastery of Ardenica to visit the beautifully preserved Saint Mary Church with frescoes dating since 1744. Next we drive to the city of Gjirokastër were we will visit the Old Town, The Castle and the typical ottoman houses of Gjirokaster a representative of which is the house of Enver Hoxha was born, now transformed in the Ethnographic Museum. We continue traveling to Saranda reached in the afternoon. Free time before dinner.
Day 4. Saranda – Butrint – Saranda
Today we travel to Butrinti in Albania and visit the UNESCO archeological site. Butrinti is one of the few archeological sites in Albania to be continually inhabited during the whole of its existence and is as well one of the most preserved sites in Albania part of UINSCO Heritage list. Depending on the period and weather we can relax in the blue waters of the Ionian Sea in Ksamil. Lunch in Ksamil as well. In the afternoon we can do a guided walk of Saranda and drive to the panoramic site of Lekurs for a coffee break. Dinner on group expenses
Overnight in Saranda
Day 5. Saranda – Kalambaka
Breakfast in Saranda. In the morning we head to Greece we cross the border and drive to Ioannina to visit this amazing the castle of Ali Pasha Tepelena. After a nice lunch and visit in Ioannina we drive to Kalambaka where will be accommodated in the afternoon.
Overnight in Kalambaka
Day 6. Kalambaka – Meteora – Kalambaka
Kalambaka was burned to the ground by the Nazis in World War II, but it is a modern city nowadays. A great view can be admired from the top of monasteries in Meteora. Today we visit the Great Meteoron Monastery and St.Stephen’s Monastery in Meteora.
Overnight in Kalambaka
Day 7. Kalambaka – Niki – Heraklea – Ohrid
Today we travel toward Heraklea archeological site near Bitola, Macedonia. It was Philip II, the father of Alexander the great who during the 4th century BC, founded Heraclea. After a guided tour of Heraclea and Bitola we drive to Ohrid where will be accommodated tonight.
Day 8: Ohrid – Saint Naum – Ohrid
Breakfast: Ohrid. Today with the assistance of the local guide we will visit Samuel castle, Saint John Caneo, the amphitheater etc. Lunch will be in Ohrid. In the afternoon we travel to visit Saint Naum monastery venerated deeply by the Macedonians. He helped spread the Bible and the literacy rate in the region. In the afternoon we accommodate in Ohrid. Dinner on group expenses.
Day 9: Ohrid – Kavadartsi – Skopje
Breakfast in Ohrid. Today we drive to Kavadartsi in to visit one of the most important and well known wineries in Balkan, Tikvesh Winery. There we will have a guided tour of the winery and lunch as well. After we reach Skopje in the afternoon we take a guided tour around Skopje visiting the main sites such as: Mother Theresa Memorial, Alexander the Great square, Old Bazaar, the Train Station etc. Free time in the afternoon. Dinner on group expenses.
Day 10: Skopje – Brezovica – Prizren
Breakfast in Skopje. Today we travel to Prizren. Prizren is one of the few cities in Kosovo to have 3 religious communities cohabiting together (Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim). It is known as well as for the Albanian National Weakening movement. Lunch will be organized in the vicinity of Prizren. On the way from Skopje to Prizren we will stop several times to enjoy the nature. Dinner on group expenses in Prizren.
Day 11: Prizren – Prekaz – Prishtina
Today we head to Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo. One of the first sites we visit is Prekaz village from where the war of Kosovo started in 1999. Next we drive to Kosovo Polje (The Blackbirds Field) from were the name of Kosovo comes from. In 1389 it is believed that a big battle happened here which ended with the conquest of the whole region by the Ottoman Empire. The afternoon is free to be enjoyed at group leisure.
Day 12: Prishtina – Rugovë – Pejë
Breakfast in Prishtina. Next we travel to Peja and visit an important religious site for the Serbian people, the Peja Patriarchate. The Serbian Patriarchate of Peja is considered a place of exceptional importance for the Serbian people. It is the place from where the National and Spiritual Identity of Serbs stem from. We continue toward Rugova gorge for lunch. In the afternoon we will be accommodated in Peja.
Day 13. Peja – Deçan – Gjakova – Valbona (AL)
We start driving today toward Visoki Deçani to visit this 14-century Monastery (UNESCO) built by the Serbian King Stefan Urosh III. It is one of the biggest monasteries in the Balkan with an active monastic life. After our visit in the monastery we head to Gjakova to visit the Ottoman Bazaar and Mosque. In the afternoon we cross the border into Albania passing through the panoramic route of Tropojë – Bajram Curri – Valbone Valley (AL).
Day 14: Valbonë – Koman Lake – Shkoder
Today we travel to Fierza to take a boat tour through Koman Lake. In the lake there have been built 3 hydroelectric power plants, which produce about 70 % of Albania’s electric needs. We will sail through the lake for about 2 hours and have lunch in the boat. On the way we can enjoy one of the most scenic routes in Albania. When we reach the other side of the lake we resume driving all the way to the city of Shkoder.
Day 15: Shkoder – Kotor – Podgoricë
Today we travel to Kotor, today to visit the UNESCO Town. Based on the desire of the group we could schedule a guided walk of Kotor Old Town for 1 hour. After the lunch and the visit we drive to Podgorica Airport.
End of the program