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Southwestern Balkan Heritages

5 Countries : Greece-Albania-Maqedonia-Montenegro-Croatia

Itinerary:                                                                                    

Corfu (Unesco)-Butrint (Unesco)-Gjirokaster (Unesco)-Kalabaka-Ohrid Unesco)- Berat (Unesco ) – Durres-Kruja (mediavel town) – -Shkoder- Budva (Unesco)-Kotor (Unesco)-Dubrovnik(Unesco)

Duration10 days
Length1350 km, total driving
Minimum group size25 Travelers
PriceStarts from 590 EUR’ PP (in double room)

01.

Arrival in Corfu (Greece)

Arrival in Corfu, transfer at 4* Hotel. In afternoon visit in the historical center built in a Venetian style and the old bazaar where there are many shops. Overnight and dinner in Corfu.

02.

Corfu Town, (Unesco -World Heritage)- Saranda

After breakfast.visit in Corfu town World Heritage, Visit in the fortress and in the palace of Mon Repos King. After lunch, transfer to the port of Corfu and part by ferry to Saranda.

Chech-in hotel, visit all the marvelous sites of the city of Saranda. The city was mentioned in the first century B.C. with the name Onhezmus.  In the evening visit to Lekursi castle from where you’ll enjoy a charming view of Saranda bay and the island of Corfu, Accommodation at 4* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Saranda.

03.

Gjirokastra- Ioanina – Kalabaka (240 km)

After breakfast to the hotel, drive to Gjirokastra UNESCO, medieval towers constituting a building ensemble with a characteristic architecture. Visit to the Castle, the Church in the old bazaar and its characteristic shops, the Ethnographic Museum, located in the house where the former communist dictator Enver Hoxha was born.

Continuing from the Greek border towards   Ioanina, short visit in Ioanina. Drive to Kalambaka

Accommodation in 3* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Kalambaka/Meteora.

04.

Kalabaka – Ohrid (270 km)

After the breakfast at the hotel, the tour will proceed to Kalabaka rests at the bottom the Meteora rocks, an awe-inspiring sight. The rocks that make up Meteora are sheer cliff faces. They appear to come out of nowhere, jagged, black rocks that rise up into the sky, with monasteries the clinging to the cliffs. The city was hit badly in World War II so the current town has a modern feel about it. 

With Kalabaka as a base, you are free to explore the Meteora and the six monasteries that reside upon the rocks. The monasteries were built from the thirteenth century onwards, the more unsafe the monks the higher they climbed, until eventually there were living on top of the hill.

The monasteries can be reached by road, but it is best to explore them on foot once you have ascended the rocks. The monasteries have a strict dress code, and visitors are requested to dress modestly, and cover their arms and legs. All  the monasteries give a different feeling. Grand Meteoron (Moni Megalou Meteorou) is the best known of the monasteries, built in the 1400, grand, imposing and now used as a museum. Varlaam, build in the 1500s is the second largest of the sites, with a large, spacious feel to it and domed ceilings and choirs. St Stephens is the most easily accessed of the monasteries with fewer steps than the rest. The monastery of the Holy Trinity (Agias Triandas) is the most difficult to reach of all of them and has the most primitive feeling to it. It was the site used in the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. Accommodation in 4* Hotel in Ohrid lake coast.(D)

05.

Full day Ohrid and Ohrid lake sightseeing (65 km)

In 1980, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid were accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. High above the city, rises Samuilova Fortress. It is located at the top of the hill.Morning walking tour (3 hours) in old Ohrid with visit of most famous Ohrid sites – Church of Mother of God, the Icon gallery, the ancient theatre, Ohrid fortress, new St. Clement’s church, church of St. John, Kaneo and the main church of St. Sofia. Time at leisure in old Ohrid city  or optional lunch. Afternoon departure to St Naum Monastery at the south part of the lake. Visit in the monastery and optional boat ride above the springs of Black Drim River. Overnight in Ohrid.

06.

Ohrid-Elbasan-Berat (200 km)

After breakfast ,sightseeing of the old Ohrid Fortrece , visiting churches of St. Sofia , St. Kliment and St. Jovan Kaneo. In the afternoon traveling to St Naum and visiting St. Naum’s church from 8th century .Continue to Albania direction Elbasan along the river Skumbin towards. Berat/UNESCO, which is Built alongside the Osumi River, the city lies by the foot of the Tomorri Mountain, considered in antiquity as a sacred place. Named, “The city of one thousand windows”, Berat has three characteristic quarters, Mangalem, Kala (the castle) and Gorica, and is described as a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman city located in central Albania. Part of the city is the castle, which was built in the thirteenth century, but the origins of the site date back to the fourth century B.C. The center of the castle quarter is rich with many Byzantine churches; most of them unique for the wall paintings, icons and the values they hold. The cathedral of St. Mary houses the Onufri National Iconographic Museum. Berat is also home to a considerable number of mosques that were built in the Ottoman period.The King’s Mosque (Xhamia e Mbretit) is the oldest one, built in the fifteenth century at the time of Bayazid II, notable for its fine ceiling. Visit to the castle build on the hills of the city, Onufer Museum, Saint Trinity Church, Saint Nicolas Cathedral and museum quarters of Mangalemi and Gorica.

Accommodation in 4* Hotel in Berat. Overnight and dinner in Berat.

07.

Berat-Durres-Kruja-Shkoder (240 km)

After breakfast in hotel, continue to Durres, 3000 years of civilization. Visit the fortress build in the IV-V century BC, Roman Amphitheatre, Archeological museum and Venetian Tower. Transfer to Kruja city to visit the fortress of our National Hero Scanderbey,the old bazaar, where you can make shopping. traditional lunch in restaurant panorama/ optional. After visit to Kruja, continue to the ancient city of Shkodra. Visit to Rozafa Castle and its museum to learn more about the legend of the buried woman called Rozafat (lucky rose). This castle has been built since the II-nd century. Walking tour to the heritage center of the city where you can see the Watch Tower, Grand church and grand mosque etc. Accommodation in 4* Hotel. Dinner and overnight in Shkodra.

08.

Shkodra – Ulcinje –Budva-Cetinje (125 km)

After breakfast, drive to the historical city of Ulqin which is also the centre of the Albanian community in Montenegro. Ulqini in Albanian language, Olciniumi antic,it is one of the most famous historical city decorated by roman architecture style, gothic and oriental too. Ulqini was founded around the V-th center BC by Illirians.In 163 AD it was occupied by Romans and after the separation of the Roman empire belonged to Byzant. Continue to Budva, the capital of Montenegrin tourism,visit in the Old Town along with the city of Budva which was  discovered by a Greek sailor by the name of Boutoua, founded in 4th century B.C. (traditional lunch in a restaurant/optional) After lunch,departure towards Cetinje, former capital of Montenegro,visit of the town and one of numerous museums of Cetinje, Accommodation at the 3* star hotel. Dinner and overnight in Cetinje.

09.

Budva-Kotor-Dubrovnik-Trebinje (125 km)

Morning drive to Kotor,Unesco world heritage site and enjoy the marvelous scenery along the way with its lakes and great nature. In Kotor we are going to take a walking tour around the old part of the fortified city. It is home to numerous sights, such as the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in the old town (built in 1166), and the ancient walls which stretch for 4.5 km directly above the city. (traditional lunch in a restaurant/optional)

After lunch, proceed to to the historical city of Dubrovnik, visit to some of the most ancient monuments of Dubrovnik (ex Raguza),the fortress of thecity ,the Francescan Monastery,Saint Blasius church and the most ancient farmacy in the Balkan.

Proceed to Trebinje.Accommodation and dinner at the 4* star hotel. Overnight in Trebinje.

10.

Trebinje-Dubrovnik/Departure. (40 km)

After breakfast in the hotel ,Free morning time at leisure. Check out from the hotel, Transfer to Dubrovnik  airport for your flight back to home