Balkans Mixing of Cultures

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Duration

12 Days

Overview

Travel across historic Central Balkan.During the visit it will be intoduced the mixed culture and common coexistence between the Balkan cities of  Nord Macedonia,Albania,Kosovo,Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia,Serbia

 

12 - day program

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1:
 Arrival at Skopje airport/Transfer to Ohrid (180 km)
Transfer to the center of the Skopje, capital city of Nord Macedonia, which is divided by Vardar river .In the northwest part it is spread the old city and here Iives Albanian community and in the other part of the city it is spread the part of the city habitated by Sllavo Macedonian community. Sightseeing tour with the local guide, about one hour visiting famous Skopje market bazaar,Bit Pazar & old Skopje Fortress & stone bridge After sightseeing, Skopje, drive to Ohrid/UNESCO World Heritage. Accommodation in Ohrid 3* Hotel.
Day 2:
 Ohrid - Elbasan - Berat (200 km)
After breakfast ,sightseeing of the old Ohrid,considered the Jerusalem of the Balkans, visiting;castle 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 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.
Day 3:
 Berat - Durres - Shkoder (160 km)
Morning trip form Berat towards Durres, the coastal city which is known since the year 627 BC with the name of Epidamnus, later the name of the city became Dyrrah. visit the fortress of the city build in the IV-V century BC. Roman Amphitheatre with the capacity of 20.000 spectators and the Venetian tower. Traveling towards Kruje –famous medieval Albanian town, visiting well known Skenderberg museum (Skenderbeg famous Albanian hero known from Albanian –Turkish wars ) later visiting traditional souvenir market close to the old town . Leaving Kruja and traveling towards Shkoder/ Skadar center of Roman Catholicism in Albania and a town with long historic roots, and the only mentioned capital of the Illyrian Kingdom. Visit the pedestrian area with Italian influences and the Castle thought to exist from Illyrian times. Visiting the famous fortress Rosafa enjoying the views to the lake Skadar and entire region. Accommodation at 4* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Shkodra.
Day 4:
 Natural Wonders of the Koman Lake - Prizren(cultural capital of Kosovo) 145 km
Very early in the morning we will drive to Koman where we will take the ferry which passes through the spectacular canyon of the Drini River, transfer to Koman, where our ferry ride begins (important to note that the ferry trip depends on the water level of the lake). The ferry ride across Lake Koman allows you to see some spectacular scenery, not unlike a Norwegian fjord winding its way between high cliffs and towering peaks. We will leave the ferry in Fierza, from where the trip will continue to We cross the border into Kosovo,and drive to the city of Prizren, probably the most attractive town in Kosovo with superbly preserved buildings from the Ottoman era. The city is inhabited by Albanians and a small minority (Turkish and Serb – Montenegrian) We visit the castle which is one of the oldest in the Balkans (almost 3 millenniums), built to protect the city from attacks, the ornate Bajrakli Mosque and the old Turkish Hammam among other sights. Prizren is an absolute highlight of any visit to Kosovo and to see the old houses of the old town in low light as the sun sets is a delight. Accommodation in 4* Hotel. Overnight in Prizren.
Day 5:
 Prizren - Ulqin - Tivar - Cetinje (320 km )
After breakfast drive along the brand new highway through wonderful scenery of northern Albania via Kukes proceed to Montenegro, and continue toward to the historical city of Ulqin which is also the center 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 toward another City mixing culture, Bar (Tivar) here we will learn about the history of Tivar. On 1405 Ulqin & Tivari (Bar) were occupied by Venetian republic and under its rules the city takes the name of Dulcigno and belongs to Albania Veneta region. In 1880 it was occupied by the principalities of Monte Negro. Accommodation in 4* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Cetinje.
Day 6:
 Budva - Kotor - Dubrovnik - Trebinje (160 km )
Morning drive 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 Continue 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, built by the Illirian queen Teuta,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 , spread in the region of Dalmatia since Illirian period till medieval period),the fortress of the city ,the Francescan Monastery,Saint Blasius church and the most ancient farmacy in the Balkan. Proceed to Trebinje.Accommodation and dinner at the 4* Hotel. Overnight in Trebinje.
Day 7:
 Mostar - Sarajevo (265 km)
Morning continue to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Stop in Mostar for short excursion; a city were two cultures coexist,Croatian and the Muslim Bosnia., Vizit Old Bazaar, the Turkish House, old Mosque, Mostar Bridge. When you go to Sarajevo what your experience ... is life! It is a town with a personality; it has that special something which separates places and people that we remember from others whom we merely pass, without leaving traces or memories. Accommodation in 4* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Sarajevo.
Day 8:
 Sarajevo - Visoko - Travanik - Tuzla (180 km)
After breakfast leaving the hotel for the walking tour in the town of Sarajevo, with the local guide –Baščaršija square, Latin Bridge, City Hall, Emperor’s Mosque, Gazi Husref Bey Mosque, Jewish quarter, Spite house, Bravadziluk, Sarajevo Cathedra. After excursion proceed to Visoko and Travnik. Visoko is only a 20- minute drive from Sarajevo. The town is best known for its leather smiths, whose craft has been practiced for over 500 years. Today its main role is that of a small industrial and trading town. This, however is starting to change with a new archaeological discovery in the summer of 2005. A specialist from Houston University in the United States who has studied pyramids around the world for over fifteen years has claimed to have found Europe’s first and only pyramid. After visit to Visoko we are continuing towards Tuzla. Tuzla is one of the cities were Bosnia Muslims and Serbians lives after the disintegration of ex Jugoslavija and were a vicious story started. Accommodation in 3* Hotel. Overnight and dinner in Tuzla.
Day 9:
 Tuzla - Novi Sad (280 km)
Leaving Sarajevo in the morning. Trip towards in Novi Sad one of the most beautiful Serbian towns,where both comunities lives in peace Serbians and Hungarians , visiting old Petrovaradin fortress above the shore of the Danube river, sightseeing in the center of the town with the local guide. Accommodation & dinner in 3* Hotel in Novi Sad.
Day 10:
 Novi Sad - Belgrade (100 km)
After breakfast leaving hotel ,continue to Belgrade. Sightseeing with the local guide, Kalemegdan fortress and park, Terazije square, King Milan Street,Old Royal Palace, New Royal Palace, St Sava Orthodox church, The House of Flowers , The old bohemian quarter “Skadarlija” and beautiful views to the rivers Sava and Danube. Dinner at one of the popular Belgrade restaurants. Later return to the hotel.
Day 11:
 Belgrade
The capital city of Serbia since 1403, our tour starts at the Republic Square, where we see the architectural wonders in monuments such as the National Theatre, National Museum, and the famous Knez Mihajlova Street. At the old town, we see 19thC quarters, the 'Question mark sign' Inn, Princess Ljubica's Residence, the Orthodox Cathedral culminating with the fortress. Dinner optional, Overnight in Belgrade.
Days 12:
 Belgrade/Departure
Free time at leisure until transfer to Belgrade airport and flight back.

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