SOUTH BALKAN HERITAGES

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Duration

11 Days

Overview

Bulgaria- Greece-Albania-Montenegro-Kosovo-North Macedonia

Itinerary: 11 days tour/Total driving approx.2160 km

 

 

 

Itinerary

Day 1:
 Arrival at Sofie/ airport
Transfer to the centre of the town, accommodation in the hotel. Walking & sightseeing tour in city center. Overnight and diner in 4* hotel in Sofia.
Day 2:
 Sofie -Thessaloniki
After breakfast drive to Thessaloniki, visit the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the visit of the agora (or roman forum, and the small Odeon aside), Visits of the paleo-christian churches of the city: Panagìa Acheiropoietos, Agaia Sofia, the basilicas of Agi Paraskevi, Agios Dimitrios, Dodeka Apostoli and Agios Nikolaos Orfanos. Accommodation at 4* hotel .Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 3:
 Thessaloniki-Kalabaka
After the breakfast to the hotel, the tour will proceed toKalabaka 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. Accommodation in 4* hotel. Overnight in Kalabaka.
Day 4:
 Kalabaka –Butrint -Saranda –Gjirokaster
After breakfast to the hotel, Continuing to the Albanian border via Igumenitsa,stop in Butrinti, part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed since 1992, Butrint is only 18 km of distance from Saranda and includes such sights as the Askelapius temple, the theater, the stoat, the portals, the baptistery, the Venetian fortress, and more. The ecosystem surrounding the area is a national park, offering you the opportunity to walk in a real Mediterranean “jungle”. Other important sites around Saranda are the ruins of the 40 Saints Monastery, (which denominates the modern city of Saranda), the Mesopotam Church and the small castle near the mouth of the Vivari channel. Continue to Saranda. In the evening, city tour in Saranda, (Optional, depending on time: visit t o “ Le kurs i Castle") Dinner at restaurant (built on the ruins of the old castle) Overnight in 4* hotel in Gjirokaster .
Day 5:
 Gjirokaster –Berat- Durres
In the morning drive to Gjirokastra, Unesco World Cultural Heritage, In Gjirokastra the dwelling houses have the form of medieval towers constituting a building ensemble with a characteristic architecture. Visit to the Castle and the Museum of Weapons. After continue to Berat is Albania’s most beautiful town; lying in a picturesque setting on the banks of the Osum River, it is ringed by the Tomorr and Shpirag Mountains. Berat is also known as ~The town of a thousand windows~ Town is enlisted at UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage. Sightseeing of Berat fortress with the local guide. Continue toward Durres, free time. Accommodation at 4* hotel. Overnight in Durres.
Day 6:
 Durres –Ohrid city tour - Tirana
After breakfast at the hotel, Drive towards Ohrid early in the morning. Depart in the direction of Lake Ohrid, called the "Blue Pearl of the Balkans". We will drive the scenic route and then cross the border with Macedonia. We will arrive in Ohrid at 11:00 and start the walking tour of Ohrid Old Town. Sightseeing of the old Ohrid Fortress, visiting churches of St. Sofia , St.Kliment and St.Jovan Kaneo church. Discover Ohrid lake – Boat trip to Ohrid Lake This journey will take you to a monastic complex, known for its rich history of orthodox religion, some of the painting achievements and wood carving, displayed within the church of St. Naum, a priest and scholar with a famous legacy. Tucked away in a middle of a natural wonder of water spring, this site is a must for any traveler. Lunch in a local restaurant.(Optional). After lunch drive towards Tirana. Accommodation at 4* hotel and overnight in Tirana.
Day 7:
 Kruja –Cetinje -Budva
Breakfast. Check-out. In the morning tour proceeds to Kruja. The walking tour of Kruja will take you through the cobble stone pathway of Ottoman bazaar, with wooden shops and displays of various gifts and antique household items. Visit within the walls of the castle will include the historic museum dedicated to Scanderbeg and his resistance against the Ottoman invasion. An old house turned to an ethnographic museum will invite you to a unique cultural aspect of life in northern Albania. Departure to CETYNIA, the former capital of Montenegro. A walk around the city, a visit to one of the museums. Visit to the small town of NJEGUSI, famous for its specialties: dried ham and rakija, tasting included. Lunch in a local restaurant.(Optional). Transfer to the tourist center of Montenegro - BUDVA. Walk through the charming old town, located on a promontory in the sea. According to the legend, this place was discovered by a Greek sailor named Boutoua. Hotel transfer, accommodation at 4* hotel dinner, overnight in Budva.
Day 8:
 Kotor- St. Stefan -Shkoder
Breakfast. Check-out. Transfer to KOTOR, a medieval city lying on the beautiful Bay of Kotor reminiscent of the north fjords. Kotor together with the surrounding natural landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Cultural and Natural Heritage. A stroll through the picturesque old town, where the most important monuments are located, including St. Tryon Cathedral from 1166 (entrance to the center), ancient city walls 4.5 km long. Lunch in one traditional restaurant in Kotor (Optional). The journey will proceed along the coast to discover more settlements and beaches around Budva. One is particularly interesting – Sveti Stefan! A small fisherman medieval settlement from the 15th century was entirely turned into a luxurious hotel visited by many celebrities including Robert de Niro, Claudia Shiffer, Tito, Indira Gandi, Novak Djokovic ect. Since the place is reserved for rich and famous, we are allowed to enjoy its fairy- tale look from outside and take some great pictures while having it as a perfect background. After continue to Shkoder. Accommodation, overnight in 4* hotel in Shkoder .
Day 9:
 Shkodra- Prizren-Pristina/Monastery Gracanica /Skopje
Breakfast . A visit to the Rozafa Castle, where, according to legend, a woman named Rozafa (the happy rose) was walled up alive. After continue our journey we will visit of the 14th C Monastery of Gracanica (WHS). Its architectural structure represents the apex of Serbian buildings.Cross Kosovo to the historical country of Macedonia and drive to the capital city, Skopje tracing its origin from over 2000 years. Our exploration starts with a walking tour of the old town “Charshi”, where lies the Stone Bridge - a symbol of Skopje built by the Ottomans in the 15thC. Here we see the marvels including the Church St. Spas, the Old Bazaar, Fortress Kala (with walls dating back from the 6thC), Mustapha Pasha Mosque (a marvel of Ottoman architecture erected in 1492 with the earliest wall paintings), Daut Pasa Bath (a masterpiece of Islamic architecture from the 15thC). Accommodation at 4* hotel, dinner and overnight in Skopje.
Day 10:
 Skopje – Sofia
Breakfast in the hotel,drive to Sofia City tour in Sofia ,visit Alexander Nevski cathedral ,Saint Sophia church ,royal palace ., Bojana church, Rotmda street, century III-IV After dinner free time for leisure in one of the famous clubs of Sofia ( optional ,extra payment ) Accommodation at 4* hotel , dinner and overnight in Sofia.
Day 11:
 Departure from Sofia
After breakfast time at leisure until transfer to the airport and flight back

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