BALKAN DELIGHT: (13d/12n) BiH, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Macedonia
BALKAN DELIGHT: (13d/12n) BiH, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Macedonia
Day 1 SARAJEVO (BiH)
Included transfers from Sarajevo airport to your hotel followed by late afternoon welcome drink and welcome dinner. Our lodging Hotel President 4* or similar (two nights) is located in the center of the town and in the heart of Sarajevo’s bazar Baščaršija.
Day 2 SARAJEVO
Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a meeting point of East and West, multi-cultural and multi religious. It’s a colorful town full of coffee houses, restaurants and shops, a gracious and congenial people that defy expectations. Our morning begins with a local guide tour of the city. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to explore Sarajevo on your own.(B)
Day 3 SARAJEVO – MOSTAR – SPLIT (Cro)
After breakfast departure for Mostar. Mostar is the main city of the southern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the banks of the Neretva river. Under the Ottoman Empire, Mostar became an important trading hub, where Jews, Christians and Muslims traded and lived side by side. The result was that Mostar became a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. The centerpiece of Mostar is the Old Bridge, commissioned by the Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century. Destroyed during the war in 1993 the bridge was rebuilt using the original materials and reopened in 2004. After lunch departure transfer to the city of Split on the Adriatic Sea. We’ll be staying one night at Hotel Corner 4* or similar, just a few minutes walk to the historic district. Included dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. (B,D)
Day 4 SPLIT – MAKARSKA – DUBROVNIK (Cro)
Diocletian was emperor of Rome from 284 – 305 AD. The only emperor to voluntarily abdicate, he had constructed a massive retirement palace covering 10 acres in his homeland of Dalmatia. Having survived centuries of refugees and squatters, core elements of the palace are still prominent today, including all of the ground floor rooms and corridors. We’ll begin the day with a fascinating guided tour of the palace and the historic center of Split. Midday departure for Dubrovnik. On the way a stop in the sunny coastal town of Makarska where we’ll explore its picturesque harbor. Late afternoon arrival in Dubrovnik for two nights. Our Hotel Lapad 4* or similar is situated in a picturesque Lapad bay. Tonight dinner in a local restaurant. (B.D)
Day 5 DUBROVNIK
We start the morning with a panoramic stop. Originally called Ragusa, Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century on the southern part of what is now the Old Town by Greco-Roman refugees from Epidaurum (modern day Cavtat). Initially subject to Byzantium, the city was long under Venetian control, then effectively
became an independent city-state under the kingdom of Hungary and later the Ottoman Empire. It was one of the most powerful economic centers in the Adriatic. Dubrovnik’s magnificent walls were constructed from the 12th to the 17th centuries. Our morning begins with a walk along these walls, followed by local guide tour of the city. Afternoon and evening on your own.
Day 6 DUBROVNIK – BOKA KOTOR BAY – LOVČEN – KOLAŠIN (MN)
Morning departure for Montenegro. Montenegro is the smallest ex-Yugoslavian Republic that is rich with history and wild natural beauty. We will visit the bay of Kotor which is an UNESCO heritage site and is the biggest fjord in the Southern Mediterranean. We will enjoy spectacular mountains rising directly from the sea to reach the town of Kotor which is rich in its maritime heritage. Kotor was passed from hand to hand among different armies and conquerors, walled by the Venetians and fortifications were added by the Austrians, etc. After that, we will take the scenic road to Lovčen Natural Park and stop for the included lunch. After lunch we will proceed through the mighty canyon of Morača River and arrive to Kolašin Natural Park where we will stay for two nights. Dinner is included. We will stay in the 4* Hotel Bianca or similar in Kolašin. (B,L,D)
Day 7 KOLAŠIN
We will start the full day excursion to the heart of Montenegro’s mountains to reach the canyon of river Tara, second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA. We will enjoy the famous view on the bridge over the river and have the possibility to do one of the most spectacular zip lines in Europe. After, we will continue towards Durmitor Mountain and visit the famous Black Lake by the town of Žabjak. We will have an included lunch. Return to the hotel in evening hours. Time of leisure in Kolašin. (B,L)
Day 8 KOLAŠIN – SHODRA – TIRANA (AL)
We will depart Kolašin and drive by the Capital of Podgorica to reach the lake of Skadar, the biggest lake in the Balkans. From there, we will cross the border to Albania which is the mysterious country that was hermetically closed from the rest of the world under the regime of the communist dictator Enver Hoxa until the late 80’s. Albania is rich in spectacular landscapes and full of ancient history that was dominated by Illyrian tribes then incorporated into the Roman Empire to be overtaken by the Ottomans, etc. We will stop in the ancient city of Skhodra for lunch and then proceed with a very picturesque drive to the capital of Tirana, where we will stay for two nights in Tirana International Hotel, 4*or similar. Dinner is included in a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 9 TIRANA
From our hotel in the very center of Tirana, we will start our walking tour with the local guide covering the historical center of the city including the famous Skenderbeu Square. From there we will continue to the Mother Theresa Square passing by the Parliament and the Presidential Residency of Albania. After some free time for lunch we will leave for the afternoon excursion to the ancient city of Kruje in the mountains above Tirana. Kruje, the town where the national hero George Castriot Skanderbeg, the father of the Albanian nation was born. We will walk through a real Turkish bazaar for some shopping and visit a museum
that is actually a house over 150 years old and is a great display of the life in the Albanian Mountains from the past. We will return to Tirana in the late evening. Evening at leisure. (B)
Day 10 TIRANA – ELBASAN MOUNTAINS – OHRID(MK)
We will depart Tirana early in the morning and drive across beautiful views of the mountains that explain the name “Land of the Eagles”, as the Albanians call themselves. After reaching the city of Elbasan which is famous for its medieval castle we will continue our drive towards the border of the Republic of Macedonia. Reaching the border, we will enjoy the wonderful views of another jewel of the Balkans, the marvelous Lake Ohrid. After the border crossing, we will reach the town of Ohrid, have lunch included in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will meet our local guide and visit the Roman Amphitheater built for the gladiator fights and visit some of the 365 churches of Ohrid. Ohrid was the place where the disciples of the Saints Cyril and Methodius founded the first Slavic university in the world. Free afternoon and evening. Our loodging for one night is the waterfront Hotel Aleksandria 4* or similar. Dinner is at leisure. (B,L)
Day 11 OHRID – SKOPJE(MK)
We will have an early morning departure from Ohrid to the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. We will drive through a number of villages and towns with a mixed population of ethnic Albanians and Slavic Macedonians to reach the lake Matka Canyon where we are going to stop for coffee as we enjoy the beautiful green waters and spectacular cliffs. In the afternoon we will proceed to the capital of Skopje where we will stay for two nights in centrally located Hotel Alexandar Square Skopje 4* or similar. In the evening we will have the farewell dinner in a typical Macedonian restaurant. (B,D)
Day 12 SKOPJE
Today we will tour the city of Skopje with a local guide and learn about the rich and very colorful history of this ancient capital. We will visit the Old Stone Bridge over the River Vardar. We will see the completely rebuilt waterfronts of the river. The attempt to revive the ancient glory of the city in Neoclassical style is very interesting. The walking tour will include also the ancient Turkish Quarter as well as the birth house of Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Free time for lunch. Afternoon and evening at leisure. (B)
Day 13 SKOPJE
Transfer to Skopje airport for outbound flight .(B)
SMALL GROUP DEPARTURE September 1st. – 13th 2018 (MAX 20 PARTICIPANTS)
Tour price: 3300 euro
What is included?
- Land transportation through the whole tour in moder luxury vehicle
- Sarajevo airport transfer in on Day 1
- Skopje airport transfer out on Day 13
- 12 nights 4*or 3* hotel accomodation in double/twin room with private bathroom. Single room supplement fee 700 euro.
- Full time professional English speaking driver/guide on the tour
- Local Guides in Sarajevo, Split, Dubrovnik, Tirana, Kruja, Ohrid and Skopje.
- Visit and orientational guided walk of Mostar, Makarska, Kotor, Kolašin, Shodra and Matka.
- All breakfasts, 5 dinners, 3 lunches with drinks.
- Entrance fees to the Diocletian Palace and Cellars in Split, Walls in Dubrovnik, Tirana Archeological Museum and St. Sofia monastery in Ohrid.
- Organization, basic insurance and VAT.