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Grand Balkans Tour Kosovo, Albania,… Prishtina

Description

Day 1, Pristina Airport – Prizren 

We welcome you at Pristina Airport and transfer to Prizren one of the most beautiful towns in Kosovo where we visit the Stone Bridge and bazaar, The Mosque of Sinan Pasha built in 1615. Overnight in Prizren.

Day 2, Prizen – Decan Monastery – Peja Patriarchate – Gjakova

Prizren is known for the arts and crafts something which becomes obvious as soon as you approach the centre, with cobble stone streets, beautifully crafted shops, bars and restaurants, built in a typical Ottoman architecture. Prizren offers some great religious monuments representing different faiths, with the 14th century Orthodox Church of “Our Lady of Ljevis” being the most important, becoming part of the UNESCO list of protected Medieval Monuments of Kosovo in 2006. We continue to the Monastery complex of Decan, part of Kosovo’s UNESCO monuments. It is considered the largest medieval church in the Balkans and contains beautifully preserved fresco decorations. Continue to visit the Patriarchate of Peja constructed in the XIII century. It is composed of three small churches with beautiful frescoes. The complex of churches for its architectural and cultural values it represents is part of UNESCO. Gjakova which we visit nex has a Grand Bazaar thought to be the oldest in Kosovo also known as Carshi, full of old houses & shops, a Turkish Bathhouse or Hamam and the 16th century Hadum Aga Mosque. Overnight in Gjakova in the old quarter.

Day 3, Gjakove -Shkoder 

After breakfast departure to Shkoder, one of the oldest cities in Europe and now the main commercial center and largest town of northern Albania. Upon arrival head out on a short orientation walk along the Pjaca, which is the main pedestrianized street, lined with 19th-century architecture and dominated by Ebu Beker Mosque. Later in the afternoon, why not head north of the city to visit the Venetian era Rozafa Castle, set high on a mountain with panoramic views of a lake and the Albanian countryside, before heading back to your hotel in the evening for dinner. Overnight Shkoder.

Day 4, Budva – St.Stephan – Shkoder 

After breakfast we depart to Budva. Here we will visit the vast marina, where you can spot some beautiful large yachts. Budva is the reigning "tourist capital of Montenegro" for all the right reasons. As one of the Adriatic Sea's oldest cities, Budva's 2500-year history reaches back from the past to offer us a small walled city, where the walls were built straight out of the Adriatic Sea by the Venetians. And what we see today is really only a fraction of the city’s splendor at its height, preserved with loving care by the local residents of Budva who are proud of their long history. While we walk through the narrow streets of this historic district, you can buy souvenirs or stop for a coffee. It is also home to a seaside citadel and religious sites such as the Church of Santa Maria in Punta, established in the 9th century. Leaving Budva behind we will see amazing views from the road down south. After just a short drive we stop by the turn to the small islet of Sveti Stefan. It was first mentioned In the 15th century, the fortified village was built to defend against the Turks and became a haven for pirates of the Adriatic. An Adriatic playground for the rich and famous from the 1960s to the 1980s, is today a 5-star hotel resort. Late afternoon return to Shkoder.

Day 5, National park Thethi - Shkodra 

In the morning we will travel near the border with Montenegro, where the narrow road climbs along the beautiful valleys to the hillsides of Prokletije range. We will dare the bus to the end of the asphalt road, which ends at 1,700 meters above sea level. After this journey, we will take a 3km tour to the radio station, from where you have uninterrupted panoramatic views of the Theth valley, the highest mountain of Jezerka and the other beauties of this wild country. When you are done watching, we go back to the mountain chalet. Here you can refresh yourself with some cold drinks and other local delicacies. For accommodation we return again to Shkodra.

Day 6, Kruje-Durres 

After breakfast we will depart to Kruje. We will visit the Skanderbeg Museum, a rich ethnographic museum inside the castle, and enjoy inspirational views out to the Adriatic Coast. We have time to wander through the mediaeval bazaar full of souvenirs and handicrafts, before we head to Durres. Here we we will start our tour by the “Torra”, Venetian tower which was part of the defensive walls of city since the 15st century. Next, we will visit the Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century A.D. After hearing some interesting stories and seeing a be autiful wall mosaic, we will travel a short while to the periphery of the to wn, to the Canteen “Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeu”, the largest one in Albania, dated on 1933. Overnight Durres.

Day 7 Tirana Full Day 

After breakfast, we will start our visit The Clock Tower dated in 1821 and in its’ 200 years of existence it became the symbol of the city. The Mosque of Ethem Bey is just next door. Its’ beautiful stoned build is unique as the exterior and interior is all decorated with frescos. After that we will we go alongside stately buildings which house the many offices of the state infrastructure. One of the newest museum, is old Bunker. It is built on three levels and provides an overview of the police force looking as far back as the 1913, a few months after the proclamation of Independence up to the year of 1991, it is a history marked by violence, torture, imprisonments and martyrs. We will visit the old “Block” area, which was a part of the town, where only the communistic leaders used to live. Overnight accommodation in hotel in Tirana.

Day 8, Berat – Apollonia-Vlore 

Following breakfast, we head to Berat, known as the city of 1000 windows because of the southern orientation of all its houses built on the hillside, Berat is a town-museum which demonstrates the coexistence of different religious and cultural communities. She has beautiful sloping cobbled streets lined with old Ottoman houses with beautiful carved doors, many Byzantine churches with murals and icons 12-15 centuries, a 13th century citadel overlooking the city and the river Osum. Our visit start with the Citadel overlooking the city and river below. The Citadel is one of the oldest, largest and still mostly settled in Europe. After a walk through we will visit famous Onufri’s Museum, where you will see one of the largest collection of icons in Balkans. We will take a short drive to see the quarters Mangalem and Gorica, which are by the river Osum. The small stone houses and narrow streets look like they are glued to the side of the mountain. In the afternoon, we visit Apollonia archeological park, loc ated on the western plane on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Apollonia was an important city founded in the 6th century BC. The fame of the city attracted many personalities as the eminent roman philosopher and orator Cicero. The city grew rich on the slave trade and local agriculture, as well as its large harbor, said to have been able to hold a hundred ships at a time. The city also benefited from the local supply of asphalt. Its’ decline, however, began in the 3rd century AD, when an earthquake changed the path of the river Aoos. For accommodation, we will travel a to the second largest port, Vlore.

Day 9 Saranda 

After a city tour of Vlora, when we see the Flag Square, Museum of Independence and one of oldest mosques, we then take the road to the extreme south. We travel through the Llogara pass and its national park with its dense forest and its breathtaking view of the Ionian Riviera. This thin road will take us along the cliffs which fall into the sea towards the bay of Porto Palermo, located near a beautiful cove with transparent waters. After lunch in a unique restaurant with waterfall, we visit the archaeological site of Butrint which was inhabited from prehistoric times. It is one of the many heritage sites of Unesco. On our return we stop at a settlement - Ksamil and its beaches, called Bora Bora. Todays’ dinner with folklore show will be at a Sarande Castle with stunning views of Corfu. In the evening, we will spend some time and money in the promenade. You can buy here some souvenirs, get a glass of local wine or just watch the locals go by.

Day 10, Butrinti – Lekursi Castle

Lovers of history and archeology, will be very happy to explore the large ruins of ancient city of Butrinti. Butrint lies 18km (11mi) south of Saranda and is a real gem if the ancient world fascinates you. The remains are spanning over 2500 years. The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. It contains different artifacts and structures which date from the Bronze Age up until the 19th century. A number of major monuments are still intact including the city walls, late-antique baptistery, great basilica, theatre and Venetian castle. The walk through the park will give you good idea how large the city has been in its’ glory days and how well had our predecessors placed it. Over the sea canal you will see the Ali Pashas castle. On our return, we will stop for an optional lunch and amazing view of the whole region in Lekursi castle. It is located on the hill top overlooking Saranda, island Corfu and the whole bay. The castle was a garrison built up by Turkish soldiers in 17th century as a mean of controlling the routes crossing at the junction of Saranda. The castle consists of a square plan and two round towers, further one rectangular tower on the west-side wall. Overnight Saranda.

Day 11 Gjirokaster - Permet 

Today will our travels take us to a natural curiosity, called "the Blue Eye". It is an enchanting place with an underground water source of almost 60 m deep surrounded by forests. Its name derives from its unusual blue-green color that looks like an iris in the middle. After this relaxing naturel stop we will continue to the city of Gjirokastër, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will visit the ethnographic museum and our city tour will take us to the citadel. After lunch you can spend some time walking through the small alleys of the old quarter and visit the bazaar. Later we will departure for Leskovik, city which looks like being forgotten in time because it has not changed since the communist era. It is also known for its fresh and natural products. Today we will stay overnight in a farm, which is hidden in the middle of woods. Our dinner here is cooked from products straight from this farm.

Day 12 Permet - Korce 

After hearty breakfast we departe to Korca through the beautiful and magnificent scenery of this wild corner of Albania. The road plunges into the gorge with magnificent views of the surrounding nature. Korca, the museum city, was during the Ottoman period, center of Albanian Renaissance. The first Albanian language school has been established in 1887. We will visit the historic center and its market in the old quarter. With your lunch you can taste the the local beer. Korca beer is very famous and has even received numerous awards at international festivals. After a stroll along the beautiful streets of the old quarter full of flowers we will travel to Pogradec. After beautiful scenic drive, we will reach the shores of the Ohrid Lake, surrounded by fields nestled along the picturesque mountains. where we will stay in a hotel on the edge of the lake. Overnight Pogradec.

Day 13 St. Naum – Ohrid Jerusalem of Europe 

After breakfast, we will past along the lake and head to the border crossing. We will continue to the monastery of Saint Naum, perched on an outcrop above the lake. St. Naum was a healer and miracle worker of the 10th century, whose works can be seen depicted in frescoes inside the chapel which is dedicated to archangels Michael and Gabriel. Admire the views over the lake or venture outside to the springs of the Black Drin River which spill into Lake Ohrid. We drive towards the city of Ohrid. Guided tour includes the visits to the statue of St. Cyril and Methodius, and it continues to the Lower gate, the Church of St Sophia and the Roman amphitheater. Overnight Ohrid.

Day 14 Skopje 

After breakfast, we will depart to Skopje, visit to the capital’s old town, where the Kale Fortress stands overlooking the Vardar River and the modern city below. We can spend some time in the old bazaar before looking on at the Daut Pasha Hamam and crossing the 15.st century stone bridge connecting the Ottoman Bazaar (Caršija) with the north bank with contemporary Macedonia Square to the south. In this part of the town we can visit the Memorial house of Mother Teresa. Overnight in Shkup .

Day 15 Departure 

After breakfast, depending on departure time transfer at the airport. End of  Our Service

Description

Day 1, Pristina Airport – Prizren 

We welcome…

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Description

Day 1, Pristina Airport – Prizren 

We welcome you at Pristina Airport and transfer to Prizren one of the most beautiful towns in Kosovo where we visit the Stone Bridge and bazaar, The Mosque of Sinan Pasha built in 1615. Overnight in Prizren.

Day 2, Prizen – Decan Monastery – Peja Patriarchate – Gjakova

Prizren is known for the arts and crafts something which becomes obvious as soon as you approach the centre, with cobble stone streets, beautifully crafted shops, bars and restaurants, built in a typical Ottoman architecture. Prizren offers some great religious monuments representing different faiths, with the 14th century Orthodox Church of “Our Lady of Ljevis” being the most important, becoming part of the UNESCO list of protected Medieval Monuments of Kosovo in 2006. We continue to the Monastery complex of Decan, part of Kosovo’s UNESCO monuments. It is considered the largest medieval church in the Balkans and contains beautifully preserved fresco decorations. Continue to visit the Patriarchate of Peja constructed in the XIII century. It is composed of three small churches with beautiful frescoes. The complex of churches for its architectural and cultural values it represents is part of UNESCO. Gjakova which we visit nex has a Grand Bazaar thought to be the oldest in Kosovo also known as Carshi, full of old houses & shops, a Turkish Bathhouse or Hamam and the 16th century Hadum Aga Mosque. Overnight in Gjakova in the old quarter.

Day 3, Gjakove -Shkoder 

After breakfast departure to Shkoder, one of the oldest cities in Europe and now the main commercial center and largest town of northern Albania. Upon arrival head out on a short orientation walk along the Pjaca, which is the main pedestrianized street, lined with 19th-century architecture and dominated by Ebu Beker Mosque. Later in the afternoon, why not head north of the city to visit the Venetian era Rozafa Castle, set high on a mountain with panoramic views of a lake and the Albanian countryside, before heading back to your hotel in the evening for dinner. Overnight Shkoder.

Day 4, Budva – St.Stephan – Shkoder 

After breakfast we depart to Budva. Here we will visit the vast marina, where you can spot some beautiful large yachts. Budva is the reigning "tourist capital of Montenegro" for all the right reasons. As one of the Adriatic Sea's oldest cities, Budva's 2500-year history reaches back from the past to offer us a small walled city, where the walls were built straight out of the Adriatic Sea by the Venetians. And what we see today is really only a fraction of the city’s splendor at its height, preserved with loving care by the local residents of Budva who are proud of their long history. While we walk through the narrow streets of this historic district, you can buy souvenirs or stop for a coffee. It is also home to a seaside citadel and religious sites such as the Church of Santa Maria in Punta, established in the 9th century. Leaving Budva behind we will see amazing views from the road down south. After just a short drive we stop by the turn to the small islet of Sveti Stefan. It was first mentioned In the 15th century, the fortified village was built to defend against the Turks and became a haven for pirates of the Adriatic. An Adriatic playground for the rich and famous from the 1960s to the 1980s, is today a 5-star hotel resort. Late afternoon return to Shkoder.

Day 5, National park Thethi - Shkodra 

In the morning we will travel near the border with Montenegro, where the narrow road climbs along the beautiful valleys to the hillsides of Prokletije range. We will dare the bus to the end of the asphalt road, which ends at 1,700 meters above sea level. After this journey, we will take a 3km tour to the radio station, from where you have uninterrupted panoramatic views of the Theth valley, the highest mountain of Jezerka and the other beauties of this wild country. When you are done watching, we go back to the mountain chalet. Here you can refresh yourself with some cold drinks and other local delicacies. For accommodation we return again to Shkodra.

Day 6, Kruje-Durres 

After breakfast we will depart to Kruje. We will visit the Skanderbeg Museum, a rich ethnographic museum inside the castle, and enjoy inspirational views out to the Adriatic Coast. We have time to wander through the mediaeval bazaar full of souvenirs and handicrafts, before we head to Durres. Here we we will start our tour by the “Torra”, Venetian tower which was part of the defensive walls of city since the 15st century. Next, we will visit the Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd century A.D. After hearing some interesting stories and seeing a be autiful wall mosaic, we will travel a short while to the periphery of the to wn, to the Canteen “Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeu”, the largest one in Albania, dated on 1933. Overnight Durres.

Day 7 Tirana Full Day 

After breakfast, we will start our visit The Clock Tower dated in 1821 and in its’ 200 years of existence it became the symbol of the city. The Mosque of Ethem Bey is just next door. Its’ beautiful stoned build is unique as the exterior and interior is all decorated with frescos. After that we will we go alongside stately buildings which house the many offices of the state infrastructure. One of the newest museum, is old Bunker. It is built on three levels and provides an overview of the police force looking as far back as the 1913, a few months after the proclamation of Independence up to the year of 1991, it is a history marked by violence, torture, imprisonments and martyrs. We will visit the old “Block” area, which was a part of the town, where only the communistic leaders used to live. Overnight accommodation in hotel in Tirana.

Day 8, Berat – Apollonia-Vlore 

Following breakfast, we head to Berat, known as the city of 1000 windows because of the southern orientation of all its houses built on the hillside, Berat is a town-museum which demonstrates the coexistence of different religious and cultural communities. She has beautiful sloping cobbled streets lined with old Ottoman houses with beautiful carved doors, many Byzantine churches with murals and icons 12-15 centuries, a 13th century citadel overlooking the city and the river Osum. Our visit start with the Citadel overlooking the city and river below. The Citadel is one of the oldest, largest and still mostly settled in Europe. After a walk through we will visit famous Onufri’s Museum, where you will see one of the largest collection of icons in Balkans. We will take a short drive to see the quarters Mangalem and Gorica, which are by the river Osum. The small stone houses and narrow streets look like they are glued to the side of the mountain. In the afternoon, we visit Apollonia archeological park, loc ated on the western plane on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Apollonia was an important city founded in the 6th century BC. The fame of the city attracted many personalities as the eminent roman philosopher and orator Cicero. The city grew rich on the slave trade and local agriculture, as well as its large harbor, said to have been able to hold a hundred ships at a time. The city also benefited from the local supply of asphalt. Its’ decline, however, began in the 3rd century AD, when an earthquake changed the path of the river Aoos. For accommodation, we will travel a to the second largest port, Vlore.

Day 9 Saranda 

After a city tour of Vlora, when we see the Flag Square, Museum of Independence and one of oldest mosques, we then take the road to the extreme south. We travel through the Llogara pass and its national park with its dense forest and its breathtaking view of the Ionian Riviera. This thin road will take us along the cliffs which fall into the sea towards the bay of Porto Palermo, located near a beautiful cove with transparent waters. After lunch in a unique restaurant with waterfall, we visit the archaeological site of Butrint which was inhabited from prehistoric times. It is one of the many heritage sites of Unesco. On our return we stop at a settlement - Ksamil and its beaches, called Bora Bora. Todays’ dinner with folklore show will be at a Sarande Castle with stunning views of Corfu. In the evening, we will spend some time and money in the promenade. You can buy here some souvenirs, get a glass of local wine or just watch the locals go by.

Day 10, Butrinti – Lekursi Castle

Lovers of history and archeology, will be very happy to explore the large ruins of ancient city of Butrinti. Butrint lies 18km (11mi) south of Saranda and is a real gem if the ancient world fascinates you. The remains are spanning over 2500 years. The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. It contains different artifacts and structures which date from the Bronze Age up until the 19th century. A number of major monuments are still intact including the city walls, late-antique baptistery, great basilica, theatre and Venetian castle. The walk through the park will give you good idea how large the city has been in its’ glory days and how well had our predecessors placed it. Over the sea canal you will see the Ali Pashas castle. On our return, we will stop for an optional lunch and amazing view of the whole region in Lekursi castle. It is located on the hill top overlooking Saranda, island Corfu and the whole bay. The castle was a garrison built up by Turkish soldiers in 17th century as a mean of controlling the routes crossing at the junction of Saranda. The castle consists of a square plan and two round towers, further one rectangular tower on the west-side wall. Overnight Saranda.

Day 11 Gjirokaster - Permet 

Today will our travels take us to a natural curiosity, called "the Blue Eye". It is an enchanting place with an underground water source of almost 60 m deep surrounded by forests. Its name derives from its unusual blue-green color that looks like an iris in the middle. After this relaxing naturel stop we will continue to the city of Gjirokastër, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will visit the ethnographic museum and our city tour will take us to the citadel. After lunch you can spend some time walking through the small alleys of the old quarter and visit the bazaar. Later we will departure for Leskovik, city which looks like being forgotten in time because it has not changed since the communist era. It is also known for its fresh and natural products. Today we will stay overnight in a farm, which is hidden in the middle of woods. Our dinner here is cooked from products straight from this farm.

Day 12 Permet - Korce 

After hearty breakfast we departe to Korca through the beautiful and magnificent scenery of this wild corner of Albania. The road plunges into the gorge with magnificent views of the surrounding nature. Korca, the museum city, was during the Ottoman period, center of Albanian Renaissance. The first Albanian language school has been established in 1887. We will visit the historic center and its market in the old quarter. With your lunch you can taste the the local beer. Korca beer is very famous and has even received numerous awards at international festivals. After a stroll along the beautiful streets of the old quarter full of flowers we will travel to Pogradec. After beautiful scenic drive, we will reach the shores of the Ohrid Lake, surrounded by fields nestled along the picturesque mountains. where we will stay in a hotel on the edge of the lake. Overnight Pogradec.

Day 13 St. Naum – Ohrid Jerusalem of Europe 

After breakfast, we will past along the lake and head to the border crossing. We will continue to the monastery of Saint Naum, perched on an outcrop above the lake. St. Naum was a healer and miracle worker of the 10th century, whose works can be seen depicted in frescoes inside the chapel which is dedicated to archangels Michael and Gabriel. Admire the views over the lake or venture outside to the springs of the Black Drin River which spill into Lake Ohrid. We drive towards the city of Ohrid. Guided tour includes the visits to the statue of St. Cyril and Methodius, and it continues to the Lower gate, the Church of St Sophia and the Roman amphitheater. Overnight Ohrid.

Day 14 Skopje 

After breakfast, we will depart to Skopje, visit to the capital’s old town, where the Kale Fortress stands overlooking the Vardar River and the modern city below. We can spend some time in the old bazaar before looking on at the Daut Pasha Hamam and crossing the 15.st century stone bridge connecting the Ottoman Bazaar (Caršija) with the north bank with contemporary Macedonia Square to the south. In this part of the town we can visit the Memorial house of Mother Teresa. Overnight in Shkup .

Day 15 Departure 

After breakfast, depending on departure time transfer at the airport. End of  Our Service

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Days : 15 | Nights : 14


Inclusions


Exclusions


  •     Extra water bottle charges    
  •     Medicines required if any    
  •     Airfare & airport taxes    
  •     Insurance    
  •     All meals and drinks    
  •     Tips to coach drivers    
  •     Tips and Gratuities    
  •     Any optional tours    
  •     Any airport arrival/departure tax    
  •     Alcoholic beverages    

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