Albania – Macedonia – Montenegro – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Day 1Tirana (D) (20 km)
Welcome at Tirana International Airport and we are heading straight to the capital Tirana. Accommodation and a short break before we start the city tour. First we visit the National Museum of History, walk the central avenue and the central square, we next visit the Ethem Bay Mosque and the Clock-Tower and the remains of the Castle of Tirana. We also go deep underground to visit the Enver Hodxa bunker, a former communistic leader of Albania. We walk on to the Pyramid - mausoleum of the late Enver Hoxha, designed by his daughter. We will end the tour at Enver Hoxha House in Blloku. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 2 Tirana - Durres - Kruja– Tirana (117 km)
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for the ancient town and port of Durres, a UNESCO site. We walk along the Adriatic Sea and visit the remains of the ancient amphitheater that once held 20.000 people, making it the largest in the Balkans. Possibility to visit the City Museum of Durres. In the noon, we advise lunch at a seaside restaurant for outdoor delicious seafood dishes (other dishes possible). In the afternoon, we drive to the medieval capital of Albania, Kruja. High in the mountain cliffs, we will visit the castle of the national hero of Albania, Skender-beg.
Exploring the narrow streets, we will walk through the unique Ethno Bazaar. After a short break, we drive back to Tirana. Free evening and overnight in Tirana.
Day 3Tirana – Ohrid (163 km)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to neighboring Macedonia, heading to the city of UNESCO – Ohrid. After the accommodation, we start a tour through the old city of Ohrid, one of the oldest towns in Europe, full of history with traces of four thousand years of civilization. We will visit famous medieval churches – the Holly Mother of God Perivleptos, the ancient Macedonian-Roman theatre, and the church of Saint John Kaneo with amazing views on the Lake, sailing with small boats on the way back to the center. Explanation of the history, the biggest open-air museum of the Byzantium. Next, we will visit the medieval church of St. Sophia and further on we will stop at a pearl shop store, where the workers will give us a short explanation of the famous Ohrid pearl-making process. In the afternoon, we will drive to the unique reconstruction of a prehistoric settlement on water from the Bronze Age, called Museum on Water or the Bay of Bones. Presentation by the professional curator. Overnight in Ohrid.
Day 4 Ohrid – Tetovo - Skopje (175 km)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive to the Macedonian capital, Skopje. On the way there we stop in the town Tetovo to visit a 15th century built mosque, painted in a unique way from the 19th century. From Tetovo, we take you to one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe - Matka, with the river Treska. By small boats, we will set sail 6 km upstream to visit the cave Vrelo, full of cave decorations, like stalactites and stalagmites. After Matka canyon we will drive to the capital Skopje and check in to our hotel. Our hotel is centrally located so after the check in and free time, we will do a Skopje city tour.
Day 5Skopje – Berat– Valona (420 km)
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Berat, one of the most visited and characteristic towns in Albania. After visiting the fortress of Berat, we will stroll down to the center through the narrow streets of the old part of the town. A great opportunity to meet locals and mingle with them while talking about life in Albania. On the central street of Berat is where most of the restaurants and cafes are situated. After that we will drive to Valona, a beautiful city on the Albanian coast. Accommodation in Valona.
Day 6 Valona -Shkodra – Podgorica (300 km)
In the morning, we drive to to city of Shkodra (225 km / 3 hours and 30 minutes), starting with a short city sightseeing. We next drive to Rozafa Castle, the main sightseeing in this city. It raises on a rocky hill 130 meters above sea level. The castle was built during antiquity and endures the Roman and Ottoman Empires. It has three main courtyards. There you can see the Illyrian Wall, Sultan Mehmet Fatih Mosque which was the Church of St. Stephen once and some medieval ruins. Rivers Kir, Buna and Drin join in the third courtyard. Free time for lunch. From Shkodra we will drive to Montenegro (60 km / 1 hour and 30 minutes with crossing border), and our first city will be the capital, Podgorica. We will have a city tour in Podgorica.
Day 7 Podgorica - Budva – Kotor (125 km)
After breakfast, we wiil drive to Budva (65 km, 1 hour) we will have a sightseeing from the old town in the fortress - narrow streets, squares and stone. We will go to a high Clock Tower - the Bell tower of St. John's Church, the most famous Catholic monument in Budva. The next stop is Citadel Fortress, built 2.500 years ago, with preserved watchtowers, ramparts, stairs and barracks, built by the Austrians in 1836. Free time for lunch on own. After that we will visit the island St. Stefan (15 km, 10 minutes), one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro. Drive to city of Kotor (45 km, 30 minutes), UNESCO World Heritage city, with a long history dating from 1.000 years B.C.
Day 8 Kotor – Tivat – Trebinje (70 km)
In the morning, we will do a city tour of Kotor, we will take you around the Old Town and show you the Square of Arms, Byzantine Palace, Beskuca Palace, Pima Palace, St. Tryphon Cathedral, Maritime Museum, St Nicholas Church, Blessed Ozana Church as well as the North Gate. From there we drive to Tivat, where we will take a walk and a short city tour. Our last city for today is Trebinje (60 km, 2 hours with crossing the border) in Bosnia and Herzegovina where we also take a city tour. Overnight in Trebinje.
Day 9 Trebinje – Mostar – Sarajevo (245 km)
From Trebinje, we drive to Mostar (115 km, 2 hours). The city was held under siege in the nineties during the Bosnian war. Much of Mostar was ruined during this period, but like Sarajevo, the city has an Ottoman feel. We will walk the cobbled stone streets surrounded by nearby domes and minarets. We will see the bazaar, mosque and old city on the way to one of the country's most famous landmarks, Stari Most (the Old Bridge). From Mostar we are heading to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo (130 km, 2 hours and 30 minutes). Free time for lunch. Here first we will have a city tour: start from the Latin Bridge, see the Eternal Flame, which is a memorial to all those that lost their lives during World War I. On the way, we will admire beautiful examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture, like the architecture of the City Hall. Overnight in Sarajevo.
Day 10– Sarajevo – Sarajevo airport
Breakfast at the hotel. After the breakfast, we will visit the Tunnel Museum depicting life during the Sarajevo Siege in 1992-1995 and showing how the resident civilians managed to keep themselves supplied during the longest siege in modern history. Free time for lunch on own in Sarajevo. Transfer to the airport at 15.00 h. Your flight is at 17.25 h.