Welcome at the Belgrade Airport and transfer to the hotel. After the accommodation, we start a walking city tour which includes the Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park with a beautiful view to the Danube and Sava rivers. We go on towards the main pedestrian street, Knez Mihailova, one of the most vibrant areas of Belgrade, filled with cafes, shops and charming sites. We will get to see the impressive sights of the Republica and Castle Square, Istanbul Gate and the Clock Tower, pass through the Leopold or Dungeon door. Tonight we have a group dinner in the famous street of Skadarlija. Overnight in Belgrade.
Day 2Belgrade - Novi Sad - Sremski Karlovci – Belgrade (185 km) (B)
I the morning we drive to Sremski Karlovci, which has been spiritual, cultural and educational center of Serbia for over 200 years. The baroque style buildings surrounding the fountain in the town center are of immense importance to Serbian history and culture. With its two tall bell towers, 1762 Gathering Church of St. Nicholas is a masterpiece iconostas of Serbian baroque. The Patriarchy Palace, the residence of the Srem District Episcope, is considered to be Vojvodina’s most remarkable 19th century building. In the afternoon, we visit Novi Sad, the capital of the Serbian province – Vojvodina. We walk through Dunavska (Danube) and Zmaj Jovina street, which are the main walking zones of the city, City Hall, Freedom Square, The Name of Mary Church, Katolička porta, the house of Mileva Einstein – the wife of Albert Einstein, and finish at Petrovaradin Fortress, built by the Austrians in the 17th and 18th century as pillar of defense against the invasion of the Turks. They call it the “Gibraltar of Danube”, because of its position. Today the fortress is famous for the most prestigious European music festival “Exit”. Overnight in Belgrade.
Day 3Belgrade – Sarajevo (295 km) (B)
We leave Belgrade and head to Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo. After the check in to the hotel, will start from the centre to begin our walking tour. We will see the place of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife at the northern end of Latin Bridge by a 19 year old Bosnian-Serb called Gavrilo Princip, that triggered WWI. We will see the Eternal Flame, which is a memorial to all those that lost their lives during the war. We also see excellent examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture, namely the City Hall and learn more about the dreadful fate of the Jewish community which once thrived in this city, then known as Little Jerusalem. In the rest of the day, we take a relaxing wander through the city’s Old Town or as with everywhere else in the Balkans grab a strong coffee and watch local life go by. Free time and overnight.
Day 4 Sarajevo - Mostar – Trebinje (245 km) (B, D)
We are heading to Mostar, a town that for 18 months was held under siege in the nineties. Much of Mostar was ruined during this period. But the city still has a very Ottoman feel to it with its winding cobbled stone streets and skyline dotted with 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). This bridge is a reconstruction of the original Ottoman bridge that was built in the mid-1500’s, but was destroyed by shelling in 1993. In the late afternoon, we drive to Trebinje. We start the city tour with an old fortresses and old stone Arslanagić bridge from the 16th century. In the Old town we will see the old clock tower, the urban core Castle built in the 18th century, Osman pasha’s mosque from the 18th century and city walls with cannons. As soon as you walk out of the Old town, through the tunnel gate, we will reach the poets’ square lined with 115-years-old plane trees, green market, catholic cathedral and fountains with monuments. Organized dinner and overnight in Trebinje.
Day 5Trebinje - Perast - Kotor – Budva (85 km) (B)
Today we drive along the coastal Montenegro. First we stop in Perast, a tiny town full of memories of the days when it was rich and powerful. Despite having only one main street, this town boasts 16 churches and 17 formerly grand palazzi. The next stop is in Kotor, the most historical city on the Montenegrin coast, UNESCO World Heritage. Every building, every square, every inch of the streets has long history dating from 1000 years B.C. We will take you around the Old Town and show you the most important historical monuments and buildings in town: 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. Free time for lunch on your own. We finish the day in Budva with a short sightseeing from the old town, including clock tower - the bell tower of St. John's Church, the Citadel Fortress, built 2500 years ago, with preserved watchtowers, ramparts, stairs and barracks, built by the Austrians in 1836. Free evening and overnight in Budva.
Day 6 Day 6 - Budva - Bar - Skadar – Tirana (185 km) (B)
We start the morning with a short walk in the port town of Bar, with a possibility to drink our coffee along the seaside. We drive on to the neighboring Albania, stopping at the ancient town of Skadar, located on the bank of the lake with the same name, with one of the biggest habitats of birds.In this town we visit the castle of Rozafa, built in third century B.C. There is a small museum where you can see Illyrian coins, Ottoman weapons and personal belongings of the local people. We will end today’s trip in the Albania’s capital, Tirana. After the check-in to the hotel, we will take you on a short orientation walk through the center of the capital. Free evening and overnight in Tirana.
Day 7 Tirana – Durres – Kruja - Tirana (130 km) (B, D)
After the breakfast in the hotel, we leave Tirana and drive to the ancient town and port of Durres. We walk along Adriatic Sea and visit the ancient amphitheatre then. There is possibility to visit the City museum of Durres. In the noon we can advise lunch in a seaside restaurant for outdoor delicious seafood dishes, other dishes possible. In the afternoon, we drive on to once 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 continue back to Tirana. Farewell dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Day 8 Tirana – Ohrid (170km) (B)
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 and the church St. Clement of Ohrid at Plaosnik, the fortress of Tsar Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the ancient Macedonian-Roman theatre, 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. Free time to explore more of this UNESCO site. Free evening.
Day 9 Ohrid – Bay of Bones – Saint Naum – Ohrid (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will explore the lake and the coastal area of the Ohrid Lake and a part of the National Park Galichitsa. We will start a boat trip 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. We continue sailing to the extraordinary monument of nature - the lake springs and the monastery of St. Naum from the 9th century. Lunch in the restaurant near the lake springs. Free time. Sailing back to the town. Free evening.
Day 10Ohrid – Tetovo – Skopje (187km) (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive to the Macedonian capital, Skopje. On the way, we stop in the town Tetovo to visit a 15th century built mosque, painted in a unique way in the 19th century. From Tetovo, we take you to one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe, Matka, with the river Treska. We will have a lunch break in the restaurant on the bank of the river, possibly a river trout, and by small boats, we will set sail 6 km upstream to visit the cave Vrelo, full of cave decorations, like stalactites and stalagmites. Free time in the canyon for individual activities. Drive to Skopje, accommodation and free evening. Overnight in Skopje.