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Balkan Bonanza

From€1,800
16 Days
Date : On request
Max People : 38
Highlights
  • Learn about the culture and history of the Balkans from our expert local guides and your knowledgeable tour leader
  • Feast on delicious Balkan home-cooked meals – an experience in itself!
  • Hike the Peaks of the Balkans – spectacular trail that will take you through breathtaking natural wonders of Albania, Montenegro & Kosovo
  • Check out Tirana, a funky capital filled with interesting museums and some great bars and restaurants
  • Explore Kosovo – a newborn country of rich albeit troublesome history, youthful energy and hospitality that’s second to none
  • Take a whole day boat trip on UNESCO protected Lake Ohrid, an ancient lake millions of years old with more than 200 endemic species
  • Stroll around Berat, “City of a Thousand Windows” and another UNESCO jewel

What's included

  • Tourbadour Leader well versed in all things Balkan
  • Expert local guides in Tirana, Skopje, Ohrid, Berat and during the hikes
  • All accommodation during the tour based on twin/double rooms (2 nights in Tirana, 1 night in Shkodra, 1 night in Valbona, 2 nights in Thethi, 1 night in Plav, 1 night in Peja, 2 nights in Prizren, 2 nights in Skopje, 2 nights in Pelister NP, 2 nights in Ohrid, 1 night in Berat)
  • Transportation and local transfers for the duration of the tour
  • All breakfasts throughout the trip
  • Day trips as described in the itinerary
  • Entrance to museums and other cultural sights during all tours with local guides

What's not included

  • Flights and airport transfers from/to Tirana International Airport
  • Meals and drinks throughout the tour (except ones listed above)
  • Single supplement if you’d like a room to yourself (price depends on availability)
  • Tips and gratuities

What to bring

  • We recommend backpacks instead of wheelers for this trip
  • Day pack
  • Swimsuit
  • Reusable water bottle
  • A raincoat or umbrella
  • Good trekking shoes
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Warm clothing – it can get a bit chilly in the mountains at night

What to read and watch

Itinerary

Day 1Tirana

Meet the group in Tirana, funky and up and coming capital full of life. Delicious new restaurants and super-cool museums have sprouted like mushrooms in the last few years, and we know the best of them. Strolling around town with our local guide, we listen to some really interesting history, and then finish up with a proper welcome feast!

Day 2Shkodra

Morning is reserved for a visit to Bunk’art 1 – a video museum exhibition situated inside a real atomic bunker, where we close our history lesson about the infamous Enver Hoxha regime. Afterwards we clear our head by taking the longest cable car in the Balkans to Mount Dajti, having coffee, chilling and feeling the view. Also, this will be a nice moment to say “see your later Tirana”, as we start our journey north. We’ll spend the night in an ancient Illyrian capital of Shkodra, our evening filled with traditional song, dance and food, oh so good! But before all that we’ll still have some time to explore the town of course, with an optional visit to Marubi Museum of Photography, the oldest such establishment in Albania – and an included ride to the magnificent Rozafa castle.

Day 3Valbonë

After a spectacular ferry ride through Lake Koman, we arrive into a completely changed scenery; surrounded by Albanian Alps and nested into magical valley of Valbonë – it all looks like an excerpt from a dream.

Day 4-7Albanian Alps to Kosovo

Over the next four days a specular hike awaits! We will trek the classic pass of the Albanian Alps linking Valbonë to another gorgeous valley – Thethi. Mules and horses will carry our luggage while we admire the surrounding peaks of the Accursed mountains, with pleasant rest stops along the way. We’ll spend two nights in Thethi – the best preserved alpine village of Albania, famous for stunning natural setting, well preserved stone houses and traditional way of life. We’ll cross two borders on this mini Peaks of the Balkans trail: from Thethi to lake Plav in Montenegro where we also stop for a night and then onwards to Peja in Kosovo, newest European country.

Day 8Prizren

We drive to Prizren, stopping on the way to admire the Patriarchate of Peć and High Dečani – two beautiful medieval monasteries under the protection of UNESCO. After another essential coffee stop in the old bazaar of Đakovica, we make way to our Prizren hotel located in the very centre by the Bistrica river.

Day 9Prizren

Today is reserved for exploring Prizren, one of the most beautiful cities in the Balkans. Prizren is the epitome of a multicultural city with four official languages (Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian & Turkish) and a rich cultural heritage dating for thousands of years.

Day 10Skopje

Onwards to Macedonia and its interesting capital of Skopje. Together with a local guide we tour old and new faces of the city finishing up with probably the best barbecue you’re ever likely to try accompanied by the excellent red wines that Macedonia is famous for.

Day 11Skopje

We take a relaxing boat trip in the morning along the nearby Matka canyon. Free time in the afternoon to chill out or explore recommended museums.

Day 12Ohrid

Few words can describe Ohrid, also known as “Jerusalem of the Balkans” situated next to an ancient gorgeous lake. We visit the city sights accompanied by our expert local guide.

Day 13Ohrid

Taking it easy on an included all-day boat excursion on Lake Ohrid. We stop to visit the Museum on Water (Bay of the Bones) – an elaborate reconstruction of the settlement as archaeologists think it would have looked like between 1200 and 600 BC – following with an essential tour of St. Naum Monastery, hosting icons that are some of the best religious painting achievements in the Balkans.

Day 14Berat

Today we cross another border – this time returning to Albania, visiting the UNESCO protected town of Berat. Together with our local guide we explore the “City of a Thousand Windows” and admire of the wonderfully preserved example of traditional Ottoman architecture in the Balkans. It’s also a home of our favorite family restaurant on the entire trip!

Day 15Tirana

Back to Tirana, finishing our big loop – and what a journey it was! Time to celebrate our trip with a final family dinner in a special restaurant we’ve chosen just for the occasion.

Day 16Tirana - end of tour

The tour finishes after breakfast. We started as strangers but we part as friends. Hopefully we’ll meet again on another memorable adventure!

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From€1,800

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