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ALBANIA - MACEDONIA- KOSOVO

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9 day tour round Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, exploring the best natural and cultural sites.

Itinerary

DAY 01: TIA - TIRANA 

DAY 02: TIRANA - BERAT - ELBASAN -OHRID

DAY 03: OHRID –BITOLA - OHRID

DAY 04: OHRID– St. BIGORSKI - SKOPJE

DAY 05: SKOPJE – MATKA - PRIZREN

DAY 06: PRIZREN–RUGOVA – DECANE MONASTERY – VALBONE

DAY 07: VALBONE – KOMAN- SHKODER

DAY 08: SHKODER – THETH – SHKODER 

DAY 09: SHKODER – KRUJE – TIA IN THE EVENING

Desription

DAY 01: TIA - TIRANA

Upon arrival welcome from local guide or driver and drive to Tirana (takes only 20 min)
Explore this vibrant city of Tirana

Tirana, the heart and capital of Albania, like all other European metropolises has a never-ending movement and energy. The journey might begin by visiting the key spots such as SheshiSkënderbej, Mosque of Et’hemBey (built between 1798 and 1812), the 35 m high Kulla e Sahatit (the Watch Tower), castle of the Roman emperor Justinian (A.D. 520), the monumental Tomb of Kapllan Pasha and the Ura e Tabakëve. A visit to the National History Museum, the Archeological Museum, and the National Gallery of the Arts will leave wonderful memories.


Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight

**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 02: TIRANA - BERAT – ELBASAN - OHRID

Breakfast in hotel
Check out, and transfer to Berat,

Visit Berat: The 2,413 years-old city known as Antipatrea, is under the protection of UNESCO. Berat is a treasure-trove of Albanian history, culture and a testament to the country’s tradition of religious harmony. The three major neighborhoods of the old city are Mangalemi, Gorica, and Kala, where the castle itself is located and is made unique by the fact that people continue to live inside of it. The post-Byzantine monumental Cathedral of Shën Maria (Saint Mary) today houses a museum of works by the famous iconographers of the 16th century: Onufri and his son Nikolla. There are over 100 icons on display and they also include works of other artists such as Joan Çetiri, OnufërQiprioti and many anonymous painters. Ottomans occupation has left its mark as well.

After lunch drive to Ohrid on the way short stop for refreshments at Elbasan.

ELBASAN:Located at the Shkumbini River, where it crosses the famous Egnatia Road, the city of Elbasani – ancient Scampini. In ancient times, Scampini was a typical Roman fortification, but in the 4th century it received a new administrative status and, with its new name Hiscampis, it became one of the major cities of the new Epirus, home of the area’s only Roman legion.Today, tourists can visit the Church of Saint Mary, the King Mosque (inside the city walls), the Mosque of Naziresha (very rare because of its feminine name), and the Ethnographic Museum, the newly discovered basilica and the Turkish bath (hammam).
Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 03: OHRID – BITOLA - OHRID

After Breakfast visit the UNESCO site of Ohrid

Visit Ohrid -Situated on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the town of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Built mainly between the 7th and 19th centuries, it has the oldest Slav monastery (St Pantelejmon) and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. After those of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, this is considered to be the most important collection of icons in the world.

Drive to next destination for today Bitola city where to must visit:

Ancient town "Heraclea Lyncestis" -Famous for its dazzling mosaics, ancient theater and Roman baths, Heraclea is the most vividly preserved city from the surviving Ancient Macedonian Empire in the country.Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Macedonian city situated 2 km south of the present-day town of Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC, after he had conquered the surrounding region of Lyncestis and incorporated it into his kingdom of Macedon. The city was named in honor of the mythological Greek hero Heracles. The epithet Lyncestis means "the Land of the Lynx" in Greek.

Afternoon back in Ohrid
Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 04: OHRID – St. BIGORSKI - SKOPJE

08:30 –after Breakfast drive to Mavrovo National Park (2.5 h driving)
Mavrovo National Park- offers the highest mountain peaks in Macedonia. Not only do these mountains provide magnificent visual landscapes, they also prove to be the best skiing terrains on the Balkans. Mavrovo’s impressive forests contain more than 100 rare species of trees, and its rugged hilltops are rich in wild herbs and teas that can be easily collected by hand. Lake Mavrovo located just beneath the ski center makes the National Park of Mavrovo a popular weekend resort all year round.

On the national park of Mavrovo to be visited also Bigorski monastery

St. Jovan Bigorski is a 19th century monastery standing on the slopes of Debar’s Mt. Bistra, above the banks of the River Radika. While relatively new, St. Jovan was constructed over the remains of an older church dating from 1021.Since the monastery is dedicated to St. Jovan the Baptist, worshippers believe that icons with his image are blessed with a miraculous healing power.

After enjoying the beautiful view of the park drive to Skopje city.

SKOPJE - the capital city of Macedonia - that lies in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroad of important communications, a city with a 2000 years old tradition. Skopje is a very attractive tourist destination with its fortress, cultural and historical monuments, archaeological sites, sport halls, caves in the canyon of the River Treska and Lake Matka and a health spa in the eastern part of the city.The town with the beautiful quay of the Macedonian river “Vardar”, the narrow streets in the Old Bazaar which is the biggest bazaar preserved in the Balkans today, the town is internationally famous for being the birthplace of Mother Teresa.

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 05: SKOPJE – MATKA - PRIZREN

After breakfast drive to Mata canyons (45 min driving)

The tour starts with a visit to the Monastery of Matka dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God, a religious festival celebrated on 28th August every year. The monastery is located on the left bank of the River Treska and was built around 1337.Then we continue to walk along the bank of the River Treska – which is famous for the competitions in kayaking that take place on it. We follow the path that goes by the dam and the man-made lake Matka and we reach the Monastery of St. Andrew.

After this we go on a boat ride on the canyon Matkaand we enjoy the magnificent surroundings, the scents of the flora and the songs of the numerous birds that live here. If we are lucky, we will be able to see some wild animals like ducklings swimming in the lake, or a wild boar, a hare, or the like.

Possibility to enjoy the lunch with local food in Matka.
Afternoon drive to Prizren, Kosovo.

Prizren -During history it was known as Theranda, a name which belongs to town of Suhareka nowadays.
During the 11th century it was known as an important urban settlement. In 1019, its mentioned as headquarters of Byzantine Empire Church. During Serbian rule (12th till 14th century), the region became inhabited by Slavic population. Prizren holds a crucial role in the history of the Albanian National Movement; it was also the host of the Albanian Union of Prizren, established on July 10, 1878.
Among the most visited are:Shatirvan Square, the Fortress and the surrounding compounds, Church of Saint Premta, Church of Saint Saviour, Bajrakli Mosque, Safi Sinan Pasha Mosque, city’s Hamams (Turkish public baths), city’s water sources, Stone Bridge and a large number of traditional folkloric houses, inherited through centuries.


Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 06: PRIZREN – RUGOVA – DECANE MONASTERY – VALBONA

After breakfast drive to Visit Decani Monastery (1.5 h driving)

Decani Monastery -One of Kosovo's absolute highlights, this ancient monastery is in an incredibly beautiful spot beneath the mountains and surrounded by a forest of pine and chestnut trees.

Drive to Rogova Canyon.
Rugova Canyon or Rugova Gorge - with a length of 25 km (16 mi) and a depth up to 1,000 meters, is considered to be one of Europe's longest and deepest canyons. It was created by water erosion and the retreat of the Peć glacier. The PećBistricariver cuts through the canyon. In 1985, Rugova Canyon was declared a protected monument of natural heritage due to its geological, hydrological, speleological and botanic values and its spectacular landscape.

Afternoon we enter Albania and overnight Valbona village.

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight.

**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant.
3 course menu drinks not included.

DAY 07: VALBONE – KOMAN- SHKODER

Breakfast in Hotel
Before getting ferry from Fierza to Koman BUS TOUR to beautiful Valbona valley national park

Valbona Valley National Park, also called the "Albanian miracle of the Alps”, offers clean air, high and characteristic mountain peaks, lakes, numerous water resources, forests, mountains, flora and fauna.

10:30 – 11:30 Transfer to Fierza ferry terminal
12:00 departure (group must be at least 30 min before for embarking)

It takes 2.5 h sailing from Fierza to Koman.

In the afternoon we arrive in Shkodra city.

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight.
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant.
3 course menu drinks not included.

DAY 08: SHKODER – THETH – SHKODER

After breakfast departure from SHKODRA for an unforgettable Jeep tour in Theth.
This tour will be driven by Jeeps that will offer comfort and security in the bumpy road to the most interesting town in Alps, Theth.

Upon arrival a short visit of the village of Theth when we will arrive. Another interesting place that tourists don’t miss to visit, is the “Kulla” (tower) of Theth, that gives you an idea of the kind of life those condemned by their family ties would lead as they waited, protected, during a blood feud. Program continue with a 20 minutes of walking by visiting the canyon and the Grunas waterfall, which by is the natural monument under state protection, 30 meters high, that all its water derives entirely from a rock and snow water. Depending on group request another place to be visited, is the Blue Eye. A moderate hike is needed to reach this wonderful spring formed by the erosion of the cliff by the river, where some bathtubs and waterfalls are created, which are the most beautiful sights in Albania. From the place where the Jeeps can reach, until to the Blue Eye is a pedestrian route and takes about 40 minutes for the person who walks with a normal walking. The Blue Eye is one of the rare beauties of the entire Albania. It is formed from the Black River, which flaw out from the Black Top.


After the exploration of the interesting village of the northern Alps of Albania, the comfortable jeeps will wait for you to bring you back to the start point.

Check in Hotel, accommodation and overnight
**Dinner in Hotel or Local restaurant
3 course menu drinks not included

DAY 09: SHKODER – KRUJE – AIRPORT

After breakfast in hotel Visit Shkodra

Shkodra- known as the “capital of north Albania” is one of the oldest cities in the country, founded in the 4th century B.C. as the center of the Labeat tribe of Illyrians. Shkodra’s main tourist attraction is Rozafa Castle. Rising majestically upon a rocky hill west of the city, the outcroppings and battlements paint a blazing picture against the setting sun. It is surrounded by the waters of three rivers; the Drini, Buna, and Kiri.

Rozafa Castle - The most important monument to visit in Shkodra is the Rozafa Castle, which rises from a rocky hill to the west of Shkodra. The waters of three rivers, Buna, Drini and Kiri, surround it. Rozafa is one of the major castles in Albania and the most important tourist attraction in Shkodra. The castle dates back to the Illyrians, when the Latin historian Titus Livius named it “the stronghold of the Labeates,” an Illyrian tribe on the shores of ShkodraLake . The Illyrian queen, Teuta, used it as a base in the war against Rome.

Afternoon visit the city of Kruja
KRUJA: is a medieval town located 32 km northwest of Tirana and 20 minutes from Tirana international Airport. In Kruja you can visit national ethnographic museum and Skanderbeg museum, both located in Kruja castle. It was from this fortress that Albania’s hero – George Kastrioti Skanderbeg – defended the country from Ottoman invasion over a period spanning three decades. From the castle you haves views of the Adriatic Sea. Kruja is one of Albania’s most important and popular tourist attractions.

Drive to Airport
(Group should be 2 h before flight departure)

 

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ALBANIA - FYROM - KOSOVO

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Additional Info

  • Days: 09
  • Country: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia
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