Day 1


FLY TO TIRANA
Reception and meeting of the group with our representative at Tirana International Airport. Join our tour of Kruja and check in to our hotel. Overnight in Tirana. (D)

Day 2


KRUJA TO SHKODRA
The main highlight in Kruja is the citadel, from where the Albania's greatest hero, Skanderberg, led the resistance against the Ottoman domination. He succeeded in ousting the Turks in 1443 and Albania was free for the next 30 years. Today the fortress is a place of pilgrimage and inspiration for Albanians; it enjoys a classic setting high on a ridge staring out to the Adriatic coast, approached via pine clad hills. We will visit the fortress and the bazaar before continuing to Shkodra. Shkodra is the traditional centre of the Gheg cultural region and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. We will visit the Rozafa fortress, which enjoys a panoramic view of the town and lake. The afternoon is free to explore. Overnight in Shkodra.(B,D)

Day 3


SHKODRA TO VALBONA

We leave Shkodra and head for the picturesque Valbona Valley. We check-in to a mountain hotel located in the centre of the valley, amidst the jagged peaks of the Accursed Mountains and enjoy the afternoon exploring the village on foot. Overnight in Valbona. (B,D)

Day 4


VALBONA VALLEY
Valbona is one of the most beautiful alpine valleys of Albania. Today we will hike into the side valley of Kukaj, making our way through the forest towards alpine pastures that offer breathtaking views of the valley and the surrounding mountains. We will have a picnic lunch and later visit a shepherd's family to taste a cup of fresh mountain tea. In the afternoon, there is time to relax before a traditional dinner of lamb on the spit is served (vegetarian options also available). Overnight in Valbona. (B,D)

Day 5


VALBONA –DECANI-PEJA
Today we cross the border into Kosovo where we spend the next five days. Kosovo is the world's newest country and has been independent only since 2008. Unfortunately, to most people Kosovo is most known for its war. However, it is a fascinating country boasting lots of treasures from past empires including Greek, Roman, Turkish and Ottoman. Driving through the town of Gjakova, we will then stop to visit the 'kulla' of Junik (traditional Albanian mountain houses) before arriving at the beautiful Deçani Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Monastery was established in 1327 by the Serb King Stefan Uros III Decanski and is a superbly situated showpiece of Orthodox art. Then, we drive to the town of Peja. The afternoon will be spent visiting the town's attractions on foot. Overnight in Peja (B,D)

Day 6


PEJA
We will visit the highlands of Peja. As we exit the town, we stop to visit the church complex of Peja Patriarch, surrounded by the peaks of the Rugova Bjeshk (highlands), the Kosovo part of the Accursed Mountains and boasting amazing frescoes. Our day will continue with an impressive drive through the dramatic Rugova Gorge to the alpine location of Boga, where we will stop and start a short hike to a nearby lake. In the evening, we return to Peja and spend the evening in town. Overnight in Peja. (B,D)

Day 7


PEJA TO PRISTINA
We leave Peja and visit the waterfall of Drini Bardhe near the Montenegro border. The drive will then continue towards the outskirts of Pristina where we visit the Kosovo battle memorial. The memorial devoted to the martyred Serb knights is located where the Battle of Kosovo took place on 28th June 1389. Verses praising the heroism of the Serb knights are chiseled in bronze letters on the stone slabs and can be read in the interior of the monument. Then, we arrive in Pristina, the Kosovo capital which largely escaped damage in the war. Free afternoon to explore and relax in its many bars and restaurants. Overnight in Pristina. (B,D)

Day 8


PRISTINA TO PRIZREN
We leave the capital driving through rolling hills till we reach the region of Rahovec - the wine cellar of Kosovo. Here we will visit a few wine makers before making our way to the village of Hoqa e Vjeter - a Serbian enclave village, where we will visit a monastery of Gracanica, one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture. That also makes wine. In the afternoon we drive to Prizren - a town dominated by ottoman villas - perhaps the most typical town of Kosovo, and spend the evening there. Overnight in Prizren. (B,D)

 

Day 9

PRIZREN
This morning, we stroll the streets of historic Prizren, an eclectic mix of Mediterranean, Orthodox, Ottoman and Islam flavours. It is a pretty town with many mosques, monasteries and narrow cobbled alleys. There is also some residual damage from firings in 1999 and 2004, which leave a scar upon the town. We will visit the Prizren League Museum, the Turkish Hammam, the old mosques, and the Bogoslavia church. There is then some time to explore at your own pace, perhaps visiting its myriad of small shops selling everything from jewellery to oriental sweets. In the afternoon we will visit the fortress of Tzar Dushan, located inside a narrow gorge. Then we drive to the Sharr National Park where we will spend the night. Overnight in Sharr. (B,D)

Day 10

SHARR TO SKOPJE
The day will start with a wonderful drive through the forests Sharr National Park till we reach Brezovica which in winter is a skier's heaven. It also has beautiful trails that can make great walks in the summer with breathtaking views. A short walk on a forest trail will bring us to the meadows of Potok where we can taste a picnic lunch with Sharr mountains fresh produce, and enjoy the stunning scenery around. In the afternoon we will continue to drive on a beautiful forest road that will lead to the border crossing of Globocic, where we will say farewell to Kosovo and hello to Macedonia. We will head for the capital city of Skopje. Overnight. (B,D)

Day 11

SKOPJE TO MAVROVO
In Skopje we visit the main attractions of the Macedonian capital including the Kale Fortress, the Ottoman Bazaar and the Sveti Spas monastery. A short transfer will then bring us to the town of Tetovo, where we will visit the colored mosque. Drive to the picturesque location of Mavrovo National Park, where we can have leisurely walks before dinner. Overnight in Mavrovo. (B,D)

Day 12

MAVROVO – OHRID-POGRADEC
We leave Mavrovo and take the scenic road towards the Debar region, continuing along the lakes of the Black Drin River that generates most of the hydropower of the country. We stop in Struga to visit the springs of the river and have lunch. In the afternoon a short transfer will bring us to Lake Ohrid. The lake is situated against a dramatic mountain backdrop. Founded over 2400 years ago, Ohrid has a wealth of heritage and is today an important cultural and spiritual centre. To help its protection both the town and lake were classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980. Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest in the world and allegedly there are some 365 churches, monasteries and other religious sites around the lake. We will visit the city's main attractions as well as St Naum Monastery before transferring to Pogradec for overnight. Overnight in Pogradec. (B,D)

Day 13

POGRADEC TO TIRANA

Travel to Tirana we stop for lunch in Elbasan. We enjoy a city tour including visits to the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Clock Tower, the National Museum, National Art Gallery, Skanderbeg Square, Grand Park and various government buildings. Overnight in Tirana. (B,D)

 

Day 13

TIRANA TO AIRPORT
After breakfast transfer to airport.(B)

 

• Accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels on a B&B basis
• Meals as specified (B = breakfast, D= Dinner)
• All transfers and transportation with air conditioned vehicles
• Escorted journey with a professional English/German/Italian speaking guide
• Entrance fees for places visited

Lunch

Travel Insurance

Tips and gratuities

 

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Tel: 355 4 2240819

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