THE BALKANS TOUR

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Tirana, Albania
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Duration

14 days 13 nights

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English, Francais

About this tour

The “Balkan Tour” is a comprehensive and immersive 14-day journey through some of the most culturally rich and historically significant regions of the Balkans, starting and ending in Tirana, Albania. This tour provides an in-depth exploration of several countries, each with its unique heritage and attractions.

The “Balkan Tour” organized by Evasion Albania highlights several key aspects:

  1. Cultural Diversity: The tour covers multiple countries in the Balkans, each with its unique cultural heritage, showcasing a blend of Eastern European, Mediterranean, and Ottoman influences.
  2. Historical Richness: Visiting World Heritage sites, ancient ruins, medieval towns, and historic monasteries, the tour provides insights into the rich and varied history of the Balkan region.
  3. Natural Beauty: From the stunning Bay of Kotor and Biogradska National Park in Montenegro to the serene beaches of the Albanian Riviera and the deep waters of Lake Ohrid, the tour highlights the breathtaking natural landscapes of the Balkans.
  4. Architectural Wonders: Exploring architectural marvels, including the Ottoman-style towns of Ohrid and Berat, the Venetian-style city of Kotor, and the stone city of Gjirokastra.
  5. Local Experiences: The tour offers opportunities to immerse in local life, with visits to small towns and villages, allowing travelers to experience the Balkans’ authentic lifestyle.
  6. Culinary Journey: Sampling regional cuisines and local specialties, the tour provides a taste of the diverse culinary traditions of the Balkans.
  7. Comprehensive Itinerary: Spanning over two weeks, the tour allows for a thorough exploration of the Balkans, giving travelers time to absorb the essence of each destination.
  8. Varied Accommodations: Staying in a mix of hotels, ranging from modern city accommodations to traditional hotels that reflect the local architecture and heritage.

This tour offers a comprehensive and immersive experience, ideal for travelers who wish to explore the depth and diversity of the Balkan Peninsula.

Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrival in Tirana, Albania - Landing at Tirana's "Mother Theresa" international airport and transfer to the hotel.
  • Day 2: Kotor and Budva, Montenegro - Visit the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore the venetian-style town of Kotor. Proceed to Budva for an overnight stay.
  • Day 3: Kolasin and Biogradska National Park, Montenegro - Enjoy the natural beauty of Biogradska National Park, surrounded by black fir forests. Overnight stay in Kolasin.
  • Day 4: Peje Monastery, Kosovo - Visit the orthodox monastery of Peje, a World Heritage site, and explore the town of Peje. Overnight in Peje.
  • Day 5: Deçan Monastery and Prizren, Kosovo - Visit the World Heritage-listed Deçan Monastery, then travel to Prizren to explore its mosques and churches. Overnight in Prizren.
  • Day 6: Skopje, Macedonia - Explore Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, known for its ancient history and modern monuments. Overnight in Skopje.
  • Day 7: Ohrid, Macedonia - Discover Ohrid, an Ottoman-style town facing one of the world's deepest lakes. Overnight in Ohrid.
  • Day 8: Tushemisht and Korça, Albania - Stop in the village of Tushemisht and proceed to Korça, known for its museum of medieval art and orthodox icons. Overnight in Korça.
  • Day 9: Gjirokastra, Albania - Visit the UNESCO-listed city of Gjirokastra, explore its typical houses, fortress, and museums. Accommodation in a traditional-style hotel.
  • Day 10: Butrint and Saranda, Albania - Explore the Butrint National Park, a UNESCO site, followed by a visit to the modern seaside town of Saranda.
  • Day 11: Albanian Riviera and Vlora - Journey through the Riviera, visit Ali Pacha's castle, and explore Vlora, including its museum of Independence.
  • Day 12: Apollonia and Berat - Visit the ancient city of Apollonia and continue to Berat, the "city of 1001 windows," a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Day 13: Return to Tirana - Back in Tirana, visit the National Museum of History and key religious sites, exploring the city's vibrant life.
  • Day 14: Departure from Tirana - Final moments in Tirana before departing from the "Mother Theresa" airport.

Itinerary

Landing at the Tirana "Mother Theresa" international airport. There, you will be greeted and guided to your hotel.

Let's hit the road towards the amazing "Bay of Kotor". A stupendous nature and a beautiful venetian-style town gave to this place the classification as World Heritage. After discovering Kotor, we will head to the seaside town of Budva. Along the same architectural ligns, the old town of Budva provides many terrases and small restaurant that are worth the stop.

Overnight stay in Budva.

The black firs that gave its name to Montenegro surround the lake here and offer a lovely panorama. After a walk in the Biogradska National Park, we will head to the hotel to have some rest and find direct contact with the local nature.

Overnight stay in Kolasin.

The splendid orthodox monastery of Peje is a piece of art that fully deserves its classification as a World Heritage. Both the frescoes decorating its walls and its history are worth the visit. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the local daily life by visiting the small town of Peje. 

Overnight stay in Peje.

Today we will visit one more orthodox monastery. As a matter of fact, the artisitic and historical value of these places of worship makes them a must-visit of our journey. After visiting the monastery, also classified as a World Heritage, we will head to Prizren, a typical town in Kosovo, displaying many mosques and churches. Visit of the town.

Overnight stay in Prizren.

Alexander the Great? Yes, indeed, we are talking about Macedonia, land of Alexander the Great. In Skopje, you will discover a town both ancient and modern, with on the one hand its long history, and on the other hand its recent monuments decorating the center of the macedonian capital city. Visit of the city.

Overnight stay in Skopje.

Ohrid holds many points of interest: a piece of the Via Egnatia going through the town, Cyril and Methodius - the first to ever create a theology University in slavonic languages for the Southern Slavs - , Saint Mary's church - one of the most important orthodox churches avec Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, do you need any more? Ohrid is an Ottoman style town, facing one the deepest lakes in the World. Here are the wealth of this town.

Overnight stay in Ohrid

Short stop in the lacustrine village of Tushemisht. The movie "The lady from the town" (known by every generations of Albanians) was filmed in this village. You will learn more about this story by visiting the village.

Then, we will head to Korça, francophile town hosting a beautiful museum of medieval art, famous for its orthodox icons. Korça used to be a major town under the Albanian patriotic renaissance. 

The love serenades, typical of the town, will liven up your nights.

Overnight stay in Korça.

The city of stone will reveal the wealth for which it got classified as UNESCO World Heritage. Ismail Kadare's work "The fall of the stone city" will give you more details about the author's hometown. Actually, his house even became a museum. Paradoxically, Enver Hoxha, the communist dictator, also comes from this town.  Visit of one of the typical houses of Gjirokastra, and of its beautiful fortress.

Accomodation in a charming hotel, respecting the traditional architectural style of the town.

Butrint National Park is one of the wonders of the World. First Albanian site to become UNESCO classified, Butrint is a picturesque park. The monuments of this site offer a nice panorama of the passage of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians. The variety of the fauna and flora of the park, as well as it romantic landscape finish making this place seem like a piece of paradise.

Then, we will take the direction of Saranda, facing the greek island of Corfu. Saranda is a modern seaside town, with a lovely promenade along the sea.

The road towards the Riviera is surrounded by olive trees and typical small villages of this region of Albania. The show offered by the small turquoise coves of the Ionnian Sea becomes irresistible. The famous Ali Pacha of Tepelena had a castle built here, on a peninsula, in the middle of the blue. We will visit it in order to learn more about this story.

We will then take the road to Vlora. There, you will find a better understanding of the saying going like "Being proud like someone from Vlora" by visiting the town and its museum of Independance.

The Roman emperor Gaius Octavius studied in Apollonia of Illyria. The various monuments of this town: the odeon, the bouleuterion, the promenade, the monumental center, the archeological museum, and to finish te orthodox monastery inside the park, will have you immersed in the Antiquity lifestyle.

We will continue this day towards the city of 1001 windows, called Berat. It was listed by the UNESCO as a piece of World Heritage. The little streets of the "kala" quarter, and the museum of the famous XVIth peinter Onufri will give you some unforgettable memories.

And here we are, back in the capital city of Albania. With its brights colors and busy nightlife, Tirana is the nerve center of the country. By visiting the National Museum of History, you will have the opportunity to make a summary of the local history as well as your trip in Albania. Then, you will be able to visit all three must-see places of worship: the Et'hem Bey mosque, and the orthodox and catholic cathedrals. All three together will teach you more about the religious harmony prevailing in Albania.

One last nice coffee at the "Mother Theresa" airport before catching your flight and the one left thing to do is telling you ‘’Mirupafshim’’.

Durations

14 Days
Multi Day

Language

English
Francais

Frequently asked questions

The Balkan Tour is moderately paced with a mix of cultural visits and natural explorations. While it doesn't require intense physical activity, some walking, especially in historical sites and national parks, is involved. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. For specific activities like hiking in national parks, basic to moderate fitness is sufficient.

isa requirements depend on your nationality and the specific countries included in the tour. Most Balkan countries have straightforward entry requirements for many nationalities, but it's crucial to check individual visa policies for each country you will visit (Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia). Evasion Albania can provide guidance, but travelers are advised to verify the latest visa information before traveling.

The best time for the Balkan Tour is late spring (May to June) or early fall (September to October). These periods offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and the natural scenery is at its best. Summers can be quite warm, especially on the coast, and are also the peak tourist season, while winters can be cold, especially in the mountainous regions.

Tour's Location

Tirana, Albania

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Owner

evasion

Member Since 2023

Information Contact

Email

evasionalbanie@gmail.com

Website

evasionalbanie.com

Phone

+355 68 209 2564

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