8 days / 7 nights

ILLYRIA (BALKAN) EXPLORER – GOLDEN ROUTE

Inclusions

meals
accomodation
activities
transfer
sightseeing

Themes

Honeymoon
Adventure
Family
Summer

Snapshot

Elbasan which was a very important city in ancient time where in Roman empire time was called “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Rome-Naples-Bari-Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul.  Visit Galerius Arch (Kamara), Rotunda, Archaeological Museum, St. Demetrius church, Roman Forum, Our Lady "of the Coppersmiths" church, Bey Hamam Baths (Paradise Baths, church of Holly Wisdom, Museum of Byzantine Civilization, White Tower.   visit the old Castle, a medieval fortress surrounded by four towers and the highest point of the city - the central tower from which you can see an amazing view of the whole city and the Aegean Sea.  Tekirdağ is the capital of Tekirdağ Province. Tekirdag is on the Marmara Sea coast of Thrace, and has been settled from the beginning of history like other important places of the region. Visit the most fascinating places of interest: the forum of Ancient Serdica (the old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time, which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian presidency.Explore the city visiting its main sites such as the Orthodox Church and the Carshi Mosque, dating back to the early 15th century. We then head to the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient Roman city that was once one of the most powerful in the Balkans. Later we visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes. and Ulpiana antic Darnadian-Illyrian city remaining form roman period.

Inclusions

  • Drop off at the hotel.
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • 3-4 star Hotel
  • Pick up from the hotel
  • Guide
  • Bed and breakfast

Exclusions

  • Tickets
  • Departure airport transfer
  • Arrival airport transfer

Itinerary

Day 1
Tirane – Elbasan – Ohrid (UNESCO) (North Macedonia) – Bitola (UNESCO) (ancient Heraclea)
Tirane – Elbasan - Ohrid (UNESCO) (North Macedonia) - Bitola (UNESCO) (ancient Heraclea). After breakfast travel to Elbasan. Elbasan which was a very important city in ancient time where in Roman empire time was called “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Rome-Naples-Bari-Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. City tour to visit: Elbasan Castle (dating back to 4rth Century BC), The Clock, The ethnographic Museum, Church, The Old Mosque. Then we continue the beautiful city of Ohrid, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit first the Sveti Naum Monastery, a beautiful site with impressive views of Lake Ohrid across to Albania. Explore its mixture of western and oriental architecture including the Orthodox Cathedral, the 11th century church of St Sofia as well as the Roman theater. Continue the road to Bitola. The road leads to city of Resen and the biggest apple orchards in this part of the Balkans. First we will visit the ancient city of Heraclea Lincestis, the best preserved ancient city in Macedonia. Build in the 4th century BC, and conquered by the Romans 2 centuries latter. Heraclea Lincestis is famous for its beautiful mosaics, antique theater and roman baths. First excavations were taken after the First World War and then was discovered the beauty and importance of this ancient city – the Roman baths, Episcope basilica, Synagogue, portico, Roman theater – in which in modern times plays and music concerts are held. Overnight in Bitola. 
Day 2
Edessa (Greece) – Pella – Thessaloniki (UNESCO)
Edessa (Greece) - Pella - Thessaloniki (UNESCO). In the morning after breakfast, continue to cross the border with Greece and continue Edessa. A glorious past of Byzantine churches and Macedonian houses unfolds around you as you stroll through Varosi. Back in the present, the city will entertain you in the evening at Katarraktakia (Little Waterfalls) and serve you local delicacies in Flamouria. The town’s gifts flow as freely as its water; enjoy them as you would a cool, refreshing drink. Then continue to Pella, which is an ancient Macedonian city located in Greece, best known as the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. On the site of the ancient city is the Archaeological Museum of Pella. Then continue to Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is one of the best places to visit not only for city breaks but also for longer holidays! And that is because Thessaloniki in not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the numerous Byzantine monuments, but it is also a beautiful modern European city full of life! Possibility to visit Galerius Arch (Kamara), Rotunda, Archaeological Museum, St. Demetrius church, Roman Forum, Our Lady "of the Coppersmiths" church, Bey Hamam Baths (Paradise Baths, church of Holly Wisdom, Museum of Byzantine Civilization, White Tower. Overnight in Thessaloniki. 
Day 3
Kavala – Alexandroupolis
After breakfast, continue to Kavala. Kavala’s past and present sparkle with the first rays of dawn. It is very beautiful due to its location on the slope of the mountain: white city houses with terraces descend to the sea, along which stretches a beautiful embankment with many old and modern houses, museums, beautiful beaches, taverns, shops and simply picturesque places. Kavala has long been a tourist destination in Greece from all over the World. Walking tour in the Old Town through ancient cobblestone streets, you will visit the old Castle, a medieval fortress surrounded by four towers and the highest point of the city - the central tower from which you can see an amazing view of the whole city and the Aegean Sea. Then continue to Alexandroupolis. Its old name was in Ottomans time was Dedeagach, and it was a fishing village. During the numerous wars, it was occupied by different cultures: Bulgarians, Turks, Russians, etc. Not only is the city pretty, but so is its natural environment: located on the seashore, near Turkey and also very close to spectacular natural parks, such as those in Dadia and Lefkimi. We walk around the lighthouse; there are lots of bars and locals, with a great atmosphere. As for one of the city's main attractions, the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, the stone building is impressive, but I found the visit really boring. In this museum, you can look at artefacts to imagine how life was for the majority of Thrace's inhabitants. Overnight in Alexandroupoli. 
Day 4
Tekirdag (Turkey) – Istanbul (UNESCO)
Tekirdag (Turkey) - Istanbul (UNESCO). After breakfast, continue to Tekirdagi. Tekirdağ is a city in Turkey. It is a part of the region historically known as Eastern Thrace. Tekirdağ is the capital of Tekirdağ Province. Tekirdag is on the Marmara Sea coast of Thrace, and has been settled from the beginning of history like other important places of the region. Its ancient name was Bisanthe, while today’s name originates from the color of the surrounding mountains. There are several historical places in the city, some of which are the Rakoczy Museum, the Rustem Pasha Mosque, the Tekirdag Museum and the statue of Namik Kemal, the celebrated patriotic poet whose birth-place is Tekirdag. Corlu, is a small town of Tekirdag, was a citadel on the antique road between Istanbul and West Europe in the Illyrin-Roman-Byzantine-Ottoman period. Then continue to Istanbul. Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. Explore the historic Old City on a fascinating where we can see Istanbul's top 6 attractions: the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul. 
Day 5
Edirne (UNESCO) – Plovdiv (UNESCO) Bulgaria
After breakfast, continue to Edirne. Edirne, formerly Adrianople or Hadrianople, city, extreme western Turkey. It lies at the junction of the Tunca and Maritsa (Turkish: Meriç) rivers, near the borders of Greece and Bulgaria. The largest and oldest part of the town occupies a meander of the Tunca around the ruins of an ancient citadel. Edirne’s site and turbulent history were determined by its strategic position on the main route from Asia Minor (Anatolia) to the Balkans. We will visit Selimiye Mosque, Old Mosque, Uc Serefeli Mosque and Tower Gate in the city center. Next is we will continue to reach Plovdiv, the “City of the seven hills’’. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, still existing today. It was called Philippopolis in the IV century B.C. in honor of King Philip II of Macedonia. Today Plovdiv is a cultural center and is selected as European Capital of Culture for 2019. walking through the cobbled streets of Plovdiv’s Old Town, The Ancient Roman Theater, Kapana Creative District, The Roman Stadium, The Longest Pedestrian Street in Europe and The Secretive Tobacco Town that once was the heart of the tobacco industry in Bulgaria. Overnight in Bulgaria. 
Day 6
Sofia – Skopje (North Macedonia)
After breakfast, departure to Sofia. Panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital – an 8500-years old city called “My Rome” by the emperor Constantine The Great. Visit the most fascinating places of interest: the forum of Ancient Serdica (the old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time, which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian presidency. Next is the St. Nedelya square, where 4 worship buildings of the main religions in Bulgaria are located next to each other. These are the Orthodox Church St. Nedelya, the Catholic church, the Synagogue and the Mosque. They form a quadrangle, symbolizing the peace between different religions in Bulgaria. Our tour continues with the “Alexander I” square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, “Tzar Osvoboditel” boulevard, the Parliament, the Church of ”St. Sofia” (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral (the biggest Orthodox church on the Balkan peninsula). Then continue to Skopje. walk through the landmarks of the old part of Skopje, starting with the Skopje Castle placed on a hill, which gives a view to the old and the new part of Skopje. Then continue with walking down toward Mustafa Pasha Mosque (1492) and the church of Holy Savior (18th Century), then to the historical district known as the Skopje’s Old Bazaar characterized by architectural mixture of churches, mosques, inns, baths, many craftsmen’s shops, old buildings, restaurants and pubs and small shops. Overnight in Skopje. 
Day 7
Prishtina (Pristina) – Prizren (UNESCO candidate)
After breakfast drive to Pristina.Explore the city visiting its main sites such as the Orthodox Church and the Carshi Mosque, dating back to the early 15th century. We then head to the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient Roman city that was once one of the most powerful in the Balkans. Later we visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes. and Ulpiana antic Darnadian-Illyrian city remaining form roman period. Then continue to Prizren. this city, probably is the most attractive town in Kosovo with superbly preserved buildings from the Ottoman era. We visit the castle which is one of the oldest in the Balkans (almost 3 millenniums), built to protect the city from attacks, the ornate Bajrakli Mosque and the old Turkish Hammam among other sights. Prizren is an absolute highlight of any visit to Kosovo and to see the old houses of the old town in low light as the sun sets is a delight. Then we continue to Tirane. After arrival and check in the hotel, we start exploring Albania’s capital. We visit Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania’s national hero, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, one of the oldest buildings in Tirana, and the Archaeological Museum among other sites. Panoramic walking tour to visit the Skanderbeg Square, Mosque of Et’hem Bey (1824), the Clock Tower (1822), and government buildings, and BunkArt. Overnight in Tirane. 
Day 8
Departure
After breakfast depature to onward journey 

Accomodations

3 STAR
Abc Hotel or Similar, Bela Kuka Hotel or Similar, De Koka Hotel or Similar, Evmolpia Hotel or Similar, Hotel Sali or Similar, Marcello Hotel or Similar, Vila Verde Hotel or Similar or similar

Policies

  • Above rates are subject to availability.
  • Cancellation charges as per company policy.
  • The above rates are subject to change in case of travel during the festive season
  • In case we are not able to provide the same hotels as mentioned, then we shall provide similar alternate properties, change in the cost if any will be advised.
  • In case of Political Unrest, bad weather or sudden breakdown of the vessel we may shift guest to alternative govt ferry and no refund will be entertained during that situation.
  • Our Executive may change your itinerary depending on the weather condition and ferry availability same will be update to you daily basis.

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