8 days / 7 nights

ILLYRIA (BALKAN) EXPLORER – YELLOW ROUTE

Inclusions

meals
accomodation
sightseeing

Themes

Honeymoon
Adventure
Family
Summer

Snapshot

Visit the Skanderbeg Museum and castle as well as the old bazaar.  Visit its main sites including the old bazaar and clock tower, and then continue Rahovec Vinery where you will have the option to taste some wine.  we visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes.  Continue to Tetova, an important city of Macedonia where we visit its castle and old mosque. Visit the old town, castle, church, mosque, etc. 

Inclusions

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

Exclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Departure airport transfer
  • Tickets

Itinerary

Day 1
Tirana – Kruja – Lezha – Shkoder (101 km, 2h 05 min)
Start the day 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. We then head to Kruja, one of Albania’s most important towns due to the part it played in resistance against the Ottomans. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum and castle as well as the old bazaar. Today lunch will be included and the opportunity to eat some traditional food in Kruja. Later we continue to Lezha in the north west of the country where we visit the mausoleum of Skanderbeg and the castle before heading to Shkoder. Shkoder is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and was once a capital of the Illyrian state. We visit its old bazaar, cathedral and mosque before heading to Rozafa castle for spectacular views of the city, lake and the surrounding mountains. Overnight in Shkodër. 
Day 2
Koman Lake – Junik – Gjakova – Rahovec Vinery – Prizren (122 km, 4h 35 min) + boat trip in Koman Lake (2.5 hrs)
Today we journey from Shkoder to Valbona via Koman Lake. The 2 hour trip on Lake Komani was called “One of the Great Boat Trips of the World” by the Bradt Guide, and certainly the scenery is stunning. The Drin River was flooded along part of its most mountainous passage to create the lakes in this region. The journey takes you along glassy clear water, twisting and turning through narrow passes and past silent mountain peaks. After the completion of this memorable leg of the journey we continue to cross the border into Kosovo and drive to Junik where we visit the famous Kullat e Junikut (Junik Tower). The towers are castle-like houses with a special architecture built in white rock, where Albanians have for centuries sheltered to survive wars and conflicts. Then continue to Gjakova which lies on the banks of the River Erenik. Visit its main sites including the old bazaar and clock tower, and then continue Rahovec Vinery where you will have the option to taste some wine. Afterward continue to the city of Prizren, probably 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. Overnight in Prizren. 
Day 3
Monastery of Decan (UNESCO) – Peja – Pristine (295 km, 3h 50 min)
We then continue to the Monastery of Decan (UNESCO). The medieval church houses some of the most preserved fresco decoration in the Balkans and the grounds are also a delight. After arrival in to Peje we explore the Ottoman Empire time sites of the town including the Haxhi Beut Mosque and the old house of Jashar Pasha as well as the Sheremet Tower and the old bazaar. We continue 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 time 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. Overnight in Prishtinë. 
Day 4
Skopje
We continue to Macedonia stopping first at Gadime Cave. We cross the border and head to its capital Skopje. Upon arrival we visit some of the most important parts of the town, including the old Ottoman market, the monastery of Sveti Spas and the ancient Kale Fortress which dates back to Illyrian and Roman times. Overnight in Skopje. 
Day 5
Tetovo – Ohrid (UNESCO) (145 km, 2h 45 min)
Continue to Tetova, an important city of Macedonia where we visit its castle and old mosque. Then drive to the beautiful town of Ohrid, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. Overnight in Ohrid, 
Day 6
Elbasan – Berat (UNESCO) (160 km, 3h 20 min)
After breakfast we cross the border to Albania, where we visit Elbasan. It was a very old and important city in the Ancient Via Egnatia Road that used to connect Durres to Thessaloniki and Istanbul. We visit the old town, castle, church, mosque, etc. Then drive to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania and with a superbly preserved historic centre that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit its citadel which contains old churches, mosques and museums. Overnight in Berat. 
Day 7
Apollonia (UNESCO candidate) – Ardenica Monastery – Durres (UNESCO candidate) – Tirana (212 km, 3h 55 min)
After breakfast drive to Apollonia. Visit the ancient city of Apollonia, dating back to the 6th century BC. Then continue to visit Ardenica Monastery. Afterward continue to Durres. This port city has the largest Roman amphitheater in the region (20,000 seats), dating back to the 2nd century built during Trajan Emperor rule. Visit archeological museum, amphitheater, roman Baths, Byzantine Bazar. Drive back to Tirana for our final night where you will enjoy a farewell dinner with traditional food (included). Overnight in Tirana. 
Day 8
Departure
After breakfast depature to onward journey 

Accomodations

3 STAR
Aristocrat Hotel or Similar, Hotel Prizren or Similar, Hotel Tradita or Similar, Kruja Hotel or Similar, Osumi Hotel or Similar or similar
4 STAR
Begolli Hotel or Similar, Hotel Villa St. Sofija 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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