A unique possibility to explore the natural beauties and the historical treasures of Albania and Macedonia.
Day 1: Skopje Airport – Skopje (23 km)
After arrival at Skopje airport we drive to Skopje capital of Macedonia. In Skopje we, visit the old Turkish bazaar and Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the Castle of Skopje, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, the Macedonia Plaza and stone bridge. Overnight in Skopje
Day 2: Skopje – Prizren – Tirana (281 km)
After breakfast drive to Prizren, Kosovo for a short coffee break and admiring the old ottoman architecture of this town. Then continue to Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.
Day 3: Tirana – Apollonia – Vlora (158 km)
After breakfast depart to Apollonia one of the most important ancient learning centers in Roman times on the famous Via Egnatia. Due to its fame and importance it was known as Apollonia Prima built to honour Apollo. Caesar chose to send his nephew Augustus Octavian to study oratory in Apollonia which is testimony to the importance of this ancient city. After the visits continue on to Vlora where in the centre we have a look at Muradie Mosque, one of the early works of the famous architect Sinan of Albanian origin. After a free lunch we drive to a beautiful natural peninsula where we visit the Monastery of Zvernec amongst wonderful nature. Overnight in Vlora.
Day 4: Vlora – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda (160 km)
After breakfast we depart to Saranda through the spectacular Albanian Riviera with its traditional villages. At Llogara National Park we stop at around 1100 metres where spectacular views of the Ionian Sea can be admired. We continue and make a visit at the castle of Ali Pasha at Porto Palermo. Lunch on your own can be enjoyed here in one of the fish restaurants overlooking the castle and the beautiful turquoise sea. After lunch we will proceed to visit to the ancient city of Butrint-another UNESCO world heritage site. The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of different civilizations, making it an important discovery in the Mediterranean. It is situated in a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation offering visitors more than just old ruins. Overnight in Saranda.
Day 5: Saranda – Gjirokastra (UNESCO) (55 km)
In the morning we depart for Gjirokastra a museum town under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site with beautiful and very distinct architecture. On the way we will be visiting a remote village with a wonderful church called Labova of the Cross. Afterwards in Gjirokastra we will visit the Castle, part of which was turned into a political prison for dissidents of the communist regime and the Arms Museum. Visit to the Ethnographic Museum, which is also the house the Albanian dictator was born in, as well as a 300 year old house next to it, where the grandeur of Gjirokastra’s master builders can be observed. Dinner independently but recommendation will be made by our guide. Overnight in a Gjirokastra in a House turned hotel. A very interesting and unique experience.
Day 6: Gjirokastra (UNESCO) – Berat (UNESCO) (170 km)
After breakfast drive to Berat another wonderful Museum town and UNESCO site: Visit the Castle, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th century who had a preference for a particular red colour he used so much that it is known today as the Onufrian Red. Many of his wonderfully painted Icons still remain in the museum while others can be found in churches in Albania and Greece where he worked. We have a homemade lunch in Berat. After the lunch, in the downtown we visit the Leaden Mosque, the King’s Mosque, the Bachelor’s Mosque and the Alveti Tekke. Also we will pay a visit to a local family to see how life is today in the Berat old quarter. Overnight in Berat.
Day 7: Berat (UNESCO) - Elbasan - Ohrid (UNESCO) (160 km)
After breakfast depart for to the city of Ohrid. On the way we drive through rural villages with wonderful countryside landscapes and pass a Communist named village “New Life”. We stop at Elbasan for a visit at the castle. Afterwards drive to Ohrid in Macedonia where we visit the Church St. Sofia, built between the 11th and 14th century, which was the seat of the Archbishop. “St. Clement”, a classic Orthodox Byzantine church, dominating the Old Town, demonstrates the link between Byzantine and Italian Renaissance art. At “Plaoshnik”, in the 9 the century, St. Clement of Ohrid founded the first University of Europe and educated 3.500 students. Overnight in Ohrid.
Day 8: Ohrid (UNESCO) – Stobi – Skopje (172 km)
After breakfast we drive to Skopje capital of Macedonia on the Vardar River. On the way visit Stobi archaeological site, thought to be the most important excavation in Macedonia. This crossroad of ancient civilizations has left a rich legacy of antique theatres, palace ruins, brightly-coloured mosaics and religious relics for visitors to enjoy today. The city of Stobi is first mentioned in documents from the 2nd century B.C. However, archaeologists believe that the town had been inhabited at least 400 years earlier. Stobi became a rich and prosperous city due to its location on the crossroads of important trade routes. In Skopje we, visit the old Turkish bazaar and Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the Castle of Skopje, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, the Macedonia Plaza and stone bridge. Overnight in Skopje.
Day 9: Skopje – Airport (23 km)
End of our service.
Accommodation in good 3* 4* standard hotels with breakfast.
Transportation with comfortable a/c vehicle.
English (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese etc), speaking tour guide/driver.
All entrance fees.
All other meals apart from breakfast.
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