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Skopje and the Balkans

ITINERARY

Visit: Skopje, Ohrid, Thessaloniki, Volos, Athens, Meteora, Tirana, Budva, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split, Mostar, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje

Day 1 (Friday): Skopje

Welcome to Skopje, upon your arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Starting at 15:00pm, the afternoon will be for a gentle walking tour of the centre, visit Kale Fortress, the Church of the Holy Savior with its iconostas, one of the finest samples of traditional walnut woodcarving, Old Bazaar and Stone Bridge. Overnight in Skopje.

Day 2 (Saturday): Skopje - Ohrid

This morning, we drive to Ohrid, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is known as the 'Macedonian Jerusalem' due to its large number of churches. Nestled on the shores of a large lake which is renowned for the clarity of its water. Discover highlights of Ohrid, The church of St. Sofia (11th century), the most eminent medieval monument in Macedonia with magnificent Byzantine fresco paintings and St. Clement Church with its icon of Annunciation. Overnight in Ohrid.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 (Sunday): Ohrid - Thessaloniki (Greece)

Today we set off towards Thessaloniki, famous for its UNESCO listed Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments and the foreshore lined with cafes, cocktail lounges, bars and restaurants. We will stop off for a break in Bitola, maybe grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes Sirok Sokak Street or Magnolia Square. An optional tour of Bitola is also available. Overnight in Thessaloniki.

Meals: Breakfast 

Day 4 (Monday): Thessaloniki - Volos - Athens

Today we head for Athens. Along the way we'll stop for a break at Volos, a hidden gem in Eastern Greece on the Pagasetic Gulf, overlooked by Mt. Pelion, home to the Centaurs of Greek mythology. Hire a bike or stroll along the foreshore where there are numerous cafes and restaraunts to be found. Overnight in Athens.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 (Tuesday): Athens

Today is a free day to explore Athens or take one of our optional tours: Half Day Acropolis Tour or Corinth Canal Tour. Overnight in Athens.

Meals: Breakfast 

Day 6 (Wednesday): Athens - Meteora

Today we head to Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a unique and enchanting place where monasteries are elevated by otherworldly sandstone pillars. We spend an evening in the nearby traditional Greek village of Kalambaka.. Overnight in Kalambaka.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 (Thursday): Meteora - Drilon Springs - Tirana (Albania)

Today we leave Greece behind and head towards Tirana, the capital of Albania. We will have a break along the way at the Drilon Springs. A national park, a wooded area with a lake with an island in the middle, a bridge to access the many restaraunts. Maybe hire a row boat to explore the area. Overnight in Tirana.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 (Friday): Tirana - Budva - Kotor (Montenegro)

After breakfast, we drive to Budva, Montenegro. Apart from its natural beauty, its bay islands and beaches, Budva is rich in historic monuments. Budva Old Town lies on a small peninsula and represents a treasure chest of culture heritage. Crossed with narrow streets and squares are famous buildings, the Church St. Trojica, housing the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava. We continue to Kotor, which is set on the beautiful Bay of Kotor and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Amongst the sights to see, at Kotor, are the well-preserved Old Town and its city walls, along which you can walk, and the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, built in 1166. Overnight in Kotor.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 (Saturday): Kotor - Dubrovnik - Trogir (Croatia)

We continue along beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik, another UNESCO World Heritage site and a city legendary for its well-preserved stone walls, and is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. On arrival, head out on a guided walk along the city walls, enjoying views of the Adriatic Sea. You'll also visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, built by the European architect Onofrio della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city, the 13th century Franciscan monastery and the Sponza and Rector's Palaces. In the afternoon, we will drive along the Adriatic coast line towards to Trogir. Overnight in Trogir.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 (Sunday): Trogir - Split - Mostar

After breakfast we will travel a short distance to Split and have walking tour of the city visiting, Diocletian Palace, a Roman imperial palace and UNESCO World Heritage site. We will walk the southern part of palace, the Bronze Gates, through the Vestibul of the Emperor's Palace, The Mausoleum, St. Dujam's Cathedral, Cathedral Treasury, Temple of Jupiter, St. Martin's Church (Golden Gate) and conclude the tour at the fruit square and visit the Venetian castle, Milesi Palace and the Monument of Marko Marulic. In the afternoon we drive to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Overnight in Mostar.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 (Monday): Mostar - Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

This morning we have a guided tour of Mostar. The city was the most heavily bombed settlement in Bosnia during the war, but it has since been rebuilt and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. We visit the famous Stari Most Bridge, originally built by the Ottomans in 16th century. It was the great architect Mimar Hajrudin who succeeded with the impossible mission to cross the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. Afterwards, we drive to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital, a town situated in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of Herzegovina. Overnight in Sarajevo.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 (Tuesday): Sarajevo

This morning we have a guided tour of Sarajevo. Twenty years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful and interesting cities. The city mixes east and west dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and the aroma of coffee. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's old bazaar and you must try the local specialty of 'bosanski cevapi' (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices). Optional tours of the Tunnel of Hope and Vrelo Bosne are available for the afternoon. Overnight in Sarajevo.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 13 (Wednesday): Sarajevo - Belgrade

This morning, after breakfast, we depart for Serbia's capital, Belgrade, which is famous for its grand Orthodox churches and museums. In the afternoon we have a guided tour of Belgrade visiting the city's wide boulevards and squares, and the historic and green heart of Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kelmegdan Fortress, which has overlooked the Danube River here for centuries. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 (Thursday): Belgrade

Today is a free day to explore Belgrade. Maybe, head down to Skadarska Street in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively atmosphere, in a place where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs. Optional tour available to Novi Sad or Sremski Karlovci. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 (Friday): Belgrade - Skopje (Macedonia)

Early departure from Belgrade towards the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. Overnight in Skopje.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 16 (Saturday): Skopje

After breakfast, our tour concludes with a transfer to Skopje airport.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Escorted Package Includes:

  • Inbound Transfer - Skopje (Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (SKP) )
  • Outbound Transfer - Skopje (Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (SKP) )
  • English speaking tour leader throughout the tour
  • Professional English speaking local tour guides at each site
  • Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle
  • Tips except driver and guide
  • 15 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast daily except on day 1

 

Not Inlcuded:

  • Tips: Driver and Guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Optional activities
  • Greece - Hotel Residence Tax
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions

 

Hotels (or similar):

  • Skopje: Best Western Hotel Turist 4*
  • Ohrid: Belvedere Hotel 4*
  • Thessaloniki: Tobacco Hotel 4*
  • Athens: Ambrosia Suites / Ilisia Hotel 4*
  • Kalambaka: Antoniadis Hotel 4*
  • Tirana: Tirana International Hotel 4*
  • Kotor: Hotel Splendido 4*
  • Trogir: T.B.A. 3*
  • Mostar: Hotel Kapetanovina 3*
  • Sarajevo: Astra Hotel 3*
  • Belgrade: Prime Hotel 4*

 

Tour Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and group tours are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (fz)

Package Information

  • Duration: 16 Days/15 Nights
  • Type: Coach Tour
  • Departures: May - October 2021
  • Cities Visited: Skopje, Ohrid, Thessaloniki, Volos, Athens, Meteora, Tirana, Budva, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split, Mostar, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje
  • Price From: $ 4,005