Balkan tour Montenegro + Albania + Macedonia (2)
Day 1: Start of the tour, Kotor
Arrival from Dubrovnik (border crossing Debeli Brijeg), tour in the Boka Kotorska Bay: The trip begins passing through Herceg Novi - The first town on the west of Montenegrin coast. First stop is in Risan, a little town on the border of Kotor Bay, known for it’s archeological site with roman mosaics. After the visit of roman mosaics in Risan, short transfer to Perast, „the baroque town“. Perast existed as village long time before the Baroque period, but it grew into an important maritime center during 17th and 18th century. Boat transfer to the island Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), and visit of the church and museum on the island. Boat transfer back to Perast, and free time or visit of town museum. Transfer to Kotor. Visit of the old town, surrounded by 4,5 km long town walls and its cathedral from 12th century. Lunch in a restaurant, and transfer to Budva – the capital of Montenegrin tourism. Free afternoon, dinner and overnight in a hotel in Budva.
Day 2: Budva – Cetinje
Breakfast in the hotel, departure towards the old town Budva. Visit of the old town founded in 4th century B.C. Departure towards Cetinje, former capital of Montenegro. After the arrival to Cetinje, visit of the town and one of numerous museums of Cetinje. Free time for coffee, and departure towards Njeguši, village situated on the Lovćen Mountain. Traditional lunch in a restaurant in Njeguši – village famous not only for its history, but also for production of smoked ham and cheese. After lunch, transfer back to the coast by the old sinuous road. Possible stop for a coffee in Tivat, modern town in Boka Kotorska Bay. After the break, return to Budva, dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 3: Skadar lake – Podgorica
After two days of cultural visits, the day 3 is dedicated to the nature. After the breakfast, departure towards Northern Montenegro driving along the coast, and turning towards the Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the Balkans. After a photo break near the lake, the trip continues across Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro. From Podgorica, the road goes through the Canyon of Morača, deep up to 1000m. Visit of the Morača Monastery founded in XIII century, one of the most important monasteries in Montenegro. The trip continues on the mountain road up to the lake Biogradsko Jezero, situated in the national park Biogradska Gora, at the altitude of 1100m. Lunch in the restaurant near the lake, and free time for a walk around the lake. Afternoon, transfer back to Budva, dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 4: Bar – Ulcinj – Albania
Departure in the morning towards Bar – town situated at the south of Montenegro, and visit of the old town Bar. Transfer to Ulcinj, the southest town in Montenegro, visit of the old town and lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch transfer to Albania. Transfer in Kruja medieval town. This is one of the most visted towns in Albania also for the reason because its history is closely realted with the national hero Skanderbeg. Visit in the castle houseing the national Historical museum and the Ethnographic museum to get more info about the tradtions of the area. After that some free time at the typical bazaar for souvenir shopping. Late in the afternoon transfer to Tirana (the capital of Albania) for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Tirana – Durres
After breakfast in the hotel, depart for the sightseeing tour of Tirana, starting from the Skanderbeg square. Visit in the National History Museum with rich objects that prove the long history, E`them Bey Mosque, Clock Tower etc. Then continue to the main boulevard where are found the different ministries, Academy of Fine Arts, Main University etc. After Tirana departure trip to the ancient city of Durres, that is also the most important seaport in Albania. Visit the Amphitheatre, the biggest in the Balkan Peninnsula (capacity 15.000 spectators) with a rare wall mosaic, which belongs to the 2nd century A.D and the Archeological Museum. Dinner and overnight in Durres.
Day 6: Berat
After breakfast in the hotel depart towards Berat. Few kilometers before entering the town, possibility for visiting one of the nicest Albanian wineries. There the clients can taste some local cheese with the Albanian wine. Afterwards continue to Berat. While you approach the centre of the city, the typical buildings impress you. Visit to the castle, built up on a rocky hill 260m above the sea level. Churches here have survived within its powerful stony walls. With interest, is the church, which preserves wooden-engraved iconostasis, housing the “Onufri” museum. Visit to the other objects: Lead Mosque, Bachelor’s Mosque, Gorica Bridge and some of the dwelling houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Dinner and overnight in Berat.
Day 7: Elbasan – Macedonia (Ohrid)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart early towards Macedonia. On the way stop in the Elbasan with a some nice remaining of the castle of the town. Have a coffee break inside a coffee shop inside the wall of the castle. Then continue to Macedonian – Albanian border. Afternoon visit of the cave church in Kalishta and visit of Struga. Accommodation and dinner in hotel in Ohrid lake coast.
Day 8: Full day Ohrid and Ohrid lake sightseeing
Morning walking tour (3 hours) in old Ohrid with visit of most famous Ohrid sites – Church of Mother of God, the Icon gallery, the ancient theatre, Ohrid fortress, new St. Clement’s church, church of St. John, Kaneo and the main church of St. Sofia. Time at leisure in old Ohrid or optional lunch. Afternoon departure to St Naum monastery at the south part of the lake. Visit in the monastery and optional boat ride above the springs of Black Drim river. Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
Day 9: Mavrovo - Skopje
In the morning departure to Mavrovo NP. Drive along the lake made by Drim river. Visit of the biggest Macedonian monastery – the Bigorski monastery. Arrival in Skopje in the afternoon. Skopje sightseeing with walking tour in old Skopje bazaar, Skopje fortress Kale and visit of St. Spas church. The walking tour will continue to the new part of the city with visit of the memorial house of mother Teresa. Dinner and overnight in Skopje.
Day 10: Leave from Skopje
Check out from the hotel and leave Macedonia (or optional visit in Matka gorge near Skopje if the clients have a free morning).