AED 6’366 International Price
$ 1’675.26 International Price
€ 1’273.20 International Price
£ 1’061 International Price
A tour where past and presents collide and intertwine not only in the plentiful sites and monuments of this two fascinating countries but also in everyday life. Especially enhanced is this mixture in rural areas where one can almost feel in certain elements as if time has stopped still a few decades back at least. Enjoy the rewarding beauties of Albania and Macedonia.
Day 1: Arrival Skopje – Prizren (Kosovo) (2 hours driving time)
From all the cities of Kosovo, Prizren has best preserved the architectural style of the past. Dinner and overnight in Prizren.
Day 2: Prizren – Kruja – Tirana (3.5 hours driving time)
Scanderbeg resisted the Ottoman occupation for 25 years impeding their progress deeper into Europe at a time the Ottomans were seeking expansion in the West, while Albania and the Balkans paid the ultimate price of falling under the Ottoman occupation for nearly 500 years. We visit the Castle with two great Museums and the Old Ottoman style bazaar.
Drive to capital Tirana where we visit the National History Museum with a great introduction into Albanian history and take a tour of the Bllok where the communist elite had its villas, an area off limits for ordinary Albanians for 50 years. Dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Day 3: Tirana – Apollonia ancient city – Vlore (3 hours driving time)
Visit the city and an Orthodox monastery turned into an archaeological museum. After the visits continue on to Vlora where we have dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Vlora – Butrint (UNESCO) – Gjirokastra (4 hours driving time)
Afterwards continue along the wonderful coast to the ancient city of Butrint another UNESCO World Heritage considered the best archaeological site in Albania and probably one of the most important in the Balkans. The site has been occupied since at least the 8th century BC, and myths associated with its origins speak of the city’s foundation by Trojan exiles.
The city was first settled by Greek colonists and was continuously inhabited for centuries forming archaeological layers of passing civilizations, giving archaeologists the possibility to study continuity through time. It is situated on a beautiful peninsula among dense vegetation. After a thorough visit drive to Gjirokastra- a UNESCO town for its unique architecture where we overnight.
Day 5: Gjirokastra (UNESCO) – Berat (UNESCO) (3.5 hours driving time)
Afterwards depart for Berat, one of the most visited and characteristic towns in Albania under the protection of UNESCO as a patronage of humanity for its architectural uniqueness. We visit the Castle and the Onufri Museum. Berat castle is of particular interest as people still live within its walls in their traditional houses, as have their ancestors for centuries.
The castle used to have over 40 churches of which 7 still remain including St.Mary’s church turned into Onufri Museum. Onufri was a famous Albanian Icon master painter of the 16th century who painted many orthodox churches in Albania and Greece, using a special red colour.
Berat is also known for its close ties with religious practice as two of the oldest bibles in the world have been found here. One dates back from the 6th century AD and the other from the 9th century AD and are internationally renowned for their theological importance.
We have a homemade type lunch in one of the houses in the castle turned restaurant. (optional). Overnight in Berat in the old district of Mangalem in beautiful old house turned hotel.
Day 6: Berat – Elbasan –Ohrid (UNESCO) (3.5 hours driving time)
Day 7: Ohrid – Stobi – Skopje (4.5 hours driving time)
Visit the excavation sites with beautiful remains such as a 2nd century amphitheatre, the Theodosia palace and early Christian ruins with extensive and ornate mosaic floors. Afterwards depart for Skopje where we take a guided tour of the main sites. Visit the old Turkish bazaar, Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, Stone bridge and the Macedonia Plaza. Overnight in Skopje.
Day 8: Skopje – Airport (20 minutes driving time)