Balkan Explorer

Discover the ancient relics, monasteries, churches and mosques, historical sites and beautiful landscapes of the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’: Kosovo, Albania and North Macedonia

Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia are known as the ‘Cradle of the Balkans’ and home to a wealth of ancient relics, historical sites and beautiful landscapes.

Landlocked Kosovo, surrounded by mountains and Europe’s youngest nation, has managed to preserve a wealth of mosques and monasteries despite many years of conflict. It was the heart of the Orthodox Christian Serbian empire, until the Turkish triumph at the 1389 Battle of Kosovo ushered in 500 years of Ottoman rule and Islam. Neighbouring Macedonia was once a dominant force and its Alexander the Great spread the empire east to India. It has an eclectic mix of Greek, Roman and Ottoman heritage. Albania has always been at the crossroads of empires and civilizations, and three decades after its isolation under communism, today offers four UNESCO sites in a Mediterranean setting.

Key Features

Cultural & Countryside 
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Sites
Local Expert Guide

Day 1 Fly from London Luton to Pristina. Drive to Gracanica Monastery and the ancient remains of Ulpiana for visits. Proceed to visit the Battle of Kosovo monument, dedicated to the battle of 1389. Transfer to Prizren for two nights at the 4-star Hotel Kacinari. (L)

Day 2 Enjoy walking tour of Prizren including the Ottoman Stone Bridge and the museum dedicated to the League of Prizren. Travel to the monastery complex of Decan, the largest medieval church in the Balkans followed by the Patriarchate of Peja, constructed in the 13th century. (B)

Day 3 Drive to Gjakova to visit the old town, continue to Fierza in Albania on Koman Lake where the ferry awaits. Travel to Tirana for two nights at the 4-star Hotel Austria. (B, D)

Day 4 Visit the National History Museum. Proceed to Berat, home to some of the best examples of Ottoman architecture outside Turkey. Explore Berat Castle, the Onufri Museum in a former church and the Ethnographic Museum. (B)

Day 5 Drive to Ohrid in neighbouring North Macedonia for overnight at the 4-star Sky Corner Hotel. Walking tour including the churches of Saint Sophia, Saint Panteleimon, the Holy Virgin of Peribleptos, Plashonik and Sveti Jovan on the cliffs at Kaneo. (B, D)

Day 6 Travel to Stobi to visit the archaeological site followed by the Popova Kula Winery for a tasting. Continue to Skopje for overnight at the 4-star Next Door Park Hotel. Walking tour including the Stone Bridge, old Mahmut Pasha Hammam and Turkish bazaar. (B, L)

Day 7 Drive to Pristina in Kosovo with visits to Matka Canyon, one of the oldest artificial lakes in North Macedonia and Gadime Cave, a karst limestone cave. Stay overnight at the 3-star Hotel Parlament. Walking tour of Pristina including the National Library, Mother Teresa Cathedral, Fatih Mosque, the Carshia Mosque and the Skanderbeg monument. (B)

Day 8 Return flight. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

Notes

This is a full itinerary with many visits on foot including some uneven surfaces and inclines.
Most travel is along a well-established road network but some minor roads may be in poor repair.
On occasion hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.

Notes

On occasion hotels of a similar standard may be substituted. 

2023

Thursdays
per person in a twin/double
WizzAir from Luton

Date Price
May 11 £1425
September 7 £1445
September 21 £1435
October 12 £1425

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £200

Extension Options

Extra nights – Prizren
Hotel Kacinari
(per night) £45
Single supplement £30

Extra nights – Pristina 
Hotel Parlament
(per night) £45
Single supplement £30

Independent Arrival

Save £200
Arrival transfer with group included
Departure transfer £25

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 2 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Balkan Explorer

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