Southwest Balkan Tour

Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia



Day 1

Tirana Arrival: You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Before dinner visit to the Albanian National Museum. Enjoy a welcome dinner in a traditional Albanian tavern in the block area, the most popular part of Tirana. D (25 km)

Day 2

Tirana-Kruja-Korca: Begin with a full day tour exploring the city of Tirana. Included are visits to the Mosque of Ethem Bey, Skanderbeg Square, the Martyrs Cemetery and Tanners Bridge. Transfer in Kruja for lunch. Continue with the visit of the Old Castle, the Museum of Skanderbeg, the national hero and the Ethnographic Museum. After a stroll in the Turkish bazaar, leave Kruja and continue the trip for Korca for dinner and overnight. B/L/D (215 km)

Day 3

Korca-Voskopoja-Liqenas-Korca: Today we start with the tour of the Korca region. Visit the village of Voskopoja with 18th century church and 16th century monastery in Voskopoja are worth visiting with their original murals and artifacts. You will see the traditional way of life and some outstanding examples of Orthodox Christian Churches, which escaped the destruction of the communist regime and remain beautiful with original and colorful frescos. Today your lunch will be serving in a typical village home with traditional cuisine of the Korca District. After lunch, continue further to the Liqenas district and Prespa Lake, the other Great Lake of Albania, Prespa National Park, which are areas of outstanding natural beauty. The centre of the lake marks the border between Albania, Macedonia and Greece. In the Albanian water is the tiny island of Maligrad, with a 14th century church built into the rock. Travel by boat to visit the island and the church. You can wander through the villages near the lake and see centuries old farming methods. Early evening and a walk tour in the Korca city centre visit the cathedral and the old quarter of Korca. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight. B/L/D (80 km)

Day 4

Korca-Permet-Gjirokastra-Saranda: Breakfast at the hotel your first visit on the morning is the National Museum of Mediaeval Art (beautiful icons). Transfer for lunch in National park of Hotova near Sotira village. Dramatic drive through Gramoz,Nemercka,Lunxheri and Bureto Mountains beside the Vjosa river canyons. After lunch, drive and visit of the Unesco city of Gjirokastra (hill-town with cobbled streets and slate roofs, birthplace of Enver Hoxha. Visit of the castle, army museum and the ethnographic house. Transfer to Saranda for dinner and overnight. B/L/D (247 km)

Day 5

Saranda-Butrint-Saranda: Your morning sightseeing tour features Archaeological site of Butrint (part of Unesco world heritage), perhaps the most romantic archaeological site in Albania. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city were abandoned in the late middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development. Visit of basilicas, theatre, baptistery, sanctuary of Asclepius Venetian castle, and excellent museum of Butrint. Drive back to Saranda to visit the old part of the city Oncehezmi and the Jewish Synagogue. In the evening dinner on the Lekursi castle with a beautiful view of Saranda bay and northern, part of Corfu Ireland. Transfer for overnight in the hotel. B/D (35 km)

Day 6

Saranda-South coast-Vlora: Northwards along stunning coastline of Albanian Riviera with visit to Porto Palermo (castle of Ali Pasha) and lunch in Llogara National Park resort. After lunch, drive to Vlora for a sightseeing of the city and a coffee break over the hill near by the Mosque of Muslim Bektashi sect overlooking the Karaberuni peninsula, Sazani Ireland and Bay of Vlora. The afternoon is free to explore this coastal city on your own. B/L/D (130 km)

Day 7

Vlora-Berat-Durres: Leaving Vlora and drive to Berat. It is known as the “City of one thousand windows” and is declared a Museum City”. Berat, overshadowed to the east by Tomorr Mountain 2415 m and Shpiragu on south part. The old name of the city was Antipatrea and is an ancient Illyrian settlement founded in the 4th & 5th centuries B.C. on the territory of the Illyrian tribe of Desaretes. The town is composed of 3 parts; Gorica, situated on the far side of the river; Mangalem, situated on the fortress side of the river and the Residential quarter within the fortress known as KALAJA. The old part of the city has some religious buildings like mosque and Byzantine churches. Proceed with the visit of the castle, mosques, churches, Onufri Icon Museum and ethnographic museum and learn the beautiful legend of this precious city. You will have lunch in a traditional restaurant with Albanian dishes. A relaxing dinner in Durres is plan upon arrival. B/L/D (175 km)

Day 8

Durres-Lezha-Shkodra: Today we will visit one of Albania’s oldest cities, the country’s main seaport, and the second largest industrial center after Tirana. Durres lies on a small peninsula on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The Greeks colonized the city in 627 B.C. after that it was name Epidamnos, which later became Dyrrachium. From the Venetian Tower at the harbor the Medieval Town Wall leads to the amphitheater (capacity 15,000 spectators) dating back to the 2nd century AD contain an early Christian Crypt with a rare wall mosaic. Between the 1st and 3rd centuries, Durres was an important port and trading center on the Via Egnatia trading route between Rome and Byzantium (Istanbul). Visit of the archeological museum, Roman amphitheatre, thermal baths and old quarter. Today, enjoy lunch in a typical fish restaurant. Continue to Shkodra with a coffee break and a short visit of the St. Nicholas church monumental grave of our national hero Skanderbeg in Lezha City. Transfer to Shkodra and visit to the Rozafa castle and enjoy the landscape and the sunset over the hill while listen the unique legend telling for the young woman…. Transfer in the hotel. Before dinner visit of the Marubi photo exhibition on the city centre. B/L/D (125 km)

Day 9

Shkodra- Podgorica-Cetina-Sv. Stefan-Kotorr-Shkodra: After breakfast, head to Podgorica and Cetina, we proceed to the old royal capital, Cetinje with the visit of the home/museum of the king Nikola. After Cetina, excursion continue along the Lovcen serpentines, to the hart of Montenegro, with the panoramic view of Kotor bay, from the height of over 1000 m above sea level. We will visit the old town of Kotor, which is under UNESCO protection known for its rich maritime tradition, museum of legendary Kotor navy, cathedral of St. Triphon and St. Nicolas church. You have chance to have an unforgettable lunch on the Stari Mlini Restaurant located eastern part of the Kotor bay near by the foot of the Lovcen Mountains. Leaving Kotor, on the way back to the hotel, guests will enjoy colorful seaside scenery of the south part of Montenegro coast. Back to Shkodra for dinner and overnight. B/L/D (195 km)

Day 10

Shkodra-Vau Dejes-Ferry- Rrugova-Pristina: Early morning will travel to reach the ferry to Koman. Lake Koman formed when the rugged Drini River valley dammed in the early 1970s, allowing Albania to quickly develop its own industries and become an energy exporter. The huge lake behind Vau i Dejes dam contains some 320 million cubic meters of water, and stretches 30km to Fierze, the location of a second dam which holds back a lake that goes all the way to Kukes near the Kosovo border. The boat trip passes between 1000-1500m-high mountains and through a series of deep gorges and interconnected lakes, with hardly any signs of human activities on the shores, though occasionally the ferry will stop to let off some passengers, who proceed to climb up the steep hills to their hidden villages. The wild landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords, and is a dramatic highlight of any trip in Albania. Everyone feels happy passing through the gorges of the mountains surrounding the lake the forested shores. Drop off and continue on to the road to the Kosovo and further to Gjakovo where the lunch will be serving. (Drin Volljake). After lunch, drive northernwest of Peja town and following the river-Lumebardhi entrance in the magnificent canyon with the name of Rugova Gorge, 23km long wonderful wild beauty, waterfalls, water-springs and caves. Visit of The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery is a group of four domed churches featuring series of wall paintings. The four edifices of the site reflect the high points of the Byzantine-Romanesque ecclesiastical culture, with its distinct style of wall painting, which developed in the Balkans between the 13th and 17th centuries. Coffee break on the Peja centre after on the road to Prishtina. Relax at the hotel spa, dinner and overnight. B/L/D (220 km)

Day 11

Prishtina-Gadime-Skopje: Today we start a short tour of Prishtina. Continue tour driving to the Lipjan district to visit the marble Gadima cave. Characteristic for this cave are the aragonite formations, and marble blocks of stone from which it takes the name. The Marble cave made by the underground river that flew through the Murtur hill before the Klysyra River made its valley. However, by its appearance creation in the marble and richness in the marble ornaments, the cave represents a unique speleological discovery. After visit of Gadima cave our drive lead us to Skopje in few minutes passing through the Kacaniku Gorge. On arrival in Skopje we check in to the Hotel. Free to explore the Capital of Macedonia on your own. B (82 km)

Day 12

Skopje-Ohrid: The morning’s sightseeing tour includes a trip back in time to the Ottoman Empire. We will start our tour from the old Turkish bazaar where you will experience the old decorative ambience of the Turkish Baths, Amams, and the Mosques where we will visit the unique Blue Mosque. Through the narrow streets of the charshija (market), we will climb to the small church of St. Spas where we have the oldest and most detailed woodcarving Iconostas in Macedonia and the Balkans. Here are also the resting grounds of the first revolutionary leader in Macedonian history that stood against the Turkish Empire and was able to create, for few days, the Independent Republic of Macedonia in 1903. From here we are still climbing up to the where all started. The old fortress of Kale, the oldest standing beginnings of today’s Skopje. From there you will experience a breathtaking view of the city with all the combinations of ancient and modern architecture. Our next destination will be Mt. Vodno and the monastery St. Panthelemon build in the 13 century with original frescos paintings from that period. From there you will be able to capture the city from a different perspective, from the beautiful terraces on the Panthelemon restaurant. After lunch drive to Ohrid you shall stay for three overnights. B/L/D (170 km)

Day 13

Ohrid-Bitola- Ohrid: Leaving hotel and transfer to Bitola, today shall start the city tour of Bitola. Bitola is the place where Kemal Mustapha Atatürk, the founder of the contemporary Turkish state was educated; and where Milton Manaki, the first cinematographer on the Balkans had lived and died… Bitola is an extraordinary mixture of the old and the new, a meeting point of different cultures and civilizations! Here, side by side and for many centuries, Christians, Muslims and Jews had lived together. Just like the skyscraping minarets are still overlooking the churches – Catholic or Orthodox. On the outskirts of Bitola, ruins and magnificent mosaics remind of Heraclea Lyncestis and its fame from the times of the ancient Macedonian kingdom and the later Roman conquest! The church of St. Demetrius is one of the biggest Orthodox temples in Macedonia, while among the best preserved in the country is the Old Bazaar! Having explored the rich history of the city, our tour takes us to the neighboring Pelister National Park, to feel the freshness of the air and have lunch in a beautiful hotel restaurant in the afternoon we shall drive directly to Ohrid for dinner and overnight. B/L/D (160 km)

Day 14

Ohrid: Today we will visit the city which is under protection of UNESCO and the founding grounds of the Cyrillic Alphabet. The first school for Cyrillic Alphabet and their founders St. Kiril and Metodij was build on the grounds of the church f St. Sofia. The history of this city will fascinate you, from the Byzantine period of Czar Samoil where his fortress is still looking over the city and guarding it as it did centuries ago. To the Ottoman Empire where religion undertakes different meaning. In that time due to the fact that Christianity was forbidden and churches were not allowed to be build bigger then the mosques, this city build in the Ohrid region 365 churches each one for every day of the year. You will have a chance to explore some of them that date from 11th century to the modern churches like St. Kliment up to the place called Plaoshnik. build last year on the foundation of the old 11th century church The Roman amphitheatre, basilica from early Christian period, the St. Sofia .We shall have a break for a lunch and in the afternoon we will visit the old monastery of St. Naum, 25 Km from Ohrid after a drive along the lakeshore, where you will experience and feel the atmosphere of the old monasteries. You will be able to take a boat ride through the natural springs of river Drim where nature has taken it own course. Transfer to hotel for overnight. B/L

Day 15

Ohrid-Elbasan-Tirana: After breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for Tirana. First, we begin heading west to Elbasan, site of ancient Skampa. Excavations suggest that the walls of Elbasan were built in the first half of the fourth century AD. In 1466 Sultan Mohammed II rebuilt the walls and renamed the town El Basan (‘The Fortress’) in Turkish. We stop briefly to admire the city walls before passing through the Bazaar Gate near the clock tower to St Mary’s Orthodox Church which has beautiful stone arcades on its walls. Your lunch will be serving in the old quarter in a traditional restaurant called “Real Scampi’s” return to Durres for an evening stroll in the Durres city centre. B/L (130 km) Day 16: Tirana departure: After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight. B (25 km)



Please contact Airbound for tour prices.



Accommodation total of 15 overnights at desired hotels
Arrival transfer from Tirana Airport to hotel and departure transfer from hotel to Tirana Airport
Modern air-conditioned, car, van, minibus, or motor coach throughout
Entrance fees on National parks, Archeological parks, museums, caves, etc.
Meals of three courses on traditional restaurants specified on each day. 14 buffet breakfasts, 12 lunches & 12 dinners in total (Non alcoholic & alcoholic drinks not included)
Professional Tour director (English) throughout the tour
Luggage handling throughout the tour
Service charge and hotel taxes
Sightseeing tours included: Tirana, Kruja, Voskopoja, Prespa, Korca, Gjirokastra, Butrinti, Vlora, Berati, Durres, Shkodra, Cetinje, Kotor, Northern Albanian Alps by Ferry, Pec & Rrugova valley, Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid.
Highlights: Gjirokastra (UNESCO), Saranda/Butrint (UNESCO), Kotor (UNESCO, Pec Monasteries (UNESCO), Ohrid (UNESCO)


Visit of places not shown on the program
Visa Entry fee in Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia (Individual payment on the border if necessary)
Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
Travel Insurance
Minibar drinks on the rooms
Meals not shown on the program
Phone calls from Hotel rooms
Coffee breaks during the trip
Tips Extra services on request
Dinner with folk music: US$ 95 per person
Gift package for the guests: US$ 50 per person (Skanderbeg Konjak, Bunker, Doll and Albanian book)


Day 1 Albanian National Museum
Day 2 Skanderbeg museum, Fortress & Etnographic museum
Day 3 Voskopoja churches free of charge Day 3 Boat trip on the Prespa lake and entrance fee of church
Day 4 Museum of Medieval arts Day 4 National army museum, castle & ethnographic house
Day 5 Butrint Park & Synagogue
Day 6 Castle of Ali pasha Porto Palermo
Day 7 Onufri museum and 4 churches
Day 8 Archeological museum and Roman amphitheatre, Church of St Nicola(monumental grave of Skanderbeg)
Day 9 King Nikola residence, Martime museum, and St Tryphoon
Day 10 Ferry and 4 churches in Pec
Day 11 Gadima cave
Day 12 Church St. Spas, Turkish bath, Kale and St Pantelejmon
Day 13 Heraclea & St Demetrius
Day 14 St. Sofia, St Plasonik, & Boat trip
Day 15 St. Mary Church




CONTACT Airbound today!