From cultural Split and Dubrovnik to ancient Athens and historic walled Balkan towns to the dance floors of exclusive nightclubs, this 7-day adventure promises a Europe you didn’t know was there. You’ll hit the Adriatic’s famous sites and hidden gems in the company of other travelers while indulging in hiking, exploring Montenegro and Albania, and embracing beach and social life in Athens. This is a European trip like no other strap on your sandals and discover it the right way.
Our adventure begins as we drive to Split. Upon arrival, explore the city. Split found along the Dalmation Coast. Split is popularly known for its white-sand beaches as well as the Diocletian’s Palace, built in the 4th century by a Roman emperor and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll have a chance to explore the southern section of the Diocletian’s Palace, passing through its magnificent Bronze Gates as we make our way to the Vestibul of the Emperor’s Palace, The Mausoleum, St. Dujam’s Cathedral, Cathedral Treasury, Temple of Jupiter and St. Martin’s Church. We’ll finish the day with a visit to the fruit square before stopping at the Venetian castle, Milesi Palace and the Monument of Marko Marulic. Overnight in Split.
After breakfast we will drive to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik, which is well known for its distinctive old town and massive stone walls built in the 16th century. We’ll head out on a guided tour through Dubrovnik on foot, visiting the Big Onofrio’s Fountain, built from 1438-40 by Onofrio della Cava as part of a water-supply system that involved bringing water from a well approximately 12 km away. Later in the day, you have some free time at the beach to relax and unwind, taking in the spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
After breakfast we will cross the border into Montenegro. Kotor, Montenegro’s fortified town wedged between soaring mountains and sparkling Adriatic waters. This 5th-century World Heritage-listed city is set on a secluded bay, with towering peaks surrounding a rocky coastline dotted with pretty waterside towns. In its crooked alleyways, get lost and mingle with the locals. Check out the 12th-century Cathedral, the South Gates, and the Armoury Square. Later, perhaps take a cruise on the Kotor Fjord – the longest fjord south of Scandinavia and visit an island with a church that’s almost as big as the island itself! In the evening the city walls are prettily lit up to provide a unique night-time perspective. Then we drive to Budva and we will visit old town. Budva is a town in Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea. Part of the Budva Riviera, it’s known for sandy beaches and nightlife. Stone walls built by the Venetians surround the narrow streets of the medieval old town (Stari Grad). This historic district is home to a seaside citadel and religious sites such as the Church of Santa Maria in Punta, established in the 9th century. Overnight in Budva.
After breakfast we drive to Tirana, Albania. Start the tour from Skanderbeg Square, National Museum and then we will continue to see other important buildings: Palace of Culture, Opera House, National Library, Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Clock Tower, Tirana Castle, Parliament, Ura e Tabakeve, National Art Gallery, mean government buildings, catholic and orthodox cathedrals, the Pyramid, Prime Minister building, Palace of congresses, Mother Teresa Square, Archaeological Museum, Presidential palace, Ex-Blloku (which used to be the most beautiful and protected zone were the ex-communist leaders families lived). Visit the Cold War corner (one Bunker, part of famous Spac Political Prison, and a piece from Berlin Wall). Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast we will drive to the museum city of Gjirokastra, which is also one of the three UNESCO sites in Albania. The city is overlooked by Gjirokastër Fortress, where the Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is held every five years. It is the birthplace of former Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha and notable writer Ismail Kadare. Many houses in Gjirokastër have a distinctive local style that has earned the city the nickname “City of Stone”, because most of the old houses have roofs covered with flat dressed stones. Gjirokastër features an old Ottoman bazaar which was originally built in the 17th century; it was rebuilt in the 19th century after a fire. There are more than 500 homes preserved as “cultural monuments” in Gjirokastër today. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
After breakfast we drive to Kalambaka, Greece. Check in to the hotel and then we depart to Meteora, a wonderful monument of nature complemented by the ingenuousness of man. Breathtaking rocks hundreds of meters high situated in the middle of vast lowlands which seem to have fallen off the sky, very likely the word Meteora has been purposely been used based on this impression the rocks give to anyone who sees them. These rocks which on their own are stunning enough carry on their backs wonderfully crafted monasteries which make for a monumental interaction between nature and man which never ceases to impress new and repeat visitors to this place. The most famous and probably the best monastery out of all Meteora monasteries, the Great Meteora Monastery or as it is known locally the Megalo Meteoro Monastery or Metamorphisis. Overnight in Kalambaka.
After breakfast we will travel to Athens but first we will stop to Thermopylae. Visit the historic Thermopylae, the location where the battle between armies took place, between ancient Greeks and Persians that changed the course of European history. See the battlefield, the statue of King Leonidas and visit the museum. Fans of Greek history and the film “300” both will know this as the stage for King Leonidas’ legendary stand against Xerxes and his advancing Persian armies. Continue to Athens. Free afternoon in Athens. Overnight in Athens.
After breakfast our walking tour starts at the Syntagma Square, the National Garden, the Arch of Hadrian, St Paul’s Anglican Church, the Parliament House, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Dionysius, the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens and the National Library. After a brief stop at the Panathenaic Stadium, an imposing construction made of white marble which was completely reconstructed and where the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated in 1869, you will continue to the Zappeion and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The highlight of the tour is the guided tour of the world-famous Acropolis of Athens, symbol of the capital. Once inside, you’ll visit some of the best-known landmarks of Classic Greece like the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea. Overnight in Athens.
Thank you for joining us on this wonderful adventure. We hope to see you again soon. End of our service.
Tour Itinerary: Split to Athens Explorer
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