Taste of the Balkans tour shows off the top historical and cultural sites in Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, taking in some beautiful coastal and mountain scenery along the way. We start off in Greece’s capital city of Athens, famed for its ancient landmarks such as the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus, which we’ll visit during our time here. After spending some time in the capital, we’ll make our way to the beautiful scenery of Meteora, which is home to 24 mountaintop monasteries, six of which are still in use, making it one of the most important monastic complexes of the Eastern Orthodox faith. From Greece, we travel to Albania for short visit, traveling to Gjirokastra before we spend some time in one of Europe’s sunniest cities, Tirana. Then we will drive to Kotor, Montenegro which has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 due to its gorgeous, well-preserved architecture and then we will visit the Old City of Dubrovnik – The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast
On your arrival in Athens airport our representative will greet you and transfer to your hotel in the center of the city. The tour takes us on a journey through the city of Athens, visiting the marble Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first Modern Olympics in 1896 before we make our way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was built over several centuries starting in 174 BCE and only finally completed by Roman emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. Also visit Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament buildings, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Constitution Square. Later in the day, we’ll make our way to the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the Parthenon which was built between 447 and 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. Overnight in Athens. Overnight in Athens.
After breakfast we will drive to Meteora, one of the most significant complexes of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Home to 24 mountaintop monasteries, six of which are still in use today, it gives you a perfect opportunity to take in the beauty of nature and man’s desire to connect with the divine. After spending some time at Meteora, we make our way to the village of Kalambaka, which is found at the base of the imposing Meteora rocks. You can explore the town’s old picturesque district, with narrow cobblestone streets and traditional houses, some of them built right next to the rocks. Overnight in Meteora.
After breakfast we leave Greece and we’ll make our way to Albania but before we will stop in Ioannina. Ioannina is one of the most enchanting cities in Greece, beautiful and brimming with history, built on the shores of Pamvotida Lake which features a gorgeous promenade running by the water’s edge and an island at its center, complete with historic monasteries. Ioannina’s castle, with the famous southeastern citadel of Its Kale, and the stories of the colorful Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha (1740-1822) who ruled the city for 34 years before being executed by the Ottoman central government, help define the city’s unique atmosphere. Then we will drive to Gjirokastra. Gjirokastra is known as “The Stone City”, part of UNESCO World heritage and is situated in Southern Albania. In Gjirokastra we will visit the medieval bazaar and the Ottoman-style houses in the old part of the town, where you will see artisan women making handmade doilies, carving wood or silver and other guild shops in the narrow cobbled stone streets of this suburb. We will also visit the castle of Gjirokastra and then we will visit the Skenduli House, built around the year 1700 and has many fascinating features. Overnight in Gjirokastra.
After breakfast we will drive to Tirana, the capital of Albania. After breakfast we start the day with some city exploring on foot, as we visit Tirana’s Clock Tower, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, St Paul’s Cathedral and the National Historical Museum. Then we will visit the Pyramid of Tirana then we visit the National Art Gallery and Mother Teresa Square. Free afternoon in Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast, we’ll say our final goodbyes to Albania, as we make our way to Montenegro’s coastal town of Budva. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, Budva is also well known for its sun kissed beaches and buzzing nightlife. Our journey through Budva will take you to the Church St. Trojica, home to the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava.Today will end with a short drive to the ancient fortified and cobbled town of Kotor. Overnight in Kotor.
After breakfast we will cross the border into Croatia. Before leaving we’ll explore Kotor, famed for its picturesque Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll explore its old town and city walls before visiting the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon which was built in 1166. From Kotor, we’ll cross the border into Croatia in the direction of 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 drive to the town of 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 transfer you to the airport. End of our service.
Tour Itinerary: Taste of the Balkans
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