This tour starts in Istanbul, Turkey and ends in Tirana, Albania. During this tour we will travel to several countries, starting with Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Albania. An informative tour, where we will visit many historical, archaeological sites, city centers, old bazaars, museums and we will also enjoy hospitality and delicious food of these countries. In this tour you will be impressed by the architecture and archaeological areas of these countries, history, culinary where the extraordinary beauties give the impression that time has stopped.
We will meet our guide and transfer to the hotel. Free time. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast we will join to our historical tour and you will have a full day historical tour with our knowledgeable, experienced and professional local guide. Today, we will walk together on the stairs of history. Starting from East Roman, we will continue to Byzantium, Ottoman and today’s Republic of Turkey.
What to visit: Haghia Sophia Museum is closed on Monday, Blue Mosque closed on Friday due to Prayer, Grand Covered Bazaar is closed on Sunday, Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday, Sultans Tombs closed on Monday, Little Hagia Sophia Mosque. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast we drive to Greece, Kavala, the capital and main port of the Kavala prefecture is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo forming one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. The city’s breeze sweeps through its historic buildings, which perfectly reflect the city’s modern character. Kavala is located on the Egnatia motorway and is a one and a half-hour drive to Thessaloniki, Neapoli, Christoupoli, Kavala: according to archaeological finds, the city’s history dates back to the Prehistoric times. Initially the city’s core was restricted to the district of Panayia, which has been uninterruptedly inhabited since the 7th century BC. After 2500 years though, at the beginning of the 16th century, Kavala expanded maintaining these new borders until 1870; it was only after 1928 that it began to shape its today structure. Its strategic and economic importance over the centuries is attributed to its strategic position in Via Egnatia, which traversed the city connecting East and West, to its port and to the natural fortification of the peninsula, on which the old city was built
What to visit: Byzantine fortress, The Muhammad Ali House Museum, Imaret of Sultan Muhammad Ali (today is a hotel), The Aqueduct Kamares, Town Hall, the Tobacco museum. Overnight in Kavala.
After an early breakfast we depart for Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is Greece’s second major economic, industrial, commercial and political center, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and the southeastern European hinterland. The city is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general, and is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedon as daughter of Philip the second. Under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, Thessalonica became a free city of the Roman Republic under Mark Antony in 41 BC. It grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia, the road connecting Dyrrhachium with Byzantium.
What to visit: White tower, Αno Poli, Ladadika (the nightlife hotspot), Τhe Archaeological Museum, The Arch of Galerius. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
After breakfast we drive to of Skopje, North Macedonia. Skopje is a city in the west where you can find the signs of East as it was under the rule of Ottoman Empire for a long time. We spend the day in the old town visiting the Daud Pasha baths once the largest baths in Balkans now the City Art Gallery, the imposing Mustafa Pasha Mosque or the bustling old market area.
What to visit: Clock Tower, Turkish Bazaar, Isa Bey Mosque, Kapan Khan, Sulu Khan, Davut Pasa Bath, Stone Bridge. Overnight in Skopje.
After breakfast we travel in Ohrid. Macedonia. Ohrid is notable for once having had 365 churches, one for each day of the year, and has been referred to as a “Jerusalem (of the Balkans)”. The city is rich in picturesque houses and monuments and tourism is predominant. The monastery of St Naum was established in the Bulgarian Empire in the year 905 by St Naum of Ohrid himself. St Naum is also buried in the church. Since the 16th century a Greek school had functioned in the monastery. The Lake of Ohrid, the ancient Greek Lacus Lychnitis, whose blue and exceedingly transparent waters in antiquity gave to the lake its Greek name; it was still called so occasionally in the Middle Ages. It was located along the Via Egnatia, which connected the Adriatic port Dyrrachion (present-day Durres) with Byzantium. Then we drive for 25 km to the city of Ohrid,
What to visit: Old Town, Samuel Castle, Saint John at Kaneo, City Center, Lake Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid.
After breakfast we will visit Saint Naum Monastery and then we drive to Korca one of the most important towns of South East Albania and a well known culinary town. The path takes us through spectacular landscapes with spectacular nature with gorges, mountains and river valleys offering a truly fulfilling experience. Lunch in the traditional family restaurant in Boboshtica just before reaching Korca. After lunch we visit the Museum of Medieval Arts and the Mosque of Mirahori one of the oldest in the country. Dinner will be in a uniquely conceived restaurant which in its dinning room houses a large collection of all kinds of items from Albania’s 50 years of communism.
What to visit: Icon Museum, Old Town, Korca Beer, Biggest Cathedral in Albania. Overnight in Korca.
After breakfast we drive to Tirana, Capital of Albania but before we stop to Elbasan, which is one of the largest cities in Albania, it is located on the Shkumbini River. In August 2010 archaeologists discovered two Illyrian graves near the walls of the castle of Elbasan. In the second century BC, a trading post called Mansio Scampa near the site of modern Elbasan developed close to a junction of two branches of an important Roman road, the Via Egnatia, which connected the Adriatic Coast with Byzantium at the Hellespont. Arrive in Tirana.
What to visit: Old Town, King Mosque. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast we will visit Tirana, Walking tour. Positioned in the city center, this tower has become a symbol of Tirana. It is one of the oldest constructions in Tirana, built in the 1820. Et’hem Bey Mosque, construction of this mosque took about 28 years and finished in 1821. It is considered one of the most beautiful mosques in Albania with very interesting decorations and art-work within it . National Historic Museum, the main museum in Tirana, it is in the center of the city, easily recognizable because of a huge mosaic standing on top of its front facade. It contains many artifacts ranging from ancient times through Hoxha’s regime. Also we will visit ,National Art Gallery, National Archaeological Museum of Albania, Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral. Bunk’art, this is a bunker realization of an art gallery, with many corridors full of art works to admire.
Blloku (The Block), among the apartment blocks, one can find some of Tirana’s best cafés, shops, and restaurants. Here is also located the villa of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha. During communism, the area was reserved solely for government officials and was not allowed to be entered by the commoner. It was opened to the public in 1991 and since became the number one spot for Tirana’s youth. At night the area gets full of people especially on weekends when most night clubs are full. From the Block you can go almost anywhere for less than 10-15 minutes. If you need to have a coffee or relax while taking a look at the parade of trendy and elegant people, the block is a perfect place for you.
What to visit: National Art Gallery, Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, Saint Paul Catholic Cathedral, Bunk’Art, Blloku, Scanderbeg Square. Overnight in Tirana.
After breakfast we drive to the Airport. End of our Service.
Tour Itinerary: Travel from Istanbul to Tirana
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