Albania + Greece + Macedonia
Sep 17 or Oct 1, 2019
Apr 21, 2020
With our original style and intimate approach, we’ll open doors and windows to the people,
Join our Trip Leader to discover his native lands
DAY 1: Welcome to Tirana
On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the Hotel Plaza. Meet your fellow travelers and Trip Leader Aleksander over cocktails and dinner.
DAY 2: Excursion to Shkodra
In Shkodra, tour the workshop where Venice’s colorful Carnevale masks have traditionally been made. Ascend to Rozafa Castle, built in 350 BC, and take in the views of this ancient city, once a part of the Venetian Empire. Sit down to lunch at Mrizi i Zanave, famed for its farm-to-table cuisine, and then return to Tirana.
DAY 3: Kruja + Tirana
Learn about Sufism at a Dervish monastery, meet the curator of the Ethnographic Museum, and have lunch within the walls of Kruja Castle. Back in Tirana, your city tour includes the Block district, erstwhile enclave of the Communist elite.
DAY 4: Journey to Gjirokastra
See the Venetian, Byzantine and Roman landmarks of Durrës and meet with monks at Ardenica Monastery. Then tour the ruins of Apollonia, one of the greatest cities of the Greco-Roman world. Continue to the Kalemi 2 Hotel in Gjirokastra.
DAY 5: Discover Gjirokastra
Enjoy a tour of Gjirokastra , perched on the slopes of the Drino Valley. Then spend time with the matriarch of a Balkan family for insight into Albania’s enduring traditions. Discover the town’s Ottoman architecture and enjoy a performance by Iso Polifonia, an acclaimed polyphonic choir.
DAY 6: Onward to Kalambaka, Greece
See Byzantine ruins in the castle town of Ioannina, built by Emperor Justinian. Continue to Kalambaka and ascend the Great Meteoran Monastery to watch the sun set over these breathtaking landscapes. Overnight at the Amalia Hotel.
DAY 7: Meteora Monasteries + Skopje
Continue your exploration of the Meteora Monasteries at St. Trinity. Tour Heraclea Lyncestis with an archaeologist and have dinner at a local winery. Continue to the Marriott Hotel in Skopje.
DAY 8: To Ohrid, Macedonia
Visit Skopje Fortress and the 15th-century Stone Bridge. Meet a young artist to learn about the city’s modern spirit and browse in the old bazaar. Enjoy a free afternoon in the lakeside town of Ohrid and spend two nights at the City Palace Hotel.
DAY 9: Ancient Ohrid
Discover Ohrid , one of Europe’s oldest cities and home to cultural treasures of the Renaissance, Byzantine and Slavic eras. Meet a local artisan before a lake cruise and lunch. This afternoon, visit the St. Naum Monastery overlooking the lake.
DAY 10: Back to Tirana
On the return journey to Tirana, stop in the timeless village of Labinot to experience a slice of rural Albanian life. Continue to Elbasan and dine within the old fortress walls before a tour of this 15th-century landmark. Continue to Tirana for another night at the Hotel Plaza.
DAY 11: Depart Tirana
Transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
Meet Our Trip Leader Aleksander
With his Masters in Archaeology from the University of Tirana, our expert Trip Leader Aleksander will share his deep knowledge of Balkan history. But beyond his passion for his native heritage, he delights our travelers with his engaging demeanor, attentive ways, and the deeply personal cultural insights which he brings to their travels.
Our Small Group Value
11 days for $3,999 $3,499!