Balkan Kaleidoscope (Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia)
Once upon a time people said that the Balkans were the “powder-keg of Europe”. Indeed, history is full of sudden burst of the strong Balkan passions. But wars are left in the past. We can now only enjoy the beautiful features of the sunny face of the Balkans – beautiful and preserved nature, old monasteries, cozy towns – a different and slightly old-fashioned Europe.
We offer you to tour together several countries and see the most interesting places in each of them - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia – all alike but at the same time very different in their own way. This is the place, where Europe meets the Orient, where Christians and Muslims have lived together for centuries, where old traditions coexist with the rhythm of XXI century.
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♦ The monastery of "Studenica" established in the XIII century, under the auspices of UNESCO
♦ Mehmed Pasha Bridge near Visegrad, built in XVI century is under UNESCO auspices
♦ Sarajevo – the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
♦ Mostar whose old part is a World Heritage Site
♦ Dubrovnik – the masterpiece of the Adriatic, the sea and commercial rival of Venice, under the auspices of UNESCO
♦ The picturesque Kotor Bay and the town of Kotor, forming a beautiful ensemble of natural, historic and cultural heritage, under the auspices of UNESCO
♦ Visoki Decani Monastery with the largest medieval church in the Balkans, under the auspices of UNESCO
♦ Tirana – the capital of Albania
♦ Berat – the old town is under the auspices of UNESCO
♦ Ohrid – a medieval literary center and the last capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. Together with the Ohrid Lake the town is under UNESCOs protection
Joining Instructions and Information:
Private airport transfers to/from your scheduled hotel are included in tour price on the arrival and departure days, as set in the program (Day 1 and Day 14 respectively), no matter of the time of arrival at Sofia Airport. Transfers outside the tour itinerary are paid separately.
Penguin Tour Leader and Local Guides
During the trip you will be accompanied by a tour leader representing Penguin Travel, who is responsible for the logistics of the tour – updating you on the daily itinerary, arranging your passport checks at the border-crossings, handling the check-ins at each hotel, driving/communicating with the driver and arranging the local guides as scheduled in the program.
Detailed information about the countries and the sites that you will visit during the tour will be presented in a booklet that is going to be provided to you at the beginning of the tour and will be further explained by the local guides, included in the program.
The size of the vehicle of the tour depends on the size of the group – for groups of up to 8 people you will travel in a minibus (8+1) with the tour leader being also the driver; for groups larger than 8 pax your vehicle will be a bigger bus with a separate driver.
The accommodation of the tour is in middle-sized hotels, providing all the necessary sanitary conditions and comfort for a day and multi-day stay. Be warned that some of the hotel do not have elevators, and consider the size of your luggage accordingly !
Day 1. Sofia.
Arrival in Sofia and transfer to your hotel. Free time to explore the Bulgarian capital. If you allow a couple of days in Sofia, here are our suggestions for day tours.
Day 2. Sofia – Kruševac – Studenica (Serbia).
Departure by a company bus to Serbia. Our first stop is in the old capital - the town of Kruševac. Then we will visit Studenica - the most important monastery of medieval Serbia. Overnight in a hotel next to the monastery. (370 km)
Day 3. Studenica – Visegrad – Sarajevo (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina).
On our way to Bosnia and Herzegovina we will stop at Mokra gora – the wooden village built by worldwide renowned director Emir Kusturica. After crossing the border we will see the famous bridge of Mehmed Pasha near Visegrad, praised in the novel "The Bridge on the Drina" of the Nobel laureate - Ivo Andrich. Then we will continue to Sarajevo. Overnight in the town of Sarajevo. (340 km)
Day 4. Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
A walking tour through the center of the Bosnian capital - Sarajevo, whose mosques and old Turkish bazaar with shops and cafes still keep the traditional oriental atmosphere of the region. Free time. Overnight.
Day 5. Sarajevo – Mostar – Trebinje – Dubrovnuk (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia).
Mostar is famous for its old houses and the old bridge, a symbol of peaceful coexistence of different cultural and religious communities in the Balkans. On our way to the border we will stop at Radimlja to see the unic stecci – grave stones from XV century. Arrive in Dubrovnik in the evening. (280 km)
Day 6. Dubrovnik (Croatia).
A walking tour in the historic part of the town - the Pile Gate and Stradun Street, the Franciscan Monastery, the Dominican church, the Sponza Palace, Rector’s Palace, "St. Blaise" cathedral. Free time. Overnight.
Day 7. Dubrovnik – Herzeg Novi – Kotor (Croatia/Montenegro).
Our tour of the Balkan countries continues with Montenegro. After crossing the border we will visit the old town of Herzeg Novi and then head off to the famous Kotor Bay with the old towns of Perast and Kotor. A walking tour in Kotor – fortress walls, St. Luka square, Beskuća Palace, St. Trifon’s cathedral. Overnight. (90 km)
Day 8. Kotor – Cetinje – Pec (Montenegro/Kosovo).
In the morning we will start with driving up the scenic road above the Kotor Bay. A short stop at the old capital of Montenegro – Cetinje and then continue to the border with Kosovo. Overnight in Pec. (300 km)
Day 9. Pec – Prizren (Kosovo).
In the morning we will visit Visoki Decani Monastery still guarded by KFOR. Then continue to the town of Prizren. Walking tour in the center of the town - Sinan pasha mosque, Our lady of Ljevis, the old stone bridge. Overnight. (80 km)
Day 10. Prizren – Tirana (Kosovo/Albania).
Drive to the capital of Albania. Walking tour in the afternoon - Skanderbeg square, Tanner's bridge, the rezidence of Enver Hoxha. Free time. Overnight. (180 km)
Day 11. Tirana – Berat (Albania).
After the transfer from Tirana we will spend the rest of the day in Berat. Walking tour in the historical centre of the town. Overnight. (130 km)
Day 12. Berat – Ohrid (Albania/Macedonia).
We continue to Macedonia. After crossing the border - visit of St. Naum Monastery on the shore of the lake. We will spend the afternoon and the evening roaming the narrow streets of Ohrid, where we will see Samuil’s fortress, the churches St. John Kaneo and St. Pantaleimon. Overnight. (190 km)
Day 13. Ohrid – Sofia (Macedonia/Bulgaria). Departure to Bulgaria’s capital – Sofia. Free time in the city. (400 km)
Day 14. Departure.
Transfer to the airport for departure
Included in the price: ►all transport according itinerary ►group transfers from/to Sofia airport on day of arrival/departure ►English speaking tour leader from Penguin Travel and local English speaking guides on spot ► overnights in comfortable hotels - all overnights are based on double rooms with private WC/shower (sample hotel list can be found in tour dossier) ►breakfast (13 days)
Not included: ►drinks and meals, not mention in the program ►flight tickets ►tips, insurances ►personal expenses ►entrance fees (payable in cash on spot)
Price of extra services: ►Single room supplement: 230 Euro ►airport transfers outside the tour itinerary: 15 EUR per transfer for vehicle 1-3 pax / 25 EUR for vehicle 4-7 pax
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