Along the Via Egnatia. From Durres to Istanbul

Along the Via Egnatia. From Durres to Istanbul

This tour is unique, due to the fact that it follows the real footsteps and trail of Alexander the Great, the Apostle Paul, the Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus, as well as the great Crusader Knights.

During the trip we will take the epic journey through Albania, North Macedonia, Greece, and European Turkey, and more specifically along "Via Egnatia".

The Via Egnatia was a Roman road that connected the Eastern and Western parts of the Holy Roman Empire. Nowadays, it is the trail from Rome to Istanbul. Furthermore, this road is also known as the continuation of the Silk Road along with the Appian Way which was one of the most strategically important routes in the ancient republic.


Day 1. Arrive Durres (Albania)
Upon arrival at Rina’s airport you will be met by your Penguin travel tour leader. The airport is halfway between Tirana, the capital of Albania and Durres, the second largest city of the country. Drive to Durres-depending on the time of the flight we can do the city tour of the old town which will take us about two hours or so. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2. Durres - Tirana
After breakfast we are visiting the small town of Pekin, the heir of the ancient settlement of Claudiana. On the way to Fier & Appolonia we visit also the monastery of Ardenitsa which is nestled on top of the highest hill overlooking the fertile valley of Mizikea. This is where Georg Kastrioti Skenderbeg,the Albanian national hero, had his wedding ceremony. We proceed to Appolonia a busy port and prosperous settlement during the days of the ancient Greeks and the Romans! Drive to Tirana for overnight.

Day 3. Tirana - Ohrid (N. Macedonia)
We are leaving the hotel and start the day with a city tour of Tirana, the capital of Albania. Today it is a modern, bustling place with lots of young people modern brand new buildings and busy night life! Still it is full of history as well! The monument of Skenderbeg, the mosque of Etem bey, the National Historical museum, The Opera house &the national library,the Pyramid are just some of the places we are going to see!Early afternoon departure for Ohrid,N.Macedonia. On the way to the border with Macedonia we stop in Elbasan the third largest place in Albania .It is the heir of the old roman setllement Scampa. Most of the old fortress is still in the centre of the town.Pretty close to it is the local Ethnographic museum a beautiful late 18c house! Overnight at hotel in Ohrid.

Day 4. Ohrid
After breakfast we start for the the old town of Ohrid&climb all te way up to the fortress ot the late bulgarian king Samuil.We enjoy the spectacular view from up above overlooking the town&the lake!Both are on the UNESCO list of cultural and natural heritage. Afternoon at leasure-you can taue a boat trip along the Ohrid lake or book for an optional trip to the monastery of St.Naum. hotel n Ohrid.

Day 5. Ohrid – Thessaloniki (Greece)
We start the day with a visit to the roman settlement of Heraclea near the town of Bitola!Still we stop in the town of Resen before we reach Bitola and Heraclea to see the beautiful National Revival architecture. After visiting both places we head for the Macedonian-Greek border.The first place we stop in Greece will be the town of Florina (Lerin)-the town is situated along the valley of the river Sakuleva. We end up the day in another picturesque place, Edessa known also with its slavic name Voden because of the many fountains and waterfalls in the vicinity. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6. Thessaloniki
After breakfast we are leaving for Pella,one of the ancient Macedonian capitals betwen the 5th c. BC&the 2 nd c.BC.It is the birthplace of Philip the second of Macedonia &his son Alexander the Great- a visit to the local archeological museum.On the way to Thessloniki, our final destination for the day, we pop in the village of Vergina the last home of Philip the second and the first Macedonian capital. We can see there the tomb of Philip & the star of Vergina - the symbol of ancient Greek Macedonia. Hotel in Thessaloniki.

Day 7. Thessaloniki
We start the day with a leasurely city tour of Thessaloniki,the second biggest place in Greece,a major seaport on the Aegian sea and administrative centre of Central Macedonia.Esatablished in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon and named after the daughter of Philip the second,Thessaloniki was an important metropolis during the Roman period&the second wealthiest city of the Byzantine empire..It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430.Greece took over the city on 8 th November 1912.Late after noon time for shopping &overnightat the hotel.

Day 8. Thessaloniki - Alexandroupolis
We head for Amphiopolis,an Athenian colony and the site of of the battle between the Spartans and the Athenians in 422BC. Alexander the Great prepared his invasion campaign to Asia from here.A visit of the local archeological museum.Next stop ,the ancient Greek city of Philippi, esatblished by Thasian colonists in 350-359.The city was renamed by Philip the second of Macedon in 356BC and abandoned in the 14 th c. after the Ottoman conquest .Drive to Kavala and Alexandroupolis. Overnight hotel in Alexandroupolis..

Day 9. Alexandroupolis - Istanbul
After breakfast we start for the Greek-Turkish border but before a visit to Traianoupoli-a roman town named after the late emperor Traian and an Ottoman settlement since the 14 c. in Norh Eastern Greece along the river Evros in the disrict of Evros.We enter Turkey through Ipsala and drive to Adrianopolis(Edirne)the biggest place in the European part of the country.Short stay in Edirne on the way to Istanbul .Walking orientation tour in the centere of the town&time for luch.Drive to Istanbul.Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10. Departure
Transfer to Istanbul airport for departure


Price Includes:
Good 3*** hotels incl. breakfast
All transport according itinerary
Airport transfer on day 1 from Tirana Airport
English speaking tour leader from Penguin Travel
local English speaking guides on spot

Not Included:
Entrance fees
other meals not mentioned in the program
International flights
Insurance
Tips and personal expenses
Airport transfers in Istanbul on day 10


Gallery


Along the Via Egnatia. From Durres to Istanbul (Rated 4.83 / 5 Based on 58 Reviews.)
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