Grand Balkan Tour – Romania/ Bulgaria/Macedonia/Albania/ Montenegro/Bosnia

grand balkan 2

ITINERARY

7 Nights/ 8 Days

DAY 1 ARRIVAL BUCHAREST – Bucharest City tour – Overnight (45 min drive)

Meet with the local guide in the airport and drive towards Bucharest center, for the city tour. Tour of Bucharest seeing among others the Arch of Triumph, the Victoria Square where the Romanian government has its seat and the Revolution Square where dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was toppled. You will visit the Parliament Palace (entrance included) which is the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon and also the Village Museum, one of the oldest open air museums in Europe. Overnight in Bucharest.

DAY 2 BUCHAREST—RUSE—VELIKO TARNOVO (max 4 hours drive)

Leaving Romania drive towards Bulgaria, with quick stops in the city of Ruse, before reaching Veliko Tarnovo.
Join your local expert for a stroll along Gurko Street with its cascade of restored old houses. Enjoy unparalleled views down to the Monument of the Assens - symbol of the city. A highlight is the visit to the Tsarevets Fortress (entrance included), housing a host of archeological remains and a reminder of the town's former imperial status. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

DAY 3 VELIKO TARNOVO—GABROVO—ROSE VALLEY—SOFIA (max 4 hours drive)

Morning drive towards Bulgaria capital city, Sofia with short stop in the small province of Gabrovo.
Enjoy sightseeing of Sofia. Monuments from Thracian, Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman times give evidence to its rich and turbulent history. Among the most impressive sites is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral dominating the city, the round church, St. George, which is the best preserved Byzantine building, the fortress walls of ancient Serdica, the Sofia Synagogue. Overnight in Sofia.

DAY 4 SOFIA—RILA MONASTERY (2 hours drive) —SKOPJE (max 5 hours drive)

Morning drive from Sofia to visit the Rila Monastery, located in 1147 meters altitude in the middle of the fragrant coniferous forests of Rila Mountain. The monastery is a complex of cultural, dwelling and farming buildings which take about 8800 square meters. The Rila Monastery has an unique architecture. Outside, the monastery looks like a fortress. It has 24-meter stone walls which forms irregular pentagon. **Visit depends on weather conditions
Arrival in Skopje – where we Have a sightseeing tour of the city. Visit to the old Train station – first train station on the Balkan, and in that time was the most beautiful object on the Balkan, the monument of Mother Teresa, the house of Mother Teresa, Stone Bridge – monumental building in the center of the city, and the most imposing monument in our country and on the Balkan, built in the beginning of the VI century and finally, the Fortress Kale (entrance included) – the most outstanding tourist attraction of the city. Overnight in Skopje.

DAY 5 SKOPJE—OHRID (3 hours drive) –TIRANA (4 hours drive)

Check out and proceed to Ohrid. The walking tour of Ohrid starts from the town's harbor. Then we head towards the old part of the town and we stop at the Lower Gate and the Museum of Robevi (the Robev family). What follows is a tour of the church of St Sophia (entrance included) which dates from the 11th century and then we go up to the Roman amphitheater which dates back to the 3rd century BC. In the vicinity of the gallery is the church of Sveta Bogorodica Perivleptos or St Clement's Church which dates from the 13th century and possesses some of the most beautiful and valuable frescoes from the 13th century. After your tour, continue to Tirana. Arrive in Tirana and proceed for a sightseeing tour. Tirana, the heart capital of Albania has a never-ending movement and energy. This metropolis city is worth to discover by day and night. Founded in the 1614, Tirana is now a developed city which combines culture, history, contemporary architecture and lots of hospitality shown towards tourists. As you take a walk in Tirana you will enjoy the look of the colorful buildings, fancy coffees and green parks. View Et'hem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower and the Tabak Bridge. Overnight in Tirana.

DAY 6 TIRANA – SHKODRA (2 hours drive) – BUDVA (3.5 hours drive)

After breakfast drive towards Shkodra, one of the oldest and most historic places in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic center. During many different epochs it has retained its status as a major city in the Western Balkans, due to its geostrategic positioning close to the Adriatic and the Italian ports, but also with land - routes to other important cities and towns in neighboring regions.
After the tour of Shkodra we cross border with Montenegro and drive towards Budva the main tourist center of the country. The secret of the city’s popularity rests mainly on its beautiful, mostly sandy coastline, diverse nightlife and examples of Mediterranean architecture. In addition to the splendid beaches of the “Budva Riviera”, the city also possesses a tiny, but beautiful, historic center. Surrounded by a wall, the historic center is located on a small peninsula which extends as a harbor-side promenade. Overnight in Budva.

DAY 7 BUDVA – KOTOR (40 minutes drive) – MOSTAR (3.5 hours drive)

After breakfast drive towards Kotor to visit the old town.
The Old City of Kotor is a well preserved urbanization typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. You will visit the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, a monument of Roman culture and one of the most recognizable symbols of the city, which was constructed in 1166 and built on the remains of a former temple from the 9th century.
Afterwards cross border with Bosnia, where we visit and stop for overnight in Mostar.
The city of Mostar is situated in a beautiful valley bedded between high mountains of Herzegovina. It is thanks to the river Neretva that Mostar was able to develop as a city in the desert-like landscape of Herzegovina. Neretva’s size turned Mostar very early in to a trading centre of the region. What makes this city known is it’s famous bridge. The Old Bridge was built by the Ottoman empire in 1565. It was the great architect Mimar Hajrudin who had succeeded with the impossible mission to cross the Neretva river with a single span stone bridge. Overnight in Mostar.

DAY 8 MOSTAR - SARAJEVO (3 hours drive) – AIRPORT DEPARTURE (30 minutes)

Morning drive towards Sarajevo for the city tour. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina, sorrounded by Olyimpic mountins, in the valley of river Miljacka. Population of Sarajevo is cca 420 000 citizens. Established as a city in 15th century by Isaj Bey Ishakovic, Sarajevo became a main crossroad for caravans and traders from east, west, north and south. It has rich culture, and for centuries presence of all monotheistic religions. In circle of just 100 meters you can find mosque, orthodox church, catholic cathedrals and Jewish synagogue in the town. Walking trough the main street you can see the fine line between Ottoman and Austro - Hungarian architecture - we call it "Sarajevo meeting of cultures". After the visits transfer to the airport for the return flight