The Balkan Peninsula, popularly referred to as the Balkans, is a geographical region of Southeast Europe. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the west of Croatia to the very east of Bulgaria, to the Black Sea. The region is inhabited by Albanians, Bulgarians, Bosniaks, Croats, Gorani, Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs, Romanians, Aromanians, Turks, and other ethnic groups which present minorities in certain countries like the Romani. The largest religion on the Balkans is Orthodox Christianity, followed by Catholic Christianity and Islam. The total area of the Balkans is 257,400 square miles and the population is 59,297,000 (est. 2002). The Balkans meets the Adriatic Sea on the northwest, Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea on the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. The highest point of the Balkans is mount Musala 2,925 metres (9,596 ft) on the Rila mountain range in Bulgaria.
Day 1 Pristina
At the Airport you will be welcomed by our staff, and will meet with your guide, after a travel by mini-bus 20 Km for 30 min you will be in hotel, then you will make a check in to hotel for a two night stay in Pristina where you will have a welcome dinner.
Day 2 Pristina-Prizren
Travelling in the city starts after breakfast in hotel in Pristina, with visiting Cathedral “Mother Teresa”, after that you will visit “ Statue of Skanderbeg “,” Bazaar Mosque “,” Clock Tower“, ”Kosovo Museum” and “Ethnological Museum “ after visiting “ Ethnological Musem” around 12:30 you will travel 80km by mini-bus from Pristina to Prizren, about 13:30 o`clock you will be in Prizren and have lunch, after lunch you will start the city tour where you will visit Castle of Prizren , Stone Bridge ,Gazi Mehmet Pasha Hamam, Sinan Pasha Mosque, House Museum. After visiting the House Museum around 18:00 you will travel 20 km from Prizren to Hotel Sharri. Around 18:30 you will be in Hotel Sharri where you will make a check in for one night stay in hotel and have dinner too.
• Mother Teresa (26/08/1910 – 5/09/1997), was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister and missionary of Albanian origin who lived for most of her life in India. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. They run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children’s and family counseling programmes; orphanages; and schools. Members of the institute must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. Mother Teresa was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2003, she was beatified as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.
• Statue of Gjergj Kastrioti – Skanderbeg : He was Albanian feudal 15th century who fought to protect the country from the Ottoman Empire for more than two decades, history records that the 15th century Albanian national hero, Skanderbeg had raised the red flag with the black eagle over his ancestral home, the Fortress of Kruja.
• Clock Tower – This clock tower was built in the nineteenth century original bell was brought from Moldova and carrying the inscription : “This bell was made in 1764 from Jon Moldova Rumen”. In 2001, the original bell was stolen. In the same year, the bodies of French KFOR have changed the old clock mechanism with an electric mechanism.
• Bazaar mosque – is the city’s oldest building , its built in the 15th century by Sultan Bayezid to commemorate the victory of the Ottomans in year 1389
• Kosovo Museum : This Austro-Hungarian building, was originally built for the regional administration of Kosovo. From 1945 until 1975, this served as headquarters for the Yugoslav People’s Army. In 1963, it was sold to the Museum of Kosovo, while from 1999 to 2002, was the main office of the European Agency for Reconstruction. Kosovo Museum has an extensive collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts. In 1998 (during the war), more than 1,247 artifacts were stolen from serbs and sent in Belgrade.
• Ethnological Museum – is part of the Kosovo Museum. This museum was opened on 27 July 2006, respectively, to the public in September 2006. The exhibition is built around four themes that represent the cycle of life: birth, life, death, intangible heritage.
• Castle of Prizren – located in the south-east of the city of Prizren, considered to be the symbol of the city and an important element in the cultural identity of Kosovo. Built high on a hill in a picturesque environment and in an extremely strategic position, the castle rises above the city as well as the deep valley of Lumëbardhit.
• Stone Bridge – is located in the old city core, the river divides into two part of the city, Stone Bridge played (and plays) an important role in the development of trade and life. Bridge is with three arches, where the medium arc is the largest, and side arches are smaller and not the same that makes asymmetric bridge.
• Gazi Mehmet Pasha Hamam – is located downtown near the mosque Kukli-Mehmet Bey, Emin Pasha mosque , built in 1563-74. In main gate is the inscription plates (1833) which shows the date of restoration by brothers Tahi and Mehmed Pasha Rrotulli. Hamam has served as public restroom until 1927/44 and became integral part of social life and proclaims cultural monument in 1954.
• Sinan Pasha Mosque – is not even old mosque of Prizren, but it is undoubtedly the most beautiful mosque of the city and beyond. Her position makes that dominate in old bazaar square. Is recognized as one of the most beautiful works of Islamic architecture in the Balkans, it dominates the skyline of Prizren and it is identifier symbol.
• House-Museum of Albanian League – is the historic house where the League of Prizren was held on June 10, 1878, where the Albanian patriots gathered to form a political, military and cultural protection of the Albanian lands against the Ottoman Empire.
Day 3 Skopje- Ohrid
After breakfast in the hotel Sharri, you will travel 80 Km by mini-bus from Hotel Sharri to Skopje for around 1h 30 min . After arrival in Skopje around 11:00 will have a short café break then you will start the city tour where you will visit Skopje Kale Fortress ,Mustafa Pasha Mosque and the Old bazaar. After visiting the Old bazaar around 12:00 you will have lunch, after lunch at 13:00 you will travel 170 km from Skopje to Ohrid . Around 15:20 you will be in Ohrid where you will visit the Church of St. Sophia , Ancient Theatre, Ohrid Bazaar. After visiting the bazaar, around 19:00 you will go to hotel and make a check in for one night stay and have dinner too.
• Kale Fortress – The old fortress of the city, or as it is known Kale Fortress was built by the Byzantines in the 6th century, and still remains the dominant structure in the city. It was partially destroyed in the 1963 earthquake but was quickly restored and conserved. It is one of the most distinguishable sites of the city along with the stone bridge and the newer statues on the Macedonia Square. The view of the city from the fortress is astonishing.
• Mustafa Pasha Mosque- is located just above the Old Bazaar and is one of many relics remaining from Ottoman times. Built in 1492 by the sultan’s vizier in the region it represents one of the most beautiful ottoman remains in the country. It has a great view over the Old Bazaar and has its own garden. It was recently restored but its beauty and simplicity in the construction remain the same from the 15th century.
• Old Bazaar – The old bazaar has been a centre for trade and merchants as early as the 12th century and nowadays it represents an iconic heritage site for the city. It is a vivid representation of the country’s past and its inheritance from the Ottoman empire. Still having authentic shops for jewelry and handcrafted products it can be a paradise for collectors of original arts and products . Its coffee and tea shops perfectly fit in the timeless surroundings and offer an original experience for every traveler.
• Church of St. Sophia-is located in the city of Ohrid. The church was built during the First Bulgarian Empire, after the building of the church during the rule of Knyaz Boris I (852-889). The interior of the church has been preserved with frescoes from the 11th, 12th and 13t century, which represent some of the most significant achievements in Byzantine painting of the time.
• Ancient Theatre –it was built in 200 BC and is the only Hellenistic-type in the country. During Roman times, the theater was also used for gladiator fights. Since the theater was also a site of executions of Christians by Romans, it rapidly turned to a highly disliked site by the locals. In fact, as a result of this dislike, the theater was abandoned and buried by the locals after the demise of the Roman Empire. Since the late 1980s, the theater is again a site of public performances, such as plays, concerts, operas ,ballet etc.
• Ohrid bazaar- is the most lively part of Ohrid .It stars with the farmer’s market and a small square and ends at the main port. A 1.000- year old tree still stands in the middle of the square. Especially interesting are the clay products, the old Macedonian musical instruments and the famous Macedonian embroidery.
Day 4 Tirana-Kruja-Shkoder
After breakfast in the hotel in Ohrid you will travel 140 km by mini-bus from Ohrid to Tirana for 2h . Around 11:00 you will be in Tirana first will have a short café break then you will visit National Historical Museum, Et’hem Bey Mosque, National Art Gallery. After visiting the Art Gallery in 13:00 you will have lunch, after lunch in 14:00 you will travel 40 km from Tirana to Kruja. Around 14:40 you will be in Kruja where you will visit Traditional Bazaar, Kruja Castle and Ethnographic Museum which is inside of Kruja Castle. After visiting Kruja Castle around 18:00 you will travel 90 km from Kruja to Shkoder. Around 19:00 you will be in Shkoder where you will make a check in for one night stay in hotel and have dinner too.
• National Historical Museum- is the country’s largest museum. It was opened on 28 October 1981 and is 27.000 square metres in size, while 18.000 square metres are available for expositions. The gigantic mosaic appearing at the main entrance is entitled “The Albanians”. The Museum includes the following pavilions: Antiquity, Medieval, Iconography, Culture of Albania, Albanian Resistance of World War II and Communist genocide.
• Eh’hem Bey Mosque- Construction was started in 1789 by Molla Bey and it was finished in 1823 by his son Haxhi Et’hem Bey. Closed under communist rule, the mosque reopened as a house of worship in 1991, without permission from the authorities. 10.000 courageous people dared to attend and remarkably the police did not interfere. The event was a milestone in the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania.
• National Art Gallery has a fund of over 4.000 works of art by Albanian and foreign authors, spanning seven centuries of Albanian cultural heritage.
• Traditional Bazaar- is situated on the way to the castle, a medieval-type bazaar with traditional handicrafts such as filigree, alabaster, silver, copper, wooden made objects, wool carpets, etc. Its main peculiarities are that all the shops are made of wood.
• Kruja Castle- was built during the 5th and 6th centuries and has an elliptical shape with total area of 2.25 hectars. The surrounding walls are reinforced by nine towers, which serves as an observation and signaling post during times of war. Within the walls of the castle there can still be found the remains of a few houses.
Day 5 Shkoder-Ulcinj
After breakfast in the hotel in Shkoder, you will start the city tour where you will visit Rozafa Castle, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Historical Museum. After visiting the Historical Museum at 13:00 you will have lunch. After lunch in 14:00 you will travel 40 km from Shkodra to Ulcinj, around 15:00 you will be in Ulcinj where you will visit Museum of Local History, Clock Tower, and the Castle of Ulcinj. After visiting the Castle, around 19:00 you will go to hotel and make a check in for one night stay and have dinner too.
• Rozafa Castle- is a castle near the city of Shkodra. It rises imposingly on a rocky hill, 105 meters above sea level, surrounded by the Bojana and Drin rivers. The hill has been settled since antiquity. It was and Illyrian stronghold until it was captured by the Romans in 167 BC. The legend is about the initiative of three brothers of the who set about building the castle. They worked all day, but the walls fell down at night. They met a clever old man who advised them to sacrifice someone so that the walls would stand. The three brothers found it difficult to decide whom to sacrifice. Finally, they decided to sacrifice one of their wives who would bring lunch to them the next day. So they agreed that whichever of their wives was the one to bring them lunch the next day was the one who would be buried in the wall of the castle. They also promised not to tell their wives of this. The two older brothers explained the situation to their wives that night, while the honest youngest brother said nothing. The following afternoon, the brothers waited anxiously to see which wife was carrying the basket of food. It was Rozafa, the wife of the youngest brother. He explained to her the agreement that they had made, namely that she was to be sacrificed and buried in the wall of the castle so that they could finish building it. She did not protest. The faithfulness of the youngest brother and the life sacrifice of his young wife are portrayed as elements of symbolic importance. Rozafa, who was predestined to be walled in, worried about her infant son, accepted to be walled in on condition that they leave her right breast exposed to feed her newborn son, her right eye to see him, her right hand to caress him and her right foot to rock his cradle. It is said that milk still flows from one of the walls in the castle.
• St Stephen’s Cathedral: Is one of the oldest cathedrals in Shkodra. An earthquake in 1905 and the bombing of 12 March 1913 during the Siege of Scutari damaged the bell tower and the clock, which had been given by the Kakarriqi brothers. In 1925, the Kakarriqi family purchased another clock which has worked till 1967, when the church was transformed into a Palace of Sports following the Cultural Revolution. Ironically even the Congress of the Communist Women of Albania was held in the Cathedral in 1973. The towers were destroyed in 1967 and the portal was boarded up. In 1990 the Cathedral was reopened and on November 11, 1990 the first mass in the country since 1967 was held in the cathedral. A symbolic mass was held in the cathedral on March 21, 1991. In 1993 it was visited by Pope John Paul II.
• The Historical Museum was founded in 1949, based on collections gathered by the Jesuits and Franciscan monks at the end of the 19th century, and also on private collections donated by families of Shkodrër. The museum is housed inside a monumental 19th century building, the massive family house of Osa Kuka, a wealthy middle-class merchant. The house itself is as interesting as the museum: surrounded by fortified walls, the building is a typical merchant’s home, attesting Shkodra significant role as a prime merchants’ city along the ancient trade route between the Mediterranean sea and Kosovo.
• Museum of local history- is a local museum located in Kalaja. Through exhibits from the archaeological, ethnographic and artistic collection, in the museum of local history you can learn about life in Ulcinj from the 5th century BC to the Turkish period.
• Clock Tower -was built in 1754 with money collected from donations made by citizens of Ulcinj. The main task of the tower was to “call” people at work and remember the times here. Location is carefully selected, as can be seen from every part of the city, but not including the city’s newest. There rectangular base.It is near the Mosque Namazgjahut and the Mosque of Kryepazarit. Today, unfortunately, is not functional.
• Castle of Ulcinj- also known as the old town of Ulcinj is an ancient fortress and neighborhoods in Ulcinj, Montenegro. It is built on a small peninsula on the right side of the Gulf of Rera, which is part of the Adriatic Sea. It was built for the first time by the Illyrians, this is evidence of Cyclopean wall which is located in the northwestern part of it. About this castle was developed modern city of Ulcinj. The castle has been restored many times during her past, significant changes were made by the Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans.
Day 6 Kotor-Dubrovnik
After breakfast in the hotel in Ulcinj you will travel 85 km from Ulcinj to Kotor for around 1h 30 min. Around 11:00 you will be in Kotor , first will have a short café break then you will visit : St. Tryphon’s Cathedral, Maritime Museum and the Old Town of Kotor. After visiting the Old Town around 13:00 you will have lunch, after lunch at 14:00 you will travel 90km from Kotor to Dubrovnik for around 2h. Around 16:00 you will be in Dubrovnik after a short break you will visit City walls, Modern Art Gallery, Dubrovnik Cathedral , Rector’s Palace. . After visiting the Palace, around 19:00 you will go to hotel and make a check in for one night stay and have dinner too.
• St. Tryphon’s Cathedral- First built in the 11th century, reconstructed after earthquakes . Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Chapel holds the remains of St. Tryphon, the patron saint of Kotor.
• Maritime Museum- The memories on those long gone sailing days and years, the successes of the famous Kotor seaman, artists, ship builders, crafts man, states man, and diplomats, intermediaries between west and east, are kept in the Maritime museum, which is housed in the baroque palace Grgurin. In the museum, one can find three floors of portraits of the famous captains, models of old galleys and sail boats, navigational instruments, photographs, uniforms, weapons, paintings, and model ships.
• Old Town- is the most famous part of Kotor, where the Kotor history, culture, and tradition are being preserved. The old town of Kotor has a great number of monuments of the medieval architecture: churches, cathedrals, palaces, and museums. They are complemented with the multitude of narrow streets, squares, and markets.
• City Walls -The first thing any visitor should fork out for is entrance up to the City Walls. The main one is by the Pile Gate. Arrowed up towards the Adriatic side, you’re soon scaling staircases to allow you a sublime view of the blue, blue sea to one side and people’s red-tiled roofs, terraces and washing lines to the other. There are a couple of cafes towards the harbor end.
• Modern Art Gallery Dubrovnik- Just a short walk away from the Old Town, the wonderful former Banac Mansion contains four floors and nine rooms of exhibition space, with a permanent collection that includes many works by Cavtat-born Vlaho Bukovac, alongside challenging contemporary shows. There is usually at least one major summer exhibition featuring a leading Croatian or international artist, and frequent contemporary-art happenings.
• Dubrovnik Cathedral- The original church, allegedly funded by Richard the Lionheart in recognition of the local hospitality when shipwrecked on Lokrum in the 1190s, was lost to the 1667 earthquake. In its place was built a somewhat bland, baroque affair, free but unenticing to walk around. The main draw is the treasury at one end, a somewhat grotesque collection of holy relics. The arm, skull and lower leg of patron St Blaise are kept in jewel-encrusted casings, another box contains one of Christ’s nappies, and wood from the Holy Cross is incorporated into a finely crafted crucifix from the 16th century. Perhaps the most bizarre artifact is the creepy dish and jug designed as a gift for the Hungarian King Mátyás Corvinus, who died before he could receive it.
• Rector’s Palace-The most historic monument in Dubrovnik, the Rector’s Palace was rebuilt twice. The first, by Onofrio della Cava of fountain fame, was in Venetian-Gothic style, visible in the window design once you ascend the grand staircase to the Rector’s living quarters. On the ground floor, either side of a courtyard, are the prison and courtrooms of the Ragusa Republic, and a glittering display of medieval church art. Upstairs, where each Rector resided for his month’s stint, is a strange assortment of items: sedan chairs, carriages, magistrates’ robes and wigs, portraits of local notables and Ivo Rudenjak’s beautifully carved bookcase. One curiosity is the clocks, some set at quarter to six, the time in the evening when Napoleon’s troops entered in 1806.
Day 7 Mostar –Sarajevo
After breakfast in the hotel in Dubrovnik , you will travel 95 km from Dubrovnik to Mostar for around 2h. Around 11:00 you will be in Mostar , first will have a short café break then you will visit: Stari Most –The old bridge, Museum, Muslibegovica House, History Museum of Herzegovina, Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque. After visiting the Mosque around 13:00 you will have lunch, after lunch at 14:00 you will travel 140km from Mostar to Sarajevo for around 2h. Around 16:00 you will be in Sarajevo first will have a short café break then you will visit: Bascarsija Bazaar, Latin Bridge, Yellow Fortress, Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum, Begova Mosque. After visiting the Begova Mosque, around 19:00 you will go to hotel and make a check in for one night stay and have dinner too.
• Stari Most – The Old Bridge-Originally built by the Turks in 1566, it was destroyed in 1993, but rebuilt in 2004. The bridge is the highlight of Mostar and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge is 21m high and you will frequently see members of the Mostar Diving Club dive off the bridge.
• Museum-Includes exhibits on the history of the bridge, a panoramic view from the top, and entrance into the excavations below, along with a video detailing the reconstruction of the bridge.
• Muslibegovica House- Constructed 300 years ago, it is considered the most beautiful house from Ottoman period in the Balkans. The house is comprised of separate quarters for women (women’s courtyard– haremluk), and men (men’s courtyard – selamluk) . Unlike earlier architectural styles, this house resembled a four-storey house built around the centre. Double-arched entrance with the central pillar reveals Mediterranean influence. The house preserved authentic monumental structure, items and documents providing an insight into the life of a wealthy bey family from the time.
• History Museum of Herzegovina- Has a small collection of photographs from various phases of Mostar history, including a small exhibit on a native son who appeared to have served as Tito’s former Foreign Minister for a space. Also shows an excellent video on the recent history of the Old Bridge.
• Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque-Small but simply pretty Ottoman mosque built in 1618. Climb to the minaret to see a great view over the town.
• Bascarsija Bazaar- is the old part of Sarajevo. It’s important and ”must see” tourist attraction. It has some special ”Ottoman look” from mosques, shops, squares.. Bascarsija is the center of Sarajevo, and there is always lots of people. It’s very rich with important historical, cultural and religious buildings.
• Latin Bridge- Across the street from this bridge was the location of the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke of the Austrian Hungarian empire Franz Ferdinand, the event that sparked the beginning of World War I. A plaque commemorates the event. A memorial to the assassin Gavrilo Princip, his footprints carved in stone and mounted in the sidewalk, used to be here but this was removed during the 1992-1995 War.
• Yellow Fortress.-The small fortress provides a great view of the city. Walk through the war cemetery at the eastern end of the old town. Another way is to follow the river upstream. Where the road forks, take the right fork (the left fork goes into a short tunnel).
• Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum- This museum houses the tunnel which was used to access the airport area during the siege and ferry supplies into the city. The tunnel itself is in the garden of a house so don’t be worried if you think you’re headed into suburbia. Tourists can only walk 25m of the original 800m.
• Begova mosque- This medieval Ottoman architecture’s pearl is a lovely place to visit. It is opened both to Muslims and non-Muslims, but a visiting woman needs to cover her hair and wear long skirt or dress within the mosque. It is one of the biggest mosques in the region and, f or many ,the most beautiful one.
Day 8 Sarajevo
After breakfast in the hotel in Sarajevo you will transfer to the airport for the flight back .