23 days / 22 nights
DAY 01 SKOPJE
Arrival in Skopje. In the afternoon private Skopje walking tour with local guide, visit to Mother Teresa memorial house and the main square. Overnight in Skopje.
DAY 02 SKOPJE - TIKVESH
Private Skopje Old town walking tour and drive to Tikvesh wine region. Visit to Stobi ancient site on the way. Afternoon visit to Wine museum. Overnight in Tikvesh area.
DAY 03 TIKVESH – BITOLA - OHRID
Departure to Bitola, the second largest Macedonian city, walk in the city center and visit to the ancient site Heraclea Lynkestis. Drive towards Prespa lake and across Galichica National Park to St.Naum Monastery with panoramic view of both Prespa and Ohrid lakes. Visit to St.Naum Monastery. Overnight in Ohrid.
DAY 04 OHRID AND OHRID LAKE
In the morning private Ohrid walking tour with local guide. Ohrid and Ohrid area are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Visit to the Ohrid fortress, Plaosnik area with new St. Klement’s church, St. John church in Kaneo (view from outside) and the church of St.Sofia. Afternoon at leisure in Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid
DAY 05 OHRID - TIRANA
Departure to Albania. After crossing the Macedonian-Albanian border stop at Elbasan. Upon arrival in Tirana private city tour with local guide. Visit to the National museum. Overnight in Tirana.
DAY 06 TIRANA - BUDVA
Morning visit to Kruje with walk in the picturesque old bazaar and optional visit to Skenderbay castle and museum. Drive towards Shkoder, once capital of Ilyrian state. Crossing Albanian - Montenegro border and drive along the Montenegro coast line. Overnight in Budva area.
DAY 07 BUDVA AND MONTENEGRO TOUR
Full day private “Montenegro tour” with local guide including Cetinje, Njegusi, the Lovcen National Park and the Kotor Old town. Visit the Kotor old town, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, with numerous monuments of the medieval architecture - churches, cathedrals, palaces and museums, and the charm of narrow streets, squares, and markets. Overnight in Budva area.
DAY 08 BUDVA - PRISTINA
Drive on the picturesque road from the coast line to the Montenegro mountains, along the canyon of river Moracha and winter resort Kolasin. Passing the border on mountain pass Kula and enter Kosovo. Afternoon visit to Grachanica monastery from the 14th c– part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Overnight in Pristina.
DAY 09 PRISTINA - SOFIA
Morning drive to Prizren, the most picturesque town in Kosovo. Walk in Prizren old town. Afternoon drive across Shara mountain National Park towards Macedonian border. Passing Skopje and drive towards the Macedonian – Bulgarian border. Arrival in Sofia in the evening. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 10 SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY - SOFIA
Departure to the Rila Monastery/10th c/, UNESCO World Heritage site, the largest and the most impressive Bulgarian monastery. Tour of the monastery complex, church and museum with its lavish collection of precious old manuscripts, icons, jewellery, masterpieces of woodcarving, ethnographic exhibition of fabrics and carpets. Back to Sofia. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 11 SOFIA – PLOVDIV
Sightseeing tour of Sofia – a city with 7000 years long history, concentrating numerous cultural and historic monuments from different periods. Visits of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the St. George Rotunda from the 4th century, the St.Sofia Basilica, the Ruins of the ancient city Serdica. Continue to Plovdiv – the second largest Bulgarian city. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 12 PLOVDIV AND BACHKOVO MONASTERY
Plovdiv is one of the most ancient cities in Europe and in the world. Sightseeing of the Old town of Plovdiv with National Revival architecture and excavations from Roman times. Visit of the ancient Roman theatre with impressive marble statues, decorative columns and arcades. Excursion to the Bachkovo Monastery /11th century/ - one of the richest galleries of traditional Bulgarian religious art with exquisite murals and medieval icons. Back to Plovdiv. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 13 PLOVDIV - KAZANLAK – TRYAVNA - VELIKO TARNOVO
Departure for Kazanlak, the capital of the famous Valley of Roses. Visit the Kazanlak Historical Museum to see the Thracian golden treasures. Continue with one of the UNESCO’s sites – the Thracian Tomb dating back from the 4th century B.C. Visit the replica of the Thracian Tomb. Departure to the town of Tryavna. Walking tour of Tryavna, where vaulted stone bridges, houses, churches and the square with a clock tower preserve the spirit and talent of the artists from Tryavna School of Art from the 17th century. Visit the Woodcarving Museum. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 14 VELIKO TARNOVO - ARBANASSI
Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo, including a walk on Samovodska Charshiya – traditional arts and crafts street and visit to Tsarevets hill - an impressive sight with medieval fortifications and dramatic architecture. Departure to the museum town of Arbanassi boasting a genuine gallery of religious art in its Church of Nativity. Visit Konstantsalieva house – fine example of 17th century house of a wealthy merchant. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 15 VELIKO TARNOVO – MADARA - SVESHTARI – RUSSE
Departure to Madara. Visit the Madara Rider – included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. It is an unique relief carved into a 100m high cliff and represents a figure of a knight over a lion. Tour continues to Sveshtari to visit the Sveshtari Thracian Tomb, an UNESCO monument. The unique architectural décor of the tomb includes 10 female figures carved in the walls and painted murals, a remarkable example of the culture of the Thracian people. Arrival in Russe and walking tour in the city center. Overnight in Russe.
Day 16 RUSSE – IVANOVO - BUCHAREST
Departure to Ivanovo. The Ivanovo medieval rock churches are unique monuments, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. They consist of churches, chapels and monastic cells, hewn into the craggy gorge of the Russenski Lom River. Visit of the main church. Departure to Bucharest. Overnight in Bucharest.
Day 17 BUCHAREST - CURTEA DE ARGES - SIBIU
In the morning panoramic sightseeing tour of Bucharest, then departure to Curtea de Arges, former capital of Wallachia. Visit the Episcopal Church where the Romanian Kings are buried. Drive along the picturesque Olt Valley to Sibiu, one of the oldest towns in Transylvania - formerly Hermannstadt - founded by the Saxon colonists. Guided walking tour of the medieval town (the Main Square, the Evangelical Church, the Liars’ Bridge etc.). Overnight in Sibiu.
Day 18 SIBIU – BIERTAN - SIGHISOARA
Morning drive to the heart of Transylvania to visit the secret retreat for the royalties of Europe. The Saxon villages display a remarkable, unspoilt harmony between people and landscape. Drive to Biertan to visit the impressive fortified church - UNESCO world heritage. Drive on to Sighisoara, birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (“Dracula”). Walking tour in the medieval citadel (the “Upper Town”) to admire: the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill etc. Overnight in Sighisoara.
Day 19 SIGHISOARA - SUCEVITA
After breakfast, continue to Târgu Mures - visit of the elegant city centre well known for its architecture. Drive on to Bistrita - one of the 7 main medieval towns of “Siebenbürgen” (the German name for Transylvania). Continuation through Tihuta Pass.
Accommodation and overnight at hotel in Sucevita.
Day 20 SUCEVITA - MONASTERIES - PIATRA NEAMT
Full day in Bucovina – land of the unique painted monasteries belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage. Visit the Moldovita and Sucevita monasteries with outside frescoes. Then visit the famous monastery of Voronet, “the Sistine Chapel of the Orient”. Late afternoon drive south to visit the Agapia monastery. Accommodation and overnight at hotel in Piatra Neamt.
Day 21 PIATRA NEAMT – POIANA BRASOV
Departure across the mountains to Brasov through the spectacular Bicaz Gorges - the Red Lake – Miercurea Ciuc. Visit the beautiful fortified church of Prejmer. Panoramic sightseeing tour and guided walking tour in the historical centre of Brasov (formerly Kronstadt). Late afternoon arrival in Poiana Brasov. Accommodation and overnight in Poiana Brasov.
Day 22 BRASOV - BRAN – SINAIA - BUCHAREST
Drive to Bran for a visit to “Dracula’s Castle”. Departure across the mountains to Sinaia, called the “Pearl of the Carpathians” due to the beauty of its natural setting and the elegance of its architecture. Visit the fabulous Peles Castle - former summer residence of the Royal family. Late afternoon drive to Bucharest. Upon arrival visit the outdoor Village Museum. Accommodation and overnight at hotel in Bucharest.
In the morning free time in central Bucharest for visits and shopping (subject to the flight schedule) and transfer to the airport. End of our services.
Net price per person:
- Sharing a double room : 3650 Euro
- Single room supplement: 520 Euro
The above price includes:
• Accommodation 22 nights as per the above program at 3-star hotels incl. all hotel taxes and service charges;
• Meals: Half board meals /breakfast and dinner/;
• Private car (for 2-3 pax) or air-conditioned van, minibus or coach for all the above itinerary and program;
• English speaking driver and local guides or through English speaking guide (for parties of 2-3 pax the guide will also drive);
• All entrance fees to museums, monasteries and sites included in the program.
The above price does not include:
• Hotel extras /telephone, mini bar, etc./;
• Additional meals;
• Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites;
• Air tickets;
• Travel insurance;
• Personal Expenses;
• Visa procurement /if needed/
GUARANTEED DEPARTURES for minimum 2 participants at the following dates:
Balkan Discovery 2020
24 April 2020
15 May 2020
03 July 2020
24 July 2020
14 August 2020
28 August 2020