Balkan Circle – EscortedPlaces Covered : Albania - Montenegro - Bosnia-Herzegovina - Slovenia - Croatia
DAY 1 – Arrival in Tirana (Albania)
Arrival in Tirana and transportation to your hotel. Depending on flight schedule, enjoy the rest of your day exploring the interesting capital of Albania and its bustling culture, top listed amongst Albania holiday destinations.
Accommodation at Hotel Vila Taku 3* or similar.
DAY 2 – Tirana - Lezhe - Shkoder - Podgorica - Niksic (Albania & Montenegro)
After breakfast at the hotel, we head to the city of Lezha which in ancient times was known as Lis. We will visit to Mausoleum of Skanderbeg (Albanian National Hero) and then continue to Shkoder. Shkoder is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and was once the capital of the Illyria. It is also considered the “Florence of the Balkans” due to its rich culture. We visit its old bazaar, cathedral and mosque before heading to Rozafa castle for spectacular views of the city, lake and the surrounding mountains. Later, we will continue to Montenegro’s capital Podgorica, where we visit the Old Town and show you the most important historical monuments and buildings in town: Doganjska Mosque from 15th century and Skaline (“the stairs”) – this is probably one of the most picturesque sites of Podgorica. It is peaceful, quiet yet also located in the middle of the city. We will also visit Republic Square, St. George’s church, Millenium Bridge, Russian Bridge, Vladimir Vysotsky Monument, Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Orthodox Church), Roman Square, King Nikola's Castle from 19th century and Clock Tower (Sahat Kula) from 17th century. We will then continue on to Niksic. There are many places worth seeing in the centre of Niksic such as the Central Square and the Royal Palace of King Nikola I which contains a museum. We will also visit the Church of St. Basil of Ostrog, which was built in the 19th century in memory of the Montenegrin heroes, who gave their lives for the freedom of the country. Near the centre you can also find the old Turkish city walls and Hadji-Smajil's mosque.
Accommodation at Hotel Garni Atrium 3* or similar.
DAY 3 – Mostar - Banja Luka (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
The next day, we will cross the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina where we continue to Mostar, the first stop of your Bosnia holiday adventure. Mostar is situated on River Neretva and is home to the ‘Stari Most’ (Old Bridge), one of the best examples of Ottoman Architecture in the Balkans. In the 1990's the bridge was destroyed during the Bosnian War but in 2004, the reconstruction of the Old Bridge was rebuilt. Nowadays, Mostar is a must-see for visitors to the Balkans, especially the Old Bridge. At the Old Bazaar, you can purchase souvenirs or enjoy a coffee as you watch the Neretva river flowing through the town.
After that, we continue to Banja Luka and en route we will enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We will have a city tour of Banja Luka, including a visit to Kastel Fortress, Ferhadija Mosque and Safikada’s grave.
Accommodation at Hotel Palace 3* or similar.
DAY 4 – Zagreb (Croatia)
After breakfast, we will carry on to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. We will go on a walking tour, encompassing the highlights of the city including the Green Horseshoe of Zagreb, the Cathedral, the Upper Town and the Museum of Broken Relationship. After hearing all about the history of the city, you can enjoy a snack and a dinner at Zagreb’s 360° Observation Deck.
Accommodation at Hotel Jadran 3* or similar.
DAY 5 – Ljubljana - Postojna Cave - Rijeka (Slovenia & Croatia)
After breakfast, we will continue to Slovenia, where we visit the country’s charming capital, Ljubljana. We will explore the city’s Old Town and Roman ruins and admire the riverbanks and bridges over the Ljubljanica River. We will also take the funicular to Ljubljana Castle for fantastic views over the city and the Slovenian Alps. You can relax in one of the city’s many cafes and restaurants and marvel at the city’s beautiful architecture.
Afterwards, we will visit the stunning stalagmites and stalactites of Postojna cave. Then, continue to Rijeka in Croatia, where you will visit the fortress of Trsat, built in the 13th century. You will learn about the long and interesting history of the castle overlooking the entire city of Rijeka, which is the third largest city in Croatia.
Accommodation at Hotel Continental 3* or similar.
DAY 6 – Zadar - Sibenik (Croatia)
After breakfast, our journey continues to Zadar where we will explore the past 3,000 years of the city’s history which is considered one of the ‘Pearls of the Adriatic’. We will then go on to the historic town of Sibenik, located in a picturesque bay where the Krka River joins the Adriatic Sea. We will walk through Sibenik’s cobbled streets and visit St. Jacob’s Cathedral.
Accommodation at Hotel Jadran Sibenik 3* or similar.
DAY 7 – Split - Dubrovnik (Croatia)
After breakfast, we depart towards Split. The coastal city is known for its beaches and the fortress-like complex at the centre of the city – the remains of Dicoletian’s Palace built in the 4th Century. The palace complex was once home to thousands of people and includes more than 200 buildings. Within the ancient white stone walls, you will find the cathedral and a wide variety of shop, bars, cafes and hotels. The city’s cathedral was built in the Middle Ages, reusing materials from the ancient mausoleum. Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th Century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area.
Afterwards, our journey continues to Dubrovnik. The city walking tour will take you around the Old Town via Onofrio's Fountain and up Prijeko Street to the Old Port - the key to Dubrovnik's trading and maritime fortunes. Along the way you will pay a visit to St. Saviour's, the grandiose Franciscan and Dominican church, and see wine-producing vines believed to be more than 100 years old.
Accommodation at Hotel Petka 3* or similar.
DAY 8 – Kotor - Budva - Tirana (Montenegro & Albania)
Breakfast at our hotel before we head to Durres, a seaside city in Albania preserving the largest Roman amphitheatre in the region, dating back to the 2nd century. Highlights include the Archaeological Museum, ancient Amphitheatre & Roman Baths and the Byzantine Bazaar. In the afternoon, we continue our journey to Tirana, the capital of Albania, where we will explore Skanderbeg Square, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Archaeological Museum and the fascinating sights of this city, once locked within a Stalinist isolation.
Accommodation at Hotel Vila Taku 3* or similar.
DAY 9 – Departure from Tirana (Albania)
Breakfast at the hotel, before transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Tour Price Includes
- 8 nights' accommodation as specified or similar
- Daily Breakfast at your hotel
- Lunch on day 2
- Air Conditioned modern transportation
- English speaking guide
- Entrance fees
- 24 hour emergency service
- All Hotel/Airport and Intercity transfers are Included
Tour Price Excludes
- Meals other than those indicated above, drinks, tips, laundry, telephone calls & expenses of personal nature.
- Local City tax or Resort fee are to be paid directly at hotel/resort if applicable.
- Anything or any services which are not specified in tour inclusions are excluded.