Upon arrival in Belgrade, your driver will escort you to your hotel. Enjoy the ride from Nikola Tesla airport, taking in the sights of New Belgrade’s ‘blocks’ and modern business centers. Your driver will share stories about landmarks like the Western Gate, Belgrade Arena, and the Palace of Serbia. Check-in at the hotel.
Rest and prepare for the trip. At 7pm, your guide will greet you at the hotel reception, providing detailed information about the itinerary. Take a short walk to Skadarlija, the bohemian heart of Belgrade, to try local specialties and listen to traditional music. Overnight in Belgrade.
Enjoy breakfast and explore Vojvodina, Serbia’s captivating province. Visit the ‘Serbian Holy Land’ with 17 active monasteries and the well-preserved Krušedol Monastery. Experience the cultural gem of Sremski Karlovci, known for its Baroque center and renowned wineries. Discover Novi Sad, the 2021 European Capital of Culture, with its diverse architecture and historic landmarks. Return to Belgrade for overnight stay.
Post-breakfast, embark on a tour of Belgrade, celebrated for its architecture, vibrant history, and panoramic river views. Begin at the Museum of Yugoslav History, commemorating Josip Broz Tito, then visit FC Red Star stadium and the iconic Saint Sava Temple. Following a brief respite, explore key sites including Slavija Square, Saint Mark’s Church, Serbian Parliament, White Palace, and Republic Square, flanked by the National Theatre and Museum. Stroll Knez Mihailo Street and visit the Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel, before learning about the city’s oldest tavern, “?”. Conclude at Kalemegdan Park and Belgrade Fortress, the city’s cultural centerpiece, set at the Sava and Danube confluence.
After breakfast and check-out, the tour departs from Belgrade to Ovčar-Kablar Gorge, then proceeds to Tara National Park. Enjoy the park’s beauty aboard the ‘Nostalgia’ train on the Šargan Eight heritage railway, offering breathtaking mountain views and a journey through time.
Next, visit the ethno village Drvengrad (Wooden Town), created by director Emir Kusturica. This all-natural, mostly wooden village, features the Mećavnik Hotel, houses, galleries, a cinema, a church, and hosts the annual Küstendorf Film and Music Festival. Notable visitors include Johnny Depp and Monica Bellucci.
After breakfast and check-out, you’ll head to Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to explore Andrićgrad (Stone Town), built by Emir Kusturica near the UNESCO-protected Drina River bridge. Enjoy lunch at Zlatna Moruna in Andrićgrad, decorated with Bisenija Tereščenko’s frescoes.
Next, proceed to Sarajevo and check into your hotel. After resting, embark on a tour of key sites: Vijećnica (City Hall), the Ottoman-style Baščaršija district, 16th-century Orthodox Church, Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, Sahat Tower, Latin Bridge (associated with the start of WWI), 16th-century Bezistan market, and the pedestrian Ferhadiya zone with the Sarajevo Synagogue and a 19th-century Catholic cathedral. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast and checkout, drive to Mostar, a top Balkan city, where a walking tour includes the iconic Old Bridge, Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, the Crooked Bridge, and Tabhana tanner’s quarter. Enjoy lunch overlooking the Neretva River.
Next, visit Blagaj, a 15th-century town on the UNESCO Tentative List, which is renowned for its monastery located beside the Buna River. Blagaj is significant for being the cradle of Islam in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The day ends in Trebinje, a town rich in diverse cultural sights. The tour covers Arslanagića Bridge and a stroll through the old town leads to ‘Poet’s Square’, under symbolic 115-year-old trees. This town served as a movie set for director Emir Kusturica and actress Monica Belluci. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast and check-out, arrive in Dubrovnik, a historic monument and one of Europe’s best-preserved walled cities. Explore the 2 km long wall, admire the city’s churches, fortifications, and monuments. Visit the marble city’s Stradun street, Placa square, Pile Gate, Rector’s and Sponza Palaces, Old Town walls, Saint Blaise church, cathedral, Jesuit church, Orlando’s Column, Big Onofrio’s Fountain, city port and other hidden gems.
Next, drive to Budva, Montenegro’s tourist hub. Explore its medieval Old Town, enjoy a beach cocktail, and absorb stunning views. Visit the Holy Trinity Church, tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubiša, Saint Ivan, Santa Maria in Punta, and Saint Sava churches. Savor local seafood and wines in your free time. Check-in and overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, proceed to the scenic Bay of Kotor, a hotspot for cruisers. First, visit the baroque-style town of Perast before a leisurely boat ride to Our Lady of the Rock Island, hosting a church with local artwork and a famed votive tapestry.
Next, explore Kotor, an ancient Mediterranean town and UNESCO site dating to the 12th-14th centuries. Visit Saint Nicholas and Saint Luke churches, Saint Tryphon Cathedral, and more. Enjoy free time for lunch and exploration.
Return to Budva for personal time and overnight.
After breakfast and check-out, the tour continues past Lake Skadar and through a national park to Shkodër, one of Europe’s oldest towns. Visit the Venetian fortress Rozafa, offering stunning views of Shkodër, Lake Skadar, and surroundings. Stroll the pedestrian street Kole Idromeno and see landmarks like the Ebu Bekr Mosque, Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity, and Mother Teresa monument.
Proceed to Tirana, Albania’s capital, famous for its architecture, boulevards, parks, and shops. Visit Skanderbeg Square, home to important ministry buildings, the National Opera, National Bank, National Library, and a statue of Lord Skanderbeg. See notable landmarks like the Et’hem Bey Mosque, National Museum of History, Clock Tower, Presidential Palace and explore the city’s vibrant murals and colored buildings.
After breakfast, head to Elbasan, the third largest city in Albania, renowned for its castle district featuring Ottoman-era city walls, the 15th-century Royal Mosque, the Orthodox Church of Saint Mary and the Sahati Clock Tower.
Next, visit Ohrid, a UNESCO Cultural and Natural World Heritage Site, known as the cradle of Slavic literacy. It offers stunning natural beauty, an ancient lake, and more than 300 Orthodox churches and monasteries.
Finally, proceed to Skopje for an overnight stay.
Following breakfast, explore Skopje, North Macedonia’s capital. Known as a cultural crossroads, Skopje hosts a fusion of ancient and modern elements, featuring historical monuments, archaeological sites, and the nearby Matka Canyon.
Begin the tour at the Old Bazaar, the largest preserved bazaar in the Balkans, where you’ll immerse yourself in the historic atmosphere under the watchful eyes of the 1500-year-old Kale Fortress. Visit cultural landmarks like Sultan Murad Mosque, Daut Pasha Hamam, and cross the Stone Bridge to reach Macedonia Square, housing the prominent ‘Warrior on a Horse’ monument.
In the city’s modern sector, you’ll find the Porta Macedonia, the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, the Art Bridge, and a host of statues commemorating significant North Macedonian figures.
Enjoy free time to rest or explore the vibrant local nightlife. Consider a visit to Debar Maalo, known for its restaurants serving traditional North Macedonian cuisine, including shopska salad, ajvar, sarma, tavče gravče, and stuffed peppers. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
After breakfast and check-out, travel to Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. Renowned for its antiquity and bustling cultural life, Thessaloniki offers an array of museums, concerts, and a thriving nightlife.
During the city tour, explore numerous landmarks dating back to the Roman and Byzantine periods, including the Roman Arch of Galerius, the Monument of Rotunda, the Church of Saint Demetrius, and the medieval castle, Heptapyrgion. Visit Aristotelous Square, one of Greece’s largest and most magnificent squares, offering stunning views of the Thermaic Gulf and Mount Olympus on a clear day.
Stroll along Nikis Avenue, a popular waterfront promenade lined with cafes, bars, and stores, stretching from the city’s port to the statue of Alexander the Great. Continue the tour with a visit to the White Tower, the city’s emblematic monument, the Arch of Galerius, erected to celebrate Roman Emperor Galerius’s victory over the Persians, the Rotunda that serves as Galerius’s mausoleum and now the Church of Saint George, and the UNESCO-listed Church of Hagia Sofia.
In the evening, enjoy free time to discover more of this historic city. Dine at a local restaurant overlooking the Bay of Thessaloniki, savoring Mediterranean specialties and exquisite Greek wine. Overnight stay at the hotel.
After breakfast and check-out, embark on a journey to Athens, making a stop at the remarkable Meteora. This unique complex of Orthodox monasteries, named for the Greek term meaning ‘suspended rocks’, is a must-see Greek attraction. Until a century ago, this remote site could only be accessed via a rope net. The monasteries, perched on towering, steep cliffs, inspire awe and amazement, earning Meteora a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Considered a key cultural landmark in Greece, Meteora is also home to a persistent monastic community that occupies six of the original 24 monasteries.
As you continue towards Athens, appreciate the beautiful landscape of southern Greece, a region famous for its perennial sunshine. Upon arrival in the Greek capital, check in at the hotel. Take the rest of the day to unwind or venture out and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this dynamic city. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, begin your exploration of Athens, Greece’s capital, the cradle of democracy, and the home of remarkable archaeological sites. Athens, Europe’s historic capital, is globally renowned for the Acropolis, which hosts architectural and artistic masterpieces, including the Parthenon, an iconic symbol of Ancient Greece and democracy.
As you explore the Acropolis, you will also discover the Erechtheion, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the world-famous Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Besides the Acropolis, notable sights in this exceptional city include the main central squares: Syntagma Square, situated at the base of the Old Royal Palace, and Omonoia Square, which boasts some of the city’s most striking neoclassical buildings. During your city tour, visit the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were hosted. Stop by Monastiraki, a distinctive “old” Athenian area with narrow lanes and compact buildings surrounding one of Athens’ oldest churches, the beautiful Panagia Kapnikarea Church. No trip to Athens would be complete without exploring the historic district of Plaka, known as the ‘Neighbourhood of the Gods’. This area, with its winding narrow lanes and colourful 19th-century facades, is filled with small shops selling handmade souvenirs and local homemade food.
Spend the afternoon at your leisure to further explore Athens. You can discover fashionable boutiques, high-end restaurants, hip bars, and traditional taverns throughout the city. Stay overnight at your hotel.
After breakfast and completing the check-out process at the hotel, please note that the transfer to the airport is not included in the total tour price, as many of our clients prefer to extend their trip independently. However, if any guests would like us to arrange their departure transfer, they are more than welcome to reach out to us.
Not enough? Why not spend a few more days here! Extend your holidays with a pre- or post-holiday extension. Accommodation, sightseeing, and activities can be arranged. Add as many extra days to your holiday as you wish.
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Embark on an extraordinary journey through the Hidden Balkans and Greece, where a wealth of hidden gems awaits your discovery. This carefully crafted tour takes you off the beaten path, revealing the lesser-known wonders and captivating beauty of this enchanting region.
Begin your adventure in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern influences. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the city as you wander through the historic Old Bazaar, explore the majestic Skopje Fortress, and soak up the lively ambiance of the Macedonian Square.
Venture into Kosovo and find yourself in the picturesque town of Prizren. Delight in the charming streets lined with traditional houses and visit the magnificent Sinan Pasha Mosque. The medieval Prizren Fortress offers breathtaking views of the town and surrounding landscapes, transporting you back in time.
Next, journey to Tirana, the dynamic capital of Albania. Marvel at the unique blend of Ottoman, Italian, and Communist architectural styles that shape the city’s character. Explore the bustling streets, uncover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene that makes Tirana a true gem of the Balkans.
Your adventure continues as you arrive in Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled on the shores of Lake Ohrid. Discover the town’s rich history as you stroll along its cobblestone streets, marvel at the medieval churches adorned with stunning frescoes, and visit the iconic St. Naum Monastery, beautifully situated by the lake.
Prepare to be awe-struck as you venture to Meteora, a place of astounding natural beauty and spiritual significance. Marvel at the towering rock formations that seemingly touch the sky and the monasteries perched precariously atop these majestic cliffs. As you explore the monasteries, you’ll be captivated by their intricate architecture and the serene atmosphere that envelops these sacred sites.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s vibrant second-largest city, immerse yourself in a blend of ancient history and modern allure. Visit the renowned Rotunda and the Arch of Galerius, remnants of the city’s Roman past. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque waterfront promenade, and indulge in the culinary delights that make Thessaloniki a gastronomic paradise.
Unleash your inner adventurer as you ascend to the mythical realm of Mount Olympus. Traverse the rugged landscapes and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you uncover the captivating stories of Greek mythology. Explore the archaeological site of Dion, a once-thriving city at the foot of the mountain, and let the ancient ruins transport you to a bygone era.
Throughout this captivating journey, you’ll not only be immersed in the natural beauty and rich history of the Balkans and Greece but also have the opportunity to connect with the warm-hearted locals and savor the flavors of authentic regional cuisine. Uncover the hidden treasures of this remarkable region and create memories that will last a lifetime.