Elite Travel DMC

Athens

Athens

The tour of Ancient and Medieval Civilization of the Balkans will take back in historical facts of early past civilization in combination with the present.

  • Day-1 Dubrovnik
    After your landing in Dubrovnik airport, you will be transferred to the city, from where you will start your journey.
    The tour starts in the Old Town inside the walls of the castle, long walls that go about 2 kilometers in length. Along you will have a close look to the buildings mostly in Baroque style, where in some there are still bullet holes from the Croatian War. There you will visit highlights such as the Treasury Cathedral, the Rolando Colon, the Rectors Palace, Onofrio Fountain, the third oldest pharmacy in the world and the only one still functioning, etc.
    The dinner will be served in a fancy restaurant by the sea, and you will stay in Dubrovnik for overnight.

    Day-2 Dubrovnik – Mostar – Neum – Dubrovnik
    Today you will leave behind the magic of Dubrovnik and will go over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first treat from this country will be Mostar. Upon your arrival in Mostar, you will firstly be astonished from the Old Bridge, the origin of the town. In the city, you will visit the 3 centuries old house of Muslibegovica, the Ottoman quarter, the Koski Mehmet Pasha Mosque, etc.
    A traditional Bosnian lunch follows in Mostar and after lunch you depart to Neum, a small piece of natural wonder. Neum is the only coastal town of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stretching in 24.5 kilometres of shore, with an origin since 17th century as a division of the Republic of Ragusa (then Dubrovnik), Venice possetions and the Ottoman Empire. After you enjoy the natural wonder of the steppy hills and sandy beach of Naum, you will return to Dubrovnik, where the afternon is free at your leisure. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik.

    Day-3 Dubrovnik – Shkodra – Tirana
    After your experience in Croatia and Bosnia, you will drive south heading to Shkodra, after crossing the border entering in Albania. Shkodra, the most important city of northern Albania is your first contact with Albanian culture and Albanian history. The Rozafa Castle, with all it’s glory, history and legends, is the first landmark you should visit atop of the hill overlooking the city and the whole region. A short walk to the pedestrian street, the street of all Shkodra’s culture and famous buildings.
    You can’t leave Shkodra without having lunch, and finishing lunch with a dessert from the area called “sheqerpare”.
    Continuing further south, you will be headed to Tirana, the capital of Albania. You will take a look at the Scanderbeg Square, where our national hero stands strong like he stood agains the Ottoman invaders, sorrounded by the historical buildings of the Ministries, the Opera, the Tirana International Hotel, the National Historic Museum, Bank of Albania and Et’hem Beg Mosque. Each of these buildings are symbolic representatives of the era of their construction. Your stroll continues south along Martyrs of the National Boulevard, passing other important landmarks and ending up to Mother Theresa Square at the Polytechnic University.
    Dinner and overnight in Tirana.

    Day-4 Tirana – Kruje – Durres – Tirana
    From Tirana, you drive to the historical town of Kruja. Visit the museum of Gjergj Kastriot Scanderbeg, our national hero, who fought heroically against the ottoman invasion. Proceed to visit the Ethnographic museum, where are exposed folk dresses, objects and other things.You live Kruja by visiting the bazaar, where you will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, wool carpets, wooden-made objects etc. After sightseing all the spots of Kruja, you will have a delightful traditional lunch at a restaurant nearby the castle, to get a better Albanian taste. The rest of the afternoon will be at your leisure to explore other parts of Kruja.
    After Kruja, you will be heading to the ancient city of Durres, founded in 627 B.C. Today is one of the biggest towns and most important seaport in Albania. Visit the fortress of the city, the amphitheatre, and the archaeological museum.
    Depending on the arrival time in Durres you will also have some free time in the city and then you will return to Tirana for dinner and overnight.

    Day-5 Tirana – Apolonia – Berat – Saranda
    After breakfast, you depart to Apolonia, a Greek colony of more than 2000 years ago where now stand the ruins of the old city, once in such importance and development, that Ceazar studied there. But you will not stay all the time that behind in history, as you will transfer for Berat. In Berat, you will start your exploration firstly with gastronomy, a rich lunch with the top dishes of Albanian cuisine.
    The exploration of this 2400 year old town starts of course, with the citadel, located on a hilltop overlooking the whole area. Besides quite a few landmarks inside the castle, you will go for a visit to Onufri museum, well known for it’s special style in paintings, and you will also step into a few of the many churches that Berat has.
    Afterwards you have the afternoon free to explore for yourself what remains of Berat; the old quarters, the churches and monasteries, the river passing through the city, meeting the locals, etc.
    From Berat, you depart to Saranda, the southern gateway of Albania. In Saranda you will be for dinner and overnight and will rest to start a brand new day tomorrow.

    Day-6 Saranda – Butrint – Gjirokaster – Saranda
    Saranda is the center of tourism in this part of the country. And so, today you depart for Butrint, where lie the ancient ruins of another Greek colony. You will surely be stunned in every turn after tree to see a new mancion, another religions spot, another wall, another piece of history. The ampitheatre is probably one of the views you will always keep in your mind.
    Lunch time will be not far from there, will be in Ksamil, right in front of three small wonders of nature, the Islets of Ksamil, the best place to digest the big chunk of history that Butrint is.
    After lunch in crysal clear waters of Ionian Sea, you will depart among mountains to reach Gjirokastra, the stone city. Being for a long time under Ottoman occupation, Gjirokastra really got an Ottoman face, with the cobblestone, the houses in that specific architecture, the bazaar and above all, like a guardian in centuries, the castle overlooking the whole city, hometown of our ex-dictator Enver Hoxha, and Valley of Drin.
    For dinner and overnight you will return in Saranda, where depending on the arrival time, will also have some free time to take a walk in the main promenade by the sea.

    Day-7 Saranda – Ioanina – Meteora – Kalambaka
    From Saranda and all the history of the south of Albania, you will depart to pass the border to Greece via Gjirokastra. The destination of the day is actually Meteora, but before Meteora, you will have a lunch stop in Ioanina, the main town of the great Pashallek of Ali Pashe Tepelena, an Albanina originated ruler that stood against the Ottoman Empire for about two decades. The view of the restaurant is quite panoramic and the city in the hills around makes a perfect combination.
    Leaving behind Ioanina, you continue to reach Meteora, one of the most important complex and largest of Greek Orthodox Monasteries. There are six monasteries build in rock pillars, all located in a valley of exceptional natural beauty. The view here will never get out of your mind.
    After the breathtaking views of the day, you will head to the Kalambaka, where you will be for dinner and overnight.

    Day-8 Kalambaka – Athens
    The road to Athens is quite dazzling and serpentine, but rather the real pleasure today starts with all the panoramic views of natural Greece that you will see along the way.
    Upon your arrival to Athens, firstly you will have a traditional Greek lunch in a restaurant in the fancy area of Athens. The exquisite Greek cuisine, world famous, will be served to you.
    After lunch, you will start the visit of Athens, the capital of Greece. The tour commences with what is most famous in Greece, the Acropol. Even the climb on the hill is pleasant, with lot’s of stuff to see. You will get to the place where the columns of the cradle of democracy, still stand today, even after more than 2 millenia of history (don’t forget the selfie!). The panoramic view of the capital and of the bay, is truly breathtaking. The visit to the museum will bring you back in history and throughout all the stories and legends of the Greek people.
    After descending the hill, you will have free afternoon to get a glipms of what Athens, like an appetizer for the tomorrow, the true exploration of Athens. There you will also be for dinner and overnight.

    Day-9 Athens
    The day today is totally Greek, starting with visits of other attractions of Athens. You will take a walk to Monastiraki Square, a square sorrounded by both modern and old buildings. Next, you will visit the House of Parliament, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Library, the National Theatre, and numerous small and big monasteries and churches.
    Lunch will be served a bit outside of Athens, in the area called Piraeus. The sea food at this restaurant will probably be your favorite for life. A short walk in Piraeus is a good idea to digest and you can take a look at the Port of Piraeus, the largest of Greece. Returning back to Athens, you will continue with the rest of the capital. The Omonia Square and Stigmata Square are of special values in Athens and have a very symbolic meaning. Optional are visits at the Archaeological Museum and to the Historical Museum. Afterwards, you will return to the capital where you will have the afternoon free to explore what is left of Athens. After all the amazement of Athens, you will be there for dinner and overnight, embraced by history and modernity both.

    Day-10 Athens – Onward
    After all the Greek experince, today you will be transfered to the airport to take the flight home, with many memories to still keep your heart in the Balkans.

  • Dates go here

  • The Balkans have always been in the center of the history with a lot going on in this part of the planet. Besides the mess it has happened, in these days now we can enjoy some of the fruits of history and what it remains for us to see from the Ancient and Medieval civilisations. Castles such as the ones of Shkodra, Mostar Kruja and Gjirokastra are quite representatives of a part of history. Citadels like the one in Dubrovnik and Berat are of exceptional rare beauty that is not found often and archaeological parks such as Butrint and Apolonia make up for the antiquity. But in this tour are not skipped the natural attractions and you breath will be taken away in places like the Meteora Valley or the Albanian Riviera. All you have to do, is prepare for meeting the magnificient and you’ll be there.

     

    Start: Dubrovnik

    Finish: Athens

    Countries visiting: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece

    Highlights: Dubrovnik Old Town, Capital Cities visits, UNESCO Sites, Natural Parks, The Meteora Valley, Seaside drives, etc.

    Transport: Coach, boat, ferry

    Accommodation: 9 nights in hotels

     

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