You start your Albanian weekend with the smooth land in Mother Theresa Airport and depart to the capital, where you will get the first impressions of what you can get from 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-2 Tirana – Kruja – Shkodra
Leave the hotel and 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 your experience with an old city, try another pretty old city, Shkodra. You will depart north heading to Shkodra, the most important city of northern Albania. 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.
If all the day was not enough, you will also get to spend the night in Shkodra as you will be for dinner and overnight there.
Day-3 Shkodra – Budva – Kotor – Dubrovnik
From Shkodra, you will continue over the border in Montenegro, heading for Budva. You will have a visit in Budva, one of the pearls of this side of the Adriatic. Besides the beach, you will take a walk around the old citadel of Budva, inside the high thick walls of the castle filled also with a lot of history and legends.
Leaving behind Budva, you will continue north to Kotor, where first you will have lunch in a fish restaurant.
The visit of Kotor starts with the castle, an Illyrian one used from Queen Teuta. In it, is the old town, the Rector Tower, the clock tower, the St. Triphon Cathedral, etc.
After this taste from Montenegro, you will continue further north to reach Dubrovnik, where you will be for dinner and overnight.
Today you will be all day in Dubrovnik. The tour today 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.
Lunch will be served in a fancy restaurant with exquisite sea food.
The rest of the day is free time for you to enjoy exploring all around Dubrovnik. Dinner and overnight are in Dubrovnik.
Day-5 Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo
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 Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Arriving in Sarajevo, you immediately understand the different atmosphere compared to other cities visited. The visit starts with the Latin Bridge, the famous bridge from where WWI started. Following, you go to the Ottoman quarter, still with cobbled narrow streets and buildings with fine Ottoman architecture. After the guided visit, you will also have some free time in Sarajevo in the afternoon, and will be there for dinner and overnight.
Day-6 Sarajevo – Plitvice
With the capital in your memories, you will leave Bosnia and Herzegovina and head towards the northern region of Croatia, specifically just after crossing the border, in Plitvice Lakes. There you will feel like in heavens, with truly exceptional natural beauties. It is part of UNESCO World Heritage List, the largest National Park of Croatia and one of the oldest of Europe. Easily visible are 16 lakes, created by karst and subterranian rivers. They are lined up and flowing in a cascade and their colors change in the gradients between azure to blue.
Your whole day will be around the National Park of Plitvice Lakes, in such a wonderful place that you won’t want to leave the next day. Also dinner and overnight will be here.
Day-7 Plitvice – Bled – Ljubljana
When you finish your breakfast and are ready to depart from here, you will not want to leave. But the journey has to go on and you head to Bled, over the Slovenian border. Bled is a relatively new town, compared to the other cities you have visited. It is first mentioned in 11th century. But what makes Bled special is not the age, but the glacial lake around which is situated the city. Besides it’s marvelous beauty, in the center of it is a small island where is the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church. People normally ring the bell of this church for good luck.
Lunch follows in Bled, with the first taste of the traditional Slovene cuisine.
The afternoon will be mostly in Bled, where you will visit it’s main landmarks such as the Castle of Bled, overlooking in a panoramic view all the lake, the old town, the special Baroque architecture buildings, etc.
From Bled, you will drive to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Depending on the time of arrival, you will have some free time in the afternoon in the city, but remember, the true visit starts tomorrow.
Today all your time is dedicated to Ljubljana. Probably is not enough, but you will give it a try. You will start with a walk to the Old Town. The characteristic narrow cobbled streets give you a sense of warmth and welcome. Don’t miss the unique architecture of buildings, a mix of both Slavic and European cultures. After the Old Town, you will climb the hill up to the castle of Ljubljana. The castle seems that it has been there since forever. Don’t miss the Castle Courtyard, the chapel, and several viewpoints from where the panoramic view of the city on one side and of the Alps and rivers on the other side, is unforgetful.
Descending down from the castle, you will continue to the restaurant, where you will get another taste of Ljubljana.
After lunch, you will continue with the visit of the capital, such as the Dragon Bridge, the Square of the Republic, the Roman ruins, the Ljubljanica river and the Triple Bridge, the city center, and much more. If you please, you can choose even to visit one of the many museums that Ljubljana hosts.
After all the magic of the capital of Slovenia, you will be there for dinner and overnight to get some rest and energies for tomorrow.
Day-9 Ljubljana – Venice
Today you will depart further more north, heading to the final destination of this tour, to Venice, over the border to Italy. Venice, the so called “Queen of Adriatic” is an experience almost completely new. Firstly, you will rest a bit and have the first taste of Venice with the Italian food. Where better than in Italy is the Italian cuisine more delicious?
During this sightseing tour you will get to know Venice from a different point of view rather that of the movies. The history has shown us that this city has an exceptional important role in the whole region of Adriatic. To remind us of the history, stories, legends and facts, you will visit in Venice places like the Doge’s Palace, Bell tower of St. Mark in San Marco Square, the Scuola grande di San Rocco of the master Tintoretto, the clock tower, and you will watch with awe almost every building you pass by, everyone with a special style distinguishing from others. And for sure, there you cannot miss a trip by boat in the Grand Cannal, or optional, even inside the city. Depending on the time of the guided tour, you could also get some free time to explore Venice by yourself. For dinner and overnight you will be in Venice.
Day-10 Venezia – Onward
Your journey has come to and end. Wave goodbye to Venice and to the whole Balkan penninsula as you leave the city heading for airport to take the flight back home along with numerous memories.
The Adriatic Sea has always had a special importance and on this tour you will take a long trip alongside it’s shore, stopping at it’s highlights. The journey starts with an Albanian flavour, visiting Tirana and it’s landmarks, Kruja and it’s Ottoman style citadel backed up in the mountain and Shkodra, the Venice of Albania, a cradle of culture. The drive goes further north to Montenegro, with the stops in Budva, the pearl of the Adriatic. Budva is truly one of the best places if you’d like to enjoy some time at the beach. Continuing to Kotor, you’ll take a good look at the castle and the Old Town in it, and the drive around the bay is another wonder. Leaving behind Kotor, you will go on to Dubrovnik, the diamond of the Adriatic. In Dubrovnik try to take a breath time after time, as the Old Town is literally breathtaking in amazement. From Dubrovnik, Mostar and Sarajevo are easily reachable, and there you’ll get the real essence of the nature and history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But you are only halfway of the tour as for amazement you’ll visit Plitvice and Bled and continue to Ljubljana, where besides the capital sightseeing you will also get a real kick of the history and culture of this small country but with a great beauty. This long trip will be crowned in Venice, where it ends and you take your flight home along with memories of all your amazing experiences.
Countries visiting: Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Italy
Highlights: Capital cities visits, Drive along the Adriatic coast, Medieval castles and citadels, Natural Parks, UNESCO Sites, Venice
Transport: Coach, boat, ferry
Accommodation: 9 nights in hotels