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Balkan Explorer - Green Route (R2)
Balkan Explorer Tour (Green route) is the best possibility for travellers looking for a holistic view of the Balkans’ culture, nature, history, traditions, etc. It is a tailor made program, carefully constructed, trying to optimize all “must to see” places for Albania, Greece, and Macedonia, This tour is a real mosaic of Balkan multicultural world as the crossroad of all East-West Mediterranean civilizations. Highlights: Visit Tirana, Elbasan, Ohrid, Bitola, Thessaloniki, Meteora, Kalambaka, Delphi, Athens, Patras, Ioanina, Saranda, Gjirokastra,Tepelena, Berat, Durres.
Price € 854 803
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Guaranted Departure Tour !

 

Tour Name:   Balkan Explorer – Green Route (R2)

Duration:        7 days (1 week)

Countries:      Albania, Greece, Macedonia.

Type of tour: General, Cultural, Archeology, Nature, Gastronomy, etc.

Tour Code:     AE-BE01

Available:     Every week, (starts every Monday, 12 months of the year)

Depart from: Tirana, Albania

Duration:       2-14 Days 1-13 Nights 

 

2-21 Days Albania, and South East Europe (Balkan) Explorer Tours from Tirana in English, Chinese or other major languages - Red, Blue & Green Routes.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 Tirane – Elbasan – Ohrid (UNESCO).

After breakfast continu to Elbasan. Elbasan is a city in central Albania. It is located on the Shkumbin River. Since ancient ttimes, was a important city on Via Egnatia form Rome-Durres-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. The surrounding walls of the town were re-built in the 4th century, having 3 entrances and 26 towers. Its fortress was built during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (483-565) by which time Skampa had become the seat of a Bishopic with a Cathedral and a Basilica outside its surrounding walls. After the failure of the second Turkish siege of Kruja, Sultan Mohamed II rebuilt the fortress in 1466 and renamed the town Elbasan (El-basan is Turkish for Fortress). In the middle of the city is found the Saint Mary Orthodox Church. The church was built in 1830 on the foundations of an older church, which had partially burned in 1819. Paintings and frescoes of Onufri, restored by David Selenicasi and Kostadin Shelcani can still be seen. The church has been an important religious and cultural center for the Albanian language. Travel east to Elbasan, stopping en route at the remains of a Turkish fort. Continue into Macedonia and the town of Ohrid, situated on the east shore of Lake Ohrid. This UNESCO world heritage site is known as the ‘Slavic-Macedonian Jerusalem’ due to its large number of churches. See St Sophia Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Macedonia, the Church of St Clement at Plaoshnik, where the first university in Europe was founded, and the Gallery of Icons, which has the largest collection of icons in the world. Afternoon visit to the monastery of St Naum. Its position on a rocky overhang provides excellent views across the lake. The enormous lakes renowned for the clarity of its water. Accommodation to hotel Diplomat 3*, or similar and overnight. (B) 

Day 2 -  Bitola (UNESCO) – Thessaloniki (UNESCO)

The tour will start from Ohrid in the early morning hours. The road to Bitola takes around 1.30 hours, The road leads to city of Resen and the biggest apple orchards in this part of the Balkans. First we will visit the ancient city of Heraclea Lincestis, the best preserved ancient city in Macedonia. Build in the 4th century BC, and conquered by the Romans 2 centuries latter. Through the city has passed the Via Egnatia road which was main road connecting Roman Empire with Asia – Constantinople. Heraclea Lincestis is famous for its beautiful mosaics, antique theater and roman baths. First excavations were taken after the First World War and then was discovered the beauty and importance of this ancient city – the Roman baths, Episcope basilica, Synagogue, portico, Roman theater – in which in modern times plays and music concerts are held. Then continue to cross the border with Greece and continue to Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is one of the best places to visit not only for city breaks but also for longer holidays! And that is because Thessaloniki in not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the numerous Byzantine monuments, but it is also a beautiful modern European city full of life! Possibility to visit Galerius Arch (Kamara), Rotunda, Archaelogical Museum, St. Demetrius church, Roman Forum, Our Lady "of the Coppersmiths" church, Bey Hamam Baths (Paradise Baths, church of Holly Wisdom, Museum of Byzantine Civilization, White Tower. Overnight in hotel Augustos 3*, or similar. (B) 

Day 3 –Meteora - Kalambaka - (UNESCO).

After breakfast continue to Meteora, for a visit of the fascinating cliff-top monasteries. The cliffs, which average a height of 1,000 feet, were first inhabited in the 9th century by a group of hermit monks who lived on the rock towers. In the 11th and 12th centuries, basic monasteries were built and by the 14th century the great monastery of Meteoron was constructed. The difficult access gave the monks an ideal refuge, as well as protection during the Turkish occupation. Today 6 monasteries remain out of the original 20. Views of the entire valley from the magnificent rock towers, and the peace of the surroundings, make this a unique place to visit. At the end of the day you’ll drive to Kalambaka, a lovely city with beautiful gardens and magnificent views of the Meteora rocks. Overnight in Kalambaka, Hotel Doupiani House 3*, or similar. (B) 

Day 4 – Delphi (UNESCO) - Athens (UNESCO) 

After breakfast travel to Tour the excavated site of Delphi and the archaeological Museum, perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Delphi, you’ll have the opportunity to visit this important site that appears in Greek mythology. In ancient times, Delphi was considered to be the center of the universe and was guarded by a python dragon that was killed by Apollo. You’ll see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, which was built in the 4th century B.C. and was destroyed by Emperor Theodosius I in 390 A.D. It was also here that the priestess Pythia would foretell the future from the famous Oracle of Delphi. Visit the theater that seated 5,000 spectators and hosted plays, poetry readings, and festivals. At the nearby stadium, the Pythian Games were held every 4 years. Athletes from all over the Greek world would come to compete, and these games would become predecessor to the modern Olympics.  Then continue to Athens. The exploration of Athens begins with a panoramic drive through the city center. View the Panathenian Stadium, the President’s residence, the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch, built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Continue on to visit the Acropolis, the ancient architectural masterpiece built during the Golden Age of Athens and the new Acropolis Museum, a striking modern building built at the base of the monument where many of the original statues from the Acropolis are now displayed. The rest of the day is at leisure. Be sure to walk to Constitution Square, where you might catch a glimpse of the colorfully-costumed Evzone guards, outfitted in the traditional Greek style. Tonight, perhaps walk through the lively Plaka area, the oldest section of Athens, a neighborhood of charming restaurants, shops and sidewalk cafes. Overnight in Athens, Hotel Katerina 3*, or similar. (B) 

Day 5 – Patras – Ioannina.  

Departure form hotel for Ioannina, where we stop for visit in Patras. Primarily known for its busy port and ferry departures to Italy, not to mention the fantastic carnival held annually to kick off the Lenten season, Patra and the surrounding area offer a wealth of things to do and see. There is a sprawling metropolis by the sea with a wonderful old section. Neoclassical buildings, cathedrals, museums, shops, bars, cafes and vibrant nightlife make this area a treasure waiting to be found. Within easy reach are mountains, lakes, caves, and villages, all with magnificent natural scenery. Our trip continue to Ioannina. We visit the mosques, the byzantine castle and the old Ottoman citadel as well as the picturesque island which lies in the middle of Lake Pamvotis. You will also have the chance to visit the market and buy some souvenirs made of wood and silver. Overnight in Athens, Hotel Palladion 3*, or similar. (B)  

Day 6 – Butrint (UNESCO) – Saranda – Gjirokaster (UNESCO).  

After breakfast drive to Albania to arrive in Butrint. Where we we visit ruins of Butrint antic city, Albania's most important archaeological site. Butrint dates from the 7th century BC, later becoming a Roman colony, then falling under the sway of the Venetians and Turks. Virgil claimed that the Trojans settled Butrint, but no evidence of this has yet been found. Within a century of the Greeks arriving, Butrint had become a fortified trading city with its own acropolis, the ruins of which we can still visit. The rediscovered city is a microcosm of almost 3,000 years of Mediterranean history, and its 6th century BC fortification evokes the city's military power and symbolizes the rich culture of the once thriving ancient city. Exploration of amphitheater, Venetian tower, Mosaic, Lion gate, etc. Than continue to the “Museum City” of Gjirokastra. City tour, visit to its castle and  Armaments Museum. Overnight in Gjirokaster at Hotel Gjirokastra, or similar. (B)  

Day 7 –Tepelena – Berat (UNESCO) – Durres - Tirana.

We depart to Tepelene, and we stop to the castle of Tepelene. Tepelena Castle was built by Ali Pasha in the end of 18th century CE in the town of Tepelena. Continue to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania, more than 2400 years old, and with special status from UNESCO. Visit to its castle of Berat with Onufri museum and other churches inside; Mosque of Berat and the old Bridge of Gorica, Onufri Museum and several churches and mosques. Onufri was an Albanian master painter of the 16th. Many of his wonderfully painted icons still remain in the museum while others can be found in churches in Albania and Greece where he worked.  Continue to Durres. Durres is Albania's second largest city. Durres is one of the oldest towns in the country. Legend says that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his own name and named the port area after his grandson, Dyrrah. It was for centuries the largest port on the Adriatic, and the start of the Via Egnatia to Constantinople. We visit the Roman amphitheater and the Archaeological Museum, situated near the sea and rich in objects excavated in Durres. We continue to Tirana via new road and tunnel. After arrival, Tirana City tour.  located on a plain on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital since 1920 (visits to the Skanderbeg Square, Mosque of Et’hem Bey (built on 1824), the Clock Tower (built on 1822), the National Museum (the huge mosaic on front represent the Albanian history development, and the stages of this development are presented on respective pavilions),  National Art Gallery, Archeological Museum (there are presented many archeological discoveries since the Stone Age up to the Medieval), the National Heroes Cemetery, Grand Park and government buildings). Accommodation in Tirana in Hotel Kruja 3*, or similar, and overnight. 

Optional: Change to continue to Balkan Explorer - Blue Route (R1 )  or Red Route (AE)

  • Accommodation 3*/4* hotels on double occupancy
  • Air Conditioned modern van/minibus/bus
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Professional English guide
  • 147 € single supplement pp
  • 49 € entry/fees supplement pp
  • Admission/entry Fees
  • Any charges for additional itinerary
  • A mandatory service fees for tour guide/bus drive
  • Excess baggage charges from Airlines
  • Other personal expenses
  • Lunch and Dinner charges (if applicable)
  • Everything not mentioned in “Inclusions”

 How does it work?

·         You decide how many days you want to travel

·         Each day you can travel to a different place 

For example, if you want to stop in Belgrade (Day 4), please select "4" in "Number of Days", and contact us. Please note the hotel accommodation is not included on the last day of your tour. List price is per person per day.

Pricing Policy

·      Price listed is per day per person.

·    Currency: All prices are shown in Euro (EUR) except admission and meal fees which are paid upon arrival.

·      Child fare: 2 - 11 year old share a room with two adults (no bed). No charge for infants under 2 years old.

·      Pre Accommodation (Same as Tour): Available on the day before (one night) or after the tour(one night). Hotel accommodation is not included on the last day of your tour.

·      EUR€29 per person per night (twin share basis), there is no charge for child share a room with two adults. EUR€57 per night applies for Single Room. 

·      Airport transfers (pick up / drop off): Available in Tirana Airport (TIA). Airport, hotel, meeting place transfer (available between 7am and 10pm), EUR€15 each way per person (minimum 2 people). The transfer service needs to be placed at least 2 business days in advance. 

Price Includes

·         Hotel: Accommodation 3*/4* hotels on double occupancy. Twin share basis for 7 overnights as per program. For child 2 - 11 year old sharing a room with 2 adults. (Hotel information is confirmed 24 hours prior departure)

·      Transportation: Air Conditioned modern van/minibus/bus and other transportation listed in itinerary.

·       Breakfast: Daily breakfast. All others meals not listed are at your expense.

·    Guide: Professional English (or other major languages) tour guide/leader. 

Price Excludes

·         Admission/entry Fees:

o    Entry fees prices are subject to change without prior notice.

o    If you would like to join the optional activities, please pay the fee in cash to the tour guide. The tour guide will arrange the tickets for the group.

·         Travel insurance, visa fees

·      Any charges for additional itinerary are not listed in itinerary

·      A mandatory service fees for tour guide/bus driver (min. 5 Euro /day per person).

·         Excess baggage charges from Airlines

·  Personal expenses such as room service, telephone, laundry service charges

·     Losses or additional expenses: The Company will accept no responsibilities for losses or additional expense due to accident.

·         Lunch and Dinner charges (if applicable)

·         Everything not mentioned in “Inclusions” 

POLICIES:

  Confirmation

·         Immediately after submitting your reservation you will receive a receipt of booking by email. Within 72 hours of submitting your reservation you will receive a confirmation email confirming the booking status. Please do not book any airline tickets until you receive the status of your booking.

  Redemption

·    You will receive a confirmation voucher in 2-3 business days after you receive the e-ticket. Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination and depature details, is included in your confirmation voucher. When you reserve your attractions and services you will be asked to print the confirmation voucher to present when you arrive at your destination. It is your proof of purchase.   

TERMS & CONDITIONS 

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The purchase of any travel services represents your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions set out herein. Please ensure that you read carefully and understand these Terms & Conditions prior to booking. 

Booking changes
A fee may be charged for any revision or alteration made to a reservation after the booking is confirmed. Name changes or corrections may be treated as a cancellation and cancellation fees will apply. A change of tour date or tour itinerary may be treated as a cancellation, and normal cancellation fees will apply. 

Cancellations and Cancellation Fees 
Regardless of reason, cancellations result in costly charges from our travel and hotel providers covering penalties and fees incurred by canceling confirmed and pending bookings. Therefore, cancellation penalties and or fees will apply. Time of cancellation will be determined when notice is received and confirmed by our office. Notice of cancellation must be made directly to AlbaniaExplorer.com by email or through web mail at Contact Us.

Standard cancellation penalties per person are as follows:

·         Up to 31 days prior to departure - 10% of total purchase amount.

·         15-30 days prior to departure - 30% of total purchase amount.

·         7-14 days prior to departure - 60% of total purchase amount.

·         Less than 7 days of departure or no show - 100% per person.

·         Unused features are non-refundable. No shows forfeit entire payment.

·         Dates are based on the local time in Albania.

·         There is 5% handling fee add-on to the above penalties.

Those customers who asked for Visa Letter, the cancellation penalties after Visa Letter has been issued are as follows:

·         If without a visa reject letter, cancellation policies are as below:

o    Prior to departure 45-15 days, charge 35% of the tour fee.

o    Prior to departure over 45 days, charge €129 for whole booking.

o    There is 6% handling fee add-on to the above penalties.

·         If with a visa reject letter, we will follow Standard Cancellation Policies. 

Itinerary Variations
We constantly strive to improve tour itineraries and features. If such improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary - we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. At certain peak periods duplicate departures may operate, and sometimes in reverse order in which case hotels may vary from those stated on the itinerary pages. 

Tour Cancellation: 
We reserve the right to cancel or re-schedule any tour departure in accordance with operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control. If cancellation is made any time prior to departure of the tour, AlbaniaExplorer.com' only liability will be to refund to the passenger the amount it has received for the tour booking. We will try to re-book the same or similar tour. Please note that we are not liable for any cancellation penalties incurred on any other travel arrangements including air tickets purchased separately from customers. 

Currency Fluctuations:
All tour prices are current at the time of publication and are susceptible to currency fluctuations. We reserve the right to alter the tour price in accordance with changes in foreign exchanges rates and changes in prices for services. The rate that you pay when you reserve your tour will protect you against future currency fluctuations; on the other hand, no price adjustment (refund) will be made based upon change in tour prices. 

Remarks

1.    The Company is not liable for any delay or expense.

2.    The Company will accept no responsibility for losses or additional expense due to accident, delay, weather, strike or cause beyond its control.

3.    Passengers must have a valid passport. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months from the arrival date. The Company will not be held responsible for any expenses if passenger is refused entry into any country.

4.    The Company is not liable if a passenger decides to withdraw during the tour.

5.    The Company reserves the right to alter or curtail the itinerary and to substitute hotels and/or conveyances as it is deemed necessary.

6.    The Company do not accept liability for acts of violence for any single person sharing a room with others.

7.    Any unused portion of the tour or meals listed are non-refundable after departure no matter what the reason is that you cannot continue with the tour.

8.    The Company also reserves the right to require any individual to withdraw from the tour if it is deemed his/her act of conduct is detrimental to or incompatible with the interest, harmony and welfare of other passengers and the tour as a whole. The Company shall be under no further liability thereafter to any such person.

9.    The Company is not responsible for any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations. 

Responsibility
The Company acts only as an agent and/or intermediary for independent suppliers. As a result it retains other contractors to provide transportation, accommodation and other related travel services. The Company accepts no responsibility for any such losses or any additional expenses or distress due to delays, sickness, weather, strikes or any other causes.

1.    Passengers shall be regarded as carrying his/her own risk with respect to loss or injury to person or property. The Company is not liable for any loss, injury, accident, damage, delay or expense which may arise during the tour.

2.    Passenger accepts full responsibility for losses and expenses due to delay, sickness, weather, strikes, wars, quarantine and changes in itinerary.

3.    The Company will not be held responsible if passenger carries any unlawful items or irregularities. Any losses and expenses are the responsibility of the passenger.

4.    The Company, tour guide and driver do not accept liability for lost or stolen personal property during the tour.  

Insurance
Purchase of travel insurance is strongly recommended. We will be pleased to assist in inquiries of any travel insurance.

 

Note:
Albania Explorer has the right to cancel/postpone the trip up to three weeks before departure, if it is not acieved the minimum required participants number to operate the program. In this case clients will be offered alternatives, or if not interested, clients will be refunded (deducind cost for refund transaction). 
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