Balkan Explorer – Blue Route (R1)

Balkan Explorer Tour (Blue Route) is the best possibility for travelers looking for a macro 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, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia. This tour is a real mosaic of Balkan multicultural world as the crossroad of all East-West Mediterranean civilizations. Visit Tirana, Kruje, Lezhe, Shkoder, Budva, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Belgrade, Nis, Pristine, Prizren, and Durres.

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Overview

Guaranteed Departure Tour 

Tour Name:  Balkan Explorer Tour – Blue Route (R1)
Duration: 7 days (1 week)
Countries: Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia,
Type of tour: General, Cultural, Archeology, Nature, Gastronomy, etc.
Tour Code: AE-BE01
Depart from: Tirana, Albania

DATES (2019): 15 April 2019, 2 May 2019; 23 September 2019, 14 October 2019;

DATES (2020): 16 April 2020, 3 May 2020; 24 September 2020, 15 October 2020;

7-21 Days Albania, and South East Europe (Balkan) Flexible Tours from Tirana in English – Red - Blue - Green - Loops.

Highlights:
Balkan Explorer Tour (Blue 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, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia. This tour is a real mosaic of Balkan multicultural world as the crossroad of all East-West Mediterranean civilizations.

Visit Tirana, Kruje, Lezhe, Shkoder, Budva, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Belgrade, Nis, Pristine, Prizren, and Durres.

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.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 

Tirane – Kruje – Lezhe - Shkoder. After breakfast in hotel in Tirana, we head to Kruja, one of Albania’s most important towns due to the part it played in resistance against the Ottomans. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum and castle as well as the old bazaar. Today lunch will be included and the opportunity to eat some traditional food in Kruja. Then continue to Shkoder. Shkoder is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and was once a capital of the Illyrian state. It also considered the “Florece of the Balkans” due to its cultural inheritance and richness. We visit its old bazaar, cathedral and mosque before heading to Rozafa castle for spectacular views of the city, lake and the surrounding mountains.  Accommodation to hotel Tradita 3*, or similar and overnight. (B)

Day 2  

Budva (UNESCO) - Kotor (UNESCO) – Dubrovnik (UNESCO)
After breakfast, we continue to Budva. We will visit the capital of the Montenegro tourism to enjoy the amazing combination of the wonderful beaches with the history of the ancient, cultural and religious monuments. Visit in the Old City, Sveti Trojica Churc, Stanjevici Monastery, Ethnologic Museum.Then continue to Kotor. Visit the former palace of King Nikola, now Montenegro’s National Museum before heading to Kotor, whose lovely mediaeval walled city has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. We continue to Dubrovnik. City tour: visit the Old Town through the Stradun which is the main street of the city, in front of it is the Onofrio Fountain, built in 1438, the Franciscan Monastery, with one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in Europe, in operation since 1391. This morning we take a cruise around some of the islands in Kotor bay. Later we head to Dubrovnik, one of the most attractive cities in the region, where we have time to explore. Overnight Hotel Valamar Babinkuk 3*, or similar. (B)

Day 3

Mostar (UNESCO)– Sarajevo. Cross the border to Bosnia-Herzegovina and travel to Mostar, where we explore on a walking tour through the old Turkish town. Head to the capital, arriving in afternoon. We take a tour through the old oriental part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city, with its beautiful architecture, sweet shops and cafes. We also visit the Princip Bridge, site of the start of World War I, and spot various markings on the pavements which are ‘mini-memorials’ to the sniper victims of the recent war. We also visit the tunnel museum, a section of the tunnel that was the only way of accessing the city during the siege of 1992-1995. Later there is free time to explore the city on your own. Overnight Hotel Saray 3*, or similar. (B)

Day 4

Srebrenica - Belgrade. Today we travel to Belgrade (Serbia) by stopping first to visit Srebrenica. Cross border with Serbia to Belgrade, arriving in the late afternoon. Belgrade is one of the largest city in the Balkans, and is an intriguing mix of the traditional and the modern, with its museums, galleries and lively nightlife. We explore this city, taking in the temple of St Sava, the parliament buildings and Republic Square. We then head to Kalemegdan Fortress, the oldest part of Belgrade, where we explore on foot. Overnight Balkan Hotel Garni 3* or similar. (B)

Day 5

Nis. Departure to Nish. Nis is the third largest city in Serbia and it is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and Europe, and from ancient times has been considered a gateway between the East and the West. It was named Navissos by the Scordisci in 279 BC, after an invasion of the Balkans. The city was among several taken in the Roman conquest in 75 BC. The Romans built the Via Militaris in the 1st century, with Naissus being one of its key towns; it is also the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor and the founder of Constantinople, and Constantius III and Justin I. It is home to one of the oldest churches in Serbia, dating to the 4th century, located in the suburb of Mediana. Upon our arrival in Nis we will first visit the famous Cele Kula (Skull Tower NIS) where you will learn about the atrocities of the Turks against the Serbs and you will see a unique in the world monument for the sacrifice of Serbian revolutionaries. The second important archaelogical site in Nis is Medijana. This Roman estate exhibits the remains of a granary, craft centre, villas , thermae, and the remains of ancient villa with with rich mosaics. Most mosaics exhibit geometrical or floral motifs, while two mosaics presenting figures - the head of the Medusa and a semi-prostrate figure of a river deity (probably Neptune). Overnight in Nis in Hotel Sole 3*, or similar (B).

Day 6

Pristine - Prizren.  After breakfast drive to Pristine. Explore the city visiting its main sites such as the Orthodox Church and the Carshi Mosque, dating back to the early 15th century. We then head to the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient Roman city that was once one of the most powerful in the Balkans. Later we visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes. Then continue to Prizren. This city, probably is the most attractive town in Kosovo with superbly preserved buildings from the Ottoman era. We visit the castle which is one of the oldest in the Balkans (almost 3 millenniums), built to protect the city from attacks, the ornate Bajrakli Mosque and the old Turkish Hammam among other sights. Prizren is an absolute highlight of any visit to Kosovo and to see the old houses of the old town in low light as the sun sets is a delight. Overnight at Hotel Prizren or similar. (B)

Day 7 

Durres - Tirana. After breakfast continue to Durres. This port city has the largest Roman amphitheater in the region (20,000 seats), dating back to the 2nd century built during Trajan Emperor rule. Visit  archeological museum, amphitheater, roman Baths, Byzantine Bazar. Then continue to Tirana and explore Albania’s capital. We visit Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania’s national hero, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, one of the oldest buildings in Tirana, and the Archaeological Museum among other sites. Overnight Hotel Kruja 3*, or similar. (B)

Optional: Change to continue to Balkan Explorer Tour - Green Route (R2)

 

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€38 per person per night (twin share basis), there is no charge for child share a room with two adults. EUR€78 per night applies for Single Room.  

·      Airport transfers (pick up / drop off): Available in each city as per program. Airport, hotel, meeting place transfer (available between 7am and 10pm), EUR€29 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* 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 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.