Day 1: Sofia
Meet your leader and group at a welcome meeting at 6 pm – check with reception to confirm tibrant Old Bazaar.
Day 5: Lake Ohrid
Embark on a scenic cruise on the turquoise waters of Lake Ohrid. At 34 kilometers long, 14 kilometers wide, and over 300 meters deep, all shared between Albania and Macedonia, there’s plenty of vast Lake Ohrid to explore. The afternoon is free for you to discover the area. There are many churches and monasteries to visit, but one of the most popular is the Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sveti Jovana Kaneo. The Sveti Naum Monastery is also a great option, lying on the shores of the lake south of town, with well-kept grounds that are home to peacocks.
Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sveti Jovana Kaneo
The Sveti Naum Monastery
Day 6: Berat
Take it slow as we cross the border into Albania and continue to the remote and rarely visited town of Berat, a gem of a town that was lucky to escape destruction during communist times. The real surprise of Albania is the people. Their warmth to strangers is infectious and you’re bound to find yourself swapping stories over a glass of raki or three. In the evening enjoy a traditional Balkan dinner with your group.
Day 7: Tirana
After breakfast, transfer to Tirana, a drive of about 4-5 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic into Tirana. On arrival, embark on a guided tour to get your bearings. Tirana is the capital of Albania and its biggest city, but it's still small and compact, with architectural influences from Italy and Turkey. Recently many buildings have been painted to alleviate the Soviet block feeling that pervaded. Many upgrades have been made all over town, such as new parks and wide pavements, a process that's still on-going. Perhaps take a cable car ride up Dajti Mountain for breath-taking views of the city below.
Day 8: Tirana / Kruja
Today, take a half-day trip to the mountain village and former Albanian capital of Kruja. Kruja was the last stronghold of Skanderbeg's army until the Ottomans took over the entire country. There is plenty of time to explore the citadel and the famous bazaar area. Perhaps pay a visit to the excellent ethnographical museum housed inside the fortress. You’ll then return to Tirana after lunch. Tirana is dotted with many museums. You can't miss the National History Museum – just look for the gargantuan mosaic on the facade that represents the development of Albania's history. The main sight in Tirana is the 1821 Et'hem Bey Mosque, right on the city's main square.
National History Museum
1821 Et'hem Bey Mosque
Day 9 International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.