General

PRICE FROM: 0 euro
DURATION: 9 days / 8 nights
ROUTE: Sofia, Skopje, Ohrid, Tirana, Durres, Ohrid, Bitola, Melnik, the Rila monastery, Sofia
INFO: An impressive tour around Bulgaria and Albania. Find out more information about the different activities during each tour day and what are the sights that you are going to visit

DETAILED ITINERARY:

Day 1 Start the day with walking tour of Sofia – visit to the Saint Nedelya Church, the Council of Ministers, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and St. Rotonda Church dating from 4th century AC, the Russian Church, the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral- the biggest and the most impressive on the Balkan Peninsula, the Saint Sophia early Christian basilica, which has given the city its name. Few steps ahead you will see the Parliament square and the Monument of Tzar Liberator. After lunch visit of the Museum of History and Boyana Church – UNESCO site.Dinner. Overnight.   MACEDONIA

Day  2 Departure to MacedoniaSofia – Skopjie, the Republic of Macedonia – 4 hours driving After breakfast departure to Skopie. Visit the old Train station – first train station on the Balkans and the most beautiful building in the 19th century in the region, the monument and the house of Mother Teresa, the Stone Bridge – the most imposing monument in Macedonia and on the Balkans, built in the beginning of the VI century, Daut Pasin Imam – monument of the Islam architecture from the XV century, the church St. Spas, built at the end of the XVII century housing the relics of the great Macedonian Revolutionary Goce Delcev (1872-1903), the Kale fortress – the most outstanding tourist attraction in Skopje. Evening at leisure. B Accommodation in Skopjie at Hotel Residence Inn ***  

Day 3 Skopje – Ohrid After breakfast departure to Ohrid. Short sightseeing tour of the town – start from the statue of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, continue to the Lower gate, the National Museum of Ohrid, the Church of St Sophia, the Roman amphitheater, the Upper gate, St Clement’s Church of the Holy Mother of God Most Glorious (Sveta Bogorodica Perivleptos), The Icon Gallery, the Tsar Samuil’s fortress, Plaoshnik. End the tour with a walk through the Ohrid’s marketplace. B Overnight stay in Ohrid in hotel Tino**** (or similar)

Day 4 Tirana. After breakfast leave to Pogradec – a charming town situated on the shores of Ohrid lake. Continue continue to Tirana capital city passing the cities such as Elbasan which is located in central Albania, known with as ancient Skampa. Continue to Tirana. On the way pass through Elbasan where we will make a short stopover to the city fortification wall. Continue through the Bazaar Gate and the Clock Tower, final stop at the St Mary’s and St Vladimir’s Orthodox Church – the church captivates with its beautiful stone arcades on its walls. Arrival in Tirana. The city is located on a plain on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital since 1920. The city tour includes visits to the Skanderbeg Square, the Mosque of Et’hem Bey, the Clock Tower, the National Museum, the Grand Park and government buildings. Dinner and overnight in Tirana.  

Day 5 Tirana – Kruja – Shkoder.After breakfast departure to the medieval city of Kruja. Visit the castle, the impressive Scanderbeg Museum and the Ethnographical Museum. Free time for shopping in Old Bazaar (the old market). Head to Shkodra. Visit the Castle of Rosafa (the legend of Rozafa’s presentation) with its museum inside.  From the top of the castle you can enjoy wonderful views to thet mountains,he  Shkodra lake, Drini, Buna and Kir rivers with the valleys around. After Shkodra, we proceed towards Durres, which is one of the oldest cities in the Mediterranean and the largest sea-port in Albania. Dinner and overnight in Durres.  

Day 6 Durres– Berat – Apolloni – Durres. After breakfast departure to Berat, one of the most important “museum towns” of Albania, also called ‘the city of a thousand windows’ for the many windows of its red-roofed houses. Berat is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Visit the castle of Berat with Onufri museum, the Church of St. Mary of Vllaherna dating to the 13th century, the Chapel of St Marina of Blachemae along the ridge above the gorge, as well as the Leaden Mosque, the King’s Mosque, the Bachelor’s Mosque and the Alveti Tekke. After lunch continue to Appolonia (antique center dating to 588 BC.) The ancient site of Appolonia was an important port along the route between Rome and Byzantium. Here studied the Emperor Augustus. Aristotle mentioned the town in his “Politics”. Continue to Durres. Overnight. Dinner and overnight in Durres.

Day 7Durres– Ohrid. After breakfast visit the second largest Roman amphitheaters in the Balkans (20000 spectators), the Archeological museum and the Venetian tower. Departure to Ohrid.

Day 8 Ohrid – Bitola – Prilep – Bulgaria: Melnik After breakfast departure to Bitola. The ride will take 1 hour, including a stop in Galichica over viewing the two lakes, Ohrid and Prespa. City tour including a visit to the Antic city of Heraclea which is located near the city of Bitola, in the foot of mountain Baba. It was built in the middle of the IV century B.C – its beauty and charm testifies of the persistence and superiority through time. Departure to Bulgaria through the picturesque Macedonian countryside. Early evening arrival to Melnik. B Accommodation in Despot Slav ***

Day 9 Melnik – Rila Monastery – Sofia In the morning – walk on the cobblestones of Melnik – the smallest town of Bulgaria, architectural reserve and ethnographic monument, the capital of wine production. Enjoy the marvelous architecture at the foothills of sandstone pyramids. Visit the biggest and the most beautiful house of Kordopulov built in 1754 and its wine cellar cut below the ground.Departure to the Rila Monastery – Bulgaria’s most famous tourist site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in the 10th century by St. Ivan Rilski. the monastery has been for centuries a . The monastery is the largest on the Balkans and has always been a center of the Bulgarian culture and Orthodox belief. Visit the Church of Nativity, which is of a particular artistic value, for it was adorned by the foremost 19-century masters of painting and woodcarving of the Samokov, Bansko and Debar schools. Continue to Sofia. Hotel check in and evening at leisure.  

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