Balkans` finest: 20 centuries of culture, history and civilization evolution. Unforgettable taste, smell, and perception invasion on all senses. Where ancient meets modern.
Leisure times on the coast of Adriatic Sea and oldest lake in Europe – crystal blue Ohrid Lake.
Have you ever been to a place where you are pleasantly smitten from the hospitality and positivity around you? A destination, where you feel like you know the people around you and they know you too? Well, our friends – that is how you will fee during the fabulous trip from the Sea to the Mountains!
Arrival in Tivat Airport and accommodation in Kotor bay. Free afternoon and possibility for beach time. After the relaxing time, you will enjoy welcoming dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Kotor Bay.
Kotor, Kotor bay, Boka Kotorska (beach time)
Blending with the local tradition and lifestyle full of leisure and chill, following two days are reserved for fun and sun on a slow pace. You will be guided to a sightseeing of Kotor Bay area and familiarization with its cultural and historical legacy starting from the Middle Ages, Venetian Rule and fine-tuned by the modern history. Short breaks and coffee refreshment in authentic Old Bazaar ambiance are mandatory. Yes, shopping too. The rest of the time is reserved for the beach and the amenities of the deep blue Adriatic.
Ostrog Monastery, rural Montenegro
Coastline of Montenegro is remarkable, but so it is its inland. Full of history, culture and specific rural lifestyle, this country offers wonders to be enjoyed. On this day, a visit of the most renowned monastery in Montenegro dedicated to St. Basil of Ostrog, built in 17th century will follow, including the tomb of St. Basil and monastery`s two churches: Church of the Presentation and the Church of the Holy Cross. Stunning views of the Bjelopavlići plains are on us. In the afternoon, you will enjoy traditional Montenegrin food, served in a traditional rural ambiance. Late afternoon ride to Kotor Bay for overnight.
Podgorica city tour
After the breakfast, you will say farewell to the Adriatic Sea and start your transfer from the shores of Adriatic Sea to the heart of the Montenegrin inlands reaching the capital of the country. Guided city of Podgorica will follow acknowledging the highlights of this modern urban hub: the cultural and historical legacy of the Middle Ages, Ottoman Empire, Kingdom of Montenegro and of course the inevitable Socialist Yugoslavia. Since no capital visit is considered complete without a shopping time, you will have some free afternoon hours. In the early-evening, your transfer will continue south, ending in Prizren, Kosovo for accommodation and overnight.
Prizren city tour
This day is all about the cultural mix of the newest Balkan country Kosovo. After the breakfast, you will have guided city tour of Prizren and close familiarization of its Ancient, Medieval, Ottoman, WWI, WWII, Ex-Yugoslavia and modern cultural legacy of the city and the region, represented through the Old Town, Stone Bridge, Sinan Pasha Mosque, Turkish Bath, The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Orthodox Church St. Nikola, Orthodox Church St. George and UNESCO protected Church of Saint Veneranda, Prizren League Center, City`s Fortress, Maksut Pasha Mosque, Dervish Teke, Marash Quarter…. In the afterhours, exclusive local culture exposure will follow by visit of Sredska Region and educational class of centuries-old traditional bride make up presentation. A breathtaking and one of a kind soul-touching experience. In the afternoon hours, ride back to Prizren for overnight.
Filigree workshop, Peje city tour, Rugova Canyon
Kosovar`s cultural legacy seems endless, so one must dedicate some extra time to experience its finest. After the breakfast, visit of an authentic Prizren filigree workshop will be organized accompanied by educational class and exhibition of arts and products made by well-known Prizren craftsman. Tailor-made, genuine experience that will help you better understand the cultural and historical context around. In the afternoon, a cultural and historical legacy of Peje tour will follow including the very important 13th century Monastery Patriarchate, Ethno museum, Ottoman Empire Bajrakli Mosque, medieval Old Bazaar and the 14th century Decani Monastery. To add a little bit of nature in the day, we will end it with a visit of Rugova Canyon. Overnight in Prizren.
Day 8 Pristina/Skopje
It is true, Balkan people are hardworking community and it’s a good thing to be presented to the rest of the world. On our way to Skopje, we will visit traditional keche (sull cap) workshop in Glakovica, Stone Castle winery and we will make a stop at the Capital of Kosovo – Pristina, for a city tour including: Ethno museum, Historical museum and Catholic Cathedral of Mother Theresa visit. In the late afternoon, we will cross the border and accommodate in the Capital of North Macedonia, Skopje.
Skopje city tour, Bigorski Monastery, House of Mijaks, rural Macedonia
Our journey continues with indulgence in the story of Macedonia. Its capital Skopje, has beautiful narrate to tell, so a guided city tour will follow. You will check Skopje`s landmarks: Old Bazaar, Medieval Fortress, Ottoman legacy monuments, Museum of Mother Teresa its Stone Bridge and few gems more. Later on, from the urban jungle, you will move to the intact nature of Mavrovo National Park resting your senses on its biodiversity, colors and sounds. Down through Radika River Canyon we will visit one of the most important sanctuaries in the country, the Monastery of St. Jovan Bigorski, built in XI century. In the foothill of the monastery, you will taste traditional local meal in Mijak peoples` restaurant, enjoying one of the best features of this ethnic`s group culture. Following the stream of the beautiful Black Drim River, we will head down to Ohrid for accommodation and overnight.
Day 10 Ohrid (Beach time)
Ohrid city tour
The “Jerusalem of the Balkans” as Ohrid is called, is our next destination to discover. We`ll start with the most rewarding city tour and visit just a few of more than 365 churches, fortresses, ancient sites, museums, UNESCO protected monuments of nature. Our professional guide will speak about the legacy of this most visited city in Macedonia, hearing facts about the dawn of Christianity in Europe and spreading it from here to the rest of eastern lands….about first Slavic University, Cyrillic alphabet, ancient kingdoms, and the heritage of the 19th century era of Romanticism. We will pass by the charming monastery at Kaneo enjoying the breathtaking scenery, we will visit the birthplace of the Slavic literacy at St. Clements University built in X century, we will see the Golden mask from VII century BC in Robevi House. The group will discover the secret making of Ohrid pearls, handmade by only two old Ohrid families, luckily for us they will share its passion and devotion in making this unique and one in a kind pearls out of the Ohrid fish skin in a half hour presentation. You will be chanted by Ohrid Old town narrow alleys full of history and mysterious legends during few hours of free time exploring its hidden corners and charming Old bazaar at the very same route of Via Egnatia. Traditional Macedonian folklore music night and dinner follow in Ohrid.
Day 11 (Beach time)
St. Naum- boat trip from Ohrid
This day starts with a boat trip to the breathtaking monastery of St. Naum, sailing by the prehistoric Water Settlement - Bay of Bones. The group will have unique opportunity to see from the boat the replica of a millennia old settlement, one of the first in this area. After half an hour more sailing, we will reach the monastery; located on a cliff at the shoreline of Ohrid Lake offering perfect views to the lake and National Park Galicia. Apart from its historical, cultural and architectural importance, the monastery is also a touristic hot-spot because of the tomb of St. Naum, where most profound believers even today do witness Saint`s heartbeat. The “backyard” of the monastery is the springs and the “entrance” of the Drim River into Ohrid Lake - a protected natural legacy. The surroundings of the monastery are arranged as touristic-recreational zone with beach, cafes and restaurants, and the group can use it to simply relax and lunch. After this divine experience we sail back to Ohrid for free afternoon and souvenirs shopping in the old town. Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
Beach time Ohrid.
Bitola, rural North Macedonia
Early in the day, a transfer to Bitola, the town where the founder of Modern Turkey - Kemal Attaturk, spent his cadet years will follow. Around noon, we will explore the mosaic of this former Ottoman Capital, including the most famous Shirok Sokak Promenade, visit of Kemal Ataturk-the founder of Turkey museum, Bitola`s protected architecture, Consulates, the Clock Tower and the olderst official archaeological site in Macedonia – Heraclea Lynkestis. To regain our strengths, we will have homemade lunch at family-owned village B&B in Dihovo, at the foothills of National Park Pelister. On our way back to Ohrid, we will stop at a private folklore museum and rakija tasting at Jone`s house. A geniuine refreshment shot.
Tikves region, wine&dine
Departure from Ohrid; after vivid bus ride, the group will arrive in Tikves region to the welcoming meal served with one of the most beautiful wines in Macedonia. The winery we will visit is among most renowned wineries in Republic of North Macedonia, hosting several thousands of domestic and international tourists all-year-round. At the winery, the group will be educated on the basics of Macedonian traditional wine production, the technology applied, types of grapes and the harvest process nurtured in more than 30 centuries. During the lunch, the group will also hear the story of Serbian King Alexander Karadjordjevic`s who had his vineyards here and the Villa for his Queen Marija.