Albania, Montenegro & Kosovo

Budva, Montenegro
Budva, Montenegro
Rozafa Ruins
Rozafa Ruins
Rozafa Castle
Rozafa Castle
Moraca Monastrey
Moraca Monastrey
Democracy Square, Shkoder
Democracy Square, Shkoder
Budva, Montenegro
Budva, Montenegro
Budva, Montenegro
Budva, Montenegro
The
The "Budva Dancer" presides over the town's bay
The old town of Kotor
The old town of Kotor

Travel from the shores of the Adriatic high up into the Albanian mountains, through soaring Montenegro and on into the plains of Kosovo. Journey through ancient coastal cities, attractive Medieval towns, and wild landscapes, to discover Ottoman mosques jostling for space along the narrow streets. The region hosts a swathe of little-known archaeological sites that will delight even the worldliest of travellers, whilst the abundant natural beauty will capture your imagination and linger in your memory.

Join us as we trace the diverse civilisations who have left their mark, from Illyrians, to Romans, Ottomans and the Albanians.

  • Visit one of Albania’s largest defences - Rozafa Castle
  • Enjoy a spectacular voyage along the Black Drin, one of the great river journeys of the world
  • Witness the sublime Bay of Kotor with the towering castle of St. John, and the idyllic Adriatic Coast
  • See the stunning painted monasteries in Kosovo, the creation of the great Serbian kings of the 13th and 14th centuries

Themes

  • Romans
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches
  • Conflict

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

Upon arrival in Albania we transfer to the hotel in Shkodra. Take the time to unwind before enjoying dinner this evening as a group.
Hotel: Hotel Rozafa
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning will be spent exploring Shkodra. We begin at the Historical Museum before continuing onto the Marubi Museum. After lunch we visit one of Albania’s largest defenses - the legendary Rozafa Castle. From its imposing position upon a rocky hill, we are treated to spectacular views of the Albanian Alps. After we have discovered the sights and stories of this city, we cross the border into Montenegro. 
Hotel: Hotel Bracera
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We leave our hotel and drive to Cetinje, the old royal capital of King Nicola, cradled by limestone mountains. Founded in the 15th century, it soon became a hub of Montenegrin culture, as well as a centre for the country's Orthodox faith. 

Next, we have the chance to explore Kotor, which lies on the shores of its own beautiful bay: a Medieval warren of cobbled streets, Venetian fortifications, and ancient walls. Magnificently preserved, it's clear to see why the town has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and why so many curious travellers flock here, year after year.

We return to Budva for dinner this evening.
Hotel: Hotel Bracera
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today we have a morning visit to Budva and its Archaeological Museum, before heading on to the site of Doclea, Montenegro's foremost archaeological site and Roman administrative capital. The remains of the walls, forum and temple complex have been excavated as well as some later churches which stand among the grassy fields. Once the old Roman capital of Prevalitana, Doclea offers a passage between the ancient world in the Balkans and the iron world of the Middle Ages.

Into the mountains next, as we head to the rugged landscape of Moraca, with its world-renowned Serbian Orthodox monastery. Despite being burned by the Ottomans in the 16th Century, its significant 13th century frescoes remain remarkably well preserved.
Hotel: Hotel Bianca
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Our tour of the region continues as we descend into the plains of Kosovo this morning. Along our journey we visit the patriarchate of Peja, a 13th century monastery which contains a mausoleum and interconnecting churches. We then continue to Deçan, Kosovo’s biggest and best preserved medieval monastery.
Hotel: Hotel Centrum
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Today, we visit the Shiroku tumulus group. Here, we find burial sites of Iron Age Illyrians and their Bronze Age predecessors. On towards Ulpiana, a Roman city founded by Emperor Trajan to be the center of a rich mining district. Our final stop is the exceptional Gracanica Monastery.
Hotel: Hotel Centrum
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

We drive to tranquil Koman, where we catch a ferry to take us along the spectacular gorge of the Black Drin River to the dam at Fierze. The lake was created by the Albanian communists to feed the ‘Light of the Path’ hydro-electric combine in the 1980s.
Hotel: Hotel Panorama
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Our final full day in the Balkans begins with a drive to Lezhe. Originally an Illyrian city, Lezhe was a colony founded by the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse and later became the administrative capital of the Illyrian King Gentius. In the later Middle Ages it was the nerve centre of the realm of Skanderberg, the Albanian hero who was buried in the cathedral. Here we visit the remains of the ancient city, Skanderberg's grave and his castle.

The afternoon we return to Kruja, where we spend our final night.
Hotel: Hotel Panorama
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our individual flights home or onward travel.
Meals: Breakfast included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Arrive in the Albanian capital of Tirana and travel north up the Adriatic coast to our hotel in Shkodra.

Hotel: Hotel Rozafa, Shkodra
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

This morning will be spent exploring Shkodra, whose roots date back to the Bronze Age. We begin at the Historical Museum and then visit the Library of the Franciscan Order, the birthplace of Albanian archaeology. We visit the cathedral, Marubi Museum and the imposing Rozafa Castle. From here, we explore the Illyrian Royal Fortress, Venetian Castle and Ottoman Serai. Afterwards, we drive over the border to Budva in Montenegro.

Hotel: Hotel Bracera, Budva
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We leave our hotel and drive to Cetinje, the old royal capital of King Nicola, where we visit the Monastery, the Historical Museum and King Nikola’s Palace. After lunch, we have the chance to explore the UNESCO-listed site of Kotor with its medieval warren of stone-flagged streets, Venetian fortifications and ancient walls. We return to Budva in time for dinner. 

Hotel: Hotel Bracera, Budva
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today we visit Budva and its Archaeological Museum, before heading to Doclea. Once the old Roman capital of Prevalitana, Doclea offers a passage between the ancient world in the Balkans and the iron world of the Middle Ages. Next, we head to the rugged landscape of Moraca with its Serbian Orthodox monastery, which boasts well-preserved 13th century frescoes. 

Hotel: Hotel Bianca, Kolasin
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

This morning, we descend into the plains of Kosovo. En route, we stop at the Patriarchal Monastery of Peja, holiest centre of the Serbian Orthodoxy. Our next destination is Decan, the site of Kosovo’s biggest and best-preserved medieval monastery, home to the shrine of King Stefan Uros III. We then continue to Prizren, an old Ottoman market town and location of our hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Centrum, Prizren
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

The day begins with a walk around Prizren and then we visit the Shiroku tumulus group, where we find numerous burial sites of Iron Age Illyrians and their Bronze Age predecessors. This afternoon we continue to Ulpiana. We make a final stop at the Gracanica Monastery, before we return to Prizren.

Hotel: Hotel Centrum, Prizren
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

An early start awaits as we drive to Fierza and board a ferry to Koman. From here, we drive to our hotel in Kruja.

Hotel: Hotel Panorama, Kruja
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Our final full day starts with a drive to Lezhe, originally an Illyrian city. We visit the remains of the ancient city, Skanderberg’s grave and his castle. We return to Kruja to explore the Ottoman bazaar and medieval castle, and spend our final night in the shadow of Kruja Mountain.

Hotel: Hotel Panorama, Kruja
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

We transfer to Tirana airport for our individual flights home.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels

Travel Information

Joining the Tour

For full information about how to join the tour, please click here.

Passport & Visa Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

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Book now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888 331 3476

2019 Tour Details

Thu 5th Sep - Fri 13th Sep

Available

Guaranteed Departure

$3,413

without flights

sgl supp: $345

AKM19A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

2020 Tour Details

Thu 11th Jun - Fri 19th Jun

Available

$2,985

Full Price $3120 Save $135

without flights

sgl supp: $350

AKM20A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

Guide Lecturer

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