For most of us, a Europen sojourn means Italy, Switzerland, Greece, France and Spain.
The slightly more curious ones might go to Portugal or Croatia.
But what about The Balkans?
That erstwhile war-torn region, which has now blossomed into a stunning paradise of mountains and beaches and museums?
Bet you hadn’t given it much thought.
We pick three of the most intriguing countries – Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania – to give the most curious amongst you a chance to explore.
Relatively off the tourist radar, these countries have a wealth of things to offer the traveler.
Watersports, adventure activities, cultural history, traditional food, and much more.
Come with us on this amazing journey and let your senses be pampered.
Arrival at Sofia Airport. Guided sightseeing tour of the city centre.
Visit the Alexander Nevski Cathedral – one of the
largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and a primary tourist attraction; the
Parliament Square, Russian Church, St. George Rotunda,
St. Sophia Church, built by the Roman emperor Justinian in the 6th century, the National Theatre, former Royal Palace, the Presidency, etc.
Free time in the city centre and main trade area around Vitosha Boulevard.
Optional dinner at a traditional restaurant with folklore music and dances. Overnight in Sofia
Breakfast. Departure for Rila Monastery – the most beautiful and the most important monastery in Bulgaria.
the monastery church Nativity of the Virgin.
One of its greatest valuables is the wooden iconostasis, some 14th and 15th century icons, wall paintings, made by the famous artist Zahari Zograph.
Walk around the monastery – Hrelyo’s Tower, the old kitchen, and the history museum.
Visit Melnik with a walking tour, including the Kordopulova Museum House, the church, and other sights from the period of the National Revival.
Enjoy our optional wine tasting in Melnik.
Departure for Macedonia.
Arrival in Strumitsa in the evening.
Departure for the famous Tikvesh wine region and the town of Kavadartsi.
Wine tasting at Tikvesh Winery. Departure for Bitola.
Once the most important trade center in Macedonia, where even today there are honorary consular representatives of France, Great Britain, and Turkey, Bitola is known as the City of Consuls.
Visit the Revival church of St. Demetrius, established in 1830.
Visit the archaeological reserve Heraclea Lynkestis.
Drive to the Ohrid Riviera. Accommodation and overnight.
Start your day with a walking tour in old Ohrid – the tourist pearl of Macedonia, the city of 365 churches, and part of the list of world
cultural heritage of UNESCO.
During this tour, (app. 3 hours) you will have the chance to see some of the masterpieces of Byzantine architecture and art on the Balkans: St. Sofia Church, St. Virgin Mary Peribleptos Church, St. John Kaneo Church, St. Clement and Panteleymon Church, the Ohrid collection of icons.
The old town of Ohrid hides many other treasures too: Ancient Theater, Tsar Samuel’s Mediaeval Fortress, Robevi House – local historical and ethnographic museum, craftsmen workshops for the production of paper, Ohrid pearls, wooden sculptures, etc.
In the afternoon – drive to St. Naum Monastery, located 27 km south of Ohrid, on the lakeshore.
Founded in the beginning of the 10th century by one of the patrons of this area, St. Naum, this monastery is considered to be a sacred place by both local Christians and Muslims.
You will take a tour of the complex – Church of the Archangels, St. Petka Chapel and a boat trip to the 14th century church of St. Virgin Mary – Zaum, accessible only from the lake, where the oldest icon depicting St. Naum has been discovered. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Ohrid.
Breakfast. Departure for Albania. Visit the port town of Durres – the Albanian “Second City.”
You could stroll for a visit to the beach or the Muesum of Martyrs.
Drive to the capital city of Tirana. Panoramic sightseeing tour of Tirana – Skenderbeg Square, named after the Albanian hero, and the main landmark of the city, Et’hem Bey Mosque, where pilgrims go to offer prayers, the Clock Tower, the Palace of Culture.
Accommodation and overnight in Tirana.
Departure for Macedonia. Enjoy a walking tour in Struga – the town of poetry – St. George Church, Brothers
Miladinovi Memorial House, and the Old Bazar.
We continue to Tetovo, one of the largest cities in Macedonia, for a visit to
the famous Colored Mosque – one of the emblems of Ottoman architecture in Macedonia. Arrival in Skopje in the
Accommodation and overnight in Skopje.
Start your day with a city tour in the center of Skopje: Macedonia Square with the monumental sculptures of the “Skopje 2014”
project, Mother Theresa’s Memorial House, the cathedral temple of St. Clement of Ohrid, built in 1990, Skopje Old
Market (“charshiya”) from the times of the Ottoman Empire, and the Skopje Fortress. Visit the church of St. Spas – one of
the most beautiful examples of Balkan Baroque.
Here you can witness the well-preserved iconostasis of the Filipovi
brothers from the beginning of the 19th century with its impressive deep woodcarving.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the
archaeological site of Scupi. Overnight in Skopje.
Transfer to Skopje airport.
This tour is just a sample itinerary of one among many possible Europe tours. Customizations possible but we require at least 48 hours for any customizations. You can chop and change any part of this itinerary. This is not a fixed departure tour. Write to us [email protected] for customizations.
Trippin Traveller offers customized offbeat and eco-friendly tours. We are based in Bangalore, India. For us, travel is not mere sightseeing, it's a cultural experience. Connect with us for meeting your travel requirements