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 the vibrant Albanian capital of Tirana, we transfer north up the Adriatic coast to Shkodra, where the first of our comfortable hotels is located.
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 defences - 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

This morning, we descend into the plains of Kosovo. Along our route, we stop at the Patriarchal Monastery of Peja, holiest centre of the Serbian Orthodoxy, with its ancient frescoed churches. Our next destination is Decan, site of Kosovo's biggest and best-preserved Medieval monastery, home to superb Byzantine frescoes and to the shrine of King Stefan Uros III. 
Hotel: Hotel Centrum
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Today 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. The focus of the Roman province of Dardania, this ancient city sits near both a mine and the Gracanica river, features that made it a once thriving hub of commerce and culture. We make a final stop at the Gracanica Monastery, before we return to Prizren.
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  lbanian 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. We return to Kruja where we spend our final night. 
Hotel: Hotel Panorama
Meals: All meals included

Day 9

We transfer to Tirana airport for our return flight home. 
Meals: Breakfast included

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

Upon arrival in the Albanian capital of Tirana, we 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 return flight 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 programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

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2020 Tour Details

Thu 11th Jun - Fri 19th Jun

Available

£2,395

Full Price £2495 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £260

AKM20A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

Guide Lecturer

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