South East Balkans 11-day Tour Through Egnatia Route

South East Balkans 11-Day Tour through Egnatia Route

Experience operated by

Jorge and your team

We are a team of adventurers that will help you discover the best places in the world. We'll guide you throughout the adventures so you can live unique and life changing experiences.

We are a team of adventurers that will help you discover the best places in the world. We'll guide you throughout the adventures so you can live unique and life changing experiences.

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About experience

Itinerary

Day 1: Tirane – Elbasan - Ohrid (UNESCO) (North Macedonia) - Bitola (UNESCO) (ancient Heraclea).

Stop At: Elbasan, Elbasan, Elbasan County
After breakfast travel to Elbasan. Elbasan which was a very important city in ancient time where in Roman empire time was called “Via Egnatia” that used to connect Rome-Naples-Bari-Durres-Elbasan-Ohrid-Thessaloniki-Istanbul. City tour to visit: Elbasan Castle (dating back to 4rth Century BC), The Clock, The ethnographic Museum, Church, The Old Mosque.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ohrid, Ohrid, Southwestern Region
Then we continue the beautiful city of Ohrid, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit the Sveti Naum Monastery, a beautiful site with impressive views of Lake Ohrid across to Albania. Explore its mixture of western and oriental architecture including the Orthodox Cathedral, the 11th century church of St Sofia as well as the Roman theater.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Bitola, Bitola, Pelagonia Region
Continue the road to Bitola. The road leads to the city of Resen and the biggest apple orchards in this part of the Balkans. First we will visit the ancient city of Heraclea Lyncestis, the best preserved ancient city in Macedonia. Built in the 4th century BC, and conquered by the Romans 2 centuries later. Heraclea Lincestis is famous for its beautiful mosaics, antique theater and roman baths. First excavations were taken after the First World War and then was discovered the beauty and importance of this ancient city – the Roman baths, Episcope basilica, Synagogue, portico, Roman theater – in which in modern times plays and music concerts are held.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Bitola. (Hotel Bela Kuka 3*, or similar).


Day 2: Edessa (Greece) - Pella - Thessaloniki (UNESCO).

Stop At: Edessa, Edessa, Pella Region, Central Macedonia
In the morning after breakfast, continue to cross the border with Greece and continue Edessa. A glorious past of Byzantine churches and Macedonian houses unfolds around you as you stroll through Varosi. Back in the present, the city will entertain you in the evening at Katarraktakia (Little Waterfalls) and serve you local delicacies in Flamouria. The town’s gifts flow as freely as its water; enjoy them as you would a cool, refreshing drink.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Pella, Pella, Pella Region, Central Macedonia
Then continue to Pella, which is an ancient Macedonian city located in Greece, best known as the historical capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. On the site of the ancient city is the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Region, Central Macedonia
Then continue to Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is one of the best places to visit not only for city breaks but also for longer holidays! And that is because Thessaloniki in not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the numerous Byzantine monuments, but it is also a beautiful modern European city full of life! Possibility to visit Galerius Arch (Kamara), Rotunda, Archaeological Museum, St. Demetrius church, Roman Forum, Our Lady "of the Coppersmiths" church, Bey Hamam Baths (Paradise Baths, church of Holly Wisdom, Museum of Byzantine Civilization, White Tower.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Hotel Abc, or similar.


Day 3: Kavala - Alexandroupolis.

Stop At: Kavala, Kavala, Kavala Region, East Macedonia and Thrace
After breakfast, continue to Kavala. Kavala’s past and present sparkle with the first rays of dawn. It is very beautiful due to its location on the slope of the mountain: white city houses with terraces descend to the sea, along which stretches a beautiful embankment with many old and modern houses, museums, beautiful beaches, taverns, shops and simply picturesque places. Kavala has long been a tourist destination in Greece from all over the World. Walking tour in the Old Town through ancient cobblestone streets, you will visit the old Castle, a medieval fortress surrounded by four towers and the highest point of the city - the central tower from which you can see an amazing view of the whole city and the Aegean Sea.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Alexandroupoli, Alexandroupoli, Evros Region, East Macedonia and Thrace
Then continue to Alexandroupolis. Its old name in Ottomans time was Dedeagach, and it was a fishing village. During the numerous wars, it was occupied by different cultures: Bulgarians, Turks, Russians etc. Not only is the city pretty, but so is its natural environment: located on the seashore, near Turkey and also very close to spectacular natural parks, such as those in Dadia and Lefkimi. We walk around the lighthouse; there are lots of bars and locals, with a great atmosphere. As for one of the city's main attractions, the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, the stone building is impressive, but I found the visit really boring. In this museum, you can look at artefacts to imagine how life was for the majority of Thrace's inhabitants.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Sali 3* or similar) and overnight.


Day 4: Tekirdag (Turkey) - Istanbul (UNESCO).

Stop At: Tekirdag, Tekirdag, Tekirdag Province
After breakfast, continue to Tekirdagi. Tekirdağ is a city in Turkey. It is a part of the region historically known as Eastern Thrace. Tekirdağ is the capital of Tekirdağ Province. Tekirdag is on the Marmara Sea coast of Thrace, and has been settled from the beginning of history like other important places of the region. Its ancient name was Bisanthe, while today’s name originates from the color of the surrounding mountains. There are several historical places in the city, some of which are the Rakoczy Museum, the Rustem Pasha Mosque, the Tekirdag Museum and the statue of Namik Kemal, the celebrated patriotic poet whose birth-place is Tekirdag. Corlu, is a small town of Tekirdag, was a citadel on the antique road between Istanbul and West Europe in the Illyrin-Roman-Byzantine-Ottoman period.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Istanbul, Istanbul
Then continue to Istanbul. Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. Explore the historic Old City on a fascinating place where we can see Istanbul's top 6 attractions: the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, Topkapı Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Marcello 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 5: Istanbul (UNESCO).

Stop At: Istanbul, Istanbul
After breakfast Bosphorus Boat Tour. In the afternoon leisure time to explore the city on your own and the possibility of shopping around at numerous souvenir shops, etc.
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Marcello 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 6: Edirne (UNESCO).

Stop At: Edirne, Edirne, Edirne Province
After breakfast, continue to Edirne. Edirne, formerly Adrianople of Adrianople, city, extreme western Turkey. It lies at the junction of the Tunca and Maritsa (Turkish: Meriç) rivers, near the borders of Greece and Bulgaria. The largest and oldest part of the town occupies a meander of the Tunca around the ruins of an ancient citadel. Edirne’s site and turbulent history were determined by its strategic position on the main route from Asia Minor (Anatolia) to the Balkans. We will visit Selimiye Mosque, Old Mosque, Uc Serefeli Mosque and Tower Gate in the city center.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Adresin 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 7: Plovdiv (UNESCO) (Bulgaria).

Stop At: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
This morning we will continue to reach Plovdiv, the “City of the seven hills’’. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe, still existing today. It was called Philippopolis in the IV century B.C. in honor of King Philip II of Macedonia. Today Plovdiv is a cultural center and is selected as European Capital of Culture for 2019. walking through the cobbled streets of Plovdiv’s Old Town, The Ancient Roman Theater, Kapana Creative District, The Roman Stadium, The Longest Pedestrian Street in Europe and The Secretive Tobacco Town that once was the heart of the tobacco industry in Bulgaria.
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Evmolpia 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 8: Sofia.

Stop At: Sofia, Sofia, Sofia Region
After breakfast, departure to Sofia. Panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital an 8500-years old city called “My Rome” by the emperor Constantine The Great. Visit the most fascinating places of interest: the forum of Ancient Serdica (the old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time, which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian presidency. Next is the St. Nedelya square, where 4 worship buildings of the main religions in Bulgaria are located next to each other. These are the Orthodox Church St. Nedelya, the Catholic church, the Synagogue and the Mosque. They form a quadrangle, symbolizing the peace between different religions in Bulgaria. Our tour continues with the “Alexander I” square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, “Tzar Osvoboditel” boulevard, the Parliament, the Church of ”St. Sofia” (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral (the biggest Orthodox church on the Balkan peninsula).
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Lion Sofia 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 9: Skopje (North Macedonia).

Stop At: Skopje, Skopje, Skopje Region
After breakfast continue to Skopje. After we arrive, a city tour. Walk through the landmarks of the old part of Skopje, starting with the Skopje Castle placed on a hill, which gives a view to the old and the new part of Skopje. Then continue with walking down toward Mustafa Pasha Mosque (1492) and the church of Holy Savior (18th Century), then to the historical district known as the Skopje’s Old Bazaar characterized by architectural mixture of churches, mosques, inns, baths, many craftsmen’s shops, old buildings, restaurants and pubs and small shops.
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (De Koka 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 10: Ulpiana (Kosova) - Gracanica Monastery (UNESCO) - Prishtine - Prizren.

Stop At: Ulpiana, Lipljan, Gracanica Kosovo
Afterward, drive to Pristina where we stop first to visit the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient Dardanian-Illyrian city dating back to Roman invasion period of the 1st century that was once one of the most powerful in the Balkans. Later we will visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Pristina, Pristina
Proceed to Pristina Kosova’s capital. Where we have a walking tour to explore the city visiting its main sites such as the Orthodox Church and the Carshi Mosque, dating back to the early 15th century.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Prizren, Prizren
We continue to Prizren. This city is probably the most attractive town in Kosovo with superbly preserved buildings from the Ottoman era. We visit the castle which is one of the oldest in the Balkans (almost 3 millenniums), built to protect the city from attacks, the ornate Bajrakli Mosque and the old Turkish Hammam among other sights. Prizren is an absolute highlight of any visit to Kosovo and to see the old houses of the old town in low light as the sun sets is a delight.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Accomodation in hotel (Hotel Prizren 3*, or similar) and overnight.


Day 11: Kukes (Albania) - Rubik - Tirana.

Stop At: Kukes, Kukes, Kukes County
After breakfast, continue the tour by enjoying the wonderful panorama of Black Drini River Valley and Firza Lake to arrive in Kukes. This city became famous and later was a Nobel Candidate city for the hospitality shown for about 1 million refugees from the Kosovo War in 1999.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Rubik, Rubik, Lezhe County
Then continue to Rubik via Has and Kukes in Drini River valley and the Rruga e Kombit Hiwayay. Visit in Info Kulla Rubik, where you will be introduced to the history of Mirdita which is the most authentic region in Albania, because it was never fully occupied fully in the last two millenniums by the various invaders starting from Hellenic, Roman, Byzantines, and the Ottomans. Introduction to Kanuni i Maleve, or known as “The Illyrian Code, Or Code of Lek Dukagjini”, where a similar one is founded in Hittite civilization dating back 3500 year ago. Visit to then the Shelbuemi Church of Rubik (dated in 1162), built over ancient Illyrian Temple/Castle over the hill/rock in the strategic control of Fani River Valley.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Tirana, Tirana, Tirana County
Drive back to Tirana for our final night where you will enjoy a farewell dinner with traditional food.
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight Hotel Kruja or similar.