Starting from Athens and ending in Belgrade, this 12 day tour visits Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia.
Welcome to Athens, upon your arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of your day is free to explore.
Your Athens city tour starts from the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Continue and pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament buildings and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Constitution Square (Syntagma). At the Acropolis visit, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally "the harmony between material and spirit", the monument that "puts order in the mind", the Parthenon.
Today we head to Meteora, a unique and enchanting place where monasteries are elevated by otherworldly sandstone pillars. We spend an evening in the nearby traditional Greek village of Kalambaka.
Today we leave Greece behind and head towards to Albania. En route we visit the UNESCO listed town of Gjirokastra, a rare example of a well preserved Ottoman town, and then we continue to the capital, Tirana.
After breakfast, we have a walking tour of the town visiting the Clock Tower, Et'hem Bey Mosque, St Paul's Cathedral, National Historical Museum, Piramida, National Art Gallery and Mother Teresa Square. We then leave Albania and drive to Budva, Montenegro. Apart from its natural beauty, its bay islands and beaches, Budva is rich in historic monuments. Budva Old Town lies on a small peninsula and represents a treasure chest of culture heritage. Crossed with narrow streets and squares are famous buildings, the Church St. Trojica, housing the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava. We continue to Kotor, which is set on the beautiful Bay of Kotor and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Amongst the sights to see, at Kotor, are the well-preserved Old Town and its city walls, along which you can walk, and the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (built in 1166). We continue along beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik, a city legendary for its well-preserved stone walls, and is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. On arrival, head out on a guided walk along the city walls, enjoying views of the Adriatic Sea. You'll also visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, built by the European architect Onofrio della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city, the 13th century Franciscan monastery and the Sponza and Rector's Palaces. At the end of your journey, perhaps you'd prefer to simply unwind on a beach.
After breakfast, we will drive along the Adriatic coast line towards to Split. In the afternoon we will have walking tour of the city visiting, Diocletian Palace, a Roman imperial palace and UNESCO World Heritage site. We will walk the southern part of palace, the Bronze Gates, through the Vestibul of the Emperor's Palace, The Mausoleum, St. Dujam's Cathedral, Cathedral Treasury, Temple of Jupiter, St. Martin's Church (Golden Gate) and conclude the tour at the fruit square and visit the Venetian castle, Milesi Palace and the Monument of Marko Marulic.
Today depart for Sarajevo via Mostar, a town situated in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of Herzegovina. The city was the most heavily bombed settlement in Bosnia during the war, but it has since been rebuilt and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. On the way, we visit the famous Stari Most Bridge, built by the Ottomans in 156. It was the great architect Mimar Hajrudin who succeeded with the impossible mission to cross the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. Afterwards, we drive to Sarajevo, which is Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital. Twenty years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful and interesting cities. The city mixes east and west dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and the aroma of coffee. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's old bazaar and you must try the local specialty of 'bosanski cevapi' (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices).
This morning, after breakfast, we depart for Serbia's capital, Belgrade, which is famous for its grand Orthodox churches and museums. In the evening, head down to Skadarska Street in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively atmosphere, in a place where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.
Today, we will visit the city's wide boulevards and squares, and the historic and green heart of Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kelmegdan Fortress, which has overlooked the Danube River here for centuries.
Departure for Skopje via Nis, the third largest city in Serbia. After a sightseeing in Nis, visiting remnants of its Ottoman past, we cross the border into Macedonia and proceed to the capital, Skopje, arriving in the afternoon.
After breakfast, our tour concludes with a transfer to Skopje airport.