BOSNIA - MACEDONIA - SERBIA - ALBANIA
Skopje, city with 2 thousand years of history, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, is the meeting point of many nations and cultures in the heart of Balkans. Skopje, very inspiring destination, attracts tourists with a fortress, cultural and historical monuments, archaeological sites, sport halls, caves of the canyon of Treska river and Lake Matka, health spa located in the eastern part Macedonian capital. Narrow Streets of Old Bazaar, biggest market at Balkans, 1500 years old fortress Kale, monastery St. Pantaleon with the fresco ”Lamentation of Christ”, Islamic monuments Sultan Murat’s- Hjunkar Mosque, the Daut Pasha’s bath, cozy quay of the Vardar river are one of the most beautiful parts of this international city, the birthplace of Mother Teresa. Hotel check-in and overnight.
Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and oldest lakes in Europe, represents natural border between Macedonia and Albania. Ohrid’s ecosystem remains unique and has worldwide importance with more than 200 endemic species. In 1979 UNESCO proclaimed Ohrid World Heritage site and then in 2010 NASA named one of Titan’s lakes after Lake Ohrid. Ohrid and Struga towns are located at Macedonian lakeside, whilst Albanian most famous town at Ohrid is Pogradec.
Tirana – Budva
Tirana, capital of Albania and its heart, like all other European metropolises is famous for non-stop energy and motion. Tirana’s clubs, pubs, cafes, and taverns are worth discovering at day and night. Hospitality of locals is something that will remain in your heart for a long time. During our tour we’ll see Mosque of Ethem Bey built between 1798 and 1812 and the 35 m high Kulla e Sahatit or the Watch Tower, built in 1822. Moreover, you can visit the famous Mosaic uncovered on the floor of an old Roman lodge. Its center configures the walls of the castle of the Roman emperor Justinian (A.D. 520). The monumental Tomb of Kaplan Pasha and the Ura e Tabakëve (a bridge constructed in the beginning of the 19th century, located on Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard) are other interesting places to visit.
Budva – Sveti Stefan
Budvanska Riviera, one of the most beautiful parts of Adriatic coast of Montenegro. Budva is a town that is famous for best entertainment and rest. The Old Town of Budva is supposed to be one of the oldest settlements on the coast of Adriatic Sea – it is firstly mentioned in chronicles as “town of Illyria” in 3rd century BC. The Old Town is a unique architectural and urban fusion, surrounded by medieval walls with a fortification, towers and city-gates. Then we will proceed to Sveti Stefan Island – one of the most exclusive summer resorts of Adriatic coast. This island was a shelter for local people during attack of pirates and Turks, but modern infrastructure represents a luxury hotel with private access for exclusive guests: even Novak Đoković chose it as his wedding destination.
Mostar – Blagaj – Pocitelj – Sarajevo
Počitelj Fortress (monument is on the tentative UNESCO list) founded by Bosnian King Tvrtko I. The actual look of the Fortress was completed in the 16th century during the Ottoman rule at this area. Fortress complex contains a mosque, Sahat-Tower, hammam, han or inn and traditional houses in Mediterranean-Oriental style. The whole fortification is built from the natural stone from the local quarry. The excursion goes on at Blagaj (monument is on the tentative UNESCO list), old town from the 15th century where Kosača noble family ruled. Also Blagaj was the crib of Islam of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina, when dervish Sari Satluk built a khanqah at the river-head of Buna. After an organized lunch we go on to Mostar, one of the most beautiful towns of Balkan Peninsula. The Old Bridge (monument under the protection of the UNESCO) built by Mimar Hayruddin is the symbol of this town on the Neretva river. We will learn more about history of the Old Bridge and famous tradition of jumping from it. Afterwards we proceed to Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque, Goldsmith Street, first Ottoman bridge in Mostar, the Crooked Bridge, old tanner’s quarter Tabhana.
Sarajevo sightseeing tour starts: Building of Vijećnica or the City Assembly finished during the Austro-Hungarian period, old downtown of the city called Baščaršija, historical and cultural center of Sarajevo with authentic shops and souqs from the Ottoman era, Orthodox Church from the 16th century, Gazi Hüsrev Bey mosque, Sahat Tower from the 17th century and the first public toilette in Europe. We go on to Latin Bridge where Gavrilo Princip shot the successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne Franz Ferdinand which caused the beginning of the World War I. We move on to Bezistan, market complex from the 16th century, then to the main pedestrian zone Ferdahija with the Synagogue from 1580 and Catholic Cathedral from 1881. We will also visit the Markale bazaar, symbol of Sarajevo’s victims during the last Civil War, and then Alija Izetbegović Square, Cathedral Church and Eternal Flame, the monument to the soldiers and civilians deceased in the World War II, where the tour ends. Optional: Bosnian Night – organized group dinner in one of the national cuisine restaurants. Feel real Sarajevo accompanied with traditional Bosnian cuisine in one of the most famous Sarajevo restaurants. Bey’s soup, Bosnian pot, sogan-dolma, ćevapi… these are just several of the authentic delicacies that will surely be enjoyed by any gourmet.
Sightseeing tour around Belgrade. We will drive through New Belgrade where you’ll see prominent Belgrade’s “blocks”: classical example of Socialism architecture popular after World War II, along with modern business centers among which Ušće Center surely predominates. We cross the river over the Brankov Bridge and drive to Tasmajdan Park, Slavija Square and the Church of Saint Sava. The tour then goes on at the street of Serbian Rulers and then we’ll see New and Old Palaces, Terazije Square, Republic Square, National Theater. Arrival at Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan, the best place to see Belgrade’s symbol – Statue of the Victor – and observe the history of Roman and Ottoman Rule in Belgrade. Then we’ll move on walking in the main city’s pedestrian zone, Knez Mihailova Street and Republic Square. At the end, we’ll finish the sightseeng tour near the building of the National Assembly. Optional: Serbian night (bohemian quarter Skadarlija).
Belgrade – Novi Sad
Novi Sad and Sremski Karlovci. Novi Sad, capital of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, is located 80 km to the north from Belgrade via road E-75. Thanks to it geographical position Novi Sad used to be border between two Empires – Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman and in 1748 Queen Maria Theresa proclaimed Novi sad „free royal city“ Neoplanta. Melting point of different nations and ethnic groups, Novi Sad with its 250 000 population is a real multicultural ambient and an example of true modern European metropolis. Tour in Novi Sad is a walking tour in the center of the city. We’ll see Dunavska and Zmaj Jovina Street that compose city’s pedestrian zone, the City Hall, Catholic Church, old city center, house of Albert Einstein’s wife Mileva, cultural foundation Matica Srpska, Synagogue and city beach Štrand. Then we’ll follow to the right bank of Danube and a visit to Petrovaradin where the Fortress is located. It was built of medieval fortification foundation by Austrians in the 17th and 18th century in order to defend themselves from Turks. The Fortress is sometimes called „Danube’s Gibraltar“ for its strategic position. Nowadays the Fortress is famous for one of the most prestigious music festivals EXIT. Organized lunch in one of authentic Fruška Gora restaurants or wine-cellar, the tour then continues in Sremski Karlovci. Sremski Karlovci is located in the bottom of Fruška gora and presents a real gem of Serbian culture and spirituality. Baroque city center, Patriarchy, Cathedral of Saint Nicolas and Catholic Church of Saint Trinity, first Serbian gymnasium built in 1881 and the Library of Karlovac gymnasium – all this make Sremski Karlovci a “museum town”. The town is famous for wine production and annual festival “Wineball”. Optional: Organized group dinner in one of the national cuisine restaurants or a night-out in best Belgrade’s club. Overnight.