Balkan Explorer

Albania | Bosnia | Kosovo | Macedonia | Montenegro | Serbia

Culture

Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro & Bosnia

20 days £3,195 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

Boasting a variety of languages, customs, landscapes and cities to explore, the Balkans offers a fascinating insight into one of Europe’s least visited regions, one rich in history and tradition but with modernity pushing in from every corner. Visit Albania's stone cities, Serbia's Orthodox monasteries and Bosnia's intriguing capital city and famous bridge. Taste wines in Macedonia, admire Ottoman architecture in Kosovo and explore Montenegro's wild nature and beautiful coastal towns.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Belgrade and Serbia’s Monasteries
  • Ghoulish Skull Tower of Nis
  • The capital of Kosovo, Pristina
  • The beautiful city of Pec
  • UNESCO heritage Decani Monastery
  • Wine tasting at Demir Kapija
  • Stori, Ohrid and Skopje in Macedonia
  • The lovely St Naum monastery
  • The "micronation" of Vevcani
  • The spectacular fortress town of Berat
  • The city of stone, Girokastra
  • Greek, Roman & Venetian site of Butrint
  • Spectacular Tara gorge
  • Sample Njegusi's famous ham
  • Biograd Lake and Kotor in Montenegro
  • Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia

Places Visited

Belgrade - Sremski Karlovci - Niš - Niš Fortress - Topola - Mediana - Pec - Decani Monastery - Prizren - Skopje - Demir Kapija - Ohrid - Vevcani - Berat - Girokastra - Saranda - Tirana - Butrint - Kruja - Shkodra - Podgorica - Biograd Lake - Tara River Canyon - Kotor - Mostar - Trebinje - Sarajevo

What's Included

International return flight (where indicated)
Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transport and driver
Escorted guide
Accommodation
Assistance at all borders
Entrance fees to sites on itinerary
Breakfasts
Itinerary & Map
Image 3

Day 1 : Belgrade (Serbia)

Arrive into Belgrade airport where a Travel The Unknown representative will meet you and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan: n/a

Image 3

Day 2 : Belgrade

Begin with a city tour of Belgrade which includes the sights of Knez Mihajlova Street, Kalemegdan and a tour of the Eastern ward. In the evening, enjoy dinner at Skadarlija, with typical food and music. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Belgrade has been the capital of Serbia since 1403, when Despot Stefan, son of Prince Lazar, moved his palace here. Walk through the elegant Republic Square and pay attention to its architectural monuments, such as the National Theatre and the National Museum. Stroll along Knez Mihajlova Street, the main shopping street and meeting place, to see a few other masterpieces of Belgrade architecture. 

The Fortress of Kalemegdan, which is the symbol of Belgrade, is where the River Sava flows into the Danube. The Upper fortress area includes well-preserved artillery structures dating from the 18th century, as well as a medieval fortification - an acropolis with original or partly reconstructed ramparts, gateways, towers and the excavated ruins of a 15th century castle. A few Turkish monuments and some ancient Roman remains also lie in this area. In this section of the fortification complex you’ll see the elegant 18th century Baroque Clock Tower and the Roman Well. The Eastern Ward features the Rose Church of Our Lady, along with a panoramic view of the Lower fortress and its monuments - the Nebojsa Tower, the Baroque Gate of Karl VI and the remains of the medieval metropolitan palace.

Read more
Image 3

Day 3 : Sremski Karlovci - Petrovaradin

After breakfast drive to Sremski Karlovci, before visiting Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad. Today you will also visit Zivanovic for wine and honey tasting. Return to Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Sremski Karlovci is a picturesque Baroque town that used to be a Serbian religious and educational centre in the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy the Baroque-style fountain from 1790 and Karlovci High School. This site dates back to the end of the 19th century and contains decorative elements reminiscent of mediaeval Serbian buildings. You can also visit the Patriarch's Palace, once the most imposing building in the whole region, as well as the Cathedral from the mid-18th century.

Novi Sad is one of Serbia's biggest cities and is the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Vojvodina. It is a modern, lively city with many growing businesses. At the same time, it maintains a beautiful flavour of its past. Walk through the centre of Novi Sad to visit the main Orthodox Cathedral and the main Catholic Cathedral, then continue walking along the famous Dunavska street.

Visit the Fortress of Petrovaradin, once called 'Gibraltar on the Danube'. This Austrian artillery fortification is situated above the river and represents the second largest structure of its kind preserved in Europe. Built by Austrians in the 17-18th centuries at the spot of former Roman, Byzantine and Hungarian settlements, the fortress plays a very important role in the life of the town even today, as many cultural events are organized there. It also features 16km of underground tunnels.

Read more
Image 3

Day 4 : Belgrade - Sumadija - Niš

Begin driving South through Sumadija to Topola (Oplenac). Visit Topola and meet a family that make rakija (plum brandy) and sample their wares (visit depends on minimum numbers). After visiting continue to the town of Krusevac for a short visit. After visiting Krusevac drive to Nis and visit the fortress. Overnight in Niš.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Krusevac was the medieval capital of Serbia during the time of Prince Lazar in the second half of the 14th century. Here you will see the Lazarica Court Church, founded by the Serbian Prince Lazar in 1380. The church represents a fine architectural achievement, adorned with rich carved stone decoration on the arches, rosettes, windows and portals. As one of the earliest monuments of the Morava school, it long served as a model for Serbian builders.

Niš Fortress is a complex and very important cultural and historical monument that dominates the urban nucleus of the city. The existing fortification is of Turkish origin, dating back from the first decades of the 18th century. It is known as one of the most significant and best preserved monuments of its kind in the Balkans. 

Topola sits in  the hilly Šumadija region,  the heart of central Serbia known as the cradle of Serbian uprisings against Ottoman rule in the 19th century. It boasts the Residence of Karadjordje (now a museum dedicated to the leader of the First Serbian Uprising); the Church of Our Lady, built by Karadjordje (1811-1813); and two stone towers which are left from what was once a mighty fortification. Nearby is St. George Church, built after WWI by the King of Serbia, Petar I, on top of Oplenac. This church is unique among all the monuments in Serbia, with columns made of marble, an iconostasis of local marble and stunning mosaics covering almost 3,500 sq. meters, which include 725 scenes and 1,500 human figures that chart the history and the extent of Orthodox Christianity in Serbia. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 5 : Niš - Pristina (Kosovo) - Pristina

Visit Niš including the famous Skull Tower and Mediana. Continue to Devil's Town for a visit. Cross the border and continue to Pristina for overnight stay. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Niš is the second largest town in Serbia and is most famous as the birthplace of Constantine the Great. It is situated in the Nišava valley, near the spot where it joins the Južna Morava River. This is one of the most important Balkan and European traffic lines along which people, goods and armies moved. Known as the 'Via Militaris' in Roman and Byzantine periods and the 'Constantinople road' in the Middle Ages and the period of Turkish rule, these roads still represent major European traffic arteries. Niš is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans, and has been considered a gateway between the East and the West since ancient times. There is abundant archaeological evidence that Niš was inhabited even in prehistoric times. The city was named after the Nišava River, which was called Navissos by the Celtic inhabitants of the town. Each new conqueror gave the town a new name: Roman Naissus, Byzantine Nysos, Slovene Niš, or German Nissa.

Devil’s Town ('Davolja Varos' in Serbian) is a unique geographical phenomenon. Nominated as a UNESCO natural heritage site, the area consists of bizarre rock formations where water erosion has left cone-like pyramid structures of reddish rock, capped with a mysterious 'black hat' stone that can weigh over 100kg in some instances. Pyramids are continuously formed and destroyed, leading locals to believe that this is the result of devils fighting each other for power. Local legend has us believe that the eerie sound of the wind whistling between the pyramids is that of the devils trying to communicate. Devil's Town also boasts two springs of extremely acidic water (pH 1.5) with a very high mineral content (15 g/l). The content of some minerals is a thousand times as high as in ordinary drinking water. Davolja Varos is a true wonder of nature.  
 


Pristina is the capital of Kosovo, Europe's youngest capital, which offers a rare mix of tradition and modernity. Take time to stroll along its streets and enjoy its lovely main square at the very centre of the town. 

Mediana is a royal property with a luxurious residence in the suburb of old Niš, known as Naissus. Constantine the Great (280 - 337 AD) was born and raised in Naissus. He ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from 306 to 337 and he consolidated the frontiers of the Empire by imposing a firm organization on the army and the civil administration. As a powerful emperor, Constantine did not forget his birthplace. He erected a majestic residence in one of the luxurious suburbs of ancient Niš in Mediana, where he often resided and attended to state affairs. Historical records testify it was in Naissus that he passed several laws in the years 315 through 334.

The history of the Skull Tower of Niš: At the beginning of the 19th century, during the Second Serbian Uprising, it was crucial that the Serbian state liberate Nis from the Turks. The battle lasted the whole day and the Turks eventually overran the main trench on Čegar Hill after this fierce fighting. The Serbian General, Steven Sindelic, realising he was on the point of defeat, blew himself up alongside 3,000 Serbian soldiers and about 6,000 Turkish soldiers. The Turks built the grisly Skull Tower ("Cele Kula" in Serbian) with four walls - each containing eleven rows of seven Serbian skulls - as a warning against further Serbian resistance. Many of the skulls were removed - at great danger - by Serbian families and buried, but many remain there to this day. In 1892, a chapel was built over the skulls, which now protects the 58 remaining skulls.

Read more
Image 3

Day 6 : Pristina - Pec- Decani

Morning visit of Pristina. Continue to visit Pec and Decani. Drive to Prizren for overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The city of Pec is located in western Kosovo surrounded by the dramatic Rugova mountains. The region recently became a National Park of the Republic of Kosovo and is renowned for its natural beauty.

Pristina is the capital of Kosovo, Europe's youngest capital, which offers a rare mix of tradition and modernity. Take time to stroll along its streets and enjoy its lovely main square at the very centre of the town. 

Dečani (or Deçan), a town and municipality in western Kosovo, lies in the mountainous area of the country bordering Montenegro and Albania. It is widely known due to the Visoki Dečani monastery, a major Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery. Built in the 14th Century UNESCO cited it as "an irreplaceable treasure, a place where traditions of Romanesque architecture meet artistic patterns of the Byzantine world."

Situated on the banks of the river Bistrica with a backdrop of the Sharr Mountains, Prizren is located on the border of Albania and Kosovo. It is a very culturally diverse town, with mosques sitting next to Orthodox churches, and it has a prominent Turkish community where Turkish is widely spoken. It hosts  Dokufest,  the summer film festival, and has many interesting monuments in the town centre, such as the League of Prizren Monument and the Sinan Pasha Mosque. The town centre has the feel of a bazaar, where modern shops blend in with small craft boutiques, delis and sweet shops.

Read more
Image 3

Day 7 : Prizren - Skopje (Macedonia)

Take a tour of the town of Prizren. Drive to Skopje for a visit of the town. Overnight in Skopje. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Situated on the banks of the river Bistrica with a backdrop of the Sharr Mountains, Prizren is located on the border of Albania and Kosovo. It is a very culturally diverse town, with mosques sitting next to Orthodox churches, and it has a prominent Turkish community where Turkish is widely spoken. It hosts  Dokufest,  the summer film festival, and has many interesting monuments in the town centre, such as the League of Prizren Monument and the Sinan Pasha Mosque. The town centre has the feel of a bazaar, where modern shops blend in with small craft boutiques, delis and sweet shops.

Read more
Image 3

Day 8 : Skopje

Today is a free day to explore Skopje at your leisure. Optional visit to some old-style shops to meet locals who make products in a traditional manner. Ask your guide for options of other things to do. Overnight in Skopje.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Skopje​, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia, is located in a valley on both sides of the river Vardar. Its history can be traced back 2,000 years, when it was known as the ancient city of Skupi. Visit the old town 'Charshi', where you will find the Stone Bridge - a symbol of Skopje built by Turks in 15th century. You can also visit the church of St. Spas, with its marvelous iconostas from 17th century; the Old Bazaar and Fortress Kale whose first walls date to the 6th century; as well as Mustapha Pasha Mosque. This is one of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture erected in 1492 with the earliest wall paintings. Daut Pasha Bath is another masterpiece of Islamic civil architecture, dating from the second half of 15th century. Modern day Skopje has had a dramatic facelift in the early 21st century with the erection of a vast number of statues and important buildings amid much pomp. Some question the tastefulness, others the cost, but it has certainly transformed Skopje into a talking point.

Read more
Image 3

Day 9 : Skopje - Stobi - Demir Kapija

Continue southeast for a visit of the site of Stobi before continuing to Demir Kapija for an afternoon to relax and enjoy the grounds, and an evening wine tasting. Overnight in Demir Kapija.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Visit the ruins of Stobi, one of the largest ancient towns in Macedonia. It was built just before the rule of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, in the early Hellenic period. Stobi is located on the crossorads of two important roads - via Axius, which ran North-South, and Via Egnatia, which ran East-West from the Adriatic to the Aegean coasts. It had beautiful basilicas, palaces, remains and some wonderful mosaics that can still be seen today. 

Sample some of Macedonia's finest wine's at Demir Kapija, a peaceful wine town with spectacular mountain views. The town's name means 'Iron Gate' in Turkish and refers to the narrow 'gates' in the limestone cavern on the Vardar river. It is also home to many rare birds and plants. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 10 : Demir Kapija - Bitola - Ohrid

The day begins with a drive to Bitola for a visit of the town. Drive alongside Lake Prespa through the breathtaking Mt. Galicica (National Park), which forms a natural division between Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid. Stop to visit St Naum Monastery. Continue to Ohrid. Overnight in Ohrid.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Lake Prespa, the second largest lake in Macedonia, exudes an extraordinary, wild and unique beauty. It covers an area of 274 sq. km and lies at an elevation of 853m above sea level in Mt. Galicica National Park, an area blessed with an abundance of diverse flora and fauna.

Bitola, which means 'family', was previously known as 'the City of the Consuls'. It is an interesting mixture of old and new, and was a meeting point of different cultures and civilizations. For centuries Christians, Muslims and Jews have lived here side-by-side. The church of St. Dimitriusis is one of the biggest Orthodox churches in Macedonia and its Old Bazaar is amongst the best preserved in the country. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 11 : Ohrid

The day begins with a walking tour of Ohrid. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own or an optional trip to Vevcani (no additional charge). Overnight in Ohrid. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

The old town-museum of Ohrid, located on the shore of Lake Ohrid, is at 695m above sea level. The town was known in prehistoric and classical times as 'Lychnidos', or the City of Lights. Slavs gave it the name of Arida in 10th century and it became a major centre of culture and art for this area. It is the cradle of Slavic written language and literature, where the Cyrillic alphabet was created by the brothers Cyril and Methody and spread all over the Slavic world. Ohrid is also known as the 'City of 365 churches', the most important of which are 13th-century St. Kliment’s,11th-century St. Sophia and 9th-century St. Panteleimon.  The 10th-century Tsar Smuili fortress is also worth a look.

NOTE: Ohrid walking tours involve some walking on cobblestones and up hills.


Vevcani (also known as the Republic of Vevcani) is a  village near Ohrid that was a short-lived (and self-proclaimed) independent nation after the fall of Yugoslavia, following a row over water springs. It still has its own flag and coat of arms. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 12 : Ohrid - Berat (Albania)

Cross into Albania. Drive to Berat. Afternoon tour of Berat's highlights including the citadel and the Onufri Icons Museum. Overnight in Berat.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Known as the ‘town of a thousand windows’, Berat’s Ottoman architecture and ancient history has given it UNESCO World Heritage status. The town is home to Berat Castle, which is perched on a rocky hill and inaccessible from the south. The fortress was so large that it could house a substantial proportion of the town’s inhabitants. An influence of different cultures can be found in Berat’s mosques and Byzantine churches.                

Read more
Image 3

Day 13 : Berat - Girokastra - Saranda

Drive to Girokastra for a visit before continuing to Saranda for overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The city of Girokastra, also known as 'the city of a thousand steps', is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its well preserved Ottoman architecture. The city has been occupied by many different countries over the years, including the Turkish Ottomans, the Greeks and the Italians. The city has a diverse culture, with a substantial Greek minority and the area around Girokastra is the centre of Bektashism, a Muslim sect. It is home to Girokastra castle which overlooks the town and is known as the ‘city of stone’ because of the grey stone houses and cobbled alleyways. The city is also the birthplace of two of Albania's most famous people - the writer Ismail Kadare and the communist leader Enver Hoxha.

Read more
Image 3

Day 14 : Saranda - Butrint - Tirana

Visit the archaeological site of Butrint before driving north to the capital, Tirana, for an overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Situated on the Straights of Corfu, Butrint was once the site of a Greek colony. During the 4th century BC, it became one of the most important commercial and maritime centres of the ancient world. Archaeologists have uncovered statues of the ‘Goddess of Butrint’, Roman amphitheatres and a temple dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek God of healing. The town was uncovered mostly intact thanks to the mud and vegetation of the area and has been granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The site is also a haven for many species of fish, birds, tortoises, and vegetation.

Read more
Image 3

Day 15 : Tirana - Shkodra - Podgorica (Montenegro)

Explore highlights of Tirana before continuing to visit Kruja. Continue to Podgorica via Shkodra. Overnight in Podgorica.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Kruja (alb. Krujë) is a medieval town located 32 km northwest of Tirana, built 560 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Sari -Salltiku mountain. The name of Kruja derives from the Albanian word krua, meaning 'water spring'. The citadel has become the main Illyrian fortress in the area in the 4th century AD. In the year 879, Kruja was mentioned for the first time as a Christian religious center, (bishop see). The first Albanian feudal state was created here circa 1190. The Ottomans occupied Kruja two times, in 1396 and 1415. The town reached its zenith on the 28th of November 1443 when Kruja castle was taken by Gjergj Kastrioti (Skanderbeg), who then organized the long anti-Ottoman resistance. From this time on, under the leadership of Skanderbeg, Kruja repelled three Ottoman sieges in 1450, 1457 and 1466. Only ten years after the death of Skanderbeg, in 1478, were the Ottomans able to capture the castle and destroy the town.

The city of Tirana was established by Sulejman Pasha Bargjini, a native feudal lord from Mullet, in 1614. His first constructions were a mosque, a bakery and a hamam (Turkish bath). On February 8, 1920, Tirana was made the temporary capital by the Congress of Lushnje, then named the permanent capital on December 31, 1925. Albania spent the majority of the last 60 years under a strict and isolationist Dictator, Enver Hoxha. Upon his death, the country moved towards a free market economic model, with mixed results. Presently, Tirana is where the old and new Albania meet. Unpaved streets host brand new Land Rovers, iPhone-toting youngsters rub shoulders with street vendors peddling all manners of items, and gleaming glass towers look down on abandoned construction projects.

A diamond-shaped city wedged between the Rozafa Citadel, the magnificent Albanian Alps, deep blue Lake Shkodra, a 30-kilometre sand beach and the serene Buna river delta reservation - Shkodra is a diamond in the rough with plenty of potential. While many visitors quickly breeze though the city, Shkodra’s turbulent 2,400-year-old history has left plenty of interesting relics that make a stay in Albania’s cultural capital worthwhile. Hundreds of years of no-nonsense religious and ethnic tolerance resulted in booming trade, witnessed by Shkodra’s grand merchants’ homes, and dozens of mosques and Catholic and Orthodox churches standing in close proximity to each other. Travel to Albania is now easier than ever before, the number of visitors to Shkodra is increasing and facilities for travellers are improving rapidly, with good hotels and several excellent restaurants now established. 

Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro. Throughout history it has undergone five name changes, been wiped off the map completely twice, and has been occupied by the Romans, Turks and the Austro-Hungarians. Little remains however other than a small amount of traditional Ottoman architecture.

Read more
Image 3

Day 16 : Podgorica - Biograd Lake - Zabljak

After breakfast drive along the scenic road to Biograd Lake. Continue to drive along the River Tara before continuing on to Zabljak. Overnight stay in Zabljak.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Zabljak, a small village near Durmitor Mountain, lies at the very centre of the vast and wonderful Durmitor National Park. Zabljak is 1,456 m above sea level and is the highest town in the Balkans. It is surrounded by 23 hill tops, the highest of which is 2,300m. Within the territory of the National Park there are 17 glacial lakes known as the 'eyes of the mountains', the most famous being Black Lake.

Biograd Lake is a National Park protected by law since 1872 by King Nikola. It is one of the last three virgin woods left in Europe, where many trees are more than 500 years old and 40-50 metres high. The park has a wide variety of flora and fauna, but the central attraction is its large glacial lake.

River Tara, a UNESCO site, has its source in the mountains at the northern part of the country and runs 140km before it joins River Piva, forming one of the largest and richest rivers in the Balkans. For centuries, Tara eroded the soft limestone, forming a spectacular gorge, measuring 82 km long and in some places up to 1,300m deep, making it the deepest river canyon in Europe. It resides within the Durmitor National Park. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 17 : Zabljak - Cetinje - Kotor

Early start. After breakfast drive to Cetinje for a visit of the town. Continue to Njegusi for lunch. Continue to Kotor for a walking tour of the town. Overnight in Kotor.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Cetinje was once, in the time of Njegos, the capital of Montenegro. It doesn’t have a strong fort like many other important capitals from its time because nature blessed this place with natural stone protections. The town was founded in 1482, when Ivan Crnojević, the last ruler of the medieval country of Zeta, built a palace for himself as well as a church. Cetinje stayed the heart and soul of Montenegro all the way up to WW1. The Royal Palace of King Nikola II, who was the last King of Montenegro, contains a beautiful small museum and the Monastery of St. Petar.

The typical, laid-back village of Njegusi is the birth place of Petar Petrovic. In many ways, the villagers still live a very traditional way of life. The village has been famous since Yugoslav times for its high-quality cured hams.

The World Heritage Site of Kotor is a town which was inhabited from the times of the Illyrians and the Romans. The walking tour through the city takes us back to medieval times as most of the monuments we observe are from the 14th to 18th centuries. You will also visit the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, St. Luka Church and St. Mihail Church amongst other sites. 

Read more
Image 3

Day 18 : Kotor - Mostar (Bosnia)

After breakfast drive along Kotor Bay. Cross into Bosnia and continue to Trebinje to visit the town.  Continue to Mostar for a walking tour of the town. Overnight stay in Mostar.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Mostar is a picturesque town that is more than 5 centuries old. It was made famous by its old Turkish bridge that was once the only means connecting the city over the emerald waters of the Neretva River. The bridge always played a central role in the lives of its inhabitants. The original bridge was wooden, built at the beginning of the 15th century, and it was a very important link between the two parts of Herzegovina, not only strategically but also in respect of trade linking the sea to the interior. This soon brought the urgent need to replace the old unsafe wooden chain bridge with a new one that could meet the growing requirements. The construction of the bridge began in 1557 and continued for nine years under the close observation of the Caliph, Suleyman The Magnificent (builder), making it the masterpiece of Hajrudin.

Trebinje is a town with roots going back to Ottoman times and longer. The Arslanagica Bridge is a notable example of Ottoman architecture, and was funded by the powerful Bosniak and Ottoman ruler Mehmed Paša Sokolović. The town also boasts numerous interesting churches and monasteries as well as a pleasant market square.

Read more
Image 3

Day 19 : Mostar - Sarajevo

After breakfast the day begins with a drive to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina for a walking tour of the town. Overnight in Sarajevo.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina. This magical town instantly takes you back to the Ottoman days as we visit beautiful Ottoman mosques, old quarters and the authentic Turkish 'carsija', with its oriental sweets shops, cafes and traditional Bosnian food. Sarajevo is also a town with a multiplicity of mosques, orthodox churches, Roman-catholic churches and synagogues which have been standing side by side for centuries.

Read more
Image 3

Day 20 : Sarajevo - Departure

After breakfast transfer to Sarajevo airport for onward flight.

NOTE: If you would like more time to visit Belgrade at the beginning, Sarajevo at the end of this tour (either guided or unguided), or if you would like to add any extra trips or services please ask us as this can be arranged.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Accommodation

Accommodation Title

All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

Image 3

Moskva

The 4* Hotel Moskva was built in 1906 and is one of the most important architectural gems of the Serbian capital. All the rooms are equipped with stylish furniture, a mini bar, a cable TV, air conditioning and free wireless internet. Rub shoulders eccentric artists, enthralled poets and proud intellectuals at Hotel Moskva's cafe (the Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić even had his own table here), try the traditional “Moskva šnit” at the famous on-site pastry shop or dine at the on-site award-winning Restaurant “Tchaikovsky”. There is also an on-site Spa and Wellness Centre with a range of treatments. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

New City Hotel

New City Hotel is situated in central Nis. The hotel has been designed and decorated in a contemporary style. The spacious en suite bedrooms are fitted with modern facilities that include air-conditioning and wifi. New City hotel restaurant serves a breakfast buffet, along with a lunchtime and evening à la carte menu which offers a combination of national and international dishes. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel Afa

The renowned Hotel AFA, one of Kosovo’s leading and best-loved establishments, is proud to have won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2012. Hotel AFA sets a new standard of accommodation, luxury and service unlike anything in the region. Only a five minute walk from the main streets, the hotel is nestled in a quiet, safe, and sedate district. Our guests have described Hotel Afa as the ultimate in comfort surrounded by the best personal service in Southeastern Europe. The hotel also benefits from a beautiful private garden, a fitness centre and a restaurant, which has a rare collection of French wines from the Bordeaux region.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel Kacinari

Hotel Kacinari is centrally located in Prizren. It is a modern hotel with an on-site restaurant and hairdresser along with free WIFI offered throughout the property.  

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Turist Hotel

The Turist Hotel is located at the heart of Skopje, nearby to many of the cities sights including Kale Fortress and Stone Bridge. The spacious bedrooms are fitted with modern comforts to provide guests with a comfortable stay. The on-site restaurant serves both buffet and à la carte options to guests who can decide between local and international delicacies. There is also a fitness suite in the hotel that guests are welcome to make use of during their stay. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Popova Kula

The Popova Kula Hotel offers unique experience to its guests with its distinct suites and rooms, each carefully named after and decorated in the colors of the wine type they represent. Each room benefits from a balcony which gives breathtaking views of the surroundings. The restaurant serves traditional Macedonian and other international cuisines combined with their delicious wines.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Villa Mal Sv. Kliment

Villa Mal Sveti Kliment is an exclusive 4* villa located near the entrance of the old city of Ohrid called Lower Gate. Keeping true to traditional values and the centuries old unique Ohrid architecture, each room has ornate wood carved furniture. Ideally located just 50-100 steps from the lake and the most exclusive cafés and restaurants, a view of the lake, quay and harbour can be enjoyed from the villa.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel Desaret

Situated just a few meters from the city center surrounded by fantastic views. The hotel was restored in 2016 adding an excellent combination of tradition and modern. History, art, culture, the positive energy that our city offers, the service and facilities will make a very impressive experience of your stay. For its customers, the hotel offers facilities such as bar, restaurant, parking and free WiFi.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Brilant

Brilant is a modern 4* hotel, located in the beautiful area of Saranda, on the south coast of Albania. Its rooms offer lovely sea views, and it's only a few minutes walk from the beach.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Tirana International Hotel

The Tirana International Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Tirana and looks over Skenderbeg Square. Rooms are finished to a high quality and guests have full access to the hotel gym, swimming pool and sauna.

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel New Star

It is located in the centre of the Podgorica. It is located in the vicinity of shopping, entertainment and sports centres ("Moraca" city stadium), bus station and airport "Golubovci" ( 7km ), as well as other cultural and historical sites.  

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel Soa

Located within Durmitor National Park, Hotel SOA is tucked away and surrounded by conifer trees, with magnificent views of the mountain range. This four-star hotel offers contemporary and comfortable accommodation, an a la carte restaurant, winery, lounge bar, and free wireless internet. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Porto In

Featuring free WiFi and an à la carte restaurant serving international cuisine, Porto In is located in a quiet area of Kotor, 10.6 miles from Budva. The Old Town of Kotor and Kotor Marina are just a 2-minute walk away. All rooms are equipped with state of the art technology, including free WiFi. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Eden Hotel and Spa

The 4 star luxury Eden Hotel has beautiful panoramic views over the historic city of Mostar and our choice of 53 rooms all provide luxurious accommodation. The warm and inviting atmosphere of the restaurant is complemented by the culinary specialties their top chefs provide. 

Visit hotel's site
Image 3

Hotel Astra Garni

Perfectly located in the Old Town (Ottoman Centre), Hotel Astra Garni is within walking distance of the main sites of Sarajevo. Shops, cafes and restaurants are on the hotel's doorstep, and the hotel itself is renowned for its excellent breakfast.

Visit hotel's site
Extensions

Archaeology of the Balkans (19 days)

Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians & Ottomans

Balkan Explorer (20 days)

Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro & Bosnia

Albanian Odyssey (10 days)

Discover the culture and hospitality of Albania

Reviews

We were looking for a land tour in the Balkans and contacted Travel The Unknown. The staff were very responsive in setting up a private tour schedule for us that proved to be perfect and reasonable in cost. We have just got back from our travels and can say that it was certainly a good choice The itinerary was varied and interesting and the accommodation well chosen. The quality and price of the food and wine in the region were an added bonus. Our drivers/guides were friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. They went out of their way to accommodation our interests and preference.s Highly recommended!

Raymond & Janet Sterling (USA) , Tailormade Balkans

The Balkans is a fascinating part of the world to visit with such complex histories. Wonderful scenery, great food, terrific variety of accommodation and especially loved the vineyards and wine tastings! Albania was such a surprise package! So much more than we anticipated and so much to see and do in this small country. Stunning scenery and roads generally better than we expected. Go before the rest of the world discovers this gem.

Laurel & Paul Smallwood , Balkan Odyssey & Albanian Odyssey, Balkans
More reviews