Our tours in the Southern Balkans are exotic Albania in European terms, as well as Montenegro and Kosovo, which are among the world’s newest independent states.
The beautiful mountain scenery of the Balkans, the medieval market towns of the coast, the bazaars of Ottoman rule, the ancient culture and special language of the Albanians, and the history of the Slavs of the Balkans become familiar along the way, not forgetting the ruins of ancient times and Orthodox monasteries. Our comprehensive tour program travels from Albania to Montenegro and Kosovo, and from there back to Albania, including some of the finest attractions in the three countries.
DAY 1 – HELSINKI – TIRANA
Flights to Albania, to the airport named after Mother Teresa of Tirana. Transportation to hotel and dinner. Overnight in Tirana. (I)
ACCOMMODATION IN A
DAY 2 – SHKODRA – PODGORICA
We drive north from Tirana to the town of Shkodra on the shores of the lake of the same name. We explore the ruins of an ancient Illyrian castle and the old town of Shkodra before crossing the border into Montenegro. We will drive in the evening to the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, where we will stay. (OH)
ACCOMMODATION IN A
DAY 3 – KOTOR, PERAST, BUDVA
A full day of exploring Montenegro’s most famous attractions. We start the day with a transport to the Adriatic coast, to Kotor, a World Heritage Site on the shores of the Gulf of Kotor. After exploring the old town of Kotor, a short transfer will also take you to the baroque town of Perast on the shores of the Bay of Kotor, from where we will take a boat trip to the beautiful chapel of the nearby island. We will also visit the old town of Budva with its fortresses, known as the center of the Montenegrin Riviera, before returning to Podgorica for the night. (A)
DAY 4 – KOLASIN, PEJA
Today it is time to move from Montenegro to Kosovo. On the way we cross the Dinaric Alps and stop on the way to explore the mountain village of Kolasin. In the afternoon we arrive in Kosovo, known as the world’s newest independent state, and in the city of Peja. We will do a sightseeing tour and spend the night in Paja. (OH)
DAY 5 – PRIZREN, VALBONA
In the morning we will explore the historical sites and artisan quarters of the city of Prizren in southern Kosovo. In the afternoon, we return to Albania and the picturesque Valbona Valley in the mountains of the north of the country, where we explore the area, spend the evening and spend the night. (OH)
DAY 6 – KOMAN, KRUJA
We take a walk to enjoy the scenery of the Valbona Valley and take a boat trip in the mountain scenery of Lake Komani. In the afternoon we will travel to the historic town of Kruja, where we will visit the town’s historic castle and bazaar. Dinner and overnight in Kruja. (OH)
DAY 7 – DURRES, BERAT
After breakfast, we continue our journey south, first to the coast to the port city of Durres and further to the ancient city of Berat. We will explore modern Durres and the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site, the more than 2000-year-old town of Berat with its castles. Dinner and overnight in Berat. (OH)
ACCOMMODATION IN A
DAY 8 – GJIROKASTER, SARANDA
After breakfast, we drive south to the Ottoman city of Gjirokastra. We will explore Gjirokastra’s great historical sites on a guided tour before about a 2-hour drive along the Ionian coast to the town of Sarandë, also known as the Albanian Riviera. Dinner and overnight in Saranda. (OH)
ACCOMMODATION IN A
DAY 9 – BUTRINT, KSAMIL, LLOGARA
After breakfast, we will take a trip to the nearby ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and perhaps Albania’s finest historical site, as well as the scenic beach resort of Ksamil, where you can swim. We travel north along the coast, stopping along the way in an Ottoman-era castle on the Gulf of Porto Palermo. Dinner and overnight in Llogara National Park in the coastal mountains. (OH)
DAY 10 – LLOGARA – TIRANA
Morning free time in peaceful Llogara before returning through the city of Vlorë back to the Albanian capital Tirana. In Tirana, we explore the sights of the city center, e.g. one of the bunkers built by the Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha, who ruled the country during the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear shutdown, which now serves as a museum and art exhibition. Dinner and overnight in Tirana. (OH)
DAY 11 – TIRANA – HELSINKI
Transfer to the airport and flights back to your home country, where you will arrive in the early evening. (A)
MEALS: [A] BREAKFAST [L] LUNCH [I] DINNER
Group size : 10-20 people.
The price of the trip includes
- Flights to
- Airport transfers
- All transportation mentioned in the itinerary
- Excursions mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees for guided tours
- Services of a Finnish-speaking tour guide and an English-speaking local guide
- Meals and airport taxes mentioned in the itinerary
The price of the trip does not include
- Travel insurance
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Food drinks
- Personal expenses
- Local airport taxes or possible exit fees are not included in the price of air tickets.
- Office expenses 10 € / person
We fly to Albania on scheduled flights of Turkish Airlines, via Istanbul. The airline has the right to change its schedules, so do not book any connecting flights until you have received your flight tickets.
Finnish citizens do not need a visa to Albania, Montenegro or Kosovo. A valid passport is required.
You need normal travel insurance for your trip. We recommend taking out travel insurance with cancellation protection.
The official languages in Albania and Kosovo are Albanian (including Serbian in Kosovo), and Montenegro in Montenegro. There is some knowledge of English and German. The tour guide and local guide will be happy to assist with interpretation if needed.
The currency of Montenegro and Kosovo is the euro. The Albanian currency, on the other hand, is the Lek (ALL). The local currency can be exchanged or withdrawn on site from the city’s ATMs with the most common credit cards. The euro is also accepted as a means of payment in many places in Albania.
The climate of the southern Balkans is typical of coastal areas with dry, warm summers and temperate, wetter winters. Weather inland and in mountainous areas is often cooler and more unpredictable than the coast.