Have you ever wanted to visit ex-Yugoslavia countries and Albania on a continuous Balkans tour? Now with this private 14 day tour you’ll have a chance to travel through Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia, to get to know locals and experience all of those countries in a single trip.
What to Expect From the Western Balkans Tour
You’ll get a clear picture on local way of life, cultural differences, but also their tight interconnections. All this from locals who you’ll meet along the way. Expect a fulfilling trip, but not the kind where you’ll need vacation after vacation. All our multi-day tours are designed in a way where you have enough free time in every location for relaxation or exploration on your own.
1st Day – Meeting and Free Time in Belgrade
You’ll meet #YourSerbiaHost at airport/bus/train station or wherever we agree to meet. After transfer to your Hotel City Savoy**** (two nights) and check in you’ll have free time to relax after the trip, or to explore Belgrade on your own.
2nd Day – Belgrade Exploration
We’ll take you first to Belgrade fortress, the most iconic Belgrade landmark. Then from the fortress we move to another part of the city, posh Dedinje. You’ll visit the House of flowers, which is the eternal home of former Yugoslavian president Tito. #YourSerbiaHost will explain how Tito’s cult was nurtured during his life, but also long after he was gone. From the controversial Yugoslavian dictator’s tomb we’ll take you to a holy place, to St. Sava church. This the biggest Orthodox temple in the Balkans is dedicated to a true saint who was born in the XII and who brought autonomy to the Serbian Orthodox Church in the XIII century.
When we finish this part of exploration we’ll take you to a restaurant in the neighborhood, where local food is prepared in a modern manner. After lunch we’ll switch to the other side of the river, to Zemun. This old part of the city was actually a separate town till 1934. Strolling along the Danube promenade or walking to the Gardoš hill, with a drink in one of the local cafes will make you feel like a local.
Rest of the day you are free to explore Belgrade on your own. Tips and recommendations will be provided.
3rd Day – Sargan Eight Train and Mokra Gora
You’ll leave Belgrade and head to West Serbia and Mokra gora town. On the way you’ll have a chance to enjoy views over a famous Serbian landmark, the unusual Drina River House. Further, you’ll experience the most attractive narrow track railway in this part of Europe, the famous Sargan Eight Train. Before the ride you’ll have lunch in a local tavern. After a two and a half hour ride, we will continue to the nearby Woodentown ethnic village, which was created by our famous film director Emir Kusturica.
This wooden town complex will accommodate you in Hotel Mećavnik****.
4th Day – Bridge Over Drina, Višegrad and Sarajevo
On the fourth day of your Balkans tour you’re leaving Serbia and crossing to Bosnia. In Bosnian entity Republika Srpska we are stopping at town Višegrad, famous for its bridge over river Drina dating from the XVI century. Yugoslavian novelist Ivo Andrić who wrote the novel with the same name Bridge over Drina won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Here you’ll enjoy a boat ride on Drina River with a local captain. After the ride you’ll try ćevapčići, Bosnia style, for lunch in Andrićgrad. This recently established complex is dedicated to famous Serbs who made an influence on local or world culture, science or history. From Višegrad we continue to Sarajevo on scenic roads following Drina and crossing Romanija mountain.
Upon arrival in Sarajevo and check-in to Hotel Isa Begov Hamam**** (two nights) you’ll have free time to enjoy Sarajevo’s vibrant life. Tips and recommendations will be provided.
5th Day – Sarajevo Tour
On your Sarajevo tour you’ll explore the old town, famous Baščaršija, with a local guide who will give you not just information, he will share his life experience about living in Sarajevo. You won’t stop at Baščaršija, you’ll explore several sights in and around Sarajevo during the tour and at the end you’ll join #YourSerbiaHost for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch you have the rest of the day for yourself.
6th Day – Mostar to Trebinje
You’ll leave Sarajevo and continue along the Neretva River all the way to Mostar. This iconic Herzegovina town received world fame thanks to its XVI century stone bridge and charming Ottoman looking old center. You’ll spend a few hours in Mostar to get to know its essential points and then continue to the nearby village Blagaj. Here on the source of river Buna, you’ll enjoy cool breeze and fresh water coming from the cave underneath the rock. On top of that you’ll try local food in a small family owned restaurant. From Blagaj we drive further through Herzegovina and in the afternoon we finish the day in Trebinje, an old and charming town with Mediterranean looks.
Your home for the next two days and nights is Hotel Platani****. Recommendations and tips for restaurants will be provided.
7th Day – Trebinje
On your day in Trebinje you’ll have a walking tour through the old town with a local guide. The guide will introduce you to Trebinje’s most notable old parts: Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian. You will stop at the old Ottoman bridge from the XVI century, where you’ll learn why it didn’t get admitted to UNESCO list, even though it’s beautiful and authentic. Further you’ll be exploring the old Monastery Tvrdoš with authentic wine cellars from the XV century. Today this monastery produces several highly respected wine labels, which you’ll get to try. As the finale of the day, you’ll have lunch in the household in a local village.
After lunch you’ll be taken back to your hotel for some free time. Optionally, in the afternoon/evening we can organize a visit to nearby Dubrovnik in Croatia, which is only half an hour drive from Trebinje (for an extra cost).
8th Day – Trebinje to Kotor
You say goodbye to Trebinje and to Bosnia and Herzegovina. After crossing the border to Montenegro you’ll admire the beauties of another ex Yugoslavia country with a diverse coastal line and breathtaking inland. Our destination in Montenegro this time is the town of Kotor in Boka bay. By far the most interesting destination in this part of the Adriatic coast. After a two hour scenic drive you’ll reach Kotor and your Hotel Monte Cristo****. After check-in you’ll take a walk through the old town of Kotor to explore its most notable landmarks. We’ll make a summary of the day during lunch in the local tavern.
Rest of the day is free for making plans on your own.
9th Day – Kotor to Tirana Over Kruja and Skadar
The 9th day of the Balkans tour will start with a scenic drive along Montenegrin coast until we set apart to hills to enter Albania. This country which was for a long period behind the “iron curtain” for plenty of travelers is still considered for a deeply isolated and conservative society, but you’ll be surprised. Our first stop in Albania, after we cross the border, will be town the Skadar (Shkodra) and its historic citadel. Further we’ll take you to lunch in Albanian outback to a farm where they produce all the food domestically. Next stop is again historic, it’s castle of Kruja, which symbolizes resistance of Albanian people with its medieval ruler Skender Bey against Ottomans. Finally we drive straight to Tirana.
Your Tirana accommodation is Hotel Brilant Antik**** (two nights). Rest of the day you have for yourself to relax or to soak in the vibrant night life of Albania’s capital.
10th Day – Tirana Vibes
In the morning you’ll meet your local guide who will take you on a city tour around Tirana. You’ll learn from the guide about how life was under the regime of Enver Hoxha, how it was during the period of transition and how life is in modern day Albania. After a tour you’ll meet #YourSerbiaHost again and he’ll take to lunch to a traditional Albanian restaurant to try their cuisine, because what is worth travelling to a country if you don’t eat like a local. Rest of the day after lunch you have free time for your own plans.
11th Day – From Tirana to Ohrid
Day eleven is scheduled for leaving Albania and for meeting another former Yugoslavian republic, North Macedonia. Country with a disputed name, but with great nature, history and on top of it all, great people. A drive through Albanian mountains will give you an idea how this country managed to be isolated for so long. After you cross one of those you’ll enter Macedonia and reach the beautiful town of Ohrid on the shores of the lake with the same name. Arrival at Ohrid is followed by a quick check-in to the hotel and refreshment break. Further you’ll visit the X century monastery St. Naum, located on the opposite side of the lake. When you reach it, you’ll understand why Macedonians are so proud of it.
Before returning to Ohrid we’ll take you to lunch in a local restaurant close to the monastery. Hotel City Palace**** is your accommodation for the next two nights.
12th Day – Ohrid and the Vicinity
This day is reserved for exploration of old town Ohrid and village Vevčani, located half an hour drive from Ohrid. First thing to visit is Samuilo’s fortress, the main landmark of Ohrid. Further on the itinerary are old sites scattered around the hill above modern Ohrid. When we finish with this part of the day we’ll take you to Vevčani, a village unknown to the majority of tourists. This place has its charms and interesting people, as well as pure water and intact nature. You’ll hear a story about their declaration of independence in the ’90s and establishing local currency. You’ll have lunch here on the springs of pure mountain water. After lunch we’ll get you back to Ohrid.
Tips and recommendations about what to try in Ohrid restaurants will be provided.
13th day – Matka Canyon and Skopje
On the day ahead you’ll visit one very special place on the way to Skopje, its Matka canyon, a beautiful canyon of river Treska. We’ll make a short boat ride to a cave which holds cave jewelry and bats population. Also in Matka canyon there are several Orthodox monasteries. After a boat ride you’ll have lunch in a local restaurant right in the canyon, views from its terrace are the right spot to relax and enjoy local dishes. After lunch you’ll continue to Skopje which is only 30 minutes away.
Upon check-in to Hotel Aleksandar Square****, located on the main city square, we suggest a walk around the city center to explore Skopje’s disputed architecture. Rest of the evening you have free time.
14th day – Departure
This is the day when your Western Balkans Tour ends. Here we’ll say farewell at Skopje airport, Alexander the Great. Depending on your flight arrangement you can spend some time shopping or wandering around Skopje’s vibrant streets.
End of the tour
Good to know
- Please respect social distancing rules all the time (at least 1m, or 2m when possible)
- Please wear face cover while in the vehicle or other closed space (if you don’t have your own, we will provide)
- If you develop any respiratory infection symptoms before, during or after the tour, please let us know.
- When coughing or sneezing please use tissues or your elbow as cover
- Wash hands with soap and water whenever possible, but especially after use of the toilet, before and after meals.
Details on prices and services
|2 or 3 persons||3395€|
|4 or 5 persons||2495€|
|6, 7 or 8 persons||2270€|
|Pickup and drop-off|
|13x BB service in 4* hotels|
|Meals according to the itinerary|
|Single-use surgical face mask if you don't have your own|
|Admission fees and activities|
|Travel fare to Belgrade and from Skopje|
|Meals not mentioned in the itinerary|