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Albania & Macedonia: Cradle of the Balkans
Tour Type:Art Treasures
Durations:10 Days / 9 Nights
Single supplement price: £255
Travellers to Albania and Macedonia can
discover a rich variety of archaeological and
historical sites, spectacular mountain scenery, well as a wealth of art
across these two countries, often referred to as ‘cradle of the Balkans’, this tour explores wonderful Ottoman museum cities of
and Gjirokastra, the impressive Roman
ruins at Butrint and Apollonia, plus mosques,
Byzantine and Orthodox churches. Access to
sites not normally open to the
general public and
meetings with senior clerics will also be arranged.
William Taylor is an Anglican priest, chairman of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association, a writer, and broadcaster on the Islamic world
and the Orthodox churches. He has worked and lived in Jordan, Cairo, and Turkey and travelled and lectured in the Middle East and central Asia.
Day 1 – To Durres: Fly from London Gatwick to Tirana with British Airways. Transfer to Durres, one of Albania’s oldest towns, which was founded
in 627BC. Stay overnight at the Arvi Hotel. Evening welcome dinner. (D)
Day 2 – To Vlora: Morning tour of Durres, including visits to the largest amphitheatre in the Balkans, the archaeological museum (subject to
confirmation), and early Christian church St Michael’s Basilica with artefacts from the 6th century. Continue to Berat and visit the Museum of Icons
and the castle, which has the remains of 42 churches within its walls. Special access to the King’s Mosque and adjacent Helveti Tekke, containing
some excellent Ottoman paintings, has also been arranged. In the afternoon, explore the Greek and Roman ruins of Apollonia, an important
trading port for the Roman Empire until the 3rd century AD. Continue to Vlora and stay overnight at the Hotel New York. (B)
Day 3 – To Saranda: Morning visit to the Orthodox monastery of Zvernec. Built in the 13th century and dedicated to St Mary, this is an important
Byzantine monument in the Narta region. Continue through the mountains and along deserted stretches of coastline to the resort town of Saranda.
Afternoon tour of the Unesco world heritage site of Butrint. Explore the ruins of this Graeco‐Roman town on the shores of Lake Butrint and view
the 3rd‐century BC theatre, bathhouses and the remains of the largest baptistery in the Balkans. Stay overnight at the Briliant Hotel. (B)
Day 4 – To Gjirokastra: Drive to Gjirokastra, visiting St Nicholas’ monastery en route. Next visit the church of Labova, one of Albania’s oldest and
best‐preserved Orthodox churches, dating from the 6th century. Finally, visit the birthplace of Enver Hoxha and the town’s fortress, one of the
largest castles in the Balkans and formerly used as a political prison. Stay at the Cajupi Hotel for 1 night. (B)
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Day 5 – To Korca: In the morning, travel through mountainous landscapes to Korca, historically an important trade town. Afternoon visit to the
tumulus at Kamenica, the largest ancient burial ground in the Balkans and home to numerous bronze and iron age artefacts. Continue to the
Mirahori Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Albania. Stay at the Regency Hotel for 1 night. (B)
Day 6 – To Lake Ohrid: Visit the Museum of Medieval Arts, which displays more than 150 icons, then drive to Voskopojë, stopping to see the Shen
Kolli (St Nicholas) church, which contains some of the best preserved 18thcentury ecclesiastical art in the Balkans. Drive to Ohrid to visit the
monastery of St Naum. Its position on a rocky overhang provides excellent views over Lake Ohrid and Ohrid, listed by Unesco as natural and cultural
world heritage sites. Stay at the Hotel Royal View for 2 nights. (B, D)
Day 7 – Ohrid: Full‐day tour of the town renowned as the Macedonian Jerusalem due to its large number of churches, plus a special opportunity to
experience Ohrid through the centuries. See St Sophia cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Macedonia; the church of St Clement at Plaoshnik; and the
Gallery of Icons. Also visit the National Museum, housing works of art dating from 1863; the ethnological museum; the Samuil Fortress; and the
antique theatre, the oldest such building in Macedonia. (B)
Day 8 – To Tirana: Travel to Elbasan Castle, built during the Ottoman era, stopping en route at the remains of an Ottoman fort. Continue to
Tirana for an afternoon tour of the Albanian capital, including visits to the National Museum, the mosque, the main square and its clock tower.
End the day with a private visit to the house of Sali Shijaku, one of Albania’s most famous painters. Stay at the Tirana International Hotel for 2
Day 9 – Shkodër & Kruja: Morning drive to Shkodër, one of the most historic towns in Albania. After visiting St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral,
depart for Kruja. Visit the fortress of Kruja, the Skanderbeg Museum, ethnographic museum, and the old bazaar, before returning to Tirana.
Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10 – To London: Morning transfer to the airport and fly to London Gatwick with British Airways. (B, D)
Notes: Cox & Kings uses the best available accommodation and transport. However, outside Tirana, facilities should be regarded as tourist class.
The tour involves some long drives and walking over uneven terrain.
Meal Basis: (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner, (N) = No Meals
• International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
• UK departure and overseas airport taxes
• Accommodation, Itinerary & meal basis as described
• Local Transfers in an air‐conditioned vehicle
• Fully escorted by an English‐speaking guide throughout
• Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
Cox & Kings Travel ~ Reservations: 020 7873 5000 ~ Brochure Request: 0870 2250322 ~ Website: www.coxandkings.co.uk