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THE UNDISCOVERED BALKANS

North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina

THE UNDISCOVERED BALKANS

North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina

5 COUNTRIES, 4 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
Discover Ottoman splendors, Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox Monasteries, ancient sites and dramatic landscapes on this 12-day Balkan tour from Skopje, Macedonia to Sarajevo, Albania. Bordered by the Adriatic, Mediterranean and the rugged Dinaric Mountains, diverse cultures have jostled and left their legacy across the Balkan Peninsula, Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited land.

Want to see SERBIA? Extend your trip to Serbia and make this the 6th Balkan country on your itinerary. Check out the details on our SERBIA HIGHLIGHTS tour.

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Trip Overview

Countries Visited: North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Starts In: Skopje (SKP), North Macedonia
Ends In: Sarajevo (SJJ), Bosnia & Herzegovina
Duration: 12 Nights / 10 Days
Int'l Air Route: USA - Skopje (SKP). Sarajevo (SJJ) - USA
Group Size: Min 4; Max 16
Accommodations: Deluxe (4★) & Luxury (5★)
Activity Level: Moderate
Experiences: Culture, History, Food

Highlights

  • Coda Tours signature small group size
  • Coda Tours signature comprehensive sightseeing programs
  • Coda Tours signature inclusive meal plan
  • Coda Tours signature deluxe accommodations
  • Bizarre statuary in Skopje, North Macedonia
  • Beautiful Lake Ohrid & its ancient Monasteries
  • The farm to table food of Albania
  • The bunkers from the Hoxha era in Albania
  • The stunning Ottoman village of Berat
  • The rebuilt bridge of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • The fortified city of Kotor, Montenegro

Dates & Prices

Your TripDepart USAReturn USADouble Occupancy PriceSingle Occupancy PriceIntra Tour Air
The Undiscovered BalkansSeptember 9, 2021September 20, 2021$3,995$4,5950
A deposit of $750 is required to hold a reservation. This may be charged to a credit card. Final payment is due 60 days prior to Start Date of the tour. Final payment may be made by personal check or wire transfer. Credit card payments are assessed a 4% fee.
Special Notes:
  • Single Occupancy rates can be avoided if you wish to be matched with another single traveler who also wishes to share. If no share is available, the single rate will apply.
  • Rates are based on current rates and currency exchange rates at the time of publishing the tour online.
  • Rates are subject to change until final payment has been made. Rates are based on a minimum participation and if the minimum participation is not met rates may need to be revised.

 

Do these dates not fit in with your schedule?
CODA can help design a tailor made tour to suit you!

Tour Map

Itinerary

  • DAY 1 - DEPART THE USA

    Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Skopje, Macedonia.
    [Flights serving this itinerary are on United, Lufthansa, Turkish & Austrian. The airport code for Skopje is SKP and for Sarajevo on the return is SJJ.] No visas are required for this program

  • DAY 2 - ARRIVE SKOPJE, MACEDONIA

    Upon arrival in Skopje, Macedonia, you may book a transfer with Coda Tours to be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Check in to the Marriott Hotel, centrally located in Skopje. The afternoon is at leisure to relax after the flight

  • DAY 3 - SKOPJE – CAPITAL OF MACEDONIA

    After breakfast, we tour Skopje. Macedonia is a country of 2 million, 30 percent of them ethnic Albanians. Obstructed by Greece from becoming part of the European Union (due to conflict over the use of the name Macedonia), today Macedonia is a divided nation with an uncertain future. In the last five years, Skopje has become the world capital of kitsch. We will discover the massive statuary of Alexander the Great, his mother, Olympias, and father, Phillip II, and listen to a local artist give a personal view point of their artistic merits. We will also see the home of former local resident, Mother Teresa, and the beautiful Church of Saint Salvation. Finally walk through the Albanian quarter – a world removed from Orthodox Skopje.
    This evening we will depart for a local restaurant for our Welcome Dinner

  • DAY 4 - SKOPJE to PRIZREN –KOSOVO to SKOPJE

    After breakfast, we drive to neighboring Prizren a charming city of mosques and monasteries dating back to the 14th century.

  • DAY 5 - SKOPJE to LAKE OHRID, MACEDONIA

    Departing Skopje this morning, we drive southwest to the Monastery of St. Naum — dramatically set on rocky outcropping over Lake Ohrid (World Heritage site), high above deep forest and the springs of the river Crn Drim. Here we board a boat for a cruise across the serene lake, which has captivated visitors since prehistoric times. Writing, education and Slavonic culture all spread out from remarkable Ohrid town in the 7th to 19th centuries. Among the extraordinary collection of monasteries, ancient buildings and medieval chapels, Ohrid has the oldest Slav monastery (St. Pantelejmon) — and more than 800 Byzantine-style icons. Orthodox Byzantine monks brought Christianity to Ohrid in the 10th century from Greece through the effort of Saints Cyril and Methodius. We check in to our hotel set along the lake with dinner tonight in the hotel.

  • DAY 6 - LAKE OHRID, MACEDONIA to BERAT to TIRANA, ALBANIA

    En route today to Tirana, capital of Albania, we stop at the fortified city of Berat, a splendid UNESCO-designated example of the coexistence of Islamic and Ottoman traditions. Its castles and fort date back more than 2,400 years. We visit the Old Quarter and the icon museum of Onoufri, Albania's master iconographer, and stop along the way at Helveti Tekke, a Bektashi Sufi shrine and another testimony to the long history of tolerance in the region. We continue to Tirana, where we spend two nights.

  • DAY 7 - TIRANA to KRUJA to TIRANA

    After breakfast we join our guide for a tour of Tirana and neighboring Kruja, —
    home of Albania's national hero, Scanderbeg, who famously recaptured the city and defended it from the Turks in the 15th century. We visit the Old Castle, Scanderbeg Museum and spend time at the Turkish-style bazaar before returning to Tirana for lunch and some time at leisure to explore this city on your own.

  • DAY 8 -TIRANA to SHKODRA to BUDVA, MONTENEGRO

    Today we travel north through an old and historic region of Albania. We visit Rozafa Castle, an Illyrian stronghold near Shkodër, and continue along the Adriatic coast to the walled seaside town of Budva in Montenegro.

  • DAY 9 - BUDVA to KOTOR, MONTENEGRO to MOSTAR, BOSNIA

    After breakfast walking tour of the old town in Budva. Later we drive along the spectacular Dalmatian coast to medieval, fortified Kotor, which commands a gorgeous, deep, natural harbor in Montenegro. A part of the maritime Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797 (interrupted by periods of Ottoman rule), Kotor retains much of its Venetian legacy. Set on a dramatic bay, the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its cultural and natural riches. It has one of the best preserved medieval towns of the entire Mediterranean. Autumn is a marvelous time to enjoy the Adriatic. After Lunch continue to Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina and check in to our hotel.

  • DAY 10 - MOSTAR TO SARAJEVO

    Mostar in the center of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The scenery climbing from the coast is spectacular, with Mostar dramatically set on both sides of Neretva River. We wander cobbled alleys and watch the famous divers from the symbolic Old Bridge (Stari Most), painstakingly rebuilt since its destruction in the war, and tour the Ottoman Muslibegovic House, a Bosnian National Monument.
    After lunch continue to Sarajevo the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • DAY 11 - SARAJEVO

    Today we explore the wonders of Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s 15th-century bazaar and old town spread out along the Miljacka River. A moving highlight is a tour of the Sarajevo Tunnel. Built between 1992 and 1995, the tunnel allowed food, war supplies and humanitarian aid to come into the city — and for its people to get out. Stand on the site where the Arch Duke Ferdinand was shot, sparking World War I. Enjoy sitting in a café, doing some shopping or exploring more of this fascinating city in the afternoon.

  • DAY 12 - SARAJEVO – USA

    After a morning at leisure, we transfer to the airport for flights home.

What's Included

What's Included

  • 10-night accommodations in 4★  & 5★   hotels as described in the itinerary. Standard room category is reserved unless otherwise specified. Upgrades at the hotels may be available for additional cost. Please inquire.
  • Breakfast daily in the hotels.
  • 8 lunches & 5 dinners
  • Complete program of tours as described in the itinerary
  • Deluxe motor coach throughout the trip.
  • Professional English-speaking tour leader/guide from Albania who will accompany the group throughout the tour
  • Professional English-speaking Coda Tour Leader to accompany the group throughout the tour.
  • Professional English-speaking guides where required.
  • Complete pre-departure assistance and information
  • Final document portfolio
  • Baggage handling in hotels

What's Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance (highly recommended)
  • Personal meals, drinks, telephone, gifts, and expenses not outlined in the itinerary
  • Any optional sightseeing excursions or additional visits not outlined in itinerary
  • Gratuity for local guides, drivers and Coda Tour Manager

Travel Prep

Lufthansa, Swiss Airways, Turkish Airlines, are among airlines that can be used to book airfare for this tour. We recommend booking at least 7 months in advance if you want to use Frequent Flyer Miles or the American Express Platinum card 2-4-1 program. Coda Tours can assist you with your international air booking in Business or Coach class (First Class is rare nowadays on international flights, but if available, we can quote it.) Please ask us to quote for you. We often have favorable rates. There is a standard $35 per ticket ticketing for this service.

There are no intra-tour flights required for this tour.

A valid passport is required for international travel and must be valid for 6 months after the return date of travel and must have at least two blank pages. No visas are required for entry into Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia for US and Canadian passport holders.

No immunizations are required for travel on this tour. However, the Center for Disease Control suggests that all travelers make sure they are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Coda trips are casual at all times. There is no need for a jacket or tie unless you personally opt to dine at a fine restaurant requiring formal dress. We do not book these restaurants for our group experiences. Pack for a variety of weather. Bring a light jacket or sweater. Jeans, khakis and shorts are fine for daily wear. Comfortable shoes are a must. All hotels offer laundry service, but it can be expensive.

Temperatures will range from highs in low 80’s to low’s in high 60’s. Some areas may experience a cold snap so a jacket and some warm clothing is worth packing.

All departures are guaranteed on a minimum number of participants. A Coda Tour Manager will accompany a tour also based on a minimum number of participants. This tour can be operated as a Private Tour, can be customized and repriced based on a final itinerary. Rates are based on a minimum participation of 10. For fewer than 10 participants, rates may be revised.

A complete portfolio of pre-departure information will be mailed to you approximately three weeks prior to departure

Accommodations