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GOLDEN BYZANTINE BALKANS TOUR : SERBIA – MACEDONIA – ALBANIA – MONTENEGRO – CROATIA
Departure 20 MAY – 02 JUNE 2019
Day 1 : Morning departure from Belgrade and drive along highway to Batocina and further to Kraljevo. Tour of Zica Monastery /13th century/. Drive on along the “Kings Road” to Studenica Monastery complex. Accommodation in monastic dormitory, “monastic dinner”. Overnight.
Day 2 : After breakfast tour of Studenica Monastery complex. Drive along the picturesque Ibar River Gorge to Stara Pavlica Church, one of the oldest Medieval churches in Serbia and Nova Pavlica Monastery and sightseeing. Drive on to Novi Pazar and tour of the St Peter’s and Paul Church, the oldest Christian church in the Balkans of Byzantine architecture. Traditional lunch in Novi Pazar downtown. Sightseeing of Djurdjevi Stupovi Monastery – St George’s Pillars Monastery, dominating over the town from the woody hill. Drive on to Sopocani Monastery and tour of St Trinity Church housing wonderful frescoes that are considered the peak of Medieval paintings. Drive back to Novi Pazar and hotel accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 3 : After breakfast drive along gorgeous scenery via Rozaje /Montenegro/ to Pec. Tour of Pec Patriarchate Complex of four Medieval churches featuring beautiful fresco decoration which are UNESCO heritage. Drive on to Decani village and tour of the Decani Monastery, the most magnificent Serbian Medieval Monastery which is UNESCO Heritage site. Drive on to Prizren, one of the most beautiful towns of Kosovo and Metohija and hotel accommodation. Walking tour to the old town and sightseeing of The Holy Virgin of Ljeviska Church /UNESCO site/ and recently reconstructed Churches of St George and the tiny Church of St Nicholas, situated in the old quarter of Prizren. Traditional dinner, overnight.
Day 4 : After breakfast drive along the central part of Kosovo and Metohija and tour of Gracanica Monastery /14th century/. Drive on to Skopje, capital of Macedonia and tour of St Panteleimon Monastery, one of the best preserved Byzantine churches in the Balkans with beautiful frescoes. Hotel accommodation. Evening walk through the old town and bazaar of Skopje. Traditional dinner, overnight.
Day 5 : After breakfast drive tour of St George’s Monastery in Staro Nagoricane village, whose frescoes are considered the masterpiece of famous Byzantine painters Michael and Eutychus. Drive back to Skopje and visit to the Icon Gallery, the richest collection of icons dating from the 11th until the 19th centuries. Afternoon free for individual program. Overnight.
Day 6 : After breakfast tour of the drive to Ohrid, the town museum and UNESCO site. Continuing to Ohrid drive along the gorgeous Mavrovo National Park and stop over for visit to St John Bigorski Monastery, famous for its beautifully wood-carved iconostasis and its particularly nice location on the mountain slope. Arrival to Ohrid and hotel accommodation. Traditional dinner, overnight.
Day 7 : After breakfast walking tour around the old town-museum of Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit to Church of the Holy Virgin of Peribleptos which is also known as St. Clement Church /13th century/, St. Sophia Church /11th century/ and St. Panteleimon Church /9th century/. Tour ends at Ohrid local green market and the bazaar. Afternoon free for individual program. Dinner, overnight.
Day 8 : After breakfast tour of famous St Naum Monastery. Entering Albania and drive to Berat, known as a “city of thousand windows”. Visit to the Onufri Museum, comprising paintings of this outstanding painter from the 16th century. Tour of several Byzantine churches known for their interesting architecture. Hotel accommodation in Berat. Traditional dinner, overnight.
Day 9 : After breakfast drive from Berat to Durres, Albania’s second largest city and one of its oldest town. Tour of the Roman amphitheater and the Roman Baths behind the Aleksandër Moisiu Theater on the central square. Drive on to the Albanian capital city of Tirana, founded in 1614, located on the site of a Byzantine fortress. Tour of the Skanderbeg Square in the center of the town, the 1789 old Mosque of Et’hem Bey, the 1830 Clock Tower and the Palace of Culture housing the Opera. Tirana hotel accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 10: After breakfast drive to Kruje, charming little town perched high on the hill which was the center of the 15th century Albanian resistance against Ottoman Turks. Visit to the Skenderbeg Museum. Drive on to Shkoder, one of the oldest cities in Europe and the traditional center of the Gheg culture. After crossing the border to Montenegro, drive along the scenic landscape of Skadar Lake to the Montenegrin Riviera to Kotor – “town museum“. Hotel accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 11 : After breakfast drive up the scenic Lovcen Mountain to Cetinje, the old capital of Montenegro. The town was founded in 1482, when here a palace and church have been built. Tour of the Royal Palace of King Nikola II, last King of Montenegro which contains both a beautiful small museum as well as the Monastery of St. Petar. Drive back to Kotor – a World Heritage Site which was inhabited from the times of the Illyrians and the Romans. Walk through the city and tour of the Cathedral of St. Typhoon, St. Luke’s Church and St. Mihail’s Church. Fish dinner, overnight.
Day 12 : After breakfast drive along the spectacularly beautiful Boka Kotorska Bay. Boat tour to Our Lady on rock Church. Walk through Perast and Risan. Afternoon drive along Adriatic coast via many old fishing villages, churches, monasteries, marinas and beaches to Dubrovnik. Crossing the border into Croatia and arrival to Dubrovnik. Hotel accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 13 : After breakfast Dubrovnik sightseeing : Stradun, Pile Gates, old part of Dubrovnik, Franciscan Monastery with its 14th century Pharmacy, Rectors Palace that once used to be the seat of the government in the Dubrovnik Republic, Lovrijenac Tower, Minceta Tower, Revelin Tower … Afternoon free for individual program. Farewell dinner, overnight.
Day 14 : After breakfast time until departure until transfer to Dubrovnik Airport. Departure flight and end of program.
PRICE : 1780 EUR Minimum 15 participants, 1640 EUR Minimum 20 participants
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT : 590 EUR
Included : luxurious coach/van transportation, 1 overnight in Studenica Monastery Dormitory /quality of accommodation as 3 stars hotel/ and 13 overnights in 3-4 stars hotels with H/B services /breakfast and dinner/, entrance fee for all sites included in the program, 24 hours PANACOMP Wonderland Travel LCC support, Logistics and professional guidance
APPLICATION DEADLINE : 180 DAYS PRIOR DEPARTURE