“Combine the well-known highlights of Dubrovnik and Sofia with the lesser-known towns and villages of Albania and Kosovo on this 12-day small group tour of the fascinating Balkans.”

Highlights

Sofia | Skopje | Prizren | Lake Ohrid | Berat | Tirana | Kruja | Shkoder | Kotor | Dubrovnik

Description of Western Balkans tour

This Western Balkans tour blends the top highlights of the Balkan region with the less-visited sights of Macedonia and Albania in a 12-day adventure thatís part-exploration part-cultural immersion. Youíll kick off your trip in Sofia, the relaxed capital of Bulgaria. One of the oldest cities in Europe, itís a fascinating mix of stark communist era architecture, Roman remains and beautiful Baroque buildings.

Moving on, youíll head for Macedonia and the city of Skopje, where grand monuments and mosques are testament to the cityís Byzantine and Ottoman past. Youíll also visit the Holocaust Museum and take a day trip to Prizren, the countryís second city, which is beautifully situated at the foot of the Sar Mountains. The city has been inhabited by the Romans, Ottomans and Byzantines and these influences are visible wherever you go. Next, youíll visit Europeís oldest lake, Lake Ohrid, which is surrounded by mountains and beaches and is home to several ancient churches and monasteries, as well as a 2,000-year-old Roman theatre.

Crossing over the border into Albania, youíll explore the historic cities of Berat and Tirana and head up into the mountains to the village of Kruja, which was the last place to hold out against the Ottoman army before the country fell to their rule. Montenegro and the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Kotor are next on the agenda. Set between mountains and a secluded bay, Kotor has a fortified old town full of winding streets.

Dubrovnik is your final stop. You can choose to explore the cityís many ancient monuments, stroll the main promenade or even take a trip out to one of the beguiling Elafiti Islands.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
24 Apr 2021
£1855
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Apr 2021 departure
08 May 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 May 2021 departure
22 May 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 May 2021 departure
29 May 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 May 2021 departure
12 Jun 2021
£1925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Jun 2021 departure
19 Jun 2021
£1925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 19 Jun 2021 departure
03 Jul 2021
£1925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Jul 2021 departure
17 Jul 2021
£1925
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Jul 2021 departure
31 Jul 2021
£1855
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 Jul 2021 departure
14 Aug 2021
£1855
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Aug 2021 departure
28 Aug 2021
£1855
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Aug 2021 departure
04 Sep 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 04 Sep 2021 departure
11 Sep 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Sep 2021 departure
18 Sep 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Sep 2021 departure
25 Sep 2021
£2000
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Sep 2021 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation & meals: Our small group size allows us to stay in family-run hotels and pensions that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited size, which in turn limits the carbon footprint of our trips due to the small scale enterprises we support. A major criterion for sourcing accommodation on all of our trips is whether it is family owned and run in order to empower locals over international conglomerates. We also support small restaurants and cafes, serving locally sourced produce like mouth-watering rich stews and sauces, hearty soups and delicious desserts.
All our leaders are passionate about RT, so the message is consistent at all times in regards to environmental issues. In the Balkans, especially Albania, the main issue is littering, and our leaders address this issue on the ground. We actively educate locals by showing an example, such as picking up rubbish others have left behind. Some of our leaders ask our clients to participate in collecting rubbish on hikes in the mountains, and on one occasion locals were clapping as they appreciated the effort. They commented that they are embarrassed that foreigners have to come and clean up their country, as they themselves canít do it.

We discourage our travellers to buying water in plastic bottles, and advise them to refill their bottles from the tap (this is possible in most places on this trip). We also educate our clients to use recycling opportunities whenever feasible (this depends on the country and can vary from proper recycling facilities to unofficial collectors of glass bottles)

Especially in Albania a lot of businesses are not yet across environmental responsibility, however we are trying to educate them by giving them business and delivering our message to them as well.

As a company we aim to contribute to the environmental preservation of the destinations we visit and to reduce any negative impacts our operations may have. This translates to actions such as using local transport where safe to do so in order to reduce emissions, observing all national and marine park visitor rules and operating a Ďtake in, take back outí waste management system, to name but a few examples. Through our inhouse foundation we also invest money into environmental initiatives that benefit the planet, including restoring kelp forests to help reverse the effects of global warming and protecting endangered species such as sea turtles and elephants.

UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment by having a range of recycling bins for waste, plastic recycling and paper.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

All transport on this trip is by private transport which is locally sourced. The section from Skopje to Lake Ohrid is covered by using a local bus.
The local bus, taxi and boat journeys on this trip are excellent examples of travelling like a local, with locals.

This small group tour has a maximum of 12 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

This tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in the Balkans.

The Dubrovnik City Walls are an inclusion on this trip, and the revenue of entrance fees is partly used to preserve the structure for future generations.
On our day trip to Kruja we visit the old fortress. The money raised goes back into the local community to enhance living standards and slowly restore the historical old bazaar and the fortress itself.

We employ local leaders as much as operationally possible. Guides are always local (e.g. the included guide in Sarajevo, Mohamed, is a local who has lived through the siege of Sarajevo), and they set their own rates. Leaders are always European, and wages are standard salaries as found elsewhere in the tourism industry.

?

Climate

2 Reviews of Western Balkans tour

4.5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
1
1
0
0
0

Reviewed on 02 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Climb and walk in Valbonne to alpine meadows

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Good walking shoes

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Our guide took us to small hotels, locally owned restaurants and we did not waste food or dispose of plastic.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Our leader Saimir Maja was excellent and made the most of every location.

Reviewed on 01 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The hike in Valbona valley, a boat trip and a swim in lake Ohrid.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take some clothes for going out to dinner in the evenings. Balkan people dress well.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Saimir our was very aware of pollution. He took us to local restaurants and markets. He encouraged us to use tap or well water where available.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, unexpectedly varied and good balance of activities. We would have liked more in-depth information about the archeology?

Popular similar holidays

Balkan adventure holiday

Balkan adventure holiday

Explore Hungary's capital to medieval towns

From £990 10 days excluding flights

Dubrovnik to Athens tour

Dubrovnik to Athens tour

Join us on a whirlwind adventure through the Balkans

From £2090 - £2255 15 days excluding flights

Balkans holiday, two week explorer

Balkans holiday, two week explorer

Start and end your Balkan adventure in Dubrovnik

From £1258 - £1949 15 days excluding flights

Balkans rail holiday

Balkans rail holiday

Travel through seven countries in the Balkans

From £2079 - £2291 16 days including UK flights

Convert currencies