Western Balkans tour

“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.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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25 Aug 2018
£ 1815
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01 Sep 2018
£ 1850
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08 Sep 2018
£ 1850
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15 Sep 2018
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22 Sep 2018
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27 Apr 2019
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04 May 2019
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11 May 2019
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18 May 2019
£ 1810
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25 May 2019
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01 Jun 2019
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08 Jun 2019
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15 Jun 2019
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29 Jun 2019
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06 Jul 2019
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13 Jul 2019
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27 Jul 2019
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10 Aug 2019
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24 Aug 2019
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31 Aug 2019
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07 Sep 2019
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14 Sep 2019
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21 Sep 2019
£ 1675
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28 Sep 2019
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25 Apr 2020
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02 May 2020
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09 May 2020
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16 May 2020
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23 May 2020
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30 May 2020
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06 Jun 2020
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13 Jun 2020
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27 Jun 2020
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04 Jul 2020
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11 Jul 2020
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25 Jul 2020
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08 Aug 2020
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22 Aug 2020
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29 Aug 2020
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05 Sep 2020
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12 Sep 2020
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19 Sep 2020
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26 Sep 2020
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Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Western Balkans tour

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.

We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects.

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

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.

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