“Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo are the terrific trio of this small group holiday, which dips into monastery-laden cities and myth-wreathed shepherd痴 valleys.”

Highlights

Kruja | Shkodra | Gjakova | Valbona Valley | Decani Monastery | Peja Highlands | Rugova Gorge | White Drin Waterfall | Gracanica Monastery | Pristina | Prizren | Sharr Mountains National Park | Skopje | Tetovo | Lake Ohrid | Monastery of Saint Naum | Tirana | Mount Dajti

Description of The Balkans holiday

This two-week tour of the Balkans teaches you about the tug of war Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo has undergone for thousands of years. As a result, the whole region is a little-known treasure box of Greek, Roman, Turkish and Ottoman architecture, including Byzantine mansions and wine-making monasteries.

You値l see lakeside Shkodra, one of the oldest cities in Europe (and that痴 saying something). Kosovo and its millennia-old wine hills. Skopje, with its 15th-century Stone Bridge and Old Bazaar. Along the way, you値l sail along mountain roads, stopping off for a cup of tea with a Valbona Valley shepherd and picnics in forest meadows.

Since this is a small group holiday to the Balkans, you値l have a tour guide to hand. They値l fill you in on the Balkans' turbulent recent history and reveal the best mountain-view terrace for a glass of Albanian red.

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.

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Date
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10 May 2020
1699
including UK flights
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17 May 2020
1785
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07 Jun 2020
1699
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26 Jul 2020
1699
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30 Aug 2020
1699
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06 Sep 2020
1699
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13 Sep 2020
1699
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20 Sep 2020
1699
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Responsible tourism

The Balkans holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Waste
We visit areas of natural beauty during this trip and our aim is to leave only footprints. We encourage customers to take a reusable water bottle and to responsibly dispose of all litter during the trip. We have set up a partnership with Water-to-Go to encourage our customers in helping us to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
Suppliers
We have worked with the local team in the Balkans for a very long time and they understand the importance to our customers of eating and shopping locally, as well as conserving the areas we visit over and over again. For souvenirs there is an abundance of choice but leaders will recommend small markets and local handicrafts rather than busy tourist shops, and will advise against buying any unethical produce. As well as the obvious benefits, such as increased enjoyment and ensuring money goes into the local community, there are positive environmental impacts to encouraging local eating because, in many cases, the food isn't being shipped or flown around the world.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be 然esponsible in everything we do. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
The Carpathian region of Romania is home to an estimated 6,000 brown bears, which is one of the few strong and healthy populations remaining in Europe. On this trip we visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a home for rescued bears. Set in an oak and hazel tree forest, the sanctuary has assisted in rescuing countless bears from zoos and captivity and is helping to educate the local communities on the importance of looking after their native wildlife. There are around 70 bears currently at the sanctuary that roam free in a natural environment of large forested enclosures containing hibernation dens and cooling freshwater pools.

As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be 然esponsible in everything we do. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.

Community

A fair deal
All staff and crew working with our groups during this trip are locally recruited including the leaders and local guides. Our local leaders and ground team have been trained by an Operations Manager from the UK and have a long working relationship with the tour operator. It's important for us to ensure money is going into the local economy and our trips offer a sustainable income where possible.
Local crafts and culture
Our leaders always endeavour to encourage responsible shopping and spending within their countries. They will do everything they can to ensure that customers get a true taste of the region, visiting eateries and restaurants where the locals visit too, trying street food along the way and eating traditional style meals - cheese burek is a must-try!
The leaders will offer recommendations of local restaurants instead of larger chains as well as information about markets and bazaars frequented by the locals rather than shopping centres. On this trip there will be the opportunity to have lunch and tea in the mountains with a local shepherd's family which is a great way to learn about rural life and the more traditional cultures.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We池e members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it痴 important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.
We also use a variety of different small, locally-owned guesthouses during this tour which give us a deeper insight into the rural areas particularly around Transylvania. At the family-run guesthouse in Moieciu, the owners brew and sell their own apple brandy, as well as using local produce to cook traditional food. This is sourced from the farmers in this predominantly agricultural area, giving them an important source of income. Our Tour Leaders have built really good relationships with this family and their hospitality is second to none.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We池e members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it痴 important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

1 Reviews of The Balkans holiday

5 out of 5 stars
SHOW
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Reviewed on 30 Sep 2019 by

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


Hiking Around lake Bohinj with a terrific group and tour leader.

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


GradedEasy to moderate bit I would call moderate to difficult .

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


Yes

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


Just fantastoc

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