Nordic

Albania & Montenegro

8 Days

Tour reference: WAM2-8-UK

Description:

Winter is here. Winter is a delight for travelers by creating bright and enchanting scenery. Winter has always inspired artists and writers. Winter reigns like a lord over its environment. He immobilizes it, making it even more mysterious. This itinerary proposes to discover under a winter blanket the wonders of nature and man. Travel through the south of Montenegro along and discover its Riviera but also some mythical places. Visit northern Albania following the trail of the Illyrians or Ottomans and let yourself be carried away by its charms..

Day 1

Airport – Shkodra

Welcome by an English-speaking guide at the “Mother Theresa” airport in Tirana. Departure by bus to Shkodra.

Founded in the 4th century BC, Shkodra is one of the oldest cities in Albania. It was the capital of the last kingdom of Illyria. Crossed by major trade routes, the city has known several good times throughout its history. During the Ottoman period, Shkodra was a major economic and cultural center as a trading post on the road linking Prizren to Italian ports.

In Shkodra, visit the National Museum of Photography in Marubi. The museum houses more than ½ million photographs of the Marubi dynasty’s heritage from 1856 to 1989, including negatives, historical images and photographic objects belonging to three generations of photographers. It is a unique opportunity to learn more about Albania’s history through a rare collection of photos.

Visit of the city center of Shkodra and walk along Pedonalja or Kole Idromeno street where the past and present of the city blend harmoniously.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel

Day 2

Shkodra –Ulcinj - Bar – Petrovac - Sveti Stefan - Budva

Head for Montenegro along the Velipojie Nature Park, across the border and on the way to Ulcinj. Ulcinj is the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast. According to historical data, Ulcinj is certainly one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic coast. Ulcinj is thought to be more than 2,000 years old. Visit of the old town which presents a real nest of cultural and historical heritage.

Bar. The old town of Stari Bar is perched on the authors about 4 km from the current port city. Stari Bar was partially destroyed by the Ottomans in 1878 and supplemented by the 1979 earthquake. The route crossed the new port city and will continue towards Sveti Stefan, nicknamed the jewel of the Budva Riviera.

Petrovac is a beautiful small town on the Montenegrin coast, where even the Romans built villas. Walk surrounded by century-old pines and palm trees to enjoy every step.

Sveti Stefan was an ancient independent republic since the 12th century and since its existence, the place has been considered a haven for pirates. At the beginning of the 15th century, the island accepted the protectorate of the Republic of Venice to protect itself from the Ottomans. Under Tito, the last inhabitants of the island were expropriated and evacuated. Sveti Stefan became a luxury hotel casino or celebrities such as Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Kirk Douglas and many others took their summer habits there. Sveti Stefan is now a 5* luxury hotel. Unfortunately, access to it is therefore private.

Arrival in the evening in Budva. Budva is simply the tourist heart of Montenegro, famous for its sandy beaches, wild evenings and above all its well-preserved old town. Night visit to the Stari Grad district.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 3

Budva – Kotor – Perast - Budva

Kotor is the city of fairy tales in Montenegro. Kotor is a vice grip whose jaws are the mountains and the sea. Kotor breathes in the midst of medieval churches, cathedrals, palaces, monuments, ramparts. Kotor wakes up to the sound of serenade, music and falls asleep cuddling his old squares filled with modern cafés or listening to the echo left by the steps on the cobbled streets. A walk in the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the way for a complete visit of the bay.

Perast is a small town with a street right next to the sea. Perast’s houses look like well-dressed members of a choir performing on a miniature stage. They rise and sing their ode to the beautiful bay and islands in front of them, while being carefully supervised by the choir director – St. Nicholas Church. Like the entire Bay of Boka, Perast was the target of Byzantium, Venice, Austria-Hungary and France, which left their mark on the city’s architectural and cultural DNA. Walk along the bay and visit its museum. The museum is located in the former palace of Captain Visko Bujovic, built in 1694 and a symbol of Perast’s golden age after his liberation from Turkish rule.

The route continues along the bay, passing through villages like Risan to Kamenari. Crossing the bay by ferry to reach Donji Stoliv, then Muo. This tour is a combination of majestic history, culture and incredible nature on the Montenegrin coast.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 4

Budva - Cetinje – Podgorica

Cetinje is simply a cultural treasure. Located at the foot of Lovcen National Park, Cetinje was first mentioned in the middle of the 15th century when the Vlaska Church was built. The village was ruled by the Orthodox church until 1692 when the Ottomans eventually conquered it. Cetinje was the capital of Montenegro for centuries and according to some, was the starting point of its spirituality and state organization. Visit of its city centre and the National Museum of Montenegro. King Nikola Palace offers a unique opportunity to familiarize yourself with the rooms that have hosted some of the most significant events in Montenegrin history. Authentic artifacts will bring the habits and lifestyle of the Royal Family of Montenegro closer together.

Podgorica. The capital of Montenegro, the city remained for a long time a military fortification used by the Ottomans, allowing them to control and secure the trade routes. Podgorica was practically destroyed during the Second World War.

Visit to the museum of the city of Podgorica. Located in Marka Miljanova Street, the Podgorica Municipal Museum is the city’s main museum. There is an impressive collection of religious icons and books, archaeological objects and other historical objects. Of particular interest is the collection of copper age artifacts, as well as Illirian and Roman items found in ancient Doclea. There is also a collection dedicated to Božidar Vučković, who was an important printer in the 16th century.

Downtown walk.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 5

Podgorica - Kruja

Visit to Podgorica of the Modern Arts Centre created in 1995 by the integration of two cultural institutions: the National Cultural Centre and the Gallery of Non-Aligned Countries “Josip Broz Tito”. It is located in Kruševac, a building built at the end of the 19th century. The central building of the complex is the former residence of Duke Mirko Petrović Njegoš, known as the Palace of Petrović. The gallery’s permanent exhibition includes about 1,000 objects from some 60 countries around the world, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as a collection of Yugoslav and Montenegrin artists. The oldest pieces date from the 7th century BC and the most recent from the last decades of the 20th century. In addition to works of art, there are also works of applied art and ethnography, which add variety to the exhibition.

Drive to Kruja, an ancient medieval city. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum, one of the most visited places in Albania. Accessible via the bazaar, it is located in the heart of the historic citadel of Kruja and is dedicated to the Albanian national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg. The museum also has a collection of objects dating back to the wars between Albanians and Ottomans in the 15th century.

End of the afternoon free for the visit of the bazaar.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 6

Kruja - Durres

Visit to the Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. It is located in the citadel in a house that belonged to one of the richest families of the 18th century. In a setting of elaborate ceilings and sumptuous murals, it presents objects and scenes of life that allow us to understand how an Albanian family lived in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Durres, the second largest city in the country and which was once the departure point for via Egnatia. It allowed to go to Byzantium by crossing Albania and Greece. Visit of the city center.

Visit of the Roman Amphitheatre built in the 2nd century. This site is considered the second most important in terms of importance in the Balkans: it is inscribed on UNESCO’s list. Today, little work has been done to restore it, but it is possible to imagine the excitement that could reign there during the time of its greatness. It is currently used as an open-air museum.

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Durres, which contains art objects from the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman periods.

A walk in the city center.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 7

Durres - Tirana

Direction Tirana. Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania. Its history is very old. Today’s Tirana was founded in 1614 by Sulejman Bargjini Pasha, a local Mullet leader who built a mosque, a bakery and a hammam. The city began to develop at the beginning of the 18th century, but remained unimportant until it was proclaimed the capital of Albania in 1920. The choice was made because of its central geographical position in the country. It was only at the end of the 1920s that, under Italian influence, the city center took on the appearance of a capital.

Visit the House of Leaves Museum, which tells visitors about one of the darkest periods in Albanian history. The museum is dedicated to all those who have endured torture, assassinations, arrests and surveillance organised by the Albanian secret services.

Visit of the Bunk’Art2 museum dedicated to the preservation of the collective memory and telling the history of the communist regime and its horrors.

Direction the cable car for the ascent of Mt Dajti. Lunch at an altitude of about 1000 meters in a panoramic restaurant, offering an exceptional view of Tirana, its surroundings and, in clear weather, the Adriatic Sea.

Visit of the National History Museum. It is divided into eight pavilions: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Independence, Iconography, War of National Liberation, Antifascist War, Communist Terror and Mother Teresa. The Communist Terror Pavilion houses images, documents and videos on the persecution of Albanians under the communist regime.

Visit of the city center and its famous “Block” via the Tabakëve bridge, built in the 18th century in the heart of Tirana.

Dinner in a restaurant and overnight in a hotel.

Day 8

Departure

Period: From November to March.

INCLUDED
Hotels: See list of hotels below 7* Breakfasts
7* Dinners 1* Lunch (day 7)
Transportation English-speaking guide
Local guide in Montenegro Cable car
All visits mentioned in this program All local taxes
A 0.5l bottle of water per person is served with meals
INCLUDED
All personal expenses of participants All visits not mentioned in this program
Beverages not mentioned above, such as alcohols Tips and gratuities
Travel insurance Air transport

Tour based on arrival times before 11:30 am.

Depending on weather conditions and/or restaurant availability, dinners may be picked up at hotels.

The program can be slightly modified according to the opening and closing hours of the places visited.

– Day 1: Hotel Rozafa 4* https://www.hotelrozafa.al/

– Day 2: Hotel Harmonia 4* https://www.harmoniahotel.com/

– Day 3: Hotel Harmonia 4* https://www.harmoniahotel.com/

– Day 4: Hotel Alexander Lux 4* https://www.alexandarlux.com/

– Day 5: Hotel Panorama 4* http://hotelpanoramakruje.com/

– Day 6: Hotel Blue Marine Residence 4* https://bluemarineresidence.com/

– Day 7: Hotel Mondial 4* https://www.hotelmondial.al/

– Day 7: Hotel Argjiro 4* http://www.hotelargjiro.al/

– Day 8: Hotel Grand City White 3* http://www.whitecityberat.com/

– Day 9: Hotel Panorama 4* http://hotelpanoramakruje.com/

– Day 5: Hotel Panorama 4* http://hotelpanoramakruje.com/

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