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Времетраење: 11 days - Macedonia & Albania
Локација: Location: Macedonia & Albania
Транспорт: Transport: Bus
Цена: Price: from 1190 eur
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Great civilizations such as the Ancient Macedonian, Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman have left indelible traces both in terms of the spiritual and material culture of the people in this part of the Balkans. These rich and diverse layers of history have determined the Macedonian and Albanian cultural heritages as: multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious.

The coexistence of different cultures, religions and customs on such a small space, such as Macedonia and Albania, has shaped the characters and values of the local people: hospitality, generosity, communicativeness, kindness, peacefulness.
The greater part of the western Balkans is mountainous and forested, with tall peaks, crystal water lakes and wild rivers. Not only do these mountainous regions provide magnificent visual landscapes, natural rarities and endemic flora and fauna, also the most valuable cultural monuments and traditional villages are in their vicinity.

Day 1
Skopje – Bitola
Arrival at Skopje airport, and transfer to Bitola.
Afternoon or evening guided walk and visit of the City museum.
Light dinner and vine tasting at a private home vinery.

Day 2
Bitola – National Park Pelister
Guided interactive sightseeing: Time travel Photo & Architecture tour of Bitola and the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, followed by an authentic Roman lunch.
Hiking and Wildlife conservation tour at National park Pelister – introducing the “stone rivers” and planting of the pre-historical Molika Pine – both relics from the glacial period, as well as the endemic flora and fauna.Visit a beekeeper’s farm in Dihovo village and taste some pure, sweet honey. Dinner at Dihovo village, a mix of traditional dishes and homemade vine and beer tasting. Folklore class with music and dance performance of a traditional Macedonian song.

Day 3
Bitola – Krusevo – Brajcino
Transfer to Krusevo – the most heroic town in Macedonian history.
Welcome and escort by our hosts, the women from the local Handicraft Organization.
Guided sightseeing on foot, introducing the architecture and living, visiting the local museum and Martinoski art gallery.
Cooking class: preparing our own lunch and baking traditional Vlach pie and “Celufki”.
Embroidery class: Learning the unique traditional Macedonian folk clothing decoration.
Transfer to Brajcino village, guided walking tour introducing local history and tradition.
Dinner with local homemade food at the village tavern.
Optional adventure: Night-time wildlife viewing and overnight at the viewing hide.

Day 4
Brajcino – Kurbinovo – Ezerani
Morning wildlife observation hike, followed by lunch with local dishes at the village taverna.
Rural experience tour: visit the village of Ljubojno – with its traditional stone houses, the private Folklore museum at Podmocani, and the 12th century church at Kurbinovo – with extraordinary Byzantine frescoes.
Visit the bird sanctuary at Ezerani and observe the Pelicans on Lake Prespa.
Homemade dinner with a local family in their house.
Optional adventure: Night-time wildlife viewing and overnight at the viewing hide.

Day 5
Brajcino – Golem Grad – Ohrid (UNESCO)
Transfer to Konjsko village, on the western side of Lake Prespa, then by boat to the Island of Golem Grad – a unique endemic ecosystem.
Hiking on the island, exploring the wild flora and fauna, as well as the medieval ruins hidden in this Mediterranean jungle.
Lunch on the mainland with fisherman’s delicacies.
Transfer to Ohrid over mount Galicica, enjoying the breathtaking view of both lakes.
Guided sightseeing tour of the old town, with traditional old styled houses and numerous Byzantine churches.
Introduction of the old traditional crafts: Medieval paper production and printing, woodcarving, and making of the local jewelry – the “Ohrid Pearls”.

Day 6
Ohrid – Korca – Voskopoja
Transfer to the monastery of St. Naum, followed by sightseeing.
Crossing the boarder in to Albania, and transfer to Korca followed by guided sightseeing of the traditional market place, medieval monuments and museum.
Lunch at a local restaurant with local homemade food.
Transfer to Voskopoja, sightseeing of the village with its rich history of trade, culture and education.
Visit of the church of St. Nicolas, which houses valuable frescoes.
Hiking to the village of Shipske, meeting the local farmers and beekeepers, exchanging cultural experience and learning about the rural life.
Cooking class: preparing our own traditional meal, using ingredients from the local farms.
Dinner with local dishes at the local tavern, accompanied with traditional live music from the region.

Day 7
Voskopoja – Permet – Gjirokastra (UNESKO)
Transfer to Permet, with a stop at Kamenica (3200 year old Illyrian settlement), the picturesque towns of Ereska and Leskovik, with scenic stone houses and stunning panoramic views.
Lunch with a variety of traditionally cooked dishes at the local tavern in Permet.
Visit the village of Benje and go on a walking tour in the canyon of Langarica river to the thermal baths; possibility for a bath in the thermal springs.
Visit of a local producer of comfitures from local bio production.
Transfer to Gjirokastra and overnight.

Day 8
Gjirokastra – Lunxheri
Transfer to the region of Lunxheri – an example of different coexisting cultures.
Walking tour following the traces of Lord Byron, discovering the rich cultural heritage and old villages with traditional stone houses.
Lunch at a local family house with home-cooked food.
Visit an animal husbandry farm – traditional wool processing and cheese production.
Visit the archaeological site of Antigonea, founded in the 3rd century BCE.
Guided sightseeing on foot of Gjirokastra, visit the castle and the museum of weapons, the house of Enver Hoxha (Ethnographic museum); the Zekate house and museum.
Dinner at a traditional restaurant, with local dishes and live folk music performance: unique Albanian Iso-polyphony music.

Day 9
Gjirokastra – Durres – Tirana – Ohrid
Transfer to Durres, panoramic drive and city tour – guided walking and sightseeing of the old town core and the Roman amphitheater (2nd century CE).
Lunch at a restaurant by the sea promenade.
Transfer to Tirana, panoramic drive and city tour of the Albanian capital – guided sightseeing with visits to the Et’hem Bey Mosque, Skenderbey monument and Clock tower. Crossing the border in to Macedonia, transfer to Ohrid and overnight.

Day 10
Ohrid – Mavrovo – Lake Matka – Skopje
Scenic drive through the Canyon of Crni Drim River and along the lakes Globocica and Spilje.
Visit the nunnery of St. George at the village of Rajcica, and learn about the nuns’ life, education and handicraft production.
Visit the monastery of St. John Bigorski and see the priceless wood carved Iconostasis – the largest in the world.
Drive through the picturesque canyon of the wild river Radika, in the heart of National park Mavrovo.
Lunch at Lake Matka, at a restaurant overlooking the lake.
Boat ride across the lake, through the beautiful canyon of the river Treska, with a visit to Vrelo cave – one of the deepest of its kind in the world.
Transfer to Skopje, followed by a guided afternoon/evening sightseeing tour.
Visit the main square and the old town core with oriental architecture from the Ottoman period, followed by dinner at a restaurant in the authentic ambience of a medieval Ottoman Han.
Optional cultural event: like Theater, Opera, Concert or Gallery.

Day 11
Walking and sightseeing, visiting the Archaeological museum (depending on flight schedule).
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Transfer to the airport, and farewell.