Kosovo, Albania & Macedonia Explorer

15 days
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Small Group Tour
It’s hard to find a patch of Europe that as secluded as this one. Hard, but not impossible. Among the rugged mountains and green fields of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia there are plenty of shepherds, monasteries, lakes, valleys and Byzantine churches – what’s lacking is crowds. It’s taken decades for the Balkans to wipe away memories of conflict and com...
26%
$3,996
From$2,960
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Explore the remote northern reaches of Albania and take one of the world’s best boat trips with a cruise through the mountainous corridors of Lake Koman
    • Experience daily life in the Valbona Valley with a stay at a local guesthouse. Clink glasses with the locals in the village and hike the rugged valley passes.
    • Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder North Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go.
    • Kososvo is rich in history and contrasts. Step back in time and learn about the infamous Battle of Kosovo on a day trip to the Field of Blackbirds, before embracing the modern culture thriving in Prishtina, Europe’s youngest capital.
    • Lose yourself in Tirana, the Albanian capital full of a revitalised urban energy, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: drinking coffee and people-watching.

What's this trip about?

    It’s hard to find a patch of Europe that as secluded as this one. Hard, but not impossible. Among the rugged mountains and green fields of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia there are plenty of shepherds, monasteries, lakes, valleys and Byzantine churches – what’s lacking is crowds. It’s taken decades for the Balkans to wipe away memories of conflict and communism, but (amazingly) they’ve emerged strong and smiling. From hip cafes in Skopje and the soft shores of Lake Ohrid to the mosques of picture-perfect Prizren, this 15-day adventure showcases Balkan beauty at its very best.

Details

Itinerary focusOff the Beaten Path
Group sizeIntimate group - max of 12 people
Age range15 years and up
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CityTirana
End CityTirana

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • High Adventure

Destinations

  • Europe
  • Albania
  • North Macedonia

Attractions

  • Skopje
  • Tirana

Activities

  • Adventure & Adrenaline
  • Bird watching
  • Caving
  • Cooking
  • Culture
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Mountaineering
  • Nature

Trip includes

    • Lake Koman - Private boat ride
    • Valbona Valley - Village Tour
    • Valbona Valley - Tea House
    • Dečani Monastery - UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Rugova Valley - Hike including Lunch
    • Gjakova - Sufi Tekke of the Halveti Order
    • Gjakova - Hadumi Mosque
    • Prizren - Kalaja Fortress Visit
    • Kosovo Polje - Field of the Battle of Blackbirds & Tomb of Sultan Murat
    • Prishtina - Day Trip
    • Gracanica - Gracanica Monastery
    • Prishtina - Bear Sanctuary
    • Skopje - Matka Canyon visit and Boat Ride
    • Ohrid - Lake Ohrid Boat Cruise

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Tirana

Mire se vini – welcome to Tirana, Albania. If you arrive early, perhaps get your bearings of the city with a walk around town. Tirana is filled with activity, from its traffic to its nightlife, but on its doorstep are mosques, citadels, Ottoman architecture and museum...

Day 2 Tirana / Shkoder

This morning head out on a leader-led orientation walk of central Tirana. It’s the capital of Albania and its biggest city, but it's still small and compact, with architectural influences from Italy and Turkey. Visit the Skanderbeg Monument, the mosaic on the National...

Day 3 Lake Koman / Valbona Valley

Take an early morning transfer to Lake Koman (approximately 1.5 hours), where you'll board a private boat between Koman and Fierza, in the remote north eastern corner of the country, passing through Albanian Alps gorge (approximately 3 hours). Along the way, you'll ha...

Day 4 Valbona Valley

Take an excursion deeper into the remote Valbona Valley – complete with green meadows of traditional houses, farmland, and alpine trees. Due to the remoteness of the region and the lack of tourist infrastructure, today's activities will come as a surprise to all of us...

Day 5 Peja

Today you'll cross the border into Kosovo by private vehicle (approximately 2 hours). Tiny Kosovo is Europe’s newest (official) country: a handful of landlocked mountains, poppy-dotted meadows and oak forests smack bang in the middle of the Balkans. The shadow of conf...

Day 6 Rugova Valley / Peja

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the village of Drelaj, which is deep in the Rugova Valley and close to the Montenegrin border (approximately 30 minutes). The Rugova Mountains rise to over 2400 metres and were declared a national park in 2013. Drelaj will be ...

Day 7 Gjakova / Prizren

Journey to the south of the country today, to Kosovo's second biggest, and arguably its most beautiful, city – Prizren (approximately 1.5 hours). Along the way, you’ll stop by Gjakova to walk to the Sufi Tekke of the Halveti Order (one of the Dervish sects). It is ver...

Day 8 Prizren

Today is free to explore the city's sights, after venturing out on an included visit to Prizren's sixth century Kalaja Fortress. This fortress sits proudly on a hilltop above the town and has a 43-step staircase hidden in a tunnel that connects to the river, and gives...

Day 9 Prishtina / Prizren

Take a day trip to Prishtina and surrounds. The capital of Kosovo is currently reinventing itself as a major commercial centre in the region, and its historical importance makes it an essential highlight. First head to Kosovo Polje (Field of Blackbirds), which the cou...

Day 10 Skopje

Craggy mountain backdrops, time-weathered monasteries, stunning lake panoramas, hearty national cuisine – North Macedonia is jam-packed full of the good stuff. Excellent hiking can be had in the mountain forests, Lake Ohrid’s waters rival the clarity of Croatia’s, and...

Day 11 Matka Canyon / Skopje

Venture out to Matka Canyon – a deep ravine cut into the Suva mountains by the Treska River, 15 kilometres southwest of the city. This area is home to several medieval monasteries, caves, and over 70 species of endemic butterflies. There is the option to explore the c...

Day 12 Lake Ohrid

Travel by local bus from Skopje to Ohrid, situated on a lake with the same name (approximately 3 hours). Europe’s oldest lake, and one of the oldest human settlements in the world, Lake Ohrid has a wealth of historic sites and religious monuments to discover. Ohrid is...

Day 13 Lake Ohrid

Take to the lake on a morning cruise on the turquoise waters of Lake Ohrid. The rest of the day is free for you to discover the area. There are many churches and monasteries to visit, but one of the most popular is the Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sveti Jovana Kaneo,...

Day 14 Tirana

Say goodbye to the endless, merging blues of lake and sky as you board your private transfer across the border into Albania for your journey back to Tirana (approximately 3 hours). On arrival, your day is then free to explore. Feel the urban energy of this transformin...

Day 15 Tirana

There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you wish to stay on in Tirana we are able to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

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Dates & Availability

Price From $2,960
Price per day$197
Last Updated: 6/4/2024
Departure Date
Finish Date
Base Price
Availability
27 Jul 2024
10 Aug 2024
$3,225
10 Aug 2024
24 Aug 2024
$2,960
24 Aug 2024
07 Sep 2024
$3,315
31 Aug 2024
14 Sep 2024
$3,255
07 Sep 2024
21 Sep 2024
$3,320
14 Sep 2024
28 Sep 2024
$3,355
21 Sep 2024
05 Oct 2024
$3,450
28 Sep 2024
12 Oct 2024
$3,355
05 Oct 2024
19 Oct 2024
$2,960
19 Apr 2025
03 May 2025
$3,135

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Intrepid Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.5/5  Excellent
Excellent
3,401
Great
672
Average
149
Disappointing
81
Terrible
209
s

sue

Sep 2019

Written on

This is a great trip

This is a great trip and our guide Saimir was awesome! The history of these 3 countries is fascinating and the trip is varied, active and interesting. The mountains ...

Y

Yvonne

Jul 2019

Written on

This is an excellent trip

This is an excellent trip to get a taste of lesser travelled Balkan countries. There is a good balance between planned activities and free time. The trip is nicely p...

H

Helen

Jul 2019

Written on

An excellent and most enjoyable trip

An excellent and most enjoyable trip with a wide variety of activities and places to visit. Pack your walking shoes as there are some great opportunities to walk in ...

D

Diane

Oct 2018

Written on

Discover the beautiful natural countryside

Great way to see and learn about the history and culture of these countries and to discover the beautiful natural countryside. Chance to see some very remote places ...

T

Tracey

Sep 2018

Written on

Scenery is amazing

Trip was even better than I hoped it would be. Scenery is amazing, people are friendly even going out of their way to help, and the food.... Trileche, local cheese d...

Write a Review

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Tour Operator

Intrepid Travel

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The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They're highly committed to sustainable tourism and contribute to crucial initiatives like climate action, focusing on local cultures and more.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for all types of travelers at a range of different price points and trips to off-the-beaten-path destinations.

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Logistics

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),Guesthouse (4 nights),

Transportation & Flights

Public bus,Private vehicle,Boat,Taxi,

Transportation & flights

Public bus,Private vehicle,Boat,Taxi
Guides
All Intrepid group trips in Europe are accompanied by one of our local European group leaders. ’Local’ in this context means a leader who is European or lives in Europe. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader takes care of logistics, will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we also aim to support local guides in the individual cities or locations we travel to. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend an optional local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative. If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
Visa requirements
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements
Health & Safety
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.
Age Requirements
15 years and up
Additional Information

Finish point

  • Freddy's Hotel
  • Rruga Bardhok Biba 75
  • Tirana
  • 1001
  • ALBANIA
  • Phone: 355 682035261
Trip ID
intrepid-ZMSX

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