Gaze out from monasteries moulded into towering rocks and see the Athenian temple made for the Goddess of Wisdom herself.
These days, buildings are like instant noodles. They’re quick and easy to make, full of dubious materials, and always a little ‘meh’. But back in the ancient times, buildings were the most incredible pieces of art, made from the sturdiest materials, and set in the loveliest locations. Embark on this adventure and go beyond mass-produced skyscrapers and into the crumbling titans of architectural art. Wander the imperious ‘Game of Thrones’ fortress walls of Dubrovnik, gaze out from monasteries moulded into towering rocks, and see the Athenian temple made for the Goddess of Wisdom herself.
We spend 7 days exploring Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece. We visit Split, Athens, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Budva, Tirana, Meteora, Gjirokaster, Thermopylae.
What Is Included...
Your fantastic Busabout crew
6 nights’ accommodation
All coach transport
Entry into 2 Monasteries in Meteora (Kalambaka)
Day trip to Budva, beach afternoon
Balkan Highlights Starts at 8am at Goli & Bosi Hostel, Split
The Tour Ends at 9am at Athenstyle, Athens
When We Go
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7 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Split to Dubrovnik to Kotor
Your adventure begins as we depart from Split en route to Dubrovnik with stunning coastal vistas. Explore some surviving renaissance architecture such as the Sponza Palace or partake in a Game of Thrones walking tour of the city. This evening we will make our way into Kotor. Nestled in the secluded Gulf of Kotor, Kotor offers some of the most classic Mediterranean views with gorgeous panoramas of the limestone cliffs and bay. Tonight we feast on traditional Montenegrin eats. Try the seafood, as it is a speciality, and then feel free to enjoy the city’s bustling nightlife or recharge for the adventures still to come.
Day 2: Kotor to Budva to Kotor
This morning soak up the views and explore some of the sites contained within the old Venetian walls. Kotor’s Old Town is rich in history and one the finest examples of medieval architecture in the Adriatic. We will depart for the Budva Riviera before lunchtime. At 2,500 years of age, Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic. Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun on some of the most pristine beaches available in the South Adriatic. Upon return to Kotor you will have the opportunity to climb the fortress for stunning sunset views. Tonight there is a social event on at the hostel, take some time to rub shoulders with your fellow passengers and perhaps share a drink and a tale, or two.
Day 3: Kotor to Tirana
Today we head into Albania, plotting a course for the capital city of Tirana. Stretch your legs with our included afternoon orientation walk, and the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy the sights and sounds of this incredible city. Explore the vast monuments created by the Romans, Ottomans, and Byzantines. See the famous Tirana Mosaic Archaeological Complex or for those who would like to view a more contentious site take in the views of the Pyramid of Tirana (while it’s still standing). Tonight feel free to explore the nightlife on offer in this beautiful Balkan city.
Day 4: Tirana to Gjirokaster to Kalambaka (Meteora)
As we make our way towards Greece this morning we will be stopping at Gjirokaster, one of the best preserved examples of an Ottoman town. We arrive in Kalambaka (Meteora) this evening and traditional Greek cuisine will be available at dinner. Afterwards feel free to explore your new surroundings and all the amazing scenery that the “Middle of the Sky” has to offer. There are a number of restaurants and hotels with bars should you want to have a few drinks to wind down the day. Be sure to save room though, as tomorrow you will become well acquainted with the truly awe inspiring surroundings you find yourselves in.
Day 5: Kalambaka (Meteora) to Thermopylae to Athens
We depart early for the monasteries of Meteora with free entry into two of them. This mysterious area has been the inspiration behind books, movies, and music and is home to extensive cave systems. The rest of the morning can be used to bask in the panoramic views and take in some history. After lunch we depart for Athens with a stop at the Spartan Monument in Thermopylae. Previously believed to be the entrance into Hades, the “Hot Gates” are home to many historic battles, most notably when the Greeks led by the Spartan King Leonidas managed to halt the advancing Persian armies under Xerxes. Tonight we dine in Athens! Enjoy your dinner under the gaze of the Acropolis.
Day 6: Athens
This morning there is an optional walking tour to get you acquainted with the city of Athens. Then feel free to explore this historical city and its vast sights. Visit the classical Acropolis high above the city and home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. See the Daphne Monastery and Parthenon, and the temple to the Goddess Athena. We will meet this evening for a traditional Greek dinner.
Day 7: Athens
Check-out is after breakfast. Enjoy your final breakfast before your departure. We hope to see you again!
This tour connects with the following trips
All of our tours are designed to link to each other. The Balkan Highlights connects to these great trips.