Touch of Orient Tour
The Balkan Peninsula for many is one of the last undiscovered corners of Europe. Cultural and natural variety abound here, forged over the centuries by numerous political changes and imperial influences.
Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim, urban and rural, western and eastern, Mediterranean and continental…this area is a true mixture of influences and cultures. No wonder that it is so, because the identity of the region is above all, dominated by its geographical position.
This has always been the crossroads of cultures, a place where the Latin Roman and Greek Byzantine Empire used to collide. Centuries later, this area was squeezed between three major powers of that time – the Ottoman, Russian and Habsburg Empire. Each of them left something of their own identity here, influencing the Balkan lifestyle, mentality and culture.
Thus, the Balkans can give you a little bit of Orient, but can also offer its own version of the West. Add the Italian influence and you’re in for a proper all-European mixture.
You will have the opportunity to compare the major cities with traditional towns, villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places of untouched natural beauty.
Each country offers a different culture, cuisine and tradition to discover, each growing as an independent nation in its own right and taking its place in the modern world.
There are still some truly untouched places in the Balkan peninsula worth visiting for all those who like to travel and get to know something new. We only made a little selection of these wonders here, but there is plenty more to explore.
– Touch of Orient Tour take you through four countries and fascinating cities, historic towns, mountain peaks and spectacular coastline.
– In this Tour you will explore the best of Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania in 10 Days.
– Admire the picturesque Kotor Bay and the town of Kotor, forming a beautiful ensemble of natural, historic and cultural heritage, under the auspices of UNESCO
– Watch the sunset from Hercegovacka Gracanica Monastery in Trebinje
– Cross the magnificent Old Bridge in Mostar, and enjoy local specialties.
– Enjoy the cultural highlights of Sarajevo – city known as the «Jerusalem of Europe»
– You will feel something special in Visoki Decani Monastery, where history is under the protection of a saint and UNESCO.
– Lose yourself in Tirana, Albania’s colourful capital, and partake in the local’s favourite pastime: coffee-drinking and people-watching
– Explore Albania’s historic town of Berat
– Enjoy local cuisines & warm hospitality
Join us on our Touch of Orient tour and discover the charms of the Balkans!
Arrival to Podgorica Airport.
Pick up at Podgorica airport and drive along National park Skadar Lake, the largest lake on Balkan Peninsula.
On the shore of the lake there is a small town Virpazar – old urban settlement with specific architecture where we board on the boat. Virpazar nowadays is famous for restaurants that offer traditional specialties.
We will have a boat ride on Skadar Lake, where you can relax with the stunning beauty of the lake, blooming flora, fauna and the surrounding landscapes.
This area is home to some 270 species of birds, including egrets, spoonbills and one of the largest cormorant colonies on the planet.
The park is also a haven for rare plants. What's more, its collection of monasteries, villages and sacred monuments span over nine centuries of Montenegrin history.
After boat ride departure to Budva. On the way we will stop above Sveti Stefan, where we will make photo break above famous island-hotel. Sveti Stefan (6 km east of Budva) is a rare geographical feature, made up of an island connected to the mainland by a stripe with two beaches, one on each side.
Sveti Stefan, once a fishing village on a reef island, today a unique tourist attraction. It is popular with heads of state, important politicians, movie stars, famous athletes and other members of the elite.
Accomodation and overnight in Budva. Budva’s pebble beaches, crystal-clear sea and mild climate place it among the most beautiful coasts in the world and it truly represents the crown of Montenegrin tourist offering. Old Town is a place of important historic and religious monuments, galleries, boutiques, cafes and during the summer it turns into a theatrical stage!
Budva. Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast departure for Cetinje the historic capital of Montenegro. The city is located in the field located under the mountain Lovcen, at an average altitude of 670 m.
Because of its authentic architecture and a large number of historic buildings, relics, monasteries, churches and museums, this city was named «museum city». Cetinje and Njegusi are a «must see» excursion called Montenegro tour.
This tour gives a complete impression of Montenegro because it includes both coast and mountains. Visiting this area you will understand how Montenegrin spirit, culture and identity survived turbulent history of Balkan.
In Cetinje, we will visit King Nikola’s Palace where medals, impressive weapon, decorated furniture, portraits of dynasty members, different gifts from all over the world will illustrate you popularity that Montenegro earned at the end of 19th century.
Continuation to Njegusi. This charming village was the birthplace of Peter Petrovic-Njegos, considered the most important leader in Montenegrin history. Today the village is known for its delicious specialties including smoked ham, cheese, brandy, and wine.
You will visit the national park Lovcen as well Njegos’s mausoleum on Mount Lovcen. It has been built on the very top of this mountain and can be reached by crossing the 461 stairs.
Deep breath of the fresh air and keep your eyes wide open. As you slowly turn all around, you will be amazed by the view of the Kotor Bay, Skadar Lake, high mountains in the northern part of Montenegro, even Albania.
In the Mausoleum you will find the figures of two Montenegrin women made of black granite, as well as the figure and marble sarcophagus of Petar II Petrovic Njegos. By visiting of the Mausoleum we complete the story about Montenegrin royal family, great ruler and poet.
The excursion continues along the curvy road one of the greatest engineering projects in Montenegro from the end of 19th century - road from village of Njegusi to Kotor, on the steep slopes of Mount Lovcen up to a belvedere at 900 m above sea level. It took five years of carving the steep slopes of Lovcen Mountain before the road was completed in 1884. This was astonishing work we still respect today, passing his 25 switchbacks. From each curve the view gets better and as a reward for taking this ride, we never miss a chance to stop and admire the road as the work of man and Bay of Kotor as the work of nature!
On the way back to your hotel, we will visit Old Town of Budva a walled medieval town on the sea, like a mini Dubrovnik. Overnight in Budva.
Bay of Kotor, protected as a World Heritage Site, is the southernmost fjord in Europe, offers an excellent opportunity to see unique natural beauty in a small area, and at the same time become better acquainted with its history, culture, and architecture.
Your Kotor tour ends with a trip to the Maritime Museum, which is housed in the 17th century Grgurina Palace, and chronicles Kotor's glory days as one of the Adriatic's major naval forces.
After Kotor you will visit the beautiful baroque town of Perast sitting opposite the entrance to the inner Bay of Kotor. You will have the opportunity to see buildings and villas which were built during the city's prosperous years of the 17th and 18th centuries, churches built during that time, the history of this fascinating town, which was home to wealthy sea faring families.
You will board small boats to see the Church Islands of St George and visit the Island of Our Lady of the Rock -10 min away from coast, the islet is man-made, and its original church was built in 1452.
You'll see the stunning present church, built in 1632 and enlarged in 1722. According to legend, seamen once laid a rock in the Bay of Kotor upon returning from each successful voyage, thus creating the islet that gradually emerged from the sea.
In Perast we suggest you to take a break for lunch. Continuation to Trebinje driving along the picturesque Bay of Kotor.
Arrival in Trebinje and accommodation in hotel. Free evening. Overnight in Trebinje.
After check out we will start our Trebinje city tour. Trebinje is a small town situated in the Trebisnjica river valley in south eastern Herzegovina, about 30 km by road from Dubrovnik and Adriatic coast.
It is one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is called «the city of sun and platan trees». That’s why the Hollywood star Monica Belucci after the shooting of the movie «Along the Milky Way» in Trebinje last year has said that she would like to buy some land and build a house in this fascinating town.
In the Middle Ages Trebinje was called «a little Venice» because of its lovely wooden bridges. Now you can count only three stone bridges there. One of these bridges is the most important historical monument in Trebinje. The Arslanagic Bridge was constructed in 1574 by the order of Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic.
From the city center of Trebinje, there is a 2 km road that winds up the hill Crkvina where you reach the church «Hercegovacka Gracanica» (the Gracanica of Hercegovina) a copy of the famous Gracanica Church in Kosovo and Metohija.
The Church Complex includes an amphitheater, the Vladicin (Bishop's) home, a gallery with icons, a summer garden, a library and a belltower. There is a marvelous view of the whole town from here.
After the visit we will proceed to Mostar. The oriental old town, the old bridge, mosques and churches, and the emerald Neretva River will mesmerise you.
Set on the banks of the Neretva River, this is the largest and most important city in the Herzegovina region. Also, one of the most beautiful towns in the entire country is divided by the Neretva, with Croats on one side and Muslims on the other, reflecting its rich cultural heritage.
The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses, Kujundziluk (Old Bazaar) and Old Bridge (Stari Most), after which it is named. In July 2005, UNESCO inscribed the Old Bridge and its closest vicinity onto the World Heritage List.
Drive to Sarajevo with stop over for observation of Neretva River Canyon. The Neretva River carves its way through the centre, dividing the massive mountain ranges.
It was at Jablanica that Tito and the partisans, burdened with 4,000 wounded others, won the unlikely Battle of the Neretva during World War II. The blown-up bridge that the partisans used to trick the Nazis still hangs from the high cliffs as a reminder of one of the partisans' greatest victories.
Arrival in Sarajevo the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina and accommodation in hotel. Overnight in Sarajevo.
Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina's vibrant capital is located on the Sarajevo plain and surrounded by mountains. Famed for its diverse religious heritage and often called the Jerusalem of Europe we can look forward to a two night stay here.
After breakfast a walking tour through the center of the Bosnian capital - Sarajevo, whose mosques and old Turkish bazaar with shops and cafes still keep the traditional oriental atmosphere of the region.
Sarajevo is situated on the Miljacka River nestles among dramatic peaks. During the Roman Empire Sarajevo together with Bosnia was a border city between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. On the 28th of June 1914 WWI was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.
The city has 10 bridges over the Miljacka River. The most famous one is the Latin Bride or Princip Bridge, the name of assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
The city-wide tram service was the very first in Europe. Locals proudly insist that the Austro-Hungarians modelled Vienna’s tram system on theirs. War took its toll, with the 1992-1996 siege hitting hard, but the lively, diverse city has been almost entirely reconstructed.
You will have the opportunity to see during sightseeing Bascarsija – the oldest part of Sarajevo dating from XVI century with tipical oriental look and charm, many traditional trade workshops with beautiful and unique souvenirs, Gazi-Husref Beg’s Mosque (the most important and beautiful in Bosnia), Bosra Bezistan – covered old bazaar, Kursumlija Medressa – old Islamic School, Ferhadija – pedestrian street dating from the Austrohungarian times (XIX c), Roman-chatolic Chatedral Jesus Hart, Ortodox chatedral church, Miljacka River banks, Latin Bridge, Inat (Despite) House, Tzar’s Mosque.
In the afternoon hours going to Ilidza district and visit to Bosna River Springs – beautiful nature reservate with litle lakes and waterfalls.
From Ilidza to Bosna Springs driving through platan alley with horse carriages. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Sarajevo.
Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and transfer to Zabljak. On the way we will make photo break above famous Piva Lake where the water has unbelievably turquoise colour.
This route heads clear through the heart of mountainous Durmitor National Park, from one spectacular river canyon to another.
Exciting landscapes, beautiful lakes, spectacular view points, interesting history of this part of Montenegro will not leave you indifferent. Furthermore…just the drive itself is breathtaking.
Zabljak lies among the towering peaks, alpine lakes and high pastureland that is sandwiched between the Tara and Piva Canyons. It is the city on the highest altitude of the Balkans on 1456 m.
Located in the very centre of enormous mountain of Durmitor in the middle of Durmitor National Park and represents the good destination for winter tourism, but for many tourist, this unique city is best choice for summer holiday.
Durmitor National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that presents us with a magnificent setting for an afternoon walk. On arrival, we will hike up through the thick forest towards the waters of Black Lake (Crno Jezero).
Translated as the Black Lake, it is so named because of the dark pine landscape that surrounds it. Of the 18 glacial lakes that pepper this spectacular karst landscape, the Black Lake is probably the most famous and is certainly the largest, feeding the river basins of both the Tara and the Komarnica Rivers.
Besides its glacial lakes, the park also features 27 peaks that exceed 2200 metres, five canyons, lush expanses of ancient forest and a labyrinthine system of caves and sinkholes.
After exploring these natural wonders, we will continue towards Kolasin. Our journey takes us through Tara river Canyon as well as the impressive Djurdjevica Tara Bridge. Spanning the gorge over the Tara River, the bridge towers some 135 metres above the river valley.
The river Tara is perhaps one of the last oases of intact nature, characterized by its crystal clear water, which is why its is often called «The Tear of Europe». Its canyon (1300 m) is the second deepest in the world, after Colorado.
Along the Tara river canyon, the dense pine forests are interspersed with clear lakes and harbour a wide range of endemic flora. Of particular importance is an old-growth forest of European Black Pine, where 400 year-old specimens can reach heights above 50 metres.
Arrival in Kolasin top destination for winter tourism in Montenegro. For several decades Kolasin has positioned itself as an ideal destination, not only because of what town has to offer, the environment, the natural beauty of mountains, rivers and lakes, the altitude of 960 metres, but also because of its geographical and traffic position.
The hottest summer days are easy to bear, while in the winter there is plenty of snow of the mountains. Just staying in this area it provides all the benefits of air spa. Accommodation at hotel. Overnight in Kolasin.
Kolasin. Breakfast at hotel and check out. The road between Kolasin and Pec has beautiful landscapes especially close to the town of Rozaje the last Montenegrin town near the border crossing with Kosovo.
Surrounded by dark green mountains little Rozaje is a gemstone, well-known throughout the Balkans for the richness of its evergreens. This is in part because the town has long adopted an ecological principle that for each three felled two should be planted.
Drive to Kosovo over Kula border passage. Arrival in town of Pec and visit Patriarchate of Pec - complex of four Medieval churches, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Monastery of the Patriarchate of Pec is located at the very entrance of the Rugova gorge near Pec. Nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and forests, represents a Byzantine-styled Serbian Orthodox monastery dating back to the 12th century.
Founded by Saint Sava, one of the most prominent figures in Serbian history, the monastery shows a complete timeline of medieval wall painting styles and frescoes from the 13th century to the 18th century. View its monastic treasures, such as manuscripts and silverware, and see marble sarcophagi of archbishops and patriarchs adorned with ornate sculptures.
Continue to Visoki Decani Monastery, the most magnificent Serbian monastery and sightseeing.
The monastery is settled in the picturesque valley of the Bistrica river surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Prokletije mountain range.
One of the best-preserved Serbian monasteries of Byzantine and Western styles, represents the largest medieval church of the Balkans and is designated a World Heritage site.
Established in 1327, it also features over 1,000 compositions and several thousand portraits of religious character, making it the largest preserved gallery of Serbian medieval art.
See the white-and-pink exterior marble walls, and tour the monastery's dark, mysterious interior adorned with lavishly decorated portals and windows. You'll also have the chance to view the 14th-century wooden iconostasis and look for King Stefan's sarcophagus.
The monastery is characterized by the eastern Orthodox Byzantine and Romanesque combination of styles, recognized as a significant artistic representative of the Balkans.
Drive through city of Djakovica to Prizren. Accommodation at hotel. Overnight in Prizren.
Prizren. Breakfast at hotel and check out. After check out we will start city tour of Prizren a small charming town from the period of Ottoman Empire, situated in the south of Kosovo.
Situated on the banks of the river Bistrica with a backdrop of the Sharr Mountains, Prizren is located on the border of Albania and Kosovo. It is a very culturally diverse town, with mosques sitting next to Orthodox churches, and it has a prominent Turkish community where Turkish is widely spoken. The town centre has the feel of a bazaar, where modern shops blend in with small craft boutiques, delis and sweet shops.
Drive to Albania and arrival in Kruja. Kruja, the picturesque birthplace of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg (Albanian national hero) is a town located between Mount Kruje and the Ishem River, the city is only 20 km north from the capital of Albania, Tirana.
Kruja became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state in the middle ages, the Principality of Arber. Later it was the capital of the Kingdom of Albania, while in the early 15th century Kruja was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, but then recaptured in 1443 by Skanderbeg, leader of the League of Lezhe, who successfully defended it against three Ottoman sieges until his death in 1468.
In Kruja we will visit the Ethnographic museum and attractive Medieval Bazaar. Here, you can find Albanian craft products such as embroidered items, carpeting, silver objects, copper, alabaster, filigree, traditional clothing, antiques...
Drive continues to Tirana. In Tirana (Capital City of Albania) we will visit the Museum of History, Skenderbeg Square, Et’hem Bey Mosque, The Clock Tower, Government Buildings as well as area of Blloku, the restricted area during the Communist time.
Today, in this area you will find the best restaurants, coffe bars and pubs. Accommodation at hotel. Overnight in Tirana.
Tirana - Breakfast at hotel. Check out and morning departure to Berat. In 2008 it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is a rare example of a well-preserved Ottoman town. It is one of the country’s most beautiful towns, and is known as the «Town of a thousand windows».
Visit the Castle, built on a rocky hill on the left of the Osumi River. Berat Castle in its current condition, even though it has sustained some damages, remains a magnificent site which attracts a great number of visitors.
The population of the fortress was Christian, and had more than 20 churches (most of which were built during the XIII century).
There is also one mosque, built after the Ottomans conquered Berat. The only reamains that survive today are parts of the foundations and the base of the minaret.
Visit the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, which has been restored and today is the musem dedicated to Onufri, the greatest fresco painter of the sixteenth century in Albania.
Here you can find art works made by Onufri, his son Nicholas, and other fresco painters. There can be found a large number of icons and silver works with religious themes (sacred vessels, icons, silver book covers etc.).
After visit continue to Durres where it will be presented the history of this ancient city. Durres the second largest city of Albania is the most ancient city and one of the most economically important as the biggest port city.
The legend says that it was founded by Epidamnos, the Illyrian King of the area, who called it by his own name and named the port area after his grandson - Dyrrah.
The visit give us a comprehensive view about the history of this 2700-year-old town, which started, as a Greek colony becoming the largest harbor on the Adriatic coast during the rule of the Roman Empire.
The walking tour in Durres will include the Venetian Tower of 15th century, featuring the close cultural and architectural ties the city had with Venice during the ottoman rule. We proceed along the Byzantine walls from the 4th and 5th century.
The second stop will be the Roman ruins of a 2nd century amphitheater one of the largest amphitheatres in the Balkans. This site associated with the names of Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, it has been one of the most important entertaining attractions.
The tour through the galleries will take us to the byzantine church, with its mural mosaics, dating from 14th century.
In the late afternoon, return to Tirana. Overnight in Tirana.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the Tirana airport. Tirana International Airport is located 17 kilometers outside Tirana and it is easy to reach via the new access road from the Tirana - Durres motorway. The journey from Tirana to the airport takes 20–25 minutes, depending on traffic.
End of program and services.
June, July, August and September → 1.070,00 € per person
March, April, May and October → 987,00 € per person
January, February, November and December → 861,00 € per person
What’s included in Touch of Orient Tour:
– 9 Overnights in comfortable 4**** hotels – all overnights are based on double rooms with private WC/shower. Single Rooms are available with payment of a «Single Supplement».
– Meals: 9 breakfasts
– Transportation with high tourist class coach, minibus or van
– Boat ride in Perast and Skadar Lake (Montenegro)
– Ride with horse-drawn carriages in Sarajevo (Bosnia&Herzegovina)
– Tasting of smoked ham, cheese and wine in Njegusi village (Montenegro)
– Entrance fee for all sites included in the program
– Adria Line Tour Manager and Local Guide
– Tour organization and logistics
What is not included in Touch of Orient Tour:
– Other meals, drinks, personal expenses
– Personal travel insurance
– Flights before and after the tour are not included in the tour price. You can organize your flights separately at any point
The trip is coordinated by a tour leader from Travel agency Adria Line, who is responsible for the logistics of the tour – updating you on the daily itinerary, arranging your passport checks at the border-crossings, handling the check-ins at each hotel, communicating with the driver and arranging the local guides as scheduled in the program. Detailed information about the countries and some of the sites will be presented by the local city guides included in the itinerary.
Customize Your Tour
If you would like to customize this tour (eg. add new places, extend your stay, change the hotel category, add other meals, adjust the program to the airport on which you plan to come…), please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make an offer that fits your wishes.
You decide where you will land, what to visit, how long to spend and what type of accommodation suits you best. We do our best to respond to requests within two business days during our regular business hours.