Taste of the Balkans

Bay in Kotor, Montenegro
Skanderbeg Square, Tirana, Albania
Fruit market, Kotor, Montenegro
The City Walls, Kotor, Montenegro
Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Encounters Travel

An 8-day Balkans small-group tour from Athens to Split, taking in Tirana, Budva, the Bay of Kotor, Dubrovnik and Split

Our new 8-day Balkans tour shows off the top historical and cultural sites in Greece, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. We start off in Greece's capital city of Athens, famed for its ancient landmarks such as the Acropolis, Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Zeus, which we'll visit during our time here. After spending some time in the capital, we'll make our way to the beautiful scenery of Meteora, which is home to 24 mountaintop monasteries, six of which are still in use, making it one of the most important monastic complexes of the Eastern Orthodox faith. From Greece, we travel to Albania for short visit, traveling to Gjirokastra before we spend some time in one of Europe's sunniest cities - Tirana. You'll have free time to relax or do some exploring on your own. After spending some time in Albania, we'll drive to Montenegro, visiting the coastal town of Budva, as we explore the Church St. Trojica, home to the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava. From Albania, we head north up the Adriatic coast, stopping to explore the old towns of Budva and Kotor in Montenegro. The ancient cobbled town of Kotor sits on the edge of the Bay of Kotor, a spectacular fjord-like series of inlets and bays beneath towering cliffs and hills. After spending time in Albania, we make our way to Croatia to the legendary walled city of Dubrovnik, which provides breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and great food and drink. The tour finishes with another scenic drive up the Dalmation Coast, for one final stop at the town of Split, where we'll visit its 4th century-old Diocletian's Palace - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Athens Acropolis, Meteora clifftop monasteries, ancient towns of Budva & Kotor, spectacular Bay of Kotor, walled city of Dubrovnik, scenic Adriatic & Dalmatian coast, Diocletian Palace, Stari Most Bridge, Sarajevo bazaar, Belgrade
  • Croatia
  • Albania
  • Montenegro
  • Europe
  • Dubrovnik
  • Greece
  • Split
Tour Types
  • Singles
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • Art
  • Cultural
  • History
  • Scenic
Day 1: Welcome to Greece. Airport to hotel transfers included
This Balkans tour starts in the ancient city of Athens. On your arrival in Athens airport (ATH) our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of the city. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and have a first look around. Extra nights in the Athens hotel are available on request.
Athens hotel

Day 2: Exploring Athens
The first full day of our Balkans tour takes us on a journey through the city of Athens, visiting the marble Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first Modern Olympics in 1896 before we make our way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was built over several centuries starting in 174 BCE and only finally completed by Roman emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. also visit Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament buildings, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Constitution Square.
Later in the day, we'll make our way to the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the Parthenon - which was built between 447 and 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC.
Athens hotel

Day 3: Visiting Meteora
The next stop on the Greek leg of our Balkans tour takes us to Meteora - one of the most significant complexes of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Home to 24 mountaintop monasteries, six of which are still in use today, it gives you a perfect opportunity to take in the beauty of nature and man's desire to connect with the divine.
After spending some time at Meteora, we make our way to the village of Kalambaka, which is found at the base of the imposing Meteora rocks. You can explore the town’s old picturesque district, with narrow cobblestone streets and traditional houses, some of them built right next to the rocks.
Kalambaka hotel

Day 4: Travel to Albania
After spending some time in Greece, we'll make our way to Albania. Along the way, we'll stop at the Ottoman town of Gjirokastra - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - nestled in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, 300 metres above sea level.
After spending some time in Gjirokastra, we'll travel to Tirana - the capital city of Albania. If you're looking to spend some fun in the sun, this is the place to be. Tirana is ranked eighth among Europe’s sunniest major cities via an average 2544 hours of sunshine annually.
You have the rest of the day to relax at your hotel or explore the Tirana independently.
Tirana hotel

Day 5: Exploring Tirana. Travel to Montenegro
We start the day with some city exploring on foot, as we visit Tirana's Clock Tower, the Et'hem Bey Mosque, St Paul's Cathedral and the National Historical Museum. Afterwards, we'll travel to the Piramida before we visit the National Art Gallery and Mother Teresa Square.
Later in the day, we'll say our final goodbyes to Albania, as we make our way to Montenegro's coastal town of Budva. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, Budva is also well known for its sunkissed beaches and buzzing nightlife. Our journey through Budva will take you to the Church St. Trojica, home to the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava.
Today will end with a short drive to the ancient fortified and cobbled town of Kotor, where we'll spend the night.
Kotor hotel

Day 6: From Montenegro to Croatia
We'll say goodbye to Montenegro this morning, as we cross the border into Croatia. Before leaving we'll explore Kotor, famed for its picturesque Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll explore its old town and city walls before visiting the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon which was built in 1166.
From Kotor, we'll cross the border into Croatia in the direction of Dubrovnik, which is well known for its distinctive old town and massive stone walls built in the 16th century.
We'll head out on a guided tour through Dubrovnik on foot, visiting the Big Onofrio's Fountain, built from 1438-40 by Onofrio della Cava as part of a water-supply system that involved bringing water from a well approximately 12 kilometres away.
Later in the day, you have some free time at the beach to relax and unwind, taking in the spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.
Dubrovnik hotel

Day 7: Exploring Split
After spending some time in Dubrovnik, we'll journey to the town of Split found along the Dalmation Coast. Split is popularly known for its white-sand beaches as well as the Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century by a Roman emperor and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We'll have a chance to explore the southern section of the Diocletian's Palace, passing through its magnificent Bronze Gates as we make our way to the Vestibul of the Emperor's Palace, The Mausoleum, St. Dujam's Cathedral, Cathedral Treasury, Temple of Jupiter and St. Martin's Church.
We'll finish the day with a visit to the fruit square before stopping at the Venetian castle, Milesi Palace and the Monument of Marko Marulic.
Split hotel

Day 8: Your Balkans tour ends. Hotel to airport transfers included
Unfortunately, all good things do come to an end. If your flight back home is later in the day, you have some free time to do some last minute sightseeing and shopping before we transfer you to the airport to board your flight back home. You can add extra nights to the tour if you want a little more free time in Split. Please let us know and we'll arrange it for you.
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in approx. 3 and 4-star level hotels
  • All transport and transfers in AC non-smoking vehicles
  • 24-hour airport arrival (Athens) & departure (Split) transfer service
  • Services of a professional local tour guide for all sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (10 breakfasts)
  • Tipping kitty (except driver & guide)

Dates Price Single Availability
24-Aug-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
07-Sep-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
21-Sep-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
05-Oct-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
19-Oct-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
02-Nov-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
16-Nov-2020 for 10 Nights Visit Website
03-May-2021 for 10 Nights
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17-May-2021 for 10 Nights
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31-May-2021 for 10 Nights
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14-Jun-2021 for 10 Nights
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28-Jun-2021 for 10 Nights
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12-Jul-2021 for 10 Nights
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26-Jul-2021 for 10 Nights
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09-Aug-2021 for 10 Nights
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23-Aug-2021 for 10 Nights
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06-Sep-2021 for 10 Nights
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20-Sep-2021 for 10 Nights
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04-Oct-2021 for 10 Nights
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Touring with Encounters Travel

Encounters Travel specialise in creating imaginative, adventurous small group tours all around the world for the open minded traveller. They are always looking for new ways to add value and excitement to your travel experiences so that you see more than just the usual tourist spots, as well as having great fun at the same time. Their tours are designed to give you the best possible experience in each country, whilst at the same time providing good value for money without making compromises.

You will see and learn about local cultures and historic sites while enjoying some more adventurous activities along the way. They also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of their tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each destination. Their escorted group tours are hosted by specially selected experts who bring their knowledge and skills to add an extra dimension to the tour.

Encounters Travel are committed to travelling responsibly, and leaving a positive impression and impact on the countries through which they travel.




tour details

This tour is operated by Encounters Travel

10 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Suitable For: Over 9s
Meals:7 breakfasts
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