Landlocked Kosovo, ringed by mountains, is Europe’s newest country and full of delights. It only declared independence in 2008, and in 2019 we journeyed back to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first tour there in 2009. A few years on, the country continues to thrive, and we’re thrilled to take travellers back to explore. Based in the beautiful Ottoman town of Prizren, this small group tour will introduce you to the beauty and history of Kosovo.
Arrive in Tirana. Meet your guide and transfer to Prizren. Stop for dinner en-route and late check-in to the hotel. (D)
This morning, explore Prizren. Though often overlooked by tourists, savvy-travellers in the know consider Prizren to be the jewel in Kosovo’s crown. On the banks of the River Bistrica this beautiful Ottoman town is nestled in a picturesque valley with the impressive Sharri Mountains on one side and a hilltop citadel on the other. It is packed full of pretty mosques, tekkes and local artisan shops, and quaint town houses line the narrow, cobbled streets. Spend today exploring the central part of Prizren including the Sinan Pacha Mosque, the iconic 16th-century Stone Bridges, the Old Hammam, Halveti Tekke, our Lady of Ljevis Church and the Catholic Cathedral. In the afternoon, head over to the nearby town of Rahoveci, where the surrounding countryside of gentle sloping hills, covered in vineyards, cause many visitors to coin a likeness to Tuscany. Here visit a private family-run vineyard for lunch and enjoy an afternoon wine tasting session. Spend your evening at leisure. (B,L)
After breakfast, drive to Pristina, the capital and largest city in Kosovo. Pristina is the world’s newest capital and is a cosmopolitan city with historic landmarks. Embark on a sightseeing city tour which takes in some of the city’s key highlights, and visit the Emin Gjiku Ethnographic museum, filled with ancient clothing, tools, weapons and handicrafts, to understand what life was like in Kosovo during the Ottoman period. After lunch, visit the ‘Marble Cave’ in nearby Gadime – an impressive karst limestone cave system only discovered in 1966 and much of which is still unexplored. Travel back to Prizren via Sharri Mountain, one of the highest mountains on the Balkan Peninsula and spend the evening at leisure in Prizren. Perhaps choose to take some time to relax before setting out to enjoy diner at one of the many outdoor cafes. (B,L)
Today’s first stop will be Gjakova, where you will enjoy a short walk through the old bazaar. Continue to the nearby UNESCO-listed Decani Monastery, located at the start of stunning Decani Gorge, alongside the crystal-clear River Lumbardhi. The monastery is often thought of as being the best preserved and largest church in the Balkans and was built between 1327 and 1355 by the Serbian medieval king St. Stephen of Decani. Although the buildings suffered damage during the Turkish occupation, the beautiful 14th-century frescoes have been completely preserved. Today a young brotherhood of 30 brethren live in the monastery, continuing to live their lives by the centuries-old-traditions. In the afternoon, drive north-west to Peja, the second largest town of Kosovo. Visit the Patriarchal Monastery which consists of four churches. Return to Prizren and spend the evening at leisure. Perhaps take a walk up to ruined castle of Prizren for a spectacular view of the town below. (B,D)
Regent Holidays is a specialist travel company offering hand-picked, alternative holidays to off-the-beaten-track destinations. Formed in 1970, they have extensive experience in providing unconventional, unusual and interesting trips abroad as well as a reputation for increasing access to, and challenging perceptions of, many of the world’s less-travelled countries.
Each Regent Holidays specialist is an expert in their area of the world, ensuring that each tour has been constructed from a deep knowledge of the intricacies of a country – from the best landscapes, secret local spots, places to find wildlife, mouth-watering delicacies and cultural immersion.
The company has been a pioneer in new travel destinations since it was founded, as one of the first UK tour operators to provide trips to Russia, Ukraine, the Stans, Albania, North Korea and Greenland. It was also the first UK tour operator to offer holidays in Kosovo following its independence from Serbia.
Regent Holidays has continually provided outstanding outlets for traveller’s hunger to step out of the ordinary and experience something like never before.