Arrival at Sofia Airport. Guided sightseeing tour of the city centre. Visit to Alexander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and a primary tourist attraction; the Parliament Square, Russian Church, St. George Rotunda, St. Sophia Church, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the 6th century, the National Theatre, former Royal Palace, the Presidency, etc. Free time in the city centre and main shopping area around Vitosha Boulevard. Optional dinner at traditional restaurant with folklore music and dances. Overnight in Sofia.
Breakfast. Departure for Rila Monastery - the most beautiful and most important monastery in Bulgaria. Visit to the monastery church of the Nativity of the Virgin. Among its greatest valuables are the wooden iconostasis, some 14th and 15th century icons, wall paintings, made by the famous artist Zahari Zograph. Walk around the monastery - Hrelyo’s Tower, the old kitchen, and the history museum. In the afternoon visit to Melnik – the smallest town in Bulgaria. Walking tour including Kordopulova Museum-House, the church and other sights from the period of the National Revival. Optional wine tasting in Melnik. Departure for North Macedonia. Arrival in Strumitsa in the evening. Accommodation and optional dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Strumitsa.
Breakfast. Departure for the famous Tikvesh wine region and the town of Kavadartsi. Wine tasting at Tikvesh Winery. Departure for Bitola. Once most important trade center in North Macedonia, for which reason even today there are honorary consular representatives of France, Great Britain and Turkey, Bitola is known as the City of Consuls. Visit to the Revival church of St. Demetrius from 1830. Visit to the archaeological reserve Heraclea Lyncestis, where you can see one of the most important ancient cities on the territory of present-day North Macedonia. Drive to Ohrid Riviera. Accommodation and optional dinner in the hotel. Overnight in Ohrid.
Breakfast. Walking tour in the old town of Ohrid – tourist pearl of North Macedonia, city of 365 churches, part of the list of world cultural heritage of UNESCO. During this tour (approx. 3 hours) you will have the chance to see some of the masterpieces of Byzantine architecture and art on the Balkans: St. Sophia Church, Virgin Mary Peribleptos Church, St. John Kaneo Church, St. Clement and Panteleimon Church, the Ohrid collection of icons. Old town of Ohrid hides many other treasures too: the Ancient Theatre, Tsar Samuel’s Mediaeval Fortress, Robevi House – local museum, craftsmen workshops for production of paper, Ohrid pearls, wooden sculptures, etc. Free time in the town centre. In the afternoon – drive to St. Naum Monastery, located 27 km south of Ohrid, on the lakeshore. Founded in the beginning of 10th century by one of the patrons of this area, St. Naum, this monastery is considered to be sacred place by both local Christians and Muslims. Tour of the complex – Church of the Archangels, St. Petka Chapel. Boat trip to the 14th century church of St. Virgin Mary – Zaum, accessible only from the lake, where the oldest icon depicting St. Naum has been discovered. Return to the hotel and optional dinner. Overnight in Ohrid.
Breakfast. Departure for Albania. Visit to the port town of Durres – second largest city in Albania and an important summer resort, once it was the first Greek colony on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Sightseeing tour including the Ancient Theatre. Drive to the capital city of Tirana. Panoramic sightseeing tour of Tirana - Skanderbeg Square, named after the Albanian national hero, Ethem Bey Mosque, the Clock Tower, the Palace of Culture. Accommodation, optional dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Breakfast. Departure for North Macedonia. Walking tour in Struga - the town of poetry - St. George Church, Miladinovi Brothers Memorial House, Old Bazaar. We continue to Tetovo, one of the largest cities in North Macedonia, for a visit to the famous Colored Mosque – one of the emblems of Ottoman architecture in North Macedonia. Arrival in Skopje in the evening. Accommodation, optional dinner at the hotel and overnight in Skopje.
Breakfast. City tour in the centre of Skopje: Macedonia Square, Mother Theresa’s Memorial House, St. Clement of Ohrid Church, Skopje Old Market, Skopje Fortress. Visit to the church of St. Spas – one of the most beautiful examples of Balkan Baroque. Visit to Vodno Mountain and St. Panteleimon Monastery with its wonderful mediaeval frescos. Optional dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Skopje.
Breakfast. Transfer to Skopje Airport and departure.