UNKNOWN BALKAN PHOTO TOUR
Balkan Photo tour -12 DAYS IN 4 COUNTRIES: ALBANIA, MACEDONIA, KOSOVO, MONTENEGRO
Balkan Photo tour -12 DAYS IN 4 COUNTRIES: ALBANIA, MACEDONIA, KOSOVO, MONTENEGRO
Images from the
Balkan Photo tour
Day 1 – Skopje Airport Arrival – Macedonia capital (30 min)
We will welcome the group at Skopje Airport and drive towards the capital of Macedonia,
Skopje. SKOPJE is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Macedonia. In its 2,500 years of existence, Macedonia’s welcoming capital city has had many different embodiments. All of them from Roman to Byzantine, from Ottoman to Yugoslav – have left permanent traces on the city as is evidenced by Skopje’s varied architecture and its mix of cultures. Yet in addition to its strong historical associations, Skopje is a forward-looking city offering an abundance of modern amenities and attractions.
Here one can find sleek modern hotels above the cobble stoned Ottoman streets,
outstanding neoclassical homes right around the corner from grand old Yugoslav-era
buildings, red-bricked Byzantine churches and rounded Turkish mosques, chic cafés,
shopping malls, and brightly colored new offices. Overnight in Skopje. Beginn of our Balkan Photo tour.
Day 2 – Skopje – Ohrid 3 hrs – Unesco Town, Old town by the lake
The immortal city of Ohrid is the sublime lakeside point that for many represent the culmination of the Macedonian experience, a kingdom of light and water, a repository of ancient ruins from Macedonia’s earlier kingdoms. Ohrid’s major attractions are all located
within a remarkably concentrated area, among the narrow streets of the old town.
Highlights: Ohrid Old Town, churches & monasteries, Photo shooting in a Boat ride in Ohrid Lake, Capital city of Macedonia, The Memorial House of Mother Teresa
Day 3 – Ohrid – Berat Unesco town with ancient inhabited castle
Today on our Balkan Photo tour we visit a new country – ALBANIA
In the heart of the Mediterranean, on the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, Albania is fast becoming one of the world’s most interesting getaways. Still relatively unspoiled by globalization, tourists will notice an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures – making this European country truly unique. Home of both Mother Theresa, Albania today offers not only beach and mountain holidays, vibrant city life, and relaxing outdoor cafe culture, but also something increasingly rare in Europe these days, a glance into a culture that is all it’s own. Berat forms a wonderful combination of eastern and western cultures, costumes and traditions. The architecture of the old houses, with large windows that overlook the town, is the first thing that impresses the visitors. First stop: the Citadel. It overlooks the river and the modern city as well as the old Christian quarter across the river. The citadel can be reached by a steep road and is still inhabited. Inside the walls, you can visit ruined mosques and several medieval Orthodox churches, all intact and with restored frescoes and icons. Photo shooting the landscape from above the
castle and the unique architecture of the city. In the afternoon a special meeting with the locals in a family house to try their homemade meals, and photo shootings in traditional costumes.
Highlights: Berat UNESCO Heritage, Berat Inhabited Castle, Photo shooting from the castles top and the unique architecture, Photo shooting the locals with traditional folk costumes, Visit a local family house, photo shooting and degustation of homemade meals
Day 4 – Berat – Apolloni Archeological Site (2 hrs) – Durres beach (1 hrs) – TIRANA (30 min)
APOLLONIA is one of the most well known archeological sites in the country and recently a national archaeological park. Visit the Odeon and the courtyard of the Monastery where
there is a Byzantine-style church believed to have been built in the 14th century.
DURRES is the biggest seaport of the country, located in just 34 km from Tirana. Durres is the most ancient city in Albania, with almost 3000 years of history. The city is home to many ancient archeological sites and the Amphitheater of the Roman Emperor Adrian is the most known, also the second biggest amphitheater in the Balkans. Photo shooting stops in the sandy beach area of Durres before transferring to the capital city, Tirana.
TIRANA – is the capital and the largest city of Albania and enjoys a beautiful setting between the ranges of Dajti mountain from one side and the coastal plains on the other one. Walking tour of Tirana ( 3 – 4 hours) including the main square, the bazaar, the old Tabake Bridge, Ethem Beu Mosque, the clock tower, and a few panoramic spots to photo-shoot the city from above.
Highlights: One of the main archeological sites of the country, The sandy beach areas of Durres, The colorful modern capital, Tirana
Day 5 – Tirana – Kruja Historical Town 1 hrs – Northern city of Shkodra and its castle 1
KRUJA is notable from its stony streets and traditional buildings. The tour begins with
the visit to the Castle, the citadel of the National hero, Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg. It is built 548 m above sea level and gives a spectacular view of the surroundings. After the visits, it’s time to get closer to Albanian traditions and lifestyle, by visiting the bazaar. It is one street of shops, with wooden buildings and a mixture of cafés and small souvenir and antique shops. Photo shooting local artisans working on the handmade souvenirs.
SHKODER is one of the oldest and most historic places in Albania, as well as an important cultural and economic center. Shkodra is also the center of Albanian Catholicism as well as a fine example of tolerance between religions, with the city comprising all the major faiths found in Albania. Photo shooting the religious sites,
the castle Rozafa, and the panoramic view from the castle top.
Day 6 – Shkodra – 2.5 hrs Ferry Trip in Koman Lake – Valbona Valley
This morning on our Balkan Photo tour we take the ferry to Lake Koman, leading to Valbona Valley. A boat trip on Lake Koman is often described as one of the greatest boat rides of the world, passing through magnificent and rugged fjord-like mountain scenery. The boat trip passes between 1000m-1500m high mountains and through a series of deep gorgeous and interconnected lakes, with hardly any signs of human activities on the shores – though occasionally the ferry will stop to let off some hardy peasants, who proceed to climb up the steep hills to their hidden villages.
Day 7 – Valbona Valley, panoramic landscapes and welcoming locals
The wild landscape is somewhat reminiscent of the Norwegian fjords and is a dramatic highlight of any trip in Albania. Arriving in Valbona Valley you will enjoy stunning nature, fresh air, high and characteristic mountain peaks, lakes, numerous water resources, forests, mountains, flora, and fauna, which all provide conditions for true eco-tourism experiences. Agricultural and livestock products or the Valbona Valley National Park and area are completely natural and entirely organic. Food is generally fresh and homemade Photo shoot the landscape of the village, the waterfall area, and in the evening meet with the locals in their traditional costumes, with a homemade dinner in a local house in the village.
Day 8 – Valbona Valley – Gjakove 2 hrs – Peje 1 hrs
Leaving the Valbona Valley, we enter Kosovo, in the 500 year old GJAKOVA, where we will enjoy the visit in the Old Bazaar, the 16th-century Mosque of “Hadum Aga” the old bazaar shopping area, Ethnographic Museum and the grain market with handicrafts.
Afterward, we have the special opportunity to visit a Bektashi “Tekke” and hear stories of the spiritual leader of the Tekke. (The Bektashibranch of Shiite Islam.) After lunch, we reach our next destination, Decan. It is a small town located in the Deçan Gorge and visits the Deçan Monastery and alongside the River Lumbardhi. In Decan we will visit the Monastery, built between 1327 and 1335 by the Serbian King St. Stephen. It still preserves the beautiful 14thcentury frescoes. Today the tradition continues. 30 monks live in the monastery. In the afternoon we drive to Peja where we spend overnight.
Day 9 – Peje – Kolasin 3.5 hrs
After breakfast, a long drive through the magnificent natural beauty of the North West
Kosovo and Montenegro takes us to Kolašin which is Montenegro’s most famous ski
resort. many nice views on our Balkan Photo tour. Photo shooting in the national park and the lake Biograd!
Day 10 – Kolašin – Podgorica 1.5 hrs –Budva 1 hrs
We will take a driven tour of the capital Podgorica, and continue on another panoramic drive toward Budva where we spend the overnight. Budva, 2,500 years old town, is rich in historic monuments. The Old town lies on a small peninsula and represents a treasure chest of cultural heritage. The Budva coast is 21 km long with 17 beaches. It is among the most beautiful coasts in the world and this is the place where we will have arranged dinner. **Along the way we can arrange a photo shooting stopped in the Skadar Lake, the biggest lake in the Balkan, interesting spot for bird photography Photo shooting in the narrow stony roads of the old town in Budva and panoramic view of the city from above its fortress
Day 11 – Budva – Kotor – Lovcen – Cetinje 2.5 hrs – Budva 1 hrs
After breakfast drive to visit the Old City of Kotor well-preserved urbanization typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor a UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site”. Lovcen park, one of the most popular national parks in Montenegro. It lies between Kotor, Cetinje, and Budva. The route via the serpentine road up from Kotor is one of the most scenic in the country and will give you stunning views of the Bay of Kotor all the way. It does have 25 hairpin turns! Lovcen is best known for housing the mausoleum of Montenegro’s favourite son, the poet, bishop, and leader Petar Petrovic Njegos. You can visit the mausoleum via a long staircase of 461 steps and you’ll also be rewarded here with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains for your efforts. Drive further to Njegusi Village. Njegusi is famous for being the birthplace of Njegos, but it’s also famous for its prosciutto ham and smoked cheeses. As you drive through the town you’ll see signs and stalls offering tastings and sales of ham, cheese, honey, and rakija – the local brandy. Further, continue to the old town of Cetinje, Cetinje is a town of immense historical heritage, founded in the 15th century. It became the center of Montenegrin life and both a cradle of Montenegrin and an Eastern Orthodox religious center. It is because of its heritage as a long term Montenegrin capital that it is today the honorary capital of Montenegro.
*Overnight in Budva if the return will be from Podgorica Airport
Day 12 – Departure from Montenegro
Free time and transfer to the airport for the return flight.
End of our Balkan Photo tour.
April-June / September-October
11 Days / 10 nights
Landscape, people, nature, culture,
Berat, Apollonia, Durres, Tirana, Shkodra, Valbona Valley
Kolašin, Podgorica, Budva, Kotor, Lovcen
Ferry ticket and entrance fees in all mentioned sites
You will organize your own travel to Skopje and from Budva.
Balkan Photo tour
Tim has devoted his life to photography. Photography has been his long-held hobby and great passion. Tim has always felt drawn to the power and beauty he finds in nature. Tim has been leading photo tours and workshops in Iceland and many different countries over the years. He has had the world as his workplace. He is Photographing everything from the dramatic landscape in Iceland, to the native people in the remote corners of the world and the culture that is unique to each country.
His journeys have taken him around the world in pursuit of memorable travel experiences and the creation of compelling images. His work has been featured in international publications. His images and stories are shared on various internet outlets. As a driven artist, professional, entrepreneur, and adventurer, Tim is eager to share his passion, knowledge in photography, and travel through the tours he designed on his own, or through his partnership with professional photographers from around the globe. Tim and his family lived 11 years in Iceland. Now they are based in the Czech Republic.