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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited

Albania , Bulgaria , Macedonia , Romania

Cities Visited

Bucharest , Ohrid , Plovdiv , Skopje , Sofia , Tirana

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for Romania
Depart for Romania

DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Bucharest
Arrive in the bustling Romanian capital of Bucharest known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and glorious Belle Époque buildings. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager followed by a light dinner. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 4 PM
Overnight: Bucharest
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Friday - Prahova Valley, Sinaia Monastery, Peles Castle
Heading north along the Prahova Valley arrive at the elegant mountain resort of Sinaia. Here, visit the impressive 17th century Sinaia Monastery named after St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai. The monastery features religious treasures and beautiful frescoes. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the romantic Peles Castle, former summer residence of Romania's first royal family. The castle is a masterpiece of German Neo-Renaissance architecture. Afterward, return to Bucharest for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Bucharest
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Saturday - Discover Bucharest, Palace of Parliament, Village Museum, Special Dinner & Guest Lecturer
The day begins with a view of Bucharest's Arch of Triumph, an impressive replica of the French Arc de Triomphe, built to commemorate the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in WWI. Then, as you travel along Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), the city's oldest and most fashionable street, gaze at some of the most stunning architecture, including the splendid National Museum George Enescu housed in the Cantacuzino Palace, one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest, named a historical monument. Its sumptuous entrance in Art Nouveau style, emphasizes the luxury and refinement of the era. Next, at historical Revolution Square, understand how the last Communist dictator in Eastern Europe was overthrown. Visit the gigantic Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon) with over 3,000 rooms. Then, tour the Village Museum, a fascinating open-air museum showcasing traditional Romania village life with authentic thatched houses, barns, churches and other structures. Get a glimpse into how people lived and worked in rural Romania over the centuries. Tonight, a special dinner featuring a renowned guest lecturer who enlightens you on Romania's turbulent history
Overnight: Bucharest
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Sunday - Veliko Tarnovo, Tsarevets Hill, Arbanassi, Choir Concert, Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Depart Bucharest for Veliko Tarnovo, the 'City of the Tsars', where houses cling to the cliffs of the River Yantra, making it one of the country's most beautiful towns in Bulgaria. Here, take the guided walking tour that features views of the Tsarevets Hill, the inescapable symbol of the city. This reconstructed medieval fortress dominates the skyline and is one of Bulgaria's most beloved monuments. The former seat of the Tsars, it boasts the remains of more than 400 houses, 18 churches, a royal palace and more. Continue to picturesque Arbanassi where you have lunch of traditional Bulgarian favorites. After exploration of the quaint village, arrive at the 17th century church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Listen to the magical voices of a local choir, surrounded by magnificent frescoes. The day ends in Plovdiv, a millennial town with a tumultuous history. Dinner is at the hotel
Overnight: Plovdiv
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Monday - Plovdiv's Old Town, Sofia
A delightful exploration of Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria. Walk along the cobbled streets lined with art galleries and bohemian cafes. In the Old Town, lovingly restored to its mid-19th-century appearance, admire the Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Bulgarian antiquities. Visit the impressive Roman Amphitheater* best preserved in the Balkans, now used for performances. The day ends in Sofia, Bulgaria's lively capital, with dinner at the hotel and overnight*In case the Roman Amphitheater is closed, the Ethnographic Museum will be visited instead
Overnight: Sofia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - National History Museum, Alexander Nevsky Church
In magical Sofia, the morning tour starts with panoramic views of golden Ottoman domes dotting the skyline. Visit the National History Museum with its exhibits of Bulgarian lands spanning 8000 years and glimpses of unique gold and silver treasures dating back to Thracian times. View St. Sofia Church and across the square visit the impressive neo-Byzantine golden-domed Alexander Nevsky Church, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Next, view the 4th century Roman Rotunda, a red brick building transformed into the present day St. George Church, and St. Joseph's Cathedral. Leisure time this afternoon to stroll the lanes of the city on your own and perhaps linger at one of the lovely cafes along Oborishte Street. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Sofia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Wednesday - Rila Monastery & Museum, Skopje (Republic of North Macedonia)
After breakfast, ascend to the 10th century Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered one of the greatest centers of literacy and religion in Bulgaria, playing a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language. Visit the monastery's church and view the astonishing frescoes, painted by famous Bulgarian artists. Continue with a visit to the monastery's museum. Afterward, descend from these lofty peaks and drive to Skopje, the capital of the Republic of North Macedonia, accented by a historic hilltop fortress overlooking monumental modern architecture. Tonight, savor a delightful dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Skopje
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Thursday - Discover Skopje's Old Town
In the morning visit the moving Holocaust Museum that commemorates the all but lost Sephardic Jewish culture of North Macedonia through a range of photos and video displays. Explore the historic streets of this eclectic capital's Old Town, stopping at Macedonia Square, Porta Macedonia, the 15th century Turkish Stone Bridge and the 6th century Byzantine Fortress, that dominates the skyline of the city. At the House of Mother Teresa, you're reminded that the famed Catholic nun of Calcutta was born here in 1910. Perhaps time to bargain for wondrous treasures at the old Turkish Bazaar. The afternoon is free for individual pursuits
Overnight: Skopje
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Friday - Ancient Stobi, Wine Tasting & Vineyard Lunch, Lakeside Ohrid
The ancient city of Stobi is revealed today. Lying in a fertile valley, this ancient city was part of a vital trade route and was the crossroads of civilization with a rich legacy of palace ruins, bright mosaics, and religious relics. Tour a local winery along with a tasting of the fine wines, followed by appetizers including assorted local Galichnik cheese, smoked meats, and lunch. Afterward, on to the town of Ohrid, a jewel of the Balkans, set beside a pristine lake and topped by a medieval castle. During your leisure time here, discover the picturesque architecture and verdant crystal-blue waters of the lake. Perhaps walk along the waterfront, and relax on a secluded beach. Tonight's dinner is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Ohrid
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Saturday - Bay of Bones, Museum on Water, Boat Cruise on Ohrid Lake
A unique visit to the Bay of Bones on the southern coast of the Gradiste Peninsula. This pile dwelling ancient settlement built on a platform is a Museum on Water, an exceptional archaeological complex, and the first of its kind in the entire region. Afterward, drive along the shores of Lake Ohrid to reach St. Naum Monastery with its world-renowned priceless icons and religious paintings. Afternoon tour of the Old Town named the "Jerusalem of the Balkans." A town of vast history and heritage, Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop at the statue of St. Clement, before continuing to the lower gate, the National Museum, Church of St. Sophia, the Roman Amphitheatre, view St. Clement's Church and Tsar Samoil's fortress. Later, relax on a boat cruise on Lake Ohrid. Dinner is at a popular restaurant on your last night in Macedonia
Overnight: Ohrid
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Sunday - Elbasan, Tirana (Albania), Skanderbeg Square, Mosque of Et'hem Bey
This morning, depart North Macedonia for Albania, stopping en route at Elbasan, one of the largest cities in Albania in the central part of the country. Later, arrive in lively and colorful Tirana, the beating heart of Albania, known for its vibrant café culture and funky public art. Visit famous Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania's national hero. Next, head to Tirana Castle (Toptani Fortress) for olive oil tasting. Learn about the olive oil production process, and the significance of this industry in Albanian culture. Pause at the small and elegant Mosque of Et'hem Bey, one of the oldest buildings left in the city before proceeding to the Clock Tower and the towering statue of G.K. Skanderbeg. Continue with a visit to Bunk'Art 2, an ex-nuclear bunker that is now a museum, providing a unique insight into Albania's history during the Cold War. Tonight, have dinner together
Overnight: Tirana
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Monday - Kruje's Skanderbeg Museum, Ottoman Style Bazaar
Step back in time on your visit of Kruje, the hero Skanderbeg's hometown where 500 years ago he defended the town from the Ottomans. At the Ethnographic Museum, see a typical 18th century Ottoman house that once belonged to an affluent family. Afterward, a stroll through the Ottoman style Bazaar, the best place for souvenir shopping with its lanes of antiques, gems, and handicrafts. Watch as women use looms to make kilims (rugs). A spirited end to the day as you attend a performance of a local musical group who will serenade you with Albanian tunes. The rest of the day is at leisure. At your dinner tonight, bid farewell to your Tour Manager*June, July and August Departures: The Ethnographic Museum visit will be replaced with visit of National Historic Museum Skanderbeg Kruje due to site closure
Overnight: Tirana
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Tuesday - Depart Albania
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights New York-Bucharest, Tirana-New York
    Other departure cities available.
  • 12 nights First Class accommodations
  • 3 nights Bucharest
  • 1 night Plovdiv
  • 2 nights Sofia
  • 2 nights Skopje
  • 2 nights Ohrid
  • 2 nights Tirana
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 26 meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Coffee and tea with all meals
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Tour Highlights

    Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Tour romantic Peles Castle, former summer residence of Romania's first royal family
  • Special dinner with a guest lecturer who enlightens you on Romania's turbulent history
  • At a beautiful 17th century Bulgarian church, attend a performance by an esteemed local choir
  • Walk along the cobbled streets of Plovdiv, a millennial town with a tumultuous history
  • Ascend to the 10th century Rila Monastery, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore the historic streets of Skopje’s Old Town, stopping at the House of Mother Teresa
  • Wine tasting and vineyard tour in Stobi, a city in the Republic of North Macedonia at the crossroads of civilization
  • Discover lively Tirana, the beating heart of Albania, with its vibrant café culture and funky art
  • Visit Kruje, where the hero Skanderbeg defended Albania from the Ottomans
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

    Health and Safety Protocols for Gate1 Tours

    At Gate 1 we take your safety and security very seriously. We have a strong network of tour managers, local offices, ground operators and colleagues which help us stay informed in all the destinations that we operate. We closely monitor local situations which enable us to make the operational decisions necessary to keep our tours running safely. Millions of people travel the world each year and experience enjoyable and safe trips but crimes against people and property are sadly a fact of life. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Please remember that you have the same responsibility for your personal safety and possessions as you do at home. It is essential to prepare for a safe and healthy travel abroad. Therefore before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the US Department of State at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for up-to-date travel advice on the countries that you are visiting. The website provides useful information on subjects such as safety and security information, health precautions and medications, health insurance and additional tips for traveling abroad. If you do not reside in the United States, we recommend you check your government's travel advisory website for any country you will be visiting. We recommend that you review the safety guidance that may be provided by us, our agents or suppliers, either before you go or when you arrive in your destination. You can also find helpful tips on our website in the "Trip Preparation" tab of each of our tour packages. We do know that in-spite of careful planning, things can sometimes still go wrong, so rest assured, we will be there to help and support you.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Accommodations

    InterContinental Athenee Palace Bucharest
    This deluxe hotel is located in the heart of the city close to the Romanian Athenaeum and former Royal Palace.

    DoubleTree by Hilton Plovdiv Center
    This first class hotel is located on the Mosaic Path, minutes away from the city center of Plovdiv.

    Grand Hotel
    This deluxe hotel is located right in the heart of Sofia, overlooking the City Garden.

    Skopje Marriott Hotel
    This superior first class hotel is located in the heart of Skopje.

    Hotel Unique Resort & Spa
    This first class hotel is set between Lake Ohrid and the Galicica mountain.

    Rogner Hotel
    This superior first class hotel is situated along Tirana's major boulevard.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    4.3
    Accommodations
    4.1
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.5
    Repeat with Operator
    4.4
    Value for Money
    4.2

    Ratings based off 6881 reviews about Gate1 Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

    Gate 1 has provided good service and good deals for us. We look forward to our next trip with Gate 1.

    I cannot say enough about Gate 1! Gate 1 is the only travel operator I travel with.

    This was my fourth trip with Gate 1. Every trip has been above my expectations.

    Gate One guides are so efficient and knowledgeable,

    The Radisson Hotel was way above expectations and all others were very nice. The bus with wifi and charging ability was very nice and allowed me to share the trip with others while traveling. The food was extremely good and many more choices than expected. All flights, pickups and delivery were accomplished on time and with ease. The bag handlers were always there and made everything run smoothly with little effort on my part.

    Gate1 trips match their advertisements Their Tour Managers are always very attentive and helpful.

    Gate 1 always provides a wonderful service. It is just as they say it will be. So much to see.

    I did not worry at all before and during my trip because I always have good experience both with Affordable tour and Gate 1.

    We love Gate 1 tours. Excellent quality and value. Perfect itineraries.

    I have found Gate1 to be very reliable and a company that offers a variety of itineraries.

    This is our 7th or 8th trip with Gate 1. We have never been disappointed. Our guide, itinerary and travel experiences are outstanding!

    Gate1 was exceptional in every way. From the itinerary to the tour Director, everything was exactly as advertised, or better. Would definitely go with Gate1 again and highly recommend.

    Best trip ever Gate 1 exceeded my expectations

    We have traveled with Gate One 8 times and always had a good experience.

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