Albania, Kosovo & Macedonia Tour
Hidden Europe

Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia – Hidden Europe Tour a 16 day Small Group Tour.

Tucked away in a little visited corner of Europe lie Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, three charming and delightful countries that few people know much about.

Wander through Ottoman citadels and travel through traditional villages where the rhythm of life has changed little over centuries. Visit spectacular Roman ruins, long abandoned cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and wander through picturesque historic towns with lively bazaars.

This Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia small group tour takes in the highlights of this neglected part of the continent.



For years Albania was a closed society, ruled by the iron fist of Communism, but since the end of the Cold War it has been showing curious travellers its many charms, while as Europe’s newest state, Kosovo is best known for its terrible war that it suffered in the last years of the 20th century – not the best image for outsiders to have of it.

The location of these countries between some of Europe’s most important empires has left them well endowed with a wealth of attractions from the Greek, Roman and Ottoman eras. The region is home to a wealth of old Ottoman architecture which sits side by side with elaborately decorated Orthodox churches and from more recent times the civic buildings of Communist Yugoslavia, as well as impressive Roman ruins and well-preserved historic towns.

This part of Europe is also blessed with incredible scenery with imposing mountains, pristine lakes and traditional villages tucked away in pretty valleys. But as with many countries it is the people who leave perhaps the most lasting impression – having come through recent strife there is an overwhelming sense of optimism about the people that cannot fail to raise your spirits. Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia are some of the last frontiers of Europe, complex and fascinating destinations imbued with history.

Discover them for yourself on a Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour which takes in the highlights of each. You may also wish to extend your stay in the Balkans with a scenic journey through the enchanting nation of Montenegro.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness 
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Start the Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour when your arrive in Tirana and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending on flight schedules there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Austria or similar

(Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

Today we explore Albania’s capital, visiting Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to the country’s national hero, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, one of the oldest buildings in Tirana, and the archaeological museum. Afterwards we head to Kruja, important due to its historic role in resistance to the Ottoman occupation. Here we visit the Skanderbeg Museum, the castle and the old bazaar. Lunch in Kruja offers an opportunity to try some traditional specialities. Later we continue to Shkoder, once a capital of the Illyrian state. There’s time to explore the old bazaar, cathedral and mosque before heading to Rozafa Castle for spectacular views of the city, lake and surrounding mountains. Overnight Hotel Tradita or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours. Approximate journey time by boat: two-and-a-half-hours)

Today we travel from Shkoder to Valbona via Lake Koman. The two-hour ferry journey is described as, ‘One of the Great Boat Trips of the World’ by Bradt’s Albania guidebook. Certainly, the scenery is stunning. Between 1979 and 1988 the Drin River was dammed flooding its most mountainous passage to create today’s lakes. Through glassy, clear water, the ferry twists and turns through deeps gorges and past silent mountain peaks. Leaving the ferry at its terminus of Fierze, we continue by road to Valbona. Overnight Hotel Margjeka or similar. (BD)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

This morning we cross the frontier into Kosovo, driving to Junik where we visit the famous Kullat e Junikut (Junik Tower). These strong houses display a characteristic style of architecture, constructed at the end of the 18th century using white rock, they have sheltered Albanians through many conflicts. Later we continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Decan Monastery. Here, among beautiful grounds, we’ll find some of the best-preserved frescoes in the Balkans. Afterwards we drive to Gjakova on the banks of the River Erenik, arriving in time to explore the town’s Old Bazaar and clock tower. Overnight Hotel Çarshia e Jupave or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

A highlight of the Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour, Kosovo’s wines are little-known. However, today we visit a local winery, tour the cellars and taste the produce. You will be pleasantly surprised. Afterwards we drive to Prizren, probably the most attractive town in Kosovo, known for its well-preserved Ottoman buildings. Sunset views over the town’s old houses as golden light catches the rooftops are a particular highlight. Overnight at Hotel Prizren or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast we drive to Pristina, arriving in time explore the capital’s main sights, including Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church and Carshi Mosque, the earliest building in the city, dating from the early 15th century. Later we head to the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient city once one of the most important Roman centres in the Balkans. Overnight Begolli Hotel or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

This morning we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sights, containing impressive frescoes. Afterwards we continue to the frontier with Macedonia, stopping en route at the impressive and only partly explored Gadime Cave. Crossing the border, we drive to the capital city of Skopje. Upon arrival a city tour includes the Ottoman market, the monastery of Sveti Spas and the ancient Kale Fortress, dating from Illyrian and Roman times. Overnight Hotel Aristocrat Palace or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast we drive through Mavrovo National Park, at 73,000 hectares it’s the largest protected area in Macedonia. Following the Radika River, we stop at monasteries and churches en route. Continuing to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ohrid, on arrival we explore its mixture of western and oriental architecture, including the Orthodox Cathedral, the 11th Century church of St Sofia and the Roman amphitheatre. Overnight Hotel Villa Sofia or similar. (B)

The day is free to explore the beautiful town of Ohrid independently and relax before the second half of the tour. Overnight Hotel Villa Sofia or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

Before crossing back into Albania we visit Sveti Naum Monastery, a truly atmospheric site with impressive views over Lake Ohrid to Albania. Having crossed the border we continue to the historic village of Voskopoje. Here we visit the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, dating from the 15th century. Afterwards we drive to the town of Korce and explore the Old Bazaar. Overnight Hotel Regency or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today we drive though spectacular scenery to Permet. The road might be generously described as bumpy in parts but the views offered over this remote part of Albania are incredible. We visit Benja, close to Permet, relaxing at the village’s famously efficacious natural thermal pools where water temperatures range from 25°C – 28°C. Later we briefly call in at the nearby Ottoman bridge of Katiu, over the Langarica River. Overnight Hotel Permeti or similar. (B)

Please note: Hotel Permeti hotel is quite basic, but comfortable enough for a one-night stay and its location is very central. Rooms have private bathrooms.

(Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)

From Permet we continue our scenic drive to Gjirokastra, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the Ottoman architecture that populates cobbled streets spilling down the mountainside. On arrival we visit the local museum which occupies the building where Albania’s former communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, was born. Afterwards we head to the pre-Ottoman era citadel which as well as affording spectacular views houses an impressive range of artillery, and bizarrely a USAF reconnaissance plane forced to land in 1957 after engine failure. Overnight Hotel Gjirokastra or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: six-hours)

This morning the Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour travels to Syri i Kalter (Blue Eye National Monument) where startlingly clear blue water wells up from over 50 metres amid the Bistrice River. Afterwards we continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Butrint, Albania’s most important Graeco-Roman archaeological site. Highlights here include an impressive basilica, acropolis and theatre. Later we drive along narrow coastal roads through picturesque seaside villages to the Albanian Riviera. Our destination is the Llogara National Park, situated at over 1,000 metres above sea level overlooking the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Overnight Hotel Alpin or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today we visit the ancient Greek city of Apollonia, dating from the 6th century BC. Afterwards we drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Berat, known as ‘the town of a thousand windows’ where the architecture of the town’s superbly preserved historic centre bears witness to several historic influences. Later we visit a nearby vineyard to sample some excellent local wines, afterwards enjoying a traditional dinner in the historic old town.  Overnight Hotel Osumi or similar. (BD)

 (Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

This morning we spend more time exploring Berat, including the mosques, museums and churches of the ancient fortified citadel, the latter containing notable remarkably preserved frescoes. We also visit the Iconographic Museum of Onufri located inside the castle walls. Later we drive to the coastal city of Durres visiting the region’s largest Roman amphitheatre, dating from 2nd century. Afterwards we head back to Tirana for our final night where we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Austria or similar. (BD)

The Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour ends today after breakfast when airport transfers leave to meet onward flights. (B)

The following days can be added on to the Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour to include an extension to Montenegro.

(Approximate driving time: four-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast we journey towards Montenegro, crossing the border and stopping at Lake Skadar, the largest in the Balkan Region, known for its exceptional biodiversity. We take a boat ride on the lake and spend time enjoying the scenery before continuing our drive to Budva. En route we stop to take in a panoramic view of the fortified island of Sveti Stefan, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, and one of Montenegro’s most recognisable images. We spend the afternoon exploring the Old Town of Budva, later taking a walk on the promenade. Overnight in Budva at a centrally located mid-range hotel. (B)

(Approximate driving time: five-hours)

This morning we drive the mountain route described locally as ‘the serpentine road’. We stop at the village of Njegusi, located on the slopes of Mount Lovcen at an altitude of 900m. The village is known for its well-preserved traditional folk architecture and its contributions to Montenegrin cuisine. At a local restaurant we taste homemade cheese and hams accompanied by local wines. Afterwards we drive to Cetinje, the old Royal Capital of Montenegro and the official residence of the country’s president. Founded in the 15th century, Cetinje has a rich historical heritage with numerous significant sights including Cetinje Monastery. Later, after some time to explore, we return to Budva. Overnight accommodation in Budva. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

After breakfast we drive along the Boka coast observing small towns and settlements along the way. Stopping at the mediaeval town of Perast, weather permitting, we take a boat to visit Our Lady of the Rock church, one of the most beautiful examples of baroque architecture on the Adriatic. The adjacent museum is small but houses a collection focused on maritime history including local arts and crafts. Afterwards we continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor and spend time enjoying its atmospheric mediaeval streets, visiting points of interest including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon. Overnight accommodation in Budva. (B)

The Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia tour ends today after breakfast when airport transfers leave to meet onward flights. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.

Single Supplement from £235

Return flights from London to Tirana start at £245. Contact us for a quotation.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Tirana costs from £42 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £60 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

If you have more time to spend to explore the Balkans, we offer an optional 4-day post tour extension to Montenegro. The price is GBP 735 per person, based on minimum two people joining. The single supplement is GBP 95.

We know that for many of our destinations flying cannot be avoided. But we believe that for some of our tours, taking the train is a practical, affordable and most of all a very enjoyable alternative. Even flying in just one direction will have a very positive benefit on the environment. To compare the emissions for your next trip take a look at this easy to use emissions calculator –

You can travel by train to join the Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia Tour. One-way fares from London to Tirana by train and ferry or vice versa start at £200.

Please note that the journey will normally involve an overnight stop in Milan. The cost of accommodation is not included. We can book a wide choice of hotels and will be pleased to provide further details.

For a quote to travel from a European city other than London please contact us. We will advise you of the options, including routes and fares.

Contact us for further details about how we can help you plan the perfect environmentally friendly addition to your holiday. As well as train tickets, we can arrange stopovers along the way, including hotels and guided tours.

If you prefer not to travel as part of a group then this tour can be arranged on a private basis. The price starts from £2995 per person based on 2 people travelling and sharing a room. Private tours with larger group sizes or a solo person can also be arranged – please contact us for details.

Undiscovered Destinations can also tailor a tour to your requirements in the Balkan region. Please contact Mark Huggins to discuss your requirements and to organise your perfect Balkan tour.

Kindly note that our Balkan Explorer group tour comprising Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia can be taken before the Hidden Europe tour for an even more in-depth look at the fascinating Balkan region.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia - Hidden Europe tour

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transport throughout
  • All accommodation
  • Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
  • Services of English speaking guide – small groups will be driver/guide
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)

In short, I loved this trip. I liked the small group, loved the guide, loved being able to see so many different places, meet people, be exposed to the local culture. I have already recommended it to all of my friends. This was my first trip with Undiscovered Destinations, but it will not be my last. I think it’s great value to great locations.


Nancy Gray, UK