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.


Arrive in Tirana and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Boka Hotel or similar. No guided arrangements nor meals are included today.

(2.5 hours travelling time approximately)

Start the day exploring Albania’s capital. We visit Skanderbeg Square, dedicated to Albania’s national hero, the Mosque of Ethem Bey, one of the oldest buildings in Tirana, and the Archaeological Museum among other sites. We then head to Kruja, one of Albania’s most important towns due to the part it played in resistance against the Ottomans. Visit the Skanderbeg Museum and castle as well as the old bazaar. Today lunch will be included and the opportunity to eat some traditional food in Kruja. Later we continue to Shkoder which is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and was once a capital of the Illyrian state. We visit its old bazaar, cathedral and mosque before heading to Rozafa castle for spectacular views of the city, lake and the surrounding mountains. Overnight Hotel Alis or similar (BL)

(3 hours travelling time by vehicle, 2.5 hours by boat)

Today we journey from Shkoder to Valbona via Koman Lake. The 2-hour trip on Lake Komani was called “One of the Great Boat Trips of the World” by the Bradt Guide, and certainly the scenery is stunning. The Drin River was flooded along part of its most mountainous passage to create the lakes in this region. The journey takes you along glassy clear water, twisting and turning through narrow passes and past silent mountain peaks. After the completion of this memorable leg of the journey we continue to Valbona. Overnight Hotel Margjeka or similar (BD)

(3 hours driving time approximately)

We cross the border into Kosovo and drive to Junik where we visit the famous Kullat e Junikut (Junik Tower). The towers are castle-like houses with a special architecture built in white rock, where Albanians have for centuries sheltered to survive wars and conflicts. Then continue to Decan Monastery (UNESCO). The medieval church houses some of the most preserved fresco decoration in the Balkans and the grounds are also a delight. Continue to Gjakova which lies on the banks of the River Erenik where we take in the sites of the old town including the old bazaar and clock tower. Overnight Hotel Çarshia e Jupave or similar (B)

(2 hours driving time approximately)

We continue to the city of Prizren, probably the most attractive town in Kosovo with superbly preserved buildings from the Ottoman era. We explore the city of Prizren; an absolute highlight of any visit to Kosovo to see the old houses of the old town in low light as the sun sets is a delight. Overnight at Hotel Centrum or similar (B)

(2.5 hours driving time approximately)

Drive to Pristina. Explore the city visiting its main sites such as the Orthodox Church and the Carshi Mosque, dating back to the early 15th century. We then head to the ruins of Ulpiana, an ancient Roman city that was once one of the most powerful in the Balkans. Overnight Begolli Hotel or similar (B)

(3 hours driving time approximately)

This morning we visit the spectacular Gracanica Monastery, one of Kosovo’s most beautiful sites and containing some impressive frescoes. We continue to Macedonia stopping first at Gadime Cave. We cross the border and head to its capital Skopje. Upon arrival we visit some of the most important parts of the town, including the old Ottoman market, the monastery of Sveti Spas and the ancient Kale Fortress which dates back to Illyrian and Roman times. Overnight Ibis Hotel or similar (B)

(3.5 hours driving time approximately)

After breakfast continue to Mavrovo National Park, the biggest in Macedonia covering 73,000 hectares. We follow the Radika River along the way and stop at monasteries and churches en route. We then drive to the beautiful town of Ohrid (UNESCO). On arrival we will 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 Belvedere or similar. (B)

Today is at leisure for you to enjoy the beautiful town of Ohrid at your own pace or relax before the second half of the tour. Overnight Hotel Belvedere or similar (B)

(2 hours driving time approximately)

Before crossing back into Albania we visit Sveti Naum Monastery, a truly beautiful site with impressive views over Lake Ohrid across to Albania.  We then continue to the ancient village of Voskopoja where we explore the village including the Monastery of St. John the Baptist with its original structure from the 15th Century. Continue to the historic town of Korce and explore the town including the Old Bazaar. Overnight Hotel Cathedral or similar. (B)

(4 hours driving time approximately)

Today we take an amazing drive though spectacular scenery to Permet. The road is bumpy in parts but the views of this remote part of Albania are incredible. We visit the village of Benja situated close to Permet. Spend a relaxing afternoon at the famous thermal waters of Benja which form 6 beautiful small natural pools. Each pool can be used for the treatment of different ailments. The water temperatures range from 25°C – 28°C. The Ottoman Bridge of Katiu is the frame of this wonderful place and lies over the Langarica’s river Overnight in Permet – Hotel Alvero or similar. (B)

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

We continue our scenic drive to Gjirokastra. At Gjirokastra, visit the local museum, housed in the building in which the former communist dictator Enver Hoxha was born, as well as the pre-Ottoman era citadel which affords spectacular views and houses an impressive range of artillery and also bizarrely a reconnaissance US Air Force plane that was forced to land after losing its way in the 1950’s. Gjirokastra is a pretty town with traditional houses and cobbled streets spilling down the sides of the mountain. Overnight Hotel Vila Sharm or similar. (B)

(6 hours driving time approximately)

This morning we travel to Syri i Kalter (Blue Eye National Park). Continue to the ancient city of Butrint, Albania’s most important archaeological site and given special status by UNESCO. Spend time exploring this impressive site with the added bonus of it being situated in a beautiful natural setting. The walls, basilica, acropolis and theatre at Butrint are truly impressive. We then drive towards Albanian Riviera, via some picturesque seaside villages and narrow roads overlooking the sea. Our final destination is the National Park of Llogara situated at over 1000 metres above sea level and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Overnight Hotel Alpin or similar. (B)

(4 hours driving time approximately)

Visit the ancient city of Apollonia, dating back to the 6th century BC. We then drive to Berat, one of the oldest inhabited regions of Albania and with a superbly preserved historic centre that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit its citadel which contains old churches, mosques and museums before heading to a vineyard to sample some of the excellent local wines. This evening we enjoy a traditional dinner in this historic town.  Overnight Hotel Onufri or similar. (BD)

(2.5 hours driving time approximately)

Enjoy a morning tour of Berat. We visit the citadel which contains numerous churches and an interesting museum, and has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visit the Iconographic Museum of Onufri located inside the castle walls. We then continue to Durres and visit the largest Roman amphitheatre in the region, dating back to the 2nd century which we will visit. Drive back to Tirana for our final night where you will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Boka Hotel or similar. (BD)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

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

(4.5 hours driving time approximately)

After breakfast we journey towards Montenegro. After the border crossing we stop at Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the Balkan Region. The lake is known for its diversity of flora and fauna. Enjoy a boat ride on the lake and spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery before continuing our drive to Budva. Before reaching the old town we stop for a panoramic view of the fortified island of Sveti Stefan, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway and of the most iconic views in Montenegro. This afternoon we spend time in the old town of Budva and you will also have time for a walk on the promenade. Overnight in Budva in a centrally located mid-range hotel. (B)

(5 hours driving time approximately)

This morning we drive through the mountain road, known as the serpentine road, and further stop in the village of Njegusi, an authentic village located on the slope of Mount Lovcen at an altitude of 900 m above sea level. The village is also significant for its will-preserved traditional folk architecture and its contributions to Montenegrin cuisine. Here we enjoy degustation of homemade cheese and hams, with local wines in a local restaurant. Continue to Cetinje, the old Royal Capital of Montenegro and the official residence of the President of the country. Cetinje is a town of immense historical heritage, founded in the 15th century, with numerous points of interest, with Cetinje Monastery being the main draw. Later after some time to explore we return to Budva. Overnight accommodation in Budva. (BL)

(2 hours driving time approximately)

Travel along the stunning Boka coast observing the small towns and settlements along the way. We stop at the mediaeval town of Perast. Weather permitting; we take a boat trip to visit the Our Lady of the Rock church, one of the most beautiful examples of baroque architecture on the Adriatic. The adjacent museum is very small but focused on the rich local maritime history with a fascinating collection of local art crafts. We continue to Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we spend time enjoying the atmosphere of the old streets and stop at some points of interest including the Cathedral of St Tryphon. Overnight accommodation in Budva. (B)

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Single Supplement from £265

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

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.

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