IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
THROUGH GREECE, ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA
DAY 1 - DEPART USA
Arrive in Thessaloniki the next day.
Day 2 - THESSALONIKI
After the arrival to Thessaloniki airport you will be met by your TEO World Culture Tours guide and you will be transffered to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 – THESSALONIKI
After breakfast we will depart from the hotel for our Thessaloniki city tour. Thessaloniki, is Greece’s second largest city. The city was founded in 315 BC and it was named for a half-sister of Alexander the Great. It became an important trade hub during Roman times, and a morning walking tour will reveal its rich history of Roman, Greek, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences. We will also get a flavor of local life during stops at two of Thessaloniki’s bustling traditional markets. After lunch we will drive to visit historic Ano Poli (Upper Town), the only section of the city that managed to survive the devastating Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917. We will visit the award-winning Museum of Byzantine Culture to view its extensive collections of sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, and icons from the Byzantine period. After tour we will turn back to our hotel and then we will go out for our Welcome Dinner this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 4 - THESSALONIKI / MOUNT OLYMPUS / THESSALONIIKI
After breakfast we will drive to Mount Olympus, mythical home of the ancient Greek gods and site where Alexander the Great made sacrifices before setting off to conquer the world. We will also visit Monastery of St. Dionysius, a 16Fr-century monastery in the foothills of Greece’s highest mountain. Then, we will drive to the village of Litohoro, where we will have our lunch before returning to Thessaloniki.
Day 5 – THESSALONIKI / METEORA
After breakfast we will depart to Meteora, on the way we will stop at the village of Vergina, home to Aigai, the ancient capital of the Macedonian kings. Aigai has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as the sacred site contains the third-century BC tombs of King Philip II—father of Alexander the Great and other ancient royals, along with numerous items of daily life from the Macedonian era, housed in an underground museum. After lunch we will continue to Meteora. After arrival, we will check into our hotel followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6 - METEORA
After breaksfast we willl visit the towering rock formations of the region, on top of which are built the famous monasteries of Meteora. Meteora literally means "middle of the sky", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above" — etymologically related to meteorology) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. In Kalambaka we will visit a nearby icon-painting workshop, followed by leisure time to pursue individual discoveries. This evening, we will go to a local restaurant for dinner featuring an accompaniment of Greek music.
Day 7 - METEORA / ZAGORIA
After breakfast we will depart from the hotel and on our way we will first visit Metsovo Village which is one of the most well-known big traditional villages, situated in a wonderful part of the Pindos mountains. We will explore Metsovo’s picturesque town square and visit the Tositsa Museum. After lunch we will drive to Ioannina and discover this beautiful regional capital which is situated on the western shores of Lake Pamvotis. Ioannina was founded by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century AD, and was often referred to as the “Metropolis of knowledge” during Byzantine times. We will explore several of the architectural highlights of this ancient lakeside city before arriving at our hotel in one of Zagoria’s mountain villages. We will have dinner together this evening.
Day 8 - ZAGORIA / GJIROKASTER
After breakfast we will have time to explore Zagoria, We wil also visit Vikos Gorge. About 12 miles long and a depth of some 3,000 feet in spots, Guinness lists Vikos as the world’s deepest canyon. After lunch we leave Greece and cross the border into Albania. Our first destination will be an Albanian hillside town of Gjirokaster, whose collection of Ottoman-era mansions is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Gjirokaster is called the “City of Stone” for the distinctive stone roofs adorning its old homes. We will visit the 13Fr-century Gjirokaster Castle, the steep cobblestone streets of the Ottoman bazaar whose origins go back to the 17Fr century; and the traditional Ottoman homes of Old Town. We will also visit the Gjirokaster Ethnographic Museum. We will have dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 9 - GJIROKASTER / BUTRINT / GJIROKASTER
After breakfast we will depart from the hotel to explore the stunning remains of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint has been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. Following a period of prosperity under Byzantine administration, then a brief occupation by the Venetians, the city was abandoned in the late Middle Ages after marshes formed in the area. The present archaeological site is a repository of ruins representing each period in the city’s development. Lunch break will be in Saranda. Before returning you will have free time. Dinner is on your own this evening.
DAY 10 - GJIROKASTER / TIRANA
After breakfast we will depart from the hotel for Tirana, with a stop along the way through Albania’s wine-producing region to see the stunning collection of Ottoman-style homes of Berat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also visit Berat Castle which aronud 2,500 years old and situated high above the Osum River. Then, we will walk on the narrow streets of Old Town, and visit Mangalemi and Gorica to understand why Berat is called the “town of a thousand and one windows.” After that we will arrive in Tirana early this evening, and have our dinner at a local restaurant in Blloku.
DAY 11 - TIRANA
After breakfast we will have a walking tour of Tirana. Our walking tour will begin at Mother Teresa Square, named for the famous ethnic Albanian woman who was beatified by Pope John Paul II. We will see many of the city’s architectural highlights on our way to Skenderbeg Square, the heart of the city, where the mosque of Sulejman Pasha once stood and where today we will see the Ethem Bey Mosque, a national monument known for its beautiful minaret. We will also visit the archaeological treasures on display at the National History Museum. The rest of the day will be at leisure, lunch and dinner is on our own.
DAY 12 - TIRANA / OHRID
After breakfast we will depart from Tirana and make our way to Ohrid. Before crossing into the Republic of Macedonia, we will stop to visit Elbasan Castle. After lunch we will cross the border into Macedonia in the late afternoon. We will stop at Lake Ohrid’s Bay of the Bones to visit its “Museum on Water,” an open-air reconstruction of a Neolithic lake dwelling based on artifacts found on the surrounding lake bed. We will check into our hotel, you will have time relax and then we will go to a local restaurant for an included dinner featuring a performance of Macedonian folk music.
DAY 13 - OHRID
After breakfast we will explore the town of Ohrid which is Macedonia’s crown jewel. Set on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the lakeside town is one of Europe’s oldest human settlements—and the entire Ohrid region is listed by UNESCO as a Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. We will have a walking tour along the narrow streets of Ohrid’s compact Old Town, a blend of beautiful old churches, modern restaurants, and vibrant restaurants. And we will take in the panoramic views of the city and lake from the Church of Sveti Jovan at Kaneo, a 13Fr-century church set on a cliff overlooking Lake Ohrid, followed by a brief boat tour along the lake’s azure waters back to the town center. After lunch on our own, the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
DAY 14 - OHRID / SKOPJE
After breakfast we will depart for Skopje. Along the way, we will stop in Tetovo, where we will visit the city’s unique Šarena Džamija, an ancient mosque decorated with bright floral paintings. Then, we will drive to Matka Canyon, a deep mountain gorge surrounding a man-made lake formed by the damming of the River Treska. After lunch we will view some of the region’s stunning scenery during a boat ride around the lake, and learn about the region’s ecosystem at one of the many natural caves found here. Upon our arrival in Skopje, we will check in to our hotel and then we will head out for an included dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 15 - SKOPJE
After breakfast, we will explore the Macedonian capital on a walking tour. Our discoveries include the 15Fr-century Stone Bridge, the old Turkish bazaar, and historic Kale Fortress, the Ottoman-era castle and ancient ramparts that overlook the city. We will also visit the National Museum, a rich repository of Macedonian historical and cultural heritage. The rest of the day will be on your own at leasure. This evening, we will have Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant featuring a performance of traditional Macedonian music.
DAY 16 – SKOPJE / USA
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the United States, arriving the same day.
Tour Route & Program
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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT br> THROUGH GREECE, ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA
|Tour Number||TEO 10 / GAM||TEO 11 / GAM|
|Land Only||$ 4750||$ 4950|
|Single Supplement||$ 1825||$ 1875|
|USA(Fly) / Thessaloniki||Aug 19 Wed||Sep 09 Wed|
|Thessaloniki||Aug 20 Thu||Sep 10 Thu|
|Thessaloniki||Aug 21 Fri||Sep 11 Fri|
|Thessaloniki (Mount Olympus)||Aug 22 Sat||Sep 12 Sat|
|Meteora||Aug 23 Sun||Sep 13 Sun|
|Meteora ( Kalambaka)||Aug 24 Mon||Sep 14 Mon|
|Zagoria (Metsovo)||Aug 25 Tue||Sep 15 Tue|
|Gjirokaster||Aug 26 Wed||Sep 16 Wed|
|Gjirokaster(Butrint)||Aug 27 Thu||Sep 17 Thu|
|Tirana||Aug 28 Fri||Sep 18 Fri|
|Tirana||Aug 29 Sat||Sep 19 Sat|
|Ohrid(Elbasan Castle)||Aug 30 Sun||Sep 20 Sun|
|Ohrid||Aug 31 Mon||Sep 21 Mon|
|Skopje(Tetovo)||Sep 01 Tue||Sep 22 Tue|
|Skopje||Sep 02 Wed||Sep 23 Wed|
|USA(Fly)||Sep 03 Thu||Sep 24 Thu|