Travel from Dubrovnik to Istanbul via Skopje, Athens and Gallipoli

From Croatia’s blue seas and delectable cuisine, to Turkey’s epic history and whimsical East-meets-West culture, everything in the middle blends into a perfect mixture of exciting tradition and contemporary style. An adventure through the ages, laze on white sandy beaches, explore ancient historical ruins, visit quaint fairytale towns and hike through postcard-like scenery. Afterwards, dine on goulash, mousaka and kababs with a hearty supply of vino, ouzo and riki for the ultimate gastronomic experience.

Start
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Countries
Albania,
Croatia,
Greece,
Macedonia,
Montenegro,
Turkey
Themes
Explorer
Code
ZMSTC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
413kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Stroll through bustling Placa in Dubrovnik
  • Cruise the Kotor fjord
  • Explore the impressive Et’hem Bey Mosque in Tirana
  • Hike to Car Samoil’s Castle in Ohrid
  • Meander around picturesque Lake Prespa
  • Educate yourself in Ioannina’s wealth of museums
  • Hit the beach in Levkas
  • Take a history lesson in Athens
  • See the future in Delphi

Itinerary

Arrive in the scenic seaport town of Dubrovnik and admire the Renaissance and Gothic architecture while walking through the winding marble streets. Explore the charming Old Town, stately Placa Stradun and Sponza Palace, or just kick back with the catch of the day at an alfresco restaurant and soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere.
Walk around the city walls of Kotor for incredible views of the bay, or perhaps take a cruise out to the impressive Kotor fjords. Afterwards, explore historic Grubonja Palace, the Northern Gate and St Tryphon Cathedral while ambling through the streets of this charming coastal gem.
Experience the unique mixture of cultures and customs that make up Tirana, Albania’s capital city. Admire the colourful Italian and Turkish inspired architecture mingling with somber Soviet remnants, and the impressive Et’hem Bey Mosque, an important monument signifying the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Take a cable car ride up Dajti Mountain for breathtaking views of the city below.
One of the oldest human settlements in the world, Ohrid has a wealth of historic sites and religious monuments to discover. Wander the vibrant Old Bazaar and pick up a bargain or two on a guided orientation walk. Then relax on a scenic boat ride on the turquoise waters of Lake Ohrid.
Take a step back to Ottoman time while in Skopje, Macedonia’s political and cultural centre. Visit the Daut Pasha Hamam, meander through Macedonia Square and cross the iconic stone bridge to the city’s Old Bazaar. Enjoy a Balkan wine tasting experience in the Tikvesh wine region, or make the humbling journey to the Holocaust Museum.
Hike around the mountains of stunning Lake Prespa and explore the ruins of abandoned villages dotting the landscape, or just relax on the shore of this incredible freshwater lake.
With astounding archaeological sites, islands of extreme beauty, bucolic villages and some of the freshest food you’ll ever taste, Ioannina has something to please even the most seasoned of travellers. Take a daytrip to nearby Zagoria villages, before reveling in the lively local night-life.
Rest and relax in the rumored birthplace of the Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Follow the tourist trail to the blue waters and soft sands of Porto Katsiki beach, or perhaps hike or cycle around the surrounding mountains.
Named after the goddess of wisdom, Athens is a melting pot of awe-inspiring historic sites and modern cosmopolitan culture. Visit the ancient Acropolis, the National Gardens, the dramatic Temple of Olympian Zeus and the original Olympic Stadium.
Catch a glimpse of your future, take an adventure into Greek mythology and explore timeworn ruins at the Delphi Museum. Be sure to check out the Temple of Apollo, which according to legend, was the centre of the Delphic oracle and seat of Pythia.
Climb into the heavens, just like monks have done for centuries, to explore an ancient monastery precariously placed atop a 400-m-high rock formation.
Explore the Byzantine churches and Ottoman-style architecture in the historic town centre before taking an optional tour to the Spilia tou Drakou – or Caves of the Dragon. See stalactites and underground lakes in this mysterious natural wonder.
Relax in the splendour of what is regarded as the cultural capital of the country, with shopping, dinner and a show. With Ottoman influenced cuisine, be sure to indulge in bougatsa (a rich breakfast pastry) and a frappé coffee first thing in the morning.
Chill out on one of the many pristine beaches and enjoy the local catch of the day. Alternatively, explore Kevala’s fascinating ancient heritage, dating back to the seventh century BC.
Visit the scenic village of Porto Lagos to view rare bird life, before exploring the surrounding forests or the lagoons of the Thracian Sea.
Explore the beautiful, yet sobering, coastline of this once bloody battlefield.
Turkey’s capital is a chaotic splendour. Head to the Grand Bazaar, the incredible St Sophia Church and the iconic Blue Mosque. Grab a quick bite of doner kebab or kofte before losing yourself in a maze of pumping nightclubs and bars.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
9 breakfasts1 dinner
Transport
Metro, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi
Accommodation
Homestay (1 night), Hotel (25 nights)
Included activities
  • Archeological Museum of Philippi
  • Boat trip and Ali Pasa Museum
  • Dajti Mountain Cable Car
  • Day Trip to Zagoria Villages
  • Guided Tour of Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Meteora Monastery Visits
  • Pella Day Trip
  • Saint Nicholas Chapel Excursion
  • Wine Tasting

Dates

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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