Perfectly located at the southern entrance to the Adriatic sea and on the western coast of the Balkans lies Albania where you will spend the first two weeks. Incredible mountain scenery, ancient Greek and Roman Fortresses, with pristine beaches and crystal blue waters that standout from the best in the region, Albania is still an underexplored treasure.

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With over 300 sunny days per year and a refuge for 91 endangered species, Albania is a nature lover’s paradise. Likely to remain a destination of choice for the more adventurous travelers from Europe and further afield, it is the ideal location to kick off the tour.

With stars like Dua Lipa and Rita Ora having Albanian roots, a new light has been shone on Albania and its authentically cool capital city, Tirana. Eli Rama, Albania’s current prime minister can be thanked in part, for planting thousands of trees to line the city streets, as well as empowering student volunteers to paint the cities buildings in bright colours and bold patterns and enlisting European artists and architects to create civic spaces unlike any others you will have seen. 

With a cafe culture to rival the best of them, one that does not include Starbucks – it is also home to the fastest and cheapest internet in Europe, green energy at the centre of government policy.

As for the locals, there is the culture of ‘Besa’ to keep you safe in Albania, an honor code among Albanians that vows to help those who need it. Apart from Tirana, we will take time to hit the beaches on the Albanian Riviera for at least one weekend. En route to Skopje, we will stop off for one day and night at Lake Ohrid, which straddles the border between the southwestern part of North Macedonia and eastern Albania.