(EJ) – A Taste of Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro with Private Croatia Cruise – 10 May 2025

22 Days

The Balkans is a wonderful destination for travellers looking for a unique and immersive travel experience. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural scenery, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality, the Balkans is definitely worth exploring.

Join Annette on this Exclusive Travel with Me Journey and travel through Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro and experience this incredible part of the world before everyone catches on, and the crowds descend.

Our adventure will be followed by an 8 day cruise on our own privately chartered ship. Experience the wonders of Croatia on this classic route from Dubrovnik to Split. Explore the incredible Mjlet National Park, get lost in medieval Korcula, visit the phenomenal Blue Cave in Bisevo and wander the cobbled streets of Diocletian’s Palace in Split as you take in all that the remarkable Dalmatian Coast has to offer!

Read our Blog on Albania and Macedonia

  • Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia
  • 22
  • 10 to 31 May 2025
  • (EJ) Exclusive Journey

Overview

10 to 31 May 2025

10 to 24 May – Skojpe to Dubrovnik
24 to 31 May– Cruise Dubrovnik to Split (Luxury ship MS Adriatic King / 19 cabins)

Move down for Pricing Options

22 days – With optional extension after the cruise to Croatia and Slovenia 

This exclusive Travel with Me Journey will give you a taste of  Northern Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro before finishing with with a stunning cruise along the coast of Croatia, on our very own Luxury small ship on this classic route from Dubrovnik to Split. See below for Ship Information and Deck Plan.

CONDITIONS

  • Exclusive, fully escorted, Travel with Me Journey
  • Based on departure 10 May 2025
  • Maximum of 18 guests for Northern Macedonia/Albania land itinerary
  • A deposit of $1000 is required within 7 days of booking
  • A Further $2000 will be required by 30 Nov 2024
  • Finals are due 8 Feb 2025
  • Prices and availability are subject to change without notice
  • Amendment and cancellation fees will apply both from the Supplier and Travel with Me
  • Cancellations prior to final payment will incur loss of deposit and after final payment, all monies are non refundable. If we can find a replacement, then we will be able to provide a partial refund.
  • Please ask your Travel with Me, Consultant, for a competitive Travel Insurance quote as insurance is compulsory on all Travel with Me Exclusive and Private Journeys
  • Please ensure you have a current passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond the return date of your journey.
Price
From $9950 pp   Twin Share throughout with Lower Deck Cabin for Cruise
From $10790 pp  Twin Share throughout with Upper Deck Cabin for Cruise
From $13350  Solo throughout with Lower Deck Cabin for Cruise
From $14998  Solo throughout with Upper Deck Cabin for Cruise
Note
Pricing is based on 25 guests only on our cruise charter. This is to ensure we have more solo cabins for our Travel with Me members. Pricing is based on a minimum of 3 Twin Cabins on lower Deck and 3 Twin Cabins on the Upper Deck.
MS Adriatic King

Click here to see MS Adriatic King ship Info

Click here to see MS Adriatic King Deck Plan

Highlights

  • Day trip into Bosnia
  • Explore the city of Skopje including the old part of the city and the Skopje bazaar
  • Dinner at a local family winery
  • Dinner at a local family house in rural area and traditional Macedonian Village
  • Travel through the famous Tikvesh wine region and stay at Popova Kula Hotel and winery
  • Visit Stobi archeological site from 1st century and the biggest Roman site in Macedonia
  • 3 course lunch at local winery, Ciflik
  • Visit Ohrid and Ohrid Lake
  • Catamaran tour on Ohrid Lake with wine and cheese tasting
  • Explore Tirana – Capital of Albania
  • Visit the biggest Albanian port and coastal city of Durres
  • Tour to Berat – the City of 1000 Windows
  • Lunch and wine tasting at local Albanian Winery, Cobo
  • Stay Podgorica Montenegro
  • Visit Kotor old town in Montenegro
  • Local food experiences throughout
  • 7 night Croatian Cruise on privately chartered luxury small ship, MS Adriatic King (Built 2021)
  • Oyster Tasting in Ston
  • Visit Bisevos Blue Cave
  • Mljet National Park

Macedonia-Albania-with-Coastal-Cruise-May-2025-1.pdf Download

Itinerary

Transfer from Airport to Hotel, Overnight in Skopje.

Skopje – The City

Skopje was an Ottoman city for 5 centuries, which is evident in its magnificent architecture and sumptuous cuisine. It is divided by the River Vardar into the predominantly Muslim half north of the river, to the mostly Christian Orthodox side to the south of the river. There has been a large influx of foreigners since the NATO intervention into Kosovo, which adds to the cosmopolitan allure of the city.

Skopje is a lively, young city with lots of fun loving folk who like to be out, whether it’s at cafés, bars and clubs socializing with friends, or in active outdoor pursuits. Skopje has numerous dance clubs for a small city, which speaks to its spirit and energy. There are also a wide range of outdoor activities, from horse riding to rock climbing to keep every type of visitor entertained.

Skopje – Do & See

Skopje has blossomed into a thriving, stimulating city to explore, defining itself as an exciting tourist destination. Addresses in Skopje can be confusing. Often only street names are listed as building numbers. If a building number does exist, it is listed after the street name.

Accommodation: Next Door Park/Twin room

Breakfast at the hotel.

In a morning light walking tour in the city center with visit to the Old part of the city. We will start with Skopje bazaar with its unique Ottoman monuments and unique architecture. Several inns and Turkish baths (Hammams), together with the biggest mosque in Skopje from 15th century will be combined with visit to St Spas (the Holly Salvation) church, with its magnificent wood carved iconostasis from 19th century.

Light lunch at typical local restaurant in the old bazaar.

Afternoon visit to Skopje fortress and the new part of the town, with the main square with its statues and monuments, the Memorial house of Mother Teresa (born in Skopje in 1910)

Back to the hotel.

Dinner at local family winery Kartal near Skopje with wine tasting.

Overnight in Skopje

Accommodation: Next Door Park/Twin room

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Afternoon visit to Matka lake and gorge, in the vicinity of Skopje. Light walking to Matka lake and boat tour to theentrance of cave Vrelo, the deepest underwater cave in Europe.

Light lunch at restaurants Monastery cave in Matka.

Afternoon visit to rural area near Skopje and traditional Macedonian village. You will be invited for welcome coffee at home made sweets at local family house. The hosts will serve home made vegetable pie, local produced cheese and vegetables.

Coffee, sweets and light dinner at local family restaurant

Back to the hotel.

Overnight in Skopje

Accommodation: Next Door Park/Twin room

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day to so called “The youngest European country”. Visit to the Serbian orthodox monastery Grachanica – UNESCO site. Visit to Pristina, the Kosovo capital. Walking tour in the city center.

Light lunch at local restaurant Beska in Prizren

Afternoon drive to visit Prizren, a picturesque town with long history. Free time in the Prizren old bazaar and later on drive back to Skopje.

Dinner at Gostilnica Lira Skopje

Overnight in Skopje

Pristina – The City

Things are happening fast in Pristina, capital of Kosovo, one of the world’s youngest states, and although leisure tourism still seems to not have much affected this part of Europe, the situation is predicted to soon change, with no longer just expat employees of the EU or UN walking the city streets.

Kosovar cultural scene is now in transition from budding to full bloom, with art, music and sporting events held frequently, and exhibitions for visual arts showcasing works by international talents (most notably, the National Gallery of Kosovo’s “Muslim Mulliqi” and “Gjon Mili”). Cultural outings are easily broken up with frequent trips to the cafes – coffee is a serious affair in Kosovo, some maintaining that it is here that the world’s best macchiato is to be had – and at rock-bottom prices.

Accommodation: Next Door Park/Twin room

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Leaving Skopje and drive towards the central part of Macedonia and the famous Tikvesh wine region. On the way visit to Stobi archeological site from 1st century AD, the biggest Roman site in Macedonia. Stop at the local town of Kavadarci considered as center of the wine region.

Free time in the city center.

Afternoon drive towards Demir Kapija (Iron gate) small town with the biggest wine production and wineries.

Dinner with wine tasting at the winery restaurant.

Overnight in Popova kula hotel Demir Kapija

Accommodation: Popova Kula Hotel & Winery

Breakfast, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning drive towards Prilep with stop at coffee break in the city center. Later on transfer with minibuses to the unique monastery Treskavec, located high above the city, on the top of the local rocky mountains.

Light lunch at local restaurant in Prilep.

Afternoon drive towards the highest town in Macedonia – Krusevo. Visit to the Makedonium memorial

Accommodation at local hotel.

Dinner at the hotel restaurant – selected local traditional meals

Overnight in Krusevo

Accommodation: Hotel Montana – Krusevo

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive and visit to Bitola, the second biggest town in Macedonia. Visit to Heraclea Lynkestis ancient site established by father of Alexandar the Great, Philip II. Later on city tour by walking and visit to the old part with the bazaar, main square, Yeni mosque and the Clock tower.

Free time in Bitola city center.

Late 3 course lunch at the local winery Ciflik  accompanied with locally produced wine (1 glass of white and 1 glass of red wine + mineral water 0.5l per person included)

Back to Krusevo.

 

Accommodation: Hotel Montana – Krusevo

Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive towards the second biggest natural lake in Macedonia – Prespa lake. Visit to the unique Folklore museum at village Podmochani, the richest private collection of folk costumes and items in Macedonia.

Lunch will be at local restaurant Stara cesma at village of Ljubojno – traditional meals.

Afternoon drive across Galichica NP located between the two lakes, with panoramic views of both Prespa and Ohrid lake. Arrival in Ohrid and accommodation at the hotel

Dinner at local Etno restaurants Sv Petka Ohrid

Overnight in Ohrid

Accommodation: City Palace Hotel

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day tour in Ohrid visiting the most famous Ohrid sites. Walking tour starts in a morning with visit to the Holy area of Plaoshnik, St Sofia Cathedral church and the unique church of St John Kaneo.

1 Hour Catamaran Tour

“Ohrid by the lake side” with unlimited wine and cheese tasting (please note that catamarans are for maximum 12 persons, so group have to be divided in two catamarans)

Afternoon at leisure in Ohrid Dinner at local restaurant.

Dinner at Ana Marija with Panoramic view of Ohrid

Accommodation: City Palace Hotel

Breakfast, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning drive along the lake to St Naum monastery. Visit to the monastery established in 9th century. 30 min boat tour with row boats in the national park above the spring of Black Drim river.

Border crossing to Albania and drive on the Albanian side of the lake towards Tirana.

Free time for lunch is possible in St Naum or in the city of Pogradec, Albania

Upon arrival in Tirana accommodation at hotel.

Dinner at local restaurant in Tirana

Overnight in Tirana.

Tirana – The City

The 1992 elections in Albania ended 47 years of communist rule. The shaking off of the restrictive weight of the communist regime is expressed in the attitudes of freedom and fun found in the Albanian people, and the untamed colour schemes of the newly redecorated buildings here are a visual demonstration of this energetic rebirth. The oppression that stifled life here for years has been discarded and a “new lease on life” attitude is evident in this city.

Tirana itself is an enticing mix of stern Soviet Bloc cement buildings, Ottoman minarets and 1930’s Italian architecture, which juxtapose the wild colour schemes of newer buildings that have been redecorated by local artists. The religious buildings in Tirana are a wonderful mix of Christian and Muslim shrines, which speaks to its varied heritage and multi-cultural present. There is also a pulsing nightlife scene and Tirana is famous for its all night café culture.

Tirana – Do & See

Old Communist Regime relics have become popular tourist attractions and are a severe reminder of the recent past. Street signs are still up and coming as tourism develops here. If you ask a local for directions they are given in terms of landmarks. The addresses listed in this guide are often street names only – building numbers do not exist universally here.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Full day tour to Durres – the biggest Albanian port and coastal city, famous as the point where historical Roman route Via Ignatia was beginning its route on the Balkans. Later on visit to Kruje and the museum dedicated to the Albanianhero Skender bay.

Free time in Kruje

Afternoon drive back to Tirana.

Evening at leisure in Tirana

Dinner at local restaurant in Tirana

Overnight in Tirana.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera

Breakfast, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel. Full day tour to Berat, another UNESCo site of Albania. Visit to Berat castle and the famous Onufri museum. Lunch at local winery Cobo with wine tasting. Afternoon drive back to Tirana.

Overnight in Tirana.

Accommodation: Hotel Opera

Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at the hotel. Drive towards north part of Albania with stop at city of Shkoder. Border crossing to Montenegro and arrival at Podgorica. Walking in the city center. Free time for lunch at Shkodra. Dinner at Local restaurant in Podgorica.

Accommodation: Hotel Podgorica

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the hotel.

Drive to Cetinje and city tour by walking with local guide in Cetinje – the former Royal capital of Montenegro, with visit to local museums.

Drive from Cetinje towards Montenegro coastline, with panoramic views. Arrival in Boka Kotorska bay (UNESCO site) and visit to Kotor Old town.

Late Lunch at local restaurant Konak near Cetinje

Drive along the bay towards Croatian border.

Upon arrival in Dubrovnik – Drop of at Hotel

Accommodation at Hotel Lero with breakfast standard room

Accommodation: Hotel Lero

Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast at hotel

Check out of hotel and transfer to the MS Adriatic King, your home for the next 8 days

MS Adriatic King

Step aboard the MS Adriatic King, a new deluxe vessel that launched in the 2021 season. Boasting 18 air-conditioned cabins for a maximum of 38 passengers, it comes designed with modern amenities and an atmosphere making it feel like an exclusive yacht.

All cabins with come with LCD TV and private en suite facilities. Another feature of the vessel is that it offers laundry facilities on board (for a fee).

Relax on the spacious sun deck or covered outdoor lounge area whilst taking in the incredible sights of the Dalmatian coast. You’ll be spoilt for choice as you can enjoy a dip in the ship’s mini plunge pool, relax in the sauna, sit back in the jacuzzi or dive right into the ocean from the vessels rear swimming platform.

It is the perfect way to discover the wonders of the Adriatic!

11 Upper Deck Cabins – Windows that can open

8 Lower Deck Cabins – 2 large porthole windows, cannot open

Cruise Overview

Experience the wonders of Croatia on this classic route from Dubrovnik to Split. Explore the incredible Mjlet National Park, get lost in medieval Korcula, visit the phenomenal Blue Cave in Bisevo and wander the cobbled streets of Diocletian’s Palace in Split as you take in all that the remarkable Dalmatian Coast has to offer!

CHARTER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy a delicious Oyster Tasting in Ston
  • Marvel at the magic of Bisevo’s Blue Cave
  • Take in the breathtaking beauty of Mljet National Park
  • Guided walking tours with a local guide (Split, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Hvar) 
  • Whisper wireless audio devices for guided tours
  • Olive oil & wine tasting followed by a traditional “peka” dinner in UNESCO protected Stari Grad Plain
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers

 

Welcome dinner on board

Accommodation on vessel – MS Adriatic King

Dubrovnik – The City

Few places in the world master the mix of young and modern with the medieval and baroque better than Dubrovnik.

The city naturally revolves around the Old Town which is inside the city walls. There, you’ll find a blend of shops, cafes, bars, a fantastic atmosphere, and some very beautiful sights as you walk along down the Stradun. The squares in the Old Town are lined with bars or restaurants that have outdoor seating, giving the visitors, as well as the locals, a chance to relax with a drink in the sunshine.

Outside the city walls, modern Dubrovnik offers everything you would expect from a Mediterranean countr. Figs, lemons, oranges and peaches are to be found dangling from the trees in many of the gardens.

The town’s architecture displays very little evidence from the ‘Siege of Dubrovnik’ in 1992, during which more than two thousand bombs were dropped on the town. The only hint of this is the presence of all the newly tiled roofs in town.

Dubrovnik is well worth a visit any time of the year, but, naturally, spring and summer brings out the best in the city.

 

Breakfast, Dinner

Start the day with a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. You’ll be introduced to a beautifully preserved medieval city protected by 13th century fortifications and filled with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Once back on the ship you’ll continue on to Slano, a delightful picturesque town north of Dubrovnik. Lunch will be served on board and there’ll be a chance for a swim on the way as well.

Upon arrival in Slano take a short boat ride to Ston, an area known for its long tradition of oyster farming. You’ll even get a chance to visit an oyster farm and sample the oysters and mussels, perfectly paired with some local wine. Return to Slano where the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch

Early in the morning cruise to the island of Mljet, famous for its stunning National Park and densely forested landscape. After lunch on board and a swim stop, head for the town of Pomena where a visit to Mljet National Park is planned.

Discover the park’s two turquoise lakes, Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero, meaning Great Lake and Little Lake. Board a small boat and visit the islet of St. Mary to see the Benedictine Monastery built during the 12th century. This evening enjoy a Captain’s dinner aboard the ship. Swim Stop. A short swim stop in the stunning Adriatic for all guests before lunch.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey on to Korcula, the rumoured birthplace of the renowned merchant explorer Marco Polo. Enjoy a swimming break en route in one of the many secluded bays and coves in the Adriatic. Lunch will be served on board.

In the afternoon, arrive in Korcula Town for a walking tour that will
take you through the narrow, cobblestone streets. Learn all about the interesting stories and legends of this town including tales on the life of Marco Polo.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, head to enigmatic and unspoilt island of Vis. For many years Vis was used as a strategic military base and until 1989, it had been closed off to the general public. As a result the island has retained a remarkable untouched charm. Upon arrival, spend an afternoon at leisure to experience the island’s natural beauty first hand.

May we suggest a visit the Archaeological Museum located in a former fortress built by the Austrians in the 19th century, or perhaps a leisurely stroll along the seaside promenade where most of the bars and restaurants are located. Your cruise manager will always be able to provide great tips and recommendations for dinner or points of interest.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch

Your first stop today will be the spectacular Blue Cave on the island of Bisevo. The cave’s natural underwater entrance creates a magical deep blue light that engulfs the interior. After this extraordinary experience, continue on towards the town of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, one of the longest and sunniest of Croatia’s islands. Along the way enjoy a refreshing swim stop at the Paklinski islands.

On arrival in Stari Grad you will have some free time to explore the town at your own pace or perhaps takes a short drive to Hvar Town which your cruise manager can help you organise.

Later in the afternoon, embark on a trip to the agricultural masterpiece of Stari Grad Plain which has remained virtually intact since it was created by ancient Greek colonist in the 4th century BC.  At this UNESCO protected site you will have an opportunity to witness a beautiful sunset, delight on the local delicacies and feast on a traditional ‘Peka’ dinner at the Hora estate -all this whilst being surrounded by lush olive groves and fields of lavender.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart Stari Grad in the morning and cruise north towards the mainland. Enjoy a swim stop at one of the beautiful coves and bays that dot the coast of Brac Island before having lunch on board. Then, continue to the ancient city of Split for a guided walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town.

Get acquainted with the incredible Diocletian’s Palace and learn about the rich heritage of the area. As the economic and cultural capital of the Dalmatian coast, Split offers plenty to see and do for all travellers alike.

Why not climb the Bell Tower of St Domnius Cathedral breathtaking views of the city, or take a walk along the Riva Promenade and peruse the many shops, bars, and restaurants? The afternoon will be at your leisure to discover this lively city.

Accommodation: MS Adriatic King

Breakfast, Lunch

Your cruise concludes after breakfast and with a departure transfer for your onward journey.

Breakfast

Inclusions

  • 4 nights accommodation at hotel next door park Skopje
  • 1 night accommodation at boutique Hotel Popova Kula Demir Kapija
  • 2 nights accommodation at hotel in krusevo
  • 2 nights accommodation at Hotel City Palace Ohrid
  • 3 nights accommodation at Hotel Opera Tirana
  • 1 night accommodation at Hotel Podgorica in Podgorica
  • 1 night accommodation at Hotel Leno in Dubrovnik
  • 14 x breakfast at hotels
  • Day 2 - light lunch at Skopje Old Bazaar
  • Day 3 - light lunch at restaurant monastery Cave Matka Lake
  • Day 4 - light lunch at restaurant Beska Prizren
  • Day 6 - Light lunch at local restaurant in Prilep
  • Day 7 - Late lunch at winery Chiflik in bitola with wine and water
  • Day 8 - lunch at village restaurant Stara Cesma Village Ljubojno
  • Day 9 - Cheese tasting with unlimited wine on catamaran cruise
  • Day 12 - late lunch with wine tasting at winery cobo berat
  • Day 14 - Lunch at restaurant Konak near cetinje
  • Day 1 – dinner at the hotel upon arrival
  • Day 2 – Dinner at local family winery Kartal Skopje
  • Day 3 – home hosted dinner at local family
  • Day 4 – dinner at gostilnica lira restaurant skopje
  • Day 5 – Dinner with wine tasting (3 coursemeal + 3 kinds of wines) at Popova Kula Winery
  • Day 6 – Dinner at the hotel restaurant in Krusevo
  • Day 8 – dinner at etno restaurant sv Petka ohrid
  • Day 9 – Dinner at restaurant Ana Marija with panoramic view of Ohrid
  • Day 10 – Dinner at local restaurant in Tirana
  • Day 11 – Dinner at local restaurant in Tirana
  • Day 13 – Dinner at local restaurant in Podgorica
  • Cruise Inclusions
  • 7 nights charter with crew
  • Fully equipped cabins (safe deposit box, hair dryer, LCD TV, cupboard and wardrobe cabinet, AC)
  • Fuel for max 4 – 5 hours of sailing daily, including necessary time for mooring and un-mooring
  • Daily Buffet breakfast
  • HB daily – Breakfast and Lunch (3 course)
  • Daily cabin servicing, fresh bed linen and towels midweek
  • Free WI-FI on board
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Captains dinner 4 course
  • Cruise manager
  • Tips for Cruise Manager and Crew
  • Port and Tourist Tax
  • Excursion Package

Exclusions

  • Any other meal/drink/refreshment during the tour
  • Personal spends, entrances, not described as included
  • Any other not mentioned service, meal, transfer…
  • Personal travel or medical insurance (we recommend each passenger to provide in advance at his home country)

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

(EJ) – A Taste of Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro with Private Croatia Cruise – 10 May 2025