Religious Miracle Tour 10D/9N

  

 

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Tirana
DEPARTURE TIME Depending on Arrival time
ESTIMATED DURATION OF TOUR: 10 Days
WEAR Comfortable clothing, hat and sunscreen.

Price will be given upon your request

INCLUDED
  •  Throughout Guide
  • Selected Entrance Fees
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Local taxes
  • Accommodation in 4-5* Hotels
  • Meals (Breakfast, Lunch ,Dinner)
  • Transport: Brand New Coach year 2015 (Setra or Scania)
  • Guide: Local Guide in every site
  • 1 Bottle of water every day in the bus
NOT INCLUDED  
  • Your personal expenses
  • Extra drinks

 

  

1st Day Airport Tirana

Welcome in Albania

Meet with the Tour Guide and transfer to Berati.

Berat is one of those places that you need to visit at least once in your lifetime, not only for its unique architecture, but also for its religious tolerance. UNESCO even included it in its list of world heritage sites. The small town that was built inside the castle’s walls is one of the most enchanting places you’ll see in Albania. There are even a few people that still live there. The area looks magical with its ancient ruins, wildflowers and small courtyards.

Excursion to:

Berat Castle-a magnificent and elegant as it ever has been, and is the crown jewel of this glorious ancient city.

Onufri Museum-with spectacular sixteenth century paintings created by the greatest Albanian icon-painter of all time.

2nd day Berat –Abaz Ali Tekke (Mount Tomorr) – Nurrellari Winery -Berat

Departure from Berat at 8:00 am.

Mount Tomorr is considered to be the ancient home of the Illyrian gods and with an elevation of 2400 meters, has a deeper and spiritual significance as it is so close to god.

This sacred mountain is topped by the Bektashi tomb of Baba (Father) Tomorri and is visited often by those who follow this ancient, mystic religion. Burning candles, money offerings and sacrificed lambs are evidence that recent worshipers have visited the tomb seeking a blessing from above. The veranda around the tomb offers an amazing panorama where you can see the cities of Berat, Polican and Gramsh. After enjoying this rare glimpse of Albanian culture and nature, our guide will take you to Nurellari Winery ranked as one of the best wine production in Albania.

 

3rd day Berat –Sari Salltik – Kruje

A BLESSED PILGRIMAGE WITH A SPECTACULAR VIEW AT SARISALLTIK

Sarisalltik is one of the most significant religious places in Albania. For the adventurous souls willing to take on the hike, the pilgrimage in Sarisalltik is a truly transformative experience, which will remain with you for a lifetime!

This is where most miraculous events take place which, through generations, are passed on as legends. One of Albania’s many peaks associated with its respective legend is the Sarisalltik (Sah-ree-sahl-tick), at the height of 1176m. This place marks the epicentre of dissemination of the BektashiOrder in Albania. For the Bektashi believers, climbing the mountain has a sacred meaning. The best way to understand why, is with a visit of your own!

After the pilgrimage tour transfer to Kruje old Town.

Rich in history and tradition, Kruja is home of the patriots and the epicenter of Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire. It was here that Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg, Albania’s greatest national hero, defended the country from the invasion of the Ottomans. The National Museum dedicated to the hero is housed in the famous Kruja Castle and shows both the legendary hero’s history and the traditional way of life of the city’s population. The city’s famous bazaar serves as a bridge between this glorious past and the present, offering a rich array of traditional products made from local artisans.

Upon arrival enjoy a tasty lunch inside the castle

Excursion to :

  • Kruje Castle (historically one of the most important defensive strongholds in the country, fending off legions of foreign invaders throughout the centuries
  • Scanderbeg Museum (dedicated to the most celebrated of all Albanian heroes)
  • Old Bazaar (famous for being one of the oldest in Albania. The construction of the beautiful and fascinating marketplace of Krujë dates back over 400 years, and was the starting point of free trade among the city’s most established merchants.)

 

4th day Kruje –St Anthony church (Lac) -Shkoder

Transfer to Lac Town

WHERE FAITH SURVIVED AGAINST ALL ODDS

Albania’s history with religion is complex, rendering the country a haven of religious tolerance as much as a place of general religious confusion and instability. Many religions co-exist in the country, something that is especially noticeable after the fall of communism. Religion was banned during the latter and many holy places either became nonfunctional or were destroyed. While many of these places were restored, along with the general faith of the Albanian people, their road to reinstitution has been challenging. Saint Anthony Church of Laç is one of those rarities, however, that never lost its believers and maintained a significant influence on the Albanian people.

 

Each week before the 13th of June, on the hilly heights around the town of Laç, thousands of believers gather at the Saint Anthony Church of Laç . The church is named after the Franciscan priest, born in Lisbon in 1195, who dedicated his life on earth to his faith and spreading hope to the people. The holy teacher Saint Anthony of Padua (as he is known in ecclesiastical literature) was so renowned for his profound knowledge that Pope Gregory IX named him the “Living Ark of the Bible.” What makes him an especially well-respected figure is the fact that he served under the Franciscan Order despite being born into a royal family in Portugal. He refused life as a descendant of nobles and, instead, spent it spreading the word of the Gospel. His devotion to the Catholic Church and unending support for the needy brought him to Albania, where this famous church honors his name.

After visiting the Church, many people descend to the Cave of Saint Vlash Martyr, and many other pilgrims stop by the corner of candles to pray to the Saint. If you ask Albanian believers and nonbelievers where they turn to in times of trouble, many will mention this church! Easily accessible from all national roads and cities in Albania, this holy place is most definitely worth experiencing.

Transfer to Shkoder

Along the way to the city we will first face the castle of Rozafa, which has a beautiful but bitter legend about its building which has come down to us from olden times.

Sightseeing to:

  • Rozafa Castle

After the visit of the castle we will continue to the famous pedestrian boulevard “Pedonale” – where you can see the first cinema, first radio, to know more about the first family of photographs in Balkan, nowadays Marubi Museum, the St Stephen Cathedral where nowadays is the museum of Mother Theresa.

You will find that this naturally unique city has an abundance of mirrors in the Adriatic Sea, the Lake of Shkodra and the Buna River. Otherwise called the “city of bicycles,” the city’s views are best admired while pedaling in the open air!

5th day Shkoder-Budva-Kotor-Our Lady of the Rocks (Perast)-Herceg Novi

Transfer to Montenegro.

The first stop will be St. Stefan. Once a small fisherman village, nowadays it is luxurious tourist resort. The island is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. On both sides of the mainland near the Island, beautiful sandy beach is spread. The island is private property so it can only be photographed from the shore line.

Our next stop is the ancient  walled town of Budva, known for its sandy beaches and diverse nightlife.  Budva is considered to be one of the oldest settlements on the Balkan Peninsula. The old town of Budva lies on a little island that was linked to the land by a sandbar and in time turned into a peninsula. It is surrounded by ramparts originating from the XV century including a medieval fortification system with city gates, defense walls and towers. Inside the walls the town is a combination of narrow streets and little squares with valuable monuments of different Mediterranean cultures. You will have the possibility to have traditional Montenegrin lunch here, the fish is a must try, as it is a specialty.

 

After lunch we drive to Kotor. Kotor’s Old Town is rich in history and one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Adriatic. After a coffee stop at one of the old town squares you will go sightseeing of Kotor in the Bay of Kotor, a medieval town, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – a tour of the Maritime Museum and St. Tripun’s Cathedral .

Transfer to Perast

Our Lady of the Rocks) is the name of one of two tiny islands located in the inner part of Boka Kotorska bay, near the old town or Perast.

The peculiar fact about these island is that they are almost completely man made.

The island began as a pile of rocks, and according to legend, on 22nd of July 1452, two fishermen, brothers Moršić discovered an image of Virgin Mary there. A tiny Orthodox chapel was built on the site.

In the 1600s Venetians took over the region of Boka and the city of Perast. In 1630 they built a Catholic chapel on the place of original orthodox one. They decided to further expand the island by piling rocks from the mainland and by sinking the old ships. The custom remains to this day. Every 22nd of July at sunset citizens of Perast take their boats and throw rocks into the sea. The custom is known as fašinada.

Overnight in Herceg Novi

6th Day Herceg Novi – Franciskan Monastery (Dubrovnik)

Transfer to Croatia

Today will head to the most beautiful Old Towns in Europe

Regardless of whether you are visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the hundredth, the sense of awe never fails to descend when you set eyes on the beauty of the old town. Indeed it’s hard to imagine anyone becoming jaded by the city’s limestone streets, baroque buildings and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic, or failing to be inspired by a walk along the ancient city walls that protected the capital of a sophisticated republic for centuries.

Sightseeing to:

  • Dubrobnik Old Town
  • Dubrovnik City Walls
  • Franciskan Monastery
  • Rectors Palace

Enjoy some free time for leisure before getting to the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th day Dubrovnik-Medjugorje ( Our Lady of Medjugorje) -Mostar

Transfer to Bosnia

We drive to one of Europe’s most sacred place – Medjugorje.

We start from agreed pick up point and set out our journey to discover Herzegovina and enjoy our drive on Adriatic road whit your private driver to Medjugorje.

 

Just outside of Dubrovnik city we will join Adriatic road and follow coastal line passing by city of Neum, the only place on the Adriatic coast what belongs to Bosnia&Herzegovina.

In Neum we will make our short break for refreshment and toilet break. Neum is considered to be one of the coastal towns which have the greatest number of sunny days in the year. Neum is located 60 km from Dubrovnik and 70 km from Medjugorje so we are half way to our destination Medjugorje.

On arrival in Medjugorje, join the daily English Mass at 10 am and on Sundays at noon.

Excursion to:

  • Medjugorje Apparition Hill – where the young visionaries first encountered Our Lady. As you climb, you can see the inspired artistry of the bronze plaques depicting each mystery of the rosary, and touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary appeared to the visionaries.

For the pilgrims, an encounter with Apparition Hill is encounter with Our Lady through personal prayer and prayer of the rosary.

  • Prayer Area, Statue of the Risen Saviour – contemporary sculpture of Christ. This sculpture has an unexplained seepage of water from the leg. Later in the day you be able to purchase a package of small cloth napkins and moistened each napkin with this water. What a wonderful gift it can be to give special, religious friends back home.
  • Medjugorje Statue Of the Queen of Peace – The marble statue of the Queen of Peace, which became a symbol of the Shrine (the work of Dino Felici from Italy) was put up in 1987 at the square in front of the church.
  • Medjugorje The Exterior Altar – built in 1989, and the surrounding prayer area (about 5000 seats), are a place of gathering in the summer time and for big feasts, when numerous thousands of pilgrims gather in Medjugorje.

 

Transfer to Mostar

star is the largest city in Hercegovina, with a small but thoroughly enchanting old town centre. At dusk the lights of numerous millhouse restaurants twinkle across gushing streams, narrow Kujundžiluk bustles joyously with trinket sellers and, in between, the Balkans’ most celebrated bridge forms a majestic stone arc between medieval towers.

Excursion to:

  • Old Bridge

Overnight in Mostar

8th Day Mostar-Split-Zadar

Split is the second – largest city of Croatia and the largest city in the region of Dalmatia. It lies on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. The town is extremely attractive for tourists and it has more than 2700 hours of sunshine a year. The citizens of Split always say 2 things: first, that Split is the most beautiful city and secondly that its women are the most beautiful women in the world.  Many tourists tend to agree after taking a walk around its streets and parks, and we are sure that those reasons are good enough to visit this sunny place and to make sure if Split citizens are right.

Excursion to:

  • Diocletians Palace- ( is an ancient palace built for the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD)

 

Transfer to Zadar

Home to a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing city. It’s not too crowded and its two unique attractions – the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation – need to be seen and heard to be believed.

Overnight in Zadar

9th day Zadar-Plitvice National Park -Zagreb

Transfer to Plitvice

The unity and harmony of 16 lakes and their rare natural and cultural value is not famous only throughout Croatia, but also worldwide; earning this remarkable national park a coveted place on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Arriving to Plitvice, we’ll walk through these ancient woodlands led by our experienced guide. The path takes us first across Gornja Jezera (Upper Lakes), a system of 12 lakes separated by travertine barriers. Then it’s time for a peaceful boat ride towards the second area called Donja Jezera (Lower Lakes), placed in a limestone canyon. Wherever you are in Pltivice it’s easy to see why its travertine marble formations are such an extraordinary natural phenomenon. The barriers, sills and other forms created in these lakes, karst rivers and streams are still an ongoing process that shapes the wonderful landscapes that make your walk through the park so enjoyable. It’s these same travertine formations that have and are still creating the numerous magnificent waterfalls here. Over time, the water changes its course, leaving some barriers dry as it deposits new layers elsewhere. This constant evolution makes the Plitvice Lakes never look the same.  The best way to actually see this happening is when you are standing in front of the Big Waterfall, 78 meters high. The roaring thunder of the water as it hits the ground is unforgettable! Our journey ends with a tram ride.

Transfer to Zagreb

Overnight in Zagreb

10 day Zagreb -Marian Shrine (Marija Bistrica) -Zagreb

This is the most important pilgrimage destination in Croatia and the country’s largest Marian shrine, attracting some 800,000 pilgrims annually. The statue of Mary allegedly has miraculous powers and the natural setting is stunning.

Croatia is a predominantly Catholic country, and for that reason the Virgin Mary is the most venerated of all the saints here. The most significant saint’s day is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on August 15, which is known here as “Velika Gospa”, which translates roughly as “The Great Lady”. This is a public holiday in Croatia, and if your visit to a Marian shrine coincides with this day, you’ll find it is marked in fine style, and is very very busy.

Transfer back to Zagreb and visit the capital of Croatia.

Zagreb is made for strolling. Wander through the Upper Town’s red-roof and cobblestone glory, peppered with church spires. Crane your neck to see the domes and ornate upper-floor frippery of the Lower Town’s mash-up of secessionist, neo-baroque and art deco buildings. Search out the grittier pockets of town where ugly-bland concrete walls have been transformed into colorful murals by local street artists. This city rewards those on foot.

 

Transfer to Airport

 

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