DAY 1 – ZAGREB AIRPORT – ZAGREB (16 KM) (D)
Today you will arrive at the capital of Croatia, Zagreb. After arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel. After check-in at your hotel and depending on your arrival time, you will take a short guided walk from the modern Donji Grad, or Lower Town, whose street pattern was created in the 19th century. This area is home to many urban and historical monuments of the city. You will then continue to Gornji Grad or the upper town. In this older part of the city there are two medieval settlements, Gradec and Kaptol. One of the highlights of the upper town is the tall double spiers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an ancient church dedicated to the Ascension. After this you are expected in one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in the city overlooking the center. Afterwards you are expected for a welcome dinner in a wine restaurant.
Overnight in Zagreb.
DAY 2 – ZAGREB – MOSLAVINA REGION – ZAGREB (120 KM) (B, L)
After breakfast, you will travel to the Moslavina region, southeast of Zagreb, full of picturesque towns, family farms, and amazing wildlife. Local vineyards are all about the native white variety Škrlet, a light and fresh dry wine with floral aromas. There are also the usual continental varieties typical of Central Croatia: Graševina, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Furmint, Muscat, Pinot noir, Blaufraenkisch. Today’s tour is for curious wine enthusiasts looking for new experiences off the beaten track, as well as for those who love rural tranquility. Specialties you can sample on this tour include the Moslavina version of orange wines, especially Škrlet, homemade brandy (cherry, honey, peach, strawberry, cornelian) paired with cheese and meat. Return to Zagreb.
DAY 3 – ZAGREB – SPLIT (409 KM) (B, L)
After breakfast, your travel continues from Zagreb towards Split, an old town, one of the richest archaeological sites in Croatia. In this city you can feel the Roman and early Christian spirit that takes you back to the past as you walk past the old Basilica Urbana, the Baptistery, the Forum … One of the three Roman amphitheatres on the eastern Adriatic coast gives you the opportunity to experience the emotions of the ancient gladiators who pervaded this beautiful construction. In front of the Tusculum is a beautiful garden where you can completely relax and relax in a peaceful atmosphere. In the afternoon you will be a guest in a winery famous for its 1700 years old history. A professional sommelier will introduce you to the best wines and tell you all about the history of this region in the field of winemaking and grape picking. Free evening.
Overnight in Split.
DAY 4 – SPLIT – DUBROVNIK – TREBINJE (264 KM) (B, D)
After breakfast, start your day with a morning drive from Split to Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The coastal town is surrounded by old walls. The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been remarkably well restored. You will explore the city with a preliminary explanation from your tour guide. From Dubrovnik, you drive further to the nearby town of Trebinje, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The panoramic city tour starts at the old fortresses and the old stone Arslanagić bridge from the 16th century, then the old clock tower, the city castle built in the 18th century, the Osman pasha mosque from the 18th century and the city walls to finally reach the poets ‘square lined with 115-year-old plane trees. Tonight, you will be a guest at a family winery. Their tradition of wine production goes back hundreds of years. They produce different types of wine, including Zilavka, Vranac, Chardonnay, Merlot and Rose. Their latest innovation is an organic wine produced from a blend of old vine varieties. In addition to making wine, they also produce house brandy. Overnight in Trebinje.
DAY 5 – TREBINJE – NJEGUSI – KOTOR (125 KM) (B, L)
This morning, after breakfast, drive to Montenegro to visit the town of Njegusi, known across the country for its famous smoked-dried hams, cheeses, wine, and brandy. Stop in a smokehouse, where the owners will take you on a tour and explain their production process going back centuries. This is followed by a tasting of their products including the famous Njegusi smoked hams, cheeses, and homemade wine and grape brandy. Afterward, drive on to Kotor, with some free time later in the day to explore this small UNESCO town or perhaps climb the hills behind the town to experience the ruined fortress walls of Kotor. A walk up the stone steps to the fortress of Sveti Ivan at the top rewards you with a view over the Bay of Kotor. Optional dinner at a wine bar in Kotor.
DAY 6 – KOTOR – BUDVA – PODGORICA (98 KM) (B, L)
Today you drive along the coast of Montenegro to the capital. First, stop in Budva with a short tour of the old town, including the clock tower. The bell tower, the citadel fortress, the watchtowers, the ramparts, stairs and barracks were built 2500 years ago. Before you start tasting Montenegrin wine, you first get a panoramic tour through the capital Podgorica. Then you will go to one of the largest vineyards in Europe, which covers an area of 2,310 ha with 11 million vines with both domestic and foreign varieties. After this you will arrive at the winery which is located in the middle of the largest vineyard in Montenegro. Before entering the winery, you have the chance to enjoy the view of the entire vineyard. Until the 1990s, this winery was an underground aircraft hangar of the Yugoslav army. In 2007 it was converted and converted into a wine cave. It has the shape of a tunnel that is 356 m long. The complex is over 7000 square meters. A wine tasting of different types of wine is provided in the wine cellar.
Overnight in Podgorica.
DAY 7 – PODGORICA – SHKODER – TIRANA (163 KM) (B, L)
Today you will drive to neighbouring Albania. Shortly after crossing the border, in the area of the town of Shkoder, you will visit a local guest house surrounded by vineyards and farms. Here you will enjoy delicious and healthy local dishes. You will taste wines in the shade of the vines and see the place where the grapes are pressed and made. You will be served food and wine by the host family, including a professional chef and a wine master with decades of experience. In the evening you will eventually reach the capital of Albania, Tirana. After checking in at the hotel you will get a short orientation walk this evening.
Overnight in Tirana.
DAY 8 – TIRANA – DURRES – OHRID (220 KM) (B, L, D)
After a short sightseeing tour of the central part of Tirana, travel towards a lovely winery located inland from Durres, one of Albania’s largest cities. From here you look out over a reservoir. This winery is also a popular place for tasting regional wines such as the fruity red Shesh i zi or dry white Shesh i bardhe, and with good right. Olive trees and tables with reed umbrellas provide a relaxing moment. After lunch, depart for Ohrid, Macedonia, to enjoy the beauty of this UNESCO-listed city. Ohrid has an ancient history that dates back as much as 4,000 years and has seen many civilizations pass by. You will visit medieval churches, the fortress of King Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the old Macedonian-Roman theatre, and on the way back you will sail with small boats. Tonight, you will eat in a restaurant with a folkloric ensemble and traditional Macedonian songs and dances.
DAY 9 – OHRID – DIHOVO – BITOLA (81 KM) (B, L)
After breakfast, you will leave Ohrid and continue to Dihovo, another small village at the foot of Mount Baba and Pelister National Park. In Dihovo, visit a local guesthouse that is a member of the Slow Food Healthy Food Organization. They produce their wine, brandy, and beer, as well as homemade organic dishes. Here you will be offered a lunch consisting of a variety of homemade Macedonian specialties made from fruits and vegetables from the private gardens. This is followed by a tasting of house brandy and wine in wooden barrels, as well as a range of home-brewed beers. Then you will continue to Bitola where you will arrive mid-afternoon. In the city you can relax in one of the many cafes, explore the stalls of the old bazaar or opt for a tour of the old town and see the archaeological site of Heraclea Lyncestis, located on the outskirts of Bitola. Heraclea was founded by Philip II of Macedonia in the fourth century BC after conquering the surrounding Lyncestis region. The city is named after the mythological hero Heracles, who considered Philip his ancestor.
Accommodation in Bitola.
DAY 10 – BITOLA – SKOPJE (181 KM) (B, L)
First you enjoy your breakfast today. Next, drive to the largest and oldest winery in Macedonia, and one of the largest in Europe. The craftsmen of this winery take you through the cellars. On this tour they will explain the history of the winery and the whole process. Then you will be offered a wine tasting in the restaurant in a beautiful atmosphere with some specialties specially prepared by their chef. Already in Roman times, a tradition flourished in Macedonia – a tradition of making enchanting and powerful wines that exhibited the scent of the south, had a symphonic taste and embodied the joy of Macedonians. This winery has been producing and maturing premium Macedonian wines… since 1885. In the late 1970s a cooperation was founded by merging several smaller agricultural cooperatives. Thus, this winery became the largest winery in South-eastern Europe. The winery produces 24 types of wine, the most attractive of which are: T’ga za jug, Traminec, Kratoshija, Chardonnay, Alexandria – Cabernet Sauvignon and Alexandria – Riesling, and the famous homemade grape brandy – Lozova rakija – Zolta. At the Wine Innovation Forum in Paris – 2008, the winery was touted among the 30 most innovative wine brands in the world. You end the day in Skopje with a free evening.
DAY 11 – SKOPJE (15 KM) (B, L)
In the morning, after breakfast, you will first take a walking tour of the centre of the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. Among the many statues and museums, you will have the opportunity to visit the birthplace and memorial house of Mother Theresa. In the afternoon, just a few kilometres away from the capital, you will visit a beautifully situated winery. The winery and its vineyards stretch over 13 hectares of south-facing hills. This brings excellent microclimate conditions all year round. Upon arrival you will be offered a wine tasting during which you will taste local and international wines such as Golden Temjanika, Vranec, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio or Rose wine, accompanied by delicious local Macedonian dishes.
DAY 12 – SKOPJE – DEMIR KAPIJA (115 KM) (B, L, D)
After breakfast, drive today to one of the most beautiful and well-known wineries of Macedonia to taste wines from the Povardarie region and enjoy the perfect cuisine of their restaurant. The owner takes you through the cellars and the winery. This wine estate covers 100 hectares and a selection of well-known and unknown grape varieties such as the Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Temjanika. The next stop is the small town of Demir Kapija where you will check into the wine hotel where you will be staying tonight. The oldest archaeological finds prove that people in this area cultivated vineyards and made wine in the 13th century BC. First of all, you will get a tour of the winery explaining the wine production process and the types of wine. Afterwards, you will be offered a dinner with different types of wine, cheese and meat.
DAY 13 – DEMIR KAPIJA – THESSALONIKI (130 KM) (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you drive to Thessaloniki, Greece. After arrival, you will visit this less-visited but beautiful city, the second largest city in Greece and located by the sea. Filled with the memories of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman rule, Thessaloniki is a city on the Thermaic Gulf. Today you will visit some of the main sights of the city with a local guide. The steep narrow streets are all that remains of the city’s 19th century period, and a walk among the whitewashed houses and overhanging balconies leads to some beautiful views of the bay and the city. There is a possibility to visit the Byzantine Museum, the Archaeological Museum, etc. alone. You will end your day with dinner at a restaurant with traditional Greek music in the main square of Aristotle.
DAY 14 – THESSALONIKI – NAOUSSA – THESSALONIKI (B, L) (202 KM)
In the morning you go to an important wine region in the north of Greece near the town of Naoussa.
Here you will visit a winery with impressive views of the surrounding mountains to the west and north and the Aegean Sea to the southeast. The full potential of local Greek grape varieties is unleashed in the wines of this winery. They contain the balance between the 100-year-old family tradition and the latest wine-making techniques. The road then heads northeast to the edge of the pretty village of Gumensa. This winery belonging to a local family embodies the traditions and modern technologies in wine production. The quality is guaranteed by the constant control of the ripening of the grapes, the fertility of the land on which it is grown and the organic cultivation methods. Of the 120 hectares of vineyards, the family mainly produces local grape varieties such as the Xinomavro, Negoska, Roditis and Assyrtiko. After this you drive back to Thessaloniki. Free evening.
Overnight in Thessaloniki.
DAY 15 – THESSALONIKI – AIRPORT OF THESSALONIKI (21 KM) (B)
After breakfast, and depending on your flight times, you will get a transfer to the airport for your flight back home… or an extension of your trip to one of the other beautiful wine regions and islands of Greece such as Thrace, Peloponnese, Limnos, or why not Kos, Rhodes, Santorini or Crete. Ask us about the possibilities for a non-binding customized quote.