17 days in The Balkans Itinerary

17 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Athens, Greece
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Rhodes Town, Greece
— 4 nights
Fly
3
Thessaloniki, Greece
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Butrint, Albania
— 1 night
Drive to Sarandë, Shuttle to Vlore
5
Vlore, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
6
Budva, Montenegro
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Belgrade, Serbia
— 2 nights
Fly

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Athens, Greece

— 3 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Visit Acropolis of Athens and Fortress Palamidi for their historical value. Discover out-of-the-way places like Citadel and Treasury of Atreus and Ancient Agora of Athens. Explore Athens' surroundings by going to Nafplio (Tiryns & Nauplion Promenade) and Archaeological Site Mycenae (in Mycenae). There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum, explore the ancient world of Temple of Olympian Zeus, wander the streets of Plaka, and get great views at Mount Lycabettus.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Athens trip itinerary planner.

Porto, Portugal to Athens is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of car and train. The time zone difference moving from Western European Standard Time (WET) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 2 hours. In September, Athens is a bit warmer than Porto - with highs of 34°C and lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Rhodes Town.

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Rhodes Town, Greece

— 4 nights
A conglomeration of many distinct architectural styles, Rhodes Town is the biggest urban center of the eponymous Greek island known for its golden beaches and relaxed way of life.
Get some historical perspective at Mandraki Harbour and Ancient Kamiros. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Agios Pavlos Beach and Tsambika Beach. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rhodes Town: Agathi Beach (in Haraki), Lindos (Lindos Beach, Acropolis of Lindos, &more) and Pefkos Beach (in Pefkos). There's lots more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Monastery Tsambika, get engrossed in the history at Archaeological Museum of Rhodes (Hospital of the Knights), contemplate the long history of Street of the Knights, and kick back and relax at Stegna Beach.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Rhodes Town trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Athens to Rhodes Town takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. In September, daily temperatures in Rhodes Town can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can travel to Thessaloniki.

Things to do in Rhodes Town

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Thessaloniki, Greece

— 3 nights

Mother of Israel

A city with a stormy history and a cosmopolitan heart, Thessaloniki attracts visitors with its diverse culinary scene, dynamic nightlife, and youthful energy.
Visit Ladadika District and Church of St.Sophia for their historical value. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Kallitheas Beach and Afytos Beach. When in Thessaloniki, make a side trip to see Daysailing in Afitos, approximately Afitos away. And it doesn't end there: explore the ancient world of Rotunda, don't miss a visit to White Tower of Thessaloniki, appreciate the history behind Arch of Galerius, and take an in-depth tour of Museum of Byzantine Culture.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Thessaloniki trip planning site.

You can fly from Rhodes Town to Thessaloniki in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and train. Traveling from Rhodes Town in October, things will get a bit cooler in Thessaloniki: highs are around 24°C and lows about 14°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Butrint.

Things to do in Thessaloniki

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Butrint, Albania

— 1 night
On the 5th (Tue), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Butrint National Park.

To see ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read Butrint travel route builder.

Traveling by car from Thessaloniki to Butrint takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, ferry, and car; or do a combination of bus and car. In October in Butrint, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 17°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Tue) to allow time for travel to Vlore.

Things to do in Butrint

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Vlore, Albania

— 1 night
Vlorë is the third largest city and a municipality in Albania. On the 6th (Wed), explore the activities along Blue Eye.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Vlore day trip site.

Traveling by combination of car and shuttle from Butrint to Vlore takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Butrint to Vlore is minus 1 hour. Expect little chillier evenings in Vlore when traveling from Butrint in October, with lows around 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can drive to Budva.

Things to do in Vlore

Nature · Parks
Highlights from your trip

Budva, Montenegro

— 2 nights
Montenegro's top tourist destination, Budva draws big crowds with its pulsating nightlife and sun-kissed beaches.
On the 7th (Thu), explore the activities along Bay of Kotor, appreciate the extensive heritage of Kotor City Walls & Fortress, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Tryphon Cathedral. Keep things going the next day: admire the landmark architecture of The Church of St. Matthew, pause for some serene contemplation at Our Lady of the Rocks, pause for some photo ops at Ballet Dancer Statue, then steep yourself in history at Citadel, and finally contemplate the long history of Budva Old Town.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Budva online holiday planner.

You can drive from Vlore to Budva in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of train, car, and bus. In October, daytime highs in Budva are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to travel to Belgrade.

Things to do in Budva

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Belgrade, Serbia

— 2 nights
The capital and largest city of Serbia, cosmopolitan Belgrade sits on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): take in the local highlights with Walking tours, then pause for some serene contemplation at St. Sava Temple, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Ada Ciganlija. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sun): wander the streets of Skadarlija, then contemplate the long history of Kalemegdan, and then brush up on your military savvy at Military Museum.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Belgrade planner.

Traveling by flight from Budva to Belgrade takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Budva in October: highs in Belgrade hover around 20°C, while lows dip to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Belgrade

Parks · Tours · Beaches · Outdoors
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 10:

Greece travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Ruins · History Museums
Few places manage to capture the world's imagination quite like Greece, a land of sun-kissed coastlines, tranquil whitewashed villages, lively seaside towns, and well-preserved ancient sites. One of the world's top tourist destinations since ancient times, the country draws nearly 20 million visitors each year. Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization, continues to attract the biggest crowds and serves as a base for exploring the country and its 227 inhabited islands. Away from its cities, Greece features a picturesque countryside of olive groves, vineyards, and tiny settlements nestled against rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges. Explore the old mainland on foot and discover the islands on a guided boat or ferry tour.

Albania travel guide

3.9
National Parks · Landmarks · Castles
Land of the Eagles
With its young bustling metropolis, networks of cobblestone pedestrianized streets, coastal beach towns, and cities of ancient ruins, Albania will continuously surprise you. As you reach each new major town and discover how completely different it is from the last, your appreciation will deepen for this tucked-away land steeped in history. Travel, eating, and accommodation here is very inexpensive, freeing you from budget concerns and allowing you to travel in the style that you want. Meanwhile, you may find yourself going days without spotting another tourist. While this means that many things will not be customized for visitors (non-English menus, sparse accommodation, and fewer international transportation options), you'll experience the feel of authentic Albania.

Montenegro travel guide

4.4
Historic Sites · Bodies of Water · Beaches
Whether you're in the mood to explore unspoiled nature, see historical sights, or soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere of beaches and parties, in Montenegro you can find everything within arm's reach. The Montenegrin coastline offers both large city beaches abundant with amenities, as well as peaceful fishing villages and secluded coves. Fortified old towns, medieval cathedrals, and monasteries are certain to satisfy history enthusiasts. Further inland are some of the nation's larger cities, as well as an abundance of opportunities for an active vacation. Wander off the beaten path, hike the mountains and canyons, and experience the traditional hospitality of villages where time seems to stand still. The national cuisine reflects the diversity of the landscape, including everything from fresh meat and dairy specialties, to a selection of seafood. The size of the country allows you to see a lot even during a short stay.

Serbia travel guide

4.3
Historic Sites · Room Escape Games · Churches
A country of wild landscapes and wilder nights, Serbia is renowned for its diversity and hospitality. It's a land of rich history with an abundance of monuments dating back to prehistory, ancient times, and the Middle Ages. Some of the country's most famous attractions are the medieval monasteries, many of which are still active and open to visitors. Major cities like Belgrade, Novi Sad, and Niš, are bustling hubs where you can immerse yourself in the arts, cafe culture, and all-night partying. Take a trip into the countryside crisscrossed with rivers and explore the lush plains, untouched forests, clear lakes, and rugged mountains. Welcoming villages offer an abundance of hospitality, and numerous spa resorts give you the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in a tranquil atmosphere. Serbian cuisine is very diverse, so whichever region you visit, make sure to try some of the local specialties.