21 days in Albania, Serbia & Bulgaria Itinerary

21 days in Albania, Serbia & Bulgaria Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe attractions planner

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Fly to Tirana, Bus to Shkoder
1
Shkoder, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
2
Himare, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
3
Gjirokaster, Albania
— 1 night
Drive
4
Berat, Albania
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Tirana, Albania
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Belgrade, Serbia
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Novi Sad, Serbia
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Sofia, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Nessebar, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Drive
11
Varna, Bulgaria
— 3 nights
Fly

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1
night
Shkoder, Albania

Its geographic location has made Shkoder, one of Europe's oldest cities, an important cultural and economic center of the Balkans over the years.
On the 12th (Sun), take in the exciting artwork at Venice Art Mask Factory, examine the collection at Marubi National Museum of Photography, admire the striking features of Former Palace of King Nikola I, then explore the historical opulence of Rozafa Castle, and finally explore the activities along Shkodra Lake.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Shkoder trip builder app.

Bilbao, Spain to Shkoder is an approximately 11-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Bilbao in July; daily highs in Shkoder reach 39°C and lows reach 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to drive to Himare.

Things to do in Shkoder

Museums · Historic Sites · Nature · Parks

1
night
Himare, Albania

Kick off your visit on the 13th (Mon): steep yourself in history at The Castle of Himara, enjoy the sand and surf at Gjipe Beach, then steep yourself in history at Ali Pasha Castle, and finally step into the grandiose world of Penisola Di Porto Palermo e Castello.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Himare trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by car from Shkoder to Himare takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and car; or do a combination of train and shuttle. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Shkoder to Himare. In July in Himare, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Gjirokaster.

Things to do in Himare

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

1
night
Gjirokaster, Albania

City of Stone

Along with the central Albanian town of Berat, Gjirokastra serves as a striking World Heritage Site known for its Ottoman architecture.
On the 14th (Tue), contemplate the long history of The Cold War Tunnel, admire the landmark architecture of Skenduli House, then steep yourself in history at Zekate House, then take an in-depth tour of Ethnographic Museum, and finally brush up on your military savvy at Gjirokaster.

To find traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Gjirokaster trip planning app.

You can drive from Himare to Gjirokaster in 2.5 hours. In July in Gjirokaster, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 24°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Berat.

Things to do in Gjirokaster

Historic Sites · Museums

2
nights
Berat, Albania

Town of a Thousand Windows

A rare example of well-preserved Ottoman style, Berat is a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): do a tasting at Cobo Winery, make a trip to Bulevardi Republika, examine the collection at National Ethnographic Museum Berat, examine the collection at National Iconographic Museum Onufri, then admire the landmark architecture of Berat Castle, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The King Mosque. On your second day here, learn about winemaking at Nurellari Winery and Guest House, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then make a trip to Quarter Of Gorica, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Holy Trinity Church.

To see maps, photos, and more tourist information, read Berat visit site.

Traveling by car from Gjirokaster to Berat takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Gjirokaster to Berat due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Gjirokaster in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Berat, with lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tirana.

Things to do in Berat

Wineries · Outdoors · Museums · Tours

Side Trip

2
nights
Tirana, Albania

Tirana, the largest city in Albania, represents one a lively and fast-paced metropolis.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Et`hem Bey Mosque, learn about all things military at Bunk'Art 1, then get engrossed in the history at Muzeu Historik Kombetar, then explore the historical opulence of Kruja Castle, and finally see the interesting displays at Ethnographic Museum of Kruja. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): take in the awesome beauty at Dajti, then examine the collection at House of Leaves, and then learn about all things military at BunkArt 2.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tirana trip itinerary tool.

Drive from Berat to Tirana in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in July, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Belgrade.

Things to do in Tirana

Museums · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 16 — 18:

2
nights
Belgrade, Serbia

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 19th (Sun): take a stroll through Skadarlija, contemplate the long history of Residence of Princess Ljubica (Konak Kneginje Ljubice, steep yourself in history at Kalemegdan, then brush up on your military savvy at Military Museum, then engage your brain at Nikola Tesla Museum, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at St. Sava Temple. On the next day, see the interesting displays at Museum of Aviation, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, contemplate the long history of The National Assembly, take in the spiritual surroundings of Crkva Svetog Marka, then take a stroll through Knez Mihailova, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral Church.

To see maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Belgrade travel route planning site.

Traveling by flight from Tirana to Belgrade takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Tirana in July, expect nights in Belgrade to be about the same, around 19°C, while days are little chillier, around 34°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can drive to Novi Sad.

Things to do in Belgrade

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 20:

2
nights
Novi Sad, Serbia

Serbian Athens

The regional and cultural center of northern Serbia, the riverside city of Novi Sad occupies a strategically advantageous position between Belgrade and Budapest.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): pause for some serene contemplation at Hram Sveta tri jerarha, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fruska Gora Monasteries, kick back and relax at Strand, then don't miss a visit to Dunavska Street, and finally expand your understanding of the military at Petrovaradin Fortress. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Name of Mary Church, don't miss a visit to Svetozar Miletic Square, then do a tasting at Podrum Probus, and finally steep yourself in history at Sremski Karlovci.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Novi Sad holiday tool.

Traveling by car from Belgrade to Novi Sad takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In July, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can drive to Sofia.

Things to do in Novi Sad

Historic Sites · Wineries · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:

2
nights
Sofia, Bulgaria

Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): get the lay of the land with Walking tours, pause for some serene contemplation at Boyana Church, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Vitosha Mountain, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Zlatnite_Mostove -Golden Bridges. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Sveti Sedmochislenitsi Church, take an in-depth tour of National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple Sveti Nikolay, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Saint Sofia Church, then admire the landmark architecture of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Catedral de Sveta-Nedelya.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Sofia online holiday maker.

You can drive from Novi Sad to Sofia in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Novi Sad to Sofia. In July in Sofia, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Plovdiv.

Things to do in Sofia

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:

2
nights
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

City of the Seven Hills

Though it is often seen as merely a stopover city, Plovdiv is actually a lively university town with bohemian cafes, a thriving art scene, and exciting nightlife.
On the 25th (Sat), contemplate the long history of Assen's Fortress, take in the spiritual surroundings of Bachkovo Monastery, take in the architecture and atmosphere at "St. st. Konstantin and Elena" Church, then examine the collection at Ethnographic Museum, then make a trip to Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis, and finally get the lay of the land with Walking tours. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dzhumaya Mosque, steep yourself in history at Plovdiv Roman Theatre, and then explore the striking landscape of Central Balkan National Park.

For traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, read Plovdiv sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Sofia to Plovdiv in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Sofia in July, Plovdiv is a bit warmer at night with lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Nessebar.

Things to do in Plovdiv

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

2
nights
Nessebar, Bulgaria

Pearl of the Black Sea

Between the ruggedly beautiful Balkan Mountains and shores of the Black Sea lies the World Heritage Site, Nessebar.
On the 27th (Mon), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of St. Blaise, then make a splash at Aqua Paradise Ltd, then pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Saint Sophia, and finally admire the landmark architecture of St Stephens Church. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of Archaeological Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, do a tasting at Wine tasting Messembria, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of Christ Pantocrator, then look for all kinds of wild species at Camel Park Sunny Beach, and finally get out on two wheels at Karting Sunny Beach.

Before you visit Nessebar, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Plovdiv to Nessebar in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In July, daily temperatures in Nessebar can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Varna.

Things to do in Nessebar

Theme Parks · Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

3
nights
Varna, Bulgaria

Marine Capital of Bulgaria

Combine historical exploration and seaside relaxation at Varna, Bulgaria's coastal Black Sea city.
Appreciate the collections at Varna Archaeological Museum and Tina Art Gallery. Explore hidden gems such as Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin and Stone Forest. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Varna: Cape Kaliakra (in Dobrich), Aquapark Aquamania (in Albena) and Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik (in Balchik). And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Aladzha Monastery, see the interesting displays at The Retro Museum In Varna, learn about winemaking at Prisoe Winery, and admire the natural beauty at ''Primorski'' park.

For traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Varna sightseeing planning tool.

Drive from Nessebar to Varna in 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in July, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Varna

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

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.

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.

Bulgaria travel guide

4.3
Ruins · Architectural Buildings · Landmarks
Eventful history has endowed Bulgaria with a rich cultural, architectural, and artistic heritage, while natural beauty and recreational opportunities make it one of Europe's most desirable holiday destinations. Carpeted by dense forests and fed by mighty rivers, this ancient land once drew invaders from distant corners of Europe. Today, the country's Black Sea coastline and seven rugged mountain ranges top the itineraries of nearly 8 million annual visitors. While its growing cities offer modern shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, Bulgaria's countryside remains a history buff's paradise, boasting well-preserved reminders of ancient civilizations that conquered or passed through this land. Begin your Bulgarian adventure in Sofia, one of Europe's oldest capitals, with over 250 historic landmarks.