4. Kosovo from Albania: Day tour of Prizren & Prishtina(option)
The youngest European nation of Kosovo is more than the birthplace of the pop sensations Rita Ora and Dua Lipa. In the past two decades it has also grown to be recognized for a palpable buzz of life that permeates its ever-growing and ever-changing atmosphere. In this full-day guided tour you will have the opportunity to discover the historically significant town of Prizren, and the energetic capital city of Kosovo, Prishtina. We will travel from Tirana, Albania along the newly built highway that connects Albania with Kosovo. What once took almost a whole day to drive through, now in just three hours offers vivid mountainous scenery worth videocapturing. We will depart from your Tirana hotel in the morning with an air-conditioned vehicle, and head towards northeast Albania. We will offer you a quick coffee by the artificial Kukës Lake to take in its tranquility and the legend of its formation during Albania's dark communist period. Initially upon crossing the border, we will head to Kosovo's best attraction - the unique town of Prizren with its curvy cobblestone paths - only twenty minutes drive from the Albanian-Kosovo border. A well-preserved reminder of the Ottoman times, the multi-ethnic and multilingual Prizren is situated at the foot of its fortress, adorned with artisan shops along the Lumbardhi river that runs through the heart of this iconic city. In late summer Prizren is home to DokuFest - one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world. Yet, each season you may visit, Prizren's main square is full of life. First there will be a brief visit to the reconstructed Albanian Prizren League - the poignant historic site sadly destroyed during the Kosovo war. As we walk by the riverbed, we will sight-see and explore the Old Town, tasting the local 'byrek' offered again by our guide and drinking fresh water from the çesma - water fountain, a necessary ritual if you want to return again in Prizren. Rich in places of worship, Prizren is an example of religious diversity and has a mosque built by the famous Ottoman architect Sinani. We'll visit the Sinan Pasha Mosque, and the Serbian "Sveti Spas" Orthodox Church. Depending on the customers desire and physical ability, there's the option to go up the fortress that oversees the city, prior to heading to the capital city of Prishtina - a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and smells and home to many cultural landmarks. Walking Prishtina's main boulevard you'll experience the perpetual motion that Prishtina is, along with its modern cafes and restaurants. We will visit what's considered one of the 'most beautiful ugly buildings' worldwide: The National Library of Kosovo - an example of 'brutal architecture', the renowned NewBorn sculpture that changes with each independence anniversary, and walk by to the socialist built Boro Ramiz Palace of Sports. In the late afternoon we will head back to the Albanian border, and you will be dropped off in the hotel you were picked up from.