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Lyuba Tours 2007 Privacy Policy
Lyuba Tours 2007 is a company registered with accordance of the Bulgarian Commercial Law, with UIC 175198488, and a licensed tour operator. This privacy policy will explain how our organization uses the personal data we collect from you when you use our website.

What data do we collect?

Lyuba Tours 2007 collects the following data:

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How do we collect your data?

You directly provide Lyuba Tours 2007 with most of the data we collect. We collect data and process data when you:

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Lyuba Tours 2007 may also receive your data indirectly from the following sources:

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Lyuba Tours 2007 collects your data so that we can:

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Lyuba Tours 2007 will not share your data with other companies.

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How do we store your data?


Lyuba Tours 2007 securely stores your data.
Lyuba Tours 2007 will keep your personal data for five years. Once this time period has expired, we will delete your data.

Marketing

Lyuab Tours 2007 would like to send you information about products and services of ours that we think you might like.
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Lyuba Tours 2007 would like to make sure you are fully aware of all of your data protection rights. Every user is entitled to the following:

The right to access – You have the right to request Lyuba Tours 2007 for copies of your personal data. We may charge you a small fee for this service.

The right to rectification – You have the right to request that Lyuba Tours 2007 correct any information you believe is inaccurate. You also have the right to request Lyuba Tours 2007 to complete the information you believe is incomplete.

The right to erasure – You have the right to request that Lyuba Tours erase your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to restrict processing – You have the right to request that Lyuba Tours 2007 restrict the processing
of your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to object to processing – You have the right to object to Lyuba Tours 2007's processing of your personal data, under certain conditions.

The right to data portability – You have the right to request that Lyuba Tours 2007 transfer the data that we have collected to another organization, or directly to you, under certain conditions.

If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact us at our email:

Call us at: +35929633343

Or write to us: office@lyuba.tours

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Lyuba Tours 2007 uses cookies in a range of ways to improve your experience on our website, including:

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There are a number of different types of cookies, however, our website uses:

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How to manage cookies

You can set your browser not to accept cookies, and the above website tells you how to remove cookies from your browser. However, in a few cases, some of our website features may not function as a result.

Privacy policies of other websites

The Lyuba Tours 2007 website may contain links to other websites. Our privacy policy applies only to our website, so if you click on a link to another website, you should read their privacy policy.

Changes to our privacy policy

Lyuba Tours 2007 keeps its privacy policy under regular review and places any updates on this web page. This privacy policy was last updated on 26 March 2019.

How to contact us

If you have any questions about Lyuba Tours 2007's privacy policy, the data we hold on you, or you would like to exercise one of your data protection rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Email us at: office@lyuba.tours
Or call us: +35929633343

BEST OF THE WILD BALKANS

Available tour dates:
2-15 September, 2020 (2 places are available)
5-17 September, 2021 (available)
4-16 September, 2022 (available)
Our Wild Balkans just got wilder! This year we are spending more time in Kosovo, a night in a Greek village on the Albanian Riviera, and a night in a cosy old village in Greece's Zagori region. This tour will open many windows: to how people live and dream, how they've organised their life, how they relate to their neighbours from across the border, across the village or even across their garden fence. History, culture and nature are vital to understanding this region, and all feature strongly in this tour. We focus on areas off-the-beaten trail: beautiful Korce in Albania; Krushevo in Macedonia; Janjevo in Kosovo; Novi Pazar in Serbia. We take back roads. We use little known border crossings where only local people cross. Every stop is a memorable experience, and it brings you closer to Balkan culture as lived.
SERBIA: BELGRADE/1 night - CACAK - NOVI PAZAR/1 night
KOSOVO: KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - PRISTINA - GRACANICA/2 nights - JANJEVO - PRIZREN
ALBANIA: KOMAN LAKE - TIRANA/2 nights - ALBANIAN RIVIERA/1 night - KORCE/1 night
GREECE : ZAGORI/1 night
MACEDONIA: OHRID LAKE - KRUSHEVO/1 night - TETOVO - SKOPJE /2 nights
Day 1, Wednesday
Welcome to the Balkans!

Arrive in Belgrade. We will pick you up at the airport. On the way from the airport we will stop to have a look at the very interesting Aviation Museum, with hundreds of airplanes exhibited inside a large geodesic dome. Transfer to our trendy hotel in the heart of old Belgrade. We will meet in the afternoon to have a walk along the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers. We will have our welcome dinner at a unique chic restaurant housed in an apartment in a common residential building. Welcome to the Balkans!

Overnight in Belgrade, Serbia, at Square Nine hotel, one night. Dinner.
Day 2, Thursday
Belgrade-Topola-ČaČak-Novi Pazar.

We will start early after breakfast. We will drive south, stopping to see Tito's old Blue Train, then a unique socialist monument, on top of a hill, dominating the landscape. Our next stop will be the amazing Aleksandrovic winery, near Topola, for a wine tour and tasting. Then we continue to the town of Čačak for a light walk, trying to spot the Roman and Austro-Hungarian remains of the town. We continue south to Novi Pazar, in the heart of Sandzhak, a Bosnian-Muslim town near the borders with Kosovo and Montenegro. In the outskirts of Novi Pazar we will have a look at the Petrova crkva, a stunning medieval church that's inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. We stay at an utterly unforgettable socialist-era hotel, with some of the wackiest architecture and layout you can imagine, right in the heart of the old town. This is probably the most interesting hotel in Serbia - apart from the monstrous hotel in the nearby town of Uzice, but that place is scary - the one in Novi Pazar is not. Some free time to rest after the journey. Before dinner we will take a walk along the narrow winding streets of Novi Pazar - it can't get more Ottoman than this! Let's have a glimpse at the old Ottoman hamam, and then dinner in a local Bosniak Muslim eatery.

Overnight in Novi Pazar, Serbia, at Vrbak hotel, one night. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 3, Friday
Novi Pazar-Kosovska Mitrovica-Pristina-Gračanica.

In the morning, after a socialist-styled breakfast in the Tito-styled restaurant, we depart to Kosovo. In about hour and thirty minutes we will reach Kosovska Mitrovica, the divided Serbian-Albanian town. We will walk the bridge that once saw a lot of action during the Kosovo conflict. It's a unique bridge - that both divides and unites the communities. Both Albanian and Serbian police and NATO troops stand on the bridge, guarding the peace. After Kosovska Mitrovica we depart to Pristina, Kosovo's young capital. We will have a walk, stopping at the stunning library and the Bill Clinton statue, before grabbing lunch in a popular restaurant. In the afternoon we will continue to nearby Gracanica, where we will check in at the comfortable modern Gracanica hotel. Some free time to rest, and then we will have a cosy dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Overnight in Gracanica, Kosovo, at Gracanica hotel, two nights. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 4, Saturday
Gračanica-Janjevo.

We will have a late morning. Then a short, 15-minute drive to the village of Janjevo, which is a sizeable Croat minority lives. We will have a tour of what is Kosovo's prettiest village, including the school, the former vineyards, the mosque and the Catholic church. We will have a home-cooked lunch in Janjevo. On the way back we will have a tour of the stunning Gracanica monastery, a UNESCO-World Heritage Site. Dinner, and a concert at our hotel by a local Gypsy band.
Overnight in Gracanica, Kosovo, at Gracanica hotel, second night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.


Day 5, Sunday Gračanica-Prizren-Koman lake-Tirana. We start, after breakfast, to the nearby town of Prizren, perhaps Kosovo's most charming and liveliest town, in the foothills of the Shar mountains - the same mountains that we will also see from Skopje! We will have a walk in central Prizren, taking a drink, and we continue to cross the border with Albania, at the small and remote Qafe Morine - Gjakova crossing, that sees very few tourists and locals! We will drive to the hamlet of Fierza, from where we will board the local ferry across Koman lake. We will have our picnic lunch onboard the ferry. Most of the other travellers on the ferry will be locals, getting off or boarding at various hamlets along the shore. This is one of the world's most unique boat rides! About two hours and thirty minutes from the start it ends at the Koman dam. We will use local transport to get us down to the nearest village, where our minibus will wait to drive us to Tirana. We will have dinner in a fabulous Albanian restaurant on the way - in this way letting the rush hour in Tirana pass (or we will be stuck for another hour or more in traffic). We will arrive in Tirana in the evening. We will check in at the ultra comfortable high-rise Plaza hotel, right in the heart of the city, offering the best views in town.

Overnight in Tirana, Albania, at Plaza hotel, two nights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 5, Sunday
Gračanica-Prizren-Koman lake-Tirana.

We start, after breakfast, to the nearby town of Prizren, perhaps Kosovo's most charming and liveliest town, in the foothills of the Shar mountains - the same mountains that we will also see from Skopje! We will have a walk in central Prizren, taking a drink, and we continue to cross the border with Albania, at the small and remote Qafe Morine - Gjakova crossing, that sees very few tourists and locals! We will drive to the hamlet of Fierza, from where we will board the local ferry across Koman lake. We will have our picnic lunch onboard the ferry. Most of the other travellers on the ferry will be locals, getting off or boarding at various hamlets along the shore. This is one of the world's most unique boat rides! About two hours and thirty minutes from the start it ends at the Koman dam. We will use local transport to get us down to the nearest village, where our minibus will wait to drive us to Tirana. We will have dinner in a fabulous Albanian restaurant on the way - in this way letting the rush hour in Tirana pass (or we will be stuck for another hour or more in traffic). We will arrive in Tirana in the evening. We will check in at the ultra comfortable high-rise Plaza hotel, right in the heart of the city, offering the best views in town.

Overnight in Tirana, Albania, at Plaza hotel, two nights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 6, Monday
Tirana.

A late start today - have a good sleep, enjoy the views from your room, or take a morning walk around the hotel. We will have a walk along the Skanderbeg Square, having a look at the Et'Hem mosque and the House of Leaves, Tirana's most intriguing museum, housed inside the former secret police quarters. Then we will head to the outskirts of town to have lunch in a lively local (simple but tasty!) restaurant, and stopping at Bunk'Art, another fascinating museum, housed inside Enver Hoxha's secret bunker. Bunk'Art offers a unique perspective on the dramatic past (and present) of Albania. In the afternoon we will be back at our hotel. Free time to rest or explore the city (perhaps visit the History Museum on the central square, just two minutes on foot from our hotel?). In the evening we will meet for a walk and dinner at the trendy Blloku neighbourhood, which once housed Albania's political elite and was beyond limits to ordinary citizens. Blloku is now where the cool girls and boys hang out.

Overnight in Tirana, Albania, at Plaza hotel, second night. Breakfast, lunch.
Day 7, Tuesday

Tirana-Hemare.

This will be the longest day on our tour, but also the one with the prettiest and most dramatic scenery, as we go along the Adriatic coast. After an early breakfast we set south. The first two hours will be rather uneventful as we drive along a busy highway through mostly flat agricultural lands. We will stop for a walk and drink at the charming modern seaside town of Vlore. Then we leave the highway, and ascend the mountains, before dropping down to sea level once again. The vistas will be dramatic! We will stop at several traditional villages. At Himare village, populated mostly by Albanian Greeks, we will have lunch in the local Greek tavern, and then have a look at the almost abandoned hill-top village, with the old castle and church of St John on top. Afternoon at leisure - on the coast.

Overnight in Himare. Breakfast, lunch.
Day 8, Wednesday
Hemare-Zagori (Greece).

After breakfast we continue along the coast, stopping at Porto Palermo to have a look at the old naval (submarine) bunker in the distance. We will stop at another stunning old abandoned village, Qeparo, for a walk. After Qeparo we drive a bit more along the coast, and then turn inland, towards the Greek border. We will stay a night in one of the Greece's most amazing lodges, Apeiros Chora. We will have a walk in the afternoon to see the Vikos Gorge from high above, and then enjoy dinner in a village tavern.

Overnight in Zagori, at Apeiros Chora, one night. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 9, Thursday
Zagori-Melissopetra-Korce.

After a late breakfast we continue north-east. We cross the border, across the mighty Viosa river (which we also crossed yesterday near Vlore on the coast) back to Albania, continuing to Korce, one of Albania's most charming towns - still almost untouched by mass tourism! We will drive through one of the prettiest, and most isolated parts of Albania. Lunch will be at a wildlife resort. We will check in at the new Hani-i-Pazarit hotel. We will have some time to rest, and then a walk in this really interesting town. Dinner at our hotel.

Overnight in Korce, at Hani i Pazarit hotel, one night. Breakfast, lunch.
Day 10, Friday
Around Korce.

We will have a tour of Korce's unique mixture of architecture styles, along its peaceful alleys. Then explore the large busy market, and take lunch in a local cafe. Afternoon free to explore the town on your own, and perhaps visit the new art museum. In the afternoon we will head to nearby Voskopoje village - once a mighty prosperous town and cultural centre, ravished by Ali Pasha's troops in 1788. We will visit a couple of the old churches that have survived (the churches we will visit depend on the keys we can find!), with stunning frescoes dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Then we will have dinner in a local restaurant, and head back to Korce, around sunset.

Overnight in Korce, at Hani i Pazarit hotel, second night.
Day 11, Saturday
Korce-Prespa-Ohrid-Bitola-Krushevo.

After breakfast we start towards the Macedonian border. We cross the border, and then head to the Ohrid lake (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We will stop at the Monastery of St Naum, where we will take a rowing boat ride across the crystal clear springs of the lake. Then we leave Ohrid, as it's the most touristy place in Macedonia, and head across the mountains to Krusevo, Macedonia's highest town, located at 4429 feet above sea level. We will take the windy panorama road, which offers stunning views of lakes Ohrid and Prespa. On the way we will stop at the ruins of the Roman town of Heracleia Lyncestis, boasting some of the most impressive Roman mosaics in the Balkans. At Krusevo we will check in at a comfortable but strange (and memorable) hotel that offers unparalleled views of the town below - watch out for the dramatic sunrise over town the next morning! We will walk down (or take the minibus) to a popular local tavern serving tasty, simple local food. Let's join the fun, this is the real Macedonia!

Overnight in Krusevo, at Montana Palace Hotel, one night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 12, Sunday
Krushevo-Tetovo-Skopje.

We start after a late breakfast. Perhaps if the chairlift going up the mountain works, we can take it for a ride. If not, we will go and see the Makedonium monument, dedicated to the anniversary of the Illinden anti-Ottoman Uprising of 1903. That monument is one of the most unusual socialist-era spomeniks, or memorials. Inside they usually have some good local art - let's have a look! Then we continue north, towards Skopje. We will stop at the town of Tetovo, which has one of Macedonia's largest ethnic Albanian populations. We will have a look at the colourful central mosque, perhaps the most beautiful mosque Yuri has ever seen. We will grab lunch nearby in a local byurek bakery - with some of the tastiest Albanian-Macedonian-Balkan byurek! In the afternoon we will arrive in Skopje, Macedonia's capital. We will check in at our modern and stylish Solun hotel right off the central Macedonia square. Some time to rest, and in the late afternoon we will head out to have a tour of post-1963 Skopje (when the big earthquake destroyed much of the city), including some of the recent redevelopments of the city. We will have dinner at a local hip brewery.

Overnight in Skopje, at Solun hotel, two nights. Breakfast.
Day 13, Monday
Skopje.

After a later breakfast, we will have a tour of pre-1963 Skopje, especially the old and Albanian quarter of town, and the busy market. We will have lunch in a traditional restaurant near the market, enjoying some hearty food. Afternoon will be free to enjoy Skopje on your own - you will be armed with a list of recommendations. In the evening we will meet for our farewell dinner.

Overnight in Skopje, at Solun hotel, second night. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 14, Tuesday
End of tour.
Tour over after breakfast. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight.
Breakfast.
€3140 per person, sharing double or twin room, €580 single supplement.
In 2020 we have a discount - tour will run for €2740 per person.
The number of travelers is limited to 12.
Price includes
  • Accommodation in carefully selected hotels in Belgrade, Novi Pazar, Gracanica, Tirana, Himare, Korce, Krushevo, Skopje.
  • All meals according to program. Tips for the waiters included, alcohol mostly not included.
  • Transportation with an air-conditioned minibus, with all border and toll taxes and bribes, parking fees, daily allowance and accommodation for the driver.
  • English speaking guide throughout the tour, including guide-accommodation and daily allowance.
  • Local tour guides in (tips included) Tirana, Skopje, and possibly at other places/sights, too.
  • Tickets for all museums and sights according to the itinerary.
  • Ferry ride on Lake Koman.
  • Mineral water on the bus.
  • A welcome pack including maps, brochures, gifts, etc.
Price does not include
  • Personal medical/travel insurance.
  • Tips for driver and guide.
  • Any other additional personal costs: laundry, phone calls, etc.
  • Independent meals according to the itinerary
  • Flights in and out of the region
Important information and booking conditions
Reservations and payment

Please fill in the Reservation Form with all details needed and send it to office@lyuba.tours or stefan@lyuba.tours. A deposit, upon booking, at the amount of €500 per person is required to assure your place. The final payment is to be made no later than three months before the tour.

Extra nights in Belgrade, Skopje and transfers

If you want to spend an extra night or two or more prior or after the tour, we can make a reservation for you or you can make a direct arrangement with the hotel. We can also recommend a nearby hotel which may be cheap- er. Please note that we have included transfers in the price - advice us of your arrival and departure times. Which brings us to...

... flights

We love arranging flights, but in this case, we won't. You are responsible for booking your flight ticket. We can always help you with an advice.

Tour information

Once we get your deposit, us folks at Lyuba Tours will immediately send a confirmation of space by e-mail. We will also send reading materials, music and more information about the country: what to bring, what to expect, money, weather, food and other wise. We will send all this by snail mail or email. About a month before the tour, we will send you hotel and rooming lists, emergency numbers and any last-min- ute notes. We will be happy if you meet payment and document submittal deadlines to insure we have time to post your materials. Upon arrival in Serbia, you will find even more stuff awaiting you: maps, phrasebooks, postcards, and more.

Customs and entry requirements

For this trip you require a passport with at least six months validity following the last day of the tour. That pass- port should have a blank page for a stamp. No visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania for fewer than 90 days. If you don't happen to be a U.S. citizen, please make sure you have whatever documents are necessary to enter (and exit) Bulgaria. We can help with this as well. Regulations are subject to change, and we will try to inform you of the latest changes.

Travel insurance

We strongly advise you to have a travel insurance for the trip. Situations may arise, voluntarily or involuntarily, in which the traveler cancels. We can recommend a comprehensive travel insurance plan, if you don't have one already. Insurance should cover trip cancellation, lost or damaged baggage, medical needs, and certain trav-
el-related accidents. We highly recommend trip-cancellation insurance. Although please do read the insurance company's fine print, especially the section on 'pre-existing conditions'.

Ground transportation

We will travel across the Balkans in a comfortable, air-conditioned private minibus. Smoking is NOT permitted on the vehicle. We may also use some local means of transport.

Health regulations

No inoculations are required. Please see the CDC's website for recommendations: www.cdc.gov. We suggest you check with your doctor for medical advice regarding the trip and your health. It is also suggested you discuss updating your tetanus and diphtheria booster.

Health considerations

To get the most out of a tour, a traveler should be in good physical and mental health, able and willing to walk, climb steps, and participate in group events. This trip requires moderate walking, sometimes over uneven or cobbled streets or paths. If assistance is needed, a participant should travel with a companion. You must also be able to carry your own hand luggage, so please go light! Any physical or mental disability requiring special help or assistance must be noted in writing on the reservation form.

Opportunities for adventure

This tour is designed for those interested in learning everything about the Balkans. We will present you with all sorts of perspectives, and you will see many shades of this fascinating part of the world.
Also, this is a moderately active program ('soft' adventure). Since some of the travel will be in remote areas, travel participants need to be flexible concerning time schedules, food and weather. Roads may be bumpy. Don't expect to find things exactly as they are at home! If that were the case, why travel? Occasionally, we may experience delays, alterations in the plans, some discomforts and inconveniences. But we will also experience a different culture and our minds and souls will be expanded! A spirit of adventure and tolerance is absolutely fundamental to participation in any of our tours.

Wandering Policy

We encourage everyone to partake in all the sightseeing and special activities. We've spent months research- ing and preparing a full and exciting program. However, if you would like to venture out on your own, or take personal time for rest or shopping, you may do so. This is your trip! We only ask that you alert our group leader and guide when you will be separating and rejoining the group. Please take extra security precautions with your belongings and yourself.

Changes in itinerary

Every effort will be made to operate this tour in accordance with the itinerary shown, including all activities as advertised. Museums and features are subject to scheduling. Occasionally, changes are made to improve an
itinerary or enhance a certain feature. Unforeseen local conditions beyond our control may prevent the completion of an itinerary or require alterations in an itinerary. These local conditions can include inclement weather, seasonal variations in climate, changes in airline schedules and equipment, government appropriation of hotel space, and other events beyond our control that would jeopardize the traveler's comfort, safety, health, or enjoyment. In these cases, the right is reserved to substitute hotels, and to alter the itinerary for the comfort and safety of the travelers. The right is also reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure.

Cancellations and refunds

Should Lyuba Tours cancel a departure for the reason of insufficient number of participants to operate the tour with no increase in cost, a full refund of all monies paid will be made.
On the participant's part, cancellation or change of date will result in a per person cancellation fee of €500, irrespective of reason up to 90 days before the tour. Cancellation made 89 days to 30 days before the tour will result in a cancellation fee of €750. From 29 days before the tour, the cancellation fee will be at the amount of the tour. Should your cancellation cause the number of participants to fall below the required number to operate the trip, and a replacement member cannot be found, the full portion of the trip will be forfeited. If a person requests a room share to avoid the single supplement and then cancels after final payment is made and a roommate has been assigned, then the person canceling forfeits the single supplement if a share cannot be found.
Should a person cancel a trip voluntarily, and if payment was made by a bank wire, the amount of bank wire expense charged to Lyuba Tours will be deducted from the refund amount.

Once the tour begins, no refund may be claimed for all or any part of the tour fee. Unused or changed hotel accommodations, transportation, or other services or features of the tour are neither refundable nor exchangeable.

Cancellations will only be accepted via e-mail, at office@lyuba.tours or info@lyubatours.com.
Sponsorship
A large part of what we make goes back to the community. We support disadvantaged kids and isolated, rural communities. We plan to invest even more time, effort and money on this. We also have plans to support, each year, one artist, in return for artwork we can use in our work. And not least, one day, hopefully soon, open a school for disadvantaged kids.
Questions and answers
What clothes should we pack? What will the weather be like?

Weather will be pleasant: this is the best time to travel the region, not too warm, not too cold. Rain and sudden drops in temperatures are still possible, though. Make sure you dress in layers, with a water and wind proof outer layer, and good sturdy walking shoes.
Meet your guide
YURI BOYANIN
Yuri is Lyuba's son. Travel is in his blood. He's been on the road since 28 days old. Ever since, he's visited 130 countries on all continents. He is enormously passionate about the world, about art, architecture and history.
He is eager to show you some of the Caucasus' and Central Asia's most splendid and least known corners, which he has explored for years. Yuri has a PhD in History.
PHOTO GALLERY
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