Possessing pristine natural beauty, important archaeological sites and towns sited in stunning locations that have remained unchanged through the centuries, both Albania and Macedonia have begun to attract the attention of travellers, with good reason. They have been at the crossroads of culture, faith and trade for millennia and were connected by the Via Egnatia; a Roman road that ran as an eastern continuation of the Via Appia between Rome and Istanbul (Constantinople, Byzantium), built in the 2nd century BC to control Roman occupied territories. Via Egnatia was a very important communication artery, especially during the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompeii.
Although inhabited for at least ten millennia, Albania has been one of Europe's 'undiscovered' countries. Under communist rule from the end of World War II until 1990, Albania became isolated within Europe, yet its strategic position on the Adriatic Sea has attracted settlers and invaders since antiquity. Ancient Greeks founded colonies on its shore from the 7th century BC; the Romans made it a province, later becoming a Byzantine and Ottoman territory; and in the early 20th century, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and under the domination of Italy and Germany.
Part Balkan, part Mediterranean and rich in Greek, Roman and Ottoman heritage, Macedonia has a fascinating past and a complex national identity. From hip cafes in Skopje to the shimmering expanse of Lake Ohrid, this is a land rich in culture and magnificent landscapes, with much to offer to the many visitors experiencing its attractions for the first time.
The Very Reverend Dr Richard Marsh has a long association with the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches. He is the author of 'Black Angels: The Art and Spirituality of Ethiopia', 'Prayers from the Eas't and co-authored 'Millenium Challenges for Development and Faith Institutions'.
He is the Dean of Killaloe, Co Clare in the Church of Ireland, having worked in both the Church of England and in various capacities in the voluntary sector in the UK and Ireland. Richard has travelled extensively and is an experienced tour leader, having led many successful tours to a wide range of destinations.
He and his wife, Ros, divide their time between Co. Clare and their home in Co. Mayo, Ireland.
There is an optional 2 or 3-night post-tour extension in Corfu, examining the history, gardens, cuisine and culture of Corfu.
The cost of the tour sharing a room is USD $3,612. The cost of the tour with a room to yourself is USD $4,710 (excluding international flights and transfers).