Day 1: AIRPORT – SKOPJE
Start this tailor-made Mother Teresa Pilgrimage with arrival to Skopje airport. Transfer to the hotel in the centre of the Macedonian capital. Free time to explore or have dinner. Accommodation in Skopje.
Day 2: SKOPJE
After breakfast guided tour of Skopje. Walk through the old ottoman bazaar know as Čaršija and over the old stone bridge that connects the old and modern part of the city. Among other things, this tour includes the Church of Saint Clement of Ohrid, the Mustafa Pasha’s Mosque and the Kale Fortress overlooking the city. Later we will take some extra time to visit the memorial house of Mother Teresa, who was born in Skopje back in 1910 when this area was still part of the Ottoman Empire. This elegant and modern structure was built on the very location of the once Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, where Mother Teresa was baptized. For groups we can organise a mass in the chapel, which is part of the building. In the afternoon visit of the Saint Panteleimon Monastery located on the slopes of Mt. Vodno overlooking Skopje, with many impressive frescoes from the 12th century. Night in Skopje.
Day 3: SKOPJE – PRIŠTINA
After breakfast departure to the neighbouring country of Kosovo. On the way to Priština optional detour to the small village of Vitina to visit the Church of the Black Madonna, which Mother Theresa as a young girl was often visiting on a pilgrimage from Skopje. It is believed that it was here, where Mother Theresa received her calling to dedicate her life to the service of God. Later visit of Priština, the youngest capital in Europe. Here we will visit the Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa whose foundation stone was ceremonially laid back in 2005. The still unfinished cathedral was inaugurated in 2010, as one of the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa‘s birth. The cathedral was formally consecrated seven years later on 5 September 2017, 20 years after Mother Theresa’s death. Afternoon free to attend a mass at the cathedral or a stroll along the main boulevard of Nënë Tereza and Ibrahim Rugova Square. Among other interesting attractions of Priština are also the Sultan Mehmet Mosque and the “ugliest building in the world” – the Kosovo National Library. Night in Priština.
Day 4: PRIŠTINA – PRIZREN – KRUJA – TIRANA
After breakfast you will relocate to the picturesque town of Prizren full of mosques and old churches, believed to be the home town of Mother Teresa’s father. Above the historic center sits the fortress of Prizren, which offers beautiful views of the town and the Shar Mountains – a natural border between Kosovo and Macedonia. Continue our Mother Teresa Pilgrimage to motherland of her ancestors – Albania. On the way to Tirana, we’ll make a stop at the picturesque town of Kruja, located on top of a hill just outside Tirana. After the visit of the fortress we recommend you to take a walk through the local bazaar and buy souvenirs or local brandy (“raki”). Night in Tirana.
Follow the footsteps of a saint on this Mother Teresa Pilgrimage
Day 5: TIRANA
Guided tour of Tirana which has changed noticeably since the fall of communism in 1990 and has become a colorful and lively European capital with numerous cafes and fashion stores. Stroll through the main square with the statue of the national hero – Skanderberg, the impressive mosaic on the facade of the national museum and the Et’hem Bey mosque – one of the most remarkable buildings in the city. We will also visit the Mother Teresa square built during the Italian occupation in WWII and St Paul’s Cathedral. The cornerstone for this modern-looking building was laid by pope John Paul II when he visited Albania in 1993. Inside you can admire a stained glass window which features the images of pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa and there is also a statute dedicated to her at the entrance of the cathedral. Night in Tirana.
Day 6: TIRANA – APOLLONIA – BERAT
Breakfast. We continue the visit of Albania with of the ancient city of Apollonia where we’ll explore the Greek and Roman ruins located among the olive groves and the nearby Eastern Orthodox monastery of Ardenica from the 13th century. In the afternoon we will visit probably the most famous Albanian town – Berat, also featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Nicknamed the city of a thousand windows is famous for its Ottoman architecture and steep alleys that lead up to the Kalaja fortress. Night in Berat.
Day 7: BERAT – POGRADEC – ST. NAUM – OHRID
After breakfast, return to North Macedonia. Just after the border we will make a stop at the Sant Naum Monastery located on the rock above Lake Ohrid. This beautiful building is surrounded by green gardens filled with peacocks and crystal-clear waters of the San Naum springs. In the afternoon we will arrive to Ohrid whose old town centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its typical white houses with wooden shutters, winding streets and the prestige of its countless works of art. Among many sacral buildings in Ohrid we will visit the Cathedral of Saint Sophia and the picturesque church of St. John at Kaneo – symbol of Ohrid and the whole North Macedonia. Night in Ohrid.
Day 8: OHRID – STRUGA – BIGORSKY MONASTERY – TETOVO – SKOPJE
On the final stage of our religious tour towards Skopje we will make a short stop at the Kalista monastery complex with an interesting cave built in the 13th century. Afternoon visit to the Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery – one of the most important and beautiful monasteries in North Macedonia which holds a large collection of holy relics including John the Baptist, Clement of Ohrid, Lazarus of Bethany, Saint Nicholas and part of the Holy Cross. Last stop before ending our crucial Mother Teresa Pilgrimage is Tetovo with its famous Painted Mosque fully decorated with floral and geometric motifs and considered a masterpiece of Ottoman art. Night in Skopje.
Day 9: SKOPJE – END OF TRIP
Breakfast and free time before transfer to the airport. If your plane doesn’t leave until late afternoon we can organise a trip the pretty Matka Canyon, just 15 kilometres from Skopje. There you can take a boat ride along this natural canyon of the Treska River or visit one or more of the several historic churches and monasteries. End of the trip.