It’s hard to find a patch of Europe that hasn’t been overrun by travel. Hard, but not impossible. Among the rocky mountains and green fields of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia there are plenty of shepherds, monasteries, lakes, valleys and Byzantine churches – what’s lacking is crowds. It’s taken decades for the Balkans to wipe away memories of conflict and communism, but (amazingly) they’ve emerged strong and smiling. From hip cafes in Skopje and the soft shores of Lake Ohrid to the mosques of picture-perfect Prizren, this Intrepid tour showcases Balkan beauty at its very best.

Highlights

Explore the remote northern reaches of Albania and take one of the world’s best boat trips with a cruise through the mountainous corridors of Lake Koman

Experience daily life in the Valbona Valley with a stay at a local guesthouse. Clink glasses with the locals in the village and hike the rugged valley passes

Discover the secret staircase of Kalaja Fortress, and find your way to a hilltop lookout over Prizren – Kosovo’s most beautiful town

Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go

Kososvo is rich in history and contrasts. Step back in time and learn about the infamous Battle of Kosovo on a day trip to the Field of Blackbirds, before embracing the modern culture thriving in Prishtina, Europe’s youngest capital

Lose yourself in Tirana, the Albanian capital full of a revitalised urban energy, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: drinking coffee and people-watching