For Easter 2017 we ran a slightly unusual tour through Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania. Here you can read returning client Jo Palmer’s thoughts on the trip…

“I have just come back from a fabulous 10-day journey through history, culture and stunning scenery sprinkled with amazing people! Where have I been? On a bespoke tour through Macedonia, Kosovo and eastern Albania all researched and put together by Ed and his team at Drive Albania.

“It started off with a hiccup when our flights were changed by the airline and we had to completely change airports which meant that Ed had to do some fancy footwork, find new hotels and a different route for the first three days all within two weeks of departure! As Drive Albania are a small and hands-on company they were able to re-organise everything with aplomb which a larger company would have had trouble doing.

“I should mention at this point that this is the second time I have been on tour with Drive Albania. The first time was 2015 when we toured north to south Albania mainly off-road. I had an amazing time then and fell in love with Albania and the people. I wanted to go back but also wanted to see different areas and then this ‘UnOrthodox Easter Tour’ was put forward as an option. l thought my first trip could not be bettered but I was wrong.

“We again stayed in a variety of hotels – Ed is always looking for places for his clients to stay that have character and something different to offer and we were not disappointed. The very comfortable ‘ship’ in Skopje, the lodges in Rugova and the lovely B&B run by Roza in Lin (on Lake Ohrid), whose husband took us out in his rowing boat on a silky lake, plus many others.

“We had wonderful food everywhere we went and everyone we met was happy to talk and wanted to give us information and make our stay happy and interesting. The wonderful Nesti was again our driver – nothing is ever too much for him he has a passion for his country and for make his clients welcome whereever they go. Ed (the owner) was also with us for most of the trip and for me it was like being on a road trip with old friends as Nesti and Ed were with us on my last trip too.

“We went to places most other people have never been, we visited Ottoman bridges, 14th-century Orthodox churches, beautifully painted mosques and most of all we met wonderful warm and endearing people everywhere we went. We even had an unexpected meeting with wolves – once we had been introduced to them and they had accepted us we were then able to enter into their world – they were the most wonderful animals. They loved their rescuer and had made him the alpha male of their pack so accepted those that he accepted – an amazing encounter.

“I took around 800 photographs and Ed and Nesti were never grumpy once when I asked to stop for a vista or shot I didn’t want to miss. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could.

“Thank you, Ed and Nesti, for a brilliant trip. I hope to go exploring with you again soon.”

Jo Palmer, April 2017.