The Best of Balkans Tour
Spectacular and hugely contrasting scenery awaits on this trip, from truly unspoilt beaches sheltered by wooded hillsides in Croatia, to magnificent mountains of Slovenia. Bosnian towns abound with cobblestone alleyways and oriental bazaars and wonderful baroque architecture which decorates the capitals Zagreb and Belgrade. “Balkans generates more history than it can locally consume” Churchill once stated, so the remnants of past empires and more recent ones are unveiled in our four-country tour that delves deep into a rich variety of cultures. Time to discover cosmopolitan capitals of Zagreb, Ljubljana, Belgrade and Sarajevo is ample and culminate with sightseeing tours of magnificent UNESCO-protected Dubrovnik and Split.
DAY 1 Saturday: Zagreb - Arrival
Transfer from Zagreb airport to your allocated tour hotel. Dinner and overnight in Zagreb area.
DAY 2 Sunday: Zagreb - Ljubljana
Morning sightseeing tour of Croatia's capital, its historic Upper Town fortifications accessed by a funicular, glorious St.Mark’s church and Croatian National Theatre. We arrive in the afternoon to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, where we join a guided tour of the historic city centre featuring the famous Three Bridges Square, Town Hall and Robba Fountain – also known as the Fountain of the Three Rivers. Wandering through the picturesque outdoor market is always great fun, no matter how frequently you visit this alluring city. Dinner and overnight in Ljubljana area.
DAY 3 Monday: Ljubljana - Postojna - Opatija - Otocac
After breakfast we depart for Postojna to visit one of the world's largest and most beautiful underground cave systems, stretching over 20 kilometres in total. Upon boarding a miniature train, our tour reveals awesome tunnels and passages, galleries and chambers, including a unique 'underground concert hall'. Journey continues towards the resort of Opatija, the 'jewel of North Adriatic', for a relaxing stroll along the resort's lush “Lungomare” promenade. Early evening arrival to the town of Otocac in Plitvice Lakes area, dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 Tuesday: Otocac - Plitvice - Trogir - Split
Morning visit to Plitvice National Park, a natural phenomenon of rare and unique beauty and a well known UNESCO World Heritage site. We tour 16 crystal-clear lakes cascading into 92 spectacular waterfalls, walking on wooden promenades that offer magnificent views of the waters and breathtaking scenery. We continue towards Split with a short sightseeing break in yet another UNESCO's protected site, the medieval town of Zadar. Evening arrival to Split, dinner and overnight.
DAY 5 Wednesday: Split - Dubrovnik
After breakfast, we join a guided tour of Split uncovering the secrets of UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace (dating back to 3rd/4th century), the Peristyle Square and Jupiter’s Temple. Next we take a pleasant 'cruise' along newly built “Dalmatina” highway, which weaves through Adriatic's dramatic hinterland. Upon arrival to Dubrovnik, another UNESCO's pearl on this tour, we visit the Old Town, smart cobbled stone promenade and the main Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik area.
DAY 6 Thursday: Dubrovnik (Optional Montenegro excursion)
Day at leisure uncovering the rest of the city independently, relaxing on nearby beaches or taking an optional excursion to Montenegro. Scenic road to the border gently winds Konavle valley, then follows rocky coastline up to the magnificent Bay of Kotor. We reach picture postcard resort of Perast embarking on a pleasant boat ride to tiny islet of Our Lady of the Rock. There is a brief visit to the on-site 17th century baroque church before continuing towards the UNESCO-protected walled town of Kotor. Guided tour features astonishing Old Town with ample exploring time. Return to Dubrovnik includes a short ferry hop across the bay of Kotor. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik area.
DAY 7 Friday: Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo
Morning departure to Mostar, the city of bridges, with guided walk of the Old Town and time at leisure. Continuing to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina and one of the most interesting cities of Europe, known for its turbulent and vibrant history. This is the place where Western & Eastern Roman Empire once parted and where the population of Orthodox East, Ottoman South and Roman Catholic West interacted for centuries. City-tour of Sarajevo upon arrival, followed by dinner and overnight.
DAY 8 Saturday: Sarajevo - Belgrade
Today we head for Serbia's capital Belgrade, with en-route break at Zvornik, a charming border town on the banks of the stunning turquoise-coloured river Drina. Belgrade is a thriving metropolis and 'regional powerhouse', nestled on the very point where the river Sava calmly flows into the Danube. This city is steeped in culture, traditions and history dating back to the Romans - a lesser known fact is that Serbia was birthplace to 18 Roman Emperors! We spend time exploring Belgrade's main sites including Kalemegdan Fortress, St. Sava Orthodox Temple (largest of its kind in the world!), Marshall Tito's mausoleum and the charming pedestrianised city centre. Dinner and overnight in Belgrade.
DAY 9 Sunday: Belgrade - Novi Sad - Vukovar
Morning departure to Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city, perched on Danube's banksides and a truly inspiring multicultural centre of Vojvodina province. We visit imposing Petrovaradin fortress on the opposite side, once furthest outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, before enjoying a pleasant stroll in the old town's pedestrianised centre, passing by numerous temples representing numerous ethnic denominations. After a short guided tour we continue towards Vukovar, the largest Croatian river port, situated at the confluence of local river Vuka and the mighty Danube. This town is also known as a symbol of the Croatian war for independence. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 10 Monday: Vukovar – Zagreb
Morning departure for city of Djakovo. The first thing seen on the approach from either side is a very striking burgundy-coloured Cathedral with two imposing brick towers, proudly rising in the lovely city-centre. After a short visit, we depart towards Zagreb, stopping at the museum village of Stara Kapela for a snack featuring authentic local ingredients. Upon arriving to Croatia's capital Zagreb, there is time at leisure for sightseeing, last-minute shopping or simply enjoying the city's pavement-cafe atmosphere. Dinner and overnight in Zagreb area.
DAY 11 Tuesday: Zagreb - Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Zagreb Airport for your homeward journey.
The tour departs Saturday on the following dates - May: 07, 21, 28 • Jun: 04, 11, 25 • Jul: 02 • Aug: 27 • Sep: 03, 17, 24 • Oct: 01