Spectacular and hugely contrasting scenery awaits on this trip from the truly unspoilt beaches sheltered by wooded hillsides in Croatia, to the 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. The 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 Wednesday: Zagreb - Arrival
Arrive from the UK and settle at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Zagreb area.
DAY 2 Thursday: Zagreb - Bled
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. Early afternoon departure to Bled, a small town in the Julian Alps. Here you can marvel at the natural beauty of the mountains and forest surrounding an emerald glacial lake. There is an island in the middle of the lake with a church steeple and wishing bell. A cliff top castle has picturesque views over the lake. Highly recommended is the well known sweet treat, the Bled cream cake. Dinner and overnight in Bled/Bled area.
DAY 3 Friday: Bled - Ljublijana - Plitvice
Morning departure to the Slovenian capital Ljubljana where you will have a guided tour of the old centre, which includes the picturesque central open-air market, three bridges, the Baroque town hall and Robba's fountain. Departure to Plitvice lakes, a well known UNESCO World Heritage Site, natural beauty of 16 crystal - blue lakes cascading into 92 spectacular waterfalls. Walk on the wooden promenades with magnificent views and where every turn leads to breathtaking scenery and yet another waterfall. Dinner and overnight in Plitvice area.
DAY 4 Saturday: Plitvice - Zadar - Split
Morning departure towards Zadar, where upon arrival there will be a guided walking tour through the Roman Forum from the 2nd century BC, passing by the 9th century pre-Romanesque church of St. Donatus as well as St. Anastasia church. Departure to Split followed by an afternoon tour of the UNESCO protected Diocletian's Palace and its cellars. This Roman emperor spared no expense for the construction of a sumptous residence, importing best quality marble, sphinx and columns. The original palace was modified by its new inhabitants during the Middle Ages, making it even more beautiful and what it is today, the city's living heart. Its narrow streets hide passageways and courtyards, some deserted and eerie, others lively and animated by the music from bars and cafes, or by the everyday life of its residents. Dinner and overnight in Split/Split area.
DAY 5 Sunday: Split - Dubrovnik
After breakfast departure to Dubrovnik. Immerse yourself into the symphony of the city's marble streets, baroque buildings and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic. Upon arrival, there is a city tour of this UNESCO protected Pearl of the Adriatic and its Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik/Dubrovnik area.
DAY 6 Monday: Dubrovnik
Day at leisure. Optional excursion to the island of Korcula. Here you can find more legends, tales and monuments than anywhere else. Experience the narrow streets, beautiful churches and magnificent palaces in one of the best preserved Medieval towns in the Mediterranean. After sightseeing free time for lunch or a swim. On the return to Dubrovnik a stop will be made in one of the well known wine cellars of the Peljesac peninsula to sample some of the excellent local wine. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik/Dubrovnik area.
DAY 7 Tuesday: Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo
Morning departure to Mostar, the city of bridges, with a guided walk of the Old Town and time at leisure. Continue 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 in Sarajevo/Sarajevo area.
DAY 8 Wednesday: Sarajevo - Belgrade
Departure for Serbia's capital Belgrade, with en-route stop 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. 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 Thursday: Belgrade - Novi Sad - Osijek/Vukovar
Morning departure to Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city, perched on the Danube's banksides in the truly inspiring multicultural Vojvodina province. Visit to the 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 continue towards Ilok where you will have the opportunity to taste wines in one of the famous Croatian wine cellars "Ilocki Podrumi" followed by a traditional lunch. On the way to Osijek there is a stop in Vukovar which is the biggest Croatian river port located at the confluence of the Vuka River in Danube, a town known as a symbol of the Croatian war for independence, as it arose from the ashes of the '90's into the proud city that it is today. Overnight in Osijek or Vukovar.
DAY 10 Friday: Osijek/Vukovar – Zagreb
Morning city tour of Osijek. The unique natural wonders such as endless plains and the intense yellow of its corn and sunflower fields as well as the delicious regional cuisine will take your breath away. Osijek, the largest city in eastern Croatia is beautifully settled on the banks of Drava river. It remains a poplular destination for its Baroque style, open spaces and lots of recreational opportunities. The city tour passes by the Cathedral and the Tvrdja (Old Fort). Continuing our drive and the first thing you see when approaching Djakovo from either side is the brightness of the bricks of the two towers and cupols of its Cathedral, beauty which welcomes the visitors. After the visit, departure towards Zagreb followed by a visit to the Ethno Village of Stara Kapela for a lunch from the products of the Panonian soil. Drinks are not included. Overnight in Zagreb/Zagreb area.
DAY 11 Saturday: Zagreb - Departure
Transfer to Zagreb Airport for your homeward journey or another hotel in Zagreb.
The tour departs Wednesday on the following dates - May: 17, 24, 31 • Jun: 07, 14, 21, 28 • Jul: 05 • Aug: 30 • Sep: 13, 20, 27 • Oct: 04, 11