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.
Summer 2020 Departures
The tour departs Wednesday on the following dates - May: 13, 20, 27 • Jun: 03, 10, 17, 24 • Jul: 01, 08, 15, 22 • Aug: 12, 19, 26 • Sep: 9, 16, 23, 30 • Oct: 07
DAY 1 Wednesday: Zagreb - Arrival
Arrive from the UK and settle at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Zagreb area (Hotel Astoria 4* or similar).
DAY 2 Thursday: Zagreb - Bled
Morning sightseeing tour of Zagreb, Croatian capital city, gives you the opportunity to see the fortified Upper Town, the city’s historical centre, St Mark’s church with its multi-coloured roof, the Cathedral, Croatian National Theatre and the University. Carved through the facades of buildings and baroque churches, we see many green spaces and terraces of cafes where the locals like to gather. Early afternoon departure to Bled, a small town in the Julian Alps which could be a setting for a classic fairy tale: immense natural beauty with mountains and forest surrounding an emerald glacial lake, an island in the middle of the lake with a church steeple and its wishing bell, a cliff top castle with picturesque views, and a well-known sweet treat, Bled cream cake. Bled, together with its surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts and is also renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake water. Dinner and overnight in Bled/Bled area (Hotel Kompas 4* or similar).
DAY 3 Friday: Bled - Ljublijana - Plitvice
Morning departure to Ljubljana, Slovenian capital, where you will have a guided tour of the most significant sights of its old centre: the picturesque Central open-air Market and the Three Bridges, the Baroque Town Hall and Robba’s Fountain. After Ljubljana we are continuing our journey to Plitvice lakes, well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site, natural beauty of the 16 crystal - blue lakes cascading into 92 spectacular waterfalls. Walk on the wooden promenades with magnificent views on the waters where every turn leads to a breathtaking scenery and yet another waterfall. Surrounded by dense woods, Plitvice lakes are a natural phenomenon of rare and unique beauty. Dinner and overnight in Plitvice area (Hotel Jezero 3* or similar).
DAY 4 Saturday: Plitvice - Zadar - Split
Morning departure towards Zadar, where upon arrival we'll be taking you for 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. This afternoon our guide will uncover for you the secrets of the UNESCO protected Diocletian’s Palace and its cellars. This Roman emperor spared no expense for the construction of a sumptuous residence, importing best quality marble, sphinx and columns. The original palace was modified by its new inhabitants during the middle Ages, but 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 (Hotel Atrium 5* or similar).
DAY 5 Sunday: Split - Dubrovnik
After breakfast, departure to Dubrovnik. Regardless of whether you are visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the hundredth, there's that sense of awe when you set eyes on the beauty of this old town. Immerse yourselves into the symphony of the city’s marble streets, baroque buildings and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic. Upon arrival, city tour of this UNESCO protected Pearl of the Adriatic and its Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik/ Dubrovnik area (Hotel Valamar Lacroma 4* or similar).
DAY 6 Monday: Dubrovnik
Day at leisure. Optional excursions to the island of Kor?ula. Kor?ula holds indisputable a privileged position among the Croatian islands. Here we find more legends, tales and monuments than anywhere else. Being famous stonemasons, shipbuilders and seafarers the people of Kor?ula left their marks all over the world, but they saved their best works for their own city. 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 and swimming. On the return we will stop in one of the well-known wine cellars of the Pelješac peninsula to sample some of the excellent local wine. Dinner & overnight in Dubrovnik/ Dubrovnik area (Hotel Valamar Lacroma 4* or similar).
DAY 7 Tuesday: Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo
Morning departure to Mostar, city of bridges, where the traveller from the south gets the first glimpse of the continent beyond. A walk around Mostar with your tour leader and free time for lunch. Departure to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo is one of the historically most interesting cities in Europe. It is the place where the Western & the Eastern Roman Empire split and where the people of the Orthodox East, the Ottoman South and the Roman Catholic West met, both an example of the clash of civilizations and of historical turbulences and a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance, reached through multi-cultural integration. City tour of Sarajevo upon arrival. Dinner and overnight in Sarajevo/Sarajevo area (Hotel Colors 4* or similar).
DAY 8 Wednesday: Sarajevo - Belgrade
Departure to 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. Upon arrival join guided tour of this beautifl city and 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. Overnight in Belgrade area (Hotel Zira 4* or similar).
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 (Hotel Osijek 4* or similar).
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 area (Hotel Astoria 4* or similar).
DAY 11 Saturday: Zagreb - Departure
Transfer to Zagreb Airport for your homeward journey.