Balkans Odyssey - 11 days
Discover the best of Croatia and Slovenia before exploring the cities of Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia, and historic Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia.
Wednesday. Welcome to Zagreb and the start of your holiday. Included transfer for the airport to your hotel in the city. The remains of the day offer free time for you to head out and explore this beautiful city which marks the crossroad between the Adriatic coast and Central Europe.
Overnight: Zagreb | Dinner
Zagreb - Bled. We start the day with a sightseeing tour of the nation's capital. We will make our way to the fortified Upper Town (the city’s historical centre), passing St Mark’s Church with its stunning multi-coloured tiled roof, the Croatian National Theatre, University and Zagreb Cathedral, with its towering Gothic spires.
This afternoon we continue to the beautiful town of Bled in the Julian Alps - famous for its thermal lake.
Overnight: Bled | Breakfast, Dinner
Bled - Ljubljana - Plitvice. After breakfast we drive to Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital and take part in a guided tour of the old city. We'll see the Three Bridges, Baroque Town Hall, Robba’s Fountain and visit the colourful open-air central Market, selling beautifully smoked cheeses, meats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Nibble your way around!
Later continue onto the Plitvice Lakes region for the afternoon. This 20-km long karst cave system with its web of underground passages, galleries and chambers is the largest karst cave open for visitation in all of Europe. Walk around the wooden promenades this evening and enjoy the magnificent views over the waters with its 16 clear blue lakes that cascade into 92 waterfalls.
Overnight: Plitvice Lakes | Breakfast, Dinner
Plitvice - Zadar - Split. This morning we continue on to discover Zadar, we take a guided tour of the 2nd century BC Roman Forum and see the 9th Century pre-Romanesque church of St. Donatus.
Later afternoon arrival into Split where we explore the city including learning the secrets of the UNESCO protected Diocletian’s Palace. The narrow streets of Split are fascinating maze of history and stunning ancient architecture.
Overnight: Split | Breakfast, Dinner
Split & Dubrovnik
Split - Dubrovnik. Leaving Split we drive south along the Dalmatian coastline, crossing the Neum Corridor of Bosnia and Herzegovnia (see info related to border crossing procedures in our Trip Notes) to Dubrovnik - the Jewel in the nation's crown. This afternoon you'll enjoy a walking tour of this UNESCO protected old city which is often referred to as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'.
Overnight: Dubrovnik | Breakfast, Dinner
Dubrovnik & Korcula
Today is yours to spend at leisure exploring the UNESCO listed old city of Dubrovnik with its towering fortress wall and the Dubrovnik Cathedral, built in Roman Baroque architectural style.
Alternatively, you can opt to join an optional excursion to the island of Korcula, enroute a stop is made to one of the well-known wine cellars of the Peljesac peninsula to sample local wine.
Overnight: Dubrovnik | Breakfast, Dinner
Mostar & Sarajevo, Bosnia
Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo. This morning we drive to Mostar to see The Old Bridge. Commissioned by the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1557 and rebuilt in 2003, it is still one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most recognizable landmarks, and is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture. After an orientation walk of the city and free time for lunch we drive onward to Sarajevo. Arriving in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo is one of the historically most interesting cities in Europe and is a very likable, vibrant and cosmopolitan place to live. We will explore this capital city on a walking tour, taking in some of the highlights.
Overnight: Sarajevo | Breakfast, Dinner
Sarajevo – Zvornik – Belgrade. This morning we depart towards Belgrade and the fourth country on this trip, Serbia, we enjoy a short stop enroute in the charming town of Zvornik in northeastern Bosnia. Once we arrive into Serbia’s capital we enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful city set between two rivers.
Overnight: Belgrade | Breakfast, Dinner
Novi Sad, Serbia
Belgrade - Novi Sad - Osijek/Vukovar. This morning we visit Serbia’s second largest city - Novi Sad located on the Danube River, with it's imposing fortress on one side and the churches of numerous denominations on the other it's an exciting city with cultural sights that many larger cities would be envious of. After a morning walking tour in Novi Sad, we cross the border back in to Croatia and continue for a stop at Ilok where you'll have the option to partake in a wine tasting experience in one of Croatia's most famous wine cellars 'Ilocki Podrumi'. We then enjoy a traditional lunch. Late this afternoon we continue into Osijek or Vukovar where we will spend the night.
Overnight: Osijek or Vukovar | Breakfast, Lunch
Djakovo & Star Kepela, Croatia
Osijek/Vukovar - Zagreb. Today we take a walking tour of Osijek - the largest city in eastern Croatia. A popular destination known for its Baroque style and amazing cuisine - we visit the cathedral and the Tvrdja (Old Fort). Continuing on we drive to Djakovo - dominated by its magnificent red bricked cathedral. Before we reach our final destination of Zagreb we stop for a quick visit to the Ethno Village of Stara Kapela. Late afternoon arrival into Zagreb.
Overnight: Zagreb | Breakfast, Lunch
Saturday. A leisurely day for you to further see the sights of this beautiful city, before included departure transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies to all single travellers as you will require your own room and this needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Hotel Astoria, Zagreb
Part of Best Western's Premier range, the elegant Hotel Astoria offers a high level of comfort and style, fitting with the brand. Guests can choose from a variety of different sizes of room, each offering plush, attractive furniture and a range of modern amenities, including a minibar and satellite TV. The hotel's Ragusa restaurant has a great ambiance and serves a wonderful selection of local and international dishes. The accommodation is conveniently located just 300m from the train station and offers free parking for guests.
Jezero Hotel , Plitvice Lakes
Nestled in the heart of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Jezero Hotel is the perfect base for any overnight stay in this stunning locale. The property offers a selection of guest rooms and suites, and while the hotel interior is modern in design, the building has been constructed to sit perfectly amongst the natural surroundings. A short walk away is Kozjak – the park’s largest lake. Hotel amenities include an in-house restaurant and lobby bar, a night club and complimentary spa facilities including a gym, whirpool massage and two Finnish saunas. There’s also a small gift shop on site, plus room service and free WiFi.
Hotel Atrium, Split
As the only 5-star hotel in Split, you cannot go wrong with this luxurious property. The rooms are elegantly furnished in neutral tones and are sound-proofed for a comfortable night’s sleep and provide complimentary bathrobes, slippers and bathroom cosmetics. Guests have the choice of enjoying breakfast from their rooms or at Cardo Restaurant, which serves a choice of Mediterranean and international dishes for lunch and dinner. Meanwhile the City Bar serves cocktails and hot drinks. The Filomena Wellness&Spa centre features an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness room, and in the evening guests can enjoy live music at the Platinum Casino – the largest of its kind in Dalmatia and open 24 hours a day.
Hotel Lero, Dubrovnik
The elegant Hotel Lero is a spacious accommodation that offers free WiFi to all of its guests and has an onsite salon as well as a massage parlour. The air-conditioned rooms are comfortable and stylish, ensuring that guests have a wonderful night's sleep. The hotel's bar is the perfect location for a leisurely drink before dinner, which can be taken in either of the two restaurants and consists of local and international dishes. A buffet breakfast is served each morning. The hotel is situated just minutes from the beach and 20 minutes on foot from the Old Town.
Guide: What an exceptional man with a passion for his job and his country and with outstanding knowledge. Emotionally intelligent and always willing to assist with no problem to big to solve. Balanced view of the Balkan countries and its past. Willing to put both views forward.
Tour:A well thought out tour. The local guide in Lupjana was very good.
We particularly enjoyed the two local visits (wine tasting and eating in an old village).”