Hungary to Croatia - 15 days
Embark on a two week journey through Eastern Europe and discover the heart of the Balkans. Set out from vibrant Budapest through Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro to UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik exploring ancient lakes, cobbled streets and medieval cities along the way.
Welcome to Hungary and the start of your holiday. Upon arrival at Budapest Airport you will be met and transferred to your start hotel. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure exploring Hungary’s capital city at your own pace.
Budapest - Novi Sad. Bidding Hungary farewell this morning we hop on the train to Novi Sad in neighbouring Serbia. Novi Sad is overlooked by its most famous monument, the magnificent Petrovaradin Fortress, which dates back to the 18th century. This vibrant city is the cultural heart of the country, with annual music festivals and underground galleries as well as the International Street Musicians’ Festival in September when the streets come alive with jugglers, street shows and acrobatics.
Overnight: Novi Sad | Breakfast
Novi Sad – Belgrade. Departing Novi Sad this morning we journey across the border to Serbia by bus and make our way to its capital city of Belgrade where we’ll spend the next two days.
Located at the crossing point of the Sava and Danube rivers, this Belgrade has had a tumultuous, yet fascinating, history. Our first stop here will be the well-preserved ruins of the looming Kalemegdan Citadel, which was built in stages from the 1st century BC and was finally finished in the 18th century. Here we can explore the military museum houses within its fortress, admire views over the city and even see graffiti made by bored medieval guardsmen. If time allows we’ll also pay a visit to St Sava Church, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the entire world.
Spend the rest of your time here continuing to explore the city at your own pace. checking out the excellent shopping opportunities on offer or relaxing on the beach at Ada Ciganlija, an island in the middle of the Sava River known as Belgrade’s own Hawaii.
Overnight: Belgrade | Breakfast x 2
Belgrade – Pristina. This morning we leave Serbia and enter into neighbouring Kosovo, stopping en route at Devil’s Town. Not quite as frightening as its name might suggest, Devil’s Town is actually a surreal natural phenomena in southern Serbia made up of a collection of unusual rock formations.
From Devil’s Town we continue on to Pristina, the capital of Kosovo and the youngest capital in Europe. While Pristina may have had a tumultuous history, the city has turned a new leaf and been reborn into a young, energetic city on the rise. While sightseeing opportunities may be few and far between, your two days here are the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and witness first-hand a city that is changing and growing with each passing day. Coffee culture is big here, as is the restaurant scene and night life.
Overnight: Pristina | Breakfast x 2
Pristina – Skopje. Continuing our journey through Eastern Europe today we head to Skopje – the capital of Macedonia, for two nights. A fascinating confluence of east and west with a history spanning two thousand years, Skopje has many monuments worth visiting including the 6th century Kale Fortress and the Daud Pasa Amam, a 15th century bathroom that has since been converted into an art gallery. Other sights of interest include the Mustafa-pasha's Mosque, the 16th century Clock Tower and the Kamen Most Stone Bridge over the Vardar River.
Overnight: Skopje | Breakfast x 2
Skopje – Lake Ohrid. First thing this morning we venture out of the city centre for a boat ride in Matka Canyon, a spectacular gorge lined by a rugged towering rock wall. The area is also dotted with monasteries, churches and medieval buildings, and is one of the Macedonia’s most popular outdoor destinations.
From Matka Canyon we journey to the border of Macedonia and eastern Albania for two nights by the beautiful lake side town of Ohrid. This picturesque setting has seen thousands of years of history and today its landscape is scattered with remnants from its past, from ancient churches and fortress walls, to bazaars and old quarters. Lake Ohrid itself was formed over three million years ago making it the oldest lake in Europe. Spend the next two days here wandering around the quaint town centre, hike up to the ancient walled fortress and explore its many churches, monasteries and basilicas.
Overnight: Lake Ohrid | Breakfast x 2
Lake Ohrid – Tirana. Departing picturesque Ohrid, we continue on to the small town of Kruja in Albania. Nestled on a mountainside, here you can discover the pretty old town and explore Kruja Castle where you can visit the Skanderbeg Museum.
Our final destination today is Tirana, the largest city in Albania and its trendy capital. While the city has a long history, you can enjoy its modern outlook, with fashionable bars, and wander boulevards lined with relics of the city’s Ottoman, clubs and boutiques, Italian and communist past. Key sights of interest here include Tirana’s main square, which is bordered by the National History Museum, the Palace of Culture and Skanderbeg statue. A short bus ride out of the city centre is the Martyr’s Cemetery which offers wonderful panoramic views over the city.
Overnight: Tirana | Breakfast
Tirana – Kotor. After spending the morning exploring Tirana, our group will move onward to our next destination - the picturesque town of Kotor in Montenegro. It is a walled city nestled at the bottom of Europe’s deepest fjord. Experience Stari Grad, the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with it’s tricky labyrinth of cobbled alleys, squares and ancient churches, including St Tryphon's Cathedral built in 1166.
The steep mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to this beautiful town and you can admire them from the waterfront. You could spend the day drinking espresso in the shade of the medieval walls watching people go by, or if you are feeling more adventurous try climbing the walls of the ancient fort of Sveti Ivan which spans some 4.5 kilometres above the city on almost vertical cliffs. Your efforts will be rewarded by an excellent view of Kotor and the bay.
Overnight: Kotor | Breakfast x 2
Kotor – Dubrovnik. En route to Dubrovnik we stop at Trebinje for a wine tour and some tasting. We continue to Dubrovnik this afternoon where we enjoy a walk around the city walls, stretching almost two kilometres around the old town. Admire views over the rooftops and the Adriatic Sea.
Overnight: Dubrovnik | Breakfast
Today your tour of Eastern Europe comes to an end. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 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 travellers who would like the comfort of their own room (on all or many of the tour nights) and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
Local payment - €210 - €240 payable in Euro
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.