Colourful Sarajevo | Croatia
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Journey Around the Western Balkans - 11 days map

From the Croatian capital of Zagreb, journey around the Balkans on this 11-day tour travelling through four countries including Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Take in the highlights of four Balkan capitals, explore historic towns and discover UNESCO World Heritage sites including the spectacular waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Old City of Dubrovnik, the pearl of the Adriatic.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Zagreb - Take in the highlights of the Croatian capital on a guided tour, including the fortified Upper Town
Ljubljana - Discover the beautiful capital of Slovenia, including the Three Bridges, Robba's Fountain and the open-air market
Split - Explore the enchanting port city, including a visit to UNESCO-listed Diocletian's Palace
Belgrade - Uncover the numerous highlights of Serbia's capital on a guided tour of the city, which is nestled between two rivers
Bled - Visit the beautiful town in the Julien Alps, famous for the stunning thermal lake of the same name
Plitvice Lakes - Navigate some of the eerie underground passages in this karst cave system and admire some of the 92 cascading waterfalls
Dubrovnik - Enjoy plenty of free time in the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' and wander the narrow streets of the famous walled city
Sarajevo - Take a guided tour of the fascinating historic capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Included

Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 8 dinners
Airport arrival and departure transfer on days 1 and 11
English speaking local guide
10 nights 3-4 star accommodation
Guided sightseeing in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Plitvice Lakes, Split, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Novi Sad and Osijek
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visas. Note: This tour travels through Bosnia and Hertzegovnia - please see day 5 of our Trip Notes for further details relating to visa requirements for this section of the trip
Tip for your tour leader. We recommend you allow EUR 3–5 per day, per traveller. Tipping is an entirely personal gesture
Entrance fees to sites other than those listed

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Zagreb

Wednesday. Welcome to Zagreb and the start of your holiday. Included transfer from the airport to your hotel in the city. The remainder of the day offers 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

Day 2

Zagreb & Ljubljana

Zagreb - Ljubljana. Embark on a morning sightseeing adventure of Zagreb, offering you the chance to explore the fortified Upper Town, the historic heart of the city, the charming St. Mark's Church with its vibrant, multi-colored roof, the grand Cathedral, the Croatian National Theatre, and the University. Following this, we will journey to Ljubljana.

In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, where you'll have the opportunity to witness the most notable landmarks in its old center. This includes the picturesque Central open-air Market and the iconic Three Bridges, the elegant Baroque Town Hall, and the enchanting Robba's Fountain. Overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Overnight: Ljubljana  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Bled

Ljubljana - Bled - Plitvice. Today, we'll set out for Bled, a charming small town nestled in the Julian Alps, renowned as one of the most breathtaking alpine resorts. It's a place that seems straight out of a timeless fairy tale, with its vast natural beauty, encompassing mountains and forests that embrace an emerald glacial lake. Here, we'll explore the Bled Castle, which stands as the oldest in all of Slovenia. After our visit to Bled, our adventure continues as we make our way to the Plitvice Lakes area for an overnight stay and dinner.
Overnight: Plitvice Lakes  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

Plitvice & Split

Plitvice - Split. Begin your day with a morning stroll around Plitvice Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you'll witness the wonder of 16 crystal-blue lakes, gracefully cascading into a network of 92 waterfalls. After this enchanting experience, we'll continue our journey to the historic city of Split.

This afternoon, our guide will reveal the secrets of the UNESCO-protected Diocletian's Palace and its intriguing cellars. Originally built during ancient times, the palace underwent modifications by its inhabitants in the Middle Ages, resulting in its present-day charm. It stands as the heart of the city, brimming with history and culture. Overnight in Split.
Overnight: Split  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5

Split & Dubrovnik

Split - Pelješac - Dubrovnik. Following breakfast, we embark toward the captivating city of Dubrovnik. En route, we'll make a stop at one of the wine cellars on the Pelješac peninsula, where you can taste the region's renowned red wine, Plavac Mali. You'll have some free time for lunch and the opportunity to explore the charming little town of Ston.

In the afternoon, we'll join a city tour of Dubrovnik, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," a UNESCO-protected gem. Explore its magnificent Cathedral and take a step back in time to the maritime era of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Marvel at its grand palaces, elegant fountains, and robust city walls. Enjoy the city's marble streets, baroque architecture, and the endless glimmer of the Adriatic Sea.
Overnight: Dubrovnik  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Free Time

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 Montenegro and it's Bay of Kotor.
Overnight: Dubrovnik  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

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. Enjoy some free time to explore and have lunch before we drive onward to Sarajevo. Arriving in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we will take in some of the highlights on a guided city tour of Sarajevo - one of the historically most interesting cities in Europe and is a vibrant and cosmopolitan place to live.
Overnight: Sarajevo  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8

Belgrade, Serbia

Sarajevo – Zvornik – Belgrade. In the morning, we set out for Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Along the way, we'll make a brief stop in Zvornik, a picturesque little town in northeastern Bosnia situated on the banks of the Drina River. Belgrade, where the Sava River converges with the Danube River, is a city with numerous must-visit and must-experience spots.

Upon reaching Belgrade, a guide will lead you on a tour of this beautiful city, nestled between the two majestic rivers, renowned for its breathtaking sunsets.
Overnight: Belgrade  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9

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 its 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 guided tour in Novi Sad, we cross the border back into 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

Day 10

Djakovo & Star Kepela, Croatia

Osijek/Vukovar - Zagreb. Today we start with a guided 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 to visit a nearby Ethno Village where we will enjoy lunch before continuing onto Zagreb.
Overnight: Zagreb  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

Goodbye

Saturday. A leisurely day for you to further see the sights of this beautiful city, before an included departure transfer to Zagreb airport.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.

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Guaranteed Departure
2024
Twin Share
Single Room
08 May - 18 May 15% off G
NZD $6,485
NZD $5,512
NZD $8,295
NZD $7,051
05 Jun - 15 Jun 15% off G
NZD $6,635
NZD $5,640
NZD $8,685
NZD $7,382
19 Jun - 29 Jun 15% off G
NZD $6,635
NZD $5,640
NZD $8,685
NZD $7,382
17 Jul - 27 Jul 15% off
NZD $6,905
NZD $5,869
NZD $9,205
NZD $7,824
21 Aug - 31 Aug 15% off
NZD $6,905
NZD $5,869
NZD $9,205
NZD $7,824
02 Oct - 12 Oct 15% off
NZD $6,485
NZD $5,512
NZD $8,295
NZD $7,051

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre Tour Accommodation - Zagreb
NZD $151
NZD $222
Post Tour Accommodation - Zagreb
NZD $151
NZD $222

Hotels

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.

Hotel Astoria, Zagreb

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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.

Hotel Lev, Ljubliana

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Hotel Lev is centrally located in Ljubljana, the 13 floor high glass exterior offers marvelous views of Slovenia's capital city. Guest rooms are decorated modernly featuring private ensuite bathrooms and air-conditioning. Additional features of the hotel include complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24-hour fitness centre and bicycles to rent for those wanting to explore the area.

Jezero Hotel , Plitvice Lakes

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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 Corner, Split

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Located in the heart of Split, Hotel Corner offers spacious accommodation in modern rooms with plenty of natural light. The recently renovated hotel offers rooms that are spread across two floors, and accessible by both stairs and an elevator. With a choice between four different room types (standard, triple, comfort or family), guests can enjoy comfort, as each room has free WiFi, a flatscreen TV with cable channels, a safe, complimentary toiletries and a private bathroom with a shower and hairdryer. Not only are famous landmarks, including the UNESCO-listed Palace of Diocletian located close by, the hotel also offers a 24-hour service desk, room service and free parking. There is a fitness center and a restaurant on-site, as well as a spa and wellness center where guests can unwind with a massage treatment on-site.

Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik is situated on the lush Babin Kuk Peninsula, just 6km away from Dubrovniks old city. Featuring air-conditioned modern and comfortable guest rooms with free Wi-Fi and equipped with private bathrooms. The hotel features an elegant outdoor swimming pool with views of the Elaphiti Islands as well as an indoor pool and array of wellness facilities. Why not sit back and relax with a cocktail in hand after exploring Dubrovnik's old city.

Hotel Colors Inn , Sarajevo

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Colors Inn is located in the heart of Sarajevo and is a charming building dating from the Austro-Hungarian period. It's central location is ideal and is just a three-minute walk to the main pedestrian zone. Guest rooms provide a flat-screen cable TV, air-conditioning and a minibar, also featuring a private bathroom. Enjoy international and national cuisine in the restaurant also offering buffet breakfast daily.

Golden Tulip Zira Belgrade, Belgrade

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The modern Golden Tulip Zira is located in the heart of Belgrade. Offering stylish guest rooms equipped with the most modern communication and entertainment technology. All guest rooms are non-smoking and have an LCD cable TV, a minibar and a private bathroom. Free International landline calls and free Wi-Fi access are also provided. The hotel also features a fitness centre and sauna.

Hotel Osijek, Osijek

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Hotel Osijek is located next to the banks of the Drava River. It is in a stunning location, providing panoramic views and close proximity to the main city square, and surrounding parks. Each room is air-conditioned, offering spacious comfort with free WiFi, a cable TV, minibar and hairdryer. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, Zimska Luka, which overlooks the peaceful river. A buffet breakfast is available, as well as a la carte dishes during lunch and dinner. In addition to the on-site fitness center, there is a spa and beauty salon available that offers a wide range of hair, body and face treatments to guests.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Zagreb
Ends
Zagreb
Departs
Wednesday
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 45
Hotel Rating
4 star
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 8
Countries
Bosnia And Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia
Minimum Age
16 yrs, accompanied by an adult
Arr. Transfer
Yes
Dep. Transfer
Yes
Sun shining through the cathedral in Zagreb
Boardwalk winding through the Plitvice National Park
Boardwalk winding through the Plitvice National Park
Aerial view of Dubrovnik, surrounded by water and filled with terracotta-roofed buildings
Aerial view of Dubrovnik, surrounded by water and filled with terracotta-roofed buildings
Arial view of the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Osijek - Highlight image 1

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).

Leoni (for Adriaan and Linda) Visser
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