Balkan peninsula or simply the Balkans has always been an area where West meets East; a place of many crossroads and area of layered geographical and cultural diversity. Traveling through eight different countries: Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary; from the Adriatic coastline to Danube River, from Pannonia valley to Carpathian Mountains; from spectacular Dubrovnik and mighty Budapest to undiscovered Koman fjord and Ohrid Lake you will have the unforgettable experience and see why this Balkan tour is par excellence.
Day 1 Zagreb - arrival. Overnight in Zagreb.
Welcome to Zagreb, the biggest town and capital of Croatia. Your guide will meet you at Zagreb Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city center. After having lunch in one of local taverns, we will explore Zagreb; Croatian cultural, scientific, economic and political center. With numerous museums, galleries, theatres, churches, cafes, open markets, clubs and pubs, Zagreb is today a city pulsing with life. A city which owes its beauty and charm to prosperous periods of baroque, classicism and secession.
Day 2 Zagreb – Plitvice Lakes – Split. Overnight in Split.
We are leaving Zagreb today and driving to the South part of the country and Croatian coastline. On our way to Split, we will visit Plitvice Lakes, the oldest and the biggest national park in Croatia, a world natural heritage site which is under the UNESCO protection since the 1979. A comfortable hike along the sixteen beautiful and crystal clear lakes with numerous cascades and waterfalls will definitely be something to remember. We are ending this day in Split, where you can enjoy a stroll along the heart of the city – the famous Split waterfront or Riva where you will feel the friendly and cozy atmosphere of this vibrant city.
Day 3; Exploring Split & Trogir. Overnight in Split.
After breakfast, we invite you to take a walk with us through the „most beautiful city in the world“, how Split if often called by its citizens. We'll visit the Diocletian Palace in the heart of Split, built as a residential palace seventeen hundred years ago by the Roman Emperor Diocletian and also a priceless monument included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage. We will take a walk up to the Marjan hill where we can enjoy beautiful views of Split harbor and middle Dalmatian Islands. In the afternoon, we will visit Trogir - old Croatian town and port first inhabited by Greeks and Romans and famous for its Romanic and gothic old core with famous Cathedral also under UNESCO protection.
Day 4; Split - Neretva valley - Ston - Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Today we head to the South part of Croatia and South part of Dalmatia. Driving across the fertile Neretva valley, on our way to Dubrovnik, we will visit Pelješac peninsula, unique for its natural environment and the richness of the land and sea. The area is well known for wine growing and some of the best Croatian wines come from this region. We will stop in little town of Ston, on the beginning of the Pelješac peninsula, known for the fortification complex dating from the 14th century and quite unique in its length of 3,5 miles. The Ston area is also known for great seafood especially oysters which are grown in the Little Ston bay. We won’t miss the opportunity to taste those fruits of the sea depths. Later in the afternoon, we will arrive to Dubrovnik where your will check into your hotel. You can spend the rest of your evening getting the first impressions of Dubrovnik.
Day 5; Exploring Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
This whole day is reserved for exploring and enjoying in our Pearl of Adriatic – the old town Dubrovnik. The great George Bernard Shaw wrote: „Those who seek paradise on Earth must come to Dubrovnik" and he was as many others overjoyed by the beauty and rich history of this old town under the UNESCO protection. Its glorious walls, with their fortresses and bastions, offer a unique walk with view of the magical Elafiti islands. From the Onofrio fountain to the City bell tower, along its main street, Stradun and in many other small and quiet cobblestone streets, every step in this town will be an experience par excellence. After our walking tour and lunch in one of Dubrovnik taverns, we invite you to collect more impressions of Dubrovnik and enjoy this beautiful city.
Day 6; Dubrovnik - Kotor (Montenegro) - Skadar Lake & Skhoder (Albania). Overnight in Skhoder.
We are leaving Dubrovnik and Croatia today and driving to neighboring Montenegro. Driving through the towns of Risan and Perast, we will discover Boka Bay. We will visit the famous man made islet and Our Lady of the Rocks church. We will also explore the old city of traders and famous sailors – Kotor. The medieval architecture, St Tryphon Cathedral and numerous other monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor an UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site. Later in the afternoon we are driving towards Skadar lake area in Albania, which is the largest freshwater lake on the Balkans and a great natural and historical area of the region. We will end this day in Skhoder, in Skadar lake area.
Day 7; Skhoder - Koman Lake - Durres/Tirana (Albania). Overnight in Durres/Triana.
If the weather conditions will permit us, we will explore Koman Lake reservoir area today; a unique natural area of breathtaking views of the mountain gorges. We will also have a chance to feel a daily life of Albania and Albanians. Later in the afternoon, we are arriving to Durres, a coastal town on the south part of the Adriatic Sea and one of the oldest towns in Albania, from the 7th Century with a largest amphitheater in the Balkans.
Day 8; Tirana - Ohrid Lake (Macedonia). Overnight in Ohrid Lake area.
On our way from Albania to Macedonia, we will discover the capital of Albania – Tirana with its some of the most famous monuments like: historical city centre, Skenderbeg statue, Et’Hem bey mosque, Clock tower, Italian buildings… We continue our drive to Ohrid in Macedonia and on the way we'll stop at the monastery of St Naum. Its position on a rocky overhang provides excellent views over Lake Ohrid and Ohrid itself, listed by UNESCO as natural and cultural world heritage sites.
Day 9; Ohrid Lake - Skopje (Macedonia). Overnight in Skopje.
This morning, we will explore Ohrid often known as Macedonian Jerusalem due to its large number of churches. The most famous sights we are going to see are: St Sophia cathedral, the oldest cathedral in Macedonia; the church of St Clement at Plaoshnik, Samuil’s Fortress etc. Later in the afternoon, we continue our drive across Macedonia to its capital – Skopje. This is a place where you can feel two thousand years of history of Oriental and Western cultures. Skopje has many historical monuments including the Kale Fortress dating back to the 6th century and the Daud Paša Amam, a 15th century bathhouse now converted into the city art gallery. You can also see the Mustafa-pasha's mosque, the 16th century Clock Tower and Stone Bridge over the Vardar River.
Day 10; Skopje - Sofia (Bulgaria). Overnight in Sofia.
This morning we’ll have some more time to explore Skopje and then we are driving along the countryside of Macedonia and Bulgaria. Our next stop is capital of Bulgaria – Sofia. After we arrive to Sofia, you'll have a chance to relax in the city center area.
Day 11; Exploring Sofia and surroundings. Overnight in Sofia.
Today we are exploring Sofia. This city offers a wealth of cultural entertainment, including Byzantine churches, museums full of ancient archaeological treasures, towering monuments and numerous mineral baths adjacent to the magnificent Mount Vitosha. Laid back and cosmopolitan, Sofia offers a thriving and diverse street life, including open-air cafés, busy markets such as the famous Ladies’ Market, rattling trams all adding to the ambience. At the foothills of Mount Vitosha about 8 kilometers from the city center you can visit the 900 year-old Boyana Church, considered among the masterpieces of medieval European painting, which features murals and frescoes dating back to 1259 AD, medieval architecture and monumental art. As the locals would say: Sofia is a place always growing but never aging...
Day 12; Sofia - Bucharest (Romania). Overnight in Bucharest.
We are leaving Sofia after breakfast and driving towards border with Romania. Our next destination is Bucharest – the capital of Romania. On our way, we will visit Veliko Tarnovo – the old capital of Bulgaria, situated on Yantra River. During the middle Ages, it was Bulgaria’s capital and, although now a modern town, it still retains some of its most attractive medieval features. In the afternoon, we are reaching Bucharest – a city of beautiful parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees. After we check into your hotel, you will have a leisure afternoon to explore the vivid city center of Romanian capital.
Day 13; Exploring Bucharest (Romania). Overnight in Bucharest.
Today we are exploring Bucharest, a city which is often called a Little Paris. We will see some of the most famous landmarks like: Lipscani district, Palace of the Parliament, Arcul De Triumf, Romanian Athenaeum and open air Village Museum - a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, windmills and watermills. After the walking tour, we will take you for lunch in one of traditional Bucharest taverns. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 14; Bucharest - Bran (Dracula) castle - Sibiu (Romania). Overnight in Sibiu.
Today we are exploring some of the most famous sights in Romania: Bran with its famous Dracula castle from 14th Century with its owner Vlad the Impaler and Brasov, a lovely medieval town famous for its town square filled with baroque architecture and outdoor cafés. We are spending a night in a picturesque town Sibiu in the heart of Transylvania to Sibiu, which was a European Capital of Culture in 2007.
Day 15; Sibiu - Budapest. Overnight in Budapest.
After spending some more time in the lovely Sibiu, known for its extensive fortifications, medieval citadel and the Grand square, we are driving to Hungary and its capital Budapest, which is a last destination on our Balkan tour. Later in the evening, we are arriving to Budapest where we’ll spend last two nights on our tour. After we check into your hotel, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Day 16; Exploring Budapest. Overnight in Budapest.
Today, we will seize the day and explore Budapest – the Queen of the Danube. We will discover the twin cities Buda and Pest with their most famous sights: Buda Castle, Fishermen’s Bastion, Heroes’ Square, Parliament, Matthias Coronation Church, Vaci street and many other. After the walking tour, we will have lunch in one of Budapest taverns and in the evening we invite you on a river cruise along the mighty Danube where you will be able to admire the great views of Buda and Pest.
Day 17; Budapest - departure.
This is the last day of your tour. Your guide will take you Budapest Airport for your flight back home. There is also an option to drive back to Zagreb together with your guide and departure back home from Zagreb Airport. We wish you a safe trip back home and thank you for joining us this tour. Goodbye!
Zagreb has a rich cultural heritage dating from prehistoric ages. The very first findings of human habitants in the area date all the way to the Stone Age, around 35000 B.C. Zagreb arise from two settlements Gradec i Kaptol. Kaptol developed as a spiritual centre, where clergymen were given land to live on, and where they built curies. Somewhat later than the Kaptol settlement, the settlement called Gradec was established on the west side of the Medvescak creek. In 1242 king Bela IV, in order to thank for the shelter and to strengthen the country's defense, gave the habitants of Gradec the Golden Bull. The Golden Bull was the privilege which excludes Gradec from the governor's rule and obliges them only to army duty for the king. Simultaneously, under the influence of the Cistercians, restoration and fortification of Kaptol commenced. The city of Zagreb, with its cultural and historical legacy and significance, is one of the most vital cities in Europe.
National Park Plitvice Lakes is a special geological and hydrological phenomenon. It consists of 16 lakes, which gradually blend into one another in a long series of more than 5000 m. The vast forest areas of exceptional natural beauty, lakes and waterfalls, flora and fauna, mountain air, contrasting colors of autumn or spring, forest trails and wooden bridges are protected by the UNESCO World Natural Heritage. According to legend the Plitvice lakes formed after the terrible long drought. People, animals and plants have yearned and prayed for a drop of water. Then in the valley appeared mysterious Black Queen with her magnificent retinue and mercy to the people. With strong wind and thunder rain came to the ground. It was raining so long and strong, until the water level has not grown enough to create lakes.
Split is the heart of Dalmatia and the second largest city in Croatia. Split is also a big port, third on the Mediterranean by the number of passengers. The city center is the Palace of Diocletian built in the 4th century.This spectacular palace is the largest and best preserved late antique palace in the world. Legend says that Diocletian's Palace was never just a place to rest for the Emperor Diocletian, but also the facility for processing wool. In the 5th century, in the palace was allegedly poisoned last legitimate Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos (Romulus Augustus) and the street in Split today bears his name.
Dubrovnik (Ragusa) is a city on the south of Croatia and one of the most important historical and tourist centers. As other six Croatian destinations, Dubrovnik was also in 1979 included in UNESCO's World Heritage List. In the middle ages Dubrovnik was independent Republic of Ragusa, the only city-state on the east coast of the Adriatic rival Venice. The beautiful city walls built from 13 to 17 century are a favorite spot for sightseeing and weddings. Be sure to visit the tower Minceta and Bokar, fortresses St. John and Revelin, Imperial fortress, the Prince's Palace, the Pile gate, the gate of Ploce, the cathedral and the church St. Blaise. Except for its cultural and historical sites, Dubrovnik is inexhaustible source of interesting stories. Tourists love it because it has more than 250 sunny days a year and beautiful preserved beaches.
Budapest, the queen of the Danube River and birthplace of Csárdás. The beautiful capital of Hungary and the former capital of the Hungarian kingdom.
The beauty of this city is what defines it: the wide avenues, beautiful parks, old buildings on both sides of the river and a harmonious blend of architectural styles are the reasons why we often call it the Paris of Eastern Europe.
Buda and Pest, two cities merged into one. One on the hill and the other in the valley.
Stroll the city's avenues and streets of the romantic Old Town and discover the magnificent historical buildings on both sides of the Danube.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit the National Gallery or and to see the Royal Palace built in the 13th century and the Cathedral of St.. Matthew, as well as numerous bridges across the Danube River.
Remember, it only takes one evening in an old Hungarian Csárda with gypsy music and the bottle of tokay wine and you will fall in love into this city.
All prices are expressed in euro and all specified prices are based per person.
If you would like to customize your Croatian tour (eg. add new places, extend your stay), please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can make an offer that fits your wishes.
|3 - 4||4590 €|
|5 - 6||3890 €|
Additionally, we also offer transfers from Venice, Budapest and Wien airports.
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