6 Countries | 15 Cities | 13 DAYS
Grand Balkan tour
May 5. – Sept 15.
One way trip
from 1675 €
One Way Grand Balkan Tour from Zagreb will show you the region’s main drawcards – the consuming history, captivating cultures, religious diversity and mesmerising, intact nature are the region’s main drawcards.
The Balkan Peninsula: a fascinating triangle engulfed by rivers, mountains and seas, the meeting point of Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, the region known for political turmoil in the 20th century.
Languages: English and Spanish
This Grand Balkan one-way coach tour starts in Zagreb, and travels to the Balkans most distinct towns, sights and spots in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. On the way you will experience the history, culture, and everyday life of different nations and religions living together on the peninsula of Balkans.
Zagreb – Bled – Ljubljana – Plitvice – Trogir – Split – Mostar – Dubrovnik – Budva – Shkodra – Tirana - Ohrid – Skopje – Kolašin – Cetinje – Kotor - Dubrovnik
Enjoy a tasty breakfast and a cup of coffee overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea and prepare yourself for a day of discovering magnificent UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik Old Town. After a short panoramic drive through Dubrovnik, a professional guide will take you on a walking tour, after which you will be given plenty of free time to discover The Pearl of Adriatic before your transfer back to the ship. We sail towards Šipan Island around 4 pm.
Upon arrival at Zagreb Airport, transfer to the hotel where you will meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. Dinner and overnight in Zagreb
Despite a million people living here, Zagreb somehow manages to retain the cosy feel about it and you will best experience this in a guided tour of its historic, fortified Upper Town and the lively Lower town. See the main landmarks like the Cathedral, St. Mark’s church with the colourful roof and several present-day government buildings, the Croatian National Theatre and the University, before enjoying some free time to explore on your own.
Then depart to Slovenia, Croatia’s small and charming neighbour. Stop to marvel at the dreamy setting at the glacial Lake Bled, before making your way to Slovenia’s capital city Ljubljana. Dinner and overnight in Ljubljana.
Sitting on the banks of Ljubljanica River, the romantic Ljubljana charms with its bridges, sky-high Ljubljana castle above the town, and the playful baroque and Art Nouveu on its historic facades. Known as one of Europe's greenest cities, completely flat and with many pedestrian zones, Ljubljana sees ideal for discovering on foot.
After your morning city tour, head back to Croatia's most beloved natural sight – the Plitvice Lakes. Sixteen lakes melting into one another in a series of waterfalls are a sight to behold in every season – blossoming in the spring, lushly green in the summer, colourful in the fall and a fairy tale wonderland in the winter. Dinner and overnight in Plitvice Region.
Depart to the country’s most famous region – Dalmatia. The drive is a lovely showcase of Croatia’s diversity, as you will travel from the continental highlands over a mountain pass to find yourself suddenly blinded by the shimmering blue of the Adriatic Sea. Your first stop, the tiny and charming UNESCO-listed jewel of Trogir, introduces the bounty and splendor of heritage on the coast.
Its lively historic core was once a one man’s retirement palace. The man was the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his modest home is today inhabited by 3000 people. Your walking tour highlights the stunning landmarks like the theatrical open-air Peristyle, the Temple of Jupiter and the Cathedral of St. Dominus, the patron saint of Split. Dinner and overnight in Split.
Travelling south from Split takes you along the ribbon of roads knit tightly along the edges of Croatia’s shorelines and through the beautiful landscapes of flat and fertile delta of Neretva River.
Before reaching Croatia’s Pearl of the Adriatic, the beautiful Dubrovnik, stop in Mostar, just across the border with Bosnia and Hercegovina. Spread out on the banks of the river Neretva, its two sides – the Croatian and Muslim – are joined by an old Ottoman bridge. Marvel at this beautiful piece of architecture, then discover the Old Bazaar, the Mosque and Turkish house on its banks. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik.
Sunday is a special day in the local culture, and locals will spend it to relax with their families and loved ones. And when in Rome… You’ll have this whole day to yourself so explore the magnificent Dubrovnik, whether you head to its Old Town, a.k.a. the King’s Landing, venture out to the leafy island of Lokrum, or discover some other treasure, today is about leisure. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik.
Start this action-packed day by a walking tour of Dubrovnik, the UNESCO World Heritage site and the King’s Landing. Walking its wall-embraced Old Town is like taking a step back in time to when this lovely town was an independent Republic. Stop to explore a still-operating pharmacy from 1317, the seat of the former Republic government at the Rector’s Palace and the revered Cathedral, then continue to Montenegro.
The dramatic Boka Bay will make you fall in love with this country at first sight, and so will Budva, the charming resort town with an Old City founded by Greeks, inhabited by Romans and fortified by Venetians.
As you continue further to Albania, stop in Shkodra, once the capital of the Illyrian Kingdom (3rd century B.C.). Dinner and overnight in Tirana.
Following a prolonged period of communist rule, Albania's capital of Tirana today puts on a fireworks show of traffic and colors mixed in with remnant of its dominant 20th century period. In a guided tour, you’ll stroll down dinky pedestrianized zones where you can see its lively life take place, past Skender Bay Square, to the Mosque of Ethem Bey and then the National Museum to learn of this small nation's history.
In the afternoon, drive the roads through impressively lush forests via Elbasan to reach Macedonia's Ohrid, a one-of-a-kind charming lakeside town. Dinner and overnight in Ohrid.
The home of the first pan-Slavic University in Europe, topped by the remains of an ancient tower, the historic parts of Ohrid cascade down steep slopes opening up into lakeside promenade and beaches. Between vibrant craft scene, old-fashioned bistros and private homes, stop to enjoy the magnificent Byzantine paintings at the 11th-century church of St. Sofi with and the St. Clement Church with its icon of Annunciation.
In the afternoon, drive along the lakeside to the Monastery of St. Naum, gracing the shores for over a thousand years and paying a tribute to the Slavic missionary and educator St. Naum of Ohrid. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Ohrid.
From Ohrid, head to discover the capital of Macedonia, Skopje. With large investments put forth into revamping the city centre stretched along the banks of Vardar River, the contrast of new and old in Skopje is striking. Mimicking classical antiquity, imposing replicas of Greek and Roman edifices next to bridges topped with shiny saint and warrior statues stand side by side with the historic Čaršija from the Ottoman period, the 6th-ct. Kale fortress and the 14th-ct. Church of the Holy Savior.
Enjoy a guided stroll and then drive along the scenic road wavering along the footings of Vodno Mountain to the Monastery of St. Panteleimon to admire its 12th-ct. iconostasis and remains of Byzantine frescos. Dinner and overnight in Skopje.
From Skopje, depart to Montenegro. Travel through Kosovo and the Morača River Canyon, perhaps one of the most impressive roads in the region. Swirling along sky-high rocks, the road overlooks the emerald Morača River below. Enjoy the sceneries and in the afternoon, arrive to the village of Kolašin on Bjelasica Mountain.
At an altitude of almost one thousand meters, the air here is so pure that the whole area is considered an air spa. Spread on the bank of the beautiful River Tara and embraced in thick pine forests, the village of Kolašin and its surrounding slopes are also a popular ski resort. Dinner and overnight in Kolašin.
During your last day of exploring the Balkan Peninsula, delve into the Montenegrin jewels. Start with Cetinje, the Old Royal capital and the present-day secondary capital of the country. You will visit the former residence of King Nikola I Petrović which today houses an interesting museum bringing you in on the Montenegrin history and its royal times.
Then descend to the coast of Boka bay and stop in Kotor, a charming medieval town which enjoyed its peak as a Venetian stronghold. Embraced in a cloak of ruinous walls, the streets of Kotor swirl and curve between landmarks like the Cathedral of St. Typhon and the Church of St. Luke. Back on the bus, enjoy the dramatic landscapes of Boka Bay as you make your way back to Dubrovnik. Dinner and overnight in Dubrovnik.
Breakfast followed by a departure transfer to Dubrovnik Airport.
Departures and rates
Currency is set to EURO.
Rates are per person for double occupancy for 12 nights.
Single Supplement: 450 euro net (on request)
Previosly listed hotels will be used on almost all departures. If changes become necessary for any reason, substitute hotels will be similar to those on this page.
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