Slovenia - Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Serbia - Montenegro - Macedonia
Day 1Ljubljana, Slovenia (D) (25 km)
We start the Balkan tour from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. After the accommodation, we will have an orientation walk and in the evening the first dinner in a restaurant in the center, tasting the traditional recipes with local ingredients and good wines.
Day 2 Ljubljana city tour (B)
Today with a local guide we are going to take a walk throughout the central streets full of art, culture and music and neoclassic architecture. The tour includes the Opera House, National Gallery, Republic Square and the city's most famous Triple Bridge, connecting the old medieval town to the modern business centre. We will finish in the city castle and have free afternoon to explore the city on your own. Dinner on your own. Overnight.
Day 3 Ljubljana – Bled - Zagreb, Croatia (B) (250 km)
We leave Ljubljana and head to Lake Bled (55 km), one of the most visited local natural sites in Slovenia. The town of Bled is situated on a tranquil lake. It was a home to the Yugoslavian Royal Family and also the summer residence of President Tito. We will visit the island in the lake by traditional gondola boat. On the island we will visit the Church of the Assumption and Bled Castle. In the afternoon, back in the bus, we are heading to Croatia’s capital Zagreb (195 km). Check in a hotel, orientation walk with the tour leader and free evening.
Day 4 Zagreb city tour– Plitvice Lakes – Zagreb (B) (280 km)
After breakfast we begin with a guided walking tour of Zagreb. The city is rich in art, culture and gastronomy. Zagreb is well known after its Austro-Hungarian architecture. Wondering around the streets of Zagreb, among the other attractions, we will visit the Gothic Zagreb Cathedral and 13th century Saint Mark's Church. In the afternoon we drive to the natural attraction of the Plitvice National Park (140 km). Lunch time in Plitvice. In this natural park there are 16 interconnecting lakes, waterfalls. There is a rare fauna and flora which includes brown bear, wolves, lynx and eagles, lizards, butterflies and various birdlife. We will take a couple of ferries and follow the well-marked walking trails through the landscape. We return to Zagreb (140 km) for the evening.
Day 5Zagreb – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (B) (400 km)
After the breakfast, we leave Zagreb and the next destination is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo (400 km). After the accommodation in a hotel, we will take a walk through the streets of Sarajevo Charshi, famous central streets full of restaurants with traditional “kebap”, inevitable sweet baklava, tulumba, cadaif… which reminds us of the streets of Istanbul, with lots of Ottoman feel. Dinner on own.
Day 6 Sarajevo city tour (B, D) (10 km)
With a local guide, we start the tour from Latin Bridge. We will see the Eternal Flame, which is a memorial to all those that lost their lives during the I World War. On the way, we will admire beautiful examples of Austro-Hungarian architecture, like the architecture of the City Hall. After exploring the center of the city, in the afternoon we take the bus to visit the Tunnel Museum depicting life during the Sarajevo Siege in 1992-1995 and showing how the resident civilians managed to keep themselves supplied during the longest siege in modern history. Tonight we have organized dinner in the central area of Sarajevo.
Day 7 Sarajevo – Mostar (B) (130 km)
This morning we leave Sarajevo behind and drive by bus to another unique Bosnian town – Mostar. We arrive into Mostar and after the check in, we start the walking city tour with a local guide. The city was held under siege in the nineties, during the Bosnian war. Much of Mostar was ruined during this period, but like Sarajevo, the city has an Ottoman feel. We will walk a cobbled stone streets surrounded by nearby domes and minarets. We will see the bazaar, mosque and old city on the way to one of the country's most famous landmarks, Stari Most (The Old Bridge). This bridge is a reconstruction of the original Ottoman bridge that was built in 16th century, but was destroyed by shelling in 1993. Overnight in Mostar.
Day 8 Mostar - Dubrovnik (CRO) – Kotor – Bar, Montenegro (B) (280 km)
This morning from Mostar we drive first to the Old Town area of Dubrovnik (130 km). The coastal town is surrounded by ancient walls. The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been remarkably well restored. We do explore the town on our own, with a prior explanation of our tour leader. After Dubrovnik, following the coastline, we continue to Montenegro and the first stop there is the old Mediterranean port of Kotor (90 km). Kotor is surrounded by unique cliffs and is one of the best preserved medieval old towns on the Adriatic Sea. We explore the streets of Kotor and we have free time for lunch in some of the restaurants in these narrow streets. Tonight we are going to be accommodated in another ancient port, neighboring coastal town of Bar (60 km). Free evening.
Day 9 Bar - Podgorica – Belgrade, Serbia (B) (505 km)
We leave the coast of Montenegro and first we stop in its capital, Podgorica (55 km). We are going to see the central square of the capital, including the Old Clock Tower, with a possibility to have a drink in some of the bars around the square. From Podgorica, we leave this country and enter in Serbia, we are heading to its capital, Belgrade (450 km). After the accommodation in a hotel in Belgrade, we will take a walk along the huge central promenade street full of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Dinner on own.
Day 10 Belgrade city tour (B, D)
Today we have a guided walking tour. It includes the old town in Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park. We are going to explore the fortress which is rich with layers of history including Medieval, Roman and Ottoman periods. The Romans originally built a fortification here in 2nd century AD due to its excellent strategic viewpoint on the hill overlooking the city and the Sava and Danube Rivers. In the afternoon we will visit Tito's Mausoleum and the Royal Palace. Tonight we have dinner in a local restaurant in the famous Belgrade district of Skadarlija where we'll experience a traditional Serbian barbeque dinner with live music.
Day 11 Belgrade – Novi Sad, Serbia (B) (190 km)
From Belgrade we drive for a day trip to the largest city in the Serbian region of Vojvodina - Novi Sad (95 km). We will start the tour from the famous Petrovaradin Fortress, with magnificent view to the city and the Danube River. The local guide will tell us about the rich history of the fortress covering the Roman, Greek and Byzantine period, we will see the Greek school and the Orthodox cathedral. Guided by a local guide, we will then go in the central area of the city which includes free time for lunch and more exploration. Back to Belgrade (95 km) and free evening.
Day 12 Belgrade – Skopje, Macedonia (B) (435 km)
We leave Serbia and head to Macedonia and its capital Skopje (435 km). After the accommodation in a hotel, our trip leader will take you for an orientation walk. We will not have other activities today and the rest of the day will be on your own.
Day 13 Skopje city tour (B, L, D) (40 km)
Skopje is the born-town of Mother Theresa. After the breakfast, we start with a guided walking tour of Skopje including Fortress Kale, the Church of Holly Salvation and the old Turkish bazaar, which is the largest and most well preserved in south-east Europe. We cross the river of Vardar and explore the modern center of Skopje. Here we visit the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia, the Memorial house of Mother Theresa, the monuments of Alexander the Great and Phillip the Second of Macedon… In the afternoon we head to Matka Gorge, where we will have a lunch break. After the lunch break, we take a boat ride through the canyon and visit one of its numerous caves. Back in the city. Organized dinner in a national restaurant. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 14 Skopje – Prishtina (Kosovo) – Skopje (B) (180 km)
This is a day tour. We are driving in the morning to the neighboring Kosovo and its capital Prishtina. With a local guide we will explore and visit some of the city’s attractions. Today on the list are the Emin Gjiku Ethnographic Museum, which gives you a great introduction to traditional Kosovar culture. Set in two charmingly preserved Ottoman houses, within a large walled garden, there is a range of weapons, clothing and jewellery and household items exhibited. In the city's bazaar you can see a 26 metre high clock tower. We will stop at the National Library to see the unique architecture of this bizarre building. The Independent House of Kosovo is another place worth of seeing where you can find out the story of the former president Ibrahim Rugova and Kosovo's campaign for independence from Serbia and you can also see the Newborn Monument, from 17 February 2008 when Kosovo first declared its liberation. Sultan Mehmet Fatih Mosque and Jashar Pasha Mosque are the city's most important Ottoman mosques and local attractions. We will have free time for lunch and head back to Macedonia. Overnight in Skopje.
Day 15Skopje – Ohrid, Macedonia (B, L) (175 km)
This morning we drive from Skopje to the only UNESCO site in Macedonia, the ancient city of Ohrid and its lake. Today we have perhaps the most scenic route, following the Black Drim River Valley to reach the shores of Lake Ohrid. On the way to Ohrid, we make a stop to visit one of Macedonia’s monasteries – Saint John the Baptist of Bigorski. It is famous for its remarkable iconostasis, which is among the most beautiful in Europe, constructed by intricate wood carving between 1829 and 1835. We will also stop at the typical mountain Macedonian village of Vevchani. Here we have time for lunch and to see famous village waterfalls. Accommodation in a hotel in Ohrid and free time for dinner.
Day 16Ohrid city tour (B, D) (50 km)
Ohrid has a wealth of heritage and is today an important cultural and spiritual centre. The town and lake were classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in the world and allegedly there are some 365 churches, monasteries and other religious sites around the lake. We start today with a walking tour of Ohrid including a visit to King Samuel’s Fortress, Saint Sophia’s Church and the Macedonian-Roman theatre. When we reach Saint Clement’s Church and the Plaoshnik archaeological site we will walk down the steps to the Church of Saint John the Evangelist at Kaneo with its fantastic views out over the lake. From here we take small boats for the short ride back to the centre of Ohrid. After the lunch break, we take a big boat for a ride to the other site of the lake, the Monastery complex of St. Naum from 9th century, including short tour with rowing boats through the biggest lake springs. On the way to the monastery, we stop to visit the prehistorically settlement on water, the museum on water called the Bay of bones. Back to the town by boat and dinner in a national restaurant including Macedonian traditional folk dances.
Day 17Ohrid – Skopje (B, D) (175 km)
After the breakfast, we leave the hotel and head back to Skopje. After the accommodation in a hotel, free time for shopping in one of few modern city malls. Farewell dinner in a national restaurant.