CROATIA & THE BALKANS

22 Days – Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania

Highlights

Soak in the view of Lake Ohrid, from the cobbled streets of the old town to admiring the spectacular setting of the St Naum Monastery on the edge of the lake

Spend time in Dubrovnik, with its distinctive old town overlooking the endless shimmer of the Adriatic sea - it never disappoints

Take a ferry journey from Split to the Isle of Chiovo and admire its Venetian Architecture

Explore the intricate cave system of the Matka Canyon in Macedonia

Mix with the locals in Zagreb at the Dolac Bazaar markets that separate the upper and lower towns, full of local produce from all over the country

Take a boat ride to the magical tear-shaped Bled Island located on one of Slovenia’s most beautiful lakes

Spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park, renowned for its dramatic waterfalls, glittering lakes, and lush forested cliffs

Experience Sarajevo, where East meets the West, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world

Admire the iconic medieval stone bridge in Mostar, the Balkans’ most renowned bridge

Inclusions

AIRFARES INCLUDED

FULLY ESCORTED HOLIDAYS

VISAS, TRANSFERS & TIPPING INCLUDED

SMALL GROUP TRAVEL

INCLUSIVE SIGHTSEEING

2020 DATES & PRICES

DATES

TWIN

SOLO

24 August – 14 September 2020

$9,995*

$11,495*

For additional information on this trip, including tour suitability and activity levels, please refer to the detailed trip notes below. *Prices are per person. You may extend your journey at either end of the tour.
Please contact us for pricing and options.

croatia-and-the-balkans-2020-escorted-escapes-small-group-tour-map

Click map to enlarge

DAY 1

AUSTRALIA – ZAGREB, CROATIA

Our Escorted Escape begins today as we fly from Australia to Zagreb.

DAY 2

ZAGREB, CROATIA

On arrival at Zagreb Airport today, we are met by our guide and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at your leisure.

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton

DAY 3

ZAGREB, CROATIA

Discover the charm of Zagreb as we spend the day exploring Zagreb’s main sights including the famed markets of Dolac Bazaar, St. Mark’s Church, the medieval Stone Gate and Pope’s tower, built to protect the southern city gate. We also stop by the central Ban Josip Jelacic Square, a popular meeting place, then make our way to the Lotrscak Church and the beautiful tree-lined Cemetery of Mirogoj where you can discover the graves of writers, poets and composers. This evening get further acquainted with your fellow travellers at our welcome dinner.

Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 4

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA

This morning we travel to Bled and visit the medieval Bled Castle perched atop a steep cliff, rising 130m above the glacial Lake Bled. We take a boat ride on the Lake to visit the Assumption of Mary Church , where according to legend every wish can come true, by ringing the church bell 3 times. We then continue to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana and enjoy a panoramic city tour including Medieval Castle, City Hall, Cathedral of St. Nicholas and Triple Bridge.

Accommodation: Hotel Radisson Blu Plaza

Breakfast

DAY 5

PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK, CROATIA – BIHAC, BOSNIA

Today experience a fascinating subterranean paradise at the Postojna Caves, with 24kms of underground passages, galleries and halls. Later, we travel to the renowned Plitvice Lakes National Park, boasting 16 cascading lakes, breathtaking canyons, and Croatia’s tallest waterfall. We spend the evening at the charming riverside town of Bihac on the banks of the Una River.

Accommodation: Hotel Kostelski Buk

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 6

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA

Today we make our way to Sarajevo, the historic capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We explore the city highlights, including the Begova Mosque, Cathedral of the Sacred Jesus Heart, Eternal Flame memorial and the ancient Turkish Old Bazaar. Enjoy some free time in the fascinating old town this afternoon before a group dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Novotel Sarajevo

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 7

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA

We pay a visit to the Sarajevo War Tunnel “Tunnel of Hope” – an underground tunnel located under the Airport area constructed in 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo. We then make our way to the National Park Vrelo Bosna, a peaceful and relaxing park at the foothills of Mt Igman. The afternoon is free to explore Sarajevo before we meet for dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Novotel Sarajevo

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 8

BELGRADE, SERBIA

We visit Novi Sad, the second largest Serbian city enroute to Belgrade. Discover the main city sights, including the Petrovaradin Fortress, towering over the river on a 40m high rocky cliff. It is considered Europe’s second largest fortress, and one of the best-preserved. This evening we dine at the hotel restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel Falkeisteiner

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 9

BELGRADE, SERBIA

We continue our exploration of Belgrade this morning. Along with its wonderful sights, what makes Belgrade special is that it brandishes a boastful and freewheeling energy while retaining its enduring grit. You’ll have time to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps do some shopping in Knez Mihailova Street, the main pedestrian and shopping zone – one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks of the city.

Accommodation: Hotel Falkeisteiner

Breakfast

DAY 10

SKOPJE, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Today travel to the Macedonian capital, Skopje; known for its cultural and historical monuments and archaeological sites. Enjoy a panoramic city tour, viewing landmarks including the Square of Macedonia, Stone Bridge, and the Castle of Skopje. This evening enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Hotel City Park

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 11

SKOPJE, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

We spend today at Matka Canyon. Covering approximately 5,000 hectares, Matka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia and home to several medieval monasteries. The Matka Lake within the Matka Canyon, is the oldest artificial lake in the country. There are ten caves at Matka Canyon, with the shortest in length being 20 metres, and the longest being 176 metres long.

Accommodation: Hotel City Park

Breakfast

DAY 12

OHRID, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Today we head to Ohrid, a small resort city on the hilly shores of Lake Ohrid, with steep streets dotted with beautiful churches and topped by the bones of a medieval castle. Take in the stunning lakeside scenery and main sights of the city on a walking tour. There will also be time for some shopping in the Ottoman Bazaar.

Accommodation: Hotel City Palace

Breakfast

DAY 13

OHRID, REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA

Discover the UNESCO-listed landscapes of Lake Ohrid today, heading south towards the Albanian border to the St Naum Monastery – an imposing sight on a bluff on the shores of the lake and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Macedonia. Relax on a boat ride on the picturesque lake, before returning to Ohrid in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel City Palace

Breakfast

DAY 14

BUDVA, MONTENEGRO

We farewell Macedonia this morning and make our way to the Albanian capital, Tirana. Discover the city’s major landmarks, including the main city plaza; Skanderbeg Square, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, Opera building and Ministries building. Afterward, we make our way to Budva, a historic Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea famed for its stunning beaches.

Accommodation: Hotel Adria Budva

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 15

BUDVA, MONTENEGRO

The city of Budva dates back 3,450 years and is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic Sea. Most of the buildings were erected during the Venetian rule. In the present day, narrow streets are lined with modern cafes, churches and galleries. Explore the town before we board a boat to cruise the Adriatic Sea to Kotor for some more sightseeing. Kotor is a fortified coastal city, characterised by winding streets and squares and a medieval old town.

Accommodation: Hotel Adria Budva

Breakfast

DAY 16

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Today we travel along the coastline to Croatia’s southern seaport Dubrovnik, overlooking the calm blue Adriatic Sea. A prominent tourist destination, Dubrovnik is known for its distinctive Old Town encircled with massive stone walls dating back to the 16 th century. Our city tour highlights include Stradun Square, The Palace of Rector and the Time Tower.

Accommodation: Hotel Adria Dubrovnik

Breakfast

DAY 17

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Enjoy a full-day excursion, crossing the border back into Bosnia and Herzegovina to Mostar. Mostar is known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), a reconstructed medieval arched bridge spanning 29 metres and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We ascend to the Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque, which offers panoramic city views. We return to Dubrovnik in the afternoon and enjoy a group dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Hotel Adria Dubrovnik

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 18

SPLIT, CROATIA

Today we break our journey to Split with a visit to a Mali Ston oyster farm for a wine tasting tour and lunch. The bay of Mali Ston has been famous for seashell cultivation since the days of the Roman Empire. After lunch, we continue to Split, the largest city in the Dalmatia region and one of the most vibrant port cities, stunningly located between mountains and the sea.

Accommodation: Hotel Ora

Breakfast

Lunch

DAY 19

SPLIT, CROATIA

This morning we visit the town of Trogir, situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Venetian architecture. We return to Split for some sightseeing including Diocletian’s Palace, Jupiter’s Temple and the St Duje Cathedral. This evening is our farewell group dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Ora

Breakfast

Dinner

DAY 20

SPLIT, CROATIA – AUSTRALIA

Today we farewell Croatia and head to the airport to begin our journey home.

Breakfast

DAY 21

IN TRANSIT

Today is spent travelling.

DAY 22

AUSTRALIA

Our Escorted Escape concludes today. On arrival, farewell your new friends and tour host as you head home.

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