The secrets of Balkan travel are revealed on this jam-packed eastern Europe trip. Go underground and learn how Sarajevo once relied on its Bosnian War Tunnel, see the bridge of peace rebuilt with salvaged stone and explore Adriatic beauty, from Dubrovnik to Kotor.
Embark on an epic discovery of the Balkans. The capital city of Zagreb is your springboard to a fascinating journey through what was once a troubled region and is today a land of diverse cultures and traditions which you will have a unique opportunity to enjoy with newfound friends. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive.
Accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn
The paved squares and steep alleyways of Zagreb are ours to explore this morning as we join a 'Local Specialist' to delve into the city's rich medieval and religious history. See the majestic cathedral on Kaptol and St. Mark's Church, with its vividly coloured tiled roof. Admire the Opera House, then take a stroll around the 17th-century Ban Jelačić Square. Spend the rest of the afternoon on your own - enjoy panoramic city views from Strossmatre, pay tribute to Zagreb's patron saint at the Stone Gate or wander through the Old Town, twirling your Šestine umbrella as you ramble through its labyrinthine lanes. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Kumrovec, birthplace of the iconic leader Tito and enjoy a delicious meal of regional specialities with magnificent views of the Croatian countryside.
We journey to Sarajevo, whose rich religious and multicultural heritage has earned it the nickname, the 'Jerusalem of Europe'. Its centuries-old religious history is reflected in its beautiful synagogues, mosques, and Orthodox and Catholic churches. Delving into the depths below Sarajevo, we join a 'Local Specialist' for an insider tour of the Bosnian war tunnel which allowed food, war supplies and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and people to get out. Hear war-time tales of bravery and tragedy. This evening, join your travel companions for dinner at your hotel.
Accommodation: Novotel Bristol
Join a 'Local Specialist' for a guided walking tour of the city's Old Town, past the largest mosque in the Balkans, the Eternal Flame and the Sarajevo Roses that are dotted across the city as a stark reminder of the turmoil Sarajevo endured decades ago. During your free time this afternoon perhaps ramble along Copper Street seeking treasures, or drink from the fountain of Sebilj to secure your return to Sarajevo.
We journey to the secluded coves and dramatic cliffs of the Dalmatian coast that for centuries have attracted famous artists, actors and aristocrats. En route to Dubrovnik, the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', we stop at the magnificent Mostar Bridge. A 'Local Specialist' will provide tales of this impressive bridge over the Neretva River and the bridge keepers who watched over it in medieval times - giving Mostar its name. The 16th-century bridge, built by Sinan the great Ottoman architect, was destroyed during the war and has been rebuilt using age-old traditions. Enjoy some free time to explore the town, before continuing to the ancient city of Dubrovnik. This evening, consider joining a private sunset cruise with dinner, enjoying the best views of this enchanting city from the water.
Location: Mostar, Dubrovnik
Stroll through the limestone streets of this stunning medieval city, joining a Small Group Sightseeing walking tour of the main sights of Dubrovnik with a 'Local Specialist'. Admire the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Consider taking an afternoon boat ride to the seaside oasis of Cavtat. This evening, we travel to Osojnik and 'Connect With Locals', joining the Muhoberac family for a traditional 'Be My Guest' dinner in the village their ancestors have lived in for over 500 years.
Location: Dubrovnik, Osojnik
Dazzling natural surrounds are ours to enjoy today as we travel to the Republic of Montenegro, where we will meet a 'Local Specialist' and head towards the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Celebrate centuries of history in the charming town of Kotor, with its Venetian palaces and medieval churches. We return to Dubrovnik this evening and dine tonight at our hotel.
We pass old fishing villages and modern resorts, arriving in the vibrant city of Split. Enjoy a sightseeing tour with a 'Local Specialist' featuring the historic inner city. 'Dive Into Culture' and admire the façades of Diocletian's Palace, which today forms half of the Old Town of Split. See Split's Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter's Temple, the Peristyle and the Cathedral. Spend the evening on your own, or join an Optional Experience to savour traditional Dalmatian flavours.
Indulge in a full free day to discover Split on your terms. Ascend the bell tower for magnificent views of the sprawling terracotta roofs that edge onto the Adriatic or consider a full-day Optional Experience to one of the Dalmatian islands.
This morning, we visit the walled island of Trogir with a 'Local Specialist'. The stone town is a boon for lovers of art and Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque architecture churches. We leave the coast and journey to the forested National Park of Plitvice, where we will dine tonight at our hotel.
Location: Plitvice, Trogir
The tranquil turquoise, emerald and grey waters of Plitvice's multitude of lakes and waterfalls are explored today on a walking tour with a 'Local Specialist'. Amble past the scenic natural landscapes, admiring the lush green vegetation in this UNESCO World Heritage site. We return to Zagreb for a final Farewell Dinner together, reminiscing over an enchanting Balkan exploration.
Location: Plitvice, Zagreb
Accommodation: Hotel Park 45
Our time together comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Transfers are available to Zagreb Airport. Conditions apply.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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