Grand Balkan Tour
17 days / 16 nights including: Ljubljana, Postojna, Plitvice National Park, Trogir, Split, Mostar, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik, Perast, Kotor, Budva, Tirana, Ohrid, Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb & Bled Lake
Day 1: Ljubljana – Arrival
Arrival at Ljubljana International Airport. Meet your private English speaking driver and transfer to your hotel. Take the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle, the hilltop centerpiece of the town, and enjoy a welcome dinner of contemporary Slovenian specialties within the castle walls. Accommodation and overnight.
Day 2: Ljubljana
Breakfast at hotel. Day dedicated to discover the capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana is vibrant, artsy and architecturally fascinating, thanks to Jože Plecnik, the early 20th century Slovenian architect who designed many of the city’s highlights. On a toiur of the old city, stroll through the lively Central Market and see the Krizanke theater complex, a medieval monastery repurposed as a festival space bz Plecnik in the 1950s. Then visit two more of his masterpieces: The National and University Library and a Triple Bridge. Board a private boat to cruise the Ljubljanica River. This afternoon, explore this charming city on your own.
Day 3: Ljubljana – Postojna – Predjama Castle – Plitvice
Breakfast at hotel. This morning we drive to Postojna to visit the most famous attraction in Slovenia, a 21km-long Postojna Cave. Then, visit to Predjama Castle and head towards Plitvice National Park. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Plitvice – Zadar – Split
Breakfast at hotel. Morning Sightseeing Tour of UNSECO site, Plitvice Lakes. Charming walks among waterfalls, lakes and streams dot your day. In the afternoon, proceed towards Split. Short stop in Zadar to admire its quaint Town center. In the afternoon arrival in Split. Accommodation and overnight.
Day 5: Split & Trogir
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning meet your private driver and transfer to Trogir. Sightseeing tour of this walled medieval town, built on an islet. Return to Split to peruse Roman Empire life with a visit to the sumptuous Diocletian Palace. Overnight at hotel in Split.
Day 6: Split – Mostar – Sarajevo
Breakfast at hotel. A spirited drive to Bosnia – Herzegovina with an en route stop in Mostar to visit the Old Bridge, starts our day. Continue to the capital, Sarajevo, to explore the old streets, to see the “border” between Balkan (Orient) and Western Europe, and to taste some delicious local food. Overnight in Sarajevo.
Day 7: Sarajevo – Ston – Dubrovnik
Breakfast at hotel. Today we drive through Bosnia, towards legendary Dubrovnik and its coast-lining, mighty walls. Stop in the village of Ston to taste delicious oysters and local wine. Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, accommodation at hotel.
Day 8: Dubrovnik
Breakfast at hotel. Day at disposal to explore Dubrovnik, the famous “Pearl of the Adriatic”. The walled city of Dubrovnik was described by George Bernard Shaw as “paradise on earth”. The old city is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site and is surrounded by spectacular fortified walls up to 25m high and 6m thick. Founded in the 7th century on a rocky island called Laus, it later became known as Ragusa. The Venetians gained control of the city at the beginning of the 13th century but, by the end of the 14th century, Dubrovnik has essentially become an independent city state and had established a lucrative trading position with the Ottoman Empire. In 1815 it was handed over to the Austrians by order of the Congress of Vienna and incorporated into the province of Dalmatia. Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Dubrovnik – Perast – Kotor – Budva
Breakfast at hotel. Today we drive to Montenegro through the Bay of Kotor visiting the picturesque Perast, the town of sailors and medieval town of Kotor. At the end of the day, arrival to Budva. Accommodation and overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Budva – Tirana
Breakfast at hotel. Today we drive to Tirana, capital of Albania, with en route stops in Kruje to glimpse its Albanian-Turkish architecture before marching on. Afternoon visit of Tirana. A conglomeration of communist, Ottoman and Italian influences, the Albanian capital of Tirana is always evolving. Once dull and grey, the city has blossomed into a lively, colorful metropolis buzzing with a cosmopolitan vibe. Simply fascinating, Tirana represents both the past and the future of Albania. Accommodation and overnight in Tirana.
Day 11: Tirana – Ohrid
Breakfast at hotel. This day we drive through Albania and towards Macedonia to finally reach the gorgeous Lake Ohrid which straddles the two countries. On the road, stop at St. Naum, just across the border, to admire its wonderful monastery. Accommodation and overnight in Ohrid.
Day 12: Ohrid – Skopje
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, meet your private driver and drive towards Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. Short stop to taste the local wine and enjoy traditional Macedonian specialties. Upon arrival in Skopje, Sightseeing Tour of the Old Town with its famous stone bridge including Fort Kale and the Railway Clock. Accommodation and overnight in Skopje.
Day 13: Skopje – Nis – Belgrade
Breakfast at hotel. Morning drive towards Belgrade, Serbia’s (and former Yugoslavian) capital. On the raod, stop in Nis and Sightseeing Tour of a birthplace of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Today a modern tourist center with museums and historical sites that are on European must see maps, Serbian city of Nis has been a gate connecting the East and the West ever since it was established. Even nowdays, driving down the roads through Nis is the shortest way to reach the Middle East from Vienna, Budapest or Prague. This route has been called “Carigradski drum” – The Road to Emperor’s city or Constantinople / Istanbul since the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the evening, arrival to Belgarde. Accommodation and overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Belgrade – Zagreb
Breakfast at hotel. Morning Sightseeing Tour of Serbia’s Capital, one of the oldest cities in Europe. Since ancient times it has been an important traffic focal point, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Its history lasts full 7000 years. The area around two great rivers, the Sava and the Danube has been inhabited as early as Paleolithic period. After Sightseeing Tour, depart towards Zagreb. Upon arrival, accommodation at hotel. Overnight.
Day 15: Zagreb – Bled Lake
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning Sightseeing Tour of Croatia’s capital. Zagreb combines a vibrant, modern energy with plenty of old-world charm and graciousness. The town center is full of elegant Austro-Hungarian buildings housing fashionable boutiques, renowned restaurants, rowdy pubs and scruffy beet halls. In the afternoon, depart towards Bled Lake. Upon arrival, accommodation at hotel and overnight.
Day 16: Bled Lake
Breakfast at hotel. Day dedicated to explore the enchanted nature. A gondolier oars us across the lake aboard a traditional wooden pletna boat to visit the 17th century Church of the Assumption perched on a tiny island. Follow a footpath up to medieval Bled Castle, Slovenia’s oldest, which clings to cliffs overlooking the water. Overnight in Bled.
Day 17: Bled Lake – Ljubljana Airport
After breakfast, private transfer to Ljubljana Airport.