Best of the
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- Accommodation based on twin share room
- Airport transfers
- Daily breakfast
- First class hotels
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Observation and participation in included activities
- Porterage (up to two bags per person)
- Small group tour
- Transport in air conditioned vehicles
- Any items or services not specified in the itinerary
- Gratuities for guides and drivers
- International flights
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- Optional tours and activities
- Personal expenses
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The Best of the Balkans takes you on a spectacular journey through 7 countries over an incredible 12 days!
Meet the colourful cultures and people of the Balkans. Take in the stunning natural beauty and unparalleled cultural diversity of the marvellous Balkan countries. Witness the captivating shift of the landscape, from the vibrant streets of Sofia and Belgrade, to the serenity of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.
This small group tour helps you connect with the authentic culture, while discovering medieval ramparts, charming villages and unforgettable highlights!
- First class tour with 5-star accommodation, suited to travellers 35+ years
- Small group tour up to 12 people per departure
- City tours in each of the cities visited
- Less-visited highlights like St Naum Monastery and Matka Canyon
- Travel with an experienced English-speaking tour guide to make the most of your trip
- DAY 1
- DAY 2
- DAY 3
- DAY 4
- DAY 5
- DAY 6
- DAY 7
- DAY 8
- DAY 9
- DAY 10
- DAY 11
- DAY 12
Prepare for an intriguing adventure through the ‘powder keg of Europe’ over twelve days and seven countries. Upon arrival in Sofia, you will be transferred to your hotel by a local representative at the airport. In the afternoon, join the welcome meeting at the hotel lobby with your fellow travellers and Tour Director. Greet the delicious Balkan cuisine starting with a Bulgarian twist at a group dinner. Always allow some room for the myriad of tasty desserts available. Optional Experiences: Group Dinner
Sofia - Belgrade
Enjoy breakfast at our hotel before embarking on an adventure through the streets of Sofia with our expert local guide visiting a myriad of impressive sights such as National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, and continue on to The St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Theatre and St. Sofia Church. Your guide will provide insightful commentary about the diverse history of Bulgaria and the communist era as you visit the houses of the Council of Ministers, presidency and the former communist party headquarters. Take a scenic drive passing hills and green forests, arrive in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Presenting stunning views of the Sava and Danube rivers with the Belgrade Fortress in the background. After we check into our hotel, enjoy personal time to explore at your leisure. Sample the local cuisine in fine fashion at your hotel and roam the vibrant shopping streets.
The day is yours to soak in all the beauty Belgrade offers. Launch your adventure with a comprehensive guided tour of the city at the bustling shopping street Knez Mihailova. Roam the Belgrade Fortress overlooking a merge of Danube and Sava Rivers with feudal cannons in display – declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance. Uncover the marvellous blend of medieval and modern through a myriad of impressive sites at the heart of the city. You will have plenty of free time in the afternoon to shop around, continue your cultural discovery or sip delicious cocktails at a local bar. Your dinner seat is reserved at our hotel's impressive restaurant.
Belgrade - Sarajevo
Bidding farewell to the buzzing Belgrade, we embark on a journey through green forests to meet the multi-coloured fabric of Bosnia & Herzegovina at Sarajevo. Home to people of various religions, ethnic and cultural background, the diverse architectural and cultural landscape is reflected all around the town. Witnessing the start of World War 1, splitting of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire, and the devastating Yugoslav War in recent history; the marks of history are hidden around every corner. As your Travel Director and local expert guide you through the charming old town and the Bascarsija, learn all about the rich history of the country. Sarajevo is well known for its various delicious meat dishes and desserts. Make sure to try traditional Turkish coffee for the best finish to your dinner.
Sarajevo - Mostar - Trebinje
Drive through lush fields and valleys towards the adorable village of Mostar. Famously known for the gorgeous stone bridge in the old town, a prime example of Islamic architecture in the Balkans, designed by a student of the Great Ottoman architect, Sinan. Join your guide for a walking tour through the Stari Most and the old carsija (market), still presenting the authentic style of 15th century in its splendid architecture. Sample the delicious cuisine over lunch at one of the lovely venues and complete your discovery. In the afternoon, we depart for Trebinje, located by the border with Croatia. We arrive just in time for dinner at our hotel, where we will spend two nights.
Trebinje - Dubrovnik - Trebinje
Ready your cameras and sunscreen as we head out to the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik. Crossing into Croatia with a short ride, soak in the unique sight of terra-cotta tiled roofs encircled by might medieval walls, preserved in incredible condition. Stop for an amazing view of the old town from the overlooking hills, and meet your local expert at the gates to launch your guided tour of Dubrovnik. Learn about the intriguing history of the once-great city state, thriving through its maritime connections and protected by its gigantic ramparts. As we cover the must-see highlights, relax at a breezy restaurant over a delicious seafood lunch. You will have personal leisure time in the afternoon for your preferred activities, whether strolling on the walls, taking an optional boat trip, discovering the quaint streets and pedestrian avenues, or taking a refreshing dip in the Adriatic Sea. We drive back to Trebinje for dinner at our hotel.
Optional Experiences: Dubrovnik Boat Trip
Trebinje - Kotor - Shkodra
Our adventure continues to a less crowded, but just as impressive location. Driving along the skirts of mountains along the coast, we reach Kotor surrounded by monumental walls. Join a walking tour in the old town fortress with your expert local guide and Travel Director, wandering the labyrinthine narrow streets. Enjoy a refreshing lunch at a local restaurant and pace your adventure with personal leisure time in the afternoon. You can hike to the top of the incredible fortress for spectacular views over Kotor Bay or capture the prettiest pictures of the remarkable medieval village. Travel to one of the oldest cities in the Balkans as we cross into Albania, Shkodra, for dinner and a relaxing stay at our hotel.
Shkodra - Tirana - Ohrid
Starting our journey into Albanian culture, we embark on a walking tour of Shkodra witnessing the influence of Romans, Byzantine, Greek and Ottomans reflected in the town's fabric. Continue towards the centre of culture, religion, arts and entertainment, the charming capital of Tirana. With a panoramic city tour, savour the finest samples of Albanian architecture portraying the influence of various cultures. After a sightseeing tour of the popular sights and the bustling Skenderbeg Square, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Our journey resumes into Macedonia, Ohrid. Enjoy your dinner and a relaxing rest at the hotel, or you can join the exciting optional experience Balkan Night over dinner and familiarise with the local culture. Optional Experiences: Balkan Night Show
Ohrid - St. Naum - Ohrid
Ohrid is home to the dazzling Ohrid Lake at the backdrop of a charming village ascending towards the hills, up to the marvellous castle – an immense site of UNESCO World Heritage. Join the optional experience of a calming boat trip on the Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and oldest lakes of Europe, presenting splendid views of the village and monasteries along the coast. Disembark at the old town to launch your guided tour. Join your expert guide as we discover the hidden chapels, ancient crafts and all the stunning sights scattered along the narrow cobble-stone streets. We then depart for St. Naum Monastery complex and natural wonderland. Perched on the hills with astounding views of the lake, the incredibly well-preserved Eastern Orthodox monastery stood for more than a thousand years. Blessed with lakes, waterfalls and a beach to Lake Ohrid, we will enjoy our afternoon relaxing at St. Naum, never wanting to leave. We return to our hotel in Ohrid in time for dinner and a refreshing rest.
Ohrid - Skopje
Following breakfast, we part with the marvellous Lake Ohrid and drive to the Macedonian capital. With a scenic ride through lush fields, hills and mountains, we arrive in Skopje and check-in to our hotel around noon. Join a guided tour with our local expert and follow the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Discover the immense cultural heritage with countless monuments and samples of fine architecture scattered all around the vibrant town. Personal leisure time in the afternoon, so you can dive deep into history and find every hidden landmark around town, and enjoy the vibrant main street hosting many local cafes, bars and restaurants. You may return to the hotel for dinner and a relaxing rest, or enjoy the town centre.
Skopje - Matka Canyon
Enjoy a filling breakfast at our stylish hotel, it is time to savour the stunning nature of nearby Matka Canyon. Home to diverse endemic life, wonderful lakes, medieval monasteries, caves, valleys and trekking routes, the canyon offers a myriad of unique experiences. You can join an optional boat trip in Matka Lake, visiting the fascinating caves only accessible via water, and have lunch with spectacular views after trekking through the canyon on a nature adventure.
Our incredible Balkans adventure comes to an end following breakfast. Make sure to bid farewell to your newfound friends and exchange numbers before checking-out of the hotel (at 11:00). Complementary airport transfers are available all day, have a safe and smooth journey!
More about Bulgaria
More about Croatia
More about Macedonia
More about Serbia
My Travel Experience Review
This small group tour is a fantastic way to explore the less-visited countries of Europe. Wonderful local guides will look after you all the way and there are great inclusions, like 5-star hotels throughout, daily breakfast and ten dinners. Bonus for single travellers, there is no extra charge to share a twin room with another traveller or opt to pay a single supplement if you want a private room.
More about this tour
See the brochure
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The brochure includes details of the inclusions, itinerary (where applicable) and other relevant travel information. Information contained in the brochure is subject to change and at the time of booking you will be provided with an updated copy that includes the current details for your reservation.
This tour departs Sofia on select dates between April and October.
Please ask us for your preferred departure date and we will advise availability.
Please contact us for departures at other times of the year.
Tour start time
The start time listed for this tour is 1:00pm but this is a guide only and will be confirmed by our office.
If you book international flights, you will be advised of your flight details and check-in times when your booking is confirmed.
Important to remember...
The day-by-day tour descriptions are intended as an indicative guide only. Travel by nature is unpredictable. Weather patterns, sea or river conditions, road accessibility, public holidays, travel restrictions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that are ultimately for the client's benefit. It is essential that travellers are flexible and open minded in this regard.
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