Best of Balkan and ex Yugoslavia Tour – 12, 15 and 17 days

Romanian Parliament, Bucharest

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia

Mausoleum of Njegos, Lovcen

Pocitelj Town, Bosnia and Herzegovina

–  Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia –

Day 1

Arrival to Nikola Tesla Airport in Belgrade, capital of Serbia. Transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner in Skadarlija bohemian street, with live Balkan national music. Overnight in Belgrade.

Day 2

Balkan and ex Yugoslavia Tour continue with Belgrade City tour, panoramic and walking sightseeing: Belgrade Fortress on the confluence of Sava and Danube River, with tennis courts where Belgrade-born tennis player Novak Djokovic used to train as a youngster. Visit Saint Sava’s Temple, biggest Orthodox Christian church in the world by volume. Visit Yugoslavia History Museum and Mausoleum of Tito, president of Yugoslavia and leader of Movement of Non-Aligned Countries during Cold War. Lunch in a national restaurant in downtown.

Continue to Petrovaradin Fortress that is a second biggest fortress in Europe, known as “Gibraltar on the Danube”, built early 17th century. We will enter the tunnel network beneath Petrovaradin Fortress, some 1000 meters of more than 20 kilometers of tunnels. Drive to Sremski Karlovci, a small baroque town in Vojvodina province, with sightseeing of downtown. Visit Bee-keeping Museum and wine tasting in one of the wine cellars that are very common in this area. Transfer back to Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

Day 3

Visit the Viminacium archaeological site, one of the biggest Roman cities from the 1st century. Visit Golubac Fortress from the 14th century, one of the most beautiful medieval fortresses on the Danube River. There the Danube is widest (6,5 km) and that’s just before Djerdap Gorge. Lunch on Danube River bank. Visit the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, an oldest urban settlement in Europe (7000 years BC). Overnight in Donji Milanovac Town, on Danube River.

Day 4

Cruise on Danube River, along Djerdap Gorge, the longest (100 kilometers long) and deepest (92 meters) gorge in Europe where Danube River is the most beautiful. The oldest European urban settlements dated 10.000 years ago were spread around Djerdap Gorge and Djerdap National Park. That was established to protect this cultural and natural pearl of Europe.

During the cruise we see the remains of Trajan’s Bridge (1127 meter long stone bridge that Roman Emperor Trajan built at beginning of 2nd century). And  the place where he  left a permanent imprint on the rock, known as Tabula Traiana, follows the largest European 55 meter high rock sculpture depicting Decebal the last king of Dacia in early 2nd century.

View to Djerdap 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (also known as the Iron Gate), built at the 1970s as the largest dam on the Danube River and one of the largest hydropower plants in Europe. Drive to Craiova town in Romania, with sightseeing of Craiova. Overnight in Pitesti Town.

Day 5

We are continuing with sightseeing of Bran Castle that was built by Teutonic Knights at the beginning of 13th century. It was known as the seat of Transylvanian ruler Vlad Tepes, worldwide known as Count Dracula from Bram Stoker’s book and films based on it. Sightseeing of Brasov Town, founded by the German Teutonic Knights in the 13th century by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains. With gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions. Sightseeing of beautiful Neo-Renaissance Peles Castle from mid 19th Century. Drive to Bucharest. 5th day on the Balkan and ex Yugoslavia Tour end with Overnight in Bucharest.

 Day

Sightseeing of Bucharest, the capital of Romania, established in the 15th Century. We’ll see the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral – the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Constitution Square with an excellent view of the Romanian Palace of Parliament.  The world’s largest, heaviest and most expensive administrative building and Revolution Square, the place which marked the end of the communist period in 1989. Walking tour in the historical center and a panoramic tour of the major attractions. Traditional Romanian lunch. Drive to Bulgaria. Sightseeing of Veliko Tarnovo Town, that have settlements established 5 millenniums ago, and Tsarevets Fortress from 12th Century, with sightseeing of the fortress of course. Drive to Sofia City, capital of Bulgaria. Overnight in Sofia.

Day

Sightseeing of Sofia with preserved heritage from different cultures and epochs: Roman, Early Christian. Ottoman, Bulgarian, Soviet. Visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the second biggest on the Balkans, Saint George Rotunda dating back to the 4th century. Than Saint Sofia Basilica built in the 6th century, Parliament, National Theater, former Royal Palace, the Presidency, and much more. Lunch. Visit beautiful Rila Monastery that is the largest and most important Orthodox Christian monastery in Bulgaria, dated from 10th Century, now on UNESCO list. Transfer to Skopje, capital of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. Overnight in Skopje.

Day 8

Skopje City tour with a visit to all most important sites and squares, Kale Fortress, St. Spas Church, Old Bazaar (Market), and Mustafa Pasha Mosque. Drive to Ohrid Lake, with sightseeing of Ohrid Town. A monument of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the church of St. Sofia, Antic Theater, Samoils Fortress, and a walk through market-place. Lunch in Ohrid. Depart to Tirana capital of Albania. Overnight in Tirana.

Day 9

Sightseeing of Tirana. Departure to Skadar Lake, the largest lake on Balkan Peninsula. Sightseeing of Shkodra Town located on the Albanian side of Skadar Lake. Lunch on Skadar Lake. Sightseeing of Podgorica, capital of Montenegro. Overnight in Podgorica.

Day 10

Drive to breathtaking Lovcen Mountain, a symbol of Montenegro. With the mausoleum of Petar Petrovic Njegus on the top, overlooking Boka Kotorska Bay. Follows a visit to Njegusi village, the hometown of Montenegro Petrovic – Njegus. Royal Dynasty and origin of famous Montenegro Njegus cheese and Njegus prosciutto, that we will try of course. Follows sightseeing of Kotor City with the fortified old town, that traces it’s origin 2 millennia ago, with a beautiful fortress, now on UNESCO list. Lunch at Boka Kotorska Bay. Overnight in Budva.

Day 11

Sightseeing of Budva City, well known for its fortified old town, sandy beaches on the Adriatic Sea and diverse nightlife. Walking sightseeing of fortified Budva old town with a tradition of 2500 years. View to Sveti Stefan Peninsula. That use to be an island with the pirate fortress in the 15th century, now a premium place to be in Montenegro. Sightseeing of Dubrovnik Town, dated from 7th century. Dubrovnik Fortress with massive stone walls and old town on the UNESCO list. With Franciscan monastery with Europe’s third oldest pharmacy, the Rector’s Palace and other sites. Lunch in Dubrovnik old town. Sightseeing of beautiful small Town of Trebinje in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the small fortified old town.  Overnight in Trebinje.

Day 12

Sightseeing of Pocitelj Town, the small fortified medieval town from 16th century, with elements of Ottoman and Mediterranean architecture, located on Neretva River. Sightseeing of Mostar City, named after the bridge built on Neretva River by the Turkish Ottomans in the 16th century, on UNESCO list. Lunch in Mostar old town, with a view to the bridge. Sightseeing of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, founded in the 15th century. Because of its cultural and religious diversity, with Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Judaism coexisting there for centuries, called the “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. Overnight in Sarajevo.

End of 12-day of Balkan and ex Yugoslavia Tour.

Day 13

Visit the Medjugorje Catholic church site. Transfer to Split City with a pass over Neretva River delta. Sightseeing of Split City that is second largest city in Croatia. With one of the best preserved Roman imperial palaces in the world (Diocletian’s Palace) from 4th century, on UNESCO list. Also used as scenery in Game of Thrones, Sightseeing of Trogir Town, beautiful medieval town on UNESCO list, located on a small island on Adriatic Sea Coast. Overnight in Split.

Day 14

Sightseeing of Zadar City that is an oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, situated on Adriatic Sea coast. With world famous Sea Organs, Cathedral of St. Anastasia, Forum Romanum, Five Wells Square…  Sightseeing of Plitvice national park with 16 lakes bound together by magic waterfalls. Lunch on the lakeside. Beside standard walking sightseeing, we will have a nice cruse on Plitvice Lakes and relaxing drive on the lakeside in a touristic train. Transfer to Zagreb, capital of Croatia, and Overnight in Zagreb.

Day 15

Zagreb city tour with a visit to the old Upper town and downtown: St. Mark Church, Stone Gate, St. Stephen’s Cathedral and downtown. Drive to Ljubljana with Ljubljana City Tour. Lunch in Ljubljana. Next stop is Postojna Cave with sightseeing and cave train ride. Overnight in Zagreb.

End of 15-day tour

 Day 16

Visit stunning mega concrete Podgaric Monument, that commemorates WW2 Serbian communist’s uprising against occupying Nazi German soldiers and Croatian Ustase fascist forces. Visit Zasavica nature reserve, with picturesque biodiversity mosaic of forests, meadows, river banks, rare plants, and animals. Photo-safari cruise in Zasavica water flow, the pasture, the flooded forests. Special lunch, a stew made of an old type of pork called Mangulitza, or beef called Podolsko Govece that were common in Serbia in the 19th century. Sightseeing of Sirmium archaeological site with the preserved Roman imperial palace. Sirmium City was one of 4 capitals of the Roman Empire during the period of tetrarchy (4 rulers) in 3rd century. Drive to Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

Day 17

And our Balkan and ex Yugoslavia Tour end with Airport transfer. Departure from Belgrade.

16 BB accommodation in selected hotels (or selected guesthouses), according to the program

17 days of transfers, comfortable high class 8 seat tourist minivan (Mercedes Vito), with air condition, USB connectors, adjustable seats, safety belts… with included all tolls, parking, and all other costs

17 days of services of professional experienced licensed English tour guide/ group leader/ driver, with all meals and accommodation for him included

– services of professional licensed local English tour guides

15 lunches during the tours (diverse and selected national specialties characteristic for countries and regions you are visiting)

2 dinners (welcome and farewell) in selected restaurants during the tours

All entrances, cruises, wine tastings, and other services according to the program

Wi-Fi in the van during transfers, in all countries

Water (0.5 liters per day), a total of 15 bottles

Dinners  (except 2 mentioned… it is best to book dinners in consultation with tour guide)

Tips for tour guide/ group leader/ driver, local tour guides, hotel staff, and waiters

Donations for churches that have free entrance

Airplane tickets

Visa for any mentioned country