East Balkan Discovery – 12 days

Golubac Fortress, Serbia

Bran Castle, Romania

Craiova, Romania

Ohrid lake, North Macedonia

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

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, where 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

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. 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 Parliamentthe 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 and 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 taste 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 (Saint Stefan) Peninsula, that use to be an island with a pirate fortress in the 15th century, now the 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

Airport transfer. Departure.

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

– 12 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

– 12 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

– 10 lunches during the tours

– 1 dinner (welcome) in a selected restaurant

– 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), total of 12 bottles

Dinners  (except 1 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