Balkan Holidays

Balkan Holiday from Zagreb

The ultimate Balkan trip that takes you to the most fascinating places in this part of Europe.

START
FINISH
Zagreb

Dubrovnik
passing clock
LENGTH
9 nights/10 days
DIFFICULTY
Leisurely
  • Visit the capitals - Zagreb and Ljubljana 
  • See the remarkable Alps and Postojna Cave in Slovenia
  • Travel down the Mediterranean coast of the Adriatic all the way to Montenegro
  • Make your way into Bosnia to really feel the diversity of the Balkans

Included in price

English-speaking guide*
Comfortable transportation*
9 nights 3* accommodation with breakfast
All entrance fees as in the itinerary
Tourist tax

Itinerary

Day What we will do
DAY 1 Zagreb
DAY 2 Ljubljana
DAY 3 Bled - Bohinj
DAY 4 Postojna Cave - Opatija
DAY 5 Plitvice National Park - Zadar
DAY 6 Šibenik - Trogir - Split
DAY 7 Split
DAY 8 Mostar
DAY 9 Ston - Dubrovnik
DAY 10 Dubrovnik

Day 1 - Capital of Croatia

Croatia’s flourishing modern yet traditional capital Zagreb is drenched in culture. Fantastic sightseeing options will keep you very busy on your first day. There will be plenty of strolling down picturesque streets and stopping by the Neo Gothic Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, and more. The city might be buzzing with excitement, but Zagreb’s Old Town centre is just small enough to wander around carefree. It is the Balkans, after all, so a relaxed pace is obligatory.

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Zagreb
Highlights
Zagreb old town
Zagreb cathedral
Optional extra charge
Transfer from Zagreb airport

Day 2 - Capital of Slovenia

From one cute capital to another, day two is reserved for Ljubljana. Slovenia’s charming Old Town always strikes a very special chord with its visitors. Lovely architecture, a proud medieval castle on a hill, and the winding Ljubljanica River with its vibrant café scene promises a wonderful guided tour. Ljubljana is much smaller than Zagreb, but there’s a fantastic list of things to see and do.

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Ljubljana
Highlights
Optional extra charge
Boat ride on Ljubljanica River
Entrance fee and funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle

Day 3 - The Alps

On the third day, we leave the urban hype behind and head for the pristine Alpine countryside. Lake Bled, with its iconic church island and ancient castle atop a giant cliff, is our morning destination. The afternoon is spent walking through a mystical gorge and visiting another glacial lake called Bohinj where the idyllic surroundings are simply breath-taking. And when the mountain backdrops aren’t enough, we finish the day with a cable car ride to the top of one – Mt. Vogel, to gaze across this picture-perfect landscape.

 

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Ljubljana
Included
Bled Castle entrance fee
Pletna boat ride to Bled island
Vintgar Gorge
Vogel mountain cable car ride
Highlights
Optional extra charge
Entrance fee to the church on the island

Day 4 - Slovenian Karst & Opatija

One cannot visit Slovenia without descending into the spellbinding depths of Postojna Cave. It’s the oldest show cave, home to incredible underground formations and the indigenous ‘human fish’. Just down the road from this subterranean gem is Predjama Castle, the biggest and most fascinating cave castle in the world. To get our first taste of the sea, we travel from the Slovenian Karst to the Istrian Riviera and the gorgeous seaside resort of Opatija.   

 

*Optional add on - 3 days of Istria (Poreč, Rovinj, Motovun, Grožnjan, Pula, Opatija):

You can spend an extra 3 days travelling down the Istrian Peninsula where the coastal towns are exceptionally beautiful, the climate is more than pleasant and the cultural ingredients of the place are super interesting and diverse. 

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Opatija
Included
Postojna Cave entrance fee
Highlights
Istrian Peninsula
Opatija resort
Optional extra charge
Predjama Castle entrance fee

Day 5 - Plitvice UNESCO National Park

Another day, another mesmerising destination. Day five brings some more natural splendour to our tour. We’re visiting Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Croatia’s first national park. Its limestone formations, waterfalls and 16 terraced lakes will take your breath away as you walk down the park’s interlinked walkways and hiking trails. In the evening, it’s onward to the Dalmatian coastal town of Zadar, a historic port and lively Old Town.

 Optional add on - 1 day of Kornati Islands:

The Kornati Islands are an archipelago off the Dalmatian coast, near the city of Zadar. The islands are a national park, the natural beauty of which is beyond comparison. A day trip to Kornati is certainly an add-on option worth exploring.

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Zadar
Included
Plitvice National Park entrance fee
Highlights
Plitvice Lakes National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Great Waterfall
Flora and fauna of Plitvice Lakes
Zadar and UNESCO world heritage site

Day 6 - Towns of Šibenik & Trogir

Our next destination is Šibenik. Sightseeing around this Dalmatian jewel includes the 15th-century Cathedral of St. James, the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, and the white stone St. Michael’s Fortress with views of Šibenik Bay and the neighbouring islands. Not far off is Trogir, an authentic medieval town connected to the mainland and an adjacent island by bridges. Trogir comes in a mixture of Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque architecture and a soulful atmosphere. The busy day draws to a close with a drive to the sunny port city of Split.

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Split
Highlights
Šibenik and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Trogir and UNESCO World Heritage Site

Day 7 - Split and surroundings

The seventh day is spent according to your wishes. You can investigate Split’s gorgeous old centre, hop on a boat tour of the beautiful nearby islands of Hvar and Vis, or stroll around the roman ruins of Solin, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. Whatever you opt for, know that a splendid time is guaranteed.

 

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Split
Highlights
Split and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Roman heritage of Split
Dalmatian coast with islands
Optional extra charge
Boat trip to Hvar & Vis islands
Solin entrance fee

Day 8 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

On the eighth day another country enters our itinerary. It’s off to Mostar, the famous heritage site of southern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar is known worldwide for its iconic Old Bridge over the Neretva River. It’s a reconstructed medieval arched bridge that connects the two sides of the city and boasts incredible cultural significance. Mostar’s amazing Turkish heritage also includes the Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque and stunning views from its minaret. The day is spent exploring the narrow streets and markets whilst enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of a place lost in time.  

Optional add on - 2 days of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia:

Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo is truly a city worth visiting. It’s steeped in history and a hub of cultural symbiosis. A two-day addition to your holiday will take you to see all the highlights Sarajevo has to offer and feel the rhythm of this classic Balkan beauty. 

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Mostar
Included
Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque entrance fee
Highlights
Mostar old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site
Turkish heritage of Bosnia
Mostar bridge

Day 9 - Walled-off towns of Ston and Dubrovnik

The first fantastic destination on day nine is Ston, an antique walled settlement, which used to be an important political, cultural and ecclesiastical centre through the centuries.  The second is Dubrovnik, one of Europe’s most acclaimed and best-preserved ports. Dubrovnik’s iconic Old Town is encircled by a massive stone wall from the 16th century. You can walk the entire length of the wall and witness this time-capsule of town from above. Dubrovnik’s architecture spans through centuries: the baroque St. Blaise Church, the Renaissance Sponza Palace and the Gothic Rector’s Palace.

Accomodation
Overnight stay in Dubrovnik
Included
Ston walls entrance fee
Dubrovnik walls entrance fee
Highlights
Town of Ston
Ston Walls
Dubrovnik old town
Dubrovnik Walls

Day 10 - Dubrovnik and departure

The final (official) day of our Balkan Holiday is spent in Dubrovnik. There are plenty of awesome things to see and do in and around the Old Town that will certainly capture your imagination and leave a lasting impression.

Optional add on - 1 day to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro:

Not that far from Dubrovnik is the small state of Montenegro. An optional extension of your Balkan experience is a visit to Kotor, a charming medieval old town with a rich and ancient history and breathtakingly stunning surrounding landscape. 

Meals
Breakfast
Optional extra charge
Transfer to Dubrovnik airport
Map

Want to make some changes?

Don't worry, it is easy. Just let us know what works for you and we will make it happen.
Tailor made

Our expedition around the Balkan region begins in Zagreb. After getting to know Croatia's wonderful capital, our next destinations are just over the border in striking Slovenia. From Ljubljana, the greenest of capitals, to world-famous Lake Bled and the magical Julian Alps, down to the captivating Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. Such a colourful introduction to Slovenia’s unique historical and geographical multiplicity.  

Then it’s back to Croatia as we venture into the Istrian Riviera before venturing further to the natural miracle of Plitvice National Park, a forest reserve with captivating lakes and waterfalls, and Zadar, a beautiful coastal town in Dalmatia. We continue down the sunlit coastline to Šibenik and the ancient town of Trogir, before arriving in Croatia’s second largest city of Split. The latter is a superb stepping stone to some of Dalmatia’s most attractive islands, Hvar and Vis, as well as the roman ruins of Solin.

The third country on our tour is Bosnia & Herzegovina. We’ll be visiting Mostar, the country’s acclaimed cultural heritage site and the meeting point of cultures. We round up our amazing journey by heading back over the border to do some sightseeing in the ancient relic of Ston and the unbelievably gorgeous walled town of Dubrovnik, a sensational Adriatic port of immense historical importance.

And just in case the carefully assembled list of unforgettable destinations isn’t enough, we have also added a few extra options for you to extend your holidays with. The Istrian Peninsula, Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, the Kornati Islands and Montenegro’s Kotor – each is a very promising add-on adventure for some more Balkan soulfulness. For a more detailed description of what to expect on this Balkan road-trip, please check out the itinerary. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a single traveller, how can I book?

Don’t worry, just drop us a line in our inbox. We will do our best to try and find you some company, so if you are flexible in your travel dates, let us know as well. Do you want a private trip? No problem, we got you covered too.

Why is the accommodation not specified?

We are always looking for the perfect fit for you. We use a few different accommodation providers that fit our standards but they are subjected to availability, especially in the high season. We can also adjust the holiday, keeping in mind your preferences and budget and can always find a more suitable solution for your taste.

Where is the pickup and which transfers are included?

The included pickup in the price published on our website is in Zagreb and drop-off at the end of the holiday is in Dubrovnik. For any changes, please notify us upon booking. The included transfers are all the transfers between places and/or activities specified in the itinerary.

Who will be our guide?

On your holidays you will have an experienced tour leader/tour guide, who will look after you for the entire duration of the tour. At some locations, city tours are conducted by professional local guides. All of our guides will make sure that you will receive expert guiding combined with great fun and memorable experiences.

Where do I eat when the food is not included?

Both our back office team and our guides know where to go. We can give you recommendations or even pre-book some places for you. You can be adventurous and find places on your own. Either way, let us know if you would like any sort of help.

I have food restrictions. Are there restaurants for me?

It really depends on the level of your restriction. Vegetarian options are fairly easy to find in Slovenia and Croatia, but vegan dishes, on the other hand, are extremely hard to come by in rural areas and in smaller towns. Please note, that the places where we stop off for lunch are often traditional and may have difficulties accommodating you outside of their standard menu. We suggest you keep this in mind.

What should I wear? Do I have to bring anything with me?

It is important to dress for the season. Slovenia has all 4 seasons, so please check the weather forecast before the holiday regarding temperatures and rainfall. When you are close to the Alps, you can see all 4 seasons change in the same day, so your best bet is to always bring an extra layer and rain gear. Croatia gets very hot, especially during the summer, so we advise you to do as locals do and bring your swimsuits to cool off in the balmy Adriatic. Visiting religious buildings, such as churches and mosques, you will need modest clothing that covers your knees and shoulders.

Will I have some time to myself?

If you want to, sure! We are well aware that some people love to stay in groups while others prefer some more alone time on their trip. We wanted to give you the opportunity to do things your way. It is your holiday, after all! As long as you respect the group timings and locations designated by your guide, please feel free to customize your itinerary and create your own adventure!

What are the “optional add-ons” mentioned in the itinerary?

We want to give you the opportunity to really see the best of the Balkans, so for those of you prepared to spend a longer holiday in our region, we offer the option to extend your holiday for a few days in some areas. We believe that these places should not be missed if you have a few extra days you can spare.
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In a group: 
1850€
/person

Dates for group tours

14.5.2021 - 23.5.2021
11.6.2021 - 20.6.2021
16.7.2021 - 25.7.2021
27.8.2021 - 5.9.2021
Guided private:
2650€
/person
Self guided:
1150€
/person
Off season prices can vary. The itinerary can be adjusted to suit your budget better.
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Christian Hess
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A great option for seeing a lot in a relatively short time. We have travelled three countries, been from the Alps to the coast and experienced so much in between. The organization of the trip is really good and everything went smoothly.
Chloe Mcintosh
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Balkans are so full of history and culture you get to explore on the way down south. You also get to see the differences those countries have and how it affects people's life. People of the Balkans are one of the nicest people I have ever met and I have learned so much on this holiday. I have to really thank our guide Ivana for showing us all those places and sharing her knowledge with us, she was great and very fun and entertaining.
Sania Brown
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Arriving at Zagreb airport, we were picked up and from then on we didn't have to worry about anything. Everything was taken care of and all we had to do was relax and enjoy the amazing journey ahead of us. The accommodation provided was nice and cosy, the food of the Balkans is simply amazing and most of the places are pretty cheap so you can afford the good stuff. All the 10 days went by quickly and each one of them was amazing and unforgettable.

COVID-19 MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE

We will return your money no questions asked for the cases related to COVID 19 travel restrictions.

Self-guided

For travellers that want flexibility and independence. We organize the holidays of your choice, but the adventure of getting around is all yours. You will get a fly & drive itinerary with activities, accommodations and travelling tips with full support of our team for any emergencies or concerns. 

Small group

For solo travellers or travellers who wish to meet other like-minded souls, don’t want to stress about trip planning and would maybe like to enjoy some time on their own as well. You will be travelling with our tour leader in a small group of maximum 8 people in a comfortable van with accommodation, entrance fees and a detailed plan of activities arranged. For guaranteed tour departures we have a minimum of 4 people.

Guided private

For travellers who want a holiday based on their preferences and needs. You don’t need to worry over itinerary planning or your next move, and at the same time you can enjoy the holidays at your own pace and take as much time on your own whenever needed. We take care of the entire organization and provide you with a professional guide, accommodation, transportation and plan of activities.
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Our team of local people with vast experience has cherry picked the best things to do in Slovenia for all sorts of travellers.
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We handle route planning, transportation, accommodation and anything else you prefer not to deal with and offer 24 hour support.
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Do you want more? Do you want less? Let us know and we will make it happen.
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