Best of the Balkans
- Duration10 Nights
- When to GoApril to October
- Price GuideFrom $3,804 Per Person
Day by Day Itinerary
- DAY 1
Venice: Guided City Tour
Your unforgettable vacation begins in the famous “Floating City” of Venice, one of the world’s most unique and beautiful destinations, built on the water in the middle of a lagoon. Upon your arrival, private transfer will bring you to your hotel and after settling in, you’ll join a tour that will take you into its heart. Marvel at the magnificent ornate architecture, including elegant palaces like Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and St. Mark’s Basilica in Piazza San Marco, the main square. You’ll cross the Rialto Bridge and the romantic white limestone Bridge of Sighs that passes over the Rio di Palazzo.
- DAY 2
Venice: Day of Leisure + Optional Murano Island Visit
You can take the entire day to yourself to simply wander the streets and see the sights you’ve always dreamed of visiting, relax in an outdoor café while the world goes by and take a gondola tour through the canals, or join an optional tour to Murano Island. This is where Venetian glass is made, bringing the opportunity to explore its long history of glassmaking and visit a local glass people to see the artisans at work. You’ll also get to browse the exhibits at the Murano Museum of Glass and visit the Duomo di Murano Santi Maria e Donato Church.
- DAY 3
Rovinj: Transfer from Venice
Enjoy a relaxed morning, savouring your last moments in Venice before departing for Croatia. You’ll notice many Venetian features in the seaside town of Rovinj, including its Venetian-era homes around the picturesque fishing harbour that are painted in pastel colours. While it was originally built on an island, it’s connected to the mainland by bridge today. Explore on your own, strolling the cobbled streets lined with colourful facades. Climb the bell tower at the hilltop church of St. Euphemia for a gorgeous view of the pebbly beaches along Lone Bay – on a clear day you can even see the Alps.
- DAY 4
Rovinj: Truffle Hunting in the Motovun Forest
Embark on what’s sure to be one of the highlights of your trip by heading into the Motovun Forest for a truffle hunting excursion. Enjoy the picturesque scenery while driving through the Istrian Peninsula and then meet up with a truffle-hunting expert to learn all about this rare and valuable local speciality, including how their prepared, before going out on the hunt with truffle sniffing dogs. In the hilltop villages of Motovun and Groznjan, you’ll have the chance to buy some for yourself or as gifts, and enjoy dining in one of the family-owned restaurants that serve delicious traditional meals.
- DAY 5
Plitvice Lakes: Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park
A full day tour will be enjoyed in one of Croatia’s most beloved spots, Plitvice Lakes National Park. Leaving Rovinj early this morning for this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll explore it on foot, via a memorable boat ride and a panoramic train excursion. Walk the pathways and across wooden bridges to see the stunning 16 interconnected terraced lakes in a mesmerising array of blues and greens from emerald to turquoise that have been flowing over chalk and limestone for thousands of years. The result is countless cascading waterfalls and tranquil pools, surrounded by lush greenery. Don’t forget your camera for this one.
- DAY 6
Split: Historic Sightseeing Tour
Travelling south along the Dalmatian Coast to Split, Croatia’s second largest city, you’ll get to discover its enchanting historic center with a local guide, including the UNESCO-protected Diocletian’s Palace, built by Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement residence in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries. Your guide will fill you in on its history and legends as you explore the landmarks, including remarkably well-preserved Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and baroque architecture. Enjoy time on your own this evening to stroll the seaside promenade or head to the top of Marjan Hill just before the sun goes down for a breathtaking sunset view.
- DAY 7
Split: Day Trip to Hvar
Hop on a boat to cruise over to seductive Hvar for a full day of exploring. While the island is renowned for attracting international jetsetters and celebrities of all types, it also has a captivating Old Town, a picturesque waterfront and whitewashed homes, giving it a Mediterranean vibe. Explore the landmarks while learning about its history on a guided tour, and head to Fortica fortress for a panoramic vista of the bay and nearby Pakleni islands. You’ll have time to yourself to browse the shops, perhaps buying an item made from the locally grown lavender before finding an enticing eatery for a meal.
- DAY 8
Dubrovnik: Mostar, Bosnia Tour
Leaving Split this morning, your destination for the next three nights if the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik, but first you’ll take a tour of atmospheric Mostar. You can climb to the top of the minaret on Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque for a panoramic view, stop at Kajtaz House, the former home of a harem that belonged to a 16th-century judge, explore the lively markets and sample some of the tasty street food in the center of the Old Town. You’ll visit one of its most famous symbols too, medieval Stari Most, the Old Bridge, which straddles Neretva River before continuing to Dubrovnik.
- DAY 9
Dubrovnik: Old City Tour
Waking up in Dubrovnik, after breakfast meet a local guide for a tour of the walled historic center. Your guide will point out filming sites for the hit series “Game of Thrones” along with many historic landmarks like the Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace. Although it experienced significant damage during the war in the 1990s, the buildings have been beautifully restored. After your tour enjoy the rest of the day to yourself, perhaps enjoying a walk atop the City Walls or a ride on the cable car that travels to the summit of Mount Srd for a bird’s-eye view over it all.
- DAY 10
Dubrovnik: Day of Leisure or Optional Trip to Montenegro
On your last full day you can choose to do what you’d like, relaxing, exploring more of the city or perhaps paddling out on a kayak tour to nearby Lokrum Island, home to the ruins of a 12th-century Benedictine monastery, wildlife like peacocks and pristine beaches for sunbathing and swimming. You’ll also have the option to take a day trip to Croatia’s eastern neighbour, Montenegro, which visits the stunning city of Kotor with its over two miles of ancient walls. It also visits the unique Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, made up old shipwrecks and local rock set atop a tiny islet.
- DAY 11
Enjoy breakfast and soak up those views as your trip comes to an end this morning. After checking out of your hotel, private transfer will bring you to Dubrovnik Airport to catch your return flight home. If you don’t have to leave just yet, contact our travel experts who will be happy to extend your journey so that you have more time here or elsewhere, with many spectacular destinations within easy reach.
- 10 nights 4 and 5 star hotel accommodation, staying on a bed and breakfast basis
- All domestic transfers as per the itinerary
- Private guided tour of Split
- Day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Truffle hunting and tasting in Motovun Forest
- Mostar visit en route to Dubrovnik
- Expert trip planning advice
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- Private guided tour of Venice
- Private guided tour of Dubrovnik
- Istrian cooking class
- Mount Srd cable car ride
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise that all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s make this itinerary yours.
Speak to our experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and needs
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