The Great Balkan Adventure from Ljubljana
An incredible 26 day journey through seven amazing countries with the best highlights of the Balkans.
26 days including Ljubljana, Bled, Postojna, Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Budva, Shkoder, Tirana, Elbasan, Ohrid, Skopje, Sofia, Rila, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi, Baile Govora, Cozia, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures, Bucovina Painted Monasteries, Brasov, Bran, Sinaia and Bucharest.
Arrival to Ljubljana
- Upon arrival to Venice, Trieste or Ljubljana airport transfer to hotel.
- This morning, we will first head to Bled, beautifully set in the Julian Alps. A sightseeing tour of Bled features the charming town, the lakeshore, and a visit to the imposing Bled Castle, perched on a cliff high above the lake.
- After the visit of Bled return to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a walking tour. See the sights of the old city center, including the picturesque open-air Central Market, Three Bridges, Baroque Town Hall, and Robba’s Fountain.
to Postojna and Zagreb
- After breakfast, we head to Postojna, home to one of the largest caves in Europe – Postojna Cave. Tour this fantastic subterranean world by miniature electric train.
- Afterward, continue to Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia.
- This morning enjoy a city tour featuring the historic Upper Town, St Mark’s Church, St. Catherine’s Church, the Cathedral, Parliament, and the Government Palace.
- The rest of the day is free to explore the winding streets of the Old Town.
to Plitvice and Split
- Travel to spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park. Have your camera ready as you take a walking tour around several of the lower lakes.
Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this natural wonder of 16 terraced lakes surrounded by thickly wooded mountains and lush vegetation.
- Then we continue our journey to Split.
- Enjoy a city tour featuring the historic inner city, built around the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.
Finally, see the remnants of Split’s Roman heritage, its Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter’s Temple, the Peristyle and the Cathedral.
- Today we head to the island of Korčula. Upon arrival free time to enjoy this beautiful island.
- The beautiful medieval town Korčula has streets arranged in the shape of a fish bone, which ensures the flow of fresh air and protects from strong winds. According to legend, the famous adventurer Marco Polo was born here.
- After the visit, head to Dubrovnik.
- Start the day with a walking tour of Old Dubrovnik this morning. Visit the Rector’s Palace, and see the Bell Tower Clock, Orlando’s Column and Sponza Palace.
- Next, see the Dominican Monastery and Franciscan Monastery with its Pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world.
- The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own, enjoy the picturesque setting, shop or simply relax.
to Kotor and Budva
- First travel to the Bay of Kotor, the deepest fjord in Southern Europe and stop in the city of Kotor to visit this beautiful town. Stroll the Weapons Square and admire the city bulwarks before continuing the journey to Budva.
- The Budva riviera is the center of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast.
to Shkoder and Tirana
- Following the Montenegrin coast and its spectacular landscapes we enter Albania and visit Shkoder, a cultural center and one of the oldest cities in Albania. The city tour includes a visit to the Mosque, views of the Rozafa castle, as well as other points of interest in the city.
- In the afternoon the trip will take us to Tirana, the capital of Albania.
- The panoramic city tour of Albania’s capital includes views of ‘The Albanians’ – the mosaic in front of the Museum of National History, the Statue of Skanderbeg in Skanderbeg Square, the ‘Et’hem’ Mosque with the Clock tower, the monument to Mother Teresa and other monuments of the city.
- Rest of the day free at leisure.
to Elbasan and Ohrid
- Today, we travel along the old ‘Egnatica’ road to Elbasan to visit the Castle.
- We continue to Struga, famous for being the place where you can see the Black Drin river flowing out of Lake Ohrid.
- Then we continue to Ohrid, the city that has its place on the UNESCO list for its natural, cultural and historical values.
- In the morning, we visit Ohrid, also known as “the Jerusalem of the Balkans” with its 365 churches. A town of vast history and heritage was honored as UNESCO heritage site in 1980. Nestled between high mountains up to 2,800 m and Lake Ohrid, it is not only a place of historic significance but also of outstanding natural beauty, it is the jewel in North Macedonia’s crown.
- Continue to Skopje where we take a walking tour of the North Macedonian capital city upon arrival. Skopje has been occupied by many different peoples since its foundation. However, the group that left the greatest mark was the Ottomans. The Ottomans ruled North Macedonia for hundreds of years and built a large number of mosques and other buildings. The visit of Skopje includes the Mother Teresa Memorial House, dedicated to the humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa.
- Today, we travel to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, where you will have free time upon arrival.
- Today, we enjoy a complete tour of the city of Sofia. Among others, the most emblematic places are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral that dominates the city, the Church of Saint George, considered the best-preserved Byzantine church, the Russian Church of Saint Nicholas, the Banya Bashi mosque and the ruins of the ancient Serdica.
- In the afternoon, travel to the Rila Mountains to visit one of the most famous places in Bulgaria – the Rila Monastery. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by San Iván de Rila, it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and the language for centuries.
- After visiting the monastery church with its impressive fresco paintings, return to Sofia.
to Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo
- Leaving Sofia behind, we head toward the second largest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv. This is a city with an ancient history. During our city tour we will see the Roman Forum and the stadium, as well as the Roman amphitheater. We will walk through the cobbled streets of the small and ancient city surrounded by houses and beautiful churches.
- After the visit we will cross the Balkan Mountains through the historic Shipka Pass, which played a key role in the Russian-Turkish War for the Liberation of Bulgaria. Arrival in Veliko Tarnovo – the medieval capital of Bulgaria.
to Arbanassi and Balle Govora
- In the morning, panoramic visit of the city of Veliko Tarnovo with a walk to Tsarevets, where the kings of Bulgaria once lived. We will walk along the oldest street in the city called Samovodska Charshia.
- We will proceed to Arbanassi, a small village in Bulgaria located 4 km from Veliko Tarnovo, known for its interesting architecture. In the village, we can see the Konstancalieva house and the Church of the Nativity, whose wall paintings are a work of art.
- Then we head to the mountain resort of Baile Govora (long transfer).
To Cozia and Sibiu
- Head to Cozia for a visit of the Byzantine style Cozia Monastery. A model of harmonious proportions, the main church is richly decorated with frescoes dating back to 1390.
- Then we cross the Olt Valley into Transylvania.
- In the afternoon we take a panoramic walk through the city of Sibiu. Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centers of Romania and bears a strong resemblance to a southern German or Austrian town. The old city center has retained a largely Saxon aspect and managed to fuse the Middle Ages with the new.
to Sighisoara and Targu Mures
- Today, we travel first to the picturesque city of Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad Dracula. It is the only inhabited fortified citadel in Romania and is an enchanting city of sloping roofs, pastel facades and cobbled streets.
- We continue to Targu Mures.
to Piatra Neamt
- Targu Mures remains a noticeably Hungarian town. Dating back at least to the 14th century it has long been an important commercial and academic center.
- After the visit that includes the Palace of Culture, we continue to Piatra Neamt through the Bicaz Gorge, the largest gorge in Romania, admiring the beauty of the landscape, the Red Lake and its hill station.
- Departure to the Bucovina region to visit its monasteries, the most representative monuments of Moldovan art. Declared a World Heritage Site, these monasteries are one of the most important legacies of Byzantine art in the world, in which their brightly colored interior and exterior fresco paintings stand out.
- Visit of the Monasteries of Sucevita and the black pottery workshops of Marginea.
- In the afternoon visit the Voronet Monastery, considered the best architectural and pictorial example in the region, called the “Sistine Chapel” in the East.
- Return to Piatra Neamt.
- In the morning, we leave Piatra Neamt and travel south to Brasov. Arrival in the afternoon, followed by a tour of the fascinating medieval city of Brasov. Visit the old town and see the exterior of the Black Church, the most representative Gothic monument in Romania.
to Bran, Sinaia and Bucharest
- Continuation towards the town of Bran. Visit of its famous Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle.
- In the afternoon arrival in the city of Sinaia, known as “the pearl of the Carpathians” because of its beauty.
- In the afternoon we will visit the wonderful Peles Palace, the former summer residence and retreat place of the royal family, built in the second half of the 19th century by the first King of Romania, Carlos I.
- We will get to know the Romanian capital, once known under the nickname “Little Paris”. The visit will take us to the Romanian Athenaeum, the Opera House, the Military Club of the Nation, the Military Academy and the Arc de Triomphe. Bucharest is Romania’s capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With 2 million inhabitants in the city proper and more than 2.4 million in the urban area, Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.
- After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
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