Balkan Explorer


Balkan Explorer

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 15 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Sarajevo

Arrive in Sarajevo and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore or relax. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar.

Day 2 – Sarajevo

This morning we take a tour through the old oriental part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city, with its beautiful architecture, sweet shops and cafes. We also visit the Princip Bridge, site of the start of World War I, and spot various markings on the pavements which are ‘mini-memorials’ to the sniper victims of the recent war. We also visit the tunnel museum, a section of the tunnel that was the only way of accessing the city during the siege of 1992-1995. Later there is free time to explore the city on your own. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar. (BL)

Day 3 – Lukomir – Umoljani

Drive to Lukomir, the highest and most isolated settlement in the country, surrounded by the stunning landscape of remote uplands. The inhabitants are shepherds, and we spend time walking around the village with its traditional architecture and mediaeval tombstones, along the dramatic Rakitnica Canyon and then to the next village of Umoljani, learning about the traditional rural way of life. We return to Sarajevo for the night. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar. (B)

Day 4 – Belgrade

Today we travel to Serbia and Belgrade, arriving in the late afternoon. Belgrade is the largest city in the Balkans, and is an intriguing mix of the traditional and the modern, with its museums, galleries and lively nightlife. Overnight Balkan Hotel Garni or similar. (B)

Day 5 – Belgrade

We explore Belgrade today, taking in the temple of St Sava, the parliament buildings and Republic Square. We then head to Kalemegdan Fortress, the oldest part of Belgrade, where we explore on foot. This afternoon we take a cruise on the Danube to see more of the city’s sights, before some free time to explore the city on your own. Overnight Balkan Hotel Garni or similar. (B)

Day 6 – Zlatibor

Continue to Zlatibor, an area of valleys and forests where we spend time walking around the local villages and enjoying the stunning scenery. Overnight Hotel President or similar. (B)

Day 7 – Biogradska Gora National Park

Today we cross into Montenegro – a hidden gem in the heart of Europe where nature rules. Biogradska Gora is an isolated area of forests and mountains which surround nine glacial lakes, known as ‘mountain eyes’. We take a short walk around the park’s only low-lying lake, and then have the opportunity to swim in its crystal clear waters. Later we continue to Kolasin where we spend the night. Overnight Cilje Hotel or similar. (B)

Day 8 – Durmitor National Park

Explore Durmitor National Park with its breathtaking scenery of mountains, forests, lakes and high pastures. This area is inhabited by many species of birds and animals, and we may see eagles, white-headed vultures, foxes, deer or chamois, a type of mountain goat. Overnight Hotel Enigma or similar. (B)

Day 9 – Ostrog – Lovcen – Cetinje

Visit the Ostrog monastery, with chapels set in a sheer rock face and linked by beautifully decorated caves, passages and stairways, before heading to Lovcen National Park. We end our day in Cetinje, an important historical centre dating from the 15th century and the cultural and spiritual heart of Montenegro. Overnight Hotel Sport Inn or similar. (B)

Day 10 – Kotor

Visit the former palace of King Nikola, now Montenegro’s National Museum before heading to Kotor, whose lovely mediaeval walled city has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. We take a guided tour of some of the city’s key sights, including the Sveti Ivan fortress. Overnight Hotel Marija 2 or similar. (B)

Day 11 – Kotor - Dubrovnik

This morning we take a cruise around some of the islands in Kotor bay. Later we head to Dubrovnik, one of the most attractive cities in the region, where we have time to explore. Overnight Hotel Lero or similar. (B)

Day 12 – Pocitelj - Mostar

Cross the border back into Bosnia-Herzegovina and visit the village of Pocitelj, an old Turkish settlement with many interesting monuments - damaged during the war but rapidly being restored to its former splendour. We then travel to Mostar, where we explore on a walking tour through the old Turkish town. Overnight Hotel Amicus or similar. (B)

Day 13 – Blagaj

Morning trip to Blagaj, with its charming Ottoman architecture and cliff top fortress. In the afternoon we return to Mostar, where the rest of the day is free to explore this charming town on your own. Overnight Hotel Amicus or similar. (B)

Day 14 – Sarajevo

Head back to the capital, arriving around lunchtime. The afternoon is free to wander the streets of Sarajevo and take in anything that you’ve not yet seen. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar. (B)

Day 15 – Sarajevo

Tour ends. (B)