Short on time? This is the trip for you. Hit up an incredible 7 countries in just 15 days and take in the best sights the Balkans has to offer. Whether it's exploring the beautiful city of Dubrovnik, partying untl the early hours in Belgrade or strolling around the historic sights Sarajevo has to offer, this trip has something for everyone.
Meet up with your Contiki team & fellow travellers before we head to Slovenia's capital. Known as the economic & social hub of Slovenia, despite celebrating its 2000th birthday in 2014, Ljubljana has only been the capital of an independent nation since 1991. Made up from a mixture of influences from the neighbouring nations - Italy, Germany, Croatia & Serbia, Slovenia has taken all the best bits to create a strong cultural identity with Ljubljana at the heart. After you've got your bearings there's time to explore your way. Find a cute little spot for some people watching, hit the shops or grab your camera & explore.
Next up is another day to explore, a new country to conquer, but first something altogether drop dead gorgeous.... A strong introduction to Croatia is on the cards today with cascading teal forest pools at Plitvice Lakes. Why this place is not famous world over as one of the prettiest places in Europe, we have no idea. Wander the cute wooden bridges with waterfalls either side, stopping for plenty of selfies along the route as you contemplate just how good life is and bask in the glory of mother nature.
On to our start city of Split, the largest city of Dalmatia. Make your last night one to remember, soak up Split’s ultra cool vibes and get amongst it at a waterfront nightlife spot, or dinner at a restaurant overlooking the harbour - with fresh seafood, of course...
Today there's still exploring to be done and sights to see. Tonight it's best get outside, grab a delicious dinner and & a few hours on the dance floor. The nightlife here goes off, and your Trip Manager knows all the best places to head, so go on, get out there and make this a night to remember.
What better place to get acquainted with your new squad then here on the coast of Croatia. Spend a free day roaming around or flop in your hotel room before we crack on with the rest of our day!
Split There's always something new to see and experience, and with a free morning you could hit the streets to get inspired by the Old Town vibes, or simply just to grab one last delicious gelato before our next stop, the walled city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik The drive along the Dalmatian coastline to Dubrovnik is a sightseeing must do all on its own. On arrival in the city you'll be greeted by limestone walls; an Old Town filled with quintessentially Croatian cafes and plenty of clubs; and a mountain meets sea situation will see you falling in love within seconds. After you've been guided around the city by our team, you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content. Tonight over dinner with the crew, spirits will no doubt be high, we're only 8 days into what might be the best trip of our lives, and the show's not over yet!
Today, head back into the pretty city or catch some sun on one of Dubrovnik’s awesome beaches. You can also try out our optional kayak excursion around the old city walls, and get another look at this stunning city from the water. A perfect trip for exploring, head to a secluded bay for a swim.
Now that we've done all things Dubrovnik, we'll coast our way to Montenegro via the dramatic Adriatic Coastline. All good journeys are broken up by fjords, steep mountain landscapes & a trot in a town that meets old and new. Our journey between Dubrovnik and Budva will tick all the boxes, stopping in the super-yacht spot of pretty Kotor. If you tire of European coastal towns, you have tired of life. Take it easy tonight with the assurance that you have all day tomorrow in Montenegro's seaside beauty of Budva.
Just what does one do with a whole day free to explore the 2,500 year old town of Budva? Well - you could start with a dip in the dreamy Adriatic Sea, continue with coffee in a café draped in vines down a narrow cobbled stone road, finish with the Church of St. Ivan, and eat some milk-soaked lamb and buttered polenta along the way. That should get you started.
The time has come to farewell our ocean hangs in exchange for rivers, countrysides and captivating culture, which means a sad goodbye to beautiful Budva.Mostar is home to the world's cutest bridge. According to us. But still - we've seen a lot of bridges. You'll have plenty of time to oohh and aahh before we kick on to our 2-night site of Sarajevo. Later on in our perfect day, we'll skip into the brimming with lively culture town of Sarajevo, also known as Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital. With all the day's explorations you may just want to hang out and take on the city with the fresh eyes of a new day.
The only way to uncover the town of Sarajevo is with the wisdom shared on a guided walking tour. We'll help you tap into history & understand the magnitude of our destination before leaving you to lighten the mood with an evening of bars and nightlife, should you so choose.
Rise up, roamers! We're departing for the town of Belgrade to continue our epic frolic through the Balkans. Another border crossing is on the agenda as we wave our way into Serbia en route to Belgrade. Medieval meets modern in this bustling, pure white city. Zen folk can go sit on the Hill of Contemplation or stroll Sava rivers, others can see the fortress of Beogradska Tvrđava & enjoy the lively mood of Belgrade by night.
Leaving Belgrade behind, today we're onto beautiful Budapest. Fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in Europe, Budapest is on our beeline. Despite having all day tomorrow to get cosy with this city, we'll get stuck into it today checking out the likes of the royal palace, the famed chain bridge & the stunning parliament building. Later you'll have the option to take a cruise and make the most of your first Hungarian evening. Later, you'll no doubt want to keep things moving at one of the city's famous ruins bars, that need to be seen to be believed!
This morning will start with a guided tour of Budapest. The rest of the day will be yours to lounge about at thermal baths and soak up the alfresco city before we join forces again for a demo in making goulash and a chance to chow it down.
That's a wrap! Our love affair with the Balkans has sadly come to an end! But perhaps we can get the squad back together for a reunion trip in Latin America?
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Trip Name: Best of Balkans (Start Budapest)
Duration: 15 Days
From Price: £1,757
Supplier Tour ID: BBBB/160923
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