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Ultimate Balkan

Go further east through the Balkans and seek out the path less travelled. From the splendour and charisma of the Croatian coast to off the beaten track through Albania and Montenegro with its awesome scenic coast to Ancient Athens and the Greek wonders of the cliff top monasteries of Meteora, Thermopylae and the Temple of Delphi. This trek encompasses the iconic cities of the Balkans – Sarajevo, Belgrade and Skopje – and touches on many cultures, old and new.

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Local Culture & Cuisine, History
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: BK4/164814
  • Starts: Split, Croatia
  • Finishes: Split, Croatia
You will Visit
  • Split
  • Kotor
  • Tirana
  • Gjirokastra
  • Thermopylae
  • Athens
  • Delphi
  • Ohrid
  • Skopje
  • Nis
  • Belgrade
  • Sarajevo
  • Mostar

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Split to Dubrovnik to Kotor

On this day we venture to two absurdly idyllic towns. First we stop by Dubrovnik in Croatia. It’s a coastal town fortress with shimmering blue seas, simply stunning. We arrive mid-morning so you have time to take a swim, walk the walls and eat seafood.

We then continue into Montenegro to Kotor which is nestled at the base of the UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor. You will be able to climb to the top of St John's Fortress to take in the panoramic beauty of this area.

02

Day 2: Kotor

We visit the picturesque town of Budva and go on an optional boat cruise of the beautiful Bay of Kotor. After that it’s time to relax in Kotor.

03

Day 3: Kotor to Tirana

Today you enter Albania. Going through rural areas and discovering the beauty of Albania’s countryside. Once you enter the capital city of Tirana, you'll be amazed at just how kind the people of Albania are.

04

Day 4: Tirana to Gjirokastra to Meteora

Lunch in the UNESCO-listed town of Gjirokastra, it’s the perfect day to learn a bit about Albania’s culture.

We then head to Greece and Meteora, a unique and enchanting place where monasteries are elevated by other worldly sandstone pillars. We spend an evening in the nearby traditional Greek village of Kalambaka.

05

Day 5: Meteora to Thermopylae to Athens

This morning we visit two of the most important monasteries which are famous for their Byzantine frescoes and spectacular views. This is a serious UNESCO site; an inspiration to the Game of Thrones and a location for James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’. After being awestruck by the grandeur we drive southwards to Thermopylae, where the statue of Leonidas stands to commemorate the heroic defence of the Spartans against the Persians. It looks a little different nowadays than what is shown in the movie 300!

After an enthralling day we head to Athens and in the evening we mingle over dinner and drinks at our hostel's roof-top bar.

06

Day 6: Athens

A day to delve into the great Greek capital. Classical Athens was a hotbed of culture and has had a huge influence on western civilisation. The wonder-inducing temples never fail to fascinate, and a visit to the Acropolis is an absolute must. During the day you have free time to discover this great city before we meet in the evening to sample some traditional Greek dancing and music.

07

Day 7: Athens to Delphi to Thessaloniki

This morning we drive to Delphi where we have an amazing professional guide take us around the incredible site and museum of Delphi (included in tour price). The sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the religious centre of the ancient Greek world.

You're probably starting to get excited by this point, because the destination tonight is not only the birthplace of Alexander the Great, it's also famous for some of the best food and nightlife that Greece has to offer.

08

Day 8: Thessaloniki to Lake Ohrid

Today we set off towards the charming town of Ohrid, set on a lake with beautiful monasteries scattered along the shore line. We hop on a boat trip onto the lake to the nearby Town of Bones. Later in the day we go out to enjoy the Macedonian hospitality and its affordable nightlife.

09

Day 9: Lake Ohrid to Skopje

Today we have a short 3-hour morning drive to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia and birthplace of Mother Teresa. It is like a Eastern European Disneyland with statues of Macedonian heroes scattered through the town and an imposing fortress hanging above its Old Town. You’ll be able to take an optional trip out to nearby Lake Matka. Enjoy sunset views from Mount Vodan, next to the city’s landmark Millennium Cross, before we go out for some traditional food and drink that evening.

10

Day 10: Skopje to Nis to Belgrade

We leave Macedonia and head across the border into neighbouring Serbia and the important Serbian town of Nis, where we'll inspect some of the Ottoman ruins and have lunch. Then onto Serbia’s capital Belgrade. After check-in, we'll set off to explore the city with its grand Orthodox churches, but the real highlight here are the people and the city vibe. We will certainly get you in the middle of the action. Razed to the ground on no less than forty occasions, Belgrade has a rebellious side to its psyche. The affordable prices and great local food make it a city to remember. Join our optional pub crawl this evening!

11

Day 11: Belgrade

Today, explore Serbia’s capital . Visit the Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan Park, the old quarter, Central Republic Square, Prince Mihailo Street, Terezije Square, the Old Palace and St Sava Cathedral. There are a great variety of museums to visit including: Tito's Museum, the House of Flowers and the Ethnographic Museum.

12

Day 12: Belgrade to Sarajevo

It's then onto Sarajevo for a night out amongst top nightlife, live bands and great food. Sarajevo will embrace you with its unique attitude - friendly, young and lively, so tonight is your chance to revel in a city you'll never forget.

13

Day 13: Sarajevo

Today get to know the Bosnian capital and its incredible history. Take an optional tour of the famous Sarajevo tunnel which will give you a better understanding of the country and its people. Our local guide is exceptional at telling stories and you will rave about this tour later – guaranteed. Use the afternoon to shop in the Old Town bazaar and squeeze the last drops out of a great weekend.

14

Day 14: Sarajevo to Mostar to Split

We stay in Bosnia for the morning and visit magnificent Mostar. We take an orientation walk around the city with its famous bridge and delve into Bosnian specialties for lunch.

We then move onto Croatia and Split where we'll show you around the old city, and finish off the adventure with some excellent Dalmatian food and nightlife.

15

Day 15: Split

Trip finishes after breakfast. Link up another Busabout adventure.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Professional local guide in Delphi, plus site and museum entrance
    • Entrance to 2 monasteries at Meteora
    • 14 nights accommodation, 14 breakfasts
    • Your fantastic Busabout guide and local driver
    • Mostar local guide
    • Orientation walks of Thessaloniki, Tirana, Gjirokastra, Skopje, Ohrid, Nis, Budva, Kotor, Dubrovnik and Split
    Accommodation
    • Hotel/hostel multi-share accommodation included
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Tour Highlights:
  • Gorge on great Greek grub in Thessaloniki
  • Climb to St Johns Fortress for a vista of Kotor
  • Scale the city walls of Dubrovnik Game of Thrones
  • Climb to St Johns Fortress for a vista of Kotor
  • Discover the off the beaten track feeling of Albania
  • Visit UNESCO-listed town of Gjirokastra
  • Marvel at Meteoras stunning cliff top monasteries
  • Visit Thermopylae, where the Spartans battled the Persians
  • The stunning Acropolis
  • Enjoy the buzz of Belgrade on a night out
  • Sarajevo walk and tunnel tour
  • Grab a photo at Mostars famous bridge on a locally-guided walking tour