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The Great Balkan Journey from Ljubljana

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Small Group Tour Details

Visit: Ljubljana, Bled, Postojna, Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Sremski Karlovci, Novi Sad, Niš, Sofia, Rila, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi, Baile Govora, Cozia, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures, Bucovina, Brasov, Bran, Sinaia, Bucharest

Day 1: Ljubljana

Upon arrival to Venice, Trieste or Ljubljana airport you will be met and transferred to the hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 2: Ljubljana

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 to Bled return to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a walking tour. See the sights of the old city centre, including the picturesque open-air Central Market, Three Bridges, Baroque Town Hall and Robba's Fountain.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Ljubljana - Postojna - 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Zagreb

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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Zagreb - Plitvice - 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Split - Korčula

The morning is free at leisure. In the afternoon we head to the island of Korčula. Upon arrival enjoy some free time to explore the beautiful island.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Korčula - Dubrovnik

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. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel for your overnight stay.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Dubrovnik - Mostar

We continue our trip towards Mostar. Mostar is situated on the Neretva River and was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva in the medieval times. The Old Bridge, built by the Ottomans in the 16th century, is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks and is considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Mostar - Sarajevo

Travel to Sarajevo, the capital of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city of Sarajevo has been influenced by several cultures and civilizations over its long history. On your city tour, visit the Turkish Bazaar Bas Carsija, Husref Bay’s Mosque, the Olympic Stadium and Gavrilo Princip Museum.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Sarajevo - Belgrade

Today, we depart Sarajevo and travel to Belgrade, Serbia. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel for your overnight stay.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Belgrade

With a history dating back more than 7,000 years, Belgrade is a fascinating city to visit. Your morning sightseeing tour includes the city's main attractions: the imposing Kalemegdan Fortress, dramatically situated at the joining of the Sava and Danube Rivers; Republic Square and Mihajlova Street; Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox Church in the city; and Tito's Memorial. The afternoon is free.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 14: Belgrade - Sremski Karlovci - Novi Sad

In the morning, we depart for Sremski Karlovci, the museum city that was the centre of culture and religion in Serbia during the 18th and 19th centuries. After a short stop with a wine degustation included, we continue to Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina. It is the administrative, economic, cultural and university centre of the region, which also has the well-preserved Petrovaradin Fortress that faces the city from the other side of the Danube. Return to Belgrade.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 15: Novi Sad - Niš - Sofia

Today, we travel to Bulgaria. Our first stop is Niš, considered one of the oldest cities in Europe. Niš is a university centre but also one of the most important industrial centers in Serbia. Continue to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 16: Sofia

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 of the centuries. After visiting the monastery church with its impressive fresco paintings, return to Sofia.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 17: Sofia - Plovdiv - 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Veliko Tarnovo - Arbanassi - Baile 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 4km 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 19: Baile Govora - Cozia - 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 centres of Romania and bears a strong resemblance to a southern German or Austrian town. The old city centre has retained a largely Saxon aspect and managed to fuse the Middle Ages with the new.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 20: Sibiu - Sighisoara - 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 21: Targu Mures - 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 centre. 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 22: Piatra Neamt - Bucovina - Piatra Neamt

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 coloured 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 23: Piatra Neamt - Brasov

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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 24: Bran - Sinaia - Bucharest

Today we continue towards the town of Bran. Enjoya a visit of the famous Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. In the afternoon arrive 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 25: Bucharest

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.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 26: Depart Bucharest

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Arport for your departure flight.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Escorted Package Includes:

  • 25 nights' Accommodation in 4 or 5 star hotels
  • Breakfast daily
  • Touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Airport transfers
  • Professional English speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Licensed local guides
  • Entrance fees included in the program: Bled Castle, Postojna Cave, Zagreb Cathedral, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Diocletian's Palace, Rector's Palace, Franciscan Monastery with its Pharmacy, Bas Carsija, Husref Bay’s Mosque, Gavrilo Princip Museum, Kalemegdan Fortress, wine degustation Petrovaradin Fortress, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Rila Monastery, Tsarevets, Church of the Nativity, Cozia Monastery, Palace of Culture, Monasteries of Sucevita, black pottery workshops of Marginea, Voronet Monastery, Dracula's Castle, Peles Palace
  • Luggage handling at hotels
  • Service charges and hotel taxes

 

Sightseeing Tours Included:

  • Ljubljana
  • Bled (Bled Castle)
  • Postojna (Postojna Cave)
  • Zagreb (Cathedral)
  • Plitvice (Plitvice Lakes National Park)
  • Split (Diocletian’s Palace)
  • Korčula
  • Dubrovnik (Rector’s Palace, Franciscan Monastery)
  • Mostar
  • Sarajevo (Bas Carsija, Husref Bay’s Mosque, Gavrilo Princip Museum)
  • Belgrade (Kalemegdan)
  • Sremski Karlovci (wine degustation)
  • Novi Sad (Petrovaradin Fortress)
  • Sofia (Alexander Nevski Cathedral)
  • Rila (Rila Monastery)
  • Plovdiv
  • Veliko Tarnovo (Tsarevets)
  • Arbanassi (Nativity Church)
  • Cozia (Cozia Monastery)
  • Sibiu
  • Sighisoara
  • Targu Mures (Palace of Culture)
  • Painted Monasteries of Bucovina (Sucevita and Voronet Monasteries, Ceramica neagra Marginea)
  • Brasov
  • Bran (Dracula’s Castle)
  • Sinaia (Peles Palace)
  • Bucharest

 

Not Inlcuded:

  • Hotel extras /telephone, mini bar, etc
  • Additional meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Porterage
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Visa procurement

 

Hotels (or similar):

  • Ljubljana: Hotel Radisson Blu Plaza 4* 
  • Zagreb: Hotel Westin 5* / Sheraton 5* / Dubrovnik 4* 
  • Split: Hotel Briig 4* 
  • Korčula: Hotel Liburna 4* / Marko Polo 4* 
  • Dubrovnik: Hotel Valamar Lacroma 4* / Argosy 4* 
  • Mostar: Hotel Mepas 5* / Eden 4* 
  • Sarajevo: Hotel Europe 5* / Radon Plaza 5* 
  • Belgrade: Hotel Moskva 5* / Hotel Prag 4* 
  • Sofia: Hotel Balkan 5* / BW Premier Collection City 4* 
  • Veliko Tarnovo: Hotel Yantra Grand 4* 
  • Baile Govora: Hotel Palace 4* 
  • Sibiu: Hotel Continental Forum 4* 
  • Targu Mures: Hotel Continental Forum 4* 
  • Piatra Neamt: Hotel Central Plaza 4* 
  • Brasov: Hotel Aro Palace 5* / Ambient 4* 
  • Bucharest: Hotel Capitol 4* 

 

Tour Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and escorted tours are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (km)

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