Unique Experience Intrepid | Balkan Adventure

Welcome to the Balkans, where the East meets the West and the new merges seamlessly with the old. Over the centuries, people have travelled to Eastern Europe for its fertile soil, natural resources and healing waters. This enchanting land, which has remained virtually untouched by tourism, boasts rich tradition, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. With historical attractions in Budapest, nightlife in Belgrade, Sarajevo's beautiful Old Town, Montenegro's Durmitor National Park and medieval Dubrovnik, this trip is delightfully different. Hike through stunning natural gems, drive through ever-changing scenery, hit up the nightlife after feasting on local favourites and even discover a family-run vineyard in Ilok from the 15th century.

Theme

Explorer

  • Highlights

    • After exploring the 15th-century family-run vineyard, sip the famous Croatian Traminac Premium wine at an included wine tasting in quaint Ilok – this wine was served at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II!
    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Humana Zagreb. Donations help provide job opportunities and education programs in sustainable fashion and textiles for people with disabilities.
    • Cross the Chain Bridge in Budapest – known as the Pearl of the Danube – and take the funicular up to Buda Castle for beautiful views over Pest.
    • See the sights on a guided walking tour of scenic Sarajevo and learn about its recent history as a city under siege. Then, take a long drive to the stunning Durmitor National Park.
    • Wander through Belgrade’s Bohemian quarter and grand 19th-century boulevards before launching into its animated nightlife. Then, take a day trip to the artists’ haven of Zemun.
    • Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river for centuries and visit Tito's bunker – one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    14 Breakfasts

    Transport

    Train , Public bus , Private vehicle , Taxi , Tram

    Accommodation

    Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights), Hostel (1 night), Pension (3 nights)

    Included Activities

    • Belgrade - City Tour with Local Guide
    • Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik Card (1 day local transport & entry to sites)
    • Durmitor National Park
    • Ilok - Winery Visit & Wine Tasting
    • Konjic - Armijska Ratna Komanda ARK D-0 (Tito’s Bunker) tour
    • Mostar - Day Trip
    • Sarajevo - City Tour with Local Guide
    • Vukovar - Orientation Walk & Guided Hospital Visit
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  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Budapest - Szia! Welcome to Hungary. Budapest is Hungary's intoxicating capital, on the banks of the Danube River. If you arrive early, you can take part in an Urban Adventure day tour, like the Buda Castle Explorer or Bites and Sights. Check them out at urbanadventures.com. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. After, maybe take a night walk along the Danube River to see the surrounding buildings and bridges lit up in all the city’s majesty, or head out with some of your new travel buddies to one of Budapest's funky ruin pubs.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Budapest - Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest, known as 'The Pearl of the Danube'. Admire intricate carvings on resplendent buildings, cross the iconic Chain Bridge to explore the Castle District, or simply meander through winding streets snacking on local delicacies. Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water, so maybe take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to the castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building. Hiring a bicycle is another great way to move between the sights.

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Osijek - Take a private transfer through the Hungarian Puszta this morning and cross the border into Croatia to a land of cornfields, vineyards and pastel-hued villages. Famed for its cuisine, arrive at the Slavonian capital of Osijek. This laid-back university town features an enchanting medieval citadel as well as the Upper Town, only a short walk along the banks of the Drava. Many cafes line the river, inviting you to join in on the Croatian national pastime: of people-watching. Osijek is a well-designed city that’s easily navigated on foot. There are also numerous cycling routes throughout the city. Navigate the hallways of grand buildings, stroll along the banks of the Drava River or sample some of the local delicious flavours at a local cafe. Your accommodation for the night is at a family-owned local guesthouse (with local craft beer and wine on offer) that’s right inside the citadel.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Osijek - Today is a free day to explore Osijek. You might like to visit the small provincial town of Dakovo, about 35 kms south of Osijek. The town is dominated by an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral. Maybe you’d like to take a day trip to the wetlands of Kopacki Rit Nature Reserve for a spot of bird watching and a visit to nearby Tikves Castle and historical Batina Hill from where you can see both Hungary and Serbia across the Danube. If you’d like to stay in Osijek, maybe visit the Museum of Slavonia and the Archaeological Museum. Or, you could just hire a bike and cycle around the region. This evening, maybe discover some of the best cuisines in Croatia with traditional dishes like fis paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles), kulen (spicy sausages) and cobanac (stew).

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Novi Sad - Today you’ll travel to Novi Sad by private transfer. Along the way, visit nearby Vukovar – a town that symbolises the devastation of the recent war – and learn about the sobering local history. Visit the local hospital and the museum in its basement – used as a refuge during the siege – and listen to wartime stories from hospital staff, some of whom still work here and who were among the few survivors. Then, visit a local vineyard in Ilok to see the workings of a family-run vineyard. The old wine cellar dates back to 1450 and is the first originally purpose-built wine cellar in this part of Europe. Taste a range of their delicious wines, including the famous Ilok Traminac Premium wine, which was served at the celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Sitting on the banks of the Danube River, you’ll arrive in Novi Sad – this city is surrounded by fertile farms and vineyards and features an interesting mix of traditional Serbian heritage and Austro-Hungarian architecture. During your free afternoon, make sure you stop by the city’s fortress of Petrovaradin, which sits right on the Danube and contains a museum of historic artefacts from the region.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Belgrade - After breakfast this morning you’ll head to Belgrade. Known as the White City, Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Sitting at the confluence of two major rivers – Sava and Danube – it’s an important intersection between Eastern and Western Europe. Here, you’ll experience an energetic mix of progressive flamboyance and conservative customs. Enjoy a guided tour of the city’s wide boulevards and squares and the historic and green heart of Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kalemegdan Fortress, which has overlooked the Danube River for centuries. Tonight, head down to Skadarska Street in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively atmosphere in a place where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Belgrade - Today, make your way to the neighbourhood of Zemun – about 30 minutes outside of Belgrade’s city centre. This old town favourite has a rich history and is now known as the bohemian part of town, home to many of the city’s artists and writers. As Zemun used to be an independent town – only joining Belgrade in 1934 – the small village atmosphere still stands, transporting you to the past. After walking the town with your leader, head to a local market and explore the local wares. Stroll along the river promenade and stop for an optional lunch in one of the riverside restaurants serving fresh fish. After, maybe find a local café and people watch with a coffee. Head back to Belgrade’s centre in the late afternoon, where you have free time to visit the imposing Hram Svetog Save (St Sava Church) or if there’s time, stroll through the Nikola Tesla Museum and learn about the life of Serbia's greatest inventor. The city’s nightlife has become legendary throughout Europe, with several hundred floating bars, restaurants and nightclubs lining the Danube and Sava rivers – so you’ll find the perfect way to spend your evening.

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Sarajevo - Today, travel by bus through the beautiful countryside to Sarajevo. This a long drive, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Sarajevo is Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital. Twenty years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful and interesting destinations. The city often draws comparisons with Istanbul as a city that mixes east and west – dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and the aroma of coffee. When you arrive, take a guided tour for an insight into the history and culture of the city. Sarajevo is one of the few cities in the world that features an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque all within close proximity. Tonight, enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's old bazaar and try the local speciality of bosanski cevapi (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices).

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Sarajevo to Mostar - Today head out of Sarajevo for a day trip to Mostar, a town situated in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of Herzegovina. Thanks to the river Neretva, Mostar was able to develop as a city in the barren landscape of Herzegovina. The city was the most heavily bombed settlement in Bosnia during the war, but it has since been rebuilt and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Head to the famous Stari Most Bridge, first built by the Ottomans in 1565 by architect Mimar Hajrudin – who succeeded with the impossible mission of crossing the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the famous bridge divers hurl themselves into the icy waters below. Return to Sarajevo in the afternoon, stopping at Konjic on the way – where you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia, Tito's nuclear bunker. Go back in time on a guided tour of the bunker and learn about Yugoslav history and how life used to be in the not-so-distant past.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Sarajevo - Enjoy a free day in and around Sarajevo. Maybe take an optional day trip to the thermal springs and green parks of Ilidza – the source of the Bosna River. Or, discover local history with a visit to the History Museum and the Sarajevo War Tunnels (dug underneath the airport runway and used to smuggle provisions into the city during its siege), or learn about the tragedies faced by the city's Jews at the Jewish Museum. Get cultural with a stroll through the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Pivnica HS brewery and restaurant is a good place to sample local award-winning beer and grab some dinner if you like, tonight.

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Durmitor National Park - Today, you’ll take a private transfer through the beautiful countryside to Montenegro, arguably one of the most stunning countries in the world. Today is a long driving day, so sit back and enjoy the scenic landscapes passing you by (and maybe take your favourite book, too). Stop along the way for some great photo opportunities and then arrive at Durmitor National Park. This World Heritage site was formed by glaciers and is crisscrossed with rugged mountains (40 of which reach over 2,000 metres in height), pristine pine forests, two deep canyons, rivers, crystal lakes and underground streams. Take a hike through this wonderful, lesser-explored wilderness along the shores of a lake and keep an eye out for some of the 163 species of bird or 50 species of mammal that roam this region is home to. Continue to the nearby town of Niksic, where you’ll spend the night.

     

    Day - 12

    Location: Kotor - Today, drive to Kotor – this 5th-century World Heritage-listed city is set on a secluded bay, with towering peaks surrounding a rocky coastline dotted with waterside towns. When you arrive. why not head out to see the 12th-century Cathedral of St Tryphun, the South Gates of Kotor (the Gurdich Gate) and the Armoury Square (Trg od oruzija)? You might like to get lost in the crooked alleyways, check out the boutiques and cafes or climb the hills behind the city to visit Kotor's ruined fortification walls. Take an optional hike up the stone steps, past churches, gates and bastions to the Fortress of Sveti Ivan – the top rewards you with magnificent views across the town and the brooding Bay of Kotor.

     

    Day - 13

    Location: Kotor - Today, take an optional day trip out of Kotor. Maybe take a cruise on Kotor Fjord, visiting the twin islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and Sveti Dordje (St George), with its church in the middle of the bay. Legends has it that sailors once spotted an image of the Virgin Mary on a rock here, and each time they completed a successful voyage they added another rock as an offering. Eventually, so many were added that an island emerged, and the church was built on top of it. Alternatively, consider a trip to Budva, only half an hour out of Kotor. With its busy beaches, charming Old Town, bustling restaurants and bars, Budva is like Montenegro's little version of Miami. For some more history, head up to Montenegro's former capital Cetinje, now a laidback village with grand mansions that were once used as embassies. Enjoy a final night out in Kotor and maybe catch some live music that keep these cobbled streets busy.

     

    Day - 14

    Location: Dubrovnik - Depart Montenegro this morning and travel along the beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik's walled Old Town is often referred to as the pearl of the Adriatic and it's now famed for its part in the TV show Game of Thrones. When you arrive, head out on a walk along the city walls with your leader, enjoying views of the sparkling ocean. Visit Big Onofrio's Fountain – built by the European architect Onofrio Della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city. After, maybe check out the 13th-century Franciscan monastery or the Sponza and Rector's Palaces, the only Renaissance buildings in the city to survive a devastating earthquake and fire in 1667. Tonight is the last night of your trip, so why not enjoy one last meal with the group and toast to your adventures?

     

    Day - 15

    Location: Dubrovnik - Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time. There's lots to see and do here in the wonderful city of Dubrovnik, so if you’d like to stay longer, just speak to your booking agent.

     

    Balkan Adventure
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 5802
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