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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Discover the beauty and history of the Balkans on this 19-day tour that travels from Dubrovnik in Croatia through Bosnia and Herzegovina and onto the lively nightlife of Belgrade in Serbia, through the heart of Transylvania and on to Bucharest. Along the way you'll sample excellent wines, learn about the war years, stop by the famed Old Bridge of Mostar, discover Tara National Park's spectacular scenery, and traverse medieval fortresses and fairytale castles. This tour combines battle zones, mountain scenery, bunkers and bars and melds the past with the present, the historic with the euphoric, to create an adventure that ticks all of the boxes.

Countries Visited

Bosnia , Croatia , Romania , Serbia

  1. Day 1
    Dubrovnik
    Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia – the undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast. On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive early, you may like to head out and explore Dubrovnik’s old town which is surrounded entirely by city walls and easily covered on foot. Although Dubrovnik experienced devastation during the war in the early 1990s, the restored old town remains as charming as ever. There are many monuments to explore in the city proper, including the 15th century Rector's Palace, monasteries with cloistered gardens, and fine baroque churches with copper domes. After your welcome meeting this evening, join your leader and fellow travellers for dinner at a local restaurant showcasing Croatia’s traditional cuisine.
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Dubrovnik
    After breakfast, drive from your hotel to the Konavle region south of Dubrovnik. The region is known as the Golden Valley of Dubrovnik as it has the most fertile grounds in the area and is filled with vineyards and fruit trees. Visit the small town of Cavtat with its beautiful architecture, ancient history and pebble beaches. After exploring the town, you’ll head further into the Konavle region for a traditional ‘peka’ lunch featuring lamb and other meats cooked under an iron bell. No meal in this region is complete without a glass of Croatian wine, so toast your hearty meal with a glass of Grk or Plavac Mali local wine. On your return to Dubrovnik, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy your way, perhaps with a walk around the city walls or a swim in the sparkling Adriatic Sea.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Mostar
    Today you’ll cross the border and travel into Bosnia & Herzegovina, stopping at several beautiful destinations in the Herzegovina region along the way. Your first stop is Trebinje where you’ll join your leader for a walking tour that takes in the compact Old Town and its pretty market square, followed by a stop at an Orthodox monastery to taste the famous Tvrdos wine. After you’ve quenched your thirst, your trip continues to Stolac where you’ll stop for the lunch and the chance to explore this ancient town on the banks of the strikingly blue Bregava river. After you’ve explored the sights of Stolac, you’ll arrive in Mostar in an hour. Here you’ll join an expert local guide for a guided tour around town that reveals why there is such a strong connection between the locals and coffee.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Sarajevo
    Leave Mostar and travel towards Sarajevo, but not without a stop at Konjic where you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia, Tito's nuclear bunker. The military bunker was built to protect Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and hundreds of his top military personnel and has only recently opened to the public. Go back in time on a guided tour of the bunker and learn about Yugoslav history and how life used to be in not-so-distant past. After touring the bunker, continue to Sarajevo and settle into your hotel before heading out to explore the city with an expert local guide. Tonight you may like to join your group for dinner at a local restaurant.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Sarajevo
    Today is yours to explore your way. Taste your way through the market stalls of Bascarsija, visit one of the museums dedicated to the Yugoslav war or perhaps take a cable car up Trebevic mountain to enjoy magnificent views over the city. You’ll finish the day with a memorable home-cooked meal shared with your hosts Mustafa and Mersiha who proudly claim their kitchen has the best view over Sarajevo. Your night begins learning how Bosnian pita is made before a hearty meal of sogan dolma (stuffed onions) and dolam (stuffed paprika). Of course, you’ll get to try the freshly made pita too.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Tara National Park
    Today you’ll travel onwards to Serbia with a stop in the small town of Višegrad where a magnificent 16th-century bridge dominates the horizon and provided the inspiration for the Nobel Prize winning literary work, The Bridge on the Drina. From Višegrad, you’ll cross the border into Serbia and continue your journey to Tara National Park. Widely regarded as one of the most spectacular destinations in the country, Tara National Park is home to the world’s third largest river canyon and filled with forested slopes and dramatic ravines. This afternoon, you’ll have the chance to soak in the natural beauty with an easy two hour hike in the park. Tonight you’ll bed down near the town of Zlatibor in your Feature Stay, a group of wooden chalets surrounded by nature complete with individual swimming pools and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Settle into your home for the evening before joining your group for a traditional dinner to celebrate your first night in Serbia.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Belgrade
    This morning you'll explore Tara National Park further with a scenic steam train ride through the park’s forest and mountains. This section of the railway is part of the famous Ciro trail that connects Belgrade and the Adriatic Sea. Rattle along the tracks as the narrow gauge engine and historic carriages takes you through the jaw dropping scenery, with four stops along the way so passengers can take photos of the incredible views. After spending a half day exploring Tara National Park on foot and riding the rails, settle back for the four hour drive to Belgrade where you’ll check into your hotel and enjoy a leisurely evening after a long day of travel.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Belgrade
    Start your day with a guided walking tour and discover all that Belgrade has to offer including Republic Square, Knez Mihailova Street which is lined with historic buildings and Kalemegdan Park and the Belgrade Fortress where the Danube and Sava Rivers meet. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history and perhaps ask your local guide for suggestions on where to experience the best night life in the Balkans as Belgrade is known for its party scene. This afternoon is yours to explore your way, perhaps with a visit to the city market or Nikola Tesla Museum or by catching a trolleybus to Zemun - a bohemian, village like neighbourhood that’s known for its cafes and fish restaurants along the riverside promenade. This evening, join your group for a traditional dinner in the bohemian Skadarska quarter to celebrate the penultimate night of your trip.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Belgrade
    Welcome to Serbia! Your adventure begins in Belgrade, the cosmopolitan capital. An Intrepid representative will meet you at the airport and you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Tonight you’ll meet your local leader and fellow travellers at 6 pm for an important welcome meeting. If you arrive with time to spare, check out the city’s many museums – including the one dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor known for transforming our understanding of electricity; or get a caffeine fix with a Turkish coffee at a kafana – traditional coffee houses date back to the Ottoman era. Tonight you’ll join the group for dinner at one of the city’s fantastic local restaurants and learn about Serbian produce and cuisine.
    Meals:   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Timisoara
    This morning you’ll travel by private vehicle to Timisoara, crossing the Serbia-Romania border en route. Timisoara is a pretty park-filled city with a remarkable past. It was here that an uprising of local people sparked the Romanian Revolution in 1989, which saw the fall of the country’s Communist regime – reflecting the broader political change seen across Eastern Europe at the time. On a guided walking tour you’ll take in some of Timisoara’s most significant sights – including the grand and aptly named Victory, Liberty and Union Squares – and learn more about the city’s history.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Sibiu
    Today you’ll make your way to Sibiu, stopping on the way to visit Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dacia. Romania’s answer to Stonehenge, Sarmizegetusa Regia was a centre of religious, military and political significance until it was invaded by the Romans in 102AD, and is now UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest and mysterious historical sites in Romania. Your local guide will you show you around and help uncover the secrets of this fascinating place.Upon arrival in Sibiu, you’ll get acquainted with the city’s cobbled streets and historic squares on a guided walking tour. Sibiu is something of a cultural heavyweight, known for its creative, bohemian atmosphere, rich history and eye-catching architecture. Explore what remains of the city’s medieval walls and towers, cross the legend-shrouded Bridge of Lies and take in the grandeur of Brukenthal National Museum, comprising numerous ornate palaces.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Sibiu
    This morning you’ll head to the outskirts of the city to explore ASTRA Village Museum. Set across 96 acres surrounding a sparkling lake, this open air living museum seeks to preserve, showcase and celebrate Romanian folk culture and traditional ways of life. Wander the grounds to discover reconstructed old dwellings, windmills and workshops and learn how Romanian people of centuries past grew food, raised families and made a living. The afternoon is yours to explore. You could gaze at the incredible interiors and towering dome of the Orthodox Cathedral, or admire the slightly less imposing (but equally magnificent) Gothic Lutheran church. Alternatively, grab a covrigi (a tasty Romanian pretzel), wander the old town and snap photos of the colourful, Wes Anderson-style architecture.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Coltesti Village
    Depart Sibiu and head to Alba Lulia, one of the oldest cities in Romania. It is home to an 18th-century citadel with a history that dates back to Roman times. Shaped like a seven-point star, the fortress features a collection of ornate gates and vantage points, as well as numerous museums and cafes. Wander the cobbled streets with an expert guide to hear more about what went on within these ancient walls over the last two millennia. Next, take a drive into the Trasc?u Mountains to reach Coltesti and check in to Szekler Mansion, your exclusive feature stay. Freshen up in your room – decked out with local textiles and hand-painted decorative furniture – before enjoying a traditional dinner, which could feature hearty bowls of borsch or goulash, locally-made cheese and sarmale (smoky, meat-filled cabbage rolls).
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  14. Day 14
    Sighisoara
    Prepare for an unforgettable underground experience as you make your way to Turda Salt Mine. The gargantuan subterranean space was renovated and opened to the public in the early 1990s and resembles an alien planet or a Bond villain’s lair. Don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt – it gets chilly 119 metres down. Once you resurface, you’ll discover plenty of choices when it comes to your optional lunch – including a nearby winery. This afternoon, travel to Unesco-listed Sighisoara – your home for the next two nights, and birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure and inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    Sighisoara
    This morning, explore the colourful streets of Sighisoara’s old town on a guided walk. You’ll visit the 14th-century Clock Tower that dominates the skyline (and offers 360 views from the top), and climb the 176 creaking covered steps that connect the upper and lower parts of town to reach the so-called Church on the Hill. Drive to Malancrav to share lunch in a bucolic setting. The Saxon village was once owned by one family, the Apafis, and populated with German farmers. Highlights here include Apafi Mansion and a 14th-century church with the largest Gothic fresco in Transylvania. After your meal you’ll swing by the neighbouring World Heritage site of Biertan and its spectacular fortified church before heading to Medias – known for its medieval fortifications and wine (‘Golden Mediasch’ is even mentioned in the novel Dracula). Enjoy some free time before making your way back to Sighisoara for the evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  16. Day 16
    Brasov
    After breakfast you’ll make your way to Brasov, making a pitstop at hilltop Rupea Fortress. The restored citadel’s steep and rocky pathways spiral up to the highest point, offering broad sweeping views over the surrounding green fields. Next, you'll visit Bran Castle, perhaps Romania’s most famous attraction, given its associations with the tale of Count Dracula. Vampire myths aside (it was never actually host to Vlad the Impaler or Bram Stoker) the forested surroundings and lofty location of this 14th-century castle will have you hypnotised. This evening you’ll reach Brasov and will enjoy dinner together at a quality local restaurant.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  17. Day 17
    Brasov
    Your tour of Romanian castles continues with Peles, but this one is somewhat more modern. Built in the late 19th century, the neo-Renaissance creation is even more extravagant on the inside than it is on the outside. Return to Brasov, and in the afternoon join your guide for a guided walking tour to learn about the city’s most notable sights – including what’s left of the old medieval fortifications, the Black Church that was charred in the Great Fire of 1689 but since restored, and the wedge-shaped Council Square, lined with historic buildings. Round the day off with the traditionally Romanian sweet treat of chimney cake, or kurtoskolacs as the locals call it. Your leader will find you the best example in Brasov and explain how its popularity spread across Central Europe.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  18. Day 18
    Bucharest
    Enjoy a free morning in Brasov. Perhaps seek out tiny String Street, which is 44 inches at its narrowest point or indulge in some Romanian sweet treats such as kurtoskalacs, a cinnamon-sprinkled delight known as chimney cake, or papanasi, a sweet cream doughnut topped with blueberry jam. Depart the city and head for lunch in the Prahova Valley, where you’ll tour a local winery – known for its sparkling rose – in the mountain town of Azuga. Hit the road one last time, reaching Bucharest in the late afternoon.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  19. Day 19
    Bucharest
    Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to spend some more time in Bucharest, let us know in advance – we would be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Dubrovnik - Cavtat Tour
  • Mostar - Guided Tour with Coffee Experience
  • Stolac - Town Visit
  • Trebinje - Tvrdos Monastery Wine Tasting
  • Trebinje - Walking Tour
  • Konjic - Armijska Ratna Komanda ARK D-0 (Tito’s Bunker) tour
  • Sarajevo - Walking Tour
  • Sarajevo - Cooking Demo and Home-made Dinner
  • Višegrad - Town Visit
  • Tara National Park - Hike
  • Tara National Park - Steam Train
  • Belgrade - Walking Tour
  • Timisoara - City Tour
  • Sibiu - Evening Walking Tour
  • Sarmizegetusa Regia - Guided Tour
  • Sibiu - ASTRA Village Museum
  • Alba Lulia - Citadel Tour
  • Turda - Salt Mines Tour
  • Malancrav - Village Stop
  • Medias - Town Stop
  • Biertan - Town Stop
  • Sighisoara - Walking Tour
  • Rupea - Fortress Stop
  • Bran Castle - Tour
  • Brasov - Walking Tour
  • Peles - Castle Visit
  • Brasov - Chimney Cake Tasting
  • Azuga - Winery Tour and Tasting with Lunch

Meals
17 Breakfast(s) Included
3 Lunch(es) Included
7 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Premium

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Accommodations

Comfortable Hotel (15 nights), Feature Stay (3 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 210 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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