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Treasures of the Balkans - Classic Group

Days
16
From
USD $5,450
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Explore the former Communist headquarters of Romania in Bucharest, see Bulgaria’s Roman ruins in Sofia and marvel at Bosnia’s Tunnel of Hope in Sarajevo. After exploring the medieval city of Bra?ov, take the mountain roads to the Transylvanian border and join a private visit of Bran Castle after hours - better known as Dracula’s haunted abode in Bram Stoker’s infamous novel, followed by private dinner. Delve into the myths and legends before adventuring onwards to Mostar, where a Local Expert guides you through the city’s iconic sights ahead of a Sarajevo Dine at Home experience. Sit down with a Sarajevan family for a feast of local delicacies, traditional Bosnian coffee and tales of local life before your adventure ends in Belgrade.

  1. Day 1
    Welcome to Bucharest
    Welcome to Bucharest! Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for your Welcome Dinner, served with wine at a local restaurant.Accommodation: Radisson Blu Bucharest
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Bucharest and Castles of Transylvania
    Join a Local Expert for sightseeing to view University Square and the former communist headquarters. Visit the immense Parliament Palace, one of the most impressive buildings in the world. Enjoy a delicious private dinner in the recently renovated Queen Mary’s Tea House. This evening after the crowds have left enjoy a private visit to the iconic Bran Castle, said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Learn about Queen Maria of Romania, the last inhabitant of the castle, visit the torture rooms and relive the tales of the infamous Count Dracula.Accommodation: Aro Palace, Brasov
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Brasov and Sinaia
    Travel along the Prahova Valley to the elegant mountain resort of Sinaia to visit Pele? Castle. Admire the lavish rooms filled with art, armor and tapestries. Return through the Carpathian Mountains to the charming medieval city of Bra?ov, founded in 1211 by the Teutonic Knights. With your Local Expert, walk around Town Hall Square, lined with beautiful red-roofed houses and dominated by the Black Church.Accommodation: Aro Palace, Brasov
    Meals:   Breakfast
  4. Day 4
    Veliko Tarnovo
    Cross the Danube into Bulgaria and continue to Veliko Tarnovo, the City of the Tsars, where houses cling to the cliffs of the River Yantra, making it one of the country's most beautiful towns. In the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.Accommodation: Yantra, Veliko Tarnovo
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    To Sofia Relaxed Start
    Meet your Local Expert to climb up to the ruined Tsarevets Fortress, a reminder of the town's former imperial status. Enjoy the stunning views over the old Bulgarian capital and the Yantra Valley. Arbanasi is one of Bulgaria’s most beautiful villages and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The frescoed churches and fortified dwellings offer a unique insight into the former wealth and spiritual commitment of the settlement. Visit a traditional 17th century merchant's house and the Church of the Holy Nativity. Cross the Balkan Mountains to Bulgaria's modern day capital of Sofia. On arrival, sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you to St. Sofia Church, across the square from the golden domed St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the archaeological complex, dominated by the church of St. George Rotonda.Accommodation: Grand Millennium Sofia
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Sofia at Your Pace Relaxed Start
    Enjoy the day at your leisure. Perhaps visit the Rila Monastery to enjoy a fascinating insight into the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria?Accommodation: Grand Millennium Sofia
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Skopje
    Cross the border and continue to the North Macedonian capital of Skopje, an ultra-modern city juxtaposed by an ancient bazaar, where Turkish influences can still be seen and felt. Enjoy sightseeing with a Local Expert.Accommodation: Bushi Resort & Spa, Skopje
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Lake Ohrid and Tirana
    Making your way to the border, stop by the scenic Lake Ohrid for lunch. Cross into Albania and journey to Tirana, renowned for its friendly locals.  Continue to the landmark Skanderbeg Square for an insider’s look at the Albanian capital with a Local Expert.Accommodation: MAK Albania, Tirana
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Kotor and Dubrovnik
    Journey through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro to the Old Town of Kotor, known as Stari Grad. Located beside a beautiful bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lov?en, its no surprise it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At night, you may choose from a fine selection of restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.Accommodation: Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Dubrovnik Sightseeing Relaxed Start
    Join a Local Expert for a morning of exploring the stone-paved streets within the 16th century bastions. See Onofrio's Fountain and the Rector's Palace, the city walls and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Visit the workshop of Deša during a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This important educational center supports vulnerable communities and promotes local cultural heritage. The rest of the day is free for you to immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings. Perhaps enjoy an Optional Experience to a stunning town on the Adriatic coast, Cavtat, where you can wander along the pine-forest paths beside the crystal-clear sea.Accommodation: Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  11. Day 11
    Dubrovnik, Paradise on Earth Relaxed Start
    Spend a day at leisure in the Pearl of the Adriatic. Sunbathe by the pool or stroll with friends along the ancient city walls. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to learn about olive oil traditions at an ancient mill, followed by a delightful home-cooked meal.Accommodation: Hotel Kompas Dubrovnik.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Mostar and Sarajevo
    Journey to Mostar. With your Local Expert, see the famous Stari Most, the Old Bridge, reconstructed after being almost completely destroyed during the war. Explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town, stretching on both sides of the bridge and filled with shops selling traditional handicrafts. Continue your travels following the scenic route to Sarajevo for a unique and rewarding insight into the local way of life as you are invited into a Sarajevan family home for a dinner with drinks. Savor the authentic cuisine as you hear inspirational stories.Accommodation: Swissotel Sarajevo
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    Sarajevo, City of Culture
    Explore Sarajevo with Insight Choice. Choose to meet an expert on the Bosnian War for a visit to Sarajevo’s astonishing Tunnel of Hope. Alternatively, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience for a nature walk to the spring of the Bosna River, a protected park just beyond the city, led by a conservation guide. The rest of the afternoon is for you to explore as you wish.Accommodation: Swissotel Sarajevo
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    The Serbian Capital of Belgrade Relaxed Start
    Trace your way along the Drina River, that lies on the border of Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Take in beautiful landscapes of lush, green mountains that create magical forest canyons, winding your way through deep valleys as you make your way to Belgrade.Accommodation: Radisson Collection, Old Mill Belgrade
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  15. Day 15
    The Best of Belgrade Relaxed Start
    Join a Local Expert to see the best of Belgrade including Terazije Street, the national museum and national theater in Republic Square, as well as a visit to the famous St. Sava Church. Finish your sightseeing at the Kalemegdan Fortress, situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before joining your fellow travelers for a Celebration Farewell Dinner this evening.Accommodation: Radisson Collection, Old Mill Belgrade
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  16. Day 16
    Farewell Belgrade
    Our journey through the Balkans has come to an end. All that’s left is to say a fond dovi?enja as you bid your new friends farewell.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Dining Summary

  • 10 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 15 Breakfast (B)

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Sarajevo: Take a nature walk to the spring of the Bosna River, a protected park just beyond the city, led by a conservation guide.
  • Sarajevo: Meet an expert of the Bosnian War for a visit to Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope and hear a first-hand account of when the city was under siege for 44 months. Alternatively, take a nature walk to the spring of the Bosna River, a picturesque park just beyond the city.

Additional Included Highlights

  • : Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • : Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • : We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • : From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • : Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • : If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Bucharest: Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for your Welcome Dinner served with wine.
  • Dubrovnik: You will be offered a varied selection of charming restaurants to choose from for your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Sarajevo: You are invited into a Sarajevan family home for a dinner and drinks. Savor the warm hospitality and authentic cuisine as you hear inspirational stories about their culture.
  • Sarajevo: Experience authentic Bosnian coffee and learn about the traditional ritual of coffee preparation.

Insight Choice

  • Sarajevo: Meet an expert of the Bosnian War for a visit to Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope and hear a first-hand account of when the city was under siege for 44 months. Alternatively, take a nature walk to the spring of the Bosna River, a picturesque park just beyond the city.

Insight Experiences

  • Bran: Learn about the story of the infamous Count Dracula during a private after-hours visit of Bran Castle, followed by dinner.

Make Travel Matter

  • Dubrovnik: Visit the workshop of Deša, an organization founded following the Siege of Dubrovnik to help refugees and women who were victims of violence. They have grown to be an important educational center, workshop and an advocate for women’s rights. Through its meaningful work Deša continues to act as a safe space for women to support one another, provides training opportunities and sponsors the revival of traditional crafts. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.
  • Sarajevo: Take a nature walk to the spring of the Bosna River, a protected park just beyond the city, led by a conservation guide.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Bucharest: During sightseeing with your Local Expert see University Square and the former Communist Headquarters.
  • Bucharest: Walk the cavernous halls of the vast Palace of Parliament, learn about the history and listen to amusing tales from your Local Expert.
  • Sinaia: Witness the opulent and sumptuous decor in Pele? Castle, the fairy-tale Royal summer residence, at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains.
  • Veliko Tarnovo: Ascend Tsarevets, the King's Hill, crowned by a ruined medieval citadel. Enjoy the views and imagine yourself back in the days of the Crusades when this was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
  • Arbanasi: At the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arbanassi, visit a traditional 17th century merchants' house and enjoy the acoustics in the Church of the Holy Nativity.
  • Sofia: Sightseeing with your Local Expert takes you to St. Sofia Church, across the square from the golden domed St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the archaeological complex, dominated by the church of St. George Rotonda.
  • Skopje: Visit the capital of Macedonia with your Local Expert, explore Square Macedonia and see the Stone Bridge before walking through the Old Bazaar.
  • Ohrid: Walk the cobbled, narrow streets of the Old Town.
  • Tirana: Meet a local resident who will show you Skanderbeg Square and walk you through their home city as they explain what it's like to live in the Albanian capital.
  • Kotor: Visit the Stari Grad, also referred to as the Old Town, perfectly positioned on a beautiful bay.
  • Dubrovnik: Explore the Pearl of the Adriatic with your Local Expert. Walk the stone-paved streets of the Old Town to see Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Palace and the medieval city walls. Admire the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
  • Mostar: Learn the history and symbolic significance of Stari Most and explore the old town with your Local Expert.
  • Belgrade: A Local Expert will show you St. Sava Church, Terazije Street, the national museum, national theater, Republic Square and the Kalemegdan Fortress.

Well-being

  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

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.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
4
Itinerary
4
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.5
Value for Money
4

Ratings based off 4 reviews - currently showing 3 reviews with comments only

Outstanding tour. Very happy with the experience.

My trip was incredible! Everything ran smoothly and was very organized. We traveled to nine countries and saw so many things. Even though the pace was fast, I feel like I saw the areas that we visited. Our Tour Director, was fantastic and knew the area and the history well. He was incredibly professional, and I cannot say enough positive things about this trip. Our group was filled with well-traveled people from all over the world, which I really enjoyed as well. Our bus driver was phenomenal, and I always felt safe in all the places we went.

Our tour guide went above and beyond to make sure the experience was great for everyone! It was our first time to go on a bus tour/group tour of any kind and we were a little apprehensive - didn't need to worry - their attention to detail made it so easy to just put our time and energy into enjoying each experience and not having to think what to do! Would especially recommend this tour if you want to see these countries with lots of border crossings and other challenges. Loved the trip!

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