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Tap into your inner socialite and join the locals in indulging in the coffee culture and vibrant energy of the city when you visit Zagreb. Kickstart your adventure through the Balkans on the romantic promenades of Strossmartre or people-watch with a crisp pivo brew in hand. Over the next day you'll uncover the city's unique appeal, but first meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for an included dinner this evening and a glimpse into what lies ahead.
Rub shoulders with the stylish Zagrebians when you join your Local Specialist for a guided sightseeing tour of this medieval European city. View the Upper and Lower Town, St. Mark's Church, Cathedral on Kaptol, the Croatian National Theatre and Dolac Market, the 'stomach' of Zagreb. You'll have the rest of the day to explore the city your way, perhaps choosing to soak up the local špica coffee culture around the bustling Ban Jelačič Square. Consider joining a Local Specialist for an optional visit to Kumrovec, the birthplace of the late president of Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito before enjoying a meal of delicious regional specialities against the backdrop of the beautiful Croatian countryside.
Small villages and broad plains line your route south into Bosnia-Herzegovina. Arrive later today in its capital Sarajevo, where a rich religious and multi-cultural heritage has earned it the nickname, the 'Jerusalem of Europe'. Centuries of religious history are reflected in its beautiful synagogues, mosques, and Orthodox and Catholic churches as you'll discover when you join a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour. You'll also visit the Old Town, view the largest mosque in the Balkans, and see the Eternal Flame and the Sarajevo Roses that are dotted across the city, standing as a stark reminder of the turmoil Sarajevo endured decades ago. Warm Bosnian hospitality is on the menu tonight if you choose one of our two Optional Experiences. Join a local family in their home for tasty traditional cuisine or enjoy a lively encounter in a favourite local restaurant with dinner and entertainment.
Today you'll head to Mostar, joining a Local Specialist for an exploration of this historic multicultural city that witnessed an impressive resurrection after the Bosnian War. Part of its restoration can be seen in the traditional reconstruction of its medieval 'Stari Most', an Ottoman-style bridge. You'll delve into a tragic time not long ago when Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosniaks and Orthodox Serbs fought for supremacy amidst the colourful cobbled streets overlooking the Neretva River. You'll have time to explore the city on your own or perhaps join a Local Specialist for a visit to Blagaj, famous for its natural spring and one of the most mystical cultural and historical villages in the country.
You'll get to see 'paradise on earth' - if George Bernard Shaw is to be believed - when you visit Dubrovnik on your Best of the Balkans tour. The famous playwright was a big fan of this medieval fortified city on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. You'll discover why when you join a Local Specialist for a guided sightseeing tour of the iconic highlights. Admire the Rector's Palace, Onofrio's Fountain and the city walls, which were never breached by the invading Turks. Stroll through elegant courtyards and along limestone streets, admiring the remnants of Dubrovnik's Golden Age. Tonight, there's no better way to enjoy this shimmering coastline than embarking on an optional sunset dinner cruise to a secluded bay, with the illuminated city of Dubrovnik providing the perfect end to the evening.
Straight out of a storybook, Dubrovnik's enchanting stone façades reveal a rich trading history from the 7th century. You'll have a full free day to explore the city on your own today. But if you're feeling adventurous, you may wish to switch the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' for the Mediterranean mountain nation of Montenegro, on an Optional Experience. A Local Specialist will take you on a panoramic boat trip across the Bay of Kotor to the UNESCO-listed town of the same name, tucked deep within magical fjord-like surrounds. Fortified walls encircle the city and a rambling maze of steep cobbled lanes reach high up into the hills, with medieval churches and Venetian palaces just waiting to be discovered. Return to Dubrovnik later for dinner at your hotel.
Sit back, relax and watch the stunning Adriatic coastline go by as you pass old fishing villages and modern resorts bound for Split, where modern façades reveal glimpses of an ancient Roman past. A Local Specialist takes you behind the city walls to this harbour town's heart, the 4th-century Roman Emperor Diocletian Palace, followed by a leisurely walking tour through the historic Old Town. See how Gothic, Roman and Renaissance structures merge seamlessly across the cityscape. Admire Jupiter's Temple, the Peristyle and the 7th-century Cathedral of Saint Domnius as you explore its maze of narrow alleys. You'll have an evening to discover the Dalmatian capital on your terms or join an Optional Experience in a traditional stone basement konoba for a Dalmatian dinner and live music.
Today is all yours to dive into the history and culture of Split, a city that was built for the retirement of a Roman Emperor. Much of Diocletian's home town survives as you'll come to discover when you venture out to get lost in the narrow lanes of its Old Town. If you're after more sightseeing on your Balkans value tour, you could choose to spend your free day joining an Optional Experience to one of the glittering Dalmatian islands. Or perhaps indulge in some of the local vintages which have justifiably earned the islands their reputation as a celebrated wine centre for centuries.
Leave the salty sea air behind and venture north on a scenic drive to the UNESCO-listed National Park of Plitvice. Prepare for an encounter with a whimsical landscape, filled with cascading waterfalls in all shades of blue, green and grey. As you explore your magical surrounds of lakes and forests, your Local Specialist reveals the legend of the Black Queen, who is credited with creating the kaleidoscopic lakes to stave off a drought. After a day of reconnecting with nature, you'll return to Zagreb where tonight a farewell dinner in your hotel closes the curtain on an exhilarating encounter with the Balkans.
You've explored medieval monuments, witnessed the revival of war-torn cities and relaxed on the sun-kissed shores of the Adriatic. The allure of the Balkans will linger long after you've said goodbye to your travel companions. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
A scenic drive out of Zagreb with our Local Specialist brings us to the Croatian village of Kumrovec, birthplace of the late President of Yugoslavia, Marshall Tito. You’ll see his house, now a museum, and have time to explore the museum village. Later, share a meal of delicious regional specialties in a picturesque restaurant with magnificent views of the Croatian countryside.
Adult Price: € 62
Enjoy a true insight into local culture as you’re invited into a Sarajevo local's home, to savor warm hospitality and tasty traditional cuisine. There’ll be no more than several guests with each family, ensuring a cozy and memorable evening.
Adult Price: € 56
Enjoy a typical Bosnian evening in an authentic restaurant, famous for its local cuisine, accompanied by lively entertainment, to ensure an unforgettable final evening in Sarajevo.
Adult Price: € 49
Rewind to the 1990s, when Sarajevo was under siege. Our Local Specialist gives us a personal insight into the Sarajevo Tunnel of Hope, which was built as a lifeline to the city during its besiegement in the Bosnian War. Learn how Sarajevo's citizens survived for four years on the supplies smuggled via the tunnel as we tour the museum and chart the siege through video, artifacts, and more.
Adult Price: € 29
Journey with your Local Specialist through the picturesque Old Tsar vineyards and magnificent valleys of fruit trees, to the town of Blagaj, famous for the natural spring of the Buna River, the largest karst spring in Europe and one of the most mystical cultural and historical monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We'll visit a well-preserved 17th-century Ottoman House, a living museum, where we can sample the famous Bosnian coffee and enjoy a guided tour of the surroundings.
Adult Price: € 43
Our sunset cruise takes us along the spectacular Dalmatian coast to one of the secluded bays where we'll enjoy a delicious local dinner with drinks. To complete the evening, we'll cruise outside the old city walls and explore the beautiful illuminated city of Dubrovnik, before returning by coach to our hotel. This optional is weather dependent and may not be available on all departures and on occasion, the cruise may sail in the bay only.
Adult Price: € 62
We drive south along the Adriatic coast into the country of Montenegro. At the border, we meet our Local Specialist and embark on a panoramic boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks island, constructed by local sailors over six centuries in veneration of a holy relic discovery. Afterward, we sail across the Bay of Kotor, past spectacular fjord-like scenery, approaching the fortified town of Kotor, surrounded by steep mountains and protected by UNESCO. After a guided walking tour, we will have free time to enjoy delicious local cuisine and buy Montenegrin souvenirs before returning to Dubrovnik. Please see the Visa Information section of this document.
Adult Price: € 63
If you want to truly experience Dalmatian cuisine, a dinner in a traditional stone basement 'konoba' is the best choice. You'll select from a variety of seafood or meats accompanied by Dalmatian wines and typical live music, which will add a traditional touch to your journey on the Croatian Adriatic coastline.
Adult Price: € 55
A memorable day trip to Hvar, one of the most beautiful islands in the Croatian archipelago. Embarking on a boat ride from Split harbor, we'll explore the historic Hvar Old Town on foot with our Local Specialist. You'll spend free time relaxing along one of the seafront restaurants or soaking up the stunning views from the Venetian hilltop fortress. We then sail back over the Adriatic on our return to Split. Please note: during May or September, Hvar may be substituted for Brac
Adult Price: € 75
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