Croatia has been a hot travel destination for a while now, but Bosnia, Herzegovina and Montenegro are really beginning to emerge as exciting places to experience. This itinerary combines the best of them; a colourful tapestry of cultures, landscapes and traditions.
Day 1 - Arrive Zagreb
Your trip starts today with your arrival in Zagreb, Croatia's capital city. Please make your own way to the joining hotel in Zagreb (details are in your travel documents). There are no activities planned today so you may arrive at any time but we recommend you arrive early to make the most of your time in this sophisticated city which offers a plethora of things to see and do, from visiting the city's museums and galleries, to just wandering around its pedestrian friendly streets and enjoying it's lively outdoor café culture. This evening we meet our tour leader and our fellow travelling companions at a Welcome Meeting (usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel) where our leader will give us a briefing on what lies ahead on our tour.
Day 2 - Zagreb - Plitvice
After breakfast, we'll embark on a morning sightseeing tour of Zagreb, taking in the city's must-see sights including the famous street of Ciril and Metod, St Mark's Square with it's impressive tiled roof displaying the Croatian coat of arms, City Hall, the Parliament building and the Stone Gate. We will also visit St Stephen's Cathedral, home of the tomb of cardinal Stepinac who was martyred for saving the Jews during World War II. We will also explore Ban Jelacic Square with its famous statue of Viceroy Josip Jelacic on a horse, one of the nation's heroes. We then farewell Zagreb and drive to Plitvice. On the way we stop and visit the town of Slunj, idyllically situated at the point where the blue green waters of Slunjčica river flow into the Korana river. The charming fairytale-like village is graced with beautifully restored 300 year old wooden houses, a series of small waterfalls and old corn mills dating back to the 18th century. After our visit here we continue to Plitvice where we spend the evening.
Degenija or similar
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 3 - Plitvice – Bihać – Jajce - Sarajevo
This morning we explore the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park add discover this unique national treasure that is an interesting mix of water and woods. Situated between high forested mountains, the park consists of a string of sixteen beautiful lakes of crystal blue-green colour. They are fed by a myriad of small streams and brooks that spill into each other in foaming cascades and thundering waterfalls. Due to their unique beauty the Plitvice Lakes are included in the UNESCO register of World Natural Heritage sites. After our visit here, we board our private vehicle and travel into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our first stop is the town of Bihać, where we explore Medieval Bihać with its old fortresses. Although it is one of the oldest historical landmarks of Bihac, the period it was built has never been known as information about the building was never left by its constructors; however some historians believe it comes from the late Croatian and early Ottoman period. We have some free time for lunch in Bihać before travelling on to the town of Jajce, built on the banks of the rivers Pliva and Vrbas. Jajce is a town of stone, light and water, the once royal city with its magnificent castle, where Bosnian Kings were once crowned, is like a living history museum. On a tour of Jajce we will see the impressive 20 metre high waterfall which takes pride of place in the city's centre making the layout of this town very unique. In the late afternoon we drive to Bosnia's captial Sarajevo, where we stay for the night.
Radon Plaza or similar
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 4 - Sarajevo – Višegrad - Sarajevo
Sarajevo, a city with such a raw and recent war history has emerged to become a vibrant and nascent city which has steadily become one of the most interesting capitals in Europe to visit. Our time here will certainly be a highlight of the tour. We enjoy a morning tour of Sarajevo which includes the famous Baščaršija; the old Turkish quarter which is home to one of the most interesting market centres' in the country Sarajevo is also one of few cities in the world that featuers an Orthodox, a Catholic church and mosque, the famous Begova Džamija, all within close proximity to each other. After our exploration of the city there will be some free time for lunch before we depart for our visit of Višegrad. A local guide will show us the treasures of Višegrad, the most famous of all being its famous bridge built by an Ottoman grand vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović in 1571. Late this afternoon we return to Sarajevo for another night.
Radon Plaza or similar
Day 5 - Sarajevo – Mostar - Dubrovnik
We leave Sarajevo this morning and travel south to Mostar, situated in a beautiful valley bedded between high mountains of Herzegovina. It is thanks to the river Neretva that Mostar was able to develop as a city in the desert-like landscape of Herzegovina. Neretva's size turned Mostar into a trading centre of the region very early on. The most famous feature of the city is its famous bridge. The Old Bridge was built by the Ottoman empire in 1565. It was the great architect Mimar Hajrudin who had succeeded with the impossible mission to cross the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. Our time in Mostar is free, allowing you to take your time to disco ver the charms of this interesting town. A must-see is the Cejvan Cehaj Mosque, built in 1552, it's the oldest mosque in Mostar. In the afternoon we transfer to Dubrovnik, the jewel of Croatia's famous Dalmatian Coast and our base for the next three nights.
Hotel Ivka or similar
Breakfast | Lunch
Day 6 - Dubrovnik
Today is dedicated to exploring Dubronvik. With our local guide we'll uncover the amazing Stari Grad area; Dubrovnik's compact Old Town. This walled treasure is often referred to as the pearl of the Adriatic and is surprisingly tiny in size - encompassing less than 400 metres north to south and 600 metres across within its protective walls. Stari Grad dates back to the 7th Century AD when residents in the area fleeing invaders, found the rocky promontory a safe haven. At one point in time Dubrovnik became a great maritime power in the Adriatic, rivalled only by Venice. Despite some damage inflicted during the conflicts in 1991 the city has now been restored to its former glory. On our tour we visit the Franciscan monastery, Rector's Palace, the Stradun Promenade and Onophrio's fontaine. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free to wander around at leisure, but there is so much to see here that it is easy to just wander around the streets at your own pace.
Hotel Ivka or similar
Day 7 - Dubrovnik – Montenegro – Dubrovnik
Today we visit the small but stunning country of Montenegro on a day excursion from Dubrovnik. Montenegro occupies a thin strip of the Adriatic coast and is a land of beautiful sandy and pebbled beaches, dramatic mountain peaks and delightful old villages;what it lacks in size, it makes up in natural beauty. Our excursion will take us to Europe's most southerly fjord, Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor). It contains one of the most beautiful bays of the region. We pass through the small and picturesque towns of Risan and Perast situated on the banks of the bay before arriving at the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Kotor where we embark on a sightseeing tour with a local guide. We visit the the Cathedral of St. Tryphun; the original church is from the VIII century, according to the annals of Constantine Porfirogenet (the Byzantine czar), the South Gates of Kotor (the "Gurdich gate") and the square "Trg od oruzija" (The Armory Square) After some free time for lunch in Kotor, we depart for Budva, a pretty coastal town with a charming old quarter. Our time here is at leisure and an optional visit to the town's medieval castle, also called the citadel is recommended; from here you can experience stunning views of the coast. Later in the afternoon we will make our return to Dubrovnik, stopping en route for a view of the picturesque village of Sveti Stefan. Later this evening, at typical Mediterranean dining time, we enjoy a farewell dinner together in a fish restaurant.
Hotel Ivka or similar
Breakfast | Dinner
Day 8 - End Dubrovnik
Our trip ends after breakfast this morning in Dubrovnik. Those wanting to extend their stay can arrange additional nights' accommodation at the time of booking. From Dubrovnik it is easy to take a bus or ferry to other Croatian cities as well as some international destinations. There are also regular domestic flights to Zagreb to link up with international connections.