8 days

Highlights of Croatia & the Balkans

Highlights of Croatia & the Balkans

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kotor

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park

Dubrovnik's UNESCO World Heritage-listed old city

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Bridge area of Mostar

Historic Sarajevo

Trip rating
  • 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.

    Why we love it

    • Get an insider's appreciation of Zagreb's attractions during a guided city tour
    • Feel as though you've entered a living, breathing fairytale in Slunj
    • Believe the beauty of UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park
    • Sample a slice of Turkey in the ancient Ottoman enclave of Baščaršija
    • Behold Dubrovnik's gorgeous Old Town strolling along its pebbled shores
    • Venture down Europe's southernmost fjord, Montenegro's Bay of Kotor

    Itinerary

    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 (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 you will meet your tour leader and your 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 your hotel) where your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead on your tour.
    Hotel Dubrovnik or similar

    Day 2 - Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes National Park

    • After breakfast, you'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.
    • You 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. You will also explore Ban Jelacic Square with its famous statue of Viceroy Josip Jelacic on a horse, one of the nation's heroes.
    • You then farewell Zagreb and drive to Plitvice. On the way you will stop and visit the town of Slunj, idyllically situated at the point where the blue green waters of the 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 your visit here you will continue to magical Plitvice Lakes National Park where you will explore and 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.
    Hotel Degenija or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - Plitvice Lakes National Park – Bihać – Jajce - Sarajevo

    • After breakfast you will board your private vehicle and travel into Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    • Your first stop is the town of Bihać, where you will explore this medieval town's old fortresses. Although it is one of the oldest historical landmarks of Bihać, 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.
    • You will 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 you 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 you will drive to Bosnia's captial Sarajevo, where you will stay for the night.
    Hotel Radon Plaza or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - 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.
    • Your time here will certainly be a highlight of the tour. You will 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 features an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque, the famous Begova Džamija, all within close proximity to each other. You will be visiting all three buildings on your tour.
    • After your exploration of the city there will be some free time for lunch before you depart for your visit of the Tunnel Museum in the suburb of Ilidža. The tunnel was dug underneath the airport runway, and was used to smuggle provisions into the city during the siege.
    • Late this afternoon you will return to Sarajevo for another night.
    Hotel Radon Plaza or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Sarajevo – Mostar - Dubrovnik

    • You will leave Sarajevo this morning and travel south to Mostar, situated in a beautiful valley bedded between the 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.
    • Your time in Mostar is free, allowing you to take your time to discover the charms of this interesting town. A must-see is the Cejvan Cehaj Mosque, built in 1552, making it the oldest mosque in Mostar.
    • In the afternoon you will be transferred to Dubrovnik, the jewel of Croatia's famous Dalmatian Coast and your base for the next three nights.
    Hotel Ivka or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 6 - Dubrovnik

    • Today is dedicated to exploring Dubrovnik. With your local guide you'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 your tour you will visit the Franciscan monastery, Rector's Palace, the Stradun Promenade and Onofrio's fountain.
    • The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free to walk 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
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - Dubrovnik – Montenegro – Dubrovnik

    • Today you will 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.
    • Your excursion will take you to Europe's most southerly fjord, Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor). It contains one of the most beautiful bays of the region. You will 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 you will embark on a sightseeing tour with a local guide. You will visit the Cathedral of St. Tryphun, dating back to 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, you will depart for Budva, a pretty coastal town with a charming old quarter. Your 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 you will make your return to Dubrovnik, stopping en route for a view of the picturesque village of Sveti Stefan.
    • This evening, at typical Mediterranean dining time, you will enjoy a farewell dinner together in a fish restaurant.
    Hotel Ivka or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8 - End Dubrovnik

    • Your 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.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
    • Sightseeing tour of Zagreb
    • Explore the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park
    • Tour of Sarajevo which includes the famous Baščaršija
    • Day trip to Montenegro
    • Gratuities for essential services in tour package

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance (compulsory on all trips)
    • Meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary)
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Gratuities for tour leader
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

  • From our Blog

    Sarajevo: a city blooming and unbroken


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    Croatia's charming coastal towns

    With more than 5,000 kilometres of coastline and 1,200 islands, one of the true highlights of a trip to Croatia is exploring the historic, charming, medieval towns dotted along the coastline. Jump on a boat and go island-hopping, where you'll enjoy some of Croatia’s famed fresh seafood and...

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    We asked the question on Facebook, and got an overwhelming response. So we thought we'd lay it out for you here, and let you weigh up some of the...

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PEHC
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: Zagreb
End City: Dubrovnik
Style: Small Group

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