The Old Bridge in Mostar was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. It is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most visited landmarks, and is considered an exemplary piece of Islamic architecture in the Balkans

Photo: Inna Zabotnova
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Tour Croatia & more trip

Complete Adriatic and Balkans private history tour - 6 countries in 15 days

Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro each boast distinct identity and cultural wonders but similar social openness to guests and travellers. Due to the fragmentation of the Balkans and its turbulent history, each country is fascinating, complex and deeply imbued with history. This is a journey to a breathtaking corner of the world.

There’s a rich history here with Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Yugoslavian influences still deeply felt in the region. Take the time to understand the complicated story and to appreciate the complexity of the featuring countries, their presence and tumultuous past. Of course, this experience may be different from Western Europe, but travelling in the region is rewarding because of the history, culture and relatively affordable travel costs. You’ll quickly fall in love with the region.

Visit a little-known corner of the Balkans such as Albania, where you’ll experience hilltop fortresses, high alpine meadows and traditional rural life. In North Macedonia, the buzzing street life of Skopje awaits, as well as the soothing tranquillity of Lake Ohrid and the Church of Jovan Kaneo.

What can be said about Croatia? Try living the Croatian way and make memories that will last a lifetime. You’ll discover the mesmerising nature, the azure waters of the Adriatic, medieval architecture and sumptuous local dishes.

Trip highlights

  • Visit UNESCO protected heritage sites and cities
  • See best-preserved monuments and buildings of Islamic culture in the Balkans
  • Explore museums, catholic and orthodox churches
  • See monuments from two millennia of tremulous history 
Trip availableAPR-OCT
Duration15 days
Suitable for2-6 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 6,260.00 €
Great for
  • Relaxed couples
  • Small groups of friends
  • Experienced travellers
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 4-star hotels in Zagreb
  • Zadar
  • Split
  • Mostar
  • Sarajevo
  • Novi Sad
  • Beograd
  • Vrnjačka Banja
  • Skopje
  • Ohrid
  • Cetinje
  • Dubrovnik
Trip designed by Vesna Luzar

Extremely versatile trip designer with an established career in travel business

Activities are taking place in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro

Take a few minutes to learn some basics about the six countries you are about to visit.

Croatia

With approximately 1,200 islands, azure waters and colourful villages rich in history, Croatia is drawing more and more travellers to its shores. Croatia is Mediterranean’s fastest-growing destination, luring travellers with its pristine national parks, adventure sports and UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the medieval Old Town of Dubrovnik. Croatia entered the European Union in summer 2013 as the 28th member state.

The mere mention of Croatia conjures up images of colourful landscapes, sparkling waters and fortified towns furnished with quaint outdoor cafés. Many of Europe's greatest empires including the Romans, Venetians, Ottoman Turks and Habsburgs, left their mark on Croatia in the form of architecture, language, art and food. Situated at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Balkans, Croatia has it all, from beautifully preserved medieval cities to stunning natural wonders.

Its capital city is the charming city of Zagreb, which forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. Croatia has a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is an almost landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum. It is bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south; Serbia to the east; and Montenegro to the southeast. In the central and eastern interior of the country, the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatlands. The inland Bosnia is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The region's climate has given Bosnia and Herzegovina a wealth of diverse flora and fauna. Approximately 50% of the land is forested.

The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is located near the centre of the country.

The country's population is 3.84 million, most of whom are Bosnians, then Serbs and the least of all are Croats and all three languages are spoken in the country. Islam is the majority religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the remaining population identifies as Christians. There is a small Jewish community as well.

Serbia

The Republic of Serbia is one of the former Yugoslav Republics that kept the name of the federation. Serbia is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; Macedonia to the south; Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the west and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia numbers around 7 million residents. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest, the largest and the most eventful cities in Southeastern Europe.

Archaeological sites across Serbia showcase the remains of the different great civilisations that once ruled this region, starting from the Neolithic culture of Lepenski Vir (dating back more than 9,000 years) and the Starčevo culture to artefacts left behind by ancient Romans to medieval Serbian, Turkish and Austro-Hungarian fortresses.

Northern Macedonia

Five hundred years of Ottoman rule, followed by a tug of war over its territory and being part of Yugoslavia, have left the Republic of Macedonia and its capital seeking an identity. But, for the visitor, it is all part of the fascination of land that is a melting pot of Christians and Muslims, old and new. The capital is Skopje, its most famous “daughter” is Mother Teresa. A reconstruction of her home houses a commemorative museum.

Back in 1963, a major earthquake struck Skopje just before dawn, destroying around 80% of its buildings; the replacements were typically concrete and Communist in style. However, that is gradually changing thanks to the controversial Skopje 2014 project. Hundreds of millions of euros have been spent on constructing or makeovers of buildings in a Neoclassical style as well as building new monuments and features.

Less than three hours from Skopje, there is lovely Ohrid and the lake of the same name, both part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Albania

Albania, on the Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, is a small country with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and an interior crossed by the Albanian Alps. The country has many castles and archaeological sites. Capital Tirana centres on sprawling Skanderbeg Square, site of the National History Museum, with exhibits spanning antiquity to post-communism, and frescoed Et’hem Bey Mosque.

After World War II, Albania became a Stalinist state under Enver Hoxha and remained staunchly isolated until it transitioned to democracy after 1990. The 1992 elections ended 47 years of communist rule, but the latter half of the decade saw a quick turnover of presidents and prime ministers. In 2014 the European Commission recommended Albania as a candidate for European Union membership.

Montenegro

Montenegro or the „Black Mountain“ is a small and beautiful country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea and it is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east and Albania to the southeast. The official name of the country is Crna Gora with the largest city which is also the administrative and economic centre, Podgorica that counts 173 000 inhabitants.

The old Royal Capital is Cetinje and in the present days, this is the historical and the cultural centre. Up to the middle of the year 2006, the country had been a part of the Confederate State Union of Serbia and Montenegro but on 3 June of the same year, it declared its independence.

The country of Montenegro has a huge array of both natural and man-made wonders. This land of fairytales will take your breath away with its gorgeous mountains, beautiful beaches, clear sea and remains of its long history. 

Day-by-day itinerary

DAY 1

Zagreb

Arrival in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. After check-in proceed with sightseeing walking tour of Zagreb including Upper Town-historical centre of the city, the Stone Gate, Church of St. Mark with the famed multi-coloured roof, Cathedral (from outside). Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Zagreb.

DAY 2

Zagreb – Plitvice National Park – Zadar

After breakfast, departure towards Adriatic coast. Stop and sightseeing of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the most famous Croatian national park, registered on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. The park is a magical world of lakes, waterfalls, moss and forests. Nestled in the embrace of the surrounding wooded mountains are sixteen smaller and larger crystal turquoise lakes, interconnected by foaming cascades and deep falls. The park includes the headwaters of the Korana River in an area surrounded by dense forests and is additionally ornamented by several caves, springs and flower-filled meadows, which show the vast diversity of flora and fauna in the park.

A sightseeing walking tour includes a boat ride and allows you to experience first-hand the magical beauty of the lakes and waterfalls, each spectacular in its own right. Proceed to Zadar, dinner and overnight at the hotel in Zadar.

DAY 3

Zadar – Šibenik - Split

Breakfast and morning sightseeing tour of Zadar which includes the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, the most impressive basilica in Dalmatia, the church of St. Donat, the ruins of Roman Forum. Proceed south towards Šibenik with the famous Cathedral of St. James. A short sightseeing tour follows. Šibenik is the oldest Croatian city on the Adriatic with the famous Cathedral of St. James, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the only cathedral in Europe that is made entirely of stone. You won't find any traces of mortar, wood, iron or roof tiles, even in its complex structural frame. This cathedral is the most important architectural monument in Croatia, dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, and it was constructed using methods that wouldn't be applied elsewhere until centuries later.

Continue to Split, the „capital of Dalmatia“, famous for Diocletian's Palace which is the most important and preserved Roman building in Croatia, built between AD 295 and AD 305 and registered on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. Walking tour of the centre of the city is next. Besides the Palace visit to the Peristyle, Cellars, the Temple of Jupiter and the Cathedral of St. Domnius follow. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Split.

DAY 4

Split – Mostar

After breakfast, departure through impressive Croatian and Bosnian landscapes to Mostar. Situated between Sarajevo and Dubrovnik, Mostar is the main centre of Herzegovina and was founded by the Turks in the 15th century. Explore UNESCO protected Old Town, once the centre of the city's Islamic culture and visit Mostar's 14th-century bridge which was destroyed in 1566 and painstakingly rebuilt.

The city was named after the guardians of the bridge ("mostari" in Croatian).

The Old Bridge is the city’s unique landmark and offers an impressive view of the city. It is also a member of UNESCO World Heritage sites list for Bosnia and Herzegovina (one of total three sites). It was built by the workers from Dubrovnik as ordered by Suleiman the Magnificent and following the project by Hajrudin, the pupil of Sinan, a great Turkish builder from the 16th century.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Mostar.

DAY 5

Mostar – Sarajevo

After breakfast drive through the beautiful Neretva Valley to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. After arrival, a city tour of the town which has a rich and fascinating culture and which has been home to Muslims, Croats, Turks, Jews and Serbs. The city of many diversities shows the unique link between the East and the West. Visit Baščaršija, old Sarajevo merchant streets from the 15th century, when Isa-bey Isaković founded the entire city, the historical and cultural centre of the city, as well as oriental Svrzina House and Princip Bridge. The word Baščaršija stems from the word "baš", which in Turkish means main so that the word Baščaršija means the main market. The market was categorized and organized based on the crafts so that every street had shops dedicated to one or more complementary crafts (for example the streets called Smiths, Coppersmith, Leathersmiths, Jewellers). Continuation of the drive, check-in, dinner and overnight at the hotel in Sarajevo.

DAY 6

Sarajevo – Novi Sad

After breakfast, continue through Eastern Bosnia and Drina river valley to cross the border into Serbia.

Entering Serbia we touch Pannonian lowland on the way to Novi Sad. Novi Sad is a city in northern Serbia on the banks of the Danube River. Standing atop a riverside bluff, much of Petrovaradin Fortress dates to the 17th and 18th centuries, with an iconic clock tower and a network of tunnels. Across the river is the old quarter, Stari Grad, the site of the Gothic Revival Name of Mary Church and the Neo-Renaissance City Hall. Late afternoon arrival, dinner and overnight at the hotel in Novi Sad.

DAY 7

Novi Sad – Belgrade

Breakfast and sightseeing of Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia with many famous buildings- the University, the National Theatre and Petrovaradin Fortress, which dominates the town.

Proceed to Belgrade. On the way to Belgrade, visit the Honey Museum. The capital of Serbia is situated on the mouth of the river Sava and Danube.

You will have a chance to see the famous Belgrade fortress and Kalemegdan, the new socialism-influenced part of the city, the Temple of St. Sava and other sites. Next will be the visit to the final resting place of Marshal Tito, i.e. the House of Flowers, and the Museum of Yugoslavia. The House of Flowers serves as a mausoleum for Marshal Josip Broz Tito, lifelong president of Yugoslavia, the commander-in-chief in World War II, and one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Visit of the Military Museum in Kalemegdan established back in 1878 ensues. The Museum collects, studies and exhibits various objects for military purposes such as arms, uniforms, flags of war, war documentation and logs as well as works of art with a war theme. Surrounded by the city walls and the city's largest park Kalemegdan, the Museum is considered to be one of the symbols of the Belgrade fortress. In the evening you will visit one of the famous restaurants in Belgrade in Skadarlija (accompanied by live music), a bohemian city quarter in central Belgrade. Dinner (drinks are not included). Overnight at the hotel in Belgrade.

DAY 8

Belgrade – Kruševac – Vrnjačka Banja

After breakfast, travel to Kruševac which was founded in the late 14th century as the capital city of Prince Lazar's Serbia. Soon it became its military, cultural and economic centre of the country. Visit Monastery Ljuboština before arrival to Vrnjačka Banja, the famous spa in Serbia. Vrnjačka Banja has many hot springs with temperatures measuring exactly that of the human body. At its hot mineral springs the Romans built the health resort Aquae Orcinae, visited both by legionnaires and aristocracy. The remains of antique pools and thermal waters are preserved to this day. After check-in at the hotel, time at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Vrnjačka Banja.

DAY 9

Vrnjačka Banja-Skopje

Breakfast and departure for Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. On the way to Skopje visit of the Monastery Žiča founded by the Serbian King Stefan („the First-Crowned“) at the beginning of the 13th century and Monastery Studenica founded by Stefan Nemanja (who was ordained in that monastery choosing the name Simeon) which is considered to be the crowning achievement of medieval culture and art in Serbia. The trip continues further through the river Ibar valley and the famous Kosovo Polje to Skopje. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Skopje.

DAY 10

Skopje – Ohrid

Breakfast and sightseeing in Skopje. The Vardar River divides the city into two parts: Slavic and Ottoman. Both parts are rich in monuments to be visited: The Stone Bridge, Daut-Pašin Amam (Turkish bath), Feudal Tower, Isa-bey's Mosque, Mustafa-Paša Mosque, Old Skopje Bazaar, Skopsko Kale Fortress, St.Nikita Monastery, St.Spas Church. Whether exploring the many museums, browsing the shops of the old Turkish bazaar or hanging out in a café sipping a macchiato, Skopje will reward the curious in spades.

Proceed to Tetovo and further to Ohrid. Rightfully referred to as the „Jerusalem of the Balkans“, Ohrid abounds in churches, the walls decorated with wonderful frescoes dating back from 11th, 13th, 14th and 19th centuries. Lying on the shore of the lake with the same name, it is the oldest centre not only for Macedonian culture but for all Slavic nations as well. Settlements around Ohrid, churches along the Ohrid Lake and springs of river Crni Drim complement the magical beauty and attractiveness of Ohrid. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Ohrid.

DAY 11

Ohrid – Tirana

After breakfast sightseeing of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid. Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest lakes in the world, almost certainly the oldest in Europe, and the deepest too. Not surprisingly, it has a rich history and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the jewel that is Ohrid town. Here you will find churches galore (it is believed that Ohrid once had 365, one for every day of the year) as well as a medieval fortress, a Roman theatre, Ottoman architecture and fine cobbled streets. There is the imposing Samoil's Fortress, the Amphitheater, Gallery of Icons.

After sightseeing proceed towards Albanian border and continue to Tirana following the steps of Kara Ben Nemsis. Tirana, the capital of Albania, is known for its colourful Ottoman-, Fascist- and Soviet-era architecture. Pastel buildings surround the city's focal point, Skanderbeg Square, which is named for its equestrian statue of a national hero. On the square's north end is the modernist National History Museum, covering prehistoric times through Communist rule and the anti-Communist uprisings of the 1990s. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tirana.

DAY 12

Tirana – Cetinje

Breakfast and sightseeing of Tirana visiting the most important institutions and different buildings of historic value, two major archaeological collections at the National History Museum and Archaeological Museum, Bazaar. Leaving Albania in the afternoon and crossing the border to enter Montenegro. Drive through the colourful landscape of Cetinje. Cetinje was founded in the 15th century and became a centre of Montenegrin life and both a cradle of Montenegrin culture and an Orthodox religious centre. Its status as the honorary capital of Montenegro is due to its heritage as a long-serving former capital of Montenegro. Situated in the fields of Cetinje, at the base of the Lovćen mountain, Cetinje is a treasure of Montenegrin cultural and historical heritage. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Cetinje.

DAY 13

Cetinje – Budva – Kotor – Dubrovnik Riviera

After breakfast sightseeing of Cetinje with two of the most representative buildings: the Monasteries of Cetinje and Bilijarda. Continue towards Budva. Apart from being famous for the nearby St. Stefan's island, the Old Town of Budva is known for its rich cultural heritage, its narrow streets, squares and churches. Kotor, the city of traders and famous sailors is situated in Boka Kotorska Bay. Due to its medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage, the city is listed on the UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site. One of the most recognisable symbols of the city is the Cathedral of St.Tryphon, a monument of Roman culture. Continue to Dubrovnik, dinner and overnight at the hotel on the Dubrovnik Riviera.

DAY 14

Dubrovnik – Cavtat

After breakfast, a city tour of Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. The walls of Dubrovnik girdle a perfectly preserved complex of public, private, sacral and defensive buildings representing all periods of the city's history, beginning with its founding in the 7th century. Famous are the city's main promenade Stradun, the Rector's Palace, the church of St. Blaise, the Cathedral, three large monasteries and the City Hall. The Republic of Dubrovnik was the centre of a separate political and territorial entity, and was proud of its culture, its achievements in commerce and especially of its freedom, preserved down so many tempestuous centuries. In the afternoon visit Cavtat and the native house of Vlaho Bukovac, the great Croatian painter. Dinner and overnight at the hotel on the Dubrovnik Riviera.

DAY 15

Dubrovnik – departure

Breakfast and time at leisure until transfer to the Dubrovnik airport.

If you have some spare time, buy some unique souvenirs or gifts- arancini (candied orange peel), sugared almonds or Konavle-style embroidered tablecloth.

What's included?

  • Transportation during the whole tour with an English-speaking driver
  • Transportation costs (fuel, tolls, driver's accommodation and expenses)
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Zagreb, Croatia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Zadar, Croatia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Split, Croatia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Novi Sad, Serbia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Belgrade, Serbia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Skopje, North Macedonia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Ohrid, North Macedonia, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Tirana, Albania, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 1 overnight in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Cetinje Montenegro, with buffet breakfast and dinner (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • 2 overnights in a standard double room in a 4-star hotel in Dubrovnik/Dubrovnik Riviera, with 2 buffet breakfasts and 2 dinners (drinks not included), and tourist tax included
  • Guided sightseeing according to the programme, with English-speaking local guides
  • Entrances to the sites to be visited according to the programme
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT 

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia
  • Meals and services other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory)

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on additional bed (on request)
  • For children additional bed available (on request)
  • For single room (on request) 

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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