Grand Tour Of The Balkans
- Departures and Prices
SLOVENIA - CROATIA - BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - SERBIA - BULGARIA - ROMANIA
Day 1 - ARRIVAL IN LJUBLJANA
Upon arrival you will meet our local representative who will transfer you to your hotel. After a short refreshment you will go to visit the "Bela Ljubjana". This is the nickname given to this city after it was entirely rebuilt in the 16th century following the massive earthquake of 1511. You will visit the 16th century castle, then Trg Naradnih Herojev, the square housing one of the world’s newest parliaments and continue on foot to the old town with its large university, philharmonic hall, beautiful square of the three bridges and the Cathedral with brand new bronze doors with bas-reliefs that recount major events in Slovenia’s history. Your walking tour will finish with some free time spent wandering through the open air and indoor city markets. Overnight stay.
Day 2 - LJUBLJANA – BLED – SKOFJA LOKA – LJUBLJANA (120 km)
Breakfast. Departure to visit the Lake Bled in the Julian Alps. You will meet your local guide and visit the castle located on a cliff with beautiful view of the town. After that you will embark on a boat ride to Slovenia's only island. There is a legend saying that this little island was originally inhabited by fairies. Today the island is home to a Baroque church dedicated to Our Lady of the Lake. Near the altar of the church hangs a rope attached to the bells in the tower. Legend has it that if you make a wish while ringing the bells the wish will come true. Departure to visit Skofja Loka, a thousand-year-old city at the confluence of the Poljanska Sora and Selska Sora rivers, was the center of the Loka dominion owned for 830 years by the Bishops of Freising, who placed an indelible stamp on the city. The old city core boasts numerous points of interest from the past, and the Loka Castle, built before 1202, reigns above the city. Skofja Loka is considered the most beautifully preserved medieval city in Slovenia. Overnight in Ljubljana.
Day 3 - LJUBLJANA – ZAGREB (150 km)
Breakfast and departure to Zagreb. Visit Zagreb: named “the city with million hearts”, for the million inhabitants that it shelters, Zagreb is the most important city of the Republic of Croatia and is its financial and cultural capital. Ideally placed between the Mount Medvednica and the River Sava. Walk along the old town of Zagreb, happening for the Gornji grad (High City) – of narrow streets and with two doors of access, as the famous Door of Stone – where you will find all kinds of historical buildings, such as the Church of San Marcos, the Museum of the city of Zagreb and the spectacular Palace Klovic. Overnight in Zagreb.
Day 4 - ZAGREB – PLITVICE LAKES (150 km)
Departure to Plitvice Lakes where the local guide will show you one of the world's most beautiful National Parks, a Natural Heritage Site where the waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. Plitvice are situated between the mountains of Mala Kapela and Plješivica in the region of Lika. The whole area is on certain maps called the Devil’s Garden, due to its landscape and history. According to the legend the Plitvice lakes were created after a long period of drought. People, animals and nature were longing for water, even the Black River went dry. People prayed and prayed. Then appeared in the valley the Black Queen with her magnificent suite; a strong wind begun to blow and with a thunder rain fell down on earth. The rain was falling until the water had grown enough to create the Lakes. Overnight stay in a hotel near the lakes.
Day 5 - PLITVICE LAKES – SPLIT – TROGIR (280 km)
Departure to Split (UNESCO). A local guide will show the historic centre of Split which is built around the remains of the Diocletian's Palace. Within area of Split and Solin the oldest findings are from the time of Neolithic and Eneolithic. In late ancient period during the Roman administration Diocletian Palace was built. It was around 298. year AD when the Roman imperator Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus decided to start the construction in the bay of Split on the Dalmatian coast nearby his birth place, Salona. Visit the excavated remains of the basement of the palace and the well preserved main streets cardo and decumanus. The Roman palace is enriched with some gothic and reinassance buildings which makes a perfect match. The cathedral was built in the Middle Ages, reusing materials from the ancient mausoleum. Twelfth- and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area. Arrival in Trogir. Overnight stay.
Day 6 - TROGIR – MOSTAR CITY TOUR – SARAJEVO CITY TOUR (320 km)
After breakfast you will depart towards Bosnia and Herzegovina wher your firs visit will be the city of Mostar, UNESCO protected. The old city center is located along both sides of the famous Stari Most (Old Bridge) which is a truly unique attraction: accompanied by the whirling rustle of the emerald river Neretva, visitors can admire the symbols of the old city, the neighborhood of the Ottoman era with splendid mosques of XVI century, towers, houses and Turkish baths, as well as numerous small workshops of kujunzije (copper beaters) that animate the streets swarm with their daily activities. Visit the Muslim quarter with the Koski mosque Memhmed Pasha or Karadjozbeg and home in turkish style. Departure to Sarajevo and half day city tour with a local guide. Capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, still in full rebuilding process after the war, which destroyed important buildings like the Palace of Parliament that is now being renovated. Visit other places of historical and artistic interest: the Muslim Quarter with mosques, the bazaar, the National University Library, the Catholic Cathedral, the old town, the synagogue, the Orthodox Churches. The location (near the Latin Bridge) where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, which became the fuse of World War I. Walking through the city you can see the famous "Roses of Sarajevo", pink spots on the asphalt reminiscent of where the bombs and mortars have left their mark.
Day 7 - SARAJEVO – BELGRADE (290 km)
Early departure for Belgrade. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has since ancient times been an important focal point for traffic, an intersection of the roads of Eastern and Western Europe. Visit the historic part of the capital - the bohemian quarter, Skadarlija, with its old Serbian buildings such as the residence of Princess Ljubica, the Dositej School, and the Bajrakli Dzamija Mosque. Visit also the Church of Saint Sava, the largest Orthodox Church in the Balkans. Evening walk in the center to admire the Palace of Parliament, the Government, and the Kalemegdan - the most beautiful and biggest park in Belgrade, which is also the most important cultural and historical complex, in which the Belgrade Fortress stands high above the Sava and Danube confluence. The name Kalemegdan applies only to the spacious plateau surrounding the Fortress, which was turned into a park in the eighties of the XIX century. When the Fortress served as Belgrade's chief military stronghold, the plateau was a place from which the enemy was kept under observation and where preparations were made for combats. Accommodation and overnight in Belgrade.
Day 8 - BELGRADE – SOFIA CITY TOUR (400 km)
Breakfast and departure to Sofia. Upon arrival you will meet your local guide and enjoy a comprehensive city tour to get to know the highlights of the capital. Among the most impressive sites are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral dominating the city, the round church of St. George, which is the best preserved Byzantine building, the Russian church St. Nikolas, St. Petka church, Banya Bashi Mosque, the ruins of ancient Serdica and some more.
Day 9 - SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY - SOFIA (220 km)
Morning visit to the famous Boyana church – listed in UNESCO World Heritage List. After that you will drive to Rila mountains (the highest on the Balkan Peninsula) to see one of Bulgaria’s most famous tourist sites – Rila monastery. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. We shall see the monastery church with its amazing frescoes painted by the most famous Bulgarian finest artists from 19th c. In the afternoon drive back to Sofia. Overnight.
Day 10 - SOFIA – BACHKOVO – PLOVDIV (200 km)
Departure for Bachkovo Monastery (UNESCO). Bachkovo Monastery was founded in 1083. It is known and appreciated f or the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian stiles. Arrival in Plovdiv – Bulgaria’s second largest city with millennium old history. It has preserved ruins from Roman, Ottoman and Bulgarian Revival period. During your city tour you will see the Roman Forum and Stadium as well as the Roman amphitheater dating back to the 2nd AD; the house of Hindliyan –national monument of culture, impressive with its artistic decoration, with many well preserved original murals. Walk along the tiny cobbled streets of the old town surrounded by beautiful Revival houses and churches. Accommodation and overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 11 - PLOVDIV – KAZANLAK – VELIKO TARNOVO (220 km)
Departure to Kazanluk – the center of The Valley of Roses and The Valley of The Thracian Kings. En route you will visit a rose distillery where you can see how the famous Bulgarian rose oil is produced and taste rose made liquor and rose made jam. Visit also one of the many Thracian Tombs discovered in the area. Continue to the medieval capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Turnovo to visit the Tsarevets fortress where the Bulgarian kings once lived. Walk along the oldest merchant street in the town called Samovodska Charshia. Accommodation and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 12 - VELIKO TARNOVO –ARBANASSI – IVANOVO – BUCHAREST (200 km)
After breakfast have a sightseeing tour of Veliko Turnovo with a walk to Tsarevets fortress where the Bulgarian kings once lived. Walk along the oldest merchant street in the town called Samovodska Charshia. There guests can see masters who pursue their crafts according to old traditions. Continue to Arbanassi and visit the Nativity church whose murals from the 17th and 18th centuries are considered real masterpiece and Konstancalieva museum house. Proceed to Ivanovo to see the UNESCO listed rock hewn churches of Ivanovo. Continue to the border town of Russe where we change guide and coach. Proceed to Bucharest, The Romanian capital once nicknamed “The Little Paris of The East”. Overnight.
Day 13 - BUCHAREST CITY TOUR – BRASOV CITY TOUR (180 km)
In the morning, enjoy a city tour of Bucharest. During the tour you will see the Arch of Triumph, the Revolution Square, the Romanian Athenaeum, the National Art Museum and the Revolution Square. Inside visit to the Parliament Palace, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. After the tour, depart for Brasov, fairy tale town founded in the 12th century by the Saxon settlers. Enjoy a city tour including visit to St Nicholas Church and First Romanian School, which hosts an impressive collection of rare books, many of them hand copied right there. Overnight in Brasov.
Day 14 - BRASOV – BRAN – SINAIA – BUCHAREST (220 km)
After breakfast, depart for Bran to visit the castle made famous by Bram Stoker's novel as the residence of the vampire count, Dracula. After the visit, continue to Azuga for sparkling wine tasting in one of the most famous wine cellars in the country. Drive on to Sinaia, one of the most beautiful mountain resorts in Romania, also known as the “Pearl of the Carpathians”, for visit to Peles Castle, an exquisite piece of architecture which served as the summer residence of the former Romanian Royal family. In the afternoon, proceed to Bucharest for overnight.
Day 15 - BUCHAREST – DEPARTURE
After breakfast departure to Bucharest airport for your flight back home.
17.10.2017Bulgaria opened its tourist information center in Shanghai
11.10.2017Park of Miniatures opened in Veliko Tarnovo
28.08.20173000 mountaineers on Cherni Vrah
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