Ljubljana is a small city full of character and beautiful architecture, which you will be able to discover as you walk around town and see some of Ljubljana’s most famous sights like the Prešeren Square and the Three Bridges. You will also pay a visit to Ljubljana Castle which rests on the top of a hill in the middle of the old city center. It even has its own little vineyard! To top it off, you will finish the tour of Ljubljana with a boat ride on the Ljubljanica River, which will give you a chance to rest your feet and enjoy Ljubljana’s attractions from another perspective.
Overnight in Ljubljana
Walking tour of Ljubljana
Boat ride on Ljubljanica River
Ljubljana Old Town
After a cultured and relaxed day in Ljubljana, you’ll head to the Julian Alps, and get involved in some blood-pumping activities. First, you will drive through the beautiful Kranjska Gora, the most popular ski resort in Slovenia, and stop by the freezing cold, crystal clear lake Jasna. You’ll head across the Vršič Pass to Bovec, Slovenia’s adventure sports capital.
The main attraction in Bovec is the amazing, emerald-green Soča River. Apart from its mind-blowing beauty, Soča also offers endless thrills. One of them is white water rafting, an activity that is equal parts physical, fun, and exciting. Apart from tackling the river rapids of the Soča in a raft, you’ll also hike some of the river’s gorgeous smaller waterfalls and streams, for an experience of the river that is as firsthand as it gets.
White water rafting on Soča River
Climb the highest peak of Montenegro
Day three won’t give you much of a chance to get off the adrenaline high of the Soča river. You’ll start by canyoning in a ravine in the Julian Alps, and climb, jump, and slide through the gorge.
The afternoon will be just a tad more easygoing. You’ll first stop at the glacial Lake Bohinj, the largest and one of the most spectacular lakes in Slovenia. You’ll then continue to Lake Bled, one of Slovenia’s most famous tourist attractions, and paddleboard your way to the gorgeous Bled Island. You’ll take advantage of the remaining sunlight and hike to Ojstrica, an amazing viewpoint above Bled that will put this day three experience in a completely different perspective.
Canyoning near Lake Bohinj
Paddleboard rental in Bled
Our two days of adventures in Slovenia are followed by a day of culture in Croatia. After breakfast, you will head across the border and start the day with a walking tour of Zagreb. You will see some of its most famous attractions like the centuries-old Ban Jelačić Square which is the center of Zagreb’s downtown pedestrian zone. You will also stroll through Zagreb’s beautiful Old Town and take a look at the monumental gothic Zagreb Cathedral. You will also stop at Zagreb’s lush Botanical Gardens.
Overnight in Zagreb
Walking tour of Zagreb
Zagreb Old Town
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is famous for its stunning terraced lakes and the incredible waterfalls that link them. A day in the serenity of this natural wonderland will recharge your batteries, and offer up views you won’t be able to stop thinking about for days to come.
After our Plitvice adventure, you will continue your journey and head to Zadar, where you will have a free evening to unwind and explore this beautiful historic coastal city.
Overnight in Zadar
Lunch on the boat tour
Plitvice National Park entrance fee
Plitvice Lakes National Park
After a beautiful day in Plitvice, you will head to the incredible Kornati National Park for another day in Croatia’s incredible outdoors. On our circular boat tour of the Kornati Islands, you’ll marvel, sunbathe, and swim your way through a relaxing and fun day at the seaside.
You’ll start in Zadar, have breakfast on board, and sail through the gorgeous views the Kornati Islands have to offer, with stops at heavenly beaches and the Tarac Bay where you can explore the imposing Turet Fort and the unique Tarac church. After some more swimming and snorkeling, you’ll return to Zadar in the evening.
Boat tour of Kornati National Park
Kornati Islands National Park
Another day, another unforgettable historic city. On the Split tour, you will walk along the steps of history as you discover the Roman Diocletian’s Palace, the Riva promenade from Napoleon’s time, and Split’s Old Town which tells the story of a city that was under the rule of Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Republic of Venice, the French Empire, the Austrian Empire, and Yugoslavia before it finally became part of independent Croatia.
Overnight in Split
Walking tour of Split
Temple of Jupiter entrance fee
Split Old Town
The tenth day of this grand tour will be dedicated to Croatia’s crown jewels – its islands, scattered along its coast in the Adriatic Sea, offering perfect vacation spots to tourists from all over the world. You will embark on a sailing tour that will take you to the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, the idyllic Vis island, and the postcard-worthy Blue Lagoon on Budikovac island, where you will explore the crystal clear waters more in-depth, by snorkeling in the lagoon. The sailing tour will then take you to Hvar, one of the most popular islands in Croatia, where you will get some free time to discover the picturesque town. To finish off the day’s trip, you will sail around the Paklinski Islands, a group of around twenty small islands that are a true holiday paradise. After a day full of sunshine and adventures, you will return to Split.
Water on the boat
Blue Cave – Biševo Island
After experiencing a whirlwind of different cultures in Split and the Dalmatian vacation paradise, you will expand your horizons even further with Bosnia’s Turkish influences that are the result of the Ottoman invasions that started in the 14th century. You will start the day by driving through the incredibly scenic Neretva canyon and continue your way to Mostar. You will take a walk through Mostar’s Old Town, which is famous for its unique architecture, as the city is built around (and over) the Neretva River. It is not surprising that the Old Bridge which connects the two river banks is the central part of Mostar. The bridge is so iconic it has been placed under UNESCO protection. You will end the day by driving to Dubrovnik where you will spend the night.
Overnight in Dubrovnik
Walking tour of Mostar
Koski-Mehmet Pasha Mosque entrance fee
Franciscan Church Bell Tower entrance fee
Mostar Old Town
Koski-Mehmet Pasha Mosque
Your next destination is Dubrovnik. You will reach the city by lunchtime. On the walking tour of Dubrovnik, you will explore the beautiful historic architecture and stone-paved streets of the UNESCO-protected Old City of Dubrovnik, and pay a visit to the famous Dubrovnik City Walls. Dubrovnik is most famous for serving as one of the sets for Game of Thrones, so fans of the show are definitely in for a treat, but we are certain everyone will be enthralled by Dubrovnik, regardless of their TV preferences.
Walking tour of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Walls entrance fee
Dubrovnik Old Town
The fifteenth day of our Balkan tour will be dedicated to wondrous Montenegro. You will start the day off by driving around the Bay of Kotor and taking in the views in a sedentary position before continuing the exploration on foot. Kotor is an ancient city, and it’s even included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as part of the Venetian works of defense. You will be able to trace the steps of the Venetians as you climb the Walls of Kotor, the shell of this fortified city. As this is quite a demanding tour, only those who feel up to it will tackle the walls, while the rest will have some time off. After getting to know Kotor, you will head off to Budva where you will spend the evening either strolling Budva’s beaches and old town for a relaxed night.
Overnight in Kotor
Walking tour of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
Kotor Old Town
On day twelve, you will leave the beautiful Bay of Kotor, but you won’t have to part from it immediately, because you’ll be able to get great views of it from above as you follow our windy road to Njeguši. Once you get there, you’ll get your adrenaline kick for the day on a zipline across a head-spinningly deep canyon.
The afternoon will be slightly more chilled out. You’ll first visit the Mausoleum of Njegoš, which is dramatically placed on top of the rocky Mount Lovćen. So you’ll not only get spectacular views of the mausoleum and its interior, but also the surrounding landscape. You’ll then continue to Cetinje, the former capital city of Montenegro, which still holds all the impressive buildings and strong character that capital would have.
Overnight in Žabljak
Lunch after rafting
Njegoš Mausoleum entrance fees
Lovćen National Park
The first of two days in the Durmitor National Park will be spent on the Tara River. You’ll go on a half-hour drive from our accommodation in Žabljak to the Tara Bridge that spans across the Tara canyon with its impressive concrete arches. If the zipline from the previous day was your kind of thing, you’ll have the option for round two here, above the Tara canyon.
You’ll then all get another taste of rafting, in a four-hour Tara water adventure. Once back at dry land, you’ll explore the canyon and its surroundings a bit more on a jeep safari. Afterward, you’ll return to Žabljak to sleep off our thrill-packed day.
White water rafting on Tara River
Jeep Safari in Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park
Our second day in Durmitor National Park will be a bit more pedestrian, but not completely removed from the water. You’ll hike to the glacial Black Lake, the main attraction of Durmitor. There you’ll hop into kayaks and explore the lake on the water.
Afterward, you’ll drive to the beautiful Sedlo mountain pass, that’s placed in the middle of an idyllic lush green mountainous landscape. You’ll have some time to enjoy the surroundings and the amazing view of the Bobotov Kuk, Montenegro’s highest mountain. If you’re feeling up for a bit of a challenge, you can also opt to hike the highest peak of Montenegro instead. After the hiking expedition, you’ll return to Žabljak for the night.
Rozafa Castle entrance fee
Durmitor National Park
You’ll start the day with an amazing drive through the Morača Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, only topped by the Grand Canyons in the USA! This is one of the best, most epic drives in Europe, and we’ll organize lots of stops at the best photo spots so you can capture the amazing views you’ll come across.
Your path will take you to Lake Skadar, the largest lake in Southern Europe and part of the border between Montenegro and Albania. After crossing the Albanian border you’ll stop at the Rozafa Castle built on a rocky hill that’s surrounded by the Buna and Drin rivers. Legend has it that one of the wives of the brothers who built this castle had to be buried in its walls as a sacrifice to prevent it from collapsing. But our next stop, the Mesi Bridge, will show you that Albanians aren’t really such lousy builders and that the legend is probably just fiction.
Overnight in Shkoder
4WD tour of Thethi National Park
Thethi National Park entrance fee
On day sixteen, you’re in for a real treat. You’ll start the excursion with a beautiful drive amongst sage and lavender fields, and head to the Thethi National Park. There, you’ll meet our four-wheel drive tour guides that will lead you around the park. After a short drive, you’ll hike to the Grunasi Waterfall and Canyon for some idyllic natural scenery of sapphire blue waters among lush greenery and pale rocks.
After the hike, you’ll continue by car to the Blue Eye of Theth, a natural pool in the middle of the woods. This spot is truly something out of a fairytale, and you might just expect a magical being to jump out of the blue, cold water at any moment. The bravest among you might even go for a dip in this ice-cold body of water. On the way back, you’ll stop for lunch and visit the Church of Theth, and the Lock-In Tower, two stone buildings with wooden roofs typical of the Albanian Alps. After a day full of adventure, you’ll return to Shkoder for the evening.
Walking tour of Tirana
BunkArt entrance fee
Thethi National Park
Grunasi Waterfall & Canyon
Blue Eye of Theth
Once you reach Tirana, you will head out on a walking tour to explore this fascinating city. Tirana is a true mixture of influences, from classic roman architecture, and opulent mosques to communist architecture that often borders on brutalism. We will walk through the enormous Skanderbeg Square, and pass the brutalist Tirana Pyramid, and the Roman Fortress of Justinian. You will also take some time to relax in the Parku i Madh – the Grad Park of Tirana.
All of the different influences and cultures we’ve mentioned aren’t to be seen as just another tourist attraction. They all hold their own history, and more often than not the price for an eventful history is paid by the people who lived through it. To deepen your understanding of this, you’ll visit the Bunk’art museum which is set up inside a former atomic bunker and explores the different dictatorships and political regimes Albania was under in the 20th century.
Overnight in Tirana
Hiking Elen Peak
Tirana city center
On day 18, you’ll travel from Albania to one of the most beautiful parts of North Macedonia – Lake Ohrid. This incredibly beautiful lake has been the destination of holiday-makers for centuries, with a resort town of the same name resting on its shore. Ohrid is a historic little town by the lake, famous for its cobblestone streets, steep staircases, and its preposterous number of churches, like the beautiful Church of Saint John the Theologian, and the ruins of the Church of Saint Sophia. And of course, the Ohrid pearls, known worldwide for their unique production process.
To round off our day of sightseeing, we’ll also incorporate some physical activity by climbing the nearby Elen Peak. This rather undemanding hike will take about four hours total, and will spice up your day a bit before you descend back to Ohrid and spend the night there.
Overnight in Ohrid
After acquainting yourself with Lake Ohrid, your path will lead to another Macedonian lake. The Matka Canyon is home to the oldest artificial lake in North Macedonia. A dam was placed on the river in the 1930s to help produce electricity and so the Matka Canyon accumulated water. Nowadays this is a place of pristine nature, one of the rare instances in the world where endemic plant and animal species can thrive only 15 km from the capital city.
To explore this breathtaking area, you’ll kayak through the canyon. You might even wander off to one of the amazing caves around the canyon that boast large cave galleries and underground lakes. After a day of paddling and gazing at the surroundings, you’ll hop in the car for a short ride to the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje.
Overnight in Skopje
Walking tour of Skopje
kopje is a mighty capital that can compete with the grandest European cities, which you will be able to see for yourself on our tour. You will marvel at monumental architectural landmarks like the Porta Macedonia, the Macedonia Square, and the Stone Bridge, imposing statues of great leaders like Alexander the Great and Phillip II, and incredible historic monuments, like the Skopje Fortress. After our 16-day exploration of the Balkans and final tour of Skopje, you won’t see the Balkans as the periphery of Europe anymore, but as one of its most vital parts – in the past as well as the present.
After getting to know Skopje, you’ll hop over the border to Serbia, and cross the southern part of the country to reach Belgrade by the evening.
Overnight in Belgrade
Walking tour of Belgrade
Skopje city center
With 1.7 million citizens, Belgrade is the largest city in Serbia, and one of the most fascinating places in the Balkans. Your day will be spent sightseeing and exploring the attractions of this mighty capital like the Serbian Orthodox church, the Temple of Saint Sava, the artists’ Skadarlija Street, the Old Palace, home to royal dynasties in Serbia’s monarchic days, the monumental National Theatre, the fortress Kalemegdan, and much more. After the comprehensive tour, you will have free time to roam the city on your own or visit one of its many great museums, or head to the airport to return home, because sadly this is where our epic adventure concludes.
Belgrade city center
Church of St Sava
Every traveler has their own specific interests and preferences. Some can never get enough of museums, some like to spend most of their days people-watching in cafes, and others find that the monuments most worth visiting are found in nature. And then there are those who like to spice up their life with a good dose of excitement.
We think endorphins and adrenaline are the two most important ingredients for a good time. If you agree, you’ve just found the perfect Balkan trip for you.
Our Balkan adventure will take you to five national parks, incredible cultural landmarks, and some of the most memorable adrenaline-inducing experiences of your life! By spreading out the city tours, excursions in nature, and more physical, adventurous activities, we have designed a tour that includes all the must-see sights of the Balkans, as well as thrilling activities fit for any adrenaline junkie. One thing is certain – you won’t get bored.
Our tour will be spiced up by a number of water activities like canyoning in the gorges of the Julian Alps, rafting on the emerald Soča River in Slovenia, and Tara River in Montenegro, kayaking on the Black Lake in Durmitor National Park, and the Matka Canyon along with its amazing caves. We’ll even incorporate some water sports in our Bled tour, and paddleboard to the island in the middle of Lake Bled.
We’ve designed this tour with the goal of infusing it with excitement at every step. You’ll hike in the Julian Alps, Durmitor National Park, and the region of the spectacular Lake Ohrid. You’ll zipline across canyons in Montenegro, and snorkel in the Adriatic Sea. You’ll explore the amazing Durmitor National Park on a jeep safari, and amp up the thrill in Thethi National Park where a four-wheel drive awaits us.
Even the travel from one place to another will be unforgettable as you’ll drive on some of the most epic drives in Europe, like the Morača Canyon, which is the second-deepest canyon in the world!
But don’t think that you’ll see less of the Balkans because of all the different activities listed above. The three-week period of our Balkan travels gives us enough time to experience the best Balkan adventures this region has to offer while also not missing out on the more standard, must-see tourist attractions.
You’ll visit five incredible capital cities, each with its own specific history, and character, and see how the Balkan crossroads of cultures are reflected in them. You’ll also get your fair share of relaxation on the coasts of Croatia and Montenegro, as you visit their fascinating historic harbor cities like Split, Dubrovnik, and Kotor, and sail around some of the most beautiful Croatian islands.
Now if that sounds like the time of your life, it’s because it will be. Book your tour, and let your Balkan adventure begin!