Balkan Tour PackagesPrivate Balkan ToursSmall Group Tours in the Balkans

Grand Balkan Trip

Get the full Balkan experience on a three-week-long Balkan holiday. Take the time to explore this region — you won’t regret a second of your Grand Balkan Trip!

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START
 / FINISH
Belgrade
 / 
Skopje
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LENGTH
20 nights / 21 days
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DIFFICULTY
Leisurely
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  • Explore the rich history of the 6 Balkan capital cities
  • Discover the diverse cultural heritage of different regions
  • Rest your eyes on the pristine nature of several national parks
  • Let the sea breeze of the Adriatic coast and its islands refill your energy
  • Marvel at the numerous lakes and spectacular mountains 
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Included in price

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English-speaking tour leader
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Comfortable transportation
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20 nights 3* accommodation with breakfast
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All entrance fees and activities as specified in the itinerary

Itinerary

Day What we will do
DAY 1 Belgrade
DAY 2 Novi Sad
DAY 3 Zagreb
DAY 4 Ljubljana
DAY 5 Bled - Bohinj
DAY 6 Postojna Cave - Opatija
DAY 7 Plitvice National Park
DAY 8 Šibenik - Trogir
DAY 9 Split
DAY 10 Hvar - Vis
DAY 11 Mostar
DAY 12 Sarajevo
DAY 13 Dubrovnik
DAY 14 Dubrovnik
DAY 15 Kotor - Budva
DAY 16 Ulcinj
DAY 17 Tirana
DAY 18 Durres
DAY 19 Ohrid
DAY 20 Ohrid
DAY 21 Skopje

Day 1 Capital of Serbia

We will start our Balkan adventure with a bang. With 1.7 million citizens, Belgrade is the largest city in Serbia, and one of the most fascinating places in the Balkans. Our 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 our comprehensive tour, you will have free time to roam the city on your own or visit one of its many great museums.

Accommodation
Overnight in Belgrade
Included
Walking tour of Belgrade
Highlights
Temple of Saint Sava
Skadarlija Quarter
Kalemegdan Fortress
Optional extra charge
Airport transfer

Day 2 Second largest city in Serbia

We will continue our exploration of Serbia on day two. We will take an hour-long drive north of Belgrade to reach Serbia's second largest city, Novi Sad. We will then embark on a walking tour that will allow us to stretch our legs and see the sights. Novi Sad is famous for its cultural diversity, and this is exemplified in its different places of worship which we will see - the Roman Catholic gothic Church of the Name of Mary, the orthodox Bishop’s Palace, and the Novi Sad Synagogue. After covering the rest of Novi Sad’s main attractions like the Freedom Square, and the Petrovaradin Fortress, we will start our drive to Zagreb where we will spend the night.

Accommodation
Overnight in Zagreb
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Novi Sad
Highlights
Novi Sad city centre
Petrovaradin Fortress

Day 3 Capital of Croatia

After breakfast, we will begin our tour of Zagreb, and see some of its most famous attractions like the centuries-old Ban Jelačić Square which is the center of Zagreb’s downtown pedestrian zone. We will also stroll through Zagreb’s beautiful Old Town and take a look at the monumental gothic Zagreb Cathedral. We will also stop at Zagreb’s lush Botanical Gardens. You can enjoy the afternoon at your pace, enjoying the city or some of its museums.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ljubljana
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Zagreb
Highlights
Zagreb Old Town

Day 4 Capital of Slovenia

Ljubljana is a small city full of character and beautiful architecture. We will be able to compare the architectural and cultural influences of Ljubljana with those of Zagreb, as we walk around town and see some of Ljubljana’s most famous sights like the Prešeren Square and the Triple Bridge. We will also pay a visit to Ljubljana Castle which rests on top of a hill in the middle of the old city center. It even has its own little vineyard! To top it off we will finish our tour of Ljubljana with a boat ride on the Ljubljanica River, which will give us a chance to rest our feet and enjoy Ljubljana’s attractions from another perspective.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ljubljana
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Ljubljana
Ljubljana Castle
Boat ride on Ljubljanica River
Highlights
Ljubljana Old Town
Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljanica River

Day 5 Lakes and Slovenian Alps

After four days of city tours, it’s time to take a break in nature. After waking up in Ljubljana we will commence on our picturesque drive to Bled, where we will first marvel at the famously romantic Bled Lake with its Bled Castle and Bled Island. We will take a boat ride across the lake with a traditional “pletna” boat to reach the island. Depending on your wishes, you can also visit the church on Bled Island. Afterward, we will head even deeper into the Julian Alps, first to the breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly cold Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, the only national park in Slovenia, known for its crystal clear waters, bright green pastures, and monumental mountains. After getting our fair share of fresh air, we will return to Ljubljana to get a good night’s rest.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ljubljana
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Bled Castle
Bled Island boat ride
Vintgar Gorge entrance fee
Highlights
Bled Castle
Bled Island
Vintgar Gorge
Triglav National Park
Lake Bohinj
Optional extra charge
Entrance fee to the church on Bled Island

Day 6 Slovenian Karst and the Croatian Riviera

Our next adventure awaits underground. We will visit one of the most famous caves in the world, the Postojna Cave, and with a bit of luck, we’ll even see the “baby dragons” that rule these underground halls. We will also stop by the Predjama Castle, a medieval castle that was built into the rock face and holds the title of the biggest cave castle in the world. A perfect place to spar up your imagination and revisit your childhood fantasies of knights and princesses. After our fairytale-like adventure, we will head on to Opatija, a seaside resort that was very popular among the 19th century upper classes who filled the town with pastel bourgeois Habsburg-era villas.

Accommodation
Overnight in Opatija
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Postojna Cave entrance fee
Highlights
Postojna Cave
Predjama Castle
Opatija
Optional extra charge
Predjama Castle entrance fee

Day 7 Plitvice Lakes National Park

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is famous for its stunning terraced lakes and 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, we will continue our journey and head to Zadar, where you will have a free evening to unwind and explore this beautiful historic coastal city. A tip: take the time to check out Zadar’s fortifications that are listed among the UNESCO heritage sites as part of the Venetian Works of Defence.

 

Accommodation
Overnight in Zadar
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Plitvice National Park entrance fee
Highlights
Plitvice National Park

Day 8 Adriatic Coast

We continue our Balkan adventure with another double feature, as we will see not one but two incredible historic harbor cities. We will first head from Zadar to Šibenik, famous for the Cathedral of St. James, a 15th century stone church decorated with 71 sculptured faces, a building so impressive it has been listed as a UNESCO heritage site.

Trogir’s old city center is known for its Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque architecture. You can also admire parts of the original medieval city wall. Trogir’s historic center is also protected as a UNESCO heritage site, because of its Venetian architecture.

Accommodation
Overnight in Split
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Šibenik
Walking tour of Trogir
Highlights
Šibenik Old Town
Trogir Old Town
Optional extra charge
Šibenik Fortress

Day 9 The ancient city on the Adriatic

Another day, another unforgettable historic city. On our Split tour, we will walk along the steps of history as we discover the UNESCO protected 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.

Accommodation
Overnight in Split
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Split
Temple of Jupiter entrance fee
Highlights
Riva Harbor
Diocletian's Palace
Split Old Town

Day 10 Sailing Croatian Islands

The tenth day of our 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. We will embark on a sailing tour that will take us to the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Cave on Bisevo Island, the idyllic Vis island, and the postcard-worthy Blue Lagoon on Budikovac island, where we will explore the crystal clear waters more in-depth, by snorkeling in the lagoon. Our sailing tour will then take us 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 our trip we 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 we will return to Split.

Accommodation
Overnight in Split
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Boat trip
Water on the boat
Snorkeling gear
Highlights
Blue Cave - Biševo Island
Vis Island
Blue Lagoon
Hvar Island
Paklinski Islands

Day 11 Ottoman culture in Bosnia

After experiencing a whirlwind of different cultures in Split and the Dalmatian vacation paradise, we will expand our horizons even further with Bosnia’s Turkish influences that are the result of the Ottoman invasions that started in the 14th century. We will start our day by driving through the incredibly scenic Neretva canyon and continue our way to Mostar. We 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. We will end the day by driving to Sarajevo where we will spend the night.

Accommodation
Overnight in Sarajevo
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Mostar
Koski-Mehmet Pasha Mosque entrance fee
Franciscan Church Bell Tower entrance fee
Highlights
Mostar Old Town
Koski-Mehmet Pasha Mosque

Day 12 Capital city of Bosnia & Herzegovina

We will wake up in one of the most fascinating places in the Balkans - the city of Sarajevo. Despite its tragic history filled with war and conflict, Sarajevo is a place that bustles with life, whether you’re just walking down the street or if you’re on the iconic Baščaršija marketplace. We will embark on a tour through Sarajevo’s history and also visit the war tunnels along the way. We will also visit the Svrzo House and see how a typical Muslim family in Sarajevo lived in the time of the Ottoman Empire. After visiting some more museums, the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, and the Cathedral of Jesus' Heart we will head back to our hotel to spend another night in Sarajevo.

Accommodation
Overnight in Sarajevo
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Sarajevo
5 museum ticket (Brusa Bezistan, Despića kuća, Svrzina kuća, Jewish museum, Sarajevo museum)
Sarajevo Tunnel entrance fee
Highlights
Sarajevo city center
Baščaršija
Sarajevo War Tunnels

Day 13 The walled-off pearl of the Adriatic

Our next destination is Dubrovnik. We will reach the city by lunchtime. On our walking tour of Dubrovnik, we 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 your TV preferences.

Accommodation
Overnight in Dubrovnik
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Walls entrance fee
Highlights
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Walls

Day 14 Time to relax in Dubrovnik

Now, despite all of the amazing views and experiences we will be having, after two weeks all of us will be happy to get a day off. That’s why we will prolong our stay in the spectacular Dubrovnik for another day and have some leisure time. This day is meant for you to recuperate your strength, and enjoy yourself however you choose. If that means that you’ll go on a solo adventure for the day, that’s great, but you can also opt for some of our tried and tested activities if you would like to make the most of your day that way. You can ride the cable car to the top of the hill above Dubrovnik to get the best views, or take a boat trip and explore Dubrovnik’s surroundings by water. And if the mention of Game of Thrones above caught your attention, there is a fascinating Game of Thrones tour you can go on. 

 

Accommodation
Overnight in Dubrovnik
Meals
Breakfast

Day 15 Incredible coast of Montenegro

The fifteenth day of our Balkan tour will be dedicated to the wondrous Montenegro. We will start the day off by driving around the Bay of Kotor, and taking in the views in a sedentary position before we continue our 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. We will be able to trace the steps of the Venetians as we 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 we will head off to Budva where we will spend the evening either strolling Budva’s beaches and old town for a relaxed night.

Accommodation
Overnight in Budva
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Kotor
Highlights
Bay of Kotor
Kotor Old Town
Kotor Walls
Budva Old Town

Day 16 Surfing beaches of Montenegro

You can never get enough of a good thing - especially if that thing is as good as Montenegro beaches. That’s why we’ll spend another amazing day lounging, swimming, and relaxing by the sparkling Adriatic sea. We will explore the old town of Ulcinj, an ancient seaport. Depending on your mood you can spend some time in the town, or head to the beach and take in the sun. Later, we will go to Ada Bojana, an island that is part of Ulcinj and was created by a river delta. We will spend the rest of our day in Valdanos Bay that is also in the same area and is a true Dalmatian wonder - a beautiful rocky beach in the middle of an olive tree forest.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ulcinj
Meals
Breakfast
Highlights
Ulcinj Old Town
Ada Bojana
Valdanos Bay

Day 17 Capital of Albania

New day, new country. We will leave Budva in the morning and start our journey to Tirana, the capital of neighboring Albania. On the way, we will stop at Skadar Lake which lies on the border between Montenegro and Albania.

Once we reach Tirana we will head out on a walking tour to explore this fascinating city. Tirana is a true mixture of influences, from classic roman architecture, opulent mosques to communist architecture that often borders on brutalism. We will walk through the enormous Skanderbeg Square, pass the brutalist Tirana Pyramid, and the Roman Fortress of Justinian. We will also take some time to relax in the Parku i Madh - the Grad Park of Tirana.

 

Accommodation
Overnight in Tirana
Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Tirana
Highlights
Lake Skadar
Tirana city center

Day 18 Albanian coast

We all know that feeling of becoming completely drained while traveling. You want to go out to explore, and you’re desperate not to miss anything, but even your curiosity doesn’t quite measure up with your tiredness. We will try our best to find the right balance between exploration and relaxation throughout our Balkan tour, but after two weeks we’ll all be in need of a chill day. And where better to chill but on a beach? Durres Beach, to be exact. We will spend the day lounging on the sandy Albanian shore and recharging our batteries for our final two days of travel.

 

Accommodation
Overnight in Tirana
Meals
Breakfast
Highlights
Durres beach

Day 19 Beautiful lake in Northern Macedonia

After basking in the Albanian sun, we will go to Northern Macedonia to bathe in its lakes. Lake Ohrid that is, an incredibly beautiful lake that 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.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ohrid
Meals
Breakfast
Highlights
Lake Ohrid

Day 20 Leisure time at Lake Ohrid

The penultimate day of our tour will be an easy-going one. We will relax by the beautiful Lake Ohrid, and get a chance to catch our breath and reminisce on the wonderful Balkan adventure we’ve had together. You will have the option to wander around town, stroll along the beaches of the lake, go on a boat ride across the lake, hike in the area or spend your day visiting some of Ohrid’s many churches and museums.

Accommodation
Overnight in Ohrid
Meals
Breakfast
Highlights
Lake Ohrid

Day 21 Capital of Northern Macedonia

It wouldn’t be a proper “best of” tour if we didn’t finish with a bang. Our final day will be spent in Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. Skopje is a mighty capital that can compete with the grandest European cities, which you will be able to see for yourself on our tour. We 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, 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 one of its most vital parts - in the past as well as the present.

Meals
Breakfast
Included
Walking tour of Skopje
Highlights
Skopje city center
Old Bazaar
Skopje Fortress
Optional extra charge
Airport transfer
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Map
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Want to make some changes?

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The Grand Balkan Trip offers you an in-depth first-hand experience of the Balkans, but the duration of the tour also allows for a more easy-going pace. In this case, quantity enables quality, because taking the time for a longer tour gives you the ability to enjoy it more instead of burning out after the first couple of days of intensive sightseeing.

Our Balkan travel adventure will include seven countries, six capital cities, two national parks, eight UNESCO heritage sights, and countless incredible moments. Our program will mix days full of sightseeing with free days and afternoons, to ensure that you get the most out of your Balkan trip, and see all the amazing sights, while also having the time to explore these unforgettable locations on your own.

We’ll start our tour in Belgrade, Serbia’s impressive capital, and continue to Novi Sad, the second largest Serbian city after Belgrade. After a day in Croatia’s capital Zagreb, we’ll make our way to Slovenia. Apart from its capital Ljubljana, we’ll explore Slovenia’s natural beauty, its mesmerizing Alpine lakes Bled and Bohinj, and its majestic underground world in the world-famous Postojna Cave.

We’ll continue bonding with nature in Plitvice National Park in Croatia, a breathtakingly beautiful place full of turquoise terraced lakes, and ethereal waterfalls. We’ll leave behind Croatia’s freshwater wonders, and spend some time by the saltwater of the Adriatic Sea. Croatia’s historic coastal cities like Šibenik, Split, and Dubrovnik are destined to charm you and make you wish you would spend all of your summer vacations here. To steal your heart completely, we’ll also sail around Hvar and its nearby Dalmatian islands.

With all the adventures described so far, we still have four countries to visit! It is a grand Balkan trip after all.

Mostar and Sarajevo, two of the most lively, fascinating cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans at large, will give us an insight into the cultural influences of the Ottoman Empire on the Balkans. Montenegro’s gorgeous coastal cities of Kotor, Budva, and Ulcinj will give us another taste of the Adriatic. In Albania and North Macedonia, we’ll dive into the different cultures of these countries in their capitals Tirana and Skopje, respectively. But we’ll also make sure to take advantage of Albania’s beautiful Durres beach, and Macedonia’s incredible Lake Ohrid, and take some time to relax.

We’ve tried to convey the beauty of the Balkans in the itinerary above, but you’ll only really believe it once you’ve seen it for yourself. The only thing left for you to do is to book your trip and pack your bags!

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    John Garfield
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    My wife did the planning with The Balkan Tours agency and she was very happy with how easy they made everything. But that was just the beginning! One of the highlights was visiting Dubrovnik, as that has been on our list for a few years now, but everything else ended up being a highlight as well. The countries we visited are phenomenal, but the people are even better - so warm and friendly. We did this as a private tour and it turned out to be a great idea, because the guide was able to adjust to us quite a bit and he went above and beyond for us. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience!
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    Noëlle Sauer
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    Do this trip if you really want to experience the Balkans! And yet at the end, it seemed like we could stay for another 3 weeks and we wouldn't run out of things to do. I wanted to join a shorter tour at first, but after a few emails, I really saw it's best if I stayed a little longer. Best decision ever!
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    Shelton Tanzer
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    Visit these places before everyone hears about it! The mass tourism hasn't hit in a lot of places we visited. We heard so much about this area in the 90s but we really didn't expect it to be so beautiful. It is an interesting contrast between the hardships the people had to go through and how friendly they actually are. I was most surprised about that! The tour was well organized and the guides, the hotels and vehicles were at a very good standard.

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Self-guided

For travellers that want flexibility and independence. We organize the holidays of your choice, but the adventure of getting around is all yours. You will get a fly & drive itinerary with activities, accommodations and travelling tips with full support of our team for any emergencies or concerns. 
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Small group

For solo travellers or travellers who wish to meet other like-minded souls, don’t want to stress about trip planning and would maybe like to enjoy some time on their own as well. You will be travelling with our tour leader in a small group of maximum 8 people in a comfortable van with accommodation, entrance fees and a detailed plan of activities arranged. For guaranteed tour departures we have a minimum of 4 people.
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Guided private

For travellers who want a holiday based on their preferences and needs. You don’t need to worry over itinerary planning or your next move, and at the same time you can enjoy the holidays at your own pace and take as much time on your own whenever needed. We take care of the entire organization and provide you with a professional guide, accommodation, transportation and plan of activities.
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We have expert local guides who not only know the best places, but are great to be around and will go the extra mile for you.
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We handle route planning, transportation, accommodation and anything else you prefer not to deal with and offer 24 hour support.
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