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Budapest to Bled
Tour through Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia
Come on a journey where East meets West and new merges imperceptibly with old. This enchanting corner of Europe holds much tradition and has a rich and diverse culture. Embark on a memorable adventure tour and discover its natural beauty, mouth-watering cuisine, pulsating nightlife and hospitable locals. Experience both history and nature at their best - from cosmopolitan Budapest to ancient Ostrog Monastery, from Dubrovnik's city walls to the tranquillity of Rab Island. Make new friends, quaff wine and lose yourself in the serenity of this charming and picturesque European region.
What's included in this trip
Budapest to Bled SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Arrive in Budapest, Hungary's intoxicating capital, on the banks of the Danube River. Admire intricate carvings on resplendent buildings, cross the iconic Chain Bridge to explore the Castle District or perhaps see the city from its best angle on a boat cruise. In free time, uncover national history on a visit to Heroes' Square, head to the Szechenyi Baths for a soak in the healing waters or simply meander through winding streets snacking on local delicacies.
Cross the border into Croatia and travel to Osijek. Navigate the hallways of grand buildings, stroll along the banks of the Drava River or pick up the true flavours of this destination during a wine and food tasting session. Travel deep into the Kopacki Rit Nature Park, the largest wetland area in Europe, and seek out otters, beavers and host of other curious wildlife.
Experience how Novi Sad, with its fascinating blend of traditional culture and Austro-Hungarian architecture, is one of the most enthralling cities in Serbia. Call into a family-run vineyard and a unique honey museum while relishing the scenic environs of Sremski Karlovci.
Soak up the history of Belgrade city, one of the oldest in Europe, and experience a mix of progressive flamboyance and conservative customs. Visit the confluence of two major rivers, the Sava and the Danube, to see why Belgrade is such an important link between Eastern and Western Europe. Mosey through the Bohemian quarter or explore city boulevards where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.
Travel through serene countryside to Sarajevo, the lively capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the evening, be sure to visit Bascarsija, the main street of Sarajevo, to find the best bosanski cevapi - grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices. Perhaps enjoy a day trip from Sarajevo to Mostar to see a town that was reduced to rubble during the Yugoslav wars and has since been rebuilt, becoming an important symbol of the new Balkans.
Follow pilgrims up the rocky mountain path to Ostrog, a 17th-century monastery in the mountains of Montenegro. Hike to the upper monastery where relics of the founder, Saint Vasilije, are kept then head down to the lower monastery to spend the night in humble konaks.
Get delightfully lost in the crooked alleyways of Kotor. Climb the hills behind the city to discover the ruined castle of the former ruler. In free time, enjoy a cruise on the Kotor Fjord or consider a day trip to Budva, a popular coastal town nearby.
ee how Dubrovnik bursts with history, from steep, cobbled streets and stunning architecture to the enveloping city walls. Uncover hidden treasures in the Old Town or perhaps take a boat ride to the island of Lokrum for a spot of swimming, where it is said that Richard the Lionheart was once shipwrecked. If time permits, get a snapshot of Croatian history at one of many museums or take a quiet moment inside an old cathedral. After a day of exploring, walk up Srd Hill for spectacular views of the city and the Dalmatian coastline.
Travel to Korcula by ferry or bus and stay in simple accommodation with generous local hosts. Take in the serene forest landscape dotted with tranquil inlets and character-filled vineyards, and a place where residents show immense pride in their island home. Try traditional delicacies while relaxing on the patio of a local farm and taste some travarica, a grappa-like drink, before partaking in the island's famous cakes for dessert. In free time, pay a visit to the Marco Polo Tower, go shopping, swimming or just soak up the ambience.
Experience the beauty of Hvar - the queen of the Dalmatian Islands. Wander past wonderfully preserved Renaissance facades and vast fields of lavender and rosemary. Enjoy some quality time on the beach or chill out over a few cocktails in a waterside bar.
Arrive in Split, the soul of Dalmatia and the site of Emperor Diocletian's well-preserved palace. This vibrant, World Heritage-listed town is a mixture of a golden past and present-day delights, and is easily explored on foot. While here, see the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city as well as the Cathedral in Diocletian's Peristyle and Jupiter's Temple.
Head north into the vivid green landscape of Plitvice Lakes National Park, hemmed in by striking mountains and boasting some of the most postcard-perfect scenery in Croatia. Then swap the ethereal beauty of Plitvice for the stark karst ridges of Pag Island and the beaches of Novalja.
Embrace the heady flavours of Pag cheese, eaten with sliced black olives. In free time, perhaps grab a bike and cruise about at a leisurely pace. Enjoy an excursion to Lun, where ancient olive trees appear to grow out of the stone.
Conjure scenes of battle on a visit to Pula’s Roman Amphitheatre, relish a taste of nostalgia in the Old Town and perhaps encounter treasured relics in the Archaelogical Museum. To truly appreciate the enduring nature of this town, follow the Roman walls on the eastern boundary, passing through the Triumphal Arch of Sergius.
Cross the border into Slovenia and travel into the Julian Alps. With a mountainous backdrop, picturesque lake and impressive fortress, Bled is a wonderful place to conclude the adventure. Perhaps cycle around the Lake Bled shoreline, row a boat out to the island or hike in the nearby Vintgar Gorge. Be sure to take in the sweeping views from Bled Castle - a medieval fortress perched on top of a cliff and overlooking stunning Lake Bled. Celebrate the end of the trip by indulging in a slice of kremsnita, the local dessert.
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