Travel across historic Eastern Europe from Hungary to Croatia

Welcome to the Balkans - where East meets West and new merges almost seamlessly with old. Over the centuries people have travelled to this region of Eastern Europe for its fertile soil, natural resources and healing waters. This enchanting land, which has remained virtually untouched by tourism, boasts rich tradition, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. With historical attractions in Budapest, nightlife in Belgrade, Montenegro's Durmitor National Park and lively Dubrovnik city, this adventure tour is delightfully different.

Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Countries
Bosnia & Herzegovina,
Croatia,
Hungary,
Montenegro,
Serbia
Themes
Explorer
Code
WMSK
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
214kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Cross the Chain Bridge in Budapest
  • Spy curious wildlife in Kopacki Rit Nature Park
  • Sip Serbian wine at a family-run vineyard
  • Experience Belgrade's famous nightlife
  • Be humbled by ruins in Mostar city
  • Admire the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik's city walls

Itinerary

Szia! Welcome to Hungary. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception about where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

In the evening after the welcome meeting, perhaps take a night walk along the Danube River to see the surrounding buildings and bridges lit up in lights, or head out with some of your new travel buddies to one of Budapest's funky 'ruin pubs'.
Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest. Known as 'The Pearl of the Danube', Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water. Perhaps take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to the castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building. With so much to see and do, hiring a bicycle is another great way to move between the sights. Perhaps head to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. You might like to take a tour of the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House, or check out the Museum of Fine Arts or the Hungarian National Museum. One unmissable activity is a soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. You could also take part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours, such as the Budapest Explorer or Bites and Sights. Check them out at urbanadventures.com.

Note: Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check opening times and plan your arrival into Budapest accordingly.
Today take a six-hour train through the Hungarian Puszta to the Slavonian capital of Osijek. Osijek features an enchanting medieval citadel, as well as the New Town, only a short walk along the banks of the Drava. Many cafes line the river, inviting you to join in on the Croatian national pastime: people watching.
Today is a free day to explore Osijek and its surrounds. Those wishing to learn more about recent history can take an optional trip to nearby Vukovar. The town's ruined water tower now stands as a memorial of the ethnic war that raged in this region during the early 1990's. You might prefer to visit the small provincial town of Dakovo, about 35 kilometres south of Osijek. The town is dominated by an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral. While here, don't miss seeing a workout session at the Lipizzaner horse training stables and learn about their history from a local guide. You could also use the day to visit the wetlands of Kopacki Rit Nature Reserve for a spot of bird watching, visit nearby Tikves Castle, or historical Batina Hill from where you can see both Hungary and Serbia across the Danube. However you're feeling, there are plenty of options to choose from today.
Today cross into Serbia by bus and head to the historic town of Novi Sad (approximately three hours). Sitting on the banks of the Danube River, the city is surrounded by fertile farms and vineyards and features an interesting mix of Serbian cultural heritage and Austro-Hungarian architecture. The group will visit a local vineyard in Sremski Karlovci to see the workings of a family-run wine making business. Also attached is a unique honey museum where you can sample the local produce.
Travel by two-hour train or bus to Belgrade. Known as the' White City', Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe and is an important intersection between Eastern and Western Europe. On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the city. In the evening, head down to Skadarska Street in the Bohemian Quarter to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively entertainment.
Today is a free day to further discover Belgrade. You might like to take a 90-minute cruise along the Danube River, passing the Kalemegdan Fortress, Pancevo Bridge and the artist village of Zemun. The markets near the Hram Svetog Save (St Sava Church) and Pijaca Venac will keep you occupied for hours. Perhaps take a stroll through the Nikola Tesla Museum to learn about the life and work of Serbia's greatest inventor, or check out the city's Ethnographic or Military Museums. If the weather is warm, why not brave the crowds on Ada Ciganlija beach, where you can swim, take part in water-sports or simply soak up the sun with a cocktail? Throughout the summer months, Belgrade hosts a variety of musical and cultural events and the city is abuzz with people and activities.
Today travel by bus through beautiful countryside to Sarajevo. The journey will take around seven hours in total, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Sarajevo is Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital. More than ten years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful destinations. On arrival, embark on an orientation walk to gain insight into the history and culture of the city. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's oldest bazaar. Try the local speciality of bosanski cevapi (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices).
Today head out of Sarajevo for a day trip to Mostar. Mostar was the most heavily bombed city in Bosnia during the war. The town has since been rebuilt, however, and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. On arrival, head to the famous Stari Most bridge, which made headline news during the Yugoslav wars. There's an interesting museum about its history next to the bridge itself. In the evening return to Sarajevo, where you'll enjoy a cooking class and included dinner with the group.
Enjoy a free day in and around Sarajevo. You could take an optional day trip out to the thermal springs and green parks of Ilidza, the source of the River Bosna. You might prefer to discover local history with a visit to the Sarajevo War Tunnels, or learn about the tragedies faced by the city's Jews at the Jewish Museum. Perhaps get cultural with a stroll through the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or get active with some white water rafting on the Neretva River.
Catch a five-hour bus through beautiful countryside to Montenegro. Get back to nature and into the heart of stunning Durmitor National Park. This World Heritage site was formed by glaciers and is crisscrossed with rivers, lakes and underground streams. Enjoy a hike through the mountains and keep an eye out for some of the 163 species of bird or 50 species of mammal the region is home to. Then tuck into a delicious barbecue dinner on the terrace of the guesthouse.
Today drive to Kotor. This World Heritage-listed city is set on a secluded bay. Head out on a short orientation walk, checking out the ancient Cathedral of St Tryphun. The tour will also take you past the South Gates of Kotor (the Gurdich Gate) and the Armoury Square. Afterwards, you might like to climb the hills behind the city to visit Kotor's ruined castles. A one-and-a-half hour hike to the fortress at the top rewards you with magnificent views across town.
Today you have the opportunity to take part in optional day trips out of Kotor. Perhaps take a cruise on Kotor Fjord, visiting grottos and the island church in the middle of the bay. Alternatively, consider a trip to Budva, a mere 30-minute busy ride out of Kotor. With its busy beaches and charming Old Town, Budva is Montenegro's version of Miami. Enjoy a final night in Kotor.
Depart Montenegro on a three-hour bus along the beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik. On arrival, head out on a guided walk along the city walls, enjoying views of the sparkling Adriatic Ocean. You'll also visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, built by the European architect Onofrio della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city. After the tour, perhaps check out the 13th-century Franciscan monastery or the Sponza and Rector's Palaces, the only Renaissance buildings in the city to survive a devastating earthquake and fire in 1667. You might like to check out the city's War Photography Museum, or even take a boat trip to nearby Lokrum Island. At the end of your journey, perhaps you'd prefer to simply unwind on a beach. On the last night of your trip, why not enjoy one last meal with the group and toast to your adventures?
Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
12 breakfasts1 dinner
Transport
Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi
Accommodation
Guesthouse (3 nights), Hostel (1 night), Hotel (7 nights), Pension (3 nights)
Included activities
  • City Walls Walk
  • Cooking Class & Dinner
  • Guided Tour Belgrade
  • Guided Tour Sarajevo
  • Honey Museum Sremski Karlovci
  • Mostar Day Trip

Dates

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Reviews

Our Balkan Adventure trips score an average of 4.81 out of 5 based on 104 reviews in the last year.

Balkan Adventure , September 2015

Balkan Adventure , September 2015