Dubrovnik to Athens Trip Notes

Dubrovnik to Athens

Last Modified: 04 May 2016
Dubrovnik to Athens
Trip code: ZMSM
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
This adventure combines the must-sees of the Balkan region and the lesser-known glories of Macedonia and Albania to create the perfect balance between old and new. Hang out in Dubrovnik's Old Town, cruise around Lake Ohrid, admire Ioannina's archeological glories and sample some moussaka in Greece's capital. This whirlwind adventure through the Balkans is the best way to check out regional hot spots while also experiencing a hefty dollop of cultural hospitality.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesFinish point description
ThemesMeals introductionFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?MealsEmergency contact
Why we love itTransportVisas
MapMoney mattersWhat to take
ItineraryGroup leaderClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyHealth
Physical ratingJoining pointTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Important notesAlternate joining pointResponsible Travel
Group sizeAlternate joining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersAlternate joining point instructionsFeedback
AccommodationFinish point
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
- Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
- Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
- As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.
Why we love it
- Admire the World Heritage-listed architecture of Dubrovnik and Montenegro’s Kotor, climbing along their ancient city walls
- Loose yourself in Tirana, Albania's colourful capital, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: drinking coffee and people-watch
- Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go
- Sitting alongside its Ottoman past, the Macedonian capital of Skopje has fascinatingly reinvented its centre with gleaming neo-classical monuments and buildings, adding a new layer to this fascinating city
- Sip award-winning local wines in a wonderful homestay at the foot of Pelister National Park, Macedonia’s oldest
- Ioannina harnesses the best of the Greek Epiros region – eating, drinking, history, brooding mountains, and lakeshore serenity
- Sit back on some of the most simply stunning beaches around on the island of Levkas. If you can tear yourself away from heavenly sand and water, there are rolling hills and rocky mountains to explore
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Dubrovnik
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia, a place of sunshine, sand and scenery; home to chic cities, coastline, charming cobblestone towns, World Heritage sites and a thriving food and wine scene. The undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik is a beautiful white stone town surrounded entirely by city walls, easily covered on foot. Although it experienced devastation during the war in the early 1990s, the restored old town remains as charming as ever. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm – check with reception to confirm the time and place. 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 have these on hand. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive on time, you may wish to arrive a day early. If you have time why not head out to one of the Elafiti Islands. There's Lopud, a quiet island with lovely hikes, clean beaches and a ruined castle. Kolocep is a sleepy enclave that boasts walks for every fitness level, and Sipan, which is the most populated of the isles and reputedly has the most hospitable inhabitants. After the meeting, perhaps enjoy a meal with the group.
Optional Activities
  • City Sightseeing - HRK90
  • Fish Picnic Cruise - HRK300
  • Franciscan Monastery - HRK30
  • Lokrum Island Boat Trip - HRK75
  • War Photography Museum - HRK40
  • Game of Thrones Tour - HRK200
  • Rector's Palace - HRK70
  • Museum of Croatian War of Independence - Mt Srd - HRK30
  • Church of St. Blaise - Free
  • Hike up Mt Srd - Free
    Accommodation
    Pension (1 nt)
    Day 2 Dubrovnik / Kotor
    Most of today is free to enjoy Dubrovnik. There are many monuments to explore in the city including the 15th century Rector's Palace, monasteries with cloistered gardens, and fine baroque churches with copper domes. The main pedestrian promenade, once a shallow sea channel, is now paved with glistening white limestone, in stark contrast to the warm red terracotta roofs. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful city. A walk along the city walls of ‘Game of Thrones’ fame is not to be missed. Later today, take a private transfer to Kotor on the Montenegrin coast (approximately 3 hours). This 5th-century World Heritage-listed city is set on a secluded bay, with towering peaks surrounding a rocky coastline dotted with pretty waterside towns. In its crooked alleyways, get lost and mingle with the locals. When you arrive, head out on a short orientation walk, checking out the 12th-century Cathedral, the South Gates, and the Armoury Square. Later, perhaps take a cruise on the Kotor Fjord – the longest fjord south of Scandinavia – and visit an island with a church that is almost as big as the island itself! In the evening the city walls are prettily lit up to provide a unique night-time perspective.
    Included Activities
    • Kotor Orientation Walk
      Optional Activities
      • Cruise on Kotor Fjord - EUR30
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Day 3 Tirana
        After breakfast transfer to Tirana, a drive of about 4-5 hours, depending on road conditions and traffic into Tirana. If you think you know Albania, think again. This addictive country has myriad faces. In the rugged north, the Alps are so fierce they're deemed 'accursed', while the south enjoys one of Europe’s least known and most beautiful coastlines. A unique mixture of cultures and customs, Tirana is filled with craziness, from its traffic to its nightlife, but on its doorstep are mosques, citadels, Ottoman architecture and a stunning dose of medieval Balkans. The real surprise of Albania is the people. Their warmth to strangers is infectious and you’re bound to find yourself swapping stories over a glass of raki or three. On arrival take an orientation walk to get your bearings. Tirana is the capital of Albania and its biggest city, though it's small and compact with architectural influences from Italy and Turkey. Recently many buildings have been painted to alleviate the Soviet block feeling that pervaded. Many upgrades have been made all over town such as new parks and wide pavements, a process that's still on-going. Perhaps take a cable car ride up Dajti Mountain for breath-taking views of the city below.
        Included Activities
        • Orientation Walk - Tirana
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 Kruja / Tirana
          Today, take a half-day trip to the mountain village and former Albanian capital of Kruja. Kruja was the last stronghold of Skanderbegs army until the Ottomans took over the entire country. There is plenty of time to explore the citadel and the famous bazaar area. Perhaps pay a visit to the excellent ethnographical museum housed inside the fortress. You’ll then return to Tirana after lunch. Tirana is dotted with many museums. You can't miss the National History Museum – just look for the gargantuan mosaic on the facade that represents the development of Albania's history. The main sight in Tirana is the 1821 Et'hem Bey Mosque, right on the city's main square. Closed under communist rule, the mosque resumed as a place of worship in 1991. 10,000 people attended the reopening and the event was considered a milestone in the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania. Take a look at the frescoes outside and in the portico that depict trees, waterfalls and bridges – motifs rarely seen in Islamic art. Remember to take your shoes off before entering the inner room. If you’d prefer to keep exploring outside of the city, there are rafting and hiking trips available – speak to your leader for details.
          Included Activities
          • Kruja Day Trip
            Optional Activities
            • Et'hem Bey Mosque - Free
            • Rafting and Hiking Trips - ALL6500
            • Sky Tower - Free
            • National Art Gallery - ALL200
            • National History Museum - ALL700
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 5 Lake Ohrid
              Travel by private bus to Ohrid in Macedonia, a drive of about 3 hours, situated on a lake with the same name. Europe’s oldest lake, and one of the oldest human settlements in the world, Ohrid has a wealth of historic sites and religious monuments to discover. Ohrid is an eternal town, a magical hill whose primordial pulsation links ancient and modern times forever. The town is said to have once been home to 365 churches, one for each day of the year, earning it the nickname “the Macedonian Jerusalem”, while historical excavations date back to Neolithic times. Despite being a World Heritage site for over 30 years, the town remains under the radar of visitors. Get your bearings on an orientation walk around Ohrid, maybe picking up a bargain or two in the vibrant Old Bazaar. Then embark on a scenic cruise on the turquoise waters of Lake Ohrid, ringed by mountains, attractive villages and beaches, and take in the views of the town and the surrounding scenery while afloat.
              Included Activities
              • Orientation Walk - Ohrid
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 6 Lake Ohrid
                At 34 kilometres long, 14 kilometres wide, and over 300 meters deep, and shared between Albania and Macedonia, there’s plenty of vast Lake Ohrid to explore. Today is free for you to discover the area. There are many churches and monasteries to visit, but one of the most popular is the Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sveti Jovana Kaneo, situated on a rocky outcrop above town overlooking the lake. Past the church you can wander around to the back of town, exploring the old walls and fortress, and admiring the views of the lake. The Sveti Naum Monastery is also a great option, situated on the shores of the lake south of town, with well-kept grounds that are home to peacocks. The ancient Tast Samoil’s Fortress stands on the top of Ohrid Hill and looks across the town, while a 2,000-year-old Roman theatre was uncovered near the Upper Gate, and in summer it’s again used for concerts and performances. During your time here you may also want to try one of the endless number of hikes found in the mountainous Galicica National Park, sampling some of the flora, fauna, and spectacular views.
                Included Activities
                • Lake Ohrid Boat Ride
                  Optional Activities
                  • Robev Family House National Museum - MKD150
                  • St Jovan Church - MKD100
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 7 Skopje
                    This morning hop onto public bus to Skopje, Macedonia's capital city (approximately 3 hours). In Macedonia’s political and cultural centre, walk past Byzantine domes, Turkish baths, and also newly built neo-classical buildings and grand monuments (aimed to bolster national pride), along with, sample gozleme and tasty baklava. The 30 mosques, innumerable caravanserais and hamams that fill its winding streets are a testament to Skopje’s Ottoman past. Take a step back to those times with a visit to the Daut Pasha Hamam, or journey through the humbling Holocaust Museum to learn how Macedonia suffered during this tragic chapter of history. Get lost in the narrow lanes of Caršija, Skopje's most atmospheric neighbourhood, while Skopje's stone bridge over the river Vardar is an iconic sight and acts as a handy connection between Macedonia Square and the Old Bazaar. Perhaps visit the Museum of the City of Skopje, housed in the old Railway Station, which is a unique piece of history itself. It's unusual, part-ruined exterior is a result of the 1963 earthquake. The large clock on the outside of the building is frozen at 5:17, the moment the earthquake shook the city.
                    Included Activities
                    • Orientation Walk - Skopje
                      Accommodation
                      Hotel (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 8 Matka Canyon / Skopje
                      Venture out to Matka Canyon, a deep ravine cut into the Suva mountains by the Treska River, 15 kilometres southwest of the city. This area is home to several medieval monasteries, caves, and over 70 species of endemic butterflies. There is the option to explore the canyon's sights by boat. One of the monasteries worth exploring is St Andrew's Monastery, which contains many superb valuable frescoes of great artistic importance. There is also Vrelo cavern, a water-filled cave with incredible stalagmites and unchartered depths – speculated to be the deepest underwater cave in the world. Alternatively, you can take one of the many nature walks in the canyon, or up to tracks that hug the ridge high above the valley. In the late afternoon, take a local bus back to Skopje, with the remaining part of the day free for you to continue exploring this exciting city – perhaps take the Mount Vodno cable car to the giant 66-metre high Millennium Cross, mainly for the views back down across the city. For dinner this evening head to the Old Bazaar, or the restaurants in the Debar Maalo area.
                      Optional Activities
                      • Boat Ride - Matka Canyon - MKD139
                      • Museum of the City of Skopje - Free
                      • Kale Fortress - Free
                      • Mount Vodno Cable Car to Millennium Cross - MKD100
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 9 Dihovo / Pelister National Park
                        A 3-hour public bus ride will take you to Pelister National Park, the oldest national park in Macedonia. Located in the Baba Mountain massif, it’s a perfect location for a walk, fresh, crisp and clean air in a beautiful landscape with views that go on for miles over to Lake Prespa in the west. The surroundings are known for their ancient Molika pine trees, and two crystal-clear lakes (‘Pelisterki Oci’) near the Mt Pelister summit known as Pelister’s Eyes. It’s also home to rare species like bearded eagles and lynx, along with wolves and bears. You’ll enjoy a homestay tonight in a wonderful restored traditional house, built in the typical Macedonian stone-and-wood style. There are nearby natural rock pools for swimming in the River Sapungica, which runs through the village. Enjoy a great wine tasting experience tonight – the owner produces his own prize-winning wine, and you’ll get to taste it while trying many local delicacies, including home baked bread, jams, and salami.
                        Included Activities
                        • Wine Tasting - Dihovo
                          Accommodation
                          Homestay (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                          Day 10 Ioannina
                          Take another private transfer across the border into Greece, and on to Ioannina (approximately 3 hours), located in the Epiros region, and built on the banks of Lake Pamvotis. With astounding archaeological sites, islands of extreme beauty, bucolic villages and some of the greatest food you’ll ever consume, Greece should be on every traveller's list. This gem of the Aegean will satisfy your thirst for knowledge, lust for adventure, desire for partying and craving for cuisine. Opa! Ioannina harnesses the best of this region – eating, drinking, history, brooding mountains, and lakeshore serenity.
                          Included Activities
                          • Orientation Walk - Ioannina
                          • Boat trip and Ali Pasa Museum - Ioannina
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 11 Ioannina
                            Take an orientation walk around the town, discovering the wonders of Ioannina while ambling through the city’s old town, castle district and along idyllic Lake Pamvotis. Located in the centre of the town, Ioannina's castle was the heart of the Despotate of Epirus, and the maze-like layout of the old town's streets, many of which lead to dead ends, was allegedly designed to confuse pirates who would get lost within the fortress and be captured before escaping with their booty. One of the most notable attractions of Ioannina is Nisaki Islet in Lake Pamvotis. Take one of the frequent motorboats that ferry visitors to the monastery of Agios Panteleimon located on the islet. Later, jump into Greek culture with a shot of Ouzo and revel in the lively local night-life.
                            Included Activities
                            • Day Trip to Zagoria Villages
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 12 Levkas Island
                              Take a private bus over the causeway to the island of Levkas (also known as Lefkada) on the Ionian sea (approximately 2 hours). The island is said to be the birthplace of Greek goddess Aphrodite, and it has avoided the overdevelopment that has affected some Greek islands. The rural atmosphere remains, with locals making a living through fishing, farming and artisanal crafts. There will be plenty of time to rest and relax on blue waters and expansive white-sand beaches. Choose to follow the crowds to Porto Katsiki beach, which is surrounded by white cliffs. There are daily boat trips that leave from Nidri and Vasiliki harbour that will take you to this and other beaches. Lefkada is also a great place for hiking and nature walks – the island boasts splendid scenery of green rolling hills, rocky limestone mountains, and magnificent waterfalls. The town also has many restaurants that serve excellent seafood and regional cuisine.
                              Included Activities
                              • Orientation Walk - Levkas
                                Accommodation
                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                Meals
                                1 breakfast
                                Day 13 Levkas Island
                                Today is free to continue your exploration of the island. If you’re hanging around Lefkada town you can blend beaches with shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, along will small streets to explore and interesting museums to visit. If you can tear yourself away from the mesmerising mix of bright white sand and heavenly blue water, perhaps try your hand at a challenging hike or mountain bike ride around the surrounding mountains, all of which will afford great views of the Ionian Sea and the rugged coastline. The island is around 70% mountainous and so is one of the best mountain biking spots in Europe. This evening, maybe seek out some local specialities like Savoro, fish seasoned with vinegar and raisins, and Bourdeto, fish cooked in a savory tomato sauce.
                                Accommodation
                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                Meals
                                1 breakfast
                                Day 14 Athens
                                Leave the islands behind and head to the heart of Greece, and the centre of the ancient world. Catch a public bus from Lefkada to Athens (approximately 5 hours). After arriving and transferring to your central hotel, there's much to be seen in the ancient capital of Greece, vibrant and refreshed following the 2004 Olympics, yet still retaining so much visible history. Named after the goddess of wisdom, Athens has a weighty history that spills out over the modern city, represented most dramatically by the ancient Acropolis, where you can enter the Pantheon and enjoy fabulous views over the city. The birthplace of Western civilisation, Athens has an amazing array of historic sites to explore, including the National Gardens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the original Olympic Stadium. Another highlight is the renowned changing of the guard at Syntagma (Parliament) Square. Afterwards, say a fond farewell to the group and your adventure by perhaps tucking into a final dinner of Greek cuisine and a shot (or two) of ouzo.
                                Optional Activities
                                • Urban Adventures - Walking Athens - EUR46
                                • Urban Adventures - Markets, Ruins & Ancient Athens - EUR54
                                • Urban Adventures - Taste of Athens - EUR60
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Day 15 Athens
                                  There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see and do in Greece's capital you may want to extend your stay here, perhaps taking part in one of our Urban Adventures day trips, such as ‘Taste of Athens’ or ‘Markets, Ruins and Ancient Athens’. We are happy to assist with additional accommodation, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.
                                  Optional Activities
                                  • Urban Adventures - Walking Athens - EUR46
                                  • Urban Adventures - Taste of Athens - EUR60
                                  • Urban Adventures - Markets, Ruins & Ancient Athens - EUR54
                                  • Urban Adventures - Twilight Athens - EUR77
                                  • Urban Adventures - Bohemian Tales of the City - EUR61
                                  • Day Trip to Delphi - EUR33
                                  • Lycabettus Hill - Free
                                  • Numismatic Museum - EUR3
                                  • National Archaeological Museum - EUR7
                                  • Day Trip to the Saronic Islands - EUR20
                                  • Dora Stratou - EUR15
                                  • Acropolis Pass for 5 Sites - EUR20
                                    Meals
                                    1 breakfast
                                    Itinerary disclaimer
                                    ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                                    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                                    Physical rating

                                    Included activities
                                    Kotor Orientation Walk
                                    Orientation Walk - Tirana
                                    Kruja Day Trip
                                    Orientation Walk - Ohrid
                                    Lake Ohrid Boat Ride
                                    Orientation Walk - Skopje
                                    Wine Tasting - Dihovo
                                    Orientation Walk - Ioannina
                                    Boat trip and Ali Pasa Museum - Ioannina
                                    Day Trip to Zagoria Villages
                                    Orientation Walk - Levkas
                                    Important notes
                                    A single supplement will be available for this trip. Please see trip notes for details.

                                    Group size
                                    Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                    Your fellow travellers
                                    GROUP TRAVEL
                                    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                                    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                                    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                                    A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
                                    The price of the Single Supplement includes all night of this tour.
                                    Accommodation
                                    Homestay (1nt), Hotel (12nt), Pension (1nt)
                                    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                                    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                                    TWIN SHARE BASIS
                                    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                                    CHECK-IN TIME
                                    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                                    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                                    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                                    FACILITIES
                                    Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.
                                    Meals introduction
                                    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                                    Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                                    There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).
                                    Meals
                                    13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                                    Transport
                                    Public bus, Ferry, Private vehicle, Taxi

                                    TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                                    Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

                                    LONG TRAVEL DAYS
                                    As we cover lots of ground on this trip, expect some long travel days on local trains and buses. This is an opportunity to mix with the locals and enjoy the scenery out the window. Travel schedules are known to change with little notice. Not all transport may have air conditioning.
                                    Money matters
                                    CURRENCY
                                    The local currency of Croatia is the Croatian Kuna (HRK), in Albania it is the Albania Lek (ALL) and Macedonia uses the Macedonian Denar (MKD). Greece has adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR). Since independence Montenegro also uses the Euro, even though they are not a member of the EU.

                                    CASH
                                    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services.

                                    SPENDING MONEY
                                    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                                    BUDGET
                                    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 450.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                                    TIPPING
                                    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                                    EMERGENCY FUNDS
                                    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
                                    Group leader
                                    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                                    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                                    Safety
                                    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                                    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                                    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                                    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

                                    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                                    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                                    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                                    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                                    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                                    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                    SEAT BELTS:
                                    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                                    ATHENS METRO
                                    We have had reports of travellers being pickpocketed on public transport in Athens. Please be careful with valuables whilst travelling on the metro or the bus.

                                    SCAMS
                                    Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.
                                    Joining point
                                    Pension Monastery
                                    Branitelja 19
                                    Dubrovnik
                                    20000
                                    CROATIA
                                    Phone: +385 98 243 655
                                    Joining point instructions
                                    Pension Monastery is part of a working monastery in the heart of Dubrovnik, right next to the old town. The catholic nuns are running the accommodation as part of the monastery - the rooms are rented to pilgrims, students, people from other convents, people attending religious events and tourists that manage to find them. They do not advertise online. The nuns do not speak English but are very friendly and welcoming. There is no 24 hour reception but each guest gets their own key and you can come and go as you please. No breakfast is available in the property but there is a small kitchenette with tea/coffee making facilities and a fridge in the building.

                                    Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with Intrepid's Logo or your name at the arrivals hall. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number:+385 98 285 298, +385 99 2129 789
                                    Alternate joining point
                                    For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                                    14 May 2016 (ZMSM160514)
                                    Sesame Inn
                                    Dante Alighieria b.b
                                    Dubrovnik
                                    20000
                                    CROATIA
                                    Phone: +385 91 456 7098
                                    Alternate joining point description
                                    Alternate joining point instructions
                                    Finish point
                                    Attalos Hotel
                                    29 Athinas Street
                                    Monastiraki
                                    Athens
                                    GREECE
                                    Phone: 30 2103212801
                                    Finish point description
                                    The Attalos hotel is situated in the historic district of Athens, ideally located for sightseeing. All rooms have air conditioning and are fully equipped with modern facilities. There is a roof top garden and bar that provides a great view of the Acropolis.
                                    Finishing point instructions
                                    If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.

                                    Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 2 hours and half before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +30 6932 605 230.

                                    ATHENS METRO: We have had reports of travellers being pickpocketed on public transport in Athens. Please be careful with valuables whilst travelling on the metro or the bus.
                                    Emergency contact
                                    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                                    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                                    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                                    For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

                                    Peak Europe: +49 8677 9186 657
                                    Visas
                                    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                    Visas for Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.
                                    What to take
                                    PACKING
                                    On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                                    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
                                    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

                                    WATER BOTTLE:
                                    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                                    IMAGES FROM HOME:
                                    During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.
                                    Climate and seasonal information
                                    HOT WEATHER
                                    Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                                    Health
                                    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                                    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
                                    Travel insurance
                                    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                                    A couple of rules
                                    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                    Responsible Travel
                                    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                                    DRESS CODE
                                    In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

                                    The Intrepid Foundation
                                    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                                    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                                    http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                                    Feedback
                                    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback

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