Balkan Adventure Trip Notes

Balkan Adventure

Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016
Balkan Adventure
Trip code: WMSK
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
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.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point description
ThemesMeals introductionAlternate finish 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 descriptionA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel
Group sizeFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinishing point instructionsFeedback
AccommodationAlternate finish 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. Please note that only some of our hotels and none of the public trains and buses in this region have air-conditioning.
- 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. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Rooms can be rather small, especially by American or Australian standards.
Why we love it
- Cross the Chain Bridge in Budapest and take the funicular up to Buda Castle for beautiful views over Pest
- Sip Serbian wine at a family-run vineyard in quaint Sremski Karlovci, just outside of Novi Sad. Known as the Serbian Athens, Novi Sad has been built, destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries
- Wander through Belgrade’s Bohemian quarter and grand 19th-century boulevards, before launching yourself into its animated nightlife
- Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river here for centuries
- Sarajevo is one of the most scenically located cities in Europe. See the sights on a guided walking tour and learn about its recent history as a city under siege
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Budapest
Szia! Welcome to Hungary. Budapest is Hungary's intoxicating capital, on the banks of the Danube River. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm 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 arrive on time for this meeting, 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 have these details on hand. After the welcome meeting this evening, 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'.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Budapest
Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest, known as 'The Pearl of the Danube'. Admire intricate carvings on resplendent buildings, cross the iconic Chain Bridge to explore the Castle District, or simply meander through winding streets snacking on local delicacies. 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 Hungarian National Museum. One unmissable activity is a soak in the healing waters of 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.
Optional Activities
  • Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF2900
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Pub Crawl - HUF5000
  • Thermal Bath - HUF4500
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Danube Boat Trip - EUR15
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Urban Adventures - Happy Hour Budapest - EUR55
  • Urban Adventures - Budapest Custom Tour - EUR35
  • Budapest Central Market - Free
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 3 Osijek
    Cross the border into Croatia and travel by private van through the Hungarian Puszta to a land of cornfields, vineyards and pastel-hued villages, famed for its cuisine – the Slavonian capital of Osijek (approximately 4 hours). This laid-back university town features an enchanting medieval citadel (Tvrđa), as well as the Upper 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. Osijek is a fairly well-designed city easily navigated on foot. There are also numerous cycling routes throughout the city. Navigate the hallways of grand buildings, stroll along the banks of the Drava River or pick up the true flavours of this destination at a local cafe.
    Accommodation
    Guesthouse (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast
    Day 4 Osijek
    Today is a free day to explore Osijek and its surrounds. You might like 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. Nearby to Đakovo is Vukovar, a town that symbolises the devastation of the recent war – the town fell in 1991 after the fiercest and most protracted battle seen in Europe since 1945. 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. In Osijek itself there’s the Museum of Slavonia and the Archaeological Museum to explore. Or you could just hire a bike and cycle around this delightful region. However you're feeling, there are plenty of options to choose from today. This evening, maybe discover some of the best cuisine in Croatia with traditional dishes like fiš paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles), kulen (spicy sausages), and čobanac (stew).
    Optional Activities
    • Vukovar Day Trip - HRK120
    • Day Trip to Dakovo, Kopački Rit Nature Reserve and Tikveš Castle (including lunch) - HRK300
    • Half-day Trip to Batina Hill and Kamenac Village - EUR12
    • Museum of Slavonia - HRK10
    • Osijek Archaeological Museum - HRK10
    • Bike Hire - HRK75
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 5 Novi Sad
      Today cross into Serbia by bus. There is the option to learn more about recent history by taking a side trip to nearby Vukovar en-route (this is at an extra cost, but highly recommended). The town's ruined water tower now stands as a memorial of the ethnic war that raged in this region during the early 1990s. Head to the historic town of Novi Sad (approximately 3 hours). Sitting on the banks of the Danube River, the city is surrounded by fertile farms and vineyards and features an interesting mix of traditional Serbian cultural heritage and Austro-Hungarian architecture. In the afternoon head out of town to visit a local vineyard in Sremski Karlovci and see the workings of a family-run wine making business. Attached is a unique honey museum where you can sample the local produce while relishing the scenic surroundings. If there’s time, you could stop by the city’s fortress of Petrovaradin, which sits right on the Danube and contains a museum of historic artefacts from the region.
      Included Activities
      • Honey Museum Sremski Karlovci
        Optional Activities
        • Petrovaradin Fortress - Free
        • Museum of Vojvodina - RSD150
        • City Museum of Novi Sad - RSD300
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 6 Belgrade
          Travel by two-hour train or bus to Belgrade. Known as the' White City', Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Sitting at the confluence of two major rivers the – Sava and the Danube – it’s an important intersection between Eastern and Western Europe. Here you’ll experience an energetic mix of progressive flamboyance and conservative customs. On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s wide boulevards and squares, and the historic and green heart of Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kelmegdan Fortress, which has overlooked the Danube River here for centuries. In the evening, head down to Skadarska Street in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively atmosphere, in a place where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.
          Included Activities
          • Guided Tour Belgrade
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 7 Belgrade
            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. You can climb the 36-metre, 1896 Gardos tower in Zemun for sweeping views of the city and the Danube, or get crash course in Serbian contemporary art at Zepter Museum. 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. The city’s nightlife has become legendary throughout Europe, with several hundred floating bars, restaurants and nightclubs lining the Danube and Sava rivers.
            Optional Activities
            • Military Museum - RSD150
            • National Museum - RSD300
            • Ethnographic Museum - RSD150
            • River Cruise - RSD500
            • Nikola Tesla Museum - RSD500
            • Tito’s Mausoleum (House of Flowers) - RSD300
            • Sveti Sava Church - Free
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Day 8 Sarajevo
              Today travel by bus through beautiful countryside to Sarajevo. The journey will take around eight hours in total, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Sarajevo is Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital. Twenty years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful and interesting destinations. The city often draws comparisons with Istanbul as a city that mixes east and west – dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and the aroma of coffee. On arrival, embark on a guided tour to gain an insight into the history and culture of the city. Sarajevo is one of the few cities in the world that features an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque (the famous Begova Džamija) all within close proximity. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's old bazaar. Out from here the city’s history unfolds – from Ottoman-era buildings to the elaborate constructions of the Austro-Hungarian period and on to the ugly structures of the communists. Try the local speciality of bosanski cevapi (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices).
              Included Activities
              • Guided Tour Sarajevo
                Accommodation
                Pension (1 nt)
                Day 9 Sarajevo / Mostar
                Today head out of Sarajevo for a day trip to Mostar, a town situated in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of Herzegovina (approximately 2.5 hours). Thanks to the river Neretva Mostar was able to develop as a city in the barren landscape of Herzegovina. Neretva's size turned Mostar into a trading centre of the region very early on. The city was the most heavily bombed settlement in Bosnia during the war, but it has since been rebuilt and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. On arrival, head to the famous Stari Most Bridge, built by the Ottomans in 1565 – it was the great architect Mimar Hajrudin who succeeded with the impossible mission to cross the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. The bridge also made headline news during the Yugoslav wars when it was destroyed in 1993. It was rebuilt and reopened in 2004, and there’s an interesting museum about its history next to the bridge itself. If you’re lucky you’ll see the famous bridge divers hurl themselves into the icy waters below. It’s a tradition for the young men of the town to make the jump, and it’s now an annual competition. In the evening, return to Sarajevo, where you'll enjoy a cooking class and included dinner at your pension.
                Included Activities
                • Cooking Class & Dinner Sarajevo
                • Mostar Day Trip
                  Optional Activities
                  • Mostar - Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque & Minaret - BAM4
                  • Mostar - Old Bridge Museum - BAM5
                  • Mostar - War Photo Exhibition - BAM6
                    Accommodation
                    Pension (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                    Day 10 Sarajevo
                    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 History Museum and the Sarajevo War Tunnels (dug underneath the airport runway and used to smuggle provisions into the city during its siege), 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. Perhaps return to Baščaršija and get lost in the mosques, caravanserais, and stone-vaulted bazaars, snacking on burek or ćevapi, or ramble along through Park Prinčeva for views of the city. The Pivnica HS brewery, which also has a restaurant, is a good place to sample local award-winning beer and spend an evening.
                    Optional Activities
                    • Svrzo's House - BAM3
                    • National Museum - BAM6
                    • Tunnel Museum - BAM10
                    • Jewish Museum - BAM3
                    • Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina - BAM5
                    • Ilidza Park and Springs - BAM15
                      Accommodation
                      Pension (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 11 Durmitor National Park
                      Catch a five-hour bus through beautiful countryside to Montenegro, arguably one of the most stunning countries in the world. Get back to nature by travelling into the heart of the beautiful Durmitor National Park. This World Heritage site was formed by glaciers and is crisscrossed with rugged mountains (40 of which reach over 2,000 metres in height), pristine pine forests, two deep canyons, rivers, crystal lakes and underground streams. Enjoy a hike through this wonderful, lesser-explored wilderness, through the mountains and keep an eye out for some of the 163 species of bird or 50 species of mammal that the region is home to. In the evening perhaps tuck into a delicious barbecue dinner on the terrace of the guesthouse.
                      Included Activities
                      • Durmitor National Park Hiking
                        Accommodation
                        Guesthouse (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 12 Kotor

                        Today drive to Kotor (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. When you arrive, head out on a short orientation walk, checking out the 12th-century Cathedral of St Tryphun. The tour will also take you past the South Gates of Kotor (the Gurdich Gate) and the Armoury Square (Trg od oruzija). Afterwards, you might like to get delightfully lost in the crooked alleyways, checking out the boutiques and cafes, or climb the hills behind the city to visit Kotor's ruined fortification walls. A one-and-a-half hour hike up the stone steps, past churches, gates, and bastions to the Fortress of Sveti Ivan at the top rewards you with magnificent views across town and the brooding Bay of Kotor. In the evening the city walls are prettily lit up to provide a unique night-time perspective.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 13 Kotor
                        Today you have the opportunity to take part in optional day trips out of Kotor. Perhaps take a cruise on Kotor Fjord, visiting the twin islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and Sveti Dordje (St George), with its church in the middle of the bay. Legends has it that sailors once spotted an image of the Virgin Mary on a rock here, and so then each time they completed a successful voyage they added another rock as an offering. Eventually so many were added that an island emerged and the church was built on top of it. Alternatively, consider a trip to Budva, a mere 30-minute busy ride out of Kotor. With its busy beaches, charming Old Town, bustling restaurants and bars, Budva is like Montenegro's little version of Miami. For some more history, head up to Montenegro's former capital Cetinje, now a laidback village with grand mansions that were used as embassies in days gone by. Enjoy a final night in Kotor, perhaps enjoying some of the live music that gets the cobbled streets busy.
                        Optional Activities
                        • Cruise on Kotor Fjord - EUR30
                        • Budva Day Trip - EUR6
                        • Kotor Maritime Museum - EUR4
                        • St. Tryphon’s Cathedral - EUR2
                        • Kotor Fortress - EUR3
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Day 14 Dubrovnik
                          Depart Montenegro on a three-hour bus along the beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik's walled old town is often referred to as the pearl of the Adriatic despite its tiny size, and it's now famed for it's part in the TV show ‘Game of Thrones’. 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 if you have time, even take a boat trip to nearby Lokrum Island, where you will find the French-built Fort Royal Castle, a monastery, and a botanical garden that dates back to when the Austrian archduke Maximilian had his holiday home on the 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.
                          Included Activities
                          • City Walls Walk Dubrovnik
                            Accommodation
                            Hostel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 15 Dubrovnik
                            Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time. There's lots to see and do here in the wonderful city of Dubrovnik, so perhaps stay a few extra days.
                            Optional Activities
                            • Game of Thrones Tour - HRK200
                            • Franciscan Monastery - HRK30
                            • Beach Chair Rental - HRK75
                            • Fish Picnic Cruise - HRK300
                            • Lokrum Island Boat Trip - HRK75
                            • War Photography Museum - HRK40
                            • Rector's Palace - HRK70
                            • Museum of Croatian War of Independence - Mt Srd - HRK30
                            • Hike up Mt Srd - Free
                              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.

                              MUSEUM OPENING TIMES Please note that many sights, attractions and museums are closed on Mondays.
                              Physical rating

                              Included activities
                              Honey Museum Sremski Karlovci
                              Guided Tour Belgrade
                              Guided Tour Sarajevo
                              Cooking Class & Dinner Sarajevo
                              Mostar Day Trip
                              Durmitor National Park Hiking
                              City Walls Walk Dubrovnik
                              Important notes
                              A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

                              Group size
                              Maximum of 16 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 doesn't include the following nights where single rooms may not be available:

                              Day 12 and 13: Kotor

                              If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night.
                              Accommodation
                              Guesthouse (3nt), Hostel (1nt), Hotel (7nt), Pension (3nt)
                              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
                              12 breakfasts, 1 dinner
                              Transport
                              Private vehicle, Public bus, 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 Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF), in Serbia it is the Serbian Dinar (RSD), in Bosnia & Herzegovina the Bosnian Convertible Mark (BAM) and Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna (HRK). After independence Montenegro has adopted the common currency of the European Union, the Euro (EUR), 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 375.00 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.

                              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.

                              BIKE HELMETS:
                              Please note that helmets are not always provided for sightseeing on bicycles.

                              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.
                              Joining point
                              Star Inn Hotel
                              Dessewffy Utca 36
                              Budapest
                              HUNGARY
                              Phone: +36 147 220 21
                              Joining point description
                              Star Inn Hotel is a new property located in the heart of Budapest, near the famous opera house. With 24 hour reception, a bar and breakfast area, the rooms include private bathrooms, TV, internet access and hairdryer.
                              Joining point instructions
                              Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is located 16km southeast of Budapest.

                              By taxi: Metered taxis are available from arrivals at all terminals and will cost approximately HUF7000.

                              By train: Regular trains run between Ferihegy railway station (Budapest Airport Terminal 1) and Budapest Nyugati (West) Railway Station. To transfer to Terminal 1 from Terminal 2A or 2B take the number 200E bus. Tickets can be purchased at "Tourinform" at Terminal 1 between 8am and 10pm or at platform B at the railway ticket vending machine. The cost is HUF530 with the journey taking approximately 30 minutes.

                              From the station it is a 10-15 minute walk to the Star Inn Hotel. Exit the station and head south east onTeréz körút. Follow this road for 400m and turn right into Dessewffy utca. Star Inn Hotel is on the right hand side after 200 metres. Alternatively take a short taxi ride from the station to the hotel.

                              Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +36 302 801 219
                              Finish point
                              Hostel Sol
                              Obala Ivana Pavla II 13
                              Dubrovnik
                              CROATIA
                              Phone: +385 20 610 300
                              Finishing point instructions
                              Pre booked departure transfer: If you have pre booked a departure transfer to the airport, You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 and a half hours 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: +385 98 285 298 OR +385 99 2129 789
                              Alternate finish point
                              For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                              30 Apr 2016 (WMSK160430), 14 May 2016 (WMSK160514)
                              Hotel Petka
                              Obala Stjepana Radića 38
                              Dubrovnik
                              CROATIA
                              Phone: +385 (20) 410 500
                              Alternate finish point description
                              Alternate finish point instructions
                              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: +49 867 791 866 57
                              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 Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia 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.

                              BORDER CROSSINGS:
                              Passports have to be carried however stamps are rarely issued at border crossings.
                              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.

                              On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.

                              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
                              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.
                              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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