Europe

11-Day Beautiful Balkans Tour in Historic Europe

Discover the natural splendour and history of Europe’s beautiful Balkan Peninsula on an unforgettable 11-day tour, taking you from Albania to Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia. Soak up spectacular scenery – including lush pine forests, caves, tranquil lakes and waterfalls – and explore historic cities, ancient castles and UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. Includes premium accommodation, daily breakfasts and select additional meals, guided sightseeing and more.

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AUD$1,699/person

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$2,619
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Explore the beauty and culture of Europe’s Balkan Peninsula on an 11-day tour of Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia.

What You’ll Love...

The Tour – Fairytale Castles, Alpine Mountains and Ancient Towns

With scenery including lush emerald-green forest, still lakes, the glittering waters of the Adriatic Sea, Alpine mountains and tiny medieval towns, this South-Eastern Europe tour is a true feast for the eyes.

Travel to Tirana, capital of Albania with its colourful buildings; Montenegro – the jewel of the Mediterranean; the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Durmitor National Park and Tara River Canyon, one of the deepest gorges in Europe where thick pines forests meet clear lakes; the Croatian cites of Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb; the 16 interconnecting lakes of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park and more.

Soak up the history of the Adriatic Coast in Shkodra, one of Albania's oldest cities, a 13th century Montenegrin monastery, Split Old Town with its cobbled streets and Roman palace, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dubrovnik Old Town with its monasteries and churches.

Venture into real-life fairytale castles and palaces such as the 11th century Bled Castle (the oldest in Slovenia), Rozafa Castle (one of the largest and most famous in Albania), The Rector’s Palace in Old Dubrovnik and the King Nicola Museum, the former palace of Montenegro’s last royal family which today houses priceless works of art and furnishings.

The beauty of Bled ranks it amongst the world’s most spectacular Alpine resorts and you’ll have the chance to see this postcard-perfect destination in its full glory, with its emerald-green lake, medieval castle and majestic Alpine mountains soaring into the clouds.

Enhance your experience with optional extra tours such as a home-hosted dinner in Dubelj where you can learn the traditional techniques behind the production of olive oil, dinner at a family-run Croatian restaurant and a tour of the medieval town of Radovljica.

Your Package Includes:

  • Ten nights of premium accommodation in hotels such as Bled’s Park Hotel, scenically nestled on the shore of Lake Bled in Slovenia, and the Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel close to the beach in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
  • Daily breakfasts, one lunch and four dinners across the duration of the tour
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary on an air-conditioned coach
  • Wireless headphones for an enhanced touring experience
  • The services of an English-speaking tour manager and local guides in major cities
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Hotel taxes, fees, service charges and porterage, tipping and gratuities

The '7 day change of mind guarantee' does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Luxury Escapes Refund Policy applies.

Valid for the following departure dates:

7 November 2018

14 November 2018

21 November 2018

20 March 2019

27 March 2019

3 April 2019

10 April 2019

The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged eight years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise, an additional single traveller surcharge will apply (see below). Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

Single Traveller Surcharge: If travelling alone a single traveller surcharge of AU$740 applies, payable directly to the tour company after booking.

Maximum tour group size is 42 people.

Standard bedding configuration is one double bed or twin beds on request.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two adults and one child aged from eight to eighteen years on a rollaway bed, subject to availability. Triple share rooms are on request and in some hotels guests may be accommodated in a twin and single room. Surcharges may apply. Child will need to purchase a full price adult package.

Connecting rooms may be possible, subject to availability at each hotel.

Tour includes accommodation at the following hotels:

Tirana International Hotel & Conference Centre, Albania

Hotel Bianca Resort & Spa, Montenegro

Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel, Croatia

Hotel Atrium, Croatia

Hotel Jezero, Croatia

Park Hotel Bled, Slovenia

Allocated hotels are subject to availability and may be replaced with a similar hotel depending on your chosen tour date.

International flights and airport transfers are not included on this tour. Airport transfers can be pre-booked with the tour operator for an additional charge.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated). Menus are subject to change without notice.

The following optional tours are available for a surcharge (please contact tour provider for further information):

Kruje tour and dinner

Home-hosted dinner at Dubelj

Croatian dinner at Epetium

Tour of Radovljica with dinner

Booking confirmation must be presented at check-in.

All surcharges are payable directly to the tour company.

Please note disability access is limited during the tour, please consider this before making your booking. Hotels may not have ramps, wide entryways or elevators to accommodate disabled passengers or devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and motorised scooters. Due to physical constraints and space limitations, wheelchairs, walking frames and motorised scooters may not be taken aboard motor coaches.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply.

DAY 1 - Arrive in Tirana

Arrive in Tirana, capital of Albania and center of the political, economic and cultural life of the country. Tonight, dinner with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers celebrates your arrival in Albania.

Overnight: Tirana

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 - Tirana City Tour

Today, discover the city of Tirana. Morning sightseeing begins at Skanderbeg Square, bustling heart of the city, named for Skanderbeg, the Albanian national hero; his equestrian statue dominates the center of the plaza. On to the Et'hem Bey Mosque closed under communist rule but reopened in 1991, serving as a symbol of the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania. Continue to the Soviet built Palace of Culture with its first stone symbolically placed by Nikita Khrushchev. End the tour at the National History Museum, adorned with the stirring gigantic mosaic mural known as “The Albanians”. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city on your own or, join the optional tour to Kruje. The visit will take you back in time and give you a wonderful cultural experience. Walk through the old bazaar, visit the Ethnographic museum and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Optional: Kruje Tour and Dinner

Overnight: Tirana

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 - Shkodra on the Way to Kolasin

Depart Tirana to Shkodra, an important cultural center and one of Albania's oldest cities, on the east side of Shkodra Lake. Drive by the ruins of mythical Rozafa Castle, one of the largest and most famous castles in Albania, with its fascinating history dating back to the early Bronze Age. Then, cross the border into Montenegro, the jewel of the Mediterranean, nestled on the beautiful Adriatic coast with its lovely beaches and crystal-clear lakes. Enjoy a visit to the impressive Moraca Monastery with its huge stone walls, the largest medieval Orthodox monument in Montenegro, built in 1252. Arrive in the spa town of Kolasin, situated in the thick pine forest of the Bjelasica Mountains; an ideal location with expansive vistas of the surrounding Bjelasica, Sinjajevina, and Komovi peaks. Tonight, savor dinner together at the hotel.

Overnight: Kolasin

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 4 - Durmitor National Park

After breakfast, depart the hotel to breathtaking Durmitor National Park, formed by glaciers and traversed by rivers and underground streams, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the Tara river canyon, which has the deepest gorges in Europe, the dense pine forests are interspersed with clear lakes and harbour a wide range of endemic flora. Stop at Biogradsko, considered the most picturesque lake in the Balkan Peninsula with its serene and natural beauty. Return to the hotel, with time to enjoy some of the resort's delightful amenities. Dinner is at the hotel.

Overnight: Kolasin

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 5 - Podgorica and Cetinje on the Way to Dubrovnik

Travel to Podgorica, cultural center of Montenegro, built amongst five rivers. As most of the city was destroyed during WW II, Podgorica is now completely rebuilt with modern buildings and many open green spaces. Continue to Cetinje at the foot of Mount Lovcen, a treasure of Montenegrin cultural and historical heritage, with its colorful architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit the King Nicola Museum. a former lavish palace of Montenegro's last royal family, displaying priceless art and furnishings. Then, drive along a steep road down to the fjord-like Bay of Kotor - the view is unforgettable. Along the way, see the breathtaking scenery of the Dalmatian coast and jewel-like town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive in the spectacular walled city of Dubrovnik; see the astonishing views of the city known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic". The rest of the day is yours. Perhaps, spend time strolling along the impressive ramparts overlooking the shimmering Adriatic Sea.

Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6 - Walking Tour of Dubrovnik

Enjoy the many delights of Dubrovnik today. The splendid medieval ramparts are considered to be one of the most grandiose fortification monuments in Europe, and its magnificent Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its wealth of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, monasteries, and palaces. The walking tour of Old Dubrovnik highlights the city's treasures within the 800-year-old walls including the Rector's Palace, an outstanding blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Walk past the monumental Sponza Palace, one of the most beautiful palaces in the city, preserved in its original form. Under the City Bell Tower on Luza Square stands Orlando’s Column, dedicated to the knight that saved the city in the 9th century. Then on to view the Dominican Monastery and Franciscan Monastery with its Pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world. Visit the Maritime Museum in St. John's Castle. The rest of the day is yours. Be sure to watch the beautiful sunset tonight and walk along the cobbled streets, with its buildings glowing and the fortifications accented against the night sky. Tonight, attend the optional Home-Hosted Dinner at Dubelj. Visit the Dubelj family home, where things are still done the old-fashioned way. The owner will show you the traditional method of making olive oil, using a horse-driven mill. Afterward, taste local cheese along with Dalmatian prosciutto and exchange views with your host family over a traditional three-course meal.

Optional: Home-Hosted Dinner at Dubelj

Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7 - Split Walking Tour

Depart Dubrovnik and travel north along the dramatic Adriatic coast, past charming old fishing villages and brand-new resorts, to the UNESCO, protected the seaside town of Split, the second largest city in Croatia. Upon arrival, begin a walking tour along the cobbled streets of the Old Town featuring the historic inner city with its dominating Roman influence, built around the 4th century Palace of Diocletian. This spectacular palace is the largest and best-preserved building of the Roman era on the Adriatic coast. Built for Emperor Diocletian, it represents a precious example of Roman architecture. See the remains of the Roman Peristyle, the unusual Cathedral of St. Domnius built in the Middle Ages, and the Temple of Jupiter, with its headless black sphinx guarding the entrance. Tonight, enjoy your time at leisure or, join the optional Croatian Dinner at Epetium. Travel this evening to Stobrec, just outside of Split. Here, savor a delicious three-course meal at the family-run Epetium restaurant, while listening to live Dalmatian music. The restaurant has been serving Dalmatian culinary delights of the region for over 50 years.

Optional: Croatian Dinner at Epetium

Overnight: Split

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8 - Trogir Visit and Drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Morning drive to historic Trogir, founded by the Greeks in 400 BC. Here, admire the three-naved 13th century Venetian Cathedral of St. Lovro, one of the finest architectural works in Croatia and the stunning Cipiko Palace. Continue to Plitvice Lakes National Park, a magnificent wonderland of 16 interconnecting lakes, flanked by thundering waterfalls and a huge primeval forest. This area, known as a geological phenomenon, is celebrated as one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. After enjoying the beauty of the park, travel to the town of Plitvice for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Plitvice

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 9 – Zagreb’s Upper and Lower City Tour, Bled

After breakfast, drive inland through the wooded mountain area, lush with vegetation to the Croatian capital of Zagreb. Embark on a walking tour, with stunning views of the attractive facades of Old Town and Ban Jelacic, the main square. Then, continue to busy Kaptol Square, dominated by the monumental Zagreb Cathedral, with its soaring twin spires. Walk along Kravi Most, to St. Mark’s Church with its brightly colored roof and the 17th century Jesuit Church of St. Catherine. Afterwards continue to Bled, exquisitely set amidst the Julian Alps, and enjoy the evening at leisure among one of the world’s most beautiful alpine resorts. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for an optional dinner at a traditional Country Inn in the tiny medieval town of Radovljica that includes choices of Slovenian favorites along with wine.

Optional: Tour of Radovljica with dinner

Overnight: Bled

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 - Bled City Tour, Ljubljana

Bled, with its rich natural beauty ranks among the world's most beautiful alpine resorts, also renowned for its mild, healing climate and its thermal lake water. With its emerald-green lake, picture-postcard church on an islet, a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff and some of the highest peaks of the Julian Alps, Bled is Slovenia's most popular resort. The tour begins at the imposing 11th century Bled Castle, the oldest in Slovenia, perched on a steep cliff high above the lake, creating a dramatic backdrop to the city. This is a medieval fortress, with huge towers, ramparts, moats and a terrace offering breathtaking views. In the afternoon, drive to Ljubljana the capital of Slovenia. The city tour features views of the open-air market, City Hall, The Triple Bridge and the Parliament. This evening, celebrate your last night in Slovenia with your travel companions at a Farewell Reception.

Overnight: Bled

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11 - Depart Slovenia

Your tour ends after breakfast today.

Meals: Breakfast

Simply arrive in Tirana, Albania in time for your chosen tour date and depart from Ljubljana Airport, Slovenia.

There are daily departures to Tirana from all major Australian cities with a minimum of two stops en route. Stops would be via an Asian city such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo or Shanghai and Frankfurt, Munich or Istanbul. Carriers that fly are Lufthansa, Austrian Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Flights from Ljubijana depart daily with a minimum of two stops en route. Stops would be via an Asian city such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo or Shanghai and Frankfurt, Munich or Istanbul. Carriers that fly are Lufthansa, Austrian Airways and Turkish Airlines.

Direct Flights (departing Australia only): Booking your flight with us is a quick, easy process. First, confirm your travel dates with the hotel, then head to our new online booking page to book your flights here .

Multi-Stop Trips: If you require a stopover en route or are travelling to multiple destinations, simply call 1300 88 99 00.