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The Balkans and Venice 2014

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Lake BledVenice, ItalyGrand CanaleRialto Bridge
Lake Bled
Venice, Italy
Grand Canale
Rialto Bridge
  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
  • Style: Regional
  • Description: The beauty of the Dalmatian coast and Lake Bled, and the stories of civil war in the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar – this is a trip of contrasts in the Balkans. It's insider moments like… skewering ham onto twigs to roast over an open fire in the Muhoberac family home near Dubrovnik. The grandmother prepares dinner, while the grandfather plays the mandolin. After dinner, the children teach you folklore dances. It's also hearing how volunteers built a tunnel with picks to create a lifeline for the inhabitants of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Our local there tells you stories of survival, and of how this tunnel helped people otherwise cut off from the outside world.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    Welcome to Zagreb! Spend the afternoon relaxing or take a stroll. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and evening orientation drive including a stroll around Ban Jelačić Square. This will be the perfect introduction to this fascinating city!

    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: The Westin

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 2


    Zagreb is a traditional medieval European city with a wealth of historic monuments. Your Local Expert shows you the highlights including the upper and lower town, the majestic Cathedral, Archbishop's Palace, St. Marks Church and the Opera House. Spend free time exploring the winding streets of the old town or consider an excursion into the surrounding countryside.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 3


    Travel south from Croatia into Bosnia and Herzegovina before arriving in the fascinating capital city Sarajevo. Due to its rich religious and cultural history Sarajevo is often called the Jerusalem of Europe. The city contains synagogues, mosques, orthodox as well as Catholic churches – all in one city! In 1914 the city was the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which prompted the start of the First World War. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Radon Plaza

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 4


    Enjoy an insider tour of the Sarajevo war tunnels with a Local Expert. During the Siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian War in the early 1990's, the Sarajevo Tunnel was constructed by the Bosnian Army in order to link the city of Sarajevo, which was entirely cut-off by Serbian forces allowing food, war supplies, and humanitarian aid to come into the city, and people to get out. Hear some of the incredible stories to come out of the city during this time from your Local Expert. Later you will have free time to explore this fascinating city on your own.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 5


    This morning after breakfast travel towards the Dalmation coast and the spectacular city of Dubrovnik. Stop en route to see the magnificent bridge at Mostar. This city grew up around a trade and bridging point over the Neretva. Mostar is named after this Old Bridge, the 'Stari Most', built by Sinan the great Ottoman architect and one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks. Destroyed during the war it has been rebuilt using the same methods as during the 16th century. After free time to explore the town, continue on towards Dubrovnik.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Ariston

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 6


    This morning experience the delights of this stunning medieval city! Enjoy a Small Group Sightseeing walking tour of the main sights with a Local Expert. Admire the Rector's Palace, the city walls, Onofrio's fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. For lunch a special Be My Guest experience awaits you at a local oil mill. Dating back to the times of the Republic of Dubrovnik the mill was used for olive processing and olive oil production. Your hosts will prepare a delicious meal in the traditional way with fresh aromatic Mediterranean herbs accompanied by home-made beverages.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

  • Day 7


    Travel to the Republic of Montenegro and enjoy a scenic and relaxing day. Head towards the mouth of the beautiful Bay of Kotor, the longest and deepest fjord in Southern Europe. See the little towns of Risan and Kotor. Then proceed to Cetinje, once the seat of Montenegrin rulers. Later, travel to the coast for a short stop in the village of Budva before returning to Dubrovnik.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

  • Day 8


    Depart Dubrovnik and travel north along the spectacular Adriatic coast, past old fishing villages and new resorts, to Split. Enjoy a city tour with a Local Expert featuring the historic inner city, built around the Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. See the remnants of Split's Roman heritage, its Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter's Temple, the Peristyle and the Cathedral. The evening is free for you to dine at the local restaurant of your choice.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: President

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 9


    This morning travel through the forested National Park of Plitvice. Admire the waterfalls and lakes of this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site on your walking tour with your Local Expert. See lakes of crystal clear water in many colourful shades of green, grey and blue which are linked by spectacular waterfalls. Arrive later at your hotel and enjoy dinner with your travel companions.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Jezero

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 10


    Travel to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Here, view the Central open-air Market, Baroque Town Hall, Robba's Fountain, the Three Bridges and the Parliament on your orientation. After free time for lunch in Ljubljana, travel to Lake Bled, a beautiful glacial lake in the Julian Alps. Lake Bled is set amid forests and mountains and is one of the most picturesque destinations in Europe.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: Park

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 11


    Travel to the romantic city of Venice. This Byzantine city, constructed in a lagoon, has an incredibly rich cultural and artistic heritage. This evening, you might like to take a gondola ride along enchanting canals- it's the perfect introduction to this magical city!

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

    Hotel: NH Laguna Palace

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 12


    Savour the unique sights of Venice as you cruise by private launch to St. Mark's Square. See the Bridge of Sighs, Palladian Churches, Customs House, Grand Canal, St Mark's Basilica and the ornate Doge's Palace. Watch the Venetian craftsmen at work creating a Local Speciality at a glass-blowing workshop on Giudecca island. Free time is an opportunity to visit the Fine Arts Academy, relax at a café on St. Mark's Square or consider a boat trip to the Island of Burano for a delicious seafood lunch. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner celebration with your travel companions before returning to your  hotel.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 13


    Say farewell to your companions as this memorable trip comes to an end. Transfers are available to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Conditions apply.

    Meal(s): (Buffet Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest Enjoy lunch at an old mill which dates back to the times of the Republic of Dubrovnik and is used for olive processing and olive oil production. Your hosts will prepare a delicious meal in the traditional way with fresh aromatic Mediterranean herbs accompanied by home-made beverages.
  • Local Expert in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Split, Plitvice and Ljubljana.
  • Small Group Sightseeing in Dubrovnik, enjoy a guided walking tour with a group size of no more than 25 guests.
  • Local Speciality Visit Giudecca Island for an insider look at Venetian Arts. See glass-blowing artisans and other craftsmen in action.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Unique Insight Sarajevo war tunnel.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tours of Zagreb, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and Split.
  • Orientation of Lake Bled and Venice.
  • Visit the War Tunnels in Sarajevo, Jupiter's Temple, Plitvice National Park and Diocletian's Palace in Split.
  • View the Cathedral and Archbishop's Palace in Zagreb, the Waterfalls of Plitvice National Park, the Opera House and Castle of Ljubljana and St. Marks Basilica and Doges Palace in Venice.
  • Cruise the Canals of Venice.


  • 12 hot buffet breakfasts.
  • 1 Be My Guest lunch.
  • 5 dinners (including Welcome Reception, 3 three course dinners and Farewell Dinner).

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • A travel wallet with your documentation.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo.

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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