The Best of the Balkans


  • 17 days

  • Europe

  • Steady pace

tour : RE

Overview

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For the traveler who wishes to see it all, this is the perfect vacation to explore the Balkan countries. Visit the must-see sights and hear about the long and fascinating histories as you journey through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.

Tour highlights include 15th-century Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik, built in gothic style with renaissance and baroque elements; Mostar’s Old Bridge, a reconstruction of the city’s original 16th-century Ottoman bridge; Serbia’s capital Belgrade; the Romanian cities of Timisoara, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Bucharest, and Brasov, where you’ll visit the impressive Black Church; Ruse, Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”; the byzantine Holy Sofia Church, built in the 6th century and today a symbol of Sofia; plus Thessalonika’s Basilica of Saint Demetrious, and Athens’ Acropolis, in Greece.

Globus has also included some unique experiences. Enjoy a visit to Dracula’s 14th-century Bran Castle in Romania, including its torture chambers and followed by dinner on the castle grounds; the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Globus has included a visit to the Sarajevo Tunnel built between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War.

These are just some of the many highlights on this Eastern Europe tour. You’ll also have a special farewell dinner in Athens—a great way to end your vacation!

Highlights

DUBROVNIK
Welcome dinner; guided walking tour; visit Rector’s Palace
MOSTARGuided visit and see the Old Bridge
SARAJEVOGuided sightseeing, LF visit the Sarajevo Tunnel
BELGRADEGuided sightseeing, see Kalemegdan Fortress
TIMISOARAAdmire the Orthodox Cathedral
SIBIUOrientation
SIGHISOARAStop in the walled town
BRAN CASTLELF Visit Dracula’s castle and dinner at Queen Mary’s Tea House
BRASOVGuided sightseeing, visit the Black Church
BUCHARESTGuided sightseeing, visit the People’s Palace
RUSEStop in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”
SOFIAGuided sightseeing, visit Holy Sofia Church
RILALF Guided visit of the monastery
THESSALONIKAGuided sightseeing, visit the Basilica of St. Demetrious
ATHENSGuided sightseeing, visit the Acropolis; farewell dinner

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Flights available from most UK airports

2020 Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 16 breakfasts, 10 dinners

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA.

Day
1

Welcome to Dubrovnik! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

DUBROVNIK

Day
2

Dubrovnik was once an independent maritime republic rivaling Venice. Enjoy a walking tour with a Local Guide and see the impressive ramparts, erected during the Crusades to protect the town against land attacks, and see the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Also visit the fascinating 15th-century RECTOR’S PALACE. Afternoon and evening at leisure; an optional boat cruise is available.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

DUBROVNIK–MOSTAR, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA–SARAJEVO

Day
3

Enter Bosnia-Herzegovina and stop in the city of Mostar. Meet your Local Guide and hear about the turbulent history of this interesting city. Admire the OLD BRIDGE, the city’s symbol, ordered to replace the older wooden bridge by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman ruler in 1566. Continue to Sarajevo, where the 1984 Olympics took place, and the first city in Europe to own an electric tram network.
Today’s Distance: 168 mi / 270 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

SARAJEVO.

Day
4

Hear about the assassination of the Archduke of Austria in 1914, the recent Bosnian War, and see the main sights with a Local Guide. LF A visit has been included to the SARAJEVO TUNNEL, built between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War to supply citizens with food and war supplies. Balance of the day is at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

SARAJEVO–BELGRADE, SERBIA

Day
5

A scenic drive through Bosnia brings you to Belgrade, capital of Serbia.
Today’s Distance: 304 mi / 490 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

BELGRADE

Day
6

First mention of Belgrade was in the 3rd century. Morning guided sightseeing features a drive to see the main sights, like the Santa Sava Church. Take a walking tour through the fascinating Kalemegdan Fortress, located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers, and symbol of the strategic importance of the city in the past. For centuries, the city population lived within the walls of the fortress.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

BELGRADE–TIMISOARA, ROMANIA–SIBIU

Day
7

In Timisoara, admire the Romanian Orthodox Church, seat of the archbishop, before arriving in elegant Sibiu. An orientation reveals its towers, churches, and buildings dating back to the 14th century.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi / 440 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

SIBIU–SIGHISOARA–BRAN CASTLE–BRASOV

Day
8

Enter the heart of Transylvania and stop at the fortified town of Sighisoara, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved inhabited citadels in Eastern Europe. Continue to Brasov for your overnight stay. Highlight is LF a visit to Dracula’s BRAN CASTLE and its torture chambers. The Castle, dramatically located on top of a hill was built in the 14th century and has, because of the legends, attracted people from all over the world. Later, dinner has been prepared for you on the castle grounds at Queen Mary’s Tea House.
Today’s Distance: 162 mi / 260 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

BRASOV–BUCHAREST

Day
9

Guided sightseeing features the Old Town Hall, the Merchants’ Hall, the 15th-century Monastery, and School of St. Nicholas. Take a walk through the Old Town and visit the impressive BLACK CHURCH. Next stop is Bucharest, capital of Romania.
Today’s Distance: 124 mi / 200 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

BUCHAREST

Day
10

Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive along flower-festooned parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees. Also, see the palace where former Romanian dictator Ceausescu lived, and visit the impressive PEOPLE’S PALACE, the second-largest government building in the world after the Pentagon.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

BUCHAREST–RUSE, BULGARIA–SOFIA

Day
11

Stop in Ruse, Bulgaria’s most important river port, nicknamed “Little Vienna” because of its neo-baroque and neo-rococo architecture. Arrive in Sofia, proud capital of Bulgaria.
Today’s Distance: 249 mi / 400 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

SOFIA

Day
12

Hear about the history of this fascinating city during your guided sightseeing tour. Sofia was known as Serdica centuries before Christ, and was even ruled at one time by Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedonia. Visit the Byzantine HOLY SOFIA CHURCH.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

SOFIA–RILA–THESSALONIKA, GREECE

Day
13

Head south to reach the village of Kocherinovo, from where LF a scenic trip takes you high up towards the RILA MONASTERY, a beacon of the Bulgarian nation during a half-millennium of Ottoman rule. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, throughout the centuries, has always been the spiritual, educational, and cultural center of Bulgaria. Continue through the Struma Valley, Spartacus’ mountainous homeland, before crossing the Greek border and arriving in Thessalonika.
Today’s Distance: 249 mi / 400 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

THESSALONIKA–THERMOPYLAE–ATHENS.

Day
14

Guided sightseeing features the White Tower; the Arch of Galerious, the biggest triumphal arch of the Roman Empire; the Rotonda; a visit of the BASILICA OF SAINT DEMETRIOUS; and a panoramic view of the city and the bay from the walls of the Upper City. On the way to Athens, drive along the eastern and southern side of Mount Olympus and through the battlefield of Leonidas and the 300, the Spartan forces he led during the Second Persian War and the famous Battle of Thermopylae.
Today’s Distance: 342 mi / 550 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

ATHENS

Day
15

Discover one of the world’s oldest cities with a Local Guide, starting with a visit to the world-famous ACROPOLIS, perched high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Here, see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Enjoy a panoramic view with glimpses of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, and the beautifully preserved Theseum, where Socrates taught. Later, a city orientation drive features the Parliament House and a picture stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, and was host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

ATHENS

Day
16

A full day at leisure gives you the opportunity to take an optional cruise to the islands. This evening, celebrate the success of your Balkan tour during a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

ATHENS.

Day
17

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Things to note

  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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