Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 14 breakfasts, 15 dinners
Wander through buzzing Ottoman-style old bazaars, roam ancient fortresses and enjoy an ever-changing landscape as you uncover history in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
7 night extension in Dubrovnik staying at the Grand Hotel Park
3 night extension in Cavtat staying at the Hotel Epidauraus
Fly to Dubrovnik and transfer to Budva in Montenegro for two nights. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel and perhaps acquaint yourself with this beautiful, buzzing seaside resort.
Today, absorb the majesty of fjord-like Kotor Bay as you drive to Kotor, a walled UNESCO-listed town on the bayside. Take a walking tour of the marbled lanes and squares with their shops, cafes and fine 12th century cathedral, before following hairpin roads to the village of Njegusi. Enjoy sweeping views over Kotor Bay and sample some local delicacies at Montenegro's oldest restaurant, before visiting Cetinje, the country's old royal capital and returning to Budva.
Journey south to Bar, another postcard-pretty coastal town and see its Turkish baths, Roman aqueduct and other highlights before crossing into Albania. Pass through the ancient town of Shkroda and arrive in Kruja, a lovely hill town with a 5th century fortress. Discover the Ottoman-style Old Bazaar and explore inside the castle walls, visiting the museum to Albanian hero Skanderbeg, who fought the Ottomans here in 1450. Continue to Tirana, Albania's capital, for overnight.
Start today with a tour of colourful Tirana whose architecture recalls its Ottoman, Italian and communist past. Then, head for the fortress-topped town of Elbasan before entering Macedonia and travelling to Ohrid, set on Lake Ohrid.
Today take a day trip to the lakeside, art-filled Byzantine monastery of St Naum. Afterwards, return to Ohrid for to tick through the highlights of this picturesque town including the Church of Sveti Jovan, Old Bazaar and medieval castle.
Travel to Macedonia's capital, Skopje. Experience its beguiling Old Bazaar, Daud Pasha baths and other sights before staying overnight.
Travel to Serbia's capital of Belgrade, stopping en route at the eerie Skull Tower at Nis, decorated with the skulls of Serbian defenders who committed suicide rather than be captured by Turkish invaders in 1809. After an optional lunch in Nis, travel to Belgrade and dine out tonight in Skardarlija, a bohemian street packed with restaurants.
Discover bustling Belgrade today, charting its 7,000 year history on a morning sightseeing tour. View the main landmarks including Kalemegdan Fortress, Republic Square, the Old and New Palaces and Tito's Memorial, then spend the afternoon as you wish before dinner at your hotel.
Head to Visegrad in Bosnia and Herzegovina to see its famous bridge, immortalised in Ivo Andric's 1945 novel 'The Bridge on the Drina'. Hear about the book's story as you view the bridge and then continue to Sarajevo for two nights.
The cultural, historical and religious patchwork of Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital awaits today. Once riddled with bullet holes after the war of the 1990s, Sarajevo's historic centre is now fully restored and boasts an eclectic mix of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture. Take in signature sights including the Husrev-beg Mosque, Olympic stadium, Turkish bazaar and more this morning, before enjoying this afternoon and evening at leisure.
Today shines the spotlight on beautiful Mostar. Visit this fascinating city and admire its iconic, stone-built Old Bridge, first erected in 1565, and charming Turkish House. Afterwards, call at the pretty hillside town of Pocitelj to view its mosque, tower and citadel before continuing on to Split for two nights.
Croatia's second-largest city, Split boasts historical treasures galore, including its showstopper - the UNESCO-listed Diocletian's Palace. Wander around the lanes and relics of this stunning imperial palace-fortress built by Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century. Following free time, set off this afternoon to visit the charming walled town of Trogir.
Today journey to Dubrovnik, stopping on route at Ston, whose thick medieval walls trail up into the surrounding hillsides. Visit the town and after time for lunch, continue to the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', enchanting Dubrovnik, where you stay near the Old Town for two nights.
Built on maritime trade, Dubrovnik rivalled Venice in wealth during the Middle Ages and is now the jewel in Croatia's sightseeing crown. This morning, explore the walled Old Town with a guide, seeing the exquisite Franciscan Monastery with its old pharmacy, and more. Afterwards, enjoy free time for lunch at one of the tempting restaurants and spend the afternoon as you please.
Transfer to Dubrovnik Airport for your return flight to the UK.
Accommodation will be as stated or an alternative of a similar standard.
Very interesting tour of historical interest and spectacular scenery.
A very good itinary and well planned tour spoilt by having a poor coach, no toilets ,wifi,microphone or rotation of seats. No information given by tour director...his first trip and hadn't visited places and was useless.Late starts and early arrival at hotels meant short days and little time to see places after local guides 2 and a half hour walking tours. No Wispas so couldn't so hear them. Some itinary items missed through lack of time. Suitcases not numbered and checked.No notices placed in lobby to inform us. This was a very good group and with a professional tour director could have had a five star rating.
a good holiday with plenty of fun
We travelled with the group tour as a 69 year old couple and found the organised flights and arrival went well. We were met by Sladjana(spelling?) our guide and Guido (?) our driver. Both were very professional, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful but it didn’t help Sladjana when the coach from Budva didn’t arrive and left us waiting on the coach in the Dubrovnik airport car-park for over a couple of hours without any refreshments or, it has to be said, information which was unsettling. Having said that when we did settle down and start our holiday everyone relaxed and the group who arrived on the later flights and joined us on the coach soon made themselves comfortable. We attach our “reviews” of the various hotels we stayed at. Two hotels stand out the first Hotel Sentido Tara, Budva and last, Valamar Lacroma, Dubrovnik. The rest were a varied assortment of quality, age and service. None of which could be described as awful but The Queens Astoria Design Hotel, Belgrade didn’t match its name and we left there with bedbug bites. There were one or two fellow travellers who made life difficult for our guide most mornings and arrival at new destinations but the other 95% were more than happy with the schedule and itinerary. We would have liked possibly all two night minimum stays rather than a couple of one nighters which were a little tiring. We particularly liked the inclusion of all the local guides and tours which we made without them being, “extras”. Our Guide did have so much knowledge that, at times she stepped in and explained better than the local guide – without ruffling any feathers! The coach driver and porterage worked well, as did the room allocation he, the driver worked hard and was equally cheerful; taking us safely and at a comfortable speed. We have to point out for special mention our guide Sladjana who was, knowledgeable, friendly and always available to answer any questions and sort out the odd “crisis”! Hotel Sentido Tara - We were staying in room 508 on a group tour. On arrival reception was speedy and efficient and plenty of lifts to take groups conveniently to their floors. The room itself was large with comfortable twin beds, a small desktop table and two chairs, work surface, full length mirror and lengthways mirrors, along with plenty of wardrobe space, good for a couple of nights or two weeks. You would require an extension with multiple sockets if, like us you have two or three electrical appliances to charge, etc. The bathroom was equally large with a good overhead shower and hand held rose, lots of products and the towels, for once, were designed for adults. Oh, and the loo paper was good quality – we don’t normally mention this but it was noticed! The air con did struggle with the heat so we kept the small Juliette balcony door open which provided some breeze and the WIFI struggled to perform. Don’t expect “speedy”. The TV was a multi - language channel standard package and OK for us. There were no tea making facilities in the room but we travel with our own kettle and makings. The restaurant was neatly designed to fit lots of people in but in small sectioned off areas rather than a large barn. The buffet style menu was extensive, well prepared and presented and the breakfasts, along with freshly cooked omelettes and other products really set you up for the day. We used a small supermarket (not the one adjacent to the hotel) turn right, at the end of the road left. It’s about two minutes’ walk. All in all, a great hotel in a good location. Hotel Doro City – Tirana Accepting that Albania is trying to catch up with the rest of Europe for tourism you will be fine. It’s not so much quirky as behind the times. Reception was efficient but with only one lift our group struggled to get to their rooms quickly. Our room 111 was, dated, rather dark, twin beds which were comfortable. A large work surface / set of drawers and length ways mirror. The lighting was not very good for reading but adequate. The TV had a mind of its own – it didn’t work neither did the air – con. The only setting it would accept was 24c and the bathroom air extractor sounded like a wind tunnel. Which considering it turned on automatically when the light was on was really annoying. We travel with our own kettle and makings so we had a relaxing cuppa before the start of the day. Breakfast was buffet style and OK with a reasonable selection. Would we stay again yes but in room 114 which had none of the problems of 111 and was a large airy double bedded room! Hotel Granit Ohrid We were in room 009 – we tried for 007 but it was already taken!! Anyway Reception was quick and efficient with good English. Our room / suite was fantastic, large, light, balcony with views of the lake and Albania and the mountains as a back-drop. We had a large comfortable double bed, table – workbench, lounge with sofa and a, rather fuzzy TV with mainly local language programs, fridge and two bathrooms. One with loo, sink and nothing else the other with whirlpool bath, hairdryer, plenty of products and towel rail (for the winter months) and good WIFI. We were travelling in a group and the evening and breakfast meals were buffet style with plenty of options. The downsides were A background smell of stale tobacco, noisy bathroom fan, not enough wall sockets, the shower lacked power and the Whirlpool action didn’t bubble and the noise of the soil pipe in the bathroom from the upstairs loo. But none of those things would stop us staying again especially with the friendly staff and setting. Hotel Karpos – Skopje Reception, warm, friendly and speedy. Our room 111 was large, airy, view of a tree garden, plenty of work surfaces and, because it was an “aparthotel” room we benefitted from a kitchenette, kettle etc. The free WIFI was fast. The beds (2) were Queen Anne size and comfortable, air-con worked well and the lighting was adequate. Our bathroom had a good shower / bath and soap dispenser type shower gel. We were travelling as a group tour and were served an evening meal which was very basic, tasty but basic with little imagination. Breakfast was, buffet style with plenty of hot/cold choice. There is a good supermarket three minutes’ walk away. All in-all a good quality hotel within easy access to the centre of Skopje. Queens Astoria Design Hotel, Belgrade Reception was a splendid mahogany panelled space complete with piano, marble effect floors and frescos, with helpful, friendly and English speaking receptionists, and a museum piece slide gated lift. Our room, 109, was large with a king size double bed, good air-con, neutral colours. Unless you travel with an extension multipoint plug you would be hard pushed to find enough sockets but we travel with an extension multi point so no problem. Our window view of a grey peeling block of apartments and a corrugated roof below our bedroom was not the most appealing or aesthetic. There was a wonderful mock 19th century style worktop drawer unit which incorporated the fridge (not 19th century) and a kettle with tea and coffee. The bathroom had an “all singing all dancing” shower with power jets, etc., but we couldn’t find a way to make them work and sadly the shower rose ended up as hand held one because it just drooped it did though have a, movement sensor night light incorporated into the hair dryer which was useful. The main room was on the dingy side so the lighting was essential but that was more than adequate. There was no plug in the sink and when we asked for one we were told they don’t have them in any rooms - why? There was another air con unit in the bathroom which we had no hand control set for and couldn’t see the reason for one – unless winter. Breakfast was a bit of a bun fight with different groups of visitors looking for available table spaces in the rather small restaurant seating area. The food was plentiful, a good selection but wasn’t cooked very well and was unappetising – go for the scrambled egg. We were a party of 18 people so had to look out for a vacant place amongst all the other groups staying and the food was cold in the evening. This hotel could be super but it lacks a bit of polish and TLC and they are trying to, “shoe horn” too many coach tours in for the size of the eating area. Hotel Bosnia Sarajevo What a wonderful welcome Set in the centre of Sarajevo - so easy to walk all over the city - we entered the reception area which like the rest of the hotel is large, spacious and welcoming. We were on a group tour and were dealt with quickly by the friendly receptionist. Our room, 206 was bright with large double bed which creaked every time one of us moved – but it was firm and, for us comfortable, a work top with fridge below but few sockets and no tea making facilities. The lighting was adequate and wardrobe space large enough for your average couple (unfortunately our sliding doors didn’t slide enough to open the drawers). The TV was huge with several English speaking channels and the free Wi-Fi was OK. The bathroom was large, bright with a walk-in powerful shower. We had a clothes line with us so we were able to dry our laundry overnight in it. The magnifying mirror in the bathroom was very useful, as was the hairdryer. But the big downside to the shower was the extremely slippery and dangerous polished tiled floor which looked good but was lethal when wet. It could really do with a non-slip mat. Breakfast was the full buffet with plenty of choice to suit all tastes and we dined in the restaurant in the evening which gave good quality food and service. Hotel President – Split A blend of styles Swift and easy check-in with pleasant English, (and other languages) speaking staff. Our room 104, (if the window was open. A lot of road noise and in the corridor) was large, bright, faced on to the road and had good lighting, work surfaces, wardrobes, fridge and large TV – all Croatian – the large double bed was comfortable although on the firm side, and there were plenty of power sockets for the 21st century traveller. No tea making facilities. The bathroom had a bath with “over shower” which didn’t hold in place and had to act as a, “hand held shower” but the general state was, a bit tired and in need of a lot of TLC. We were only here for a couple of nights on a group tour and, although the staff were polite and friendly the hotel is let down by management not up-grading the rooms – especially the bathrooms. The WIFI was good to fair. The restaurant served basic, but good food but, as is the way with hotels their wine and drink prices were, we think OTT and breakfast was also very disappointing with not much selection. The coffee though was excellent. Valamar Lacroma Hotel – Dubrovnik Quality and style We arrived as a tour group and had no idea of this hotels style, age or star rating. From the moment we left our coach we knew we were in the hands of professionals. The room – 4004 – was large, light, tastefully decorated with modern large comfortable (twin pushed together) bed. Plenty of work tops and sockets, small table, Kettle with tea / coffee making facilities, fridge, good WIFI and TV with plenty of English and other channels along with a good size bathroom with a well-designed walk-in shower and plenty of quality products then walking out on to our balcony with seating and table we knew we were in for a comfortable stay. We were not disappointed at the evening meal which was a buffet style arrangement which exceeded our expectations with, quality, choice, ambiance – even the roaming minstrels were good – along with the waiting staff we enjoyed an excellent meal. Breakfast was the same, wonderful well-presented food for every taste. What more can you ask for?
See previous answer. xxxxx
2 star tour sold as 4 star.
A couple of not too great meals but on the whole good/very good.
Terrific holiday. Super itinerary. Hotels somewhat variable , but those in Budva, Ochrid and Dubrovnik were stunning. Tour manager (Sladana Tomanovic) very personable and efficient. Driver very safe. Highly recommended tour
Overall a very good comprehensive tour of the Balkans. The tour manager was excellent being well organised, professional and caring. The local guides were all excellent, very knowledgeable and added greatly to the experience. The hotels were all of a good standard with Budva and Dubrovnik being excellent. Coach driver safe and professional. On the negative side some of the hotel food was POOR with the exception of the hotels in Budva and Dubrovnik. Either buffet food was very luke warm and a health hazard, or set menus had absolutely no choices. Many of our group had stomach upsets including our group leader which with a coach with no emergency toilet did not make long journeys comfortable. If all evening meals are to be included in future for this particular tour I strongly feel this needs to be addressed as I would rather pay extra to eat out than risk health on holiday ( this is not India but 4* hotels in Europe). Overall a great tour and would book with Archers again.
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They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
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