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The Best of the Balkans

Price per person
from £2,565

Price based on
London Gatwick
2nd Oct 2019 departure

Key inclusions

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 17 days

  • Europe

  • Steady pace

  • Globus escorted tours

For the traveller who wishes to see it all, this is the perfect vacation to explore the Balkans. Visit the must-see sights and hear about the long and fascinating history as you journey through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece on your guided tour. 

Tour highlights include Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik, a gothic-renaissance palace dating to the 15th century; 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 ancient 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. 

You'll visit Dracula’s 14th-century Bran Castle in Romania; the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Sarajevo Tunnel built between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War.

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

At a glance

Dubrovnik Welcome dinner; guided walking tour; visit Rector’s Palace

Mostar Guided visit and see the Old Bridge

Sarajevo Guided sightseeing, visit the Sarajevo Tunnel

Belgrade Guided sightseeing, see Kalemegdan Fortress

Timisoara Admire the Orthodox Cathedral

Sibiu Orientation

Sighisoara Stop in the walled town

Brasov Guided sightseeing, visit the Black Church; dinner at a local restaurant

Bran Castle Visit Dracula’s castle

Bucharest Guided sightseeing, visit the People’s Palace

Ruse Stop in Bulgaria’s “Little Vienna”

Sofia Guided sightseeing, visit Holy Sofia Church

Rila Guided visit of the monastery

Thessalonika Guided sightseeing, visit the Basilica of St. Demetrious

Athens Guided sightseeing, visit the Acropolis; farewell dinner

What's included

  • Private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a tour director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Free Wi-Fi on coach
  • Individual audio system
Price match guarantee

With accommodation, transfers, excursions, selected meals, private VIP home pick-up and the services of an expert Tour Director all included in the price, our escorted tour holidays are highly rated by our customers. But should you find a like-for-like tour cheaper elsewhere, we will match its price and give you a further £100 reduction.

Private home pick-up service

Our private home pick-up service is included up to 50 miles to your departure airport. Your driver will happily load and unload your luggage, and drive you to your departure terminal. At the close of your trip, you'll be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall and returned home again. A supplement is payable per mile over 50 miles.

Read more about our private home pick-up service.

Overview

For the traveller who wishes to see it all, this is the perfect vacation to explore the Balkans. Visit the must-see sights and hear about the long and fascinating history as you journey through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece on your guided tour. 

Tour highlights include Rector's Palace in Dubrovnik, a gothic-renaissance palace dating to the 15th century; 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 ancient 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. 

You'll visit Dracula’s 14th-century Bran Castle in Romania; the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Sarajevo Tunnel built between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War.

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

Total meals included:

  • 16 breakfasts, 10 dinners

UK - Dubrovnik, Croatia

Day
1

Fly to Dubrovnik where you will be transferred to your hotel.

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

Meals included:

  • Dinner

Dubrovnik

Day
2

Dubrovnik was once an independent maritime republic rivalling 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 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 by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman ruler in 1566, to replace the older wooden bridge. Continue to Sarajevo, where the 1984 Olympics took place, and the first city in Europe to own an electric tram network.

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. A visit has been included to the SARAJEVO TUNNEL, built between 1992 and 1995 during the Bosnian War to supply the inhabitants 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.

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 and 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. To make the most of your stay, join an exciting optional excursion.

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.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Sibiu - Sighisoara - 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, where 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. This evening, try the local food at one of Brasov’s excellent restaurants.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Bravsov - Bran Castle - Bucharest

Day
9

Highlight today is a visit to Dracula’s BRAN CASTLE, built in the 14th century. The castle is dramatically located on top of a hill and has, because of the legends, attracted people from all over the world. Next stop is Bucharest, capital of Romania.

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 Ceausescu, the former Romanian dictator, 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 and nicknamed “Little Vienna” because of its neo-baroque and neo-rococo architecture. Arrive in Sofia, proud capital of Bulgaria.

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 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, because throughout the centuries, it has always been the spiritual, educational, and cultural centre of Bulgaria. Continue through the Struma Valley, Spartacus’ mountainous homeland, before crossing the Greek border and arriving in Thessalonika.

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.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Athens

Day
15

Discover one of the world’s oldest cities with a Local Guide and start 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, the Temple of Athena Nike, and 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 - UK

Day
17

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Hotels

It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.

Dubrovnik - Valamar Lacroma Resort

Renowned for its fusion of nature and modern facilities, this 401-room upscale hotel enjoys sea views from a stunning position amidst lawns, palms and olive trees. Free Wi-Fi connection is available throughout, the elegant à la carte restaurant serves a mix of Mediterranean and international dishes, whilst the buffet style restaurant features a show cooking station. Other Leisure facilities include an all-day lobby bar, gym, the Spa which has a big heated indoor pool, steam bath, Finnish sauna and ice fountain and there is also a seasonal outdoor swimming pool with sundeck and pool bar.

  • Location

    Ulica Iva Dulcica 34 Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Pool

Sarajevo - Europe

Positioned in the heart of the Sarajevo city, just a few steps away from the tourist Old Town core, this Austro-Hungarian building with its external splendour alone will have you captivated. 

  • Location

    Vladislava Skarica 5 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Pool

Belgrade - Radisson Blu Old Mill

This 236-room property preserves the heritage of the 19th-century Old Mill in which it is partially housed and mixes modern chic with industrial design and offers Free Wi-Fi internet access is throughout. The hotel's restaurant offers modern Serbian menus with a twist and the lounge bar serves cool cocktails, leisure facilities include a fitness centre and a spa with sauna and steam bath.

  • Location

    Vojvode Misica Boulevard 15 Belgrade, Serbia

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board

Sibiu - Hilton

Hilton Sibiu offers easy access to the cultural sites of Sibiu. It is an ideal gateway offering free pool, a relaxing spa that offers numerous holistic treatments (fee applies), 3 high-class restaurants - The Madrigal, The Versailles, and The Romanian Restaurant - serving international, French and Romanian cuisine. Two tennis courts and a hair salon are also at guests' disposal. Free internet access is available throughout the hotel.

  • Location

    1st Padurea Dumbrava str Sibiu, Romania

  • Facilities

    • Bar/lounge
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board

Brasov - Ramada Brasov

Located at the entrance in Brasov, close to downtown, the Ramada Hotel Brasov stands for easy access to the historic centre of the city as well as favourable to reach from other destinations in Romania. 113 non-smoking rooms, all recently refurbished, in modern decor and vivid colours. The hotel boasts a popular grill restaurant and a very celebrated Japanese dinery as well as fully functional spa centre equipped with sauna, fitness room and massage cabins.

  • Location

    Calea Bucuresti 13, Sacele Brasov, Romania

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board

Bucharest - Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town

Set in a building which highlights a stunning mix of modern and classical European architecture styles, this 201-room property is located in the centre of the bustling Old Town and offers complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout. There is a 24-hour fitness centre, a bar and the on-site restaurant offers local delicacies and a vast range of international cuisine to please all palates.

  • Location

    Strada Doamnei 12 Bucharest, Romania

  • Facilities

    • Bar/lounge
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board

Sofia - Hilton Sofia

State of the art facility exceptionally located in the heart of Sofia, in the south park, overlooking Vitosha Mtn - City Centre.

  • Location

    1, Bulgaria Blvd. Sofia, Bulgaria

  • Facilities

    • Wifi
    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Pool

Thessalonika - The Met

Centrally located in the new harbour area of Thessaloniki, this sophisticated 212-room hotel features a trendy skybar, restaurant and rooftop pool overlooking the City and Thermaikos Gulf, (open during the summer months - weather permitting). The elegant main restaurant serves a Greek fusion menu, Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout and leisure facilities include a spa with indoor pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre.

  • Location

    48, 26Th Oktovriou Str. Thessaloniki, Greece

  • Facilities

    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board
    • Pool

Athens - Wyndham Grand Hotel Athens

This sleek, contemporary 276-room hotel in the heart of Athens boasts an amazing roof terrace with an outdoor swimming pool and bar-restaurant with panoramic views over the iconic Acropolis. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the property and there is also a sauna and gym.

  • Location

    Megalou Alexandrou Athens, Greece

  • Facilities

    • Restaurant on site
    • Lifts
    • In-room safe
    • Coffee maker in-room
    • Hairdryer
    • Iron/ironing board