Balkans Uncovered | Balkans Tours | Travel Talk Tours

Balkans Uncovered

from $1896/per person

Discover a fascinating region of stunning natural beauty and diverse cultural heritage in exquisite comfort and style. Uncover the top highlights of the Balkans throughout 7 beautiful countries including Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. Learn about the countless struggles which have shaped the Balkan ‘powder keg’ in history. Soak in gorgeous monuments and impressive cities as well as spectacular nature. Embrace the colourful cultures and delicious local cuisine while uncovering all the must-see sights from each country.

Duration
12 Day
Destination(s)
The Balkans
Starts in / Ends in
Sofia / Sofia
Departs on
Fridays
Hotel Rating
5 Star Hotels
18-30

Sight Visited

  • Belgrade
    Belgrade

    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of the southeast European country of Serbia.

  • Budva
    Budva

    Budva is a town in Montenegro and known for best nightlife on the Adriatic Sea.

  • Dubrovnik
    Dubrovnik

    This complex is one of the most beautiful and strongest fortified systems in Europe, but the lively streets show that there is more! Party in a 13th Century fortress anyone?

  • Kotor
    Kotor

  • Mostar
    Mostar

    Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and known for the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge).

  • Ohrid
    Ohrid

    Ohrid is a large town in Macedonia on the shore of Lake Ohrid and a UNESCO heritage site since 1980.

  • Sarajevo
    Sarajevo

    Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its main cultural, economic centre.

  • Sofia
    Sofia

    Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria.ıt has rich history from Roman and Ottoman Empires.

  • Tirana
    Tirana

    Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania.It is also culturel and economical center of the country.

  • Trebinje
    Trebinje

    Trebinje is the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 28 km far from Dubrovnik.

ITINERARY

1
Day 1: Sofia
Prepare for an intriguing adventure through the ‘powder keg of Europe’ over twelve days and seven countries. Upon arrival in Sofia, you will be transferred to your hotel by a Ciconia representative at the airport. In the afternoon, join the welcome meeting at the hotel lobby with your fellow travellers and Tour Director. Greet the delicious Balkan cuisine starting with a Bulgarian twist at a group dinner. Always allow some room for the myriad of tasty desserts available.
  • Hotel: Hilton Sofia 5*
  • Optional Experiences: Group Dinner
  • Meals: -
2
Day 2: Sofia - Belgrade
Enjoy a filling breakfast at our hotel before embarking on an adventure through the streets of Sofia with our expert local guide visiting a myriad of impressive sights such as National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, and continue on to The St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Theatre and St. Sofia Church. Your guide will provide insightful commentary about the diverse history of Bulgaria and the communist era as you visit the houses of the Council of Ministers, presidency and the former communist party headquarters. Take a scenic drive passing hills and green forests, arrive in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Presenting stunning views of the Sava and Danube rivers with the Belgrade Fortress in the background. After we check into our hotel, enjoy your personal leisure time to launch your own discovery. Sample the local cuisine in fine fashion at your hotel and roam the vibrant shopping streets.
  • Hotel: Hotel Metropol Palace, Luxury Collection 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Sofia Guided Tour
3
Day 3: Belgrade
The day is yours to soak in all the beauty Belgrade offers. Launch your adventure with a comprehensive guided tour of the city at the bustling shopping street Knez Mihailova. Roam the Belgrade Fortress overlooking a merge of Danube and Sava Rivers with feudal cannons in display – declared a Monument of Culture of Great Importance. Uncover the marvellous blend of medieval and modern through a myriad of impressive sites at the heart of the city. You will have plentiful personal leisure time in the afternoon to shop around, continue your cultural discovery and sip delicious cocktails at a contemporary local bar. Your dinner seat is reserved at our hotel's impressive restaurant.
  • Hotel: Hotel Metropol Palace, Luxury Collection 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Belgrade Guided Tour
4
Day 4: Belgrade - Sarajevo
Bidding farewell to the buzzing Belgrade, we embark on a journey through green forests to meet the multi-coloured fabric of Bosnia & Herzegovina at Sarajevo. Home to people of various religions, ethnic and cultural background, the diverse architectural and cultural landscape is reflected all around the town. Witnessing the start of World War 1, splitting of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire, and the devastating Yugoslav War in recent history; the marks of history are hidden around every corner. As your Travel Director and local expert guide you through the charming old town and the Bascarsija, learn all about the rich history of the country. Sarajevo is well known for its various delicious meat dishes and desserts. Make sure to try traditional Turkish coffee for the best finish to your dinner.
  • Hotel: Swissotel Sarajevo 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Sarajevo Guided Tour
5
Day 5: Sarajevo - Mostar - Trebinje
Drive through lush fields and valleys towards the adorable village of Mostar. Famously known for the gorgeous stone bridge in the old town, a prime example of Islamic architecture in the Balkans, designed by a student of the Great Ottoman architect, Sinan. Join your guide for a walking tour through the Stari Most and the old carsija (market), still presenting the authentic style of 15th century in its splendid architecture. Sample the delicious cuisine over lunch at one of the lovely venues and complete your discovery. In the afternoon, we depart for Trebinje, located by the border with Croatia. We arrive just in time for dinner at our hotel, where we will spend two nights.
  • Hotel: Central Park Hotel 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Mostar Guided Tour
6
Day 6: Trebinje - Dubrovnik - Trebinje
Ready your cameras and sunscreen as we head out to the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Dubrovnik. Crossing into Croatia with a short ride, soak in the unique sight of terra-cotta tiled roofs encircled by might medieval walls, preserved in incredible condition. Stop for an amazing view of the old town from the overlooking hills, and meet your local expert at the gates to launch your guided tour of Dubrovnik. Learn about the intriguing history of the once-great city state, thriving through its maritime connections and protected by its gigantic ramparts. As we cover the must-see highlights, relax at a breezy restaurant over a delicious seafood lunch. You will have personal leisure time in the afternoon for your preferred activities, whether strolling on the walls, taking an optional boat trip, discovering the quaint streets and pedestrian avenues, or taking a refreshing dip in the Adriatic Sea. We drive back to Trebinje for dinner at our hotel.
  • Hotel: Central Park Hotel 4*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Dubrovnik Guided Tour
  • Optional Experiences: Dubrovnik Boat Trip
7
Day 7: Trebinje - Kotor - Shkodra
Our adventure continues to a less crowded, but just as impressive location. Driving along the skirts of mountains along the coast, we reach Kotor surrounded by monumental walls. Join a walking tour in the old town fortress with your expert local guide and Travel Director, wandering the labyrinthine narrow streets. Enjoy a refreshing lunch at a local restaurant and pace your adventure with personal leisure time in the afternoon. You can hike to the top of the incredible fortress for spectacular views over Kotor Bay or capture the prettiest pictures of the remarkable medieval village. Travel to one of the oldest cities in the Balkans as we cross into Albania, Shkodra, for dinner and a relaxing stay at our hotel.
  • Hotel: Grand Hotel Europa 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Kotor Guided Tour
8
Day 8: Shkodra - Tirana - Ohrid
Starting our journey into Albanian culture, we embark on a walking tour of Shkodra witnessing the influence of Romans, Byzantine, Greek and Ottomans reflected in the town's fabric. Continue towards the centre of culture, religion, arts and entertainment, the charming capital of Tirana. With a panoramic city tour, savour the finest samples of Albanian architecture portraying the influence of various cultures. After a sightseeing tour of the popular sights and the bustling Skenderbeg Square, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Our journey resumes into Macedoni, Ohrid. Enjoy your dinner and a relaxing rest at the hotel, or you can join the exciting optional experience Balkan Night over dinner and familiarise with the local culture.
  • Hotel: Hotel Unique Resort and Spa 4+*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Shkodra and Tirana City Tours
  • Optional Experiences: Balkan Night Show
9
Day 9: Ohrid - St. Naum - Ohrid
Ohrid is home to the dazzling Ohrid Lake at the backdrop of a charming village ascending towards the hills, up to the marvellous castle – an immense site of UNESCO World Heritage. Join the optional experience of a calming boat trip on the Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and oldest lakes of Europe, presenting splendid views of the village and monasteries along the coast. Disembark at the old town to launch your guided tour. Join your expert guide as we discover the hidden chapels, ancient crafts and all the stunning sights scattered along the narrow cobble-stone streets. We then depart for the gorgeous St. Naum Monastery complex and natural wonderland. Perched on the hills with astounding views of the lake, the incredibly well-preserved Eastern Orthodox monastery stood for more than a thousand years. After discovering the charming monastery, savour a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, surrounded by astounding nature, floating above natural pools maintained by the lake. Blessed with lakes, waterfalls and a beach to Lake Ohrid, we will enjoy our afternoon relaxing at St. Naum, never wanting to leave. We return to our hotel in Ohrid in time for dinner and a refreshing rest.
  • Hotel: Hotel Unique Resort and Spa 4+*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Ohrid Guided Tour, St. Naum Monastery Visit
10
Day 10: Ohrid - Skopje
Following breakfast, we part with the marvellous Lake Ohrid and drive to the Macedonian capital. With a scenic ride through lush fields, hills and mountains, we arrive in Skopje and check-in to our hotel around noon. Join a guided tour with our local expert and follow the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Discover the immense cultural heritage with countless monuments and samples of fine architecture scattered all around the vibrant town. Personal leisure time in the afternoon, so you can dive deep into history and find every hidden landmark around town, and enjoy the vibrant main street hosting many local cafes, bars and restaurants. You may return to the hotel for dinner and a relaxing rest, or enjoy the town centre.
  • Hotel: Holiday Inn Skopje 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Skopje City Tour
11
Day 11: Skopje - Matka Canyon - Sofia
Enjoy a filling breakfast at our stylish hotel, it is time to savour the stunning nature of nearby Matka Canyon. Home to diverse endemic life, wonderful lakes, medieval monasteries, caves, valleys and trekking routes, the canyon offers a myriad of unique experiences. You can join an optional boat trip in Matka Lake, visiting the fascinating caves only accessible via water, and have lunch with spectacular views after trekking through the canyon on a nature adventure. Driving through the beautiful Balkans landscape, we arrive at our hotel in Sofia. Join a heart-warming farewell dinner with your fellow travellers, the perfect end to your discovery of the colourful Balkans.
  • Hotel: Hilton Sofia 5*
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Key Highlights: Matka Canyon
12
Day 12: Sofia
Our incredible Balkans adventure comes to an end following breakfast. Make sure to bid farewell to your newfound friends and exchange numbers before checking-out of the hotel (at 11:00). Complementary airport transfers are available all day, have a safe and smooth journey!
  • Meals: Breakfast
Start
Price ($)

What is included?

5 Star Characteristic Hotels

Accommodation in authentic, comfortable and ideally located premium hotels.

Luxury Transportation

Deluxe air-conditioned coach with restroom and complimentary bottled water.

Exceptional Authentic Dining

11 Breakfasts, 10 Dinners

Travel Director

Expert Travel Director & Local Guides

Journey Highlights

Unique itineraries with all must-see sights, more inclusions. Find more details below and in the itinerary.

All Entrance Fees To All Sights

Entrance fees to all cultural, historical and natural sites on tour.

Private Airport Transfer

Complimentary private airport transfers on arrival and departure dates.

Baggage Handling

Seamless baggage handling, delivered to your room at every hotel.

All Tips, Taxes And Porterage Charges

Tips at the hotels and restaurants, all taxes and porterage fees.

Personal Radio Headsets

Personal radio headsets on tours with 8 or more guests.

Free Wi-Fi

Complimentary hotel and coach Wi-Fi (where available).

Inclusive Sightseeing Highlights

  • Belgrade
    Belgrade

    Belgrade is the capital and largest city of the southeast European country of Serbia.

  • Budva
    Budva

    Budva is a town in Montenegro and known for best nightlife on the Adriatic Sea.

  • Dubrovnik
    Dubrovnik

    This complex is one of the most beautiful and strongest fortified systems in Europe, but the lively streets show that there is more! Party in a 13th Century fortress anyone?

  • Kotor
    Kotor

  • Mostar
    Mostar

    Mostar is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and known for the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge).

  • Ohrid
    Ohrid

    Ohrid is a large town in Macedonia on the shore of Lake Ohrid and a UNESCO heritage site since 1980.

  • Sarajevo
    Sarajevo

    Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its main cultural, economic centre.

  • Sofia
    Sofia

    Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria.ıt has rich history from Roman and Ottoman Empires.

  • Tirana
    Tirana

    Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania.It is also culturel and economical center of the country.

  • Trebinje
    Trebinje

    Trebinje is the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 28 km far from Dubrovnik.

Sofia: : National Library, Sofia University, The Parliament, the St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral, the National Theatre and St. Sofia Church.
Belgrade: Kalemegdan Fortress, Republica Square and Knez Mihailova Street, Terazije, Parliament, St. Mark’s Church, St. Sava Temple and the Royal Palace, Slavija Square, Saint Sava Temple
Sarajevo: City Hall, Spite House, Bascarsija Square, Sebilj Fountain,  Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque and Madresa
Mostar: Mostar City and Mostar Bridge
Dubrovnik: Dubrovnik Old Town
Kotor: Kotor Old Town
Tirana: Ethem Bey Mosque,  Clock Tower, Skanderbeg Square
Ohrid: Ohrid City Tour, Ohrid Lake, St.Naum Monastery
Skopje: Skopje City Tour, Matka Canyon

Stay in Style

Knowing that your accommodation may separate a great holiday from a perfect one, we have carefully selected the below 5-Star hotels of comfort and style:
Please view “Hotels” section for more details about the accommodation used on this trip.

  • Hilton Sofia
    Hilton Sofia

    In the heart of Sofia and surrounded by South Park, Hilton Sofia offers modern accommodations, premium amenities and stu

    Read More
  • Hotel Metropol Palace
    Hotel Metropol Palace

    Metropol Palace is a stunning Luxury Collection Hotel in the very center of Belgrade wi

    Read More
  • Swissotel Sarajevo
    Swissotel Sarajevo

    Located in the city center, where hospitality is part of the nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Swissotel Sarajevo offers

    Read More
  • Central Park Hotel
    Central Park Hotel

    The hotel is located in a building that has a very interesting history and tradition. It was built in 1894, shortly afte

    Read More
  • Grand Hotel Europa
    Grand Hotel Europa

    Grand Hotel Europa provides 50 rooms with a panoramic view of the mountain. Since 1998, it has been hosting guests in Sh

    Read More
  • Hotel Unique Resort and Spa
    Hotel Unique Resort and Spa

    Situated in Ohrid, 2.1 km from Cuba Libre Beach, Unique - Resort and SPA features accommodation with a restaurant, free

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  • Holiday Inn Skopje
    Holiday Inn Skopje

    The hotel overlooks the River Vardar, a two-minute walk from the iconic Stone Bridge. Refined, air-conditioned rooms f

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What is not included ?

  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa fees
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hilton Sofia


In the heart of Sofia and surrounded by South Park, Hilton Sofia offers modern accommodations, premium amenities and stunning views of Vitosha Mountain. Hilton Sofia is located in the city center and just over a mile from Sofia attractions including Alexander Newsky Cathedral and nine miles from UNESCO World Heritage Site Boyana Church.  Sofia International Airport, just 25 minutes away.

Hotel Metropol Palace


Metropol Palace is a stunning Luxury Collection Hotel in the very center of Belgrade with its park surroundings. With its exceptional accommodation and impeccable service, Metropol Palace offers you an unforgettable experience. The hotel features 198 beautifully appointed guest rooms and 38 suites including breath-taking Belgrade Suite and Presidential Suite. The various hotel venues - ballrooms, conference halls, fine dining restaurant, lobby, bar and park garden can accommodate all types of business and leisure events. The luxurious Limegrove Fitness & Spa Center encompasses a 25-meter long pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym, relaxation area, steam bath, ice fountain and 6 treatment rooms.

Swissotel Sarajevo


Located in the city center, where hospitality is part of the nature of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Swissotel Sarajevo offers contemporary and modern designed rooms with stunning views, free Wi-Fi, state of the art Wellness and Spa facilities, as well as two restaurants. All of the 218 comfortable rooms and suites of the Swissotel Sarajevo feature a flat-screen TV, coffee and tea making facilities, large windows with accompanying seating duvets, walk in shower and an electronic safe. Traditional Bosnian food, with a touch of international and oriental cuisine, is all served within The Fusion restaurant.

Central Park Hotel


The hotel is located in a building that has a very interesting history and tradition. It was built in 1894, shortly after the Austro-Hungarian monarchy came to these spaces, in the architectural style that dominated in the second half of the 19th century. The authentic appearance of the building is preserved during its restoration. Hotel Central Park is a 4* hotel strategically situated in the heart of city Trebinje

Grand Hotel Europa


Grand Hotel Europa provides 50 rooms with a panoramic view of the mountain. Since 1998, it has been hosting guests in Shkoder. This venue offers 24-hour front desk assistance, laundry and a doctor on call as well as a night club, a sunbathing terrace and an indoor swimming pool.

Hotel Unique Resort and Spa


Situated in Ohrid, 2.1 km from Cuba Libre Beach, Unique - Resort and SPA features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. With a bar, the property also has a garden, as well as water sports facilities. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and luggage storage for guests.

Holiday Inn Skopje


The hotel overlooks the River Vardar, a two-minute walk from the iconic Stone Bridge. Refined, air-conditioned rooms feature flat-screen TVs with cable channels, and pillow menus to help you sleep well. You can wake up to a hot buffet breakfast in Restaurant Iris, and dine on local and international dishes in Restaurant Ogniste. After a busy day, relax with a sauna, or join friends for a glass of wine or cocktails in the relaxed Aperitif Bar, or out on the terrace.