Best of Balkans tour in 17 days


Day 1 – Meet at Ljubljana Airport and on to Ljubljana 

Welcome to Slovenia! Upon landing at Jože Pučnik Airport in Ljubljana, you will meet your guide and start the tour. First, we drive to Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. Settle at the hotel and if time permits, do a walking tour of the major sites in downtown Ljubljana. We will explore the lively city center and saunter down the main street along the banks of the Ljubljanica River. Visit a classical European castle, parks, and churches as we wind our way around by foot. We will appreciate the legacy of architect Jože Plečnik around the city at worthwhile stops such as the National Library, Central Market, Triple Bridge, and Plečnik's own home turned museum, all under the watchful eyes of the city's many signature dragons. The Central Market is also a key site for sampling local cuisine at its many stalls. Overnight at a hotel in Ljubljana. 

Day 2 – From Ljubljana to Lake Bled  

After a healthy breakfast, we have a short transfer to one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. We drive towards Lake Bled. This picture-postcard lake with its island is one of Slovenia's main attractions. First, we visit a medieval castle clinging to a rocky cliff. Then we walk down to the lake and take a traditional »pletna boat« to the island. We enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant. Then we drive to Vintgar Gorge, where we walk the craggy walkways and see some nice waterfalls. Afternoon is free for you to explore at your own pace. Of course, you have to try a slice of the famous Bled cream cake (kremšnita). Overnight in a hotel in Bled.  

Day 3 – From Bled to Postojna and Piran

After breakfast, we continue on our discovery of Slovenia. We drive to Postojna caves, the world's most captivating cave with magnificent cave formations and diverse fauna. We take an unforgettable ride on the underground train and walk around in just a small part of the 24-kilometer cave. A Fairytale castle nearby is another unmissable attraction. We visit Predjama Castle, which is perched in the middle of a 123m high cliff for over 800 years. Our next stop will be Štanjel castle, which sits in a picturesque village of Štanjel. Of course, we do not miss sampling some traditional food in the surrounding villages. Since we are in the wine region, we also visit a wine cellar and sample some excellent Slovenian wines. One more scenic stop at Socerb castle, to see an amazing view of Slovenia's coast. We then head on to the coast and settle in our hotel in Piran. Overnight in Piran. 

Day 4 – Piran, Slovenian coast and on to Rovinj (Croatia) 

After breakfast, we head out on a walking tour of Piran. We walk along old houses and hear stories and legends of the past. Of course, we do not miss the main highlights of Tartini square and church of Saint George. Our next spot will be Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, where we wander the salt flats and learn about salt harvesting in the area. We leave the coastal area and drive inland to Hrastovlje, to visit the church of Holy Trinity with its famous mural Dance of Death. Krkavče is one of the most beautiful villages full of Istrian architecture and of course, we do not miss the opportunity to walk around. We then cross the border with Croatia and drive to Rovinj. Overnight in Rovinj.

 Day 5 – Visit of Rovinj and Pula and then on to Plitvice 

After breakfast, we have time to walk around charming old town of Rovinj. We wander through the Old Town and see all the Mediterranean influence and traditional Istrian Architecture. Then we are off to Pula. We visit the 1st century arena where we unravel the city's historical role as a strategic location for the Romans, Ostrogoth’s, Venetians and Allied Forces in World War II. Afternoon we drive to Lake Plitvice. We enjoy the scenery of the Adriatic coasts deep blue seas, studded with rocky islands, before heading inland to visit one of Europe’s greatest natural wonders. Evening arrival to Plitvice where we settle in a hotel. Overnight at a hotel in Plitvice area. 

Day 6 – Visit Plitvice national park and Krka waterfalls and end the day in Šibenik  

After breakfast, we go on a short drive to Plitvice Lakes National park. Start with a walk around the Upper Lakes (Gornja Jezera), where you can get up close to native wildlife and enjoy dazzling views over the lakes. Then, hop aboard a sightseeing boat for a cruise around the Lower Lakes (Donja Jezera) and pass by the awe-inspiring Veliki Slap waterfall, which towers over 255 feet (78 meters). After the hike we start our drive towards the seaside again. We have another beautiful stop at Krka Waterfall. Then we are off to nearby city of Šibenik. We go straight to our hotel and after a short break we walk around the town os Šibenik together. Šibenik’s narrow winding streets, stone houses and stone stairways will make you feel as though you have stepped back in time.  Overnight in a hotel in Šibenik. 

Day 7 – Šibenik to Split 

After a late breakfast and possibly some free time we drive on to Split. We will discover all about this beautiful city on Dalmatian coast, full of old Roman history and modern lifestyle. The old town is built within the ancient ruins of Diocletian Palace. Old town is on UNESCO world heritage list. Full of cosy bars, restaurants, shops and museums. Walking around Split is the best way to learn about it’s beauty. We admire famous landmarks such as the Diocletian's Palace, the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Domnius, the Golden Gate and the Riva Harbor. After our walking tour enjoy some free time in Split. Transfer to hotel in the area. Overnight in Split. 

Day 8 – From Split to Medjugorje and on to beautiful Mostar (Bosnia and Hercegovina) 

After breakfast, we start our drive south. After crossing the border and finishing formalities we head on to Medjugorje, where we hike to Mount Apparition, where the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared. Just before we arrive to Medjugorje we have a stop at Kravice waterfalls.  You will have some free time in Medjugorje. Short drive will take us to Mostar. This magnificent city will leave you speechless. The city is divided between Muslim and Christian communities by the Neretva River. Old bridge is a site to behold, we walk around the city and visit the Old Bazaar. We then head to our hotel and you will have the rest of the day free to explore at your own pace. Overnight in Mostar. 

Day 9 – From Mostar to Ston and famous Dubrovnik (Croatia) 

After breakfast, head back to Croatia, cross the border and finish border formalities. Our first goal will be the beautiful walled village of Ston. A beautiful village with 7 kilometer of stone wall surrounding it. Dalmatian atmosphere at its best. We walk around and enjoy the laid-back village. One more stop at the nearby salt pans, where we learn how salt is produced in one of the oldest salt pans in Europe. We then continue on to Dubrovnik where we arrive in the evening. Transfer to hotel for overnight. 

Day 10 - Dubrovnik 

We leave the best of Croatia for last. After breakfast, we start our walking tour of Dubrovnik, pearl of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik was a very significant centre of trade and a Mediterranean maritime power from the 13th century on. With the help of unesco and despite major earthquaqes and war it has  preserved its world’s famous City walls, beautiful palaces, churches, monasteries and fountains. We admire Rector's Palace, Onofrio'sFountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Afternoon will be free for you to enjoy at your own pace. 

Day 11 – Leaving Dubrovnik and heading on to Kotor 

After breakfast we continue our journey through the Balkans. At Prevlaka peninsula we will cross the border between Croatia and Montenegro. After finishing entry formalities we go on to Herceg Novi to visit Perast. In Perast, we visit the small island of Our Lady of the Rocks and the church bearing the same that was built in XVII century. It is famous for the 68 frescos painted by the best master of the Baroque fresco painting of that time - Tripo Kokolja. Next stop will be the ancient town of Kotor – the pearl of the medieval Mediterranean, which is presented in its full beauty. During the visit to the Old Kotor hop in the famous St Tryphon Cathedral and the Maritime Museum of Kotor, which preserve the valuable exhibits of old traditions. After the visit we head to our hotel and then you will have free time to enjoy Kotor at your own pace. 

Day 12 – From Kotor we go on to Albania 

After breakfast we continue driving to the border with Albania. After finishing border formalities we head on to the city of Shkoder. We explore Rozafa Castle the site occupied by a fortress since Illyrian times, however most of what can be seen today is of Venetian origin. Another drive takes us to Kruje, former Albanian capital of Kruja. Kruja was the last stronghold of Skanderbeg's (the national hero of Albania) army until the Ottomans took over the entire country. We explore the citadel and the famous bazaar area. Then visit the excellent ethnographical museum housed inside the fortress. Another short drive will take us to Tirana where we settle in our hotel. Overnight in a hotel in Tirana. 

Day 13 – Tirana, capital of Albania and drive to Berat

After breakfast we have time to visit the capital of Albania. Tirana is the biggest city, but it's city center is still small and compact, with architectural influences from Italy and Turkey. Recently many buildings have been painted to alleviate the Soviet bloc feeling that pervaded. We visit the National Museum and  Et’hem Bey Mosque which sits right on the city’s main square.  After some free time to walk around and enjoy some coffee we go on to Berat.  We have a short stop at the seaside town of Durrës. After a short walk around we drive to Berat and settle in our hotel. Overnight in a hotel in Berat. 

Day 14 – Visiting fabulous Berat and driving to Ohrid (Macedonia) 

After breakfast we visit the town of a thousand windows, and one of the few towns of Albania that escaped being razed to the ground to make way for apartment blocks. The old Mangalemi district has recently been inscribed on UNESCO's world heritage list. Enjoy an morning walking tour of the town and the fortress, built during the 13th century and still inhabited. We enjoy some really spectacular views from the top of the fort  across Berat and the Osum river valley.  After lunch in Berat we drive to Macedonia. We cross the border and in the evening arrive to Ohrid, a town situated on a lake with the same name. Overnight in hotel in Ohrid. 

Day 15 - Ohrid 

Today we have time to visit Ohrid. The town is said to have once been home to 365 churches, one for each day of the year, earning it the nickname “the Macedonian Jerusalem”, while historical excavations date back to Neolithic times. We go on a morning walking tour and visit the main sites including the Macedonian Orthodox Church of Sveti Jovana Kaneo, situated on a rocky outcrop above the town, overlooking the lake. While returning back to town we explore the old walls and fortress, and admire the views of the lake. Rest of the day is free for you to explore. You can visit Sveti Naum or take a scenic boat ride on the lake. Of course you can enjoy Ohrid’s old town and vibrant life.  Overnight in Ohrid. 

Day 16 – From Ohrib to Skopje  

After breakfast we have our last long drive of the tour. Today we are heading towards the capital of Macedonia. Our first stop will be Bitola, where we have a short walking tour of the Old Town. After some coffee we head to Kavadarci for wine tasting and small lunch. In the afternoon we arrive to Skopje, which will leave us enough time to visit the capital of Macedonia. We go on a walking tour of the capital and visit the Memorial House of Mother Teresa, Old Railway Station, Civilizations in Macedonia Bridge, Church St.Spas (Holly Savior), Skopje Fortress and of course old town Bezisten with its numerous mosques. After the walk transfer to hotel in the city centre. Overnight in Skopje. 

Day 17 – End of the tour 

Depending on your international flight we transfer you to airport in Skopje.

COST OF THE TOUR:

Send us you inquiry for private or group tours to info@gekko-slovenia.com 

OUR TOURS INCLUDE

  • Airport Pick up and Drop off          
  • Comfortable air-conditioned vehicle at disposal per program          
  • Professional knowledgeable English speaking driver          
  • Professional local guidance at points of interest          
  • All cost related to the vehicle – gas, parking, highway tolls          
  • All costs related to the driver          
  • Free Wi-Fi avaliable in the vehicle     

ACCOMODATION

You can always book your own accomodation or we can take car of that for you. There is a huge variety of accomodation possible. Tourist farms, pensions, B&B, standard hotels, luxury hotels. You name it and we will let you know the options.  

  • Needed accomodation for this tour     
  • 17 days / 16 overnights   
  • 1 night Ljubljana      
  • 1 night Bled        
  • 1 night Piran        
  • 1 night Rovinj
  • 1 night Plitvice
  • 1 night Šibenik
  • 1 night Split
  • 1 night Mostar
  • 2 nights Dubrovnik 
  • 1 night Kotor
  • 1 night Tirana
  • 1 night Berat
  • 2 nights Ohrid
  • 1 night Skopje        

HOW WE DRIVE AROUND

Depending on the group size we use air-conditioned van’s (4-8 passangers) or limousine (1-3 passangers) 

Free Wi-Fi avaliable in the vehicle