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Peter Deacon

Croatia and the Balkans - Small Group Touring

See the amazing sights and sounds of Croatia and the Balkans on an ALL INCLUSIVE small group tour with Escorted Escapes.

Escorted Escapes are a local tour company that specialise in small group tours to bucket list destinations. Our tour sizes are limited to 20 passengers and our demographic is mostly 50+. We have an Australian based tour host who travels with the group from Australia, we included ALL AIRFARES, breakfast daily and other selected meals, tipping and visa's, as well as a lot of included sightseeing. This is a great tour if you are a solo traveller as the host is there to look after you throughout the journey.

Travel Date:
24 August - 14 September 2020
$9995 Per Person (Twin Share)
$11495 Per Person (Solo Traveller)

HIGHLIGHTS

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
• Soak in the view of Lake Ohrid, from the cobbled streets of the old town to admiring the spectacular setting of the St Naum Monastery on the edge of the lake
• Spend time in Dubrovnik, with its distinctive old town overlooking the endless shimmer of the Adriatic sea - it never disappoints
• Take a ferry journey from Split to the Isle of Chiovo and admire its Venetian Architecture
• Explore the intricate cave system of the Matka Canyon in Macedonia
• Mix with the locals in Zagreb at the Dolac Bazaar markets that separate the upper and lower towns, full of local produce from all over the country
• Take a boat ride to the magical tear-shaped Bled Island located on one of Slovenia’s most
beautiful lakes
• Spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park,
renowned for its dramatic waterfalls, glittering lakes, and lush forested cliffs.
• Experience Sarajevo, where East meets the West, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world
• Admire the iconic medieval stone bridge in Mostar, the Balkans’ most renowned bridge.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 AUSTRALIA - ZAGREB
Our Escorted Escape begins today as we fly from Australia to Zagreb.

DAY 2 ZAGREB
On arrival at Zagreb Airport today, we are met by our guide and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at your leisure.
Accommodation: Dubrovnik Hotel

DAY 3 ZAGREB
Discover the charm of Zagreb as we spend the day exploring Zagreb’s main sights including the famed markets of Dolac Bazaar, St. Mark’s Church, the medieval Stone Gate and Pope’s tower, built to protect the southern city gate. We also stop by the central Ban Josip Jelacic Square, a popular meeting place, then make our way to the Lotrscak Church and the beautiful tree-lined Cemetery of Mirogoj where you can discover the graves of writers, poets and composers. This evening get further acquainted with your fellow travellers at our welcome dinner.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Dubrovnik Hotel

DAY 4 LJUBLJANA
This morning we travel to Bled and visit the medieval Bled Castle perched atop a steep cliff, rising 130m above the glacial Lake Bled. We take a boat ride on the Lake to visit the Assumption of Mary Church , where according to legend every wish can come true, by ringing the church bell 3 times. We then continue to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana and enjoy a panoramic city tour including Medieval Castle, City Hall, Cathedral of St. Nicholas and Triple Bridge.
Meals: B Accommodation: Hotel Radisson Blu Plaza

DAY 5 PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK - BIHAC
Today experience a fascinating subterranean paradise at the Postojna Caves, with 24kms of underground passages, galleries and halls. Later, we travel to the renowned Plitvice Lakes National Park, boasting 16 cascading lakes, breathtaking canyons, and Croatia’s tallest waterfall. We spend the evening at the charming riverside town of Bihac on the banks of the Una River.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Hotel Etno Garden

DAY 6 SARAJEVO
Today we make our way to Sarajevo, the historic capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We explore the city highlights, including the Begova Mosque, Cathedral of the Sacred Jesus Heart, Eternal Flame memorial and the ancient Turkish Old Bazaar. Enjoy some free time in the fascinating old town this afternoon before a group dinner this evening.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Novotel Sarajevo

DAY 7 SARAJEVO
We pay a visit to the Sarajevo War Tunnel “Tunnel of Hope” – an underground tunnel located under the Airport area constructed in 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo. We then make our way to the National Park Vrelo Bosna, a peaceful and relaxing park at the foothills of Mt Igman. The afternoon is free to explore Sarajevo before we meet for dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Novotel Sarajevo

DAY 8 BELGRADE
We visit Novi Sad, the second largest Serbian city enroute to Belgrade . Discover the main city sights, including the Petrovaradin Fortress, towering over the river on a 40m high rocky cliff. It is considered Europe’s second largest fortress, and one of the best-preserved. This evening we dine at the hotel restaurant.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: IN Hotel Belgrade

DAY 9 BELGRADE
We continue our exploration of Belgrade this morning. Along with its wonderful sights, what makes Belgrade special is that it brandishes a boastful and freewheeling energy while retaining its enduring grit. You’ll have time to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps do some shopping in Knez Mihailova Street, the main pedestrian and shopping zone – one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks of the city.
Meals: B Accommodation: IN Hotel Belgrade

DAY 10 SKOPJE
Today travel to the Macedonian capital, Skopje; known for its cultural and historical monuments and archaeological sites. Enjoy a panoramic city tour, viewing landmarks including the Square of Macedonia, Stone Bridge, and the Castle of Skopje. This evening enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Mariott Hotel Skopje

DAY 11 SKOPJE
We spend today at Matka Canyon. Covering approximately 5,000 hectares, Matka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia and home to several medieval monasteries. The Matka Lake within the Matka Canyon, is the oldest artificial lake in the country. There are ten caves at Matka Canyon, with the shortest in length being 20 metres, and the longest being 176 metres long.
Meals: B Accommodation: Mariott Hotel Skopje

DAY 12 OHRID
Today we head to Ohrid, a small resort city on the hilly shores of Lake Ohrid, with steep streets dotted with beautiful churches and topped by the bones of a medieval castle. Take in the stunning lakeside scenery and main sights of the city on a walking tour. There will also be time for some shopping in the Ottoman Bazaar.
Meals: B Accommodation: Hotel Alexandrija

DAY 13 OHRID
Discover the UNESCO-listed landscapes of Lake Ohrid today, heading south towards the Albanian border to the St Naum Monastery – an imposing sight on a bluff on the shores of the lake and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Macedonia. Relax on a boat ride on the picturesque lake, before returning to Ohrid in the afternoon.
Meals: B Accommodation: Hotel Alexandrija

DAY 14 BUDVA
We farewell Macedonia this morning and make our way to the Albanian capital, Tirana. Discover the city’s major landmarks, including the main city plaza; Skanderbeg Square, the Et’hem Bey Mosque, Opera building and Ministries building. Afterward, we make our way to Budva, a historic Montenegrin town on the Adriatic Sea famed for its stunning beaches.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Hotel Adria Budva

DAY 15 BUDVA
The city of Budva dates back 3,450 years and is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic Sea. Most of the buildings were erected during the Venetian rule. In the present day, narrow streets are lined with modern cafes, churches and galleries. Explore the town before we board a boat to cruise the Adriatic Sea to Kotor for some more sightseeing. Kotor is a fortified coastal city, characterized by winding streets and squares and a medieval old town.
Meals: B Accommodation: Hotel Adria Budva

DAY 16 DUBROVNIK
Today we travel along the coastline to Croatia’s southern seaport Dubrovnik, overlooking the calm blue Adriatic Sea. A prominent tourist destination, Dubrovnik is known for its distinctive Old Town encircled with massive stone walls dating back to the 16 th century. Our city tour highlights include Stradun Square, The Palace of Rector and the Time Tower.
Meals: B Accommodation: Hotel Neptum

DAY 17 DUBROVNIK
Enjoy a full-day excursion, crossing the border back into Bosnia and Herzegovina to Mostar. Mostar is known for its iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), a reconstructed medieval arched bridge spanning 29 metres and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We ascend to the Koski Mehmet-Pasha Mosque, which offers panoramic city views. We return to Dubrovnik in the afternoon and enjoy a group dinner this evening.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Hotel Neptum

DAY 18 SPLIT
Today we break our journey to Split with a visit to a Mali Ston oyster farm for a wine tasting tour and lunch. The bay of Mali Ston has been famous for seashell cultivation since the days of the Roman Empire. After lunch, we continue to Split, the largest city in the Dalmatia region and one of the most vibrant port cities, stunningly located between mountains and the sea.
Meals: B + L Accommodation: Hotel Cvita

DAY 19 SPLIT
This morning we visit the town of Trogir, situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Ciovo, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Venetian architecture. We return to Split for some sightseeing including Diocletian’s Palace, Jupiter’s Temple and the St Duje Cathedral. This evening is our farewell group dinner.
Meals: B + D Accommodation: Hotel Cvita

DAY 20 SPLIT – AUSTRALIA
Today we farewell Croatia and head to the airport to begin our journey home.
Meals: B

DAY 21 IN TRANSIT
Today is spent travelling

DAY 22 AUSTRALIA
Our Escorted Escapes concludes today. On arrival, farewell your new friends and tour host as you head home

ACTIVITY RATING
This tour requires an adequate level of fitness and mobility to participate. It is essential that all passengers are able to:
• Walk 2km at any one time unaided
• Get in and out of coaches
• Manage your own luggage
• Long travel days expected
Member is Escorted E (Warana)
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