Enquire About This Tour Code EEDD Balkans Encompassed
Duration: 29 Days Route: Dubrovnik to Dubrovnik Style: Adventure Tours Price: US$4,479.00
Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia
Spend a month in some of the lesser-known Eastern Europe countries. Enjoy the popular highlights and hidden gems off the main tourist trail, including modern cities with historic old towns, fairytale castles perched on the edge of glittering lakes, elaborately decorated cathedrals, monasteries and mosques, sun-soaked Mediterranean islands and towering mountain ranges.
Tour Dossier Introduction
- Dossier Last Updated: 27-06-2014
- Tour Code: EEDD
- Duration: 28 nights / 29 days
- Joining City: Dubrovnik
- Departure City: Dubrovnik
- Nearest Joining International Airport: Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
- Nearest Departing International Airport: Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
Please check this document just before departing in case of last minute changes to your tour.
Entry & Guided Tour of Diocletian's Palace
Entrance to Plitvice Lakes National Park
Guided Tour of Ljubljana
Transport to Lake Bled
Entry to the KGB Museum
Free time at Lake Ohrid
Entry to Ostrog Monastery
Entry to Kotor
28 nights in hotels, hostels & guesthouses
Travel by Public Bus, Private Vehicle, Train, Minibus, Taxi, Foot
Tucan Travel Tour Leader, English-speaking local guide(s) on included excursions
What's not Included
International flights and departure taxes
Domestic flight taxes if applicable
Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation
Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
Optional excursions - Please see our optional excursions guide on the dossier page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.
Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Dubrovnik
The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.
Your tour begins with the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, the UNESCO World Heritage listed walled city of Dubrovnik.
With a paved town centre enclosed in fortress-like 13th century stone walls, the city is easy to explore on foot and is full of character. A great start to your exploration of Dubrovnik could be with a walk around the city walls. Stretching almost 2 kilometres around the old town, the walls offer stunning rooftop and city views out to the turquoise blue Adriatic Sea. Founded in the 7th century, for a time in its glorious past the city was a serious rival for Venice in terms of maritime trade. It is hard to believe now but in 1991, two out of every three buildings were damaged during the bombardment of the Yugoslav War. Since then the buildings and walls have been painstakingly restored to pristine condition and represents one of the most beautiful and solid fortress systems on the Mediterranean. There are several other historic attractions worth a visit near the main street (Stradun), such as the 14th century Franciscan monastery which houses a treasury full of sacred art and artefacts, as well as one of the oldest continually working pharmacies in the world, dating back to 1317.
Optional Excursions: Museum of the Orthodox Church – HRK 10 • Synagogue – HRK 10 • 14th century Dominican Monastery – HRK 15 • Rector’s Palace – HRK 20 • Lokrum Island – ferry HRK 80 • Half day kayaking – €40 • Scuba diving – one boat dive €46, two dives €83, wreck dive €55 • Dubrovnik 24 hour City Card – HRK 130 • Cable car – HRK 97 return
Day 2 to 2 - Korčula
Heading now out to the islands of Croatia, we hop to Marco Polo’s birthplace, sunny Korčula which offers numerous secluded beaches and bays with stunning views over the Adriatic. The main town on the island is also called Korčula, featuring medieval walls and forts as well as many fine museums housing priceless works of art. While you’re visiting the island you may have the chance to see a Moreska dance, a spectacular combat dance performed with swords.
Optional Excursions: Korcula Moreska Sword Dance – HRK 100 • Marco Polo House where the explorer was believed to be born – HRK 25
Day 3 to 4 - Hvar Island
Boasting more sunshine hours than any of the other sun-soaked Dalmatian islands, Hvar Island offers fairytale Venetian architecture, a waterfront promenade fringed by palm trees and centuries old walls. With all of this and an historic fortress overlooking it all, it’s no wonder picturesque Hvar Town is considered a chic destination for the rich and famous, and you may be lucky enough to see one or two familiar faces here.
Built by the Venetian Doges in the 13th century, Hvar Town is a maze of cobblestone streets and sunny squares bordered by al fresco cafés and restaurants. The most important sights such as Cathedral of St Stephen, Clock Tower and the Arsenal flank the main square, while a picturesque expanse of terracotta-roofed houses and tiny streets cover the hill behind. One of the simplest pleasures on the island is to take part in the evening stroll around the town and take in the views - don’t forget to buy an ice cream from a local slasticarna, the Croatian equivalent of the Italian gelateria. You may also enjoy a stroll around the harbour, which is often filled with multimillion-dollar yachts, a reflection of the lavish lifestyles of the wealthy visitors to the island. You will have time to explore smaller villages of Stari Grad, Jelsa, taking in lavender fields, Vrboska and Brusje, wineries, eco villages and experiencing the local culture.
Optional Excursions: Franciscan Monastery Museum – HRK 25 • Return bus to Stari Grad, one of the oldest towns in Croatia – HRK 54 • Municipal Theatre and Art Gallery – HRK 20 • Scuba diving – €35 shore dive. Boat dives will cost approximately €46 for one dive or €83 for two dives. For certified divers only.
Day 5 to 5 - Split
Back on the mainland, we head to Split but not before we stop in for a visit to the Venetian-style port town of Trogir. Dating back to the 13th century, the beautifully preserved medieval centre was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. As you meander through its tiny streets, you’ll discover that this charming port town has more than its share of cultural heritage, with palaces, Romanesque churches, and Renaissance and Baroque buildings from Venetian times in abundance. You’ll also discover plenty of restaurants and shops hidden away in various nooks and crannies. Enjoy a walk along the seaside promenade and wander down to see the harbour.
We then drive on to the coastal city of Split, built around the remains of the Diocletian Palace which dates back to the Roman era. Wander inside and take in Peristil Square where you can see an original Egyptian sphinx which was brought from Egypt by Roman emperor Diocletian. Another sphinx can be found near St John’s Church, which was originally a Roman temple. Take a tour of the Diocletian Palace or climb the campanile bell tower next to the palace’s mausoleum for spectacular views from the top.
If you want to relax there are plenty of al fresco bars and restaurants to choose from along the seafront, as well as gelati bars and cheaper pizzerias off the main roads. There is plenty of delicious Italian-influenced local cuisine to choose from, often at very reasonable prices. If you want to hang out with the locals, head for the beach at Bacvice. There are many cafés and places to eat icecream and it’s a great place to get a feeling of 'real' Croatia as the vast majority of people who go there are from Split.
Included Excursions: Diocletian Palace Tour
Optional Excursions: The City Museum of Split – HRK 20 • Split tour - €72 (plus €5 for entry to basement of Diocletan's Palace and €2 for Jupiter's Palace) • Bus to Trogir – HRK 21 • Cathedral of St Lovro in Trogir – HRK 25 (including cathedral tower) • Church of St John the Baptist in Trogir – free
Day 6 to 6 - Plitvice
Continuing our diverse journey through Croatia, our next stop is to explore Plitvice National Park, a beautiful reserve featuring 16 spectacular blue lakes surrounded by forest.
The lakes are linked by natural dams which create beautiful low level waterfalls joining one lake to another. Due to the varying mixtures of minerals in the water, each lake has a distinctive colour ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The surrounding forest features a mix of beech, spruce, and fir trees and is home to 126 species of birds and a number of rare animals including European brown bears, wolves, eagles, wild cats and eagles. Due to its natural beauty and significance, a 78 metre high, the park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979. The entire park can be seen in about 4 hours and you can get beautiful views from almost any vantage point. Don’t miss the Veliki Slap, 50 metre wide waterfall surrounded by boulders - a great place for photos.
Included Excursions: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 7 to 8 - Zagreb
After our time exploring the national park we continue to the Croatian capital of Zagreb, a vibrant cultural centre with a long history, located on the crossroads of important routes between the Adriatic coast and Central Europe. Originally established as two fortresses on two neighbouring hills in medieval times, the city has withstood numerous invasions, earthquakes and political upheaval to grow into a prosperous centre of industry. In your free time you can explore Ban Jelacic Square surrounded by grand buildings or visit the Zagreb Cathedral with its fountain of Madonna surrounded by golden angels. You can visit colourful open-air markets such as Dolac Market and discover the historic Upper Town with its palaces, monasteries and churches from the 17th and 18th centuries. There are also dozens of museums, theatres, galleries and art collections to visit, or take a tram to the medieval fortress of Medvedgrad on the southern side of nearby Mount Medvednica for beautiful views over the city., including Museum Mimara. Another interesting museum to see is the City of Zagreb Museum covering every facet of its long history. You could take a picnic to Maksimir Park about 3 kilometres from the city centre.
Optional Excursions: Lotrscak Tower – HRK 10 • Funicular, constructed in 1888, it connects the lower and upper towns – HRK 3 • Museum of the city of Zagreb – HRK 20 • Ethnographical Museum – HRK 15 • Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters – HRK 10 • Archaeological Museum – HRK 20 • Budget Walking Tour – €13
Day 9 to 10 - Ljubljana & Lake Bled
Crossing into Slovenia we visit the capital Ljubljana and enjoy a city tour of the main sights. In your free time you may enjoy a visit to the botanical gardens, Dragon bridge, Križanke or French revolution square, Tivoli park, Ljubljana city museum, Ljubljana castle (Ljubljanski Grad) on Castle Hill and the viewing tower in the castle courtyard for views across the Old Town. When you need to relax, sit down at one of the many outdoor riverside cafés in the Old Town, check out the Habsburg and Baroque architecture and enjoy the young fun vibe of Ljubljana’s large student population.
During our time in Slovenia we take a day trip to Bled, a magical little town about an hour and a half from Ljubljana, set near an emerald green lake. Perched on a cliff high above the lake on a bluff is the Bled Castle, dramatically framed by the snowcapped peaks of the Julian Alps. Dating back to the 11th century, Bled Castle is the epitome of a medieval fortress and has a fairytale appeal, with towers, ramparts, moats and a terrace offering magnificent views. Part of the castle houses a museum with an interesting collection of armour and weapons, carvings, jewellery, tapestries and paintings which trace the history of the castle from the Bronze Age to the 19th century. A walk around Lake Bled (about 6 kilometres) shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, including a short climb to a viewing point. The most romantic way to enjoy it is to hire a boat and row over to the island in the middle of the lake or for the non-rowers of the group you can take a Pletna boat and be taken across. On the island you can visit a small 17th century Baroque church called Church of the Assumption, complete with a ‘wishing bell’ which you can ring to ask a favour. If time permits you can also visit Vintgar Gorge, a raised timber walkway that tracks the gorges river for 1.6 kilometres to a beautiful waterfall.
Included Excursions: Ljubljana City Tour • Lake Bled
Optional Excursions: Funicular to the castle – €4 return, €2.20 one way • Slovenian Ethnographic Museum – €3.5 • City Museum – €2.5 • National Gallery – €3 • Museum of Contemporary History – €2.5 • Ljubljana Castle Belvedere – €6-8 • Bled Castle – €8 • Church of the Assumption – €12 for the pletna boat to the island plus €3 to enter the church and ring the bell for good luck • Bike hire – €3.5-11 • Tourist train around Lake Bled – €4 • Bus to Vintgar Gorge – €4 one way, €6.30 return
Day 11 to 12 - Budapest
Returning to Budapest, ‘Queen of the Danube’, take time to enjoy a relaxing soak in a thermal spa, wander the markets and further explore this historical city.
Day 13 to 13 - Novi Sad
Serbia’s cultural centre, Novi Sad, is overlooked by the magnificent Petrovaradin fortress. Built between 1692 and 1780, the fortress was repeatedly attacked but never taken by an enemy. Although it has long since lost its strategic military value, since 1951 it has been an important cultural centre and one of the largest art colonies in the world with over 88 art studios. Visitors can buy art, talk with the artists and feel the atmosphere of studios while works of art are created. There are also three interesting restaurants, a museum, catacombs, great views of the Danube. Novi Sad is also known for its international music festivals, underground military galleries and above ground, such as the International Street Musicians’ Festival in September offering diverse music genres, funny instruments, jugglers, street shows and acrobatics.
Optional Excursions: Petrovaradin Fortress – RSD 400
Day 14 to 15 - Belgrade
Located at the crossing point of the Sava and Danube rivers is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, where you will have plenty of time to explore. In the course of its long history, Belgrade has been captured 60 times, burned down around 40 times, and has risen phoenix-like from the ashes every time.
Looming over the old city is the ancient Kalemegdan Citadel, which was built in stages from the 1st century BC and was finally finished in the 18th century. We will visit the well-preserved ruins and may even see graffiti made by bored medieval guardsmen, as well as numerous museums and galleries. The view of the city from the fortress is fantastic and not to be missed. If time allows it is definitely worth a visit to St Sava Church, one of the largest Orthodox churches in world. The city itself offers excellent shopping opportunities, from luxurious upscale boutiques through to an enormous bazaar and a Saturday farmer’s market at Zeleni Venac selling an assortment of seasonal produce.
When you’re ready for a break, you can relax on the beach at ‘Belgrade Hawaii’, Ada Ciganlija, an island in the middle of the Sava River. During the summer the island attracts hundreds of thousands of people looking for a place to cool down, so it can be crowded on hot days. Belgrade is very well known for its nightlife and is a major draw card for Europeans looking for a party. There are countless nightclubs, bars, and cafés that stay lively into the wee hours of the night, many of which are located on river barges.
Included Excursions: Kalemegdan Citadel
Optional Excursions: Ethnographical Museum – RSD 100 • Nikola Tesla Museum – RSD 300 • National Museum – RSD 200 • Sightseeing bus – RSD 500
Day 16 to 16 - Niš
After Belgrade we move on to Niš, one of the oldest cities in the Balkans. Niš is the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor and founder of Constantinople, AD 306 to 337. If time allows we may have a chance to visit the Mediana ruins and see where Constantine the Great once lived. The most infamous attraction at Niš is the Ottoman skull-tower known as Ćele Kula. It dates from a time when ruling Ottoman soldiers were growing tired of Serb rebellions against occupation. After quelling an uprising in 1809, Ottoman troops decapitated 952 fallen Serbs and built a short, square tower out of the Serbs' heads. Within a few years the Serbs had managed to get rid of the Ottomans but kept the Skull Tower as a memorial to the sacrifice of the early Serb nationalists. There are about 58 skulls left - others were removed for burial or destroyed over time. Before our onward travel to Sofia in Bulgaria you have an opportunity to visit the Niš Concentration Camp and Museum, one of the few fully preserved fascist camps in Europe.
Optional Excursions: Ćele Kula (skull tower) – RSD 160 • Mediana, an archaeological site dating back to Constantine the Great – included in skull tower ticket • Archeological Museum – RSD 160 • Crveni Krst Concentration Camp – RSD 160
Day 17 to 18 - Sofia
Bulgaria’s capital Sofia offers a wealth of cultural entertainment, including Byzantine churches, museums full of ancient archaeological treasures, towering monuments and numerous mineral baths adjacent to the magnificent Mount Vitosha. Laid back and cosmopolitan, Sofia offers a thriving and diverse street life, including open-air cafés, busy markets such as the famous Ladies’ Market, rattling trams and buskers all adding to the ambience. At the foothills of Mount Vitosha about 8 kilometres from the city centre you can visit the 900 year-old Boyana Church, considered among the masterpieces of medieval European painting, which features murals and frescoes dating back to 1259 AD, medieval architecture and monumental art. Also at the base of Mt. Vitosha is the splendid National History Museum, with antiques dating back to the Thracian period.
Sofia also offers many beautiful gardens to relax in, such as Boris Gardens and the South Park, which starts just behind the Palace of Culture.
Optional Excursions: Ethnographical Museum – BGN 3 • National Art Gallery – BGN 6 • Alexander Nevski Cathedral – free • St Alexander Nevski Crypt – BGN 4 • National Museum of History – BGN 10
Day 19 to 19 - Skopje
In Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, you can enjoy 2,000 years of history spanning Oriental and Western cultures, neatly divided by the Vardar River through the centre of the city. Skopje has many historical monuments including the Kale Fortress dating back to the 6th century, the Daud Paša Amam, a 15th century bathhouse now converted into the city art gallery. You can also see the Mustafa-pasha's mosque, the 16th century Clock Tower and the Kamen Most (Stone Bridge) over the Vardar River.
Optional Excursions: Mother Teresa statue and memorial room – free • National Museum & Icon Gallery – MKD 50
Day 20 to 21 - Lake Ohrid
We travel on to the gorgeous lake side town of Ohrid, perching on the Macedonia/Albania border. This unassuming, picturesque settlement has been the setting of thousands of years of human history and the ancient churches, fortress walls, bazaars and old quarters are testimony to its past. Lake Ohrid itself is Europe’s oldest lake having formed over three millions years ago. Wander the streets and squares of its compact centre before hiking up to the ancient walled fortress that overlooks the day to day life of the city and explore the famous old churches, monasteries and basilicas.
Included Excursions: Visit Lake Ohrid
Optional Excursions: Sveta Bogorodica Bolnicka, originally a hospital church where plague victims were quarantined – free of charge • Sveti Nikola Bolnicki – free of charge • National Museum – MKD 100 • Samoils Fortress – MKD 50 • Sveta Bogorodica Perivlepta, a 13th century painted church – MKD 100 • St Pantelejmon monastery – free • Boat trip around Lake Ohrid - €15 per person (based on 6-8 people)
Day 22 to 22 - Tirana
We then head to Tirana, the trendy capital and largest city of Albania, which has transformed from a grey, dismal ex-communist city, isolated by the regime until the 1990s, to a colourful capital buzzing with life. While the city has a long history, you can enjoy its modern outlook, with fashionable bars, and wander boulevards lined with relics of the city’s Ottoman, clubs and boutiques, Italian and communist past. Tirana’s massive main square, Sheshi Skënderbej, is bordered by the National History Museum, the Palace of Culture, the National Bank, the Et'hem Bey Mosque and Skanderbeg's statue. A short bus ride from the centre city, the Martyr’s Cemetery offers marvellous panoramic views over the city. If time allows we may have an opportunity for a morning trip to Kruja.
Included Excursions: Kruja
Optional Excursions: National Art Gallery – Lek 200 • National Museum of History – Lek 200 • Muzeu Onufri (Onufri museum) – Lek 200 • Muzeu Etnografik – Lek 200 • Sky Bar & Restaurant – €2
Day 23 to 24 - Budva
Our next visit is to the seaside town of Budva in Montenegro. Budva (not to be confused with the Czech beer Budvar) is 2,500 years old, one of the oldest and most popular settlements on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro. This vibrant seaside town is well known for its sandy beaches, historic old town, diverse nightlife, and beautiful examples of Mediterranean architecture.
We will take a day trip to the picturesque Kotor, a walled city nestled at the bottom of Europe’s deepest fjord. Stari Grad, the old town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a tricky labyrinth of cobbled alleys, squares and ancient churches, including St Tryphon's Cathedral built in 1166. The mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to this beautiful town as they come down steeply, almost to the waterfront. You could spend the day drinking espresso in the shade of the medieval walls watching people go by. You can climb the walls of the ancient fort of Sveti Ivan which spans some 4.5 kilometres above the city on almost vertical cliffs. Your efforts will be rewarded by an excellent view of Kotor and the bay.
We will visit Ostrog Monastery, clinging precariously to an almost vertical cliff face. Ostrog Monastery is a famous Serbian Orthodox Church built in the 17th century to honour one of the four Montenegrin saints, Vasilije Jovanovic, who fled here from the Turks in 1665. The greatest spiritual centre of Montenegro and the most visited Orthodox shrine in the Balkans, the sanctuary still attracts pilgrims who hope to cure their illnesses and other problems by praying over his remains. You may also have time to take in the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje, visiting the Monastery and many museums showcasing some of Montenegro’s prosperous past.
Included Excursions: Kotor • Ostrog Monastery
Optional Excursions Budva Museum – €3 • Discover the picturesque old town – free • Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor), a full day trip of Mamula Island, Zanice beach and Blue cave – price TBA
Day 25 to 26 - Sarajevo
Crossing the border into the ‘heart-shaped land’ of Bosnia and Herzegovina we visit the capital Sarajevo, a fascinating mixture of western and eastern cultures. Known as the ‘Jerusalem of Europe’, the city was once famous for its religious diversity, with people of Islamic, Orthodox Christian, Catholic and Jewish faiths coexisting relatively peacefully for centuries. The atmosphere of calm and tolerance changed dramatically when violence erupted in the mid 1990s and the city underwent the longest siege in modern military history during the Yugoslav War.
Today the city is largely recovered and is packed with fascinating museums bazaars, markets and bridges. During your time here you could explore the cobbled streets, mosques and Oriental style shops of the Old Town, visit the Bosnian Historical Museum to learn about the siege of Sarajevo and visit the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum, the tunnel which was used to ferry supplies into the besieged city during the conflict, next to the airport. For history buffs a must see is the “Latin Bridge" spanning the river in the down-town area. The bridge bears a plaque commemorating the assassination of Archduke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Ferdinand, the event that sparked the beginning of World War I. Today the city is largely recovered and is packed with fascinating museums
Optional Excursions: Tunnel Museum, the entrance to the tunnel used during the Bosnian War – BAM 30 • Jewish Museum – BAM 2 • Jewish Tour – BAM 32 every day at 2pm • Communism Tour – BAM 38 (minimum 2 people) • Orthodox Church Museum – free but donations welcome • History Museum – BAM 1 • Walking Tour of the Old City (Bascarsija) – BAM 20
Day 27 to 27 - Mostar
Widely felt to be the prettiest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina Mostar is situated on the Neretva river and is the fifth-largest city in the country. Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (natively: mostari) who kept the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over Neretva river. The city is particularly famous for this beautiful single span bridge, Stari Most, which collapsed into the Neretva River during the Yugoslav War in 1993. Built in 1556 by the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Great, Stari Most had been a globally recognised landmark and a national symbol for Bosnia-Herzegovina. It had survived centuries of conflict including both world wars and proved that, whatever happened, the mainly Christian west bank and mainly Muslim east remained united. The destruction of the bridge was a huge blow to the local people, but in 2004 the bridge was rebuilt as a replica of the original using pieces of masonry salvaged from the riverbed. Its reopening represented the hope that Muslims, Croats and Serbs could once again live side by side and that Mostar would be healed after a decade of ethnic division.
Optional Excursions: Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque - €2.5 (includes minaret) • Karad-zozbegova Mosque - €2.5 (includes minaret) • Turkish House – BAM 2 • Memorial Museum of Herzegovina – BAM 1.5
Day 28 to 28 - Dubrovnik
We arrive back in Dubrovnik for the conclusion of our tour and the final chance to take in the sites and atmosphere of this Adriatic gem.
Day 29 to 29 - Depart Dubrovnik
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Day by Day Itinerary
|Day 3||Hvar Island|
|Day 4||Hvar Island|
|Day 13||Novi Sad||Serbia||B|
|Day 20||Lake Ohrid||B|
|Day 21||Lake Ohrid||B|
|Day 25||Sarajevo||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
(B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner included)
For tours that include the option of a single supplement, a ✔ will indicate in which destinations single rooms are available.
The detailed and day by day itineraries above are provided in good faith and it is our intention to adhere to the published route. Changes may be made before or during your tour for operational or safety reasons or to incorporate improvements. Impromptu changes may also occur whilst you are travelling as a result of one-off circumstances such as an excursion being closed on a particular day, weather conditions or transport. Delays are rare but occur occasionally and for this reason and the reasons above this itinerary should be considered as a guide only. Published transport times are approximations and may vary depending on local conditions.
This is an Adventure Tour, we see a destination from the locals' perspective using a variety of transport and staying in small locally owned accommodation. There is a maximum of 16 travellers with an average group size of 8-12. All our Adventure Tours are priced per person on a shared room basis meaning there is no compulsory extra payment for those travelling on their own. Please read the Adventure Tour travel style dossier to ensure you understand the style of travel you are undertaking: http://www.tucantravel.com/travel-styles/dossier/adventure-tours
I'd like my own room
If you are a solo traveller, a single room is available on most occasions at an extra cost. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour. This must be booked in advance.
Joining your tour
Your joining location is:
Mata Vodopica 10
Tel: (+385) 20 437 332
Mobile: (+385) 098 243 717
There are safe deposit boxes for your use (you will get an itemised receipt). Please leave all of your important documents, money and travellers cheques here when you go out but remember to carry some form of ID and a photocopy of your passport with you.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik International Airport (DBV) is 20 kilometres from Dubrovnik. The nearest other major airport is in Split, 200 kilometres away. We recommend that you obtain some local Croatian kuna as soon as you arrive. There are international ATMs located in and around both airports, as well as money exchange offices offering a good rate. The rate will always vary slightly depending on where you go, it may be worth changing a small amount of money at the airport for your transport, and then finding a bank or money exchange within the town centre.
Airport transfers are not included in the tour price and must be booked separately in advance through Tucan Travel. If you have booked an airport/hotel transfer with us, please look out for someone with a sign which has your name, Tucan Travel, or both after exiting the customs hall.
If you have booked an arrival transfer with us and you are going to be delayed by more than two hours, you must advise us of the delay at least six hours before arrival. If we are advised in time, we will make every effort to reschedule your transfer and your driver will be asked to wait for two hours after your new expected arrival time. However, if we are not made aware of any change, the driver will only wait for two hours after the original scheduled arrival time and after this point it will be up to you to arrange transport to your hotel at your own expense. Please contact us on the emergency contact address below if you are likely to be delayed.
To contact your arrival transfer
Phone: +385 (0)98 243 717
Contact: Ante Toni Pejic
Making your own way
To make your way to and from your hotel from Dubrovnik airport, a taxi will cost approximately 220 Kuna (€30). To locate the taxi rank you leave the arrivals hall via the main exit and just outside is the queue for the taxis (during the peak times the queues can be quite long).
Croatia Airlines offers a shuttle bus service to the centre for 45 Kuna and takes 45 minutes. You will need to get a public bus or taxi from the bus stop to the hotel.
When you arrive on day one of your trip, you should find some local information at the hotel lobby. Your tour leader will be staying in the hotel and should have put up a welcome note to let you know what room they are in. A pre-departure meeting is usually held in the afternoon or early evening of day one. You will need to bring the following important items to the meeting with your tour leader:
- Your passport, including any necessary visas and at least one photocopy to give to your tour leader
- Vaccination certificates if relevant to any destinations on your tour
- Travel insurance policy and a photocopy to give to your tour leader
- Your travel voucher
- Your local payment in US$ cash (Budget Expeditions only)
Missing the tour departure
If you miss the start of your tour, please ask at the reception of the hotel for a message from your tour leader which will give you instructions on how to catch up with the group. Any associated costs will be at your own expense (although, depending on the reason, you may be able to claim these from your travel insurance so ensure you keep all receipts).
If you know in advance that you are unlikely to arrive on time, please contact Tucan Travel immediately so we can inform the tour leader. Tucan Travel cannot be held responsible should your airline/boat/coach be delayed and we are unable to refund any unused portion of your tour.
Punctuality is very important and throughout the tour your tour leader will give you the time to meet in reception. Tour leaders will often post notes at reception with meeting times, so remember to always look out for these.
Although rare, delays can occur and we therefore advise you not to arrange your onward travel too close to the end of the tour. We take no responsibility for any missed flights or additional expenses If the group arrives late into the departure city at the end of the tour.
Emergency Contact Details
In the case of an emergency before you meet your tour leader, please contact our Tucan Travel Europe Manager:
Tel:+44 (0)7775 53 2808
Please note that this number is a service for emergency calls only. We respectfully request that you consider the urgency of your enquiry. Non-urgent enquiries should be made during office hours. Visit contact us page for office hours.
Tucan Travel London office: +44 (0)208 896 1600
Keeping in Touch
Your tour leader will point out internet cafes in all major cities and towns and Wi-Fi may be available in some hotels. Hotel details, apart from the joining hotel, are not given in advance and are subject to change, so if someone needs to contact you urgently during your tour, the best method is to contact our office who can pass a message on to the tour leader.
If you intend to take your mobile phone you should find out in advance from your network provider if your phone is set up for international roaming and if there is coverage in your destination. You may also find it considerably more expensive to send texts and receive calls if you are on a non European or British Network. A much cheaper option would be to purchase a telephone card and use local pay phones.
For personal spending money you should bring Euros alongside the local currency (where applicable). Generally the most convenient way of carrying your spending money is by having at least a couple of credit or debit cards. The majority of cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard, American Express and Maestro, Plus and Cirrus for debit cards) are accepted in most large cities and tourist areas. ATMs (cash machines) are widespread. It is always best to carry a mix of cards and cash with you, including notes in small denominations.
Your spending money should cover some meals, optional excursions, souvenirs, drinks, laundry, border and airport taxes and any visas obtained locally. We provide guideline prices for optional excursions in the itinerary to help you budget, but ultimately the amount you will need to budget for your trip very much depends on your individual requirements. We recommend bringing extra money to cover emergencies or unexpected situations.
Tipping is a part of the life in Europe, but you should not feel obliged or pressured to tip if you have not received good service. A gratuity of 10% of the total bill is recommended in restaurants. Gratuities are usually expected for local guides on included and optional excursions. Tips are also appreciated by Tucan Travel tour leaders at the end of your tour and we recommend an average of $2-$4 per person per day for the duration of your tour. This is only if you feel that their service was up to standard and is completely at your own discretion.
The best advice when packing is to travel light and leave space for souvenirs in your bag.
On our tours in Europe your luggage must be strictly limited to one reasonably-sized bag or backpack with a recommended maximum weight of no more than 20 kilograms/44 pounds plus one small day pack. You will have to carry your own luggage, sometimes down cobbled streets and up flights of stairs and cannot expect your tour leader to carry your bags.
We recommend a frameless backpack or a sports type shoulder bag which fits comfortably on your shoulders, as they are less bulky and easier to handle than rigid suitcases or framed backpacks. Suitcases are not suitable for our tours and are not recommended. Tucan Travel takes no responsibility for damage to your luggage while on tour.
In addition to your main bag, you will need a small daypack for your everyday excursions. Try to keep this bag as light as possible and make sure that all main sections of your bags can be padlocked. This daypack should have enough room to carry food and snacks, camera and personal items
Sleeping bags are not required on this tour, but a sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet is optional if you wish to bring one along. Some passengers like to use them on long bus journeys and overnight trains.
Clothing and Footwear
All clothes should be lightweight, durable and easily washable. Please do not bring any military or camouflage-style clothing as it can be dangerous to wear and occasionally illegal. Nights can be cold so it is a good idea to bring at least one pair of warm trousers or jeans plus several thinner sweaters / fleeces which you can layer.
Good, comfortable walking shoes are essential. These do not need to be expensive boots, but they should have good ankle support and grip, be worn in and ideally waterproof.
- A lightweight water/windproof jacket with hood
- East to pack wide-brimmed hat of cap
- Sandals or thongs/jandals/flip flops
There are usually laundromats or laundry services in or near most of our hotels. Hotel services can be pretty costly however your tour leader will be able to recommend cheaper options. If you wash clothes yourself take care not to be too obvious where you hang them as most hotels do not like guests washing and drying their clothes in the hotel rooms.
If bringing electrical equipment, make sure that you bring a two-pin/pronged, round-pin adapter/plug adapter.
Health, Fitness & Safety
Pack a Medical Kit
A medical kit is handy for minor wounds and ailments. In areas with limited or dubious medical facilities, an emergency medical kit containing sterile syringes is also advisable. By law our staff are not allowed to administer first aid or give drugs to travellers, so please be prepared with your own supplies.
If you are taking medication, please ensure you bring an adequate supply and a letter from your doctor to avoid potential issues at border crossings.
Fitness & Suitability
This is a public transport-based tour so it is essential that you be able to carry your bags over distances between bus and train stations and hotels, generally for up to 20 minutes. Disruptions happen and while your tour leader will make every effort to ensure your trip runs smoothly, patience, a sense of humour and willingness to get involved and help your tour leader are essential ingredients for a successful and happy group.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions please let us know at the time you book or as early before departure as possible. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may be asked to produce a medical certificate from your doctor approving your participation in this tour. While this would only happen in very exceptional circumstances, if we consider you incapable completing this tour or you have concealed an existing medical condition which is affecting your ability to participate in the tour of Tucan Travel reserve the right to turn you away without reimbursement.
Safety & Security
Europe is generally very safe, even more so in a group. Reasonable precaution is advised; do not bring valuable jewellery or watches (even fakes can catch the eye of a thief), do not bring your camera equipment in a flashy camera bag, be prudent and keep your valuables in a safe secure place whenever possible, wear a money belt and distribute your valuables throughout your luggage, heed your tour leader’s advice and always keep an eye and a hand on your camera and bags in public places. Tucan Travel cannot accept responsibility for any valuables left in safe deposits in hotels or on public transport.
If you would like to discover more about your destination, including history, geography, climate and language, please have a read of our country travel guides available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/destination-travel-guides/europe-travel-guides.
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after you have finished your tour with sufficient blank pages for visas and immigration stamps. Photocopy your passport, leaving one copy at home and taking one with you on tour. If you lose your passport while on tour, you will be responsible for any expenses incurred such as extra accommodation and transport while replacing your passport and will not be entitled to a refund of any unused portion of your tour.
Before you depart you will be issued with a voucher for your tour and separate vouchers for any extra services such as airport transfers and pre/post tour accommodation. Please print these out and bring them with you. This dossier is updated regularly, so we recommend checking our website for the latest version just prior to the start of your tour.
The balance for your tour is due no later than 60 days prior to the start of your tour and no tour vouchers will be issued until this is received. In addition please send the following details at least 60 days before you depart:
- Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry, nationality and place of issue
- Your full name and date of birth
- Flight arrival details in your starting city
- Special requirements, e.g. special dietary requirements or allergies
Please let us know if you are travelling with another person on the tour but have made separate bookings and we will endeavour to make suitable rooming arrangements.
All countries have visa requirements that are subject to change at short notice. A general guideline for visa requirements is available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/before-you-go/visa-guide, but you must check with your local embassy or consulate for the very latest visa requirement information based on your nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all necessary visas for your tour. If you would like help applying for visas, we have recommended visa agencies on our visa page that we work with regularly.
Important things to check when applying for visas:
- Does the validity of the visa cover the duration of your time spent in the country?
- Do you require a single or multiple entry visa(s) for your tour?
- Are you required to show additional documentation when you arrive in a country? (Examples include proof of onward travel and travel itinerary)
Some visas are only valid for entry within three months of the date of issue which means on some of our longer tours the visa would expire before you are scheduled to enter the country. In these cases you must obtain the relevant visa during your tour. If it is necessary for you to obtain any visas en-route, please contact Tucan Travel or your travel consultant and inform your tour leader at the start of the tour. If you do not have the appropriate visas, Tucan Travel will not reimburse any expenses incurred in acquiring visas or any unused portion of the tour.
It is best to apply for visas in your home country if possible. If applying for visas by post, please allow plenty of time before departure and send your application by registered mail. Postal applications tend to be given a lower priority than in person applications and can take longer to process.
Special Note: If you have dual nationality it is advised not to obtain different visas in different passports. Although this may sometimes be cheaper, you may encounter problems at border crossings if your exit stamps from one country are not the same as your visa for the next.
Travel Insurance Policy
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours. You must be adequately insured for medical, hospital, baggage and personal expenses, any necessary extra travel (rejoining tour or repatriation) as well as curtailment and cancellation.
We strongly recommend that all clients carry a copy of their full policy document with them at all times, together with any certificate showing the policy number and emergency contact details. Your tour leader will also ask for a photocopy of your insurance document, so please take this to the pre-departure meeting at the start of your tour. You will not be able to commence your tour unless you can provide proof of insurance to your tour leader.
- Tour Voucher & Vouchers for extra services
- Passport (with photocopies of information pages and visas)
- Tour Dossier
- Cash & credit/debit cards (best to take a mixture and more than one card in case one does not work)
- Travel Insurance Certificate and photocopy for tour leader
- Travel consultant's phone number and email address
- Proof of onward travel, ie airline ticket
Optional excursions are not operated by Tucan Travel and while every effort is made prices may not be up-to-date and are intended as a general guide to help you budget for your trip. Prices for vehicle-based excursions such as game drives are approximate based on the optimum number of participants and the actual price may vary depending on group size.
Sufficient safety equipment such as helmets and life jackets are sometimes not available and Tucan Travel is unable to provide this equipment. If you intend to participate in an optional excursion you may like to consider bringing your own safety gear.
Excursions are run by a local operator or third party with both Tucan Travel and the Tour Leader acting as a booking agent only. Optional activities are not part of the tour and Tucan Travel’s booking conditions do not apply to them. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance for the excursions you intend to take part in and Tucan Travel is not liable for any injuries incurred.
We work hard to ensure our tours are sustainably and ethically run. You can read our responsible travel policy and advice on how you can travel responsibly here: http://www.tucantravel.com/about-us/responsible-travel.
Our free Meet Up app, available on Facebook, on iTunes and Google Play is an opportunity to chat with others passengers before you depart or keep in touch when you arrive back from tour. Information on the app is available here: http://www.tucantravel.com/before-you-go/meet-up
Add-ons & Extras
On many of our Group Tours, we spend one night in our arrival and departure cities. If you want to explore these cities more we can book pre and post tour accommodation, city tours and airport transfers for you. Price information can be found on the price page of each tour. We also have Add-ons - short packages that can be booked alongside a tour or on their own and have been carefully designed to ensure you don't miss out on popular highlights.
The possession or use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our tours. When overseas you are subject to local laws and the penalties for breaking these laws can be harsh. In order to safeguard the interests of the group as a whole, our tour leaders have been instructed to insist that any person found with illegal drugs leave the tour immediately – without refund. The tour leader’s decision on this matter is final. If you need to carry certain drugs with you for purposes of medication, please inform your tour leader and ensure that you carry a copy of your prescription or letter from your doctor.