Stride climate

Top The Balkans Attractions

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Kotor, Montenegro

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia and Albania

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Top Activities in The Balkans

Hiking the walls of San Giovanni Fortress in Kotor

Taking a boat cruise on Lake Ohrid

Walking the historic walls of Dubrovnik

Shopping in the Old Town of Mostar

Visiting the historic wineries outside of Skop

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Classic The Balkans Itineraries

Tour of the Balkans in 1 Week

Day 1-3, Dubrovnik: Explore the seaside town, which is also a Game of Thrones filming location. Take a day trip to visit Kotor.

Day 4-5, Sarajevo: Take a walking tour and discover the history of the city and the diverse architecture. Visit the Tunnel Museum in Ilidža.

Day 6-7, Belgrade: Kalemegdan Fortress, Marshal Tito’s tomb, day trip to Novi Sad

See all Balkans 1 Week tours »

Balkan Food Tour Itinerary

The Balkans have a proud food culture. With influences from Turkey, Austria, Venice, and local traditions, a Balkan food tour is one of the best ways to see the development of this unique culture.

Day 1, Dubrovnik: Arrive in Dubrovnik and meet your fellow travelers before enjoying a traditional meal in the old town of charcuterie, a method of preparing different types of meats and sausages.

Day 2, Putnikovic: Head out of Dubrovnik into the countryside to visit the local vineyards before taking in a lunch of traditional fares at a konoba (Croatian tavern).

Day 3, Kotor: Walk around the spansive olive fields and learn about the production of this important Montenegro ingredient and try it at one of the Kotor wine bars.

Day 4, Prizren: Leave Kotor for Kosovo where you can enjoy an optional traditional lunch in the local bazaar of meats, cheese, cucumber salads, and stuffed peppers.

Day 5, Pristina: Take in Kosovo’s capital and a traditional Kosovo-Serb barbecue of smoked sausages and pork.

Day 6, Leunovo: Enjoy your trip into Macedonia taking in a lunch of beans and pork and then a dinner of Macedonian cuisine of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences.

Day 7, Macedonia Countryside: Take a day off from the heavy food and visit the historical sites on your way to the city of Ohrid.

Day 8, Ohrid: Enjoy the “Macedonia Jerusalem” and scenery as you chow down on fish stew and regional delicacies.

Day 9, Bitola: Get ready for a full day of eating as you enjoy traditional breakfast pies and local honey in this historic city.

Day 10, Skopje: Visit the historic wineries in Macedonia that date back to the early Middle Ages before having some free time to explore the quirky city of Skopje.

Day 11, Skopje: Take in a breakfast in the market before collecting a boxed lunch to explore Matka Canyon full of medieval churches, fortresses, and enjoy a lazy boat ride down the Treska River.

Day 12, Skopje: Your tour ends in Skopje where you can stay longer or catch a flight back home.

See all Culinary focused Balkans Tours »

Western Balkans Tour

Some Balkan tour itineraries focus on particular areas of the region. For example, a Western Balkan tour would include the countries of Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro which are all heavily influenced by the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 1, Zagreb: Begin your journey in Croatia’s capital with its medieval stone streets and vibrant Austrian-inspired architecture.

Day 2, Plitvice Lakes National Park: Head out of Zagreb to enjoy the natural waterfalls and pools of Croatia’s oldest national park.

Day 3, Split: In the morning take a guided tour of Diocletian’s Palace, one of the most important Roman ruins in the Balkans.

Day 4, Split: Take a full day to eat your way through the restaurants and gelatorias in the the old town or hike through the paths in Marjan Park.

Day 5, Mostar: Head into Bosnia and visit the romantic medieval city of Mostar and take in the Stari Most (Old Bridge) and maybe even catch a glimpse of the famous bridge jumpers.

Day 6, Sarajevo: Learn about the Siege of Sarajevo from a local tour guide and visit Mount Trebevic, the home of the Winter Olympics of 1984. 

Day 7, Sarajevo: Head out into the old town of Sarajevo taking in the Ottoman architecture and shops and visit the site where World War I began.

Day 8, Kotor: Travel to Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Venetian old town and stunning mountain views.

Day 9, Kotor: Enjoy a day of relaxing of kayaking in the bay, visiting the local beaches, or relaxing at a nearby mud spa.

Day 10, Dubrovnik: Take a few hour bus ride to the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and climb the famous Walls of Dubrovnik.

Day 11, Dubrovnik: Enjoy a free day to walk around the old town, kayak in the bay, or take a ferry to one of the local islands.

Day 12, Departure: Say goodbye to your fellow travelers before returning home.

See all Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro Balkans tours »

The Best of the Balkans Tour

Many of the Balkan tours that cover the entire region are at least two weeks in length to travel to every corner of this beautiful and interesting part of Europe.

Day 1, Sofia: Sofia offers everything you could want, open-air cafes, parks, classic architecture, and hiking.

Day 2, Skopje: Enjoy a city with 2,000 years of history with influences from Oriental and Western cultures and cozy cafes on the river.

Day 3-4, Lake Ohrid: On your way to Ohrid, enjoy a lazy river cruise down Matka Lake before strolling through the small streets of Ohrid.

Day 5, Tirana: Walk the streets of this former Communist city and take in the trendy bars and Ottoman architecture of Tirana.

Day 6-7, Kotor: Take two days to hike the fortress walls up the mountains, enjoy a gelato in the old town, or walk around the shops of this former Venetian city.

Day 8-9, Dubrovnik: You’ll need two days to fully enjoy the historic walls, streets, and scenery of this romantic and quaint city. However, don’t forget to head out into the bay or the beaches!

Day 10-11, Sarajevo: On your way to Sarajevo visit the medieval city of Mostar before learning about the interesting cultural and social history of Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo.

Day 12-13, Belgrade: Take in the city that sits at the convergence of two Balkan rivers where you can visit the ruins of the ancient Kalemegdan Cathedral or relax in the many parks of the city.

Day 14, Sofia: Return to Sofia to collect any last-minute souvenirs of pictures.

Day 15, Departure: Depart Sofia.

See all 2 Week Balkans tours »

Balkan States Cruise

Follow the winding Danube through the beautiful Balkans, taking in the incredible natural attractions and history of the area.

Day 1-2, Romania: Explore Bucharest and Transylvania. See the “Dracula” castle, and learn the historical context for the famous resident.

Day 3-5, Bulgaria: Take a walking tour of Vidin, and visit the town’s historical fortress. Visit the Ethnographical Museum in Arbanassi.

Day 6-7, Serbia: Sail through the Iron Gates, visit famous Kalemegdan Fortress, and Marshal Tito’s tomb

Day 8-10, Hungary: Take an excursion to Pecs, a Roman outpost in the 2nd century. Explore underground tombs and Turkish influenced architecture and cuisine. Continue on to Budapest where you can take in the views from Gellert Hill, enjoy a day trip to Statue Park, and visit the Terror Museum.

See all Cruises in the Balkans »

Reviews of The Balkans Tours
98% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 453 Great 152 Average 22 Disappointing 2 Terrible 5
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals



Beauiful Croatia July 2019


Jewels of the Adriatic: Croatia & Slovenia

This was our first Bus Tour. While we did enjopy the spots we visited, we felt that there were too many towns and not enough time in each, necessitating more time on the bus. Nevertheless the value of the tour is undeniable. The Tour director Jon, was extremely professional and he was a huge positive on the trip. The topography of Croatia was spectacular, the Sea and mountain views were gorgeous. Lake Bled, the Postojna Caves, Opatija/Plitvice Lakes, Debrovnik, the Roman Ruins, Zagreb were wonderful. The hotels were all clean and rooms were comfortable. Unfortunately my partner Barbara fell and injured her face and broke her glasses on the way to Debrovnik. Jon was extremely concerned offered to find a doctor ()which Barbara declined) but Jon took the broken glasses to an occulist who temporarliy repaired the frames. Two of our fellow travelors who were Nurses took care of Barbara after the accident. Read more

Operator SmarTours


Does Not Recommend



Balkans & Ski

Worst tour of my life. Unprofessional, disorganised. Whoever designed this intinary should be sacked. Things closed on the day all trip dates visit. No food stops in serbia and croatia.

Operator Topdeck


Does Not Recommend

Misleading and often just plain dishonest. October 2018


European sojourn

We paid for a 3 week luxury river cruise but received a large group bus trip across Europe with many days of packing and unpacking. I called our Viking representative when we received an email message just 2 days prior to departure that mentioned a possibility of problems with low river levels. I was assured that everything was "normal" In reality, as we learned later from ship personnel, nothing has been normal for at least 3 months. About 2 weeks prior to departure, we received by mail, lovely personalized booklets describing all the details of our voyage on the Viking Lif, which we were to board in Russe, Romania. Instead, we boarded the Viking Aegir but not at Russe, because the Danube was too low. Instead we rode buses upstream to a port on the Romanian side directly opposite our first scheduled stop at Nikopol, Bulgaria. We had a beautiful cruise through the Iron gate gorge, but after three more scheduled stops in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, our voyage was terminated in Mohacs, Hungary, an unscheduled place two days short of reaching Budapest. So we were herded into buses for a 1.8 hour ride each way to our scheduled stop at Kalocsa. The next day we retraced the journey to Kalocsa and continued an extra 1.5 hours to reach Budapest. We lost the entire morning in Budapest and spent the night at the Marriott hotel. The next day we lost the entire afternoon in that city because we had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Vienna. Where we were put aboard the Viking Embla. Our voyage on that ship ended two steps later at Passau Germany. After a day in Passau we went upriver for a short distance and it seemed that we had entered the canal to take us to the Main river. But much to our surprise, it was a dead end channel for an industrial port. We spent two days there with our balcony room moored tightly against another Viking ship so there was nothing to look at but the scenery at that site was even worse than looking at someone else's window and the balcony was unusable anyway due to the unpleasant odors at that site. The pattern continued with a long round trip bus ride the next day to our scheduled stop at Regensburg and a 3 plus hour trip the following day to Nuremberg where we finally boarded the Viking Lif. A crew member told us that the Lif had not traveled east of Nuremberg for 3 months. We sailed from Nuremberg to scheduled stops in Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Werthiem and then our voyage terminated for good at an unscheduled port in Mainz. Once again we endured a long round trip journey to our next scheduled stop at Koblenz, followed by a 10 plus hour bus trip (with lunch and a walking tour in Cologne) to Amsterdam and a night in a hotel. Despite a promise that our bags would be in our rooms (they did take great care to provide us with tags so they could easily keep our bags organized) all the baggage was dumped in the hotel garage and it took a good 15 minutes of searching to find it and then take it to our rooms ourselves. There is much more, but it would only be more descriptive of the misery of this trip. We know Viking didn't cause the low river levels, but they did not need to lie to us and make us suffer because of it. Read more

Operator Viking River Cruises



Demanding October 2018


Slovenia Mixed Activity

A great trip and good group
All getting on together

A great guy and very good leader

Check it out !!

Operator Exodus Travels



Magnificent scenery, challenging hut to hut traverse, not to be missed October 2018


Slovenia Mixed Activity

This trip was just what I wanted - a hut to hut traverse in high mountains
with great scenery, some challenging walking and the highlight of climbing
Triglav. We were fortunate with fine weather and a knowledgeable and
entertaining guide and a congenial group. What's not to like?
Looking up at Triglav and wondering how we would climb it

He was just right, very good on history, local information as well as health
& safety and concern for slower members of the group.

Yes, you need to be fit!
And carry as little as possible. Do practice walks with full rucsac then cut
lots of weight.

Highly recommended holiday.

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels



Mountain walking in a beautiful country October 2018


Croatia: Islands & Mountains

The first part of the week is a whistle-stop tour of some of Croatia's top
spots (Dubrovnik old town, Bol on the island of Brac, Split, Skradinski buk
waterfalls), with a walk each day and quite a bit of travelling.

The remainder of the week is at one base, with longer, mountain walks in
Paklenica National Park and a final few hours in Zadar before the plane home.

Our Croatian guide was brilliant and gave us loads of insights into the
history of the area, how the mountain people lived as well as taking us to an
authentic Croatian restaurant, a mountain refuge and visits to local houses
where we sampled local produce.
I loved the sunset at Dubrovnik old town, plus the views from the summits we
visited were absolutely stunning (my favourite was probably from Vidova Gora
on Brac island).

Zeljko, our guide, was fantastic. He couldn't have been any better. He was
extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer everybody's questions. He
loved his country and wanted to share his knowledge with us whenever he got
the opportunity. We got a real insight into the complicated history of the
country and into the way people live.

We were caught out by an unexpected storm while up on a mountain walk one
day. The Bora winds were far stronger than forecast and we had to get off the
mountain as it was dangerous. Zeljko was calm and professional, got everyone
to safety and managed to organise alternative transport for us all to get us
to our destination on the island of Brac. He also made sure that everyone got
to where they needed to be at the end of the week (as not everyone was
travelling home on the group flight).

If you want to swim, the sea around Dubrovnik was lovely and warm but at
Starigrad Paklenica it was chilly (to say the least)! This could just be
because of the weather but it's possibly more protected around Dubrovnik.
Also the opportunity to swim around the Skradinski Buk waterfalls was not
quite what I had imagined. It's fairly touristy and the area for swimming is
quite restricted. Also, if you want to wander around the waterfalls on the
wooden walkways you won't have time to swim as well.

Many of the mountain paths are rocky and loose. If you are used to mountain
walking you won't have a problem but some people in the group found this
more difficult.

We went at the end of September and it was chillier than expected on some
days (but very hot on others). As well as light hiking gear, make sure you
take a waterproof jacket AND trousers, take some long trousers - not just
shorts, and possibly even a pair of light gloves and a hat.

Croatia is a beautiful country. This trip gave me a really good overview and
insight into the Dalmatian coastal region (as well as some very enjoyable
walking). I definitely want to go back!

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels

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