Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Discover the Balkans tour
Athens Belgrade Discover the Balkans Trip

Discover the Balkans

Encounters Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
16 days
From: $ 3,049 $ 191 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

This comprehensive two week Balkans tour circles through 7 countries taking in a huge variety of ancient towns & cities, World Heritage Sites and mountain & coastal scenery with some great food and drink to enjoy along the way

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Trip Includes

  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in approx. 3 to 4-star level hotels
  • All transport and transfers in AC non-smoking vehicles
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service in Athens
  • Services of a professional local tour guide for all sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (15 breakfasts)
  • Tipping kitty (except driver & guide)

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Itinerary

Day 1, Welcome to Greece. Airport to hotel transfers included
This Balkans tour starts in the ancient city of Athens. On your arrival in Athens airport (ATH) our representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of the city. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and have a first look around. Extra nights in the Athens hotel are available on request.
| OVERNIGHT:
Athens hotel
| EXTRAS:
Single Room Supplement (GRSGDB)

Day 2, Exploring Athens
The first full day of our Balkans tour takes us on a journey through the city of Athens, visiting the marble Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first Modern Olympics in 1896 before we make our way to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was built over several centuries starting in 174 BCE and only finally completed by Roman emperor Hadrian in 131 CE. also visit Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament buildings, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Constitution Square. Later in the day, we'll make our way to the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and the Parthenon - which was built between 447 and 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC.
| OVERNIGHT:
Athens hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 3, Visiting Meteora
The next stop on the Greek leg of our Balkans tour takes us to Meteora - one of the most significant complexes of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Home to 24 mountaintop monasteries, six of which are still in use today, it gives you a perfect opportunity to take in the beauty of nature and man's desire to connect with the divine. After spending some time at Meteora, we make our way to the village of Kalambaka, which is found at the base of the imposing Meteora rocks. You can explore the town’s old picturesque district, with narrow cobblestone streets and traditional houses, some of them built right next to the rocks.
| OVERNIGHT:
Kalambaka hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 4, Travel to Albania
After spending some time in Greece, we'll make our way to Albania. Along the way, we'll stop at the Ottoman town of Gjirokastra - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - nestled in a valley between the Gjerë mountains and the Drino, 300 metres above sea level. After spending some time in Gjirokastra, we'll travel to Tirana - the capital city of Albania. If you're looking to spend some fun in the sun, this is the place to be. Tirana is ranked eighth among Europe’s sunniest major cities via an average 2544 hours of sunshine annually. You have the rest of the day to relax at your hotel or explore the Tirana independently.
| OVERNIGHT:
Tirana hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 5, Exploring Tirana. Travel to Montenegro
We start the day with some city exploring on foot, as we visit Tirana's Clock Tower, the Et'hem Bey Mosque, St Paul's Cathedral and the National Historical Museum. Afterwards, we'll travel to the Piramida before we visit the National Art Gallery and Mother Teresa Square. Later in the day, we'll say our final goodbyes to Albania, as we make our way to Montenegro's coastal town of Budva. Rich in historical and cultural heritage, Budva is also well known for its sunkissed beaches and buzzing nightlife. Our journey through Budva will take you to the Church St. Trojica, home to the tomb of writer Stjepan Mitrov Ljubisa, the Churches of St. Ivan, St. Bogorodica and St. Sava. Today will end with a short drive to the ancient fortified and cobbled town of Kotor, where we'll spend the night.
| OVERNIGHT:
Kotor hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 6, From Montenegro to Croatia
We'll say goodbye to Montenegro this morning, as we cross the border into Croatia. Before leaving we'll explore Kotor, famed for its picturesque Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll explore its old town and city walls before visiting the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon which was built in 1166. From Kotor, we'll cross the border into Croatia in the direction of Dubrovnik, which is well known for its distinctive old town and massive stone walls built in the 16th century. We'll head out on a guided tour through Dubrovnik on foot, visiting the Big Onofrio's Fountain, built from 1438-40 by Onofrio della Cava as part of a water-supply system that involved bringing water from a well approximately 12 kilometres away. Later in the day, you have some free time at the beach to relax and unwind, taking in the spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.
| OVERNIGHT:
Dubrovnik hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 7, Exploring Split
After spending some time in Dubrovnik, we'll journey to the town of Split found along the Dalmatian Coast. Split is popularly known for its white-sand beaches as well as the Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century by a Roman emperor and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll have a chance to explore the southern section of the Diocletian's Palace, passing through its magnificent Bronze Gates as we make our way to the Vestibul of the Emperor's Palace, The Mausoleum, St. Dujam's Cathedral, Cathedral Treasury, Temple of Jupiter and St. Martin's Church. We'll finish the day with a visit to the fruit square before stopping at the Venetian castle, Milesi Palace and the Monument of Marko Marulic.
| OVERNIGHT:
Split hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 8, Travel to Mostar and Sarajevo
We'll say goodbye to Croatia this morning as we travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina's riverside town of Mostar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is well known for the Stari Most (Old Bridge) which was built by the Ottomans in 156. From Mostar, we'll make our way to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital city. Once war-ridden, Sarajevo has risen from the ashes to become one of Europe's most exciting cities and boasting lots of minarets, mosques, bazaars and coffee shops. You'll have some time to settle into your hotel before we make our way to one of Sarajevo's oldest bazaars tonight, known as Bascarsija, which is famed for its unique eats and treats.
| OVERNIGHT:
Sarajevo hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 9, Onwards to Serbia
After spending the day in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we'll start the day by crossing the border into Serbia's capital city of Belgrade, one of the oldest cities in Europe, with settlements dating back at least 7000 years. You'll have some time to relax before we head out this evening to Belgrade's popular Skadarska Street to try some of its unique eats and its vibrant nightlife.
| OVERNIGHT:
Belgrade hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 10, Exploring Belgrade
Our Balkans adventure continues today by exploring Belgrade's boulevards and squares, before travelling to Kalemegdan Park - one of the city's most important historical monuments. Its name is formed from the two Turkish words, Kale - which means fortress and megdan, which means battlefield. We'll spend the rest of the night in Belgrade before we make our way back to Macedonia tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Belgrade hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 11, From Serbia to Macedonia
After spending some time in Belgrade, we travel to Nis, where we'll learn more about its Ottoman past. Nis is famed for being the birthplace of Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. From Nis, we'll travel to Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia, which was founded during the times of the Romans. Through the city flows the river Vardar, the biggest river in Macedonia. You have the rest of the day free to explore Skopje independently, or simply relax at your hotel.
| OVERNIGHT:
Skopje hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 12, Journeying through Skopje
You can choose to sleep in a little later this morning or do some independent exploring before we head out on foot this afternoon exploring the beauty of Skopje, as we visit its Kale Fortress - situated on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River, the Church of the Holy Savior with its iconostasis, the Old Bazaar and the Stone Bridge. You have the evening free to do some exploring and we'll once again overnight in Skopje.
| OVERNIGHT:
Skopje hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 13, From Skopje to Ohrid
Our time in Skopje comes to a close today as we make our way to the city of Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the 'Macedonian Jerusalem', due to the number of churches in the city. We'll head out on a tour of Ohrid, exploring the 11th century Church of St. Sofia which boasts art and architecture from the Middle Ages. We'll spend the rest of the day in Ohrid, as we prepare to travel back to Greece tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Ohrid hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 14, Exploring Thessaloniki
We'll say goodbye to Macedonia today as we travel back to Greece. We'll make our way to Thessaloniki - Greece's second largest city and the capital of Northern Greece and Macedonia. Thessaloniki is popularly known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments and its breathtaking foreshore which boasts numerous cafes, cocktail lounges, bars and restaurants. We'll spend the rest of the day in Thessaloniki, as we prepare for a busy day of exploring tomorrow.
| OVERNIGHT:
Thessaloniki hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 15, From Thessaloniki to Athens
After spending some time in Thessaloniki, we'll travel to Delphi, the former home of the legendary oracle and the current home of the Temple of Apollo. We start our time in Delphi with a visit to the Temple of Apollo, before we make our way to the Museum of Delphi, which boasts an extensive range of artefact unearthed during excavations at the Delphi oracle and its vicinity. Later in the day, we'll travel back to Athens, where we'll spend the night.
| OVERNIGHT:
Athens hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 16, Your Balkans adventure ends. Hotel to airport transfers included
After an eventful journey through the Balkans, the tour unfortunately, comes to an end. After breakfast at your hotel in Athens, we'll transfer you to the airport to board your flight back home.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 3,049
Price Per Day: $ 191 per day
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5 Encounters Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 5
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Discover the Balkans

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Knowledgeable and entertaining

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!
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Amazing bespoke trip round North India.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
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Amazing trip to Egypt!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
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Well organized

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My husband and I booked the Discover Egypt trip in February 2017 and traveled in may 2017 and it was even more than we could have asked or dreamed it would be. Our group was led by Magz and we learned so much about Egyptian history and current culture. The trip was well organized and communication before during and after the trip was incredible. I have recommended this company to anyone who asks and can't wait to take another trip with them in the future. For any additional questions feel free to message me - I'm happy to provide more feedback. Thank you encounters for the trip of a lifetime!
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Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Encounters Travel Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on.They met us at the airport getting off the plane and took us back to the airport and saw that we got through security and everything in between. It is very safe in Egypt. You can walk the streets and when telling people that ask that we were from America we were met with smiles and positive comments. Because of the low number of tourists in the country right now Encounters Travel has negotiated with the hotels to stay in 5 star hotels. The pyramids are spectacular but it's only a small part of what you will see. Right now there are no crowds. An example My Wife and I took an optional tour to some pyramids southwest of Cairo. We went inside the Red Pyramid to the burial chambers. Two people passed us going in and two people passed us going out. That's 4 other people in the pyramid with us. All of the people with Encounters Travel are there to see to it that you have an enjoyable time and are extremely helpful.Our tour guide Big Mo is very knowledgeable and friendly.The Encounters agent in Hurghada, Mohamed,( I think everyone in Egypt is that name,HaHa) Was extremely pleasant and fun to be with. When Anass,the Encounters manager found out that my wife couldn't walk far he arraigned for a wheel chair to tour the Egyptian museum so she could see it all. This was my second time going on the Discover Egypt tour. I went last year with my son and when my wife heard all of our stories she wanted to see it. Someone asked her on the way home what her favorite part was and she replied "All of it" If you ever thought of going to Egypt now is the time.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 10

Trip ID#:

Encounterstraveltourcms-GRSGDB

Trip Excludes

  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (if applied)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sites visited (allow approx. EUR 47)
  • Greece hotel residence tax (see tour notes)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Optional tours
  • Any other items not mentioned above

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