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Black Sea Explorer with Best of the Balkans

Discover the best of the Balkans on this luxury 24-day round-trip tour and cruise from Budapest, one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities.

24 Day
From (AUD)
$ 12,590
  • 2019 Budapest > Budapest

    History’s most fascinating chapters

    The dynamics that have shaped the Balkans, located at the crossroads of Europe, have left deep impressions in the cultures that call this beautiful region home.

    That’s partly what leads to such an enduring fascination with the towns and cities here. You’ll have a rare opportunity to delve deeply into the stories that have forged these proud people, stretching from recent times all the way back to the Byzantine Empire.

    Tour Code:

    BBBC

    Duration:

    24 Days

    Departure City:

    Budapest

    Return City:

    Budapest

  • 24 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Budapest

      Welcome to the wondrous city of Budapest, one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cities. Upon arrival transfer to your luxurious hotel, and unpack for your overnight night stay. Tonight you will meet your fellow travellers and enjoy a delicious welcome dinner.

      Meals included: Dinner

    • Day 2 - Budapest - Zagreb

      Today we head south and cross the Croatian border, travelling to the capital Zagreb. Located on the southern slopes of the Medvednica Mountain and on the banks of the Sava River, Zagreb is Croatia’s largest city and it beautifully encompasses its traditional European history with its modern function as the economical and governmental hub of the country. Upon arrival discover this majestic city on a guided tour. Then, check in to your hotel for your two night special stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Zagreb

      Today, journey to beautiful Plitvice National Park. Wander meandering pathways that pass emerald green lakes, stepped and linked by magnificent waterfalls.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 4 - Zagreb - Sarajevo

      This morning we leave Croatia and journey to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo is referred by many as the city with a soul; with its unique blend of Western and Eastern styles, the way of life and its pleasant and good natured people is what makes Sarajevo so alluring. This afternoon arrive at your hotel, your base for the next two nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 5 - Sarajevo

      Explore the treasures of Sarajevo on a guided tour that includes Bascarsija in the heart of old Sarajevo, Gazi Husrev Beg’s Mosque and the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum.

      Enrich

      Tonight you’ll be treated to a private home-hosted dinner of traditional Bosnian cuisine where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about everyday life in Sarajevo.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 6 - Sarajevo - Dubrovnik

      Today we head towards the beautiful Mediterranean coast towards the stunning city of Dubrovnik. On the way we stop in the beautiful city of Mostar. On your guided tour of the city, visit the Turkish house and the Old Bridge which was built by the Ottoman Empire in 1565. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Dubrovnik where you will be accommodated for the next two nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 7 - Dubrovnik

      Today see Onofrio’s Fountain, the Rector’s Palace and visit the Old Pharmacy in the Franciscan Monastery.

      Freechoice

      Take a scenic journey through the pretty countryside, visit the Konavle villages and the town of Cavtat. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more energetic, walk Dubrovnik’s medieval ramparts.

      This evening visit a local farm house where you will get to meet the owners and taste their delicious home grown produce during a mouth-watering dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 8 - Dubrovnik - Budva

      After breakfast continue our journey to Montenegro; although the country is relatively small in terms of area, it boasts stunning mountainous landscapes, truly beautiful walled towns, dramatic coast lines and historic monuments. Today you will discover the Bay of Kotor, the pearl of the medieval Mediterranean, which is presented in its full beauty on your included guided tour. Kotor is locked between a cliff on one side and the blue Adriatic Sea on the other; here you will wander through labyrinths of narrow and cobblestoned streets and see all the major sights including the Romanesque Cathedral of St Triphun which is encircled by walls and the fortress, and included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Continuing through this beautiful region you will arrive at your overnight stay in the historic town of Budva.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 9 - Budva - Tirana

      Today travel to the byzantine city and the capital of Albania, Tirana and check into your hotel. The city was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614, and since then it has become the largest city and capital of Albania.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Tirana - Ohrid Lake

      After breakfast enjoy your informative city tour of Tirana taking in sights such as Skanderbeg Square, the Clock Tower and the Et’hem Bey Mosque. This afternoon we journey from Albania to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the fascinating town of Ohrid Lake. The area has been declared a World Heritage protected site due to its outstanding natural beauty, historical and cultural heritage, this is your base for the next two nights.

      Enrich

      This evening enjoy a traditional Macedonian dinner and folklore show in a local restaurant.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Ohrid Lake

      Today we enjoy an Included tour of Ohrid town. With its temples, ruins and Byzantine basilicas, Ohrid is considered one of the most ancient towns in the Balkans. The name Ohrid comes from its location – built on a hill; the whole town is surrounded by walls and its Fortress is considered to be the oldest and best-preserved in Macedonia.

      Freechoice

      Visit the Monastery of St Naum or enjoy a cooking class in a local village. Alternatively take a guided hike through the Galicica National Park.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 12 - Ohrid Lake - Sofia

      Your first stop today is Skopje which has been inhabited since 4000 BC. Skopje was part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, these influences are still present in this modern capital. Continuing our journey we arrive in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and our centrally located hotel.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 13 - Sofia

      With your local guide, you’ll get to discover neo-classical Stalinist architecture, tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th-century Russian and Viennese architects. This evening you’ll be treated to a delicious dinner and folk show at a local restaurant.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 14 - Sofia - Bucharest

      This morning enjoy the landscapes of Bulgaria as we journey to the Romanian capital of Bucharest for your overnight stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 15 - Bucharest > Giurgiu
      Freechoice

      Explore Bucharest and learn of its communist past, or tour an Open Air Museum and discover ethnography exhibits depicting Romanian heritage and culture.

      Later, travel to Giurgiu where you will be personally welcomed by your friendly dedicated staff on board your luxury Scenic Space-Ship.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 16 - Silistra
      Freechoice

      Discover Silistra Fort during an active walking tour, or take an excursion to Varna on the Black Sea coast. Alternatively, visit a local village and primary school to learn about life in Bulgaria.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 17 - Rousse
      Freechoice

      Visit Rousse, where you’ll be treated to a guided sightseeing tour. Alternatively, discover the Byzantine gem of Veliko Tarnovo and the World Heritage-listed village of Arbanassi.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 18 - Iron Gates

      Relax and admire the scenery as you cruise the spectacular Iron Gates, a narrow gorge that the Danube has carved out between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. It’s a spectacular setting for a cruise and also the natural border between Serbia and Romania.

      Sundowners

      Raise a toast to the end of a wonderful day in this spectacular location.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 19 - Belgrade
      Freechoice

      Enjoy an in-depth tour of one of Europe’s oldest capitals, Belgrade, including a visit to Tito’s Memorial, or take an orientation tour of Belgrade before time at leisure. Alternatively, choose a guided bicycle ride along the Danube, or journey to Sremski Karlovci, where you can wander the town with our experts and marvel at the beautiful Baroque elements. Or, for some true insight into everyday life, take a walk through the city with a local.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 20 - Osijek
      Freechoice

      Explore Osijek on a guided city tour, or if you’re the more active type, you can opt to take a blissful guided bike ride through Osijek’s countryside.

      Enrich

      As a special Scenic guest, you’ll be invited into the home of a local family for a traditional home-cooked meal and the chance to discover what everyday life is really like in Croatia. With great food and wonderful company, this will be a magnificent meal and a rare opportunity to meet people who understand the local way of life intimately.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 21 - Kalocsa

      Today witness a traditional Hungarian horse show.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 22 - Budapest

      Today cruise into the mighty city of Budapest, you will be awe-struck by the sheer beauty of this city. Disembark your ship and join your local guide on a tour of the city. Your guided tour will finish at your hotel, where you will check in for your two night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 23 - Budapest

      Enjoy a day at leisure to explore this magnificent city.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

    • Day 24 - Budapest

      After breakfast, prepare to head home. It may be the end of your journey, but it’s the beginning of a lifetime of fond memories.

      Meals included: Breakfast