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Balkans Small Group Tour: Travel to Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania

Historic Villages of the Adriatic

  • Tour ancient fortified cities built on cliffs overlooking the sparkling blue Adriatic Sea
  • Travel the exquisite Dalmatian Coast
  • Walk through Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatia), where sixteen lakes (ranging in color from azure to green, grey or blue) join each other in a series of natural travertine waterfalls.
  • Enjoy the classical architecture of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace in Split (Croatia)
  • Visit the magical city of Mostar in Bosnia and Sarajevo, reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire
  • Explore the wonderful walled city of old Dubrovnik (Croatia)

This small group tour of the Adriatic (Dalmatia) will take you through some of the most beautiful old cities of the Balkans covering the rich cultural heritage of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Hezegovina, and Montenegro.

The journey begins with arrival in Ljubljana (Slovenia) staying overnight at beautiful Lake Bled. We travel to Piran (a medieval pirate town) and then enter Croatia crossing the Istra Peninsula with visits to several old towns including Porec (a 2nd Century BC Roman encampment) and the Italian-speaking fishing village Rovinj. Then onward to Opatija, the oldest and still one of the most popular of the Croatian resort towns.

Our Adriatic tour group continues onward to the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park. We explore Zadar, the ancient capital of Dalmatia and a typical Venetian old town with a variety of architectural styles where lone Corinthian columns stand alongside Romanesque churches. You will savor Šibenik and Trogir, two of the loveliest towns on the Dalmatian coast, where several hundred inlets spread out to the open blue sea. Enjoy a guided walk around the old part of Split (Croatia) home to Diocletian’s Palace which is one of the most outstanding samples of classical architecture in the world.

Other highlights of this Historic Villages of the Adriatic tour, include a short ferry ride to the fascinating Island of Hvar and then continuing to the even smaller island of Korcula.

Walled city of old Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Tour
Stunning Walled City of Dubrovnik
(Old town Dubrovnik)


Tour members will also visit the old walled city at the heart of Dubrovnik. The tour then visits the historic city of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and magical Mostar (with its Ottoman built bridge).   We continue along the coast to Montenegro exploring Kotor, the old mountain village Njegusi with its well preserved traditional folk architecture, the beautiful town of Cetinje and, finally, the coastal town Budva which is one of the oldest inhabited places in the area. Our tour of the Adriatic culminates as we cross the border into Shkoder, Albania, the Illyrian capital in the 3rd Century BC and arrive in Tirana, the capital.

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Print 18 day Detailed Itinerary (PDF) Print 12 day Detailed Itinerary (PDF)

Day 1-3: Meet in Ljubljana, Slovenia
After meeting in Ljubljana, our guided tour begins with scenic Lake Bled. Tour members visit the castle on the cliff above the town of Bled as well as the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary on the island in the middle of the lake. Also included are a visit to the old village of Lake Bohinj and a walking tour of historic center of Ljubljana. The medieval pirate town of Piran is another highlight with its stone buildings, narrow streets and rich cultural heritage.

Day 4-6: Villages of Croatia
Drive across the Istra Peninsula to Opatija visiting villages enroute. The tour group visits the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes National Park. Members will also enjoy meandering in Zadar, the ancient capital of Dalmatia and a beautiful example of a Venetian old town. Cherish picturesque Šibenik and the medieval architecture of the buidlings of Trogir.  

Day 7-8: Split & Islands Hvar-Korcula, Croatia
Guided tour around the old part of the town of Spilt with includes a beautiful Roman Palace followed by an excursion to the island of Hvar, continuing to the very small island of Korcula for overnight.

Day 9-10 Dubrovnik, Croatia
A delightful day exploring the wine country of the Peljesac Peninsula ending with arrival in Dubrovnik. A walking tour of the old walled heart of Dubrovnik which includes plenty of free time to explore.

Day 11-12: Sarajevo-Mostar-Bosnia-Herzegovina
We enjoy a breathtaking drive to the small village of Medjugorje, an important religious pilgrimage site. Continue to the historic town of Mostar with its magnificent Ottoman built bridge and then a city tour of Sarajevo, known as the social and cultural center of Bosnia and Hezegovina.

Day 13-15: Kotor-Budva, Montenegro
Our historic Adriatic tour continues along the Adriatic coast to Montenegro and the town of Kotor. We will enjoy a marvelous drive around beautiful Boka Kotorska Bay, passing old fishing villages, churches, monasteries, marinas and beaches. Walking tour of the Kotor UNESCO World Heritage Site with its beautitiful Venetian influenced architecture.

Visit the old Njegusi village (birth place of the poet Njegoš) and Cetinje the town often seen as the birthplace of Montenegrin culture and a past capital of Montenegro.

Finally, enjoy the coastal Budva, known since Illyrian times, with gorgeous old-world architecture, narrow streets and stone buildings placed around the main cathedral.

Day 16-17: Albania - Depart
Our tour of the Historic Villages of the Adriatic crosses the border into Albania and stops in Shkoder, the most important town of northern Albania. We then visit the traditional town of Kruja before arrival in Tirana, capital of Albania.

From here tour members can either head home or continue with us on our Albania-Macedonia-Kosovo-Serbia Tour.

Trip Details

18-day trip begins in  Ljubljana, Slovenia and ends in Tirana, Albania
12-day trip begins in  Ljubljana, Slovenia and ends in Dubrovnik, Croatia
2018 DATES-18 Day
May 21-June 7
August 30-September 16
2018 DATES-11 Day
May 21-31
August 30-September 9
2019 DATES-18 Day
May 20-June 6
August 29-September 15
2019 DATES-11 Day
May 20-30
August 29-September 8
LAND COST 2018-18 Day
From $4885
LAND COST 2018-12 Day
From $3785
4/5 star and boutique hotels in historic centers.
6-12 guests
All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Extend Your Trip

Undiscovered Albania-with Macedonia-Kosovo-Serbia
Balkans Explorer, starts in Bosnia, incl Montenegro-Albania-Kosovo- Serbia
Timeless Charms of Bulgaria
Myths & Magic of Romania
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