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9 Days Trip to Former Yugoslavia 2024: Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia

How is it organized

• 8 Overnights: Belgrade - Sarajevo - Dubrovnik (2) - Split - Plitvice - Ljubljana (optional, 2 ovn.) - Zagreb - Belgrade

• Itinerary: Serbia > Belgrade (the capital) - Bosnia and Herzegovina > Sarajevo (the capital) - Mostar (with its famous Ottoman bridge) - Croatia > Dubrovnik (the “pearl of the Adriatic”) - Montenegro > Perast (the Island Church) - Kotor (at the end of the gulf) - Croatia > Dubrovnik (second night) - Split (ancient city on the Dalmatian Coast) - Zadar (Croatia’s cultural town) - Plitvice (the lakes) - Zagreb (the capital) - Serbia > Belgrade (the capital). Slovenia (optional) > Postojna (the most famous cave) - Predjama Castle (the castle of the Slovenian “Robin Hood”) - Ljubljana (the capital) - Bled (the lake and the castle) - Ljubljana (second night).

• The tour has 8 overnights and 9 days: 2 days for arrival & return and 7 days of program with activities such as city tours, free time, and visits along the route.


Short description

Concept:

• 9 days in total and planned to take place from Saturday to Sunday. But it can be adapted to your flights and preferred dates while taking into account the visiting hours of the attractions included in the program

• The program can be slightly customized to match your preferences and ideas, or it can be a draft for a tailor-made trip made from scratch.

 

Custom-made:

• Adapt:
- the arrival flight can be to Belgrade and the return flight from Zagreb. In this case, a full day in Belgrade is added (day 2) and the transfer day from Zagreb to Belgrade (400 km) is eliminated. The total number of days remains the same.
- on day 3 you can spend the night in Kotor instead of Dubrovnik
- the itinerary can be adjusted to include the countries and places you haven’t visited yet. For example, if you already visited Croatia or parts of it, the itinerary will be customized accordingly

• Extend:
- there are 4 optional days that can be added to the program, which are detailed below and imply an additional cost. 1 extra day in Sarajevo, 1 day in Međugorje, and 2 days in Slovenia.


Program

Day 1 of 9. Arrival in Serbia
Belgrade ☾

Programa: transfer and free time depending on the flight

Arrival at Belgrade Airport and meeting with Santiago Tour’s driver. Transfer to the accommodation. Depending on the time of your arrival, free time in the city (without a driver). You can walk along the lively Knez Mihailova Street, which starts in Terazije Square, or take a cruise on the Danube.


Day 2 of 9. Arrival in Bosnia and its capital, the “Jerusalem of Europe”
Belgrade - Sarajevo ☾ 290 ​​km

Sarajevo

Program: transfer to Sarajevo, city tour and and some free time in the afternoon

Breakfast. We leave Belgrade in the morning for Bosnia and cross the border. Possible stop en route to have lunch and/or we arrive in Sarajevo, the capital of a country as complex as it is beautiful. Surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and crossed by the Miljacka River, Sarajevo is considered the “Jerusalem of Europe” for its religious and cultural diversity. Accommodation check-in and walking tour including: the City Hall (today the National Library) in neo-Moorish style, the House of Spite, the wooden fountain "Sebilj", the shopping street of Saraci, the caravanserai of Morica Han and the most important mosque: Gazi Husrev Bey’s, after the name of the successful 16th century Ottoman governor. We also admire: the Clock Tower - the only lunar public clock, thought to indicate Muslim prayer times; the place of Franz Ferdinand’s murder in 1914, next to the Latin Bridge; Gazi Husrev-beg's Bezistan (covered bazaar), the Sephardic Jewish quarter and its synagogues, the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral, in neo-Gothic style, and finally the Orthodox Nativity Cathedral. Some free time in the afternoon after the tour.

 

Optional EXTRA DAY in Sarajevo. More time in Sarajevo and Dubrovnik/Kotor (the next day).
Sarajevo ☾

Program: visit Sarajevo and free time in the city

Breakfast. Visit Sarajevo and free afternoon to explore the city enjoying its atmosphere, the enthusiasm of its people and the diversity of shops. Also, free time in the afternoon on the previous day.
Its history is fascinating. In 1885, it was the first European city with an electric tram and the second in the world after San Francisco. In 1914, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand triggered the outbreak of the First World War. Seventy years later, Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics, being one of the most beautiful cities in former Yugoslavia. In the early 1990s, the city suffered, unfortunately, the greatest siege in the history of modern warfare. Following the peace agreements, it was divided between the two entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina as a federated state: Srpska Republic and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (same name as the state). In 2004 it was the European Capital of Culture, in 2006 and 2009 included by Lonely Planet among the ten best cities in the world to visit, and nowadays it is in full progress. As a curiosity: "saray evo" means the "plains of the palace".
The next day, we go straight south without needing any more free time in the morning in the city. Therefore, with the extra day in Sarajevo we also gain more time in Dubrovnik/Kotor.



Day 3 of 9. Tour Bosnia and arrive in Dubrovnik, the "pearl of the Adriatic"
Sarajevo - Mostar - Dubrovnik ☾ 280 km

Mostar

Program: brief time in Sarajevo, stop in Mostar, and city walk in Dubrovnik

Breakfast. Short free time in the morning, and then we leave Sarajevo heading south and arriving in Mostar, the most important city of the Herzegovina region. Stop to admire the famous old bridge "Stari Most". Its guardians who collected the passage were called "mostari", a name that passed to the city and its residents. Time to have lunch and/or continue the route to Croatia. We cross the border and arrive in the afternoon in Dubrovnik, a charming city on the Dalmatian Coast. Accommodation check-in and walk through the Old Town, admiring attractions such as: Pile Gate, the Franciscan Church and Monastery, the Large Onofrio's Fountain, Orlando’s Column, and the Rectors' Palace. In the past, under the name of Ragusa and following the Italian model, Dubrovnik was one of the most prosperous and advanced maritime republics. Today it is a UNESCO heritage site and its architectural beauty is recognizable all over the world. Some free time after the walk.

 

Optional ALTERNATIVE DAY to Kotor. Spend the night in this charming city of Montenegro (more affordable, avoiding crossing the border with Croatia twice).
Sarajevo – Mostar – Kotor ☾ 320 km

Kotor

Program: brief time in Sarajevo, stop in Mostar, and some free time in Kotor

Breakfast. Short free time in the morning, and then we leave Sarajevo heading south and arriving in Mostar, the most important city of the Herzegovina region. Stop to admire the famous old bridge "Stari Most". Its guardians who collected the passage were called "mostari", a name that passed to the city and its residents. Time to have lunch and/or continue the route to Montenegro. We cross the border and arrive in the afternoon in Kotor, a privileged city due to its position at the end of this "southern fjord". Accommodation and some free time afterwards. The next day, we take a walk to discover the city enjoying some free time as well before starting the route to Perast and then further on to Dubrovnik (90 km in total).

 

Optional: EXTRA DAY to Međugorje. Spend the night in this small city of Herzegovina region (reduce travel time; extra visits; more free time in Sarajevo and Kotor)
Sarajevo – Mostar – Kravica Waterfall – Međugorje ☾ 190 km

kravica

Program: free time in Sarajevo, a walk through Mostar, visita Kravica Waterfall and free time in Međugorje

Breakfast. Free time in the morning, and then we leave Sarajevo heading south and arriving in Mostar, the most important city of Herzegovina region. We walk through the center admiring the famous old bridge "Stari Most". Its guardians who collected the passage were called "mostari", a name that passed to the city and its residents. Time to have lunch and/or we continue the route with two unique visits: Blagaj Tekke, a Sufi refuge well integrated into nature and the spectacular Kravica waterfalls. Arrive in the afternoon to Međugorje, a famous Catholic Pilgrimage place initiated by the Croat population of the area and a peaceful little town. Optional visit of Saint James Church and free time. The next day, the route is reduced to: Međjugorje - Perast - Kotor ☾ 200 km.



Day 4 of 9. One day trip to Montenegro
Dubrovnik - Perast - Kotor - Dubrovnik ☾ 90 + 90 km

Kotor

Program: visit the Island Church in Perast, walk and free time in Kotor

Breakfast. Full day trip to a new country, Montenegro. We leave early in the morning to the south and arrive in Perast, a town located in the Gulf of Kotor. Here we take a boat to visit Our Lady of the Rocks Catholic Church. It is located on a small artificial island and was declared a World Heritage Site along with the entire bay.
Then we continue the route to Kotor, a privileged city due to its position at the end of this "southern fjord". Visit the beautiful old town, admiring: the Sea Gate, the palaces, St. Tryphon Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, and the famous city walls. Free time for lunch and return to Dubrovnik in the afternoon.


Day 5 of 9. Climb the Dalmatian Coast
Dubrovnik - Split ☾ 230 km

Dubrovnik

Program: free time in Dubrovnik; walk and free time in Split

Breakfast. Possible free time in the morning to explore more of the city and we leave for Split. On our route, we found Ston, an important fortress of the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) whose defensive walls were considered a notable achievement of medieval architecture. These walls extend north to Mali Ston, a smaller town on the northern side of the Pelješac Isthmus, on the bay bearing the same name, famous for its mariculture. Possible stop, walk and oyster tasting. We then continue over the impressive Pelješac Bridge and climb the Dalmatian Coast up to Split, the second largest city in the country and an important tourist destination. Accommodation check-in and walk through the center admiring: Diocletian's Palace, the heart of the old town with a high degree of conservation and a splendid gallery of columns; Saint Domnius Cathedral and its 60-meter medieval bell tower; and Riva, the city’s lively promenade. Free time at the end of the day to let yourself be carried away by the rhythm of this ancient city.


Day 6 of 9. Sea and Mountains
Split - Trogir - Zadar - Plitvice (lakes) ☾ 295 ​​km

Plitvice

Program: visit and time in Trogir and Zadar

Breakfast. Possibly free time in Split in the morning. We leave for Trogir, a city located about 30 kilometers to the west. This island settlement stands out for its beautiful Romanesque churches, complemented by remarkable Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. The most famous attraction in Trogir is St. Lawrence’s Cathedral, whose western entrance is considered a masterpiece of the Romanesque-Gothic style in Croatia. Walk through the Old Town, which was declared a World Heritage Site, and possibly enjoy some free time too. We then follow the itinerary on a road parallel to the coast until we reach Zadar, a cultural town of Croatia. Here, the elongated islands look like forward defense lines in the Adriatic Sea. Walk through the center of the oldest city in the country, admiring the original Byzantine Church of St. Donatus, the Roman Forum and the great St. Anastasia’s Cathedral, of Tuscan influence. Possible detour to the ingenious Sea Organ and return to the old town discovering the Land Gate, Five Wells Square and maybe checking the marketplace. Time to have lunch.
Afterwards, we continue the route inland, arriving in the afternoon at Plitvice Lakes National Park, with a size of almost 300 km² and protected by UNESCO since 1979.
It is a mountain and forest area surrounding an interconnected system of 16 lakes, continuously supplied by streams and groundwater, separated by natural barriers but communicating through waterfalls. The water, of beautiful and different colors, descends an altitude of 133 m from south to north, and each lake flows into the next until the Korana river rises, below the last great waterfalls. Overnight accommodation in the area. The next day, we will explore on foot this privileged place organized into 7 visiting routes.



Optional: 2 EXTRA DAYS, SLOVENIA.

 
DAY 1 EXTRA. Slovenia, a fairytale country
Plitvice (lakes) - Postojna (cave) - Predjama Castle - Ljubljana ☾ 315 km

Postojna

Program: visit Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle; free time in Ljubljana

Breakfast. We leave towards the north and begin a new stage of the journey entering the small idyllic country of Slovenia. We arrive at Postojna Cave around noon and visit a fantastic underground world with galleries, rooms and passages. Train ride and guided walking tour, admiring the stalactites, stalagmites and other formations of this natural karst-type monument. Then we continue nearby, having time for lunch and visiting Predjama Castle. An apparently impenetrable medieval fortification, built in the opening of a cave, on a peak of 123 m. We learn about the history of Erazem Lueger, the Slovenian “Robin Hood”, discovering a picturesque and intriguing castle. In the afternoon, we follow the route to the capital, Ljubljana. Overnight accommodation and some free time in the city.

The previous day's program is going to be different: we go directly from Split to Plitvice Lakes National Park and visit it the very same day. In the morning of the first optional day to Slovenia there wouldn’t be enough time to visit the Park. A quick stop in Zadar can be made on the way, while Trogir must be visited the day before, prior to the arrival in Split.


DAY 2 EXTRA. Slovenia, a fairytale country.
Ljubljana - Lake Bled - Ljubljana ☾ 110 km

Lake Bled

Program: Ljubljana city tour; visit Lake Bled; free time in Ljubljana

Breakfast. In the morning, we visit the quiet and elegant Slovenian capital (approx. 2 hours). On a walking tour, we admire Prešeren Square, after the name of the romantic poet, crowned by a muse in the monument placed here in 1905. It is bounded by the pink Franciscan Church and several imposing buildings, such as the Art Nouveau styled Hauptman House and Urbanc House, and extends across the river by the Triple Bridge. The architect of the bridge was Jože Plečnik, who remodeled the city in the 20th century and gave its name to the Central Market, also his creation and the next visited attraction. We then continue with Saint Nicholas’ Cathedral, in baroque style but completed by a bas-relief from the 20th century at the entrance, telling the history of the country, and we arrive at the Town Hall, a 15th century building with Venetian influence. The surrounding square is marked by the beautiful Robba Fountain, known as the Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers. In the second part of the tour, we arrive in Congress Square by the slender Cobblers’ Bridge, not before admiring the National University Library, in a unique style, and the University itself, headquarters of the Holy Alliance Congress in 1821.
Right after, we leave towards the Alps and arrive at Lake Bled, iconic for the beauty of Slovenia. The mountains in the background, emerald-green waters, the church spire on the island, all make up a postcard image that lingers on in memory. Get the best view over this glacial lake, from the medieval castle built on a cliff (optional entrance), or cross the lake to the island, in a traditional “pletna” boat. Free time to enjoy this wellness place, have lunch, and maybe taste the delicious “kremšnita” dessert, a puff pastry with custard cream and chantilly.
Return to Ljubljana in the afternoon. Overnight accommodation and free time. Optional river cruise observing the rhythm of the town and its castle dominating the old quarter from the top of a hill. The Ljubljanica River runs through the heart of this green city, completing its life and identity.


The next day
replaces Day 7 of the standard program
(see below):
Day 9 of 11. Croatia's capital city
Ljubljana – Zagreb ☾ 140 km

Program: city tour and free time in Zagreb

Breakfast. Possible free time in the morning and we continue with our route returning to Croatia and its capital, Zagreb. City tour, overnight accommodation and free time.

This day is followed by the last 2 days of the standard program (see below).



Day 7 of 9. The capital of Croatia
Plitvice (lakes) - Zagreb ☾ 135 km

 

Program: visit Plitvice Lakes Nature Park; tour and free time in Zagreb

Breakfast. Time in the morning to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park and leave for the capital of the country. We arrive in Zagreb and begin our city tour, learning about the Cathedral of the Assumption, its history and its complicated renovation, walking through the lively Tkalciceva street, to discover the daily life, and taking the first public transport in Zagreb, the funicular that takes us to the upper city, called Gradec. Here, we discover Strossmayer, a promenade with charm and panoramic views, and the emblematic roof of St. Mark’s Church.
At the end, we return to the lower city through the Stone Gate. It is the only gate preserved from the old wall but it is also a chapel dedicated to the Virgin. The canvas of Mary with Jesus survived intact the last great fire of the 18th century and was placed here, later being protected by a beautifully forged iron fence in Baroque style. Overnight accommodation and free time in the city.


Day 8 of 9. The capital of Serbia
Zagreb - Belgrade ☾ 400 km

 

Program: visit Belgrade and free time in the city

Breakfast. We leave in the morning for Serbia and arrive in Belgrade, the charming capital of the country with a privileged location on the banks of the Danube and its tributary, the Sava river. Time to have lunch and visit Belgrade, “the white city”: we approach Saint Sava- still the largest Orthodox Church in the world (outside visit); we broaden our perspective over communism in Yugoslavia and its leader Josip Tito by visiting the Museum of Yugoslavia (House of Flowers); we admire the National Assembly, City Hall, and Republic Square where the Museum, the Theater and the statue of Prince Mihailo III stand out. We then stroll along the beautiful Kalemegdan Park and the impressive fortress overlooking the confluence of the Danube and the Sava, and finish the visit in Skadarlija, the bohemian area with ​​traditional cafes and restaurants called kafanas. Overnight accommodation and some free time in the city.


Day 9 of 9. Return
Belgrade - Airport ✈

Program: airport transfer; free time depending on the flight

Breakfast. Free time in the city depending on the flight and transfer to the airport. End of Santiago Tour’s services. Thank you!


€1429
FROM €1429 / person

Your consultant

Your consultant | Cristian Calcisca

Cristian Calcisca

Founder and manager of Santiago Tour since 2010. Tour guide in Romania from 2004, specialised in English speaking tourism as well as Spanish. Studies in UAB Barcelona.

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