On the crossroads between East and West, the Balkan Peninsula dazzles with less-discovered gems. Enjoy a fascinating introduction to the stunning Dalmatian coast of Croatia, the dramatic history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the lush waterways of Montenegro, discovering an array of UNESCO World Heritage sites and natural treasures along the way.
Arrive at any time.
Zagreb/Plitvice Lakes National Park
Enjoy an excursion to Plitviče Lakes National Park. Take in the splendor of its karst formations, gem-like pools, and cascading waterfalls on a guided walk along boardwalks, and learn about the diverse wildlife and unique bird population of this World Heritage site. For dinner this evening, savor a traditional peka, a Dalmatian dish of vegetables, herbs, and meat baked over hot coals.
Plitvice Lakes National Park/Split
Begin our exploration of the sparkling Adriatic coast in Split. In the early evening, take a guided walk around the dazzling Roman ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built of luminous white stone imported from the nearby island of Brac, this imposing palace dates to the third century A.D.
Spend a day at your leisure to explore the lively seaside town of Split, which was once a major Byzantine city. Step through the Golden Gate and into the historic old town, situated within the old palace walls. Sample Croatian delicacies at the local market, opt to ascend to Marjan’s peak for breathtaking views of the city, or consider joining an optional tour of one of the world’s oldest cathedrals, a colonnaded octagon built in the early fourth century.
Enjoy a scenic drive across the border to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stroll around the ancient town and pay a visit to the famed Stari Most (Old Bridge), considered a symbol of the city’s resilience. This reconstructed Ottoman-style bridge was first built in the 17th century—and then meticulously rebuilt after its destruction during the Bosnian War. Later, continue to Sarajevo for the evening.
Learn about the four-year-long Siege of Sarajevo from a local expert who lived through this devastating period. Gain more insights at the Tunnel of Hope and War Tunnel Museum, and view bunkers, minefields, and trenches at Trebević Mountain, the site of several battles. After, experience the city’s resurgence at a market and during lunch at a local spot.
Enjoy a free day to explore the capital at your leisure. Discover the cobblestone streets of its alluring Old Town, noting the architecture of its diverse places of worship, and ponder history at the arched Latin Bridge, the famed site of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination—the fateful event that triggered World War I.
Cross over the border to Montenegro and soak up two days on the sparkling Bay of Kotor, designated a World Heritage site for its terraced waterfront landscape and medieval architecture. Opt to visit the one time capital of Risan, home to well-preserved Roman mosaics, take a leisurely stroll in the quaint seaside town of Perast and the islands, or set out by sea kayak to explore the spectacular bay.
Enjoy a free day to explore. Discover the Mediterranean spirit of Kotor, surrounded by fortifications built by the Republic of Venice. Consider hiking up the medieval steps of the fortress for panoramic views of the city and harbour. Or opt to experience mud therapy at a local spa to test the natural healing properties of the area’s sand.
Visit a family-run agrotourism villa surrounded by Mediterranean gardens and sweeping views of the Adriatic. Join our local host on a spirited walk around the picturesque grounds, pick fresh fruits and vegetables in the gardens, and watch a baking demonstration. Then sit down together to share a traditional lunch of local ham, cheeses, and wine. Continue to Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” and walk the medieval city walls. Head to the Old City and meet locals preserving traditional foods and handicrafts through the women-run nonprofit, DEŠA, founded in the early 1990s during the Croatian War of Independence.
Enjoy a free day in Dubrovnik, which once rivaled Venice as a maritime power. Explore its World Heritage–designated Old City, where distinctive red roofs make for spectacular photos. Order the catch of the day at a seaside café, or consider setting out on a boat trip to one of the nearby islands.
Depart at any time.