See the great lakes of Croatia in Plitvice National Park and breathe in the Balkan beauty of Montenegro on this two-week discovery of the east. From Zagreb’s Presidential Palace and Split’s Old City, your expert led itinerary gallops across Croatia to the pearl of the Adriatic—Dubrovnik. Marble streets, hidden markets and terracotta roofs abound within the walled city and a Dubrovnik traditional dinner acquaints the taste buds with glasses of grappa, authentic local flavors and delicious dessert wines. Set sail from the shores of Greece to the island of Corfu—with its bleach white domes and azure blue seas, before forging onwards to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, and the Acropolis in Athens.
Welcome to Zagreb
Transfers to your hotel depart from Zagreb airport at 11:30 and 14:00. Relax and settle in or perhaps head for the romantic chestnut-lined Stross Promenade for your first views over the city. At 17:30, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant with the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening with wine.
Zagreb’s Twin Towns Relaxed Start
Join your Local Expert to explore the two-tiered capital of Croatia. Drive through the squares of the Lower Town, Donji Grad, designed to give a sense of grandeur. See the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square and continue to Ban Josip Jelacic Square en route to the cathedral. Board the city's funicular to the medieval Upper Town, Gornji Grad. It's a network of little streets, stretching between the Kaptol and Gradec hills. View the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Lotrščak Tower. The afternoon is at leisure. Relax and enjoy your hotel's amenities or perhaps take an Optional Experience to the Zagorje region to learn about the local traditions and visit the house of Marshall Tito?
The Crystal Lakes of Plitvice Relaxed Start
Take this morning to relax and enjoy your hotel's facilities. In the afternoon depart for your next hotel, located inside the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, this is Croatia’s first and largest national park of Croatia. While the park is predominately forests and grasslands, the true highlight are the interconnected lakes that cascade from one to another.
Plitvice Lakes, Ancient Trogir and Split
Explore Plitvice with Insight Choice. Choose between two MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences: Join a Local Expert to explore Plitvice National Park and learn how the site actively carries out research to monitor the natural habitat of species. Alternatively meet the industrious women of the Tara Community Centre, who produce handicrafts, enabling employment and engagement in the community.Travel along the coast and visit Trogir, founded by the Greeks more than 2,300 years ago. This town is renowned for its beautiful cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace. Continue to the historic port of Split.
The Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace here, and today it forms the heart of the Old Town of Split. With your Local Expert, explore the 1,700 year-old palace cellars, and learn the story of the infamous emperor. Continue through the labyrinthine streets and arcaded squares to see St. Duje's - originally Diocletian's Mausoleum, and the Temple of Jupiter, which today is a baptistery, as well as the Golden Gate. Travel alongside sparkling deep blue seas and the rocky islands of the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic Relaxed Start
The walled town of Dubrovnik, was once described as 'paradise on Earth', according to George Bernard Shaw.Join a walking exploration of the city, guided by a Local Expert. Get a glimpse into local life, as you explore the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions of the Old Town. Walk past Onofrio's Fountain, see the Old Jewish Quarter and the synagogue, and marvel at the grandeur of the cathedral and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. This evening, should weather permit, embark on a dazzling cruise around the fabled bay. Gaze out at views of the glistening Adriatic and the mighty city walls rising straight from the cliffs. Start your dinner with a glass of grappa, before savouring authentic flavours of local specialties and enjoy locally produced wine.
Mediterranean Montenegro Relaxed Start
Stop to visit the old town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the bay, with its azure waters lapping at the edges of the medieval towns which dot the coastline. Next, make your way along the Adriatic sea to Budva. Discover the medieval old town, home to religious sites such as 9th century Church of Santa Maria in Punta.
Scenic Drive to Tirana
Travel through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro and Albania and continue to the fascinating capital of Tirana. Led by your Local Expert, explore this warmhearted and colourful city, and see the diverse relics that remain from its Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
Across to Corfu
Take in Albania’s unique scenery, as you journey across the country to Greece, and set sail for the cobalt-blue waters of Corfu. Renowned since Odysseus for its untamed beauty and strategic position in the Mediterranean, Corfu today is one of Greece’s most charming islands.
Relax in Corfu Relaxed Start
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and enjoy the beautiful island of Corfu. Perhaps explore the Old Town and admire the interesting mix of architectural styles, from Roman and Venetian to French and British, each resembling an era of the island’s interesting past before it was united with Greece. Alternatively, you may want to lay-back and unwind at one of the incredible beaches, or board a cruise for stunning views around the island?
Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World
Set off from your island paradise for Delphi, a spectacular cliff-side amphitheatre and worthy of its status as the centre of the ancient world. History and mythology run deep here, with finds of ritual artefacts that date back to 4,000 B.C and remains of a Mycenaean settlement. It is said that Delphi is the location where two eagles crossed paths, after they were released by Zeus from opposite end of the universe to find ‘the navel of the world.’
Delphi sightseeing and on to Athens
Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with its interlocking stones, still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels then continue to the ancient city of Athens, the modern capital of Greece. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
The Glory of Athens
Join a Local Expert for a morning of city sightseeing. Enjoy the glory of ancient Greece from the Acropolis with the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. You will also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. This afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace.
Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens airport.