Balkan Adventure – Intrepid

Image

Balkan Adventure – Intrepid

Travel across scenic Eastern Europe from historic Hungary to crescent-shaped Croatia

Welcome to the Balkans, where the East meets the West and the new merges seamlessly with the old. Over the centuries, people have travelled to Eastern Europe for its fertile soil, natural resources and healing waters. This enchanting land, which has remained virtually untouched by tourism, boasts rich tradition, vibrant culture and mouth-watering cuisine. With historical attractions in Budapest, nightlife in Belgrade, Sarajevo’s beautiful Old Town, Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park and medieval Dubrovnik, this trip is delightfully different. Hike through stunning natural gems, drive through ever-changing scenery, hit up the nightlife after feasting on local favourites and even discover a family-run vineyard in Ilok from the 15th century.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Cross the Chain Bridge in Budapest – known as the Pearl of the Danube – and take the funicular up to Buda Castle for beautiful views over Pest.
  • After exploring the 15th-century family-run vineyard, sip the famous Croatian Traminac Premium wine at an included wine tasting in quaint Ilok – this wine was served at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II!
  • Wander through Belgrade’s Bohemian quarter and grand 19th-century boulevards before launching into its animated nightlife. Then, take a day trip to the artists’ haven of Zemun.
  • Witness Mostar’s famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has spanned the river for centuries and visit Tito’s bunker – one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia.
  • See the sights on a guided walking tour of scenic Sarajevo and learn about its recent history as a city under siege. Then, take a long drive to the stunning Durmitor National Park.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Humana Zagreb. Donations help provide job opportunities and education programs in sustainable fashion and textiles for people with disabilities.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Don’t let the heat put you off travelling in summer! It can get hot (over 40°C), so it’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please note that only some of the hotels and none of the public trains and buses in this region have air-conditioning.
  • Hotels in Europe often don’t have double beds and rooms can be small by American or Australian standards. Some of the accommodation used on this trip have shared bathrooms.
  • If you have more time to explore the region, you may want to check out our trip ‘Vienna to Dubrovnik’ (trip code AMSNC). Most departure dates are designed to create these perfect combos.
  • There are some long walks and short hikes on this trip, so a reasonable level of fitness is recommended. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day’s activities. Activities can be opted out of if you want to refrain from participating.
  • One of the pleasures of travelling in Europe is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. Your leader will take you on frequent orientation walks, and you’ll be able to explore further in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip.
  • On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won’t be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight between 15kg / 33lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Expired on Thursday October 10th, 2024

Expired on Thursday October 10th, 2024

Day 1: Budapest

Szia! Welcome to Hungary. Budapest is Hungary's intoxicating capital, on the banks of the Danube River. If you arrive early, you can take part in an Urban Adventure day tour, like the Buda Castle Explorer or Bites and Sights. Check them out at urbanadventures.com. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. After, maybe take a night walk along the Danube River to see the surrounding buildings and bridges lit up in all the city’s majesty, or head out with some of your new travel buddies to one of Budapest's funky ruin pubs.

Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information
It is very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. Please check with the hotel reception about where and when it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception.

Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest, known as 'The Pearl of the Danube'. Admire intricate carvings on resplendent buildings, cross the iconic Chain Bridge to explore the Castle District, or simply meander through winding streets snacking on local delicacies. Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water, so maybe take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to the castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building. Hiring a bicycle is another great way to move between the sights.

Optional Activities
Budapest - Bike Ride - HUF6000
Budapest - Great Synagogue - HUF9000
Budapest - House of Terror - HUF4000
Budapest - Hungarian National Museum - HUF2900
Budapest - Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF7000
Budapest - Parliament Tour - HUF10000
Budapest - Pub Crawl (starting from) - HUF9000
Budapest - Szechenyi Thermal Baths (starting from) - HUF9400
Budapest - Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
Budapest - Danube Boat Trip - EUR15

Meals Included
Breakfast

Take a private transfer through the Hungarian Puszta this morning and cross the border into Croatia to a land of cornfields, vineyards and pastel-hued villages. Famed for its cuisine, arrive at the Slavonian capital of Osijek. This laid-back university town features an enchanting medieval citadel as well as the Upper Town, only a short walk along the banks of the Drava. Many cafes line the river, inviting you to join in on the Croatian national pastime: of people-watching. Osijek is a well-designed city that’s easily navigated on foot. There are also numerous cycling routes throughout the city. Navigate the hallways of grand buildings, stroll along the banks of the Drava River or sample some of the local delicious flavours at a local cafe. Your accommodation for the night is at a family-owned local guesthouse (with local craft beer and wine on offer) that’s right inside the citadel.

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 4 hours.

Today is a free day to explore Osijek. You might like to visit the small provincial town of Dakovo, about 35 kms south of Osijek. The town is dominated by an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral. Maybe you’d like to take a day trip to the wetlands of Kopacki Rit Nature Reserve for a spot of bird watching and a visit to nearby Tikves Castle and historical Batina Hill from where you can see both Hungary and Serbia across the Danube. If you’d like to stay in Osijek, maybe visit the Museum of Slavonia and the Archaeological Museum. Or, you could just hire a bike and cycle around the region. This evening, maybe discover some of the best cuisines in Croatia with traditional dishes like fis paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles), kulen (spicy sausages) and cobanac (stew).

Optional Activities
Osijek - Day Trip to Kopa?ki Rit Nature Park, Belje Winery and Etno-Village Karanac (including lunch) - EUR100
Osijek - Museum of Slavonia - EUR3
Osijek - Archaeological Museum - EUR2
Osijek - Bike Hire - EUR10

Meals Included
Breakfast

Today you’ll travel to Novi Sad by private transfer. Along the way, visit nearby Vukovar – a town that symbolises the devastation of the recent war – and learn about the sobering local history. Visit the local hospital and the museum in its basement – used as a refuge during the siege – and listen to wartime stories from hospital staff, some of whom still work here and who were among the few survivors. Then, visit a local vineyard in Ilok to see the workings of a family-run vineyard. The old wine cellar dates back to 1450 and is the first originally purpose-built wine cellar in this part of Europe. Taste a range of their delicious wines, including the famous Ilok Traminac Premium wine, which was served at the celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Sitting on the banks of the Danube River, you’ll arrive in Novi Sad – this city is surrounded by fertile farms and vineyards and features an interesting mix of traditional Serbian heritage and Austro-Hungarian architecture. During your free afternoon, make sure you stop by the city’s fortress of Petrovaradin, which sits right on the Danube and contains a museum of historic artefacts from the region.

Included Activities
Vukovar - Orientation Walk & Guided Hospital Visit
Ilok - Winery Visit & Wine Tasting

Optional Activities
Novi Sad - Petrovaradin Fortress - Free
Novi Sad - Museum of Vojvodina - RSD200
Novi Sad - City Museum - RSD500
Novi Sad - Synagogue - Free

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 1 hour.

After breakfast this morning you’ll head to Belgrade. Known as the White City, Belgrade is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Sitting at the confluence of two major rivers – Sava and Danube – it’s an important intersection between Eastern and Western Europe. Here, you’ll experience an energetic mix of progressive flamboyance and conservative customs. Enjoy a guided tour of the city’s wide boulevards and squares and the historic and green heart of Kalemegdan Park. The park is home to Kalemegdan Fortress, which has overlooked the Danube River for centuries. Tonight, head down to Skadarska Street in the bohemian quarter of Skadarlija to sample some authentic local food and enjoy the lively atmosphere in a place where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.

Included Activities
Belgrade - City Tour with Local Guide

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 2 hours.

Today, make your way to the neighbourhood of Zemun – about 30 minutes outside of Belgrade’s city centre. This old town favourite has a rich history and is now known as the bohemian part of town, home to many of the city’s artists and writers. As Zemun used to be an independent town – only joining Belgrade in 1934 – the small village atmosphere still stands, transporting you to the past. After walking the town with your leader, head to a local market and explore the local wares. Stroll along the river promenade and stop for an optional lunch in one of the riverside restaurants serving fresh fish. After, maybe find a local café and people watch with a coffee. Head back to Belgrade’s centre in the late afternoon, where you have free time to visit the imposing Hram Svetog Save (St Sava Church) or if there’s time, stroll through the Nikola Tesla Museum and learn about the life of Serbia's greatest inventor. The city’s nightlife has become legendary throughout Europe, with several hundred floating bars, restaurants and nightclubs lining the Danube and Sava rivers – so you’ll find the perfect way to spend your evening.

Optional Activities
Belgrade - Military Museum - RSD350
Belgrade - Ethnographic Museum - RSD300
Belgrade - Sveti Sava Church - Free
Belgrade - St. Mark's Church - Free
Belgrade - Museum of Contemporary Art - Free
Belgrade - Nikola Tesla Museum - RSD800
Belgrade - Museum of Yugoslav History - RSD400
Belgrade - House of Flowers - RSD400

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 1 hour.

Today, travel by bus through the beautiful countryside to Sarajevo. This a long drive, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Sarajevo is Bosnia and Herzegovina's small but vibrant capital. Twenty years after the end of a devastating war, Sarajevo is slowly asserting itself as one of Europe's most beautiful and interesting destinations. The city often draws comparisons with Istanbul as a city that mixes east and west – dotted with minarets, mosques, bazaars and the aroma of coffee. When you arrive, take a guided tour for an insight into the history and culture of the city. Sarajevo is one of the few cities in the world that features an Orthodox church, a Catholic church and a mosque all within close proximity. Tonight, enjoy a simple but delicious meal in Bascarsija, Sarajevo's old bazaar and try the local speciality of bosanski cevapi (grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices).

Included Activities
Sarajevo - City Tour with Local Guide

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 8 hours.

Today head out of Sarajevo for a day trip to Mostar, a town situated in a beautiful valley in the high mountains of Herzegovina. Thanks to the river Neretva, Mostar was able to develop as a city in the barren landscape of Herzegovina. The city was the most heavily bombed settlement in Bosnia during the war, but it has since been rebuilt and now features on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Head to the famous Stari Most Bridge, first built by the Ottomans in 1565 by architect Mimar Hajrudin – who succeeded with the impossible mission of crossing the Neretva River with a single span stone bridge. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the famous bridge divers hurl themselves into the icy waters below. Return to Sarajevo in the afternoon, stopping at Konjic on the way – where you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia, Tito's nuclear bunker. Go back in time on a guided tour of the bunker and learn about Yugoslav history and how life used to be in the not-so-distant past.

Included Activities
Mostar - Day Trip
Konjic - Tito's Bunker Tour
Optional Activities
Mostar - Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque & Minaret - BAM15
Mostar - War Photo Exhibition - BAM6
Mostar - Old Bridge Museum - EUR5

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Your travel time today will be approximately 5 hours.

Enjoy a free day in and around Sarajevo. Maybe take an optional day trip to the thermal springs and green parks of Ilidza – the source of the Bosna River. Or, discover local history with a visit to the History Museum and the Sarajevo War Tunnels (dug underneath the airport runway and used to smuggle provisions into the city during its siege), or learn about the tragedies faced by the city's Jews at the Jewish Museum. Get cultural with a stroll through the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Pivnica HS brewery and restaurant is a good place to sample local award-winning beer and grab some dinner if you like, tonight.

Optional Activities
Sarajevo - Svrzo's House - BAM3
Sarajevo - National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina - BAM8
Sarajevo - Gallery 11/07/95 - Free
Sarajevo - City Hall & Old National Library - BAM10
Sarajevo - Jewish Museum - BAM3
Sarajevo - Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque - BAM3
Sarajevo - Ilidza Park and Springs - BAM15
Sarajevo - Despica House - BAM3
Sarajevo - Brusa Bezistan - BAM3
Sarajevo - Sarajevo Museum - BAM10
Sarajevo - War Tunnel - BAM10

Meals Included
Breakfast

Today, you’ll take a private transfer through the beautiful countryside to Montenegro, arguably one of the most stunning countries in the world. Today is a long driving day, so sit back and enjoy the scenic landscapes passing you by (and maybe take your favourite book, too). Stop along the way for some great photo opportunities and then arrive at Durmitor National Park. This World Heritage site was formed by glaciers and is crisscrossed with rugged mountains (40 of which reach over 2,000 metres in height), pristine pine forests, two deep canyons, rivers, crystal lakes and underground streams. Take a hike through this wonderful, lesser-explored wilderness along the shores of a lake and keep an eye out for some of the 163 species of bird or 50 species of mammal that roam this region is home to. Continue to the nearby town of Niksic, where you’ll spend the night.

Included Activities
Durmitor National Park

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Today’s travel time will be approximately 9 hours. The road can be quite windy – if you suffer from motion sickness you may want to consider taking travel sickness medication.

Today, drive to Kotor – this 5th-century World Heritage-listed city is set on a secluded bay, with towering peaks surrounding a rocky coastline dotted with waterside towns. When you arrive. why not head out to see the 12th-century Cathedral of St Tryphun, the South Gates of Kotor (the Gurdich Gate) and the Armoury Square (Trg od oruzija)? You might like to get lost in the crooked alleyways, check out the boutiques and cafes or climb the hills behind the city to visit Kotor's ruined fortification walls. Take an optional hike up the stone steps, past churches, gates and bastions to the Fortress of Sveti Ivan – the top rewards you with magnificent views across the town and the brooding Bay of Kotor.

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Today’s travel time will be approximately 3 hours.

Today, take an optional day trip out of Kotor. Maybe take a cruise on Kotor Fjord, visiting the twin islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and Sveti Dordje (St George), with its church in the middle of the bay. Legends has it that sailors once spotted an image of the Virgin Mary on a rock here, and each time they completed a successful voyage they added another rock as an offering. Eventually, so many were added that an island emerged, and the church was built on top of it. Alternatively, consider a trip to Budva, only half an hour out of Kotor. With its busy beaches, charming Old Town, bustling restaurants and bars, Budva is like Montenegro's little version of Miami. For some more history, head up to Montenegro's former capital Cetinje, now a laidback village with grand mansions that were once used as embassies. Enjoy a final night out in Kotor and maybe catch some live music that keep these cobbled streets busy.

Optional Activities
Kotor - Cruise on Kotor Fjord - EUR40
Kotor - Maritime Museum - EUR5
Kotor - St. Tryphon’s Cathedral - EUR4
Kotor - Fortress - EUR3

Meals Included
Breakfast

Depart Montenegro this morning and travel along the beautiful southern coast of Croatia to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik's walled Old Town is often referred to as the pearl of the Adriatic and it's now famed for its part in the TV show Game of Thrones. When you arrive, head out on a walk along the city walls with your leader, enjoying views of the sparkling ocean. Visit Big Onofrio's Fountain – built by the European architect Onofrio Della Cava in the 15th century to supply water to the city. After, maybe check out the 13th-century Franciscan monastery or the Sponza and Rector's Palaces, the only Renaissance buildings in the city to survive a devastating earthquake and fire in 1667. Tonight is the last night of your trip, so why not enjoy one last meal with the group and toast to your adventures?

Included Activities
Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik Card (1 day local transport & entry to sites)

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Today’s travel time will be approximately 3 hours.

Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are free to depart at any time. There's lots to see and do here in the wonderful city of Dubrovnik, so if you’d like to stay longer, just speak to your booking agent.

Optional Activities
Dubrovnik - Hike up Mt Srd - Free
Dubrovnik - Mt Srd Museum of Croatian War of Independence - EUR4
Dubrovnik - Rector's Palace - EUR13
Dubrovnik - War Photography Museum - EUR10
Dubrovnik - Discover Game of Thrones Filming Locations Urban Adventure - EUR69
Dubrovnik - Mt Srd Cable Car - EUR27
Dubrovnik - Lokrum Island Boat Trip - EUR27
Dubrovnik - Franciscan Monastery - EUR4

Meals Included
Breakfast

Departing Finishing Price
20, 27 April 2024 04, 11 May 2024 AUD $3,970
04 May 2024 18 May 2024 AUD $4,130
08, 11, 18, 20, 25 May 2024 22, 25 May, 01, 05, 08 June 2024 AUD $4,285
01, 08, 12, 22, 29 June 2024 15, 22, 26 June, 06, 13 July 2024 AUD $4,130
06, 13, 20 July 2024 20, 27 July, 03 August 2024 AUD $3,970
27 July, 03 August 2024 10, 17 August 2024 AUD $4,130
10, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31 August 2024 24, 31 August, 04, 07, 11, 14 September 2024 AUD $4,285
04, 07 September 2024 18, 21 September 2024 AUD $4,130
14, 21, 25 September, 05, 12 October 2024 28 September, 05, 09, 19, 26 October 2024 AUD $3,970

*Price are per adult in a twin share room

Want your own room?
From an extra $1,040

Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, excluding day 12&13. Availability is limited due to small properties that we use. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Booking terms & conditions

Before you book a trip with Intrepid, please take the time to read and understand what terms and conditions apply to your booking. For most of our trips, you will be booking directly with Intrepid so our Standard Booking Conditions and any applicable Special Conditions will apply. Please note that there are three versions of the Standard Booking Conditions depending on what location you are booking from.

The Booking Conditions you agree to when you make your booking apply to your trip.

With some of our specialist trips and travel products, Intrepid partners with carefully selected travel operators. In these circumstances, the Agency Booking Conditions apply to your booking, which will also be subject to the Operator’s Terms and Conditions. This currently applies to the following:

Expired on Thursday October 10th, 2024

Inclusions

Expired on Thursday October 10th, 2024

Enquiry Form
    Subscribe to our Newsletter
  • DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.