BALKAN TOUR : Hungary – Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Serbia  2019

BALKAN TOUR : HUNGARY – CROATIA – BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – SERBIA  2019

Day 1: Budapest

Arriving to Budapest Airport, welcome by tourist guide for start of the program with a combined panoramic and walking sightseeing tour of Budapest. We start from the Chain Bridge, driving through the Margit Bridge above the Margaret Island we arrive to Buda part of the city. Here you can find mountainous green part of the city and the castle. Get off the bus and we continue on foot. Walking through the Fő utca and see the Baroque style buildings and the eclectic style church. This part of the city is called the Water City. Go to the Castle and the Fisherman’s bastion, visit the Matthias Church, and continue to the Citadel and the Gellért hill. Here we have an opportunity to visit the Pálos church, which is inside the hill (a cave church). Continuation of sightseeing by bus: Vasárcsarnok (Market hall with Hungarian traditional products and souvenirs), the Hungarian National Museum, the Eastern Railway station, stopover at the City park (Városliget) at the Heroes square. Continue to the downtown along the Andrássy street to the State Opera House and Saint Stephan’s Basilica, arriving to the Kossuth square. Here we will visit the Parliament. Free time. Dinner and overnight in Budapest 3+ stars hotel.

Day 2: Budapest – Pécs

After breakfast we continue our travel to the southern part of Hungary, to Pécs. In this Mediterranean style city we do a walking tour to discover the sights which reflect back to the Turkish era. Starting from the downtown we will see the Dóm square, than to the Barbakan, the protecting tower of the city wall. Continue to the ancient church chambers, the Croatian memories, the Mosque, Zsolnay pit, Synagogue, Szerecsen Pharmacy, the oldest one in Pécs. After this walking tour our program continues direction south for a wine tasting. Welcome glass of wine, walk along on the slopes of the hills to get familiar with types of the grape varieties and to the wine cellar for expert presentation, followed with wine tasting of 5 sorts of wines and traditional brunch. In the afternoon, we have 1,5 hour drive to Croatia to the Kopački rit Park of Nature, a floodplain that developed due to the activities of two large rivers, the Danube and the Drava. Walk over the wooden paths and bridges, admire vast biodiversity of flora and fauna protected in this nature reserve. Enjoy a picturesque and tranquil electric boat ride along the narrow river channels, where eagles, owls and cormorants nest. After the visit (approximate duration 2,5h) transfer to the city of Osijek (20 min), the regional capital of Slavonia & Baranja region. Accommodation in nicely appointed traditional houses of authentic farm house in Osijek, big traditional dinner, overnight.

Day 3: Osijek – Đakovo – Gradiška – Kotromanicevo – Banja Luka

After the rich Slavonian style buffet breakfast, panoramic drive and the walking tour of Osijek – visit to the Starčević square, the SS Peter & Paul’s Cathedral, the elegant European Avenue with exceptional Art Nouveau and Art Deco residential buildings, the Hanging bridge over the Drava river, the Holy Trinity square and the University Rector House, City walls and the Water Gates. At the end of the walking tour, visit to the exceptional collection of the Museum of Slavonia. In the afternoon, visit to the State Stud farm in Ivandvor (40 min drive) and in Đakovo (additional 10 min drive). The Stud Farm in Đakovo was established in 1506 which qualifies it to be among the oldest stud farms in Europe and proves a long tradition of horse breeding in this area, where white Lipizzaner horses have been bred from the 19th century. Apart from seeing the stud farm and the stallion station, it is possible (at additional cost) to ride in the carriages. Tour of Đakovo city center, short walk with visit to the exceptional Neoromanic Cathedral of St. Peter’s. Traditional Slavonian lunch will be organized in the local restaurant. Departure to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1h20’ drive) with stopover for visit to the Kotromanicevo traditional settlement near Doboj for presentation of well preserved heritage and small traditional refreshment. Accommodation in Banja Luka 4+ stars hotel, dinner, overnight.

Day 4: Banja Luka – Jajce – Travnik – Sarajevo

After breakfast visit to the Museum of Republic of Srpska, which displays the unique collection of the Zmijanje Embroidery, the UNESCO heritage. Drive to Jajce and walking tour along the impressive Jajce waterfalls and the historical core of the stronghold and impressive towers, including the Jajce Museum, which displays rich collections of traditional costumes. Drive on to Travnik, the historical Oriental town and break for traditional lunch. Visit to the Travnik historical core which was the seat of 77 Viziers in 1699, and the Travnik Castle, the Birth House of Ivo Andric and the multicolored Mosque. Drive on to Sarajevo and hotel accommodation. Free evening, overnight.

Day 5: Sarajevo – Konjic – Sarajevo

After breakfast full-day tour to Konjic, the picturesque gem of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the emerald Neretva river. Visit to the famous Tito’s bunker, that best represents secret communist Yugoslavia with its long underground tunnels and facilities deep in the inwards of the impressive Prenj Mountain, covering surface more than 3000 sq meters, constructed in order to serve as the safe sanctuary for the Marshall Tito and his elite in case of the Third WW. Continue to the historical core of Konjic for walking tour of the Old /reconstructed/ Bridge and tasty traditional lunch. Visit to the Konjic woodcarving workshop that represents the reputed tradition of woodcarving along specific patterns inherited by generations. Afternoon return to Sarajevo hotel. Optional visit to the Art Sevdah House for presentation of rich tradition of sevdalinka music and songs. Free evening, overnight.

Day 6: Sarajevo – Visegrad – Mokra Gora

After breakfast Sarajevo city tour : the Bascarsija quarter, the Gazi Husref Bey Mosque, the Old Orthodox Cathedral with the Treasury, the Synagogue, the Latin Bridge.…. Drive along beautiful scenery of East Bosnia to Visegrad for tour of the famous Old Bridge, the UNESCO heritage site, which inspired Ivo Andric to write his famous Novel ‘the Bridge over the Drina River’ that was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. Accommodation in the luxury cottages of the Mecavnik Drvengrad Wooden town, the traditional settlement and the Film/Art Academy established by famous Film Director Emir Kusturica. Traditional dinner, overnight /wellness facilities available/.

Day 7: Mokra Gora Sargan ride – Staro Selo Sirogojno – Zlatibor

After breakfast Sargan train ride /some 2,5 hrs/ along the wonderful scenery of the Mokra Gora Nature Park, through numerous tunnels and bridges. Transfer to Staro Selo Sirogojno Open air museum and big traditional lunch. Visit to the open air exhibition which best represents the lifestyle and customs of the Dinaric population of the 19th century. Fashion show of the hand-knitted woolen staff /cardigans, stocks, shawls, gloves and jackets/ by Sirogojno Style. Drive to Zlatibor tourist center and accommodation in 4 stars hotel. Free evening, overnight /wellness facilities available/.

Day 8: Zlatibor – Zlakusa – Belgrade

After breakfast easy walk along the Zlatibor lake and the famous open air market. Drive to Belgrade with break for tour of the Terzica avlija Ethno Park in Zlakusa village and its colorful presentation of traditonal costumes, and well preserved pottery manufacture tradition. Traditional lunch. Accommodation in 4 stars centrally located Belgrade hotel. Overnight.

Day 9: Belgrade

After breakfast half day Belgrade city tour : the Parliament, National Theater, the Saint Sava Orthodox Cathedral /second largest Orthodox church in the world/, the Kalemegdan fortress and the Victory Monument, Knez Mihajla pedestrian-shopping street, Republic Square… Free afternoon. Big farewell dinner with live music in Skadarlija quarter. Overnight.

Day 10: departure

After breakfast free time until transfer to Belgrade airport for departure flight, end of program and services.

Price per person – double/twin sharing : min. 20 participants 1180 EUR; min. 21-25 participants 1100 EUR;  min. 26-30 participants  1050 EUR;   Single supplement : 246 EUR

Included : transportation with high-tourist-class bus or minibus; 1 BB in 3 stars Budapest hotel; dinner in Budapest /without drinks/; wine tasting (5  x 0,5 dl wine) and wine cellar visit with guidance of an expert on day 2; entrance fees for the Fishermen Bastion, the Matthias Church and the Parliament in Budapest; entrance fees in Pecs for the Cella Septichora, and ancient church chambers and Middle ages University, the Mosque and Synagogue and cathedral; entrance fee for the Kopacki Rit Nature Park with boat ride; 1 HB in Osijek traditional complex; entrance fee for the Djakovo stud farm; traditional lunch on Day 3; entrance fee for Museum of Slavonia; entrance fee and refreshment in Kotromanicevo traditional complex; 1 HB in 4+ stars Banja Luka hotel; entrance fee for the Museum of Republic of Srpska; entrance fees for the Jajce waterfalls and the Jajce Museum; traditional lunch in Travnik; entrance fees for Travnik sites; 2 BB in 4 stars centrally located Sarajevo hotel; entrance fee for the Tito’s bunker and the Woodcarving workshop in Konjic; traditional lunch in Konjic; entrance fees for the Sarajevo sites; 1 HB at 4 stars Mecavnik Drvengrad hotel; Sargan train ride; entrance fee and big traditional lunch in Staro selo Sirogojno Open air museum; wool hand-knitted fashion show in Sirogojno; 1 BB in 4 stars Zlataibor hotel; entrance fee and pottery manufacture presentation and traditional lunch in the Terzica avlija traditional settlement; 2 BB in 4 stars Belgrade centrally located hotel; big farewell dinner in Skadarlija restaurant; 24h support and professional guidance of Panacomp Wonderland Travel Lufthansa City Center Serbia

APPLICATION DEADLINE 180 DAYS prior arrival

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