Unesco Balcan Tour

15 Days - Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro

Dubrovnik, Kotor, Mostar, Split, Hvar, Šibenik, Poreč, Postojnska Jama, Bled, Ljubljana

Enjoy the true treasures of the UNESCO world famous cultural and natural heritage of Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia in 15 days of history, leisure, and fun.

As this part of the world is located on the crossroads of great civilizations where each of them has left its own mark and influence, we can enjoy today a vast array of monuments from Greek and Roman times, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and New Age Secession.

Dubrovnik – UNESCO Old Town city tour

A UNESCO heritage site and one of the world’s most famous places to visit – this old white marbled beauty, proud of its independence from its very beginning, will welcome you in its traditional aristocratic style. Lose yourself in the narrow-cobbled streets, Game of Thrones and Robin Hood film locations, walk the Sradun to see and to be seen, drink long coffees in bars with amazing views, and explore how it used to be living in the most preserved old city in the world. A symphony of history, natural beauty and gastronomic pleasures will astound you.

Dubrovnik – Elafiti Islands

 

The wild beauty of these untouched islands combined with their cultural heritage makes these islands unique among hundreds of other Croatian islands. Gaze into the deep green sea, hide in some small secluded valley and take a swim under the branches of pine trees that extend to the surface of the sea. Enjoy the deafening silence of Kalmota, the immense variety of Mediterranean herbs, vineyards, and vegetables in Sipans fields or spectacular bays and old castles in gothic – renaissance style in Lopud – all three islands that used to be summer residences for the aristocracy from the old Dubrovnik Republic.

Dubrovnik – Montenegro* tour, UNESCO Kotor

Witness the immense beauty of the “Black Mountain” (Monte Negro), a small state with rugged mountains just above the long sandy Adriatic beaches. Drive along Boka Kotorska – the biggest fjord in Adriatic with St. George and Lady of the Rocks islands in front of Perast. Walk through narrow streets of UNESCOs protected site Kotor – a walled city that has been part of the Venetian Republic for 4 centuries and that has preserved its Venetian influence on the architecture and the town spirit. Continue towards Njeguši, hometown of the famous poet Petar Njegos, enjoy the spectacular panoramic view, traditional farms, and Njeguški prosciutto. Drive further up to Lovćen at 1.749m, a grand testament to Montenegro’s beauty, from where you can practically see the entire country.

*optional overnight in Budva, Montenegro and visit to National Park Durmitor and Tara canyon

Dubrovnik – Bosnia & Herzegovina tour – UNESCO Mostar town & Old Bridge

A balanced fusion of Eastern and Western influences, a true reflection of Bosnian culture and history personified by the town Mostar – a UNESCO protected city that was named for its beautiful bridge built across river Neretva where “the east meets the west”. Try traditional and unique Bosnian cuisine with famous “ćevapi”, “burek”, “đuvedž”, and “ćufte”. Enjoy the magnificent fields of mandarin trees along the road.

Split – UNESCO Diocletian palace

Feel the charm and vivid atmosphere of the major city of Dalmatian coast with its UNESCO World Heritage Site of Diocletian’s palace from the 4th century – one of the greatest Roman ruins in Central Europe. Walk along the famous Splitska Riva, see the oldest cathedral in the world – Cathedral St. Duje and see for yourself whether the local people are right when they say that Split is “Najlipši grad na svitu” (the most beautiful town in the world).

Split – Šibenik tour, UNESCO Cathedral St. James

Dating from 11th century this “Kresimir town”, as they still call Šibenik today because of King Petar Kresimir IV, has impressive fortifications: Fort St. Ivan, Fort St. Mihovil, Fort St. Nicola and Fort St. Ante. The symbol of the town is the UNESCO world heritage site Cathedral St. James – a masterpiece of the famous Croatian architect Juraj Dalmatinac who made this cathedral entirely of stone without any other materials, and a remarkable 74 small Renaissance stone portraits immortalising important contemporaries who had, for some reason, particularly impressed the architect.

Split – Trogir tour, UNESCO old city

UNESCO protected this town as it is the best preserved romantic–gothic town in Europe, the “town-museum” with its preserved walls, fortresses, palaces, and churches – see it with your own eyes today how it used to be in the medieval period. Look at the “Radovan portal”, a masterpiece from 1240 that shines on the portal of Cathedral St. Lovro and also walk across the small stone bridge to the island of Čiovo and enjoy beautiful beaches and lush vegetation.

Hvar island – UNESCO’s Stari Grad Plain, Hvar city tour

The island with 300 sunny days a year, magnificent beaches, and astonishing remains from the past including the oldest theatre on the Mediterranean. Town Hvar – mecca of Croatian tourism should encourage you to explore its delicious cuisine in fabulous restaurants and entice you to linger in fancy cocktail bars and clubs.

We will go to the central part of the island to admire the cultured landscape, formed 24 centuries ago when Greek colonists divided the Plain into rectangular plots, each fenced in with drywall. It is the best preserved ancient Greek land division and measurement in the Mediterranean area.

Hvar island – Pakleni islands, sun & fun

The pearl of 20 small islands and cliffs called the Pakleni Islands are just 5 minutes away from Hvar and you can marvel at the island’s crystal clear water, tropical vegetation and relaxing sandy, or white cliff, secluded beaches.

Plitvicka lakes – UNESCO National park; overnight in Poreč

Enjoy one of the most magnificent sites in the world created by nature – 16 large and small lakes arranged in cascades, descending altitudes of 636m to 503m, and 92 waterfalls evidence of century – old processes and the sedimentation of chalk. Walking along the limestone canyon you will see the impressive “Great Waterfall” tumbling for 78 metres – quite spectacular! The distinctive colours of the lakes change constantly from azure to grey to blue to green – depending on the minerals and organisms in the water and the sunlight. This amazing sequence of waterfalls–lake–waterfalls–lake that goes on and on is a unique and memorable experience.

Poreč – Istrian Peninsula, UNESCO Euphrasian Basilica

Poreč, Rovinj, Pula are some of the most visited places on the Istrian peninsula. See the finest example of Byzantine art in the world dating from the 5th century – the great floor mosaic in the Euphrasian basilica in Poreč. We will also visit an old Roman amphitheatre in Pula that was built for 23000 people – 6th largest of its kind in the world. Enjoy delicious Istrian “truffles“, from a well known region in the inner part of the island.

Bled – Slovenia, UNESCO Skocjan & Postojna Caves, the world biggest underground Canyon; UNESCO Idria mercury mine; “Glamping” overnight in luxury tree houses

Get to know Slovenia – the third most forested nation in Europe, view their majestic mountains and the steep slopes of valleys carved into the land by ancient glaciers. Explore the wonder beneath the surface – the astounding 24 km long karst cave system of Postojnska Cave created by millions of years of water activity – drop by drop, year after year. Enjoy a short train ride and walk down into caves and take a look at the endemic olm, the largest troglodytic amphibian in the world. Just a 15 min ride to the Škocjan Caves, yes another UNESCO World Heritage Site as it represents some of the most significant Karst topography phenomena, with its famous Martel hall – 16 m high, 120m wide and 300m long.

In the afternoon, we move to UNESCO Idria mercury mine – one of the two largest mercury mines in the world, with mercury being first discovered there in 1490. The site features infrastructure and technology related to mining and mercury production and bears testimony to the intercontinental trade in mercury between Europe and America over the centuries.

Overnight at Bled lake and accommodation in a luxury tree houses that have all the comforts other luxury hotel provide – and sleep in the heart of nature.

Bled – Slovenia, Kropa village; UNESCO Prehistoric Pile – Dwellings in the Alpine Area; “Glamping” overnight in luxury tree houses

In the morning, we explore enchanting Bled with its medieval castle perched upon a lake blessed with natural hot springs regarded as having healing powers, it has been a popular fresh–air retreat since the mid 19th century.

We move to the beauty and the flavours of the countryside – the picturesque village of Kropa that is the cradle of the Slovene iron–forging tradition. With its unique iron mill architecture, roaring waters, preserved technical heritage, and individuals who continue to produce flower house decorations and wrought ironworks to this day – this lovely little village will amaze you.

Continue to Ljubljansko barje and visit the prehistoric pile–dwellings settlements build between 5000 and 500 B.C. that have been preserved in exceptionally good condition. Glimpse life in prehistoric times during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in Alpine Europe and see the oldest wheel with an axle in the world, that is 5200 years old.

Ljubljana– Slovenia, capital city tour

Enjoy this small charming capital city with only 300000 people nestled on the river Ljubljanica and see the Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge and the amazing market squares that sprawl between them. Visit the Cathedral of St. Nicholas with its unique architectural style that integrates historical structures that survived the earthquake in 1895 with modern design – the masterpiece of famous Slovenian architect Jozo Plecnik. Taste Ljubljana flavours and unforgettable “Struklji” with all kinds of stuffing in one of the city’s numerous restaurants.

Photos copyright: Flickr (DS Fotowelt, sbabic911, zolakoma)

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