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Balkans Bliss: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and Montenegro

Location: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro

  • Dates: September 17 - October 2, 2022
  • Price: $5,395
  • Deposit: $600
  • Group Leader: Leigh & Eduardo
  • RSVP Limit: 20
  • Trip Physical Level: 2, with optional level 3 activities.

 

Uplift Financing Available.

Get ready for an unforgettable trip in which we will visit FOUR Balkans countries and truly experience endless wonder and awe. This trip is packed with value and going to be a first-class, specialty wonder at a price and on a timeline unheard of. **Through leveraging relationships, our incredible operator was able to get us into places and for prices (not to mention during the most coveted time of the year) that just don’t happen and won’t be seen again. 

SPLIT - RESIZED

On this magical trip, we see the greatest places and partake in the must-do yet also delve deeper and go more unique, doing and seeing that which other companies simply don’t offer.  

 

We have been very thorough and raised the stakes on this one:  

From activities (such as hot air ballooning over Lake Bled, Slovenia, paragliding over the Julian Alps and Soca Valley, speedboating to the Elafiti Islandsand historical tours, to cultural treks (such as biking and hiking through ghost town, Završje, and artists’ hilltop village, Grožnjan, and exploring crazy gorgeous underground Skocjan Cavesand culinary indulgences (truffle, oyster/mussel, olive oil, and traditional StrukliPeka, and a local Konavle family cooking experience). We didn’t stop there…! We have also included stays in some of the most fantastic hotels in existence, as well as an incredible forest glamping experience! 

 

HIGHLIGHTS: 

Here are some of the things we will be doing, or have the option of doing: 

  • Visit FOUR countries over the course of 16 days. YES, you read that right, we have achieved all that on a timeline that works within a two-week vacation! Tour some of the world’s most exquisite and culturally rich locations: Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro. 

 

  • Travel in style to some of the finest cities in existence, and a vast array of location types. To name a few: Zagreb, Lake Bled, Ljubljana, Bovec, Soca, Rovinj, PorecMotovun and Istrian countryside, PlitviceŠibenik, Trogir, Omis, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Mostar, Kotor, Perast, and so many more!   

 

 

  • Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over stunning Lake Bled, straight out of a fairytale, as you watch the sun rise over two mountain ranges, the Julian Alps and Karavanks. 

 

 

 

 

  • Horseback ride through world-renowned beauty Plitvice Lakes, Croatia’s national park comprised of 16 travertine lakes and over 90 waterfalls, followed by a traditional slow-cooked meat and vegetable “peka” dinner. 

 

  • Walk into a nature lover’s dream at Vintgar Gorge in Triglav, Slovenia’s national park.  

 

 

  • Take a "Parenzana trailtour, cycling to reclaimed hilltop artist’s colony, Grožnjan, ghost town Završje, and making up for the exercise with a truffle tasting at Motovun and Livade, where a local family hosts us with this enchanting delicacy.  

 

  • Dive into Hvar , literally or figuratively, choosing to explore the Pakleni Islands by kayak or scuba, or see the town by foot and climb the Španjola Fortress for an incredible view from above.  

 

  • Visit Bosnia & Herzegovina’s River Neretva, (said to be the coldest river in the world!), and UNESCO heritage site, The Old Bridge, in Mostar. 

 

  • Tour stunning Dubrovnik, speedboat to the Elafiti Islands, and enjoy a Konavle culinary experience with a local family, while you learn about regional gastronomy, take an active role in preparing your meal or just enjoy the time with new friends. 

 

  • Pamper your palate with a Ston oyster experience, in which you will visit a local oyster and mussel farm and enjoy a seafood lunch with paired wines.  

 

  • Climb Game of Thrones Klis Fortress in Trogir, and more fortresses in Šibenik, tour Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Old Town and St. Euphemia in Rovinj, the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, capitals Zagreb (Croatia) and Ljubljana (Slovenia), just to name a few :) 

 

  • Cross the border to Montenegro and indulge your eyes with the Bay of Kotor and Perast (Our Lady of the Rocks), artificial island created in the 15th century by bulwark of rocks and sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. 

 

  • We do not end our days on this incredible trip anything but in style and experience! From boutique hotels (such as the Hotel Fermaito glamping (in a Slovenian forest), your rest and recharge on this trip will be as memorable as every other part of the visit! 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17: ARRIVAL IN ZAGREB | CITY WALKING TOUR. ŠTRUKLI WELCOME DINNER & ORIENTATION. 

Zagreb, Dolac Market _ Cathedral-gcd9d6b171_1920

Welcome to Croatia!!! 

Upon arrival in Zagreb, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel in the main square of , the bustling and beautiful capital of Croatia, replete with leafy green parks and neo-renaissance buildings.  

Around 4PM, we will go for a sightseeing tour. Start your tour at the Ban Jelacic Square, passing by Zagreb Cathedral, the city's most notable landmark, and stroll through the nearby Dolac Market, where fresh produce is sold every morning. Navigate your way to the Upper Town through Stone Gate (Kamenita Vrata) and learn about the history of Zagreb's witches. Admire St. Mark's Church with its famed multi-colored roof, and Lotrscak Tower, whose cannon fires every day at noon. If operating, you can go on a ride of one of the shortest public-transport funiculars in the world for less than a dollar. 

After the tour, you will take a short walk to a nearby specialty restaurant serving the local delicacy štrukli, a cottage-cheese filled dough beloved by locals and travelers alike. At our dinner, we will have a group meeting to get to know everyone and have the trip orientation. 

Enjoy an evening stroll through the city, especially lively on Saturday nights, when the cafe and bar lined Tkalciceva streets sparkle. 

NOTE: Check-in time is 2PM. 

AccommodationsHotel Dubrovnik 4-star or similar in Zagreb. 

Meals: Dinner (2 drinks included). 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA – BLED | GUIDED TOURS OF LJUBLJANA AND LAKE BLED. PLETNA BOAT RIDE BLED. FUNICULAR AND DINNER AT BLED CASTLE. 

LjubljanaatSunset-rsz-09102019092852753 (1)

We will start the day with an early breakfast and head across the border into neighboring Slovenia. 

On the way, around 10AM, we will stop by Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and take a walking tour of the old town from Prešern Square, to the iconic bridges: Triple Bridge & Dragon bridge, ending the tour at Ljubljana Castle, with Castle funicular tickets included.  

After some leisure time for lunch, we continue our journey to Lake Bled, known for its world-famous Alpine Lake, arriving around 2PM.  

Bled castle - WEBSITE

We will cross on a Pletna Boat to explore Lake Bled Island, where we will enjoy a three-course dining experience at Bled Castle, with a view that just doesn’t compare!  

Finally, we will head over to our picturesque glamping mountain resort, Glamping Ribno. This is one of the truly special accommodations in which we we will be staying on this trip. We will each get our own individual upscale cabin which allows us both that cool experience and also the experience of connecting with nature in one of the most beautiful places. 

AccommodationsGlamping Ribno 4-star or similar in Bled. 

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner (Bled Castle). 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: HOT AIR BALLOON IN LAKE BLED – VINTGAR GORGE EXPLORATION | OPTIONAL TOBOGGAN, STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD, OR BIKING AT BLED. 

Lake Bled Hot Air Balloon

Today will be one of many of our magical experiences. We start before the break of dawn, climbing into a basket of a hot air balloon to welcome the day! Flying over the scattered Alpine villages, we will be able to admire views above the lake, castle, and Alps from a totally different perspective. Following the 60- to 90-minute flight, we will help our pilot deflate the balloon, and participate in a traditional champagne ceremony dating back from the early years of ballooning, and enjoy a cream cake – kremšnita – a staple dessert of Bled cuisine. If you do not want to go in the balloon, you have the option to follow on the ground below and track the balloon...as fun as the balloon ride, just in a different way! 

After the flight, spend a short time at leisure to take a quick lunch, or coffee on a terrace by the lake.  

Next, we go to a nature lover’s paradise, Vintgar Gorge – one of the most stunning gorges within Triglav National Park, carved out by the Radovna River. 

At 3PM, we will return to Bled for activities and leisure. You can choose to go on a toboggan at Straža, rent a stand-up paddleboard on the lake, or get bikes to explore.  

We return to the hotel late afternoon for an evening in which you can relax in the hotel’s infrared sauna and your cabin’s wooden hot tub. 

AccommodationsGlamping Ribno 4-star or similar in Bled. 

Meals: Breakfast. (As well as champagne & dessert with hot air balloon). 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: BLED – VRSC PASS – BOVEC – SOCA | JULIAN ALPS MOUNTAIN HUT LUNCH. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES SUCH AS ZORBING, HYDROSPEEDING, PARAGLIDING, KAYAKING AND MORE AT SOCA VALLEY/RIVER. 

We get back on the road around 8:30AM, heading for Slovenia's highest pass, the Vršic Pass (5,285 feet / 1,611 m), in the central Julian Alps. Vršic Pass is a winding narrow road which is considered one of the most beautiful mountain roads in Europe! 

Along the way, we will stop at emerald green Lake Jasna and the historic Russian Chapel built by POW engaged in forced labor during WWI.  

Next we will dine at a mountain hut high in the sky!  

But we don’t stop yet...! We are off to the stunning Soca Valley, for short hikes with the tour leader and photo opportunities. Here you can choose from a myriad of activities at one of the most beautiful rivers in the world: zorbing, hydrospeeding, tandem paragliding, even canyoning, and mountain biking – organized individually, in advance. 

Arrive early afternoon to your hotel near the stunning Boka Waterfall, and right next to the gorgeous Soca River.  

AccommodationsHotel Boka 4-star or similar iBovec/Soca. 

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (mountain hut). 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: BLED – ROVINJ – POREC | STOP IN SKOCJAN CAVES. KABOLA WINERY OLIVE OIL & WINES. 

Rovinj - dimitry-anikin-yIe9Gf8fj0U-unsplash

Today we head out early for the Istrian Peninsula, back to Croatia, stopping at Škocjan Caves for the 10AM entrance. With its stunning natural beauty, often considered an off-the beaten path cave to visit in the area, Škocjan Caves are an incredibly beautiful system of multi-branched cave passages, and the largest natural phenomena in the region.  

Next, we are off to the romantic Kabola Winery for refreshments and tasting of their wines and olive oil products, paired with a snack, around 1PM. 

After filling up, we head towards Rovinj, located on the western coast of the Istrian Peninsula, for an afternoon with our guide strolling through the labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets surrounded by colorful Venetian-influenced architecture. We can travel a bit farther by foot to admire the views over the old town peninsula, with St. Euphemia Church imprinting the skyline. 

In the late afternoon, we make our way to Porec and have the evening at leisure.  

AccommodationsBO Palazzo 4-star or similar in Porec. 

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (wine, olive oil tasting, snack). 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: PARENZANA TRAIL CYCLING DAY | ISTRIAN COUNTRYSIDE & TRUFFLE TASTING. 

Motovun 2

Around 9AM, we head out for an unbelievable countryside "Parenzana trail" Cycling tour. 

Our first stop will be the town of Grožnjan, also known as the "Town of Artists", where we will explore the narrow and cobbled streets and continue through Mirna Valley. 

We will take a detour to ghost town Završje. This charming medieval town with historical buildings and leaning tower is a hidden gem of the Istrian peninsula! 

Our next stops are Motovun and Livade, small towns known as the home of the truffle. Here we meet a local family with whom we will taste this delicacy of Istrian forests, and have a short time at leisure for lunch. 

Around 3PM, we transfer back to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring or at leisure relaxing by the pool or on one of pebbly beaches within walking distance. 

AccommodationsBO Palazzo 4-star or similar in Porec.  

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (truffle). 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23: POREC – PLITVICE LAKES | HIKING TOUR. OPTIONAL HORSEBACK RIDING. PEKA DINNER. 

Plitvice Lakes

Around 8:30AM, we head to the Lika Region, and world-famous UNESCO protected Plitvice Lakes, comprised of 16 travertine lakes and 90 waterfalls! 

Around 12-1PM we will meet a local to take us on a 3-hour tour of the lakes (route depending on the current regulations from the park), which will allow us to see the park’s highlights.  

Here, you can also choose to enjoy the scenery by horseback – optional and organized individually, in advance. 

After the tour, we head towards Korenica for an overnight, and stop for an unforgettable traditional Croatian peka dinner experience – tasting slow-cooked veal and potatoes prepared in the traditional way, under a bell-shaped lid covered in coal. 

AccommodationsPlitvice Village Hotel 4-star or similar in Plitvice (Korenica). 

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner (peka). 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24: PLITVICE – SIBENIK – SPLIT | FALCONRY CENTER. SIBENIK TOUR. OPTIONAL MICHELIN STAR PELEGRINI LUNCH 

Split-Croatia-1200x520 (1)

Around 8AM we venture south to the sunny shores of Dalmatia, and Croatia’s second largest city, Split. Our first stop is at the local falconry centre, located within a dense pine forest of Šibenik, Dubrava, where we will meet and get to interact with these stunning birds of prey!   

Our next stop is Šibenik, where we explore with a local guide, before having a leisure break for lunch.  

Check out the Cathedral of St. James, an UNESCO heritage site (entrance paid on the spot for those interested in entering), and even feel free to climb one of the Šibenik fortresses for a panoramic view of the town and archipelago. You can also have lunch in one of many great restaurants Šibenik is known for, including the first Michelin star restaurant in Croatia – Pelegrini (opening hours may differ and change without previous notice). 

We arrive to Split in the afternoon and explore at leisure, discovering some of many gastronomical experiences within the Diocletian’s palace. Stroll the Riva and narrow streets lined with bars and restaurants. 

AccommodationsFermai Heritage Hotel 4-star or similar in Split. 

Meals: Breakfast.  

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25: SPLIT – TROGIR | SPLIT: WALKING TOUR OLD TOWN & DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE. TROGIR: KLIS FORTRESS.  

Klis Fortress

This morning we head to Klis fortress, with stunning panoramic views and where Game of Thrones was filmed, as well as UNESCO-protected old town Trogir, the City of Masters. On the steep cliffs of the gorge between Kozjak and Mosor stands the Klis fortress, with one eye facing the sea and another facing Zagora. Afterwards, discover the beauty and cultural value of Trogir – a fortified labyrinth of cobblestone streets on a small island between the mainland and the Island of Ciovo 

After exploring Trogir, we return to Split for a leisure lunch break, before continuing to explore Diocletian’s Palace with our guide. 

A dynamic coastal city, Split was founded almost two millennia ago by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Through the years, life in the palace created a unique synergy of different architectural styles, from ancient to modern – from the roman-built perystile to baroque and gothic palaces lining the streets. Its panorama is dominated by the Cathedral of St. Dominus, but the palace hides many secrets underground in its cellars, or “basement halls”.  

We finish our sightseeing around 4 PM, and spend an evening at leisure with many options to enjoy in this breath-taking city. 

AccommodationsFermai Heritage Hotel 4-star or similar in Split. 

Meals: Breakfast. 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26: SPLIT | OPTIONAL OMIS & CETINA RIVER/CANYON FOR RAFTING AND ZIPLINING.  

Omis-Croatia 1000 treks

This is a day to explore Split on your own or come for an adventure day at Omis and Cetina. If you choose to stay in Split, you can choose to hike up Marjan Hill, and choose one of the beaches, such as Kašjuni, for a relaxing swim. 

For those of us who want to have a little more active and adventurous day, we can take a day trip to Omis, The Pirate Town! Situated between the Cetina River and the Adriatic Sea, Omis is a historical town located 15 miles south of Split on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, with an economy built on piracy and walls erected in the late 12th century, protecting the city along with its stealth pirates for over 400 years, before Turkish invasion in 1444 defeated the pirate’s alliance. Today we will live in the spirit of the town and partake in some adventure, river rafting and ziplining!!! 

Those who want to do rafting will meet the rafting crew at the Cetina River, and, after brief instructions from the rafting instructor, start down the Cetina River, enjoying an ideal combination of relaxing and exciting venturing of rapids and waterfalls. After the tour, you’ll have lunch and enjoy local specialties at the nearby restaurant (included if choosing this activity day). 

After lunch, head for the next adventure activity, ziplining over the Cetina canyon. You will be flying up to 500 feet above the trees, and enjoying the beautiful views of the Cetina River canyon – a unique and unforgettable experience. 

Return to Split in the afternoon, at around 5 PM. 

AccommodationsFermai Heritage Hotel 4-star or similar in Split. 

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (if choosing the Omiš activity day). 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27: SPLIT – HVAR – PAKLENI ISLANDS | OPTIONAL SCUBA, KAYAK, OR HALF-DAY CYCLING.  

Hvar boats

hvar - aleksandra-krasinska-pRH473DZjCg-unsplash

This morning, head towards Split port to embark on a 9AM ferry catamaran ride to Hvar Town on the Island of Hvar. 

Today, you can spend a day at leisure, relaxing on one of the beaches of Hvar Island, or climbing Španjola Fortress for stunning views of Pakleni Islands. The Pakleni Islands are a “sailing paradise” full of hidden beaches and coves.  

Or you can take a kayak to Pakleni Islands - organized individually, in advance. Or head over to the islands by water taxi!  

Another very cool activity you can do in Hvar is scuba diving! Hvar is a famous scuba diving location with crystal clear waters and beautiful wildlife. And, best of all, you don’t have to have any experience! They offer Discover Scuba, a dive in which you take a brief course, and do your dive with a private instructor right next to you. You will get to experience the unbelievable underwater world of this gorgeous island, and get to experience what it’s like to scuba dive! And if you happen to be a certified diver, of course you can go a guided dive and add the Adriatic Sea to your dived locations.  

If you prefer to stay in Hvar, you may choose a half-day cycling excursion through the central part of the island. Pass through the ancient trail of the Greek Hora, UNESCO protected Stari Grad Plain, the fishing village of Vrboska, and Jelsa, before heading for lunch (included if you do this tour, and includes drink and wine).  

Return to Split with a catamaran ferry arriving to port around 6:30PM. 

AccommodationsFermai Heritage Hotel 4-star or similar in Split. 

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (included if you choose the optional half day cycling). 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28: SPLIT – MOSTAR – DUBROVNIK | BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA EXCURSION DAY. 

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Today we are off to our third country, Bosnia & Herzegovina! 

First we head towards the picturesque delta of the River Neretva, said to be the coldest river in the world, to the small town of Pocitelj. Here we have some free time to explore and take photos of this cultural and historical site featuring structures from the 15th century. 

Then we continue towards Mostar, a clash of cultures and religions, described as a place where "north meets south and west meets east". A local guide will show us the highlights of this historical town, including a visit to The Old Bridge, a UNESCO heritage site. Wander between the shops & restaurants along Kujundžiluk street, and make sure to stop for a taste of Turkish coffee. 

We then have free time for lunch on our own. Later afternoon, before returning to Dubrovnik, we will stop at Blagaj, a small and historic village-town in the Buna River’s spring. At this spring, and in front of towering cliffs, stands a beautiful 16th-century “tekija,” a Dervish monastery from the Ottoman period.  

Upon arrival in Dubrovnik, we can relax by the pool or on the beach minutes from the hotel. 

AccommodationsHotel Valamar Argosy 4-star or similar in Dubrovnik. 

Meals: Breakfast.  

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29: DUBROVNIK – KONAVLE | CITY TOUR. CULINARY EXPERIENCE. 

dubrovnik - stuart-claggett-0CAngvzDUHc-unsplash

This morning we head to Pile Gate for a 10AM walking tour of Dubrovnik Old Town. 

Entering through Pile Gate with our guide, we will unravel centuries of history, from Dubrovnik Republic era to modern-day Croatia. The rest of your morning is free to explore. Have lunch at a restaurant in one of the narrow streets within the old town, discover the hidden bars overlooking the Adriatic above the cliffs, or go up Srd Mountain by a cable car for stunning panoramic views. Return to your hotel at your leisure, by a bus or taxi from Pile or Ploce Gate. 

Around 3PM we have a special treat:  we will go to a family estate where you will meet our hosts in Konavle for an authentic cooking experience! We will learn about regional gastronomy, and you can take an active role in preparing your meal or just have fun in the kitchen with other participants. When it comes to tasting the fruits of your effort, we will pair the meal with a selection of local wines. 

AccommodationsHotel Valamar Argosy 4-star or similar in Dubrovnik. 

Meals: Breakfast. Dinner (Konavle cooking experience with wine pairing). 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30: DUBROVNIK – ELAFITI ISLANDS | OPTIONAL SPEEDBOAT TO ISLANDS. OPTIONAL STON OYSTER EXPERIENCE. 

Elafiti Islands 1000 Treks

Today, spend a free day at leisure in Dubrovnik, exploring the museums, visiting Lokrum Island, or spend the day relaxing at the hotel beach. 

If you would like to, there are two optional tours to choose from or combine: 

AM: Speedboat to the Elaphites, where you can swim, snorkel, and discover the hidden coves of LopudSipan, or Kolocep Island. 

PM: In the early afternoon, discover Pelješac Peninsula’s gastronomy – visiting a Ston oyster farm for oysters and mussels picked right out of the sea, indulging in a delicious seafood lunch, and wine tasting at a family-owned winery. After filling up, spend some time walking the “European Wall of China”, the Ston Walls. 

AccommodationsHotel Valamar Argosy 4-star or similar in Dubrovnik. 

Meals: Breakfast. Lunch (included if you do the optional Ston oyster/mussel experience). 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1: KOTOR – PERAST | MONTENEGRO EXCURSION DAY. 

montenegro-021

Today we will journey to our fourth and final country, Montenegro!  

We will take an incredible scenic drive around the Bay of Kotor, before stopping at the charming village of Perast. Here we’ll visit Gospa od Škrpjela (Lady of the Rocks), an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks (tickets included).  

From Perast, we will drive 20 minutes to explore the medieval coastal town of Kotor and spend some time venturing before making our way back across the Croatian border to Dubrovnik. 

AccommodationsHotel Valamar Argosy 4-star or similar in Dubrovnik. 

Meals: Breakfast.  

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2: DUBROVNIK. DEPARTURE.  

Dubrovnik - geio-tischler-tQT5KiZSKpE-unsplash

Today is our final day where we say bon voyage and have gratitude for an unbelievable trip! If you have a later flight, you may explore Dubrovnik a bit more, leaving your luggage at the hotel before heading to the airport. Check out is 10AM.  

Accommodations: N/A 

Meals: Breakfast. 

Transportation:

- Transportation from Zagreb airport to your hotel and to Dubrovnik airport from your hotel, if you arrive within the guidelines on FLIGHT GUIDELINES below. If you arrive or leave at a different time, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation or pay extra for our operator to transport you, if they are able to do so. 

- All transportation to our scheduled activities as well as to and from terminals to hotels while with the group. If you do your own activity or arrive/leave on a different day, you’ll have to arrange your own transportation. 

 

Accommodations:

(All the hotel stays at double-occupancy. Please see OCCUPANCY below.)

Hotel Dubrovnik 4-star or similar in Zagreb, Croatia. 

Glamping Ribno 4-star or similar in Bled, Slovenia. 

Hotel Boka 4-star or similar iBovec/Soca, Slovenia.

BO Palazzo 4-star or similar in Porec, Croatia. 

Plitvice Village Hotel 4-star or similar in Plitvice (Korenica), Croatia.

Fermai Heritage Hotel 4-star or similar in Split, Croatia.

Hotel Valamar Argosy 4-star or similar in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

 

Meals:

- Breakfast: 15

- Lunch: 03 (Mountain hut; Wine/Olive Oil tasting & snack; Truffle lunch).

- Dinner: 04 (Štrukla + 2 drinks; Bled Castle 3-course dining; Peka dinner; Konavle culinary experience w/ wine pairing).

- Other: Champagne ceremony & cream cake – kremšnita - at hot air balloon activity.

 

Activities & Other Inclusions:

- Private local & 1000 Treks guide(s) included throughout our tour.

- Afternoon walking tour of Zagreb (2 hours).

- Welcome dinner (one štrukla dish and up to two individual drinks per person included).

- Walking tour of Ljubljana (2 hours).

- Ljubljana Castle Funicular tickets.

- Guided tour of Bled Lake (2.5 hours).

- Bled Castle entrance tickets.

- Dinner in Bled Castle.

- Pletna boat ride at Bled.

- Hot Air Balloon Adventure at Bled (60-90 minutes). Option to go in the balloon or drive and follow the balloon from the ground. No cost for either option, included.

- Triglav National Park visit to Vintgar Gorge.

Vršic Pass visit in the central Julian Alps, with stops at Lake Jasna and historic Russian Chapel, as well as a mountain hut lunch.

- Soca Valley visit (optional activities listed below).

- Škocjan Caves guide (approx. 2 hours) and entrance tickets.

- Kabola Winery stop (wine and olive oil tasting) with lunch snack included (approximately 1 hour).

- Rovinj walking tour (1 hour).

- Parenzana cycling trip (3-4 hours), visiting Grožnjan "Town of Artists," Mirna Valley, and ghost town Završje. Visit Motovun and Livade, towns that are home of the truffle. 

- Truffle tasting lunch in Motovun.

- Plitvice entrance tickets and walking tour (4 hours). Peka dinner.

- Falconry centre visit in Šibenik (1 hour).

- Walking tour of Šibenik (1 hour).

- Visit to Klis Fortress (Game of Thrones site) and Trogir, the City of Masters.

- Walking tour of Split, Old Town and Diocletian's Palace (2 hours).

- Roundtrip ferry catamaran and visit to Hvar Town/Hvar Island.

- Visit to Pocitelj and delta of the River Neretva ("coldest river in the world"), as well as Blagaj historic village with Dervish monastery.

- Walking tour of Mostar (2 hours). 

- Walking tour of Dubrovnik (1.5 hours).

- Konavle culinary cooking experience (with wine pairing).

- Day trip to Kotor & Perast in Montenegro (6-8 hours), including a visit to Lady of the Rocks island.

 

Optional Upgrades & Activities: 

Toboggan at Straža, rent a stand-up paddleboard on the lake, or biking at Bled (optional, no guide).  

- Soca Valley hydrospeeding, tandem paraglidingcanyoningmountain biking options (organized individually, in advance).

- Horseback riding in Plitvice.

- Lunch at Croatia's first Michelin Star restaurant, Pelegrini, in Šibenik (per availability).

- Rafting and Ziplining in Croatia's Dalmatian Coast at Pirate City, Omis, and Cetina River/Cetina Canyon. 

- Scuba Diving in Hvar (1- and 2-tank dives available).

- Hvar half-day cycling excursion (includes food and wine).

- Speedboat to Elaphiti Islands (Dubrovnik).

- Ston Oyster/Mussel seafood lunch experience with local winery tasting (Dubrovnik).

 

- Flights (see FLIGHTS below). 

- Travel insurance/cancellation protection. 

- Meals other than those specifically stated in the itinerary. 

- Tips to guides, drivers, staff, etc. 

- Any rentals. 

- Souvenirs or anything extra you would like to get. 

- Any activity not described in the itinerary or made optional for a fee. 

- Double-occupancy: You will be paired up with someone of the same gender as a roommate, unless you have someone that you are already coming with.  

- Single supplement (if you want a room for yourself): $2,195. 

- The last people to RSVP and pay the deposit MAY have to be put in triple-occupancy rooms (if we end up with an odd number of men or women). 

Flights are NOT included. Flights are very easy to book on your own, and some people want to do side trips, so it becomes impractical to include flights. Besides, many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or save money if you book it yourself. So instead of including air, we will give you guidelines so you can book your own 

  

FLIGHT GUIDELINES 

- Arrives in Zagreb (ZAG) by 1:00PM on September 17, 2022.  

- Leaves Dubrovnik (DBV) no later than 2:00PM on October 2, 2022.  

  

-  $5,395.00. We know...a steal for this level of quality and kind of experience! We were able to connect with an unbelievable operator who has deep relationships that allowed us to get incredible pricing locked in for the most desirable part of the year in these locales. This price is unmatched by any other reputable company and truly an unbelievable deal. In our research, we have found countless other trips that didn’t include half the experiences we're including, for $7,000-8,000 and up. Now here is the very important caveat: we will only be able to guarantee this pricing for the first ten people to sign up. 

- In order to save you money, we don't add the cost of credit card processing to the price of the trip, so this price is for check, bank transfer, or any form of payment that does not incur a fee. We can take the deposit via credit card, but need the remaining balance to be paid by a direct form of payment. If you want to pay for the remaining balance with a credit card, we can accept it, but have to add a 5% fee (for this trip, $240.00). 

-We now offer financing through Uplift! Uplift is a third-party company that will allow you to pay for your trip in fixed installments, with lower interest rate than most credit cards, and no late fees or pre-payment penalties. Terms will vary, but if you are interested, contact us directly info@1000treks.com, or 818-766-6850.  

- As always, we have an unparalleled itinerary, using the finest, most reputable companies, and have upgraded our trips to include some unbelievable hotels. We do things that nobody else does, so our itineraries can’t be compared to other itineraries out there, but if you search online, you will certainly find companies doing cheap trips to the Balkans – that said, not at this time of year, for this length, locations, and activities...those trips are easily 50% higher in price. The companies that are undercutting pricing are also cutting corners in a way that we don’t believe things should be done; in the end, you will get what you pay for and usually end up paying at least as much if not more out of pocket for non-inclusions and additional expenses. If your goal is simply to do a cheap trip, we are not your group. But if you want to experience everything there is to be experienced and even unique adventures that commercial tour companies don’t offer, in a comfortable and safe way, with a great group, at a very reasonable price, then you have found your group. 

- A deposit of $600 (non-refundable) starts your reservation. Once we receive your deposit, we'll send you a questionnaire and a contract that will need to be returned to us within 72 hours to guarantee your spot. You may read the contract in advance HERE. 

- Once you return the filled-out questionnaire and signed contract, we will send you an invoice for the remaining amount. You will have until June 17, 2022 (three months before departure) to finish making your payment. 

- Once you are confirmed, your deposit becomes movable. That means, if you need to cancel your participation on the trip for any reason, you may request a credit for 100% of your deposit that can be applied to any 1000 Leagues Travel Trip which departs within one year of the departing date of the original trip. 

- When you make your deposit, you will be asked for your email. MAKE SURE YOU LIST AN EMAIL YOU CHECK DAILY WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PAYMENT. THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL RECEIVE YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE, INVOICE, AND ALL EMAILS REGARDING THE TRIP. 

- Full payment is only due on June 17, 2022, three months before the trip. Basically, you have a lot of time to pay. You can make payments in any way you prefer, on any payment schedule you like, so long as you are fully paid by the due date. 

- If you make payments or pay in full before the due date, your payments (minus the deposit) are refundable before the due date. After that, all payments are entirely non-refundable. 

- All trips are governed by our comprehensive contract. You should familiarize yourself with it prior to signing up for any of our trips. You can access it by clicking HERE or visiting https://www.1000treks.com/contract/. A link to the contract can also be found at the bottom of all our webpages under "CONTRACT". 

- Insurance is REQUIRED. You may purchase insurance with any company you wish, but we require that your policy covers personal injury, death, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and treatment, repatriation, and personal liability, with a minimum coverage of USD$200,000. You will be required to submit proof of insurance no later than (seven) 7 days prior to the start of the trip or you will not be allowed to participate in the Trip and will forfeit all your payments.. Although not part of the requirement, we STRONGLY suggest that you get insurance right away (within 15 days of making your deposit), and that you buy a policy that will cover you in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason. 

- Because of the adventurous nature of our trips, our itinerary and some locations are subject to change due to weather, tides, road conditions, logistics, and other unforeseen circumstances. It’s not likely, but it could happen. Whenever we make a change in the itinerary, we will do our best to maintain the integrity of the trip. 

- A passport is required for all international travel. Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return date.  If you don't have a valid passport, or if you passport expires before 6 months after the date you will arrive back in the U.S., make sure to get started on a new one ASAP. Here's the link for the Department of State Passport section: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html 

- As of the time of this posting American citizens don’t need a visa for any of the countries to which we are traveling. If you have a foreign passport, you may need a visa. Here's the Embassy website for each country: Croatia: https://mvep.gov.hr/en; Slovenia: http://www.washington.embassy.si/; Bosnia & Herzegovina: http://www.bhembassy.org/visainfo.htmlMontenegro: https://www.gov.me/en/diplomatic-missions/embassies-and-consulates-of-montenegro/united-states-of-america.We also recommend that even American citizens periodically check to make sure visa requirements have not changed.  

- If you need to take care of any of those issues, make sure to get on them ASAP so you don't get held up because of some unexpected delay. We've had people missing trips and losing their money because they waited too long or had unexpected issues come up and couldn't take care of them before the trip started. 

- Having a valid passport and all the required visas is your responsibility. Please make sure you have those, and any other necessary issues are resolved well ahead of time. 1000 Leagues Travel and its affiliates are not responsible for any problems resulting from you not taking care of issues ahead of time. 

  

COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS 

This trip will happen around a time in which a potential resurgence of COVID-19 could affect our plans. COVID-19 has become a tricky element because of the unpredictable nature of the virus. It appears that insurance companies have been very restrictive on their coverage; we know insurance companies do offer coverage for the Coronavirus at an additional premium, but this still remains limited and with caps on reimbursement. Additionally, local suppliers have found themselves in a difficult situation because they often have to make their plans and respective reservations for different activities in advance. Therefore, all they can possibly offer in case 1000 Treks needs to cancel the trip after the final payment due date is a credit for the exact same trip for next year. At the same time, because of the virus's effect on local economies, we have been able to secure pricing that at any other time would be notably more expensive. 

We believe it is extremely unlikely that we will have to cancel this trip altogether, even if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 at that time. However, it is a possibility, and we want to be completely transparent about the possible outcome. We also want to be 100% upfront that there is the possibility that a resurgence and extreme measures similar to the ones taken in response to the initial outbreak may drive some of the suppliers out of business. If that's the case, they may be unable to provide us with credit or services. This could alter the itinerary, or even render the trip impossible to take and without refunds or credits provided for a future date. We will always do our best to make everything happen, and, again, although the outlined scenarios are extremely unlikely to occur, ultimately, we cannot guarantee they won't. 

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all travelers. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all travelers. You will be required to show proof of current vaccination and all required boosters of a Center for Disease Control and/or World Health Organization approved vaccine to 1000 Leagues Travel at least seven (7) days before the first day of the Trip, or you will not be allowed to participate in the Trip and will forfeit all your payments. The type of vaccine accepted by different countries might vary, and all our groups will have to comply with all the requirements from all the countries we will be visiting, traveling through, or returning to. Noncompliance with any of the vaccinations requirements at any time may result in your removal from the trip without any refunds or compensation. 1000 Leagues Travel will not be held responsible for any circumstances resulting from failure to provide proof of vaccination. 

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test might also be required. All travelers must be ready to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test if required by any of the locations we will be visiting, traveling through, or returning to. Noncompliance may result in your removal from the trip without any refunds or compensation, and furthermore may result in imposed quarantine, which might result in loss of airfare and other financial consequences. 1000 Leagues Travel will not be held responsible for any circumstances resulting from failure to provide a negative COVID-19 test whenever required. 

Please refer to section 7 of the contract titled "COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS (“VIRUS”)" for the limitations of our liability.