CARAVAN ROUTE 

  


Extensive Tour of the Balkans

/ Zagreb - Novi Sad - Belgrade - Vrnjačka Banja - Sofia - Salonika - Athens - Skopje - Cetinje - Dubrovnik - Split - Sarajevo - Zagreb /

Day 1. Zagreb
Departure
A tour of Zagreb. Zagreb is an old European city. In the course of the centuries it developed as a major cultural, scientific, trade and industrial centre. The tour includes the Donji Grad district, the Botanical Garden, the University Library, the Mimara Museum, the Croatian National Theatre, the University of Zagreb and Zrinjevac Park. We shall have the opportunity to see the hill of Gornji Grad, St Mark Square with St Mark's Church, the Croatian Parliament and the Banski dvori (Viceroy's Court). The visit continues with a walk towards the Lotrščak Tower and Jesuit Square - through the Kamenita Vrata (Stone Gate), along Radić Street to Josip Jelačić Square and Manduševac - and ends with a tour of the Cathedral.

Day 2. Zagreb - Osijek - Novi Sad
Departure for Novi Sad and a visit to Osijek, the largest city in the eastern part of Croatia. Osijek's old city, called Gornji Grad, is well-known for the neo-Gothic Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, St Trinity Square in the baroque style, numerous bourgeois, aristocrat and military buildings, the statue of Our Lady from the 18th century, and many churches and chapels. Arrival to Novi Sad. The major sights of this Central European city, lying on the bank of the River Danube, include Fort Petrovaradin, river beaches considered to be among the most beautiful in Europe, a university, numerous mansions and excursion centres. The city's long history is filled with legends, such as the one of Ala, the serpent living at Fort Petrovaradin.

Day 3. Novi Sad - Belgrade
A tour of Belgrade, one of Europe's oldest cities, well-known for its 7000 year long, turbulent history. It is located in the northern part of Central Serbia, where the River Sava flows into The Danube. The city's most famous sites include Avala (excursion place), Kalemegdan (old fort), the Knez Mihajlova Street (Belgrade's oldest and best-known street, nowadays a pedestrian zone and trade centre) and Terazije Square. Belgrade is also famous for its numerous squares with 192 monuments and 237 sculptures.

Day 4. Belgrade - Vrnjačka Banja
A tour of Vrnjačka Banja, one of Serbia's well-known health resorts. The local archaeological finds (bath basins, water springs, Roman coins) show that the Romans once used mineral waters of Vrnjačka Banja for the recuperation of their soldiers. They were also known during the Byzantine reign and at the time of Turkish raids. Nowadays, Vrnjačka Banja attracts numerous visitors thanks to its mineral water springs, well-developed infrastructure and a wide array of facilities facilities.

Day 5. Vrnjačka Banja - Niš - Sofia
Departure for Sofia, and a stopover in Niš. The city lies at the crossroads of the Balkan and European routes connecting Asia Minor and Europe. One of the oldest cities in the Balkans, Niš has – from the times of Antiquity – been considered a link between East and West. Legend has it that the city was founded by Prince Nisa, while archaeological finds prove that it originated as early as in the pre-historic age. Niš was named after the River Nišava, in whose valley the city is located.
Arrival in Sofia and an afternoon tour of the city. Surrounded by the huge Balkan mountains, Sofia was – in the course of centuries – conquered by the Romans, Huns and Turks. In 1879 it became the capital of Bulgaria. Sofia's sites include the city walls, the faculty that has existed since 1889, a large number of Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues (St George's Church, St Sofia's Church, Banya Bashi Mosque, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral…), as well as the Houses of Opera and parliament, some of which are UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Day 6. Sofia - Salonika
A tour of Greece's second largest city, Salonika, famous for its rich history. Dating from the 3rd century BC, it is considered one of Europe's oldest cities. Its numerous attractions include the Tomb of Philip of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great); the White Tower, the city's major symbol and a part of the city wall complex, Aya Sofia, constructed in the 8th century as a copy of Istanbul's Aya Sofia; and Arch of Galerius.

Day 7. Salonika - Peloponnesus - Athens
An excursion to Peloponnesus, a huge peninsula separated from the mainland by a canal in the 19th century, today an island in the south of Greece. Heading for Athens, we will make a short stop in the city of Corinth and see the Gulf of Corinth. We shall also make a stop in Mycenae (an ancient royal residence encompassed with magnificent cyclopean walls). Archaeological finds prove that Mycenae was inhabited 3000 years BC. The entrance to its Acropolis once led through the famous Lion's Gate (symbolising the power of Mycenaean kings). A visit to Epidaurus, the amphitheatre famous for its amazing acoustics and architecture. Built in the 4th century BC by Polyclitus the Younger, this best preserved antique amphitheatre in Greece can accommodate about 14 thousand visitors.

Day 8. Athens
A tour of Athens, the city with a long and magnificent past, and one of those that hold major significance for the history of humanity. We shall visit some of the world's most famous buildings: the Acropolis, the hill in the city's centre, with the Parthenon, Nike's Temple and the Erechtheum; the Archaeological Museum housing the oldest antique statues; the Parliament; the Hadrian's Gate; the Temple of Zeus; the Olympic Stadium where the first Olympic Games took place; and the Plaka, the oldest district in Athens. The nicest way to spend the afternoon is to walk through the hidden parts of the city reserved only for pedestrians, and follow local people who know them the best.

Day 9. Athens - Patras - Skopje
Departure for Patras through the Corinthian Gulf. Located in the northern part of the Peloponnesus, Patras is one of Greece's largest and major ports. Apart from its economical importance, it is famous for a large number of cultural monuments.
Arrival in Skopje and a short tour of the city. Macedonia's capital and a political, economic and cultural centre, Skopje has been a meeting place of different civilisations and cultures, as testified by its numerous monuments.

Day 10. Skopje - Tirana - Cetinje
The largest city in Albania, Tirana is its capital and a major economic, cultural and industrial centre. It was founded in 1614. A walk through the city will be an opportunity to see its attractions, such as Skenderbeu Square and the Clock Tower

Departure for Cetinje, Montenegro's capital until 1946, and the present-day important cultural and historic centre. We shall pay a visit to the National Museum of Montenegro - a former residence of the first and the last Montenegrin emperor, King Nikola.

Day 11. Cetinje - Dubrovnik
A tour of Dubrovnik. Encircled by walls and fortresses, this antique city is a well preserved architectural and cultural masterpiece. A pleasant walk will take you to the Rector’s Palace, the Franciscan Monastery and its pharmacy dating back to the 14th century, the Cathedral and other sites, and you will have the option to climb the city-walls. During a panoramic bus ride you will be able to enjoy magnificent views of Dubrovnik’s walls, roofs and picturesque surrounding area.

Day 12. Dubrovnik - Split
A tour of Split. This is the place where Emperor Diocletian constructed his first holiday residence 1700 years ago, from which the city of Split developed later on. In addition to Diocletian’s Palace, the nowadays best-preserved palace in the late antique style, we shall visit the Peristyle and the Cathedral of St Dominus (sv. Duje).

Day 13. Split - Sarajevo
Departure for Sarajevo and a tour of the city. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, is an administrative, economic and cultural centre. The tour includes Baščaršija Street, located in the city centre. We shall visit the Svrzina Kuća - an authentic Bosnian bey house which conjures up the life in Sarajevo as it used to be some hundred years ago, and a mosque which is also situated in the city centre.

Day 14. Sarajevo - Zagreb
Departure for Zagreb and a free afternoon in Zagreb.

Day 15. Zagreb
Departure

 

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