Western Balkans Uncovered

Trip Code: WMKK

Why we love it

Admire the World Heritage-listed architecture of Dubrovnik and Montenegro’s Kotor, climbing along their ancient city walls, Lose yourself in Tirana, Albania's colourful capital, and partake in the local's favourite pastime: coffee-drinking and people-watching, Sail across the blue waters of Lake Ohrid, one of Europe's oldest lakes. No wonder North Macedonia and Albania share this beautiful attraction – nobody would want to let it go, Sitting alongside its Ottoman past, the North Macedonian capital of Skopje has reinvented its centre with gleaming neo-classical monuments and buildings, adding a new layer to this fascinating city

Is this trip right for me?

Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability, please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. You don't have a lot of time in Dubrovnik at the end of the trip, so if you're keen to explore this spectacular city in depth, we strongly recommend you extend your stay at the end.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
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 under 10kg / 22lb. 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 lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., IMAGES FROM HOME
During our trip, there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country, etc.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

EXPLORING EUROPEAN CITIES
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 will be able to further explore in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip. Many of our customers are surprised at how much they end up walking, however this is entirely up to you, and public transport to take you back to our accommodation is never far away.

Joining your group

Hotel Skopje, st.Andon Dukov 27 1000, Skopje, MACEDONIA, REPUBLIC OF, Phone: +389 23090755

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Hotel Dubrovnik, Šetalište Kralja Zvonimira 16, Dubrovnik, CROATIA, Phone: +385 20435030

Hotel Dubrovnik is located in the popular Lapad area of Dubrovnik, with a convenient beach front location. Pile Gate and the Old Town can easily be reached by city buses 2A, 4 and 6. The hotel has comfortable air-conditioned rooms with modern amenities and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a cup of coffee in the bar or indulge in a wide selection of fresh and delicious fish specialties on the beautiful terrace of the Dubrovnik restaurant. The hotel also has a garden and a sun terrace.

If you are making your own way to Dubrovnik Airport (airport code DBV) the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Alternatively take the bus (lines 2A, 4, 6) to Pile Gate (in front of the Old Town), from where the airport express bus leaves. Buses are timed to meet departing flights. Please check with reception for exact times.

If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV): You will be collected at the hotel reception 3 hours before your flight departure time. Please reconfirm the pick up time with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +385 98 285 298 or +385 99 2129 789.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 11

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 1

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

PRIVATE VEHICLES
Our private vehicles are locally sourced and are air conditioned and comfortable, which makes travelling enjoyable. On some days we will be covering long distances, which will make these days feel longer, however spectacular views and interesting stops along the way make up for it.

LONG TRAVEL DAYS
As we cover lots of ground on this trip, expect some long travel days. This is an opportunity to enjoy the scenery out the window, or get to know your fellow travellers.


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