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Premium Dubrovnik to Bucharest

Discover the beauty and history of the Balkans on this 19-day tour that travels from Dubrovnik in Croatia through Bosnia and Herzegovina and onto the lively nightlife of Belgrade in Serbia, through the heart of Transylvania and on to Bucharest. Along the way you’ll sample excellent wines, learn about the war years, stop by the famed Old Bridge of Mostar, discover Tara National Park’s spectacular scenery, and traverse medieval fortresses and fairytale castles. This tour combines battle zones, mountain scenery, bunkers and bars and melds the past with the present, the historic with the euphoric, to create an adventure that ticks all of the boxes.

19 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: ZMPBC
Style: Premium
Theme: Explorer


Countries Visited:  Bosnia And Herzegovina Croatia Romania Serbia
Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel (15 nights), Feature Stay (3 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , train
Included Meals:

  • 17 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 7 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Take a scenic steam train ride through Tara National Park’s forests and mountains on a historic railway that forms part of the famous Ciro trail connecting Belgrade and the Adriatic Sea, a Premium Exclusive Experience.

  • Explore Balkan history, discovering Saxon villages with fairytale scenery, mideivel Old Towns with pretty market squares, and Orthodox monasteries where you'll taste the famous Tvrdos wine made by its monks.

  • Stay in 2 Premium Feature Stays to connect with local culture: an Ethno Village created by a famed Serbian film maker, and a bucolic Romanian mansion in the countryside.

  • Dive deep into one of the oldest salt mines in Europe, in use for about 2,000 years. Spanning more than 43 kilometers Turda Salt Mine contains a huge array of attractions - from an amusement park to a contemporary art museum to an underground lake.

  • Tour one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia, Tito's nuclear bunker, which was built to protect Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and his top military advisors.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Dubrovnik

Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia – the undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast. On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive early, you may like to head out and explore Dubrovnik’s old town which is surrounded entirely by city walls and easily covered on foot. Although Dubrovnik experienced devastation during the war in the early 1990s, the restored old town remains as charming as ever. There are many monuments to explore in the city proper, including the 15th century Rector's Palace, monasteries with cloistered gardens, and fine baroque churches with copper domes. After your welcome meeting this evening, join your leader and fellow travellers for dinner at a local restaurant showcasing Croatia’s traditional cuisine.

Day 2: Dubrovnik

After breakfast, drive from your hotel to the Konavle region south of Dubrovnik. The region is known as the Golden Valley of Dubrovnik as it has the most fertile grounds in the area and is filled with vineyards and fruit trees. Visit the small town of Cavtat with its beautiful architecture, ancient history and pebble beaches. After exploring the town, you’ll head further into the Konavle region for a traditional ‘peka’ lunch featuring lamb and other meats cooked under an iron bell. No meal in this region is complete without a glass of Croatian wine, so toast your hearty meal with a glass of Grk or Plavac Mali local wine. On your return to Dubrovnik, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy your way, perhaps with a walk around the city walls or a swim in the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Day 3: Mostar

Today you’ll cross the border and travel into Bosnia & Herzegovina, stopping at several beautiful destinations in the Herzegovina region along the way. Your first stop is Trebinje where you’ll join your leader for a walking tour that takes in the compact Old Town and its pretty market square, followed by a stop at an Orthodox monastery to taste the famous Tvrdos wine. After you’ve quenched your thirst, your trip continues to Stolac where you may like to join your leader for a walk to visit the old medieval fortress high on the hill. After you’ve explored the sights of Stolac, you’ll arrive in Mostar in an hour. Here you’ll join an expert local guide for a guided tour around town that reveals why there is such a strong connection between the locals and coffee.

Day 4: Sarajevo

Leave Mostar and travel towards Sarajevo, but not without a stop at Konjic where you’ll discover one of the best-kept secrets in former Yugoslavia, Tito's nuclear bunker. The military bunker was built to protect Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and hundreds of his top military personnel and has only recently opened to the public. Go back in time on a guided tour of the bunker and learn about Yugoslav history and how life used to be in not-so-distant past. After touring the bunker, continue to Sarajevo and settle into your hotel before heading out to explore the city with an expert local guide. Tonight you may like to join your group for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5: Sarajevo

Today is yours to explore your way. Taste your way through the market stalls of Bascarsija, visit one of the museums dedicated to the Yugoslav war or perhaps take a cable car up Trebevic mountain to enjoy magnificent views over the city. You’ll finish the day with a memorable home-cooked meal shared with your hosts Mustafa and Mersiha who proudly claim their kitchen has the best view over Sarajevo. Your night begins learning how Bosnian pita is made before a hearty meal of sogan dolma (stuffed onions) and dolam (stuffed paprika). Of course, you’ll get to try the freshly made pita too.

Day 6: Tara National Park

Today you’ll travel onwards to Serbia with a stop in the small town of Višegrad where a magnificent 16th-century bridge dominates the horizon and provided the inspiration for the Nobel Prize winning literary work, The Bridge on the Drina. From Višegrad, you’ll cross the border into Serbia and continue your journey to Tara National Park. Widely regarded as one of the most spectacular destinations in the country, Tara National Park is home to the world’s third largest river canyon and filled with forested slopes and dramatic ravines. Tonight you’ll bed down in Mećavnik in your Feature Stay, a traditional village that Serbian film director Emir Kusturica built for his film Life Is a Miracle. Explore the village before joining your group for a traditional dinner to celebrate your first night in Serbia.

Day 7: Belgrade

This morning you'll take an easy two hour hike through Tara National Park followed by a scenic steam train ride through the park’s forest and mountains. This section of the railway is part of the famous Ciro trail that connects Belgrade and the Adriatic Sea. Rattle along the tracks as the narrow gauge engine and historic carriages takes you through the jaw dropping scenery, with four stops along the way so passengers can take photos of the incredible views. After spending a half day exploring Tara National Park on foot and riding the rails, settle back for the four hour drive to Belgrade where you’ll check into your hotel and enjoy a leisurely evening after a long day of travel.

Day 8: Belgrade

Start your day with a guided walking tour and discover all that Belgrade has to offer including Republic Square, Knez Mihailova Street which is lined with historic buildings and Kalemegdan Park and the Belgrade Fortress where the Danube and Sava Rivers meet. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history and perhaps ask your local guide for suggestions on where to experience the best night life in the Balkans as Belgrade is known for its party scene. This afternoon is yours to explore your way, perhaps with a visit to the city market or Nikola Tesla Museum or by catching a trolleybus to Zemun - a bohemian, village like neighbourhood that’s known for its cafes and fish restaurants along the riverside promenade. This evening, join your group for a traditional dinner in the bohemian Skadarska quarter.

Day 9: Belgrade

Spend a free day in Belgrade. You may like to check out the city’s many museums, including the one dedicated to Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor known for transforming our understanding of electricity. If you fancy a caffeine fix, grab a Turkish coffee at a kafana – traditional coffee houses dating back to the Ottoman era. Tonight you’ll meet your local leader and any new travellers joining you for the next leg of your adventure at 6 pm. After the meeting, you’ll join the group for dinner at one of the city’s fantastic local restaurants and learn about Serbian produce and cuisine.

Day 10: Timisoara

This morning you’ll travel by private vehicle to Timisoara, crossing the Serbia-Romania border en route. Timisoara is a pretty park-filled city with a remarkable past. It was here that an uprising of local people sparked the Romanian Revolution in 1989, which saw the fall of the country’s Communist regime – reflecting the broader political change seen across Eastern Europe at the time. On a guided walking tour you’ll take in some of Timisoara’s most significant sights – including the grand and aptly named Victory, Liberty and Union Squares – and learn more about the city’s history.

Day 11: Sibiu

Today you’ll make your way to Sibiu, stopping on the way to visit the striking Hunedoara Castle (also known as Corvin Castle). The Gothic-Renaissance building looks like a cross between Hogwarts and something from a German fairy tale, with a huge drawbridge and a cluster of cloud-piercing turrets – you’ll learn more about its history, plus a few hair-raising myths, on a guided tour.

Upon arrival in Sibiu, you’ll get acquainted with the city’s cobbled streets and historic squares on a guided walking tour. Sibiu is something of a cultural heavyweight, known for its creative, bohemian atmosphere, rich history and eye-catching architecture. Explore what remains of the city’s medieval walls and towers, cross the legend-shrouded Bridge of Lies and take in the grandeur of Brukenthal National Museum, comprising numerous ornate palaces.

Day 12: Sibiu

This morning you’ll head to the outskirts of the city to explore ASTRA Village Museum. Set across 96 acres surrounding a sparkling lake, this open air living museum seeks to preserve, showcase and celebrate Romanian folk culture and traditional ways of life. Wander the grounds to discover reconstructed old dwellings, windmills and workshops and learn how Romanian people of centuries past grew food, raised families and made a living.

The afternoon is yours to explore. You could gaze at the incredible interiors and towering dome of the Orthodox Cathedral, or admire the slightly less imposing (but equally magnificent) Gothic Lutheran church. Alternatively, grab a covrigi (a tasty Romanian pretzel), wander the old town and snap photos of the colourful, Wes Anderson-style architecture.

Day 13: Coltesti Village

Depart Sibiu and head to Alba Lulia, one of the oldest cities in Romania. It is home to an 18th-century citadel with a history that dates back to Roman times. Shaped like a seven-point star, the fortress features a collection of ornate gates and vantage points, as well as numerous museums and cafes. Wander the cobbled streets with an expert guide to hear more about what went on within these ancient walls over the last two millennia.

Next, take a drive into the Trascău Mountains to reach Coltesti and check in to Szekler Mansion, your exclusive feature stay. Freshen up in your room – decked out with local textiles and hand-painted decorative furniture – before enjoying a traditional dinner, which could feature hearty bowls of borsch or goulash, locally-made cheese and sarmale (smoky, meat-filled cabbage rolls).

Day 14: Sighisoara

Prepare for an unforgettable underground experience as you make your way to Turda Salt Mine. The gargantuan subterranean space was renovated and opened to the public in the early 1990s and resembles an alien planet or a Bond villain’s lair. Don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt – it gets chilly 119 metres down. Once you resurface, you’ll discover plenty of choices when it comes to your optional lunch – including a nearby winery.

This afternoon, travel to Unesco-listed Sighisoara – your home for the next two nights, and birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure and inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Day 15: Sighisoara

This morning, explore the colourful streets of Sighisoara’s old town on a guided walk. You’ll visit the 14th-century Clock Tower that dominates the skyline (and offers 360 views from the top), and climb the 176 creaking covered steps that connect the upper and lower parts of town to reach the so-called Church on the Hill.

Drive to Malancrav to share lunch in a bucolic setting. The Saxon village was once owned by one family, the Apafis, and populated with German farmers. Highlights here include Apafi Mansion and a 14th-century church with the largest Gothic fresco in Transylvania. After your meal you’ll swing by the neighbouring World Heritage site of Biertan and its spectacular fortified church before heading to Medias – known for its medieval fortifications and wine (‘Golden Mediasch’ is even mentioned in the novel Dracula). Enjoy some free time before making your way back to Sighisoara for the evening.

Day 16: Brasov

After breakfast you’ll make your way to Brasov, making a pitstop at hilltop Rupea Fortress. The restored citadel’s steep and rocky pathways spiral up to the highest point, offering broad sweeping views over the surrounding green fields. This afternoon you’ll reach Brasov and embark on a guided walking tour to get your bearings and learn about the city’s most notable sights – including what’s left of the old medieval fortifications, the Black Church that was charred in the Great Fire of 1689 but since restored, and the wedge-shaped Council Square, lined with historic buildings. Tonight you’ll enjoy dinner together at a quality local restaurant.

Day 17: Brasov

By now you’ll have spotted the fact that Brasov has its own Hollywood-style sign, perched high on the slopes of Mount Tampa. This morning you’ll join the group on a cable car ride to the top, where you’ll enjoy sensational views of the town below. The journey only takes a few minutes – but if you’d prefer to hike up or down, the steep journey takes around an hour each way. This afternoon enjoy some free time – opting to explore more of Brasov itself (perhaps seek out tiny String Street, which is 44 inches at its narrowest point) or indulging in some Romanian sweet treats such as kurtoskalacs, a cinnamon-sprinkled delight known as chimney cake, or papanasi, a sweet cream doughnut topped with blueberry jam. Still not fortressed out? Take a trip beyond the city limits to soak up more history and views from Rasnov Fortress.

Day 18: Bucharest

Today you’ll head south, packing in plenty of action before reaching your final destination, Bucharest. First stop: Bran Castle, perhaps Romania’s most famous attraction, given its associations with the tale of Count Dracula. Vampire myths aside (it was never actually host to Vlad the Impaler or Bram Stoker) the forested surroundings and lofty location of this 14th-century castle will have you hypnotised. Stop for lunch in the Prahova Valley, where you’ll tour a local winery – known for its sparkling rose – in the mountain town of Azuga. You’ll squeeze in one last castle in Peles, but this one is somewhat more modern. Built in the late 19th century, the neo-Renaissance creation is even more extravagant on the inside than it is on the outside. Hit the road one last time, reaching Bucharest by early evening.

Day 19: Bucharest

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to spend some more time in Bucharest, let us know in advance – we would be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).