Road Trip in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro
A 200% road trip, this itinerary takes you on the most beautiful roads in the Balkans, from Ljubljana to Dubrovnik via Split, Mostar, Sarajevo and Kotor, among others.
Three weeks of roaming to discover and feel the different atmospheres of the Balkans. The alpine landscapes of Slovenia, the Adriatic coast of Croatia, the cultural mix of Bosnia and the incredible contrasts of Montenegro will delight and charm you:
– Ljubljana, greenest European capital and its medieval old town.
– The breathtaking landscapes of the Triglav massif, the peak of the country.
– The aquatic spectacle of the lakes and waterfalls of the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
– Ancient and Venetian cities of the Adriatic: Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir Split and Dubrovnik.
– The historic cities of Mostar and Sarajevo.
– The wide horizons of Bosnia: the mountains around Lukomir and the high plateaus.
– Discovery of the wide horizons of the Dinaric Alps.
– Easy hikes around the mountain lakes: Black Lake and the Lake of Biogradska Gora.
– Lake Skadar straddling the border between Montenegro and Albania, the largest lake in the Balkans.
– The sensational Bay of Kotor and its cities of character.
Length of stay: 21 days
Countries visited: SLOVENIA, CROATIA, Bosnia,Herzegovina and Montenegro
- Day 1 : Ljubljana
- Day 2 : Ljubljana
- Day 3 : Ljubljana
- Day 4 : Bled
- Day 5 : Bled
- Day 6 : Postojna
- Day 7 : Plitvice Lakes NP
- Day 8 : Plitvice Lakes NP
- Day 9 : Trogir
- Day 10 : Trogir
- Day 11 : Mostar
- Day 12 : Sarajevo
- Day 13 : Sarajevo
- Day 14 : Sarajevo
- Day 15 : Zabljak
- Day 16 : Zabljak
- Day 17 : Skadar lake
- Day 18 : Bay of Kotor
- Day 19 : Bay of Kotor
- Day 20 : Dubrovnik
- Day 21 : Dubrovnik
Plitvice Lakes NP
Bay of Kotor
Your customized trip
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Day 1 : Ljubljana
Welcoming at your arrival at Ljubljana Airport. Private transfer and installation at your hotel. 1-hour small group cruise by night on the Ljubljanica river. At night, the capital sparkles and takes on a whole new face. An intimate stroll along the waterfront, under the city’s bridges. Overnight in a modern and comfortable 3-star hotel, near the principal square of Ljubljana. Standard room. Parking included in a garage.
Day 2 : Ljubljana
Meeting with your guide for a private city tour to discover the Slovenian capital at your own pace and on foot for 2 hours. A walk through the pedestrian city centre and along the Ljubljanica to visit this beautiful city’s most famous spots. Throughout the walk, your guide will tell you anecdotes, legends and give you information concerning the city and the country.
-> Is there something else you want to see? This city tour is tailor-made, we can adapt it:
* to your desires of discovery by opting for such and such a museum;
* to your wish of activity: on foot, by bike, by segway, gastronomic, medieval, wine tasting, treasure hunt, etc… Ljubljana has many facets and our city tours are very varied.
[To discover Ljubljana in video, click here ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V41D7lsEruI) Meeting with your guide for a 2.5 hours walking tour to discover the Slovenian capital at your own pace. Some look back with sadness, others regret the good old days when (almost) everyone was equal , had a job, a roof over their heads and food on the table. The communist tour takes you back to the days of socialist Yugoslavia, a unique country that defined its own approach to communism while maintaining a somewhat open policy with the West. Beginning with the enigmatic leader, Marshal Tito, the tour explores Slovenian life under socialist rule, visiting sites that played a role in the communist era, focusing on governance, economy, labour, religion, punishment, justice, entertainment, the arts and more. Concerned about objectivity in the visit, our guide shares real family stories, brings nostalgic objects that you can touch. Forget what you’ve heard, see what life was really like back then.
-> Is there something else you want to see? This city tour is tailor-made, so we can adapt it:
* to your desire of discovery by choosing this or that museum;
* to your wishes for activities: walking, cycling, segway, gastronomy, medieval, wine tasting, treasure hunt, etc… Ljubljana has many facets and our city tours are very varied.
[To discover Ljubljana in video, click here.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V41D7lsEruI) Overnight in a modern and comfortable 3-star hotel, near the principal square of Ljubljana. Standard room. Parking included in a garage.
Day 3 : Ljubljana
Collection of the vehicle. Rental of a compact C-Class vehicle, type Opel Astra or similar , including:
– Unlimited mileage
– VAT tax
– Manual gearbox
– One driver insurance
– Basic third party insurance: CDW and TP.
Terra Balka can offer other options. On the spot the renter will be able to propose you additional insurances if necessary. – Option included: Cross Border(s) fee. Even more beautiful than the lake of Bled, is it possible? Head for Lake Bohinj, to immerse yourself in a preserved natural setting. Passing through the remarkable medieval town of Skofja Loka, whose historic centre has been listed since 1987. Stroll through the town centre towards Mestni Square and visit the imposing castle and its museum overlooking the town. The lake of Bohinj will enchant you with its natural and authentic side, surrounded by the Triglav Mountains and charming villages that have preserved their traditional trades, especially agriculture. A 1.5 hour hike to the Savica waterfall and a cable car ride up to the Vogel station to admire the spectacular panorama. Drive then to Bled. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in a typical charming guesthouse, close to Lake Bled. Standard room.
Day 4 : Bled
Hiking tour in the Triglav National Park. Day to discover the region, with the Julian Alps in the background, the Soca River below and the Triglav National Park all around. Departure from Bled and drive to the Vintgar Gorge (1,600 m of footbridges spanning the Radovna over rapids and pools). Then on to Kranjska Gora, the famous Slovenian ski resort. Pass through the spectacular Vrsic Pass before turning into the Soca Valley. A 15-minute walk to admire the Boka waterfall then passage through Tolmin, famous for its paragliding sites and its surrounding nature. Visit of the gorges (1 hour walk) and Most na Soci, which offers a splendid panorama of the lake. Return to Bled. Overnight in a typical charming guesthouse, close to Lake Bled. Standard room.
Day 5 : Bled
The Lake of Bled, whose crystalline waters reflect the surrounding mountains, provides a fabulous setting. This environment invites you to walk in the morning, when the fog rises gradually, when Bled is still sleeping and when the first rays of the sun light up the castle overlooking the lake. A 6 km walk around the lake to admire it in all its aspects. From the Julian Alps to the Karst region. Drive south to reach the Karst region and cross its beautiful hills and forests sheltering brown bears. Arrival in Postojna and check-in at the hotel. Private bear watching trip at the end of the day with your English-speaking guide. Meeting with your guide to drive by jeep to the forest and surrounding hills. From the observatory, you will have the chance to observe bears (at their own discretion) for 2 to 3 hours, in the middle of nature, in total silence.
-> 40 minutes ride in total, an extra 600m walk, observatory accessible by a ladder, capacity for 5 people. Overnight in a 4-star hotel. Standard room.
Day 6 : Postojna
From the Karst caves to the most beautiful lakes in Croatia. Heading south to reach the Adriatic coast this morning and the Kvarner golf course. First stop in Opatija, a prestigious seaside resort. Continuation to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Check-in at the hotel. On the road, stop at the Skocjan cave for a group visit for about 2 hours. The park is located in the Karst region, a real open-air museum. Visit on foot on a small path, sometimes natural, sometimes equipped, right in the canyon. The latter is without equal in Europe in the underground world. The hike offers incredible views of the underground river and beautiful sensations as the emptiness below you is so great. You discover a sensational underground world that you could not have imagined before. Overnight in a 4-star hotel near the lakes and the entrance to the National Park. Standard room.
Day 7 : Plitvice Lakes NP
Exceptional day’s walk in the heart of the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
Road to reach the park’s surroundings. You have several choices of visit and we recommend a full exploration. Departure by panoramic train to reach the upper end of the park. The visit begins with a ride along the Upper Lakes, the wildest part of the park, where the lakes merge, the platforms on which you walk pass over bodies of water and waterfalls. The water flows from all sides, it’s magical. Electric boat crossing on Lake Kozjak. Let’s go for a walk on the lower part of the park, through the gorges of the Lower Lakes, which will take you to the Great Waterfall. Continue to the top of the gorge with a panoramic view. Return on foot or by train. This circular program allows you to enjoy the beauty of the lake area of the park as a whole.
-> 8.9 kilometres walk on wooden footbridge. Little elevation gain. About 5 to 6-hour walk. Entry ticket to the park included. Overnight in a 4-star hotel near the lakes and the entrance to the National Park. Standard room.
Day 8 : Plitvice Lakes NP
Descent to the Adriatic and the famous cities of Zadar, Sibenik and Trogir. En route stop in Zadar, a fascinating city on the Adriatic. Free visit of the city and its sights: the Sea Organ and the Sun Salute. Stroll through the heart of the peninsula, which offers a historic centre with medieval churches and Roman remains, cafés and excellent museums. You can alternate between ancient heritage and elegant Habsburg architecture. You will discover a lively and dynamic city, pleasant to live in and visit. Drive along the Adriatic coast towards Trogir visiting Sibenik, Primosten and Rogoznica. Arrival in Trogir. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the centre of Trogir on the promenade. Standard room.
Day 9 : Trogir
Meeting with your guide for a private 1.5 hours walking tour to discover the beautiful and intimate Trogir. You will be guided through the narrow streets to discover the rich history of this island city protected by UNESCO. Its Greek, Roman and Venetian history makes it one of the most interesting historical oases on the Adriatic coast. Admire the masterpieces of local sculptors. The many palaces with their history are just some of the things that will impress you on this tour through the beautiful streets of this quiet little town.
Highlights of the tour:
The famous St. Lawrence Cathedral, the remains of the ramparts, Cipiko Palace, the Loggia and the Clock Tower, Kamerlengo Castle and St. Mark’s Tower, the many alleys, etc.
-> Any other requests? This city tour is tailor-made so we can adapt it:
* to your wishes of discovery by choosing this or that museum.
* to your wish of activity: on foot, by bike, gastronomic, oenological or treasure hunt. Trogir has many facets and our city tours are very varied. Free day in this beautiful city, located on a peninsula. Enjoy the city, the facilities of your hotel with the possibility to book an activity on the spot according to your desires. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the centre of Trogir on the promenade. Standard room.
Day 10 : Trogir
Meeting with your guide for a private walking tour of Split for about 2 hours. Split, a true wonder of the Adriatic, is experienced intensely. As soon as you arrive, you can already feel the dynamism of the city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Split has both a rich historical heritage and a lively local life. A walking tour of the Diocletian’s Palace, which encompasses the entire old town. The magic of the place works and you take a trip back in time by landing in the middle of the Roman Empire. Discover on foot, and at your own pace, squares, markets, alleys and craft shops.
Highlights of the visit:
Palace Peristyle, St. Domnius Cathedral, St. Lucia Crypt, the Riva River Walk and Grgur Ninski’s Statue.
-> Is there something else you want to see? This city tour is tailor-made, we can adapt it:
* to your desires of discovery by opting for such and such a museum;
* to your wish of activity: on foot, by bike, by segway, gastronomic, wine tasting, treasure hunt, etc… Split has many facets and our city tours are very varied.
[To discover Split in video, click here. ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb1cOVOZZBE) Direction Mostar along the Makarska Riviera. Passage at Omis, on the banks of the Cetina River which forms an impressive canyon. Numerous swimming breaks possible, rivalling in beauty. Continuing to Makarska: a beautiful walk in the marina and of course the view of the Biokovo massif. Crossing the border to Mostar, the pearl of tourism in Bosnia-Herzegovina with its bridge classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit along the way the villages of Pocitelj and Blagaj. Check-in at the hotel. Private visit of Mostar, its magnificent old town, its world-famous bridge over the emerald green Neretva River which flows through the rocky canyon, its mosques and steep alleys. Visit of the whole Old Bridge District of the Old City of Mostar and its architectural features. Overnight in a 4-star hotel. Superior room.
Day 11 : Mostar
On the way to Sarajevo, via Lake Jablanica. Situated on the banks of the Neretva river and between the Cvrsnica and Prenj mountains, this artificial lake created in 1953 offers to every nature lover a very pleasant spectacle with its turquoise water colours. The region is famous for its granite, which was used, among other things, for the construction of the United Nations headquarters in New York and the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos on Mount Lovcen in Montenegro. Lunch by the lake on some kind of boats – restaurants. An atypical experience to live when travelling in Bosnia. Continuation to Sarajevo. Check-in at the hotel. Meeting with your guide for a private 1.5 hours discovery of Tito’s Bunker .
A real leap into the past for an unusual visit. The Atomic Warfare Command, also known as the Ark and nicknamed Tito’s Bunker , is a former nuclear bunker and military command centre. Built to protect Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and up to 350 members of his entourage in the event of an atomic conflict, the structure consists of residential areas, conference rooms, offices, strategic planning rooms and more. The bunker remained a state secret until after the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Tito’s bunker now serves as a meeting point for artists from the region , Europe and around the world. The objective of the Project’s Biennial of Contemporary Art is to transform a site still officially under military control into a prestigious regional cultural institution at the forefront of emerging artistic currents. In 2011, the Council of Europe has designated the project as a cultural event of Europe, and it also enjoys strong support from UNESCO. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the heart of Sarajevo. Standard room.
Day 12 : Sarajevo
Meeting with your guide for a private walking tour in Sarajevo, for about 3 hours. The best way to explore this city is to combine the rich history and culture with the tasting of gastronomic specialties.
You first explore the Ottoman part of Sarajevo , known as Baščaršija and then the Austro-Hungarian part of Sarajevo with the characteristics of the Yugoslavian period. Your guide will pass on to you all his knowledge about the different eras that marked the history of this young country, through a painful construction. Because the discovery of a country goes through its culture, the visit is punctuated by tasting of Ćevapi, Burek, local beer and Baklava . Finally, you discover the inside of a typical Bosnian house to taste the famous local coffee . Meeting with your guide for a 3-hours walking tour in Sarajevo .
This tour is ideal for understanding the history of the siege of the city. Your guide will take you to the places that were marked by this complicated period: the former Holiday Inn Hotel (located in the famous Sarajevo Snipers’ Alley ), the War Tunnel Museum, the Lav Cemetery, the Olympic Stadium in Koševo, the Jewish Cemetery and the Yellow Bastion . This walk allows you to put life in Sarajevo during the siege into context. The tour is as interesting as it is striking, as your guide will witness. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the heart of Sarajevo. Standard room.
Day 13 : Sarajevo
Meeting with your guide for a day in nature from Sarajevo. During this hike you will visit the highest nomadic village in the whole Balkan region – the village of Lukomir and a less remote village – the village of Umoljani. Admire one of the deepest and most remote canyons in Europe – the Rakitnica Canyon and enjoy the panoramic views and incredible natural scenery. Discover with your guide the local Lukomir nomadic traditions that have been preserved for centuries, taste traditional Bosnian food and coffee, meet the locals and listen to amazing legends. An experience in the heart of nature that is both exotic and rewarding. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the heart of Sarajevo. Standard room.
Day 14 : Sarajevo
Surprising diversity of the Balkans. Direction, the Necropolis of Borak Stecci proposed for inscription on the UNESCO heritage list to understand the medieval Bosnian kingdom, then visit Visegrad and its listed site also of the bridge of Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic. Crossing the impressive open spaces around the Bosnia-Montenegro border before discovering the Piva region: its lake and canyon. The road to Zabljak offers a wonderful concentration of panoramas, especially when you enter the Durmitor National Park. Arrival in Zabljak, a lively village in the heart of the park and an ideal base for sightseeing and hiking. Overnight in a 4-star hotel, near the entrance of the National Park. Junior Suite.
Day 15 : Zabljak
Free day in the Durmitor National Park.
Free walking, without guide, around the Black Lake. From your hotel, you reach with your vehicle the entrance of the Durmitor National Park. The tour around the lake offers a magnificent view of the Durmitor Park. One of Montenegro’s must-sees for sure. The landscapes are breathtaking.
-> 2 hour hiking tour. Overnight in a 4-star hotel, near the entrance of the National Park. Junior Suite.
Day 16 : Zabljak
From one National Park to the other: wonderful contrasts in Montenegro. Departure from Zabljak to leave the Durmitor, which offers behind you its most beautiful landscapes and breathtaking panoramic views. Arrival at the Durdevica bridge which crosses the Tara canyon. Impressive! Continue south to discover the isolated monastery of Durdevica before arriving at the Biogradska Gora National Park. Easy walk of about 2 hours around the lake of Biograd, in a simply magnificent natural environment. Arrival in the small town of Kolasin for a break and lunch in a typical tavern (free). Continuation to the south. On the way, the Moraca Canyon offers you a rainbow of colours, while a short cultural break is required at the monastery of the same name. Arrival on the shores of Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. Check-in at the hotel. Boarding on a small traditional boat for a 2-hour private sailing tour with our local guide on Lake Skadar, a true natural monument straddling Montenegro and Albania. The largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, this body of water is also a grandiose ornithological reserve. You will sail among the water lilies and will be able to enjoy a dive from the boat driven by our Montenegrin captain. Consult us for a longer navigation. Overnight in a 3-star villa. One-bedroom villa (2+2 persons).
Day 17 : Skadar lake
From the Skadar Lake to the Bay of Kotor through the Lovcen National Park, a parade of landscapes and a change of atmosphere. This morning you take the road to Rijeka Crnojevica via a very narrow road overlooking the lake and the meanders of the fjord. Discovery of a fishing village before continuing the ascent to Cetinje, former capital of the country and today still cultural capital with its many museums that retrace the national history in particular. You then enter the Lovcen park which offers Mediterranean vegetation before climbing up a winding road to the mausoleum of King Petar II Petrovic-Njegos, a huge statue. Before that, some 500 steps await you. Then you can choose between a road to the village of Njegusi, well known for its gastronomic specialties or a 2-hour walk in the park. Afterwards, you will descend to the magical Bay of Kotor via the famous Serpentine, a must for any traveller visiting the black mountains country. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in a charming 4-star hotel, in the heart of the old town of Kotor. Standard room.
Day 18 : Bay of Kotor
Meeting with your guide for a 1.5 hour private city tour of the old city of Kotor. Wonderful Venetian town, nestled in a dark corner of the bay at the foot of the mountains, Kotor is yours to enjoy. The city is a medieval labyrinth of museums, churches, squares lined with cafés and Venetian palaces. The ramparts and the fortress give Kotor an air of another time.
[To discover Kotor in video, click here. ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDyGYhYj3tU) Group sailing tour on the Kotor Fjord, another look at the mountains, for about 2 hours. Today, you discover, from the water, all the Bay of Kotor. Sailing on the fjord is an exciting visual experience. Departure from Kotor and walk to Notre-Dame-du-Rocher opposite Perast, one of the most beautiful places in the bay. Visit of the church and the islets. You can observe the impressive mountains that line the fjord before reaching the blue cave. Swimming time on site and in the area. Return by boat to Kotor.
-> Departure every day from April to November, at 9 am, 12 am, or 3 pm. Overnight in a charming 4-star hotel, in the heart of the old town of Kotor. Standard room.
Day 19 : Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor tour. From Kotor, you will discover the various sites of the fjord, including Perast, a romantic village steeped in history, with its islets, churches and baroque palaces, the fishing village of Morinj and then Herceg Novi, its old town and sparkling sea. Cross the border with the same vehicle and then continue to your hotel in Dubrovnik to settle down. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the heart of the city of Dubrovnik. Premium room.
Day 20 : Dubrovnik
Very early meeting with your guide for a 2-hour private walking tour of Dubrovnik. You will avoid the crowds and enjoy the most beautiful colours on the Adriatic. Dubrovnik, nicknamed The Pearl of the Adriatic , has captured your imagination for weeks and invited itself into your dreams. Open your eyes! Dubrovnik, the perfect city will dazzle you from the moment you arrive. You discover the white marble streets, the red roofs, the lively terraces, the flight of seagulls, the pleasure boats returning from an excursion to the Elaphite Islands. Stroll at your own pace in this simply unique city with its sublime setting.
Highlights of the visit:
Pile Gate, Stradun (the pedestrian promenade), Onofrio fountain, St. Saviour Church.
[To discover Dubrovnik in video, click here. ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation id=annotation 460899399&feature=iv&src vid=kb1cOVOZZBE&v=4tPG4z2HeXg) Urban walk during 3-4h, at your own pace, without a guide on the most beautiful spots of Dubrovnik. Tour of the city walls which offer both unusual views of the city and incredible views of the sea and its archipelagos. Then, walk up to the Mont Srd (405 m alt.). The sensation of the view from the top is quite enjoyable. According to your desires, continue for another 2.5 km (round trip) to reach Fort Strincjera. Return to the summit Srd. Close your eyes and imagine! Dubrovnik in the background, at sunset, the deep blue of the ocean, the green of the surrounding islets and the grey of the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina behind you. And all this while enjoying a glass of Malvazija or a Barba craft beer at the panoramic restaurant at the summit, which we highly recommend. Cable car descent at nightfall.
-> 5 kilometres (2 km for the city walls, 3 km to the top), 375 metres elevation gain. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in the heart of the city of Dubrovnik. Premium room.