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Best of Balkans

(Start Split)

COUNTRIES
6
DAYS
15
FROM
$2,425
In-Depth Explorer
4.7
30 reviews
30 reviews
SEE AVAILABLE DATES
Save your space with only $200 deposit
WHAT YOU GET
14 nights accommodation
15 nights in Hotel
Live it up in hotels every night of the trip, one with a rooftop pool overlooking the sparkling Bay of Lapad in Dubrovnik. Sleep twin or triple share, or upgrade to your own room for a bit of extra cash.
20 included Meals
6 Dinner, 14 Breakfast
Discover culinary delights you didn't even know existed as you sample the best of Eastern European cuisine. In addition to breakfast every day, you'll be treated to 6 dinners in our favourite local spots. Think hearty meals in Bosnia and tasty stew in Hungary.
Team
Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides
A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life. An expert driver who knows foreign roads better than Google Maps. Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do.
Transport
All transport included during the trip
Included in your trip is transport across Europe on our fleet of comfy, state of the art coaches. They're kitted out with all the necessities: USB charge points, WiFi, Air Con and a rocking sound system. You bring the other essentials, like tunes, friendships and stories from the night before.
Your group
Travel with other 18-35 year olds from around the world
Our trips are exclusively 18-35. This means you'll be travelling with people just like you, from all over the world- laughter and friendships always guaranteed.
Experiences
11 included, 10 optional that you can add
We'll whirl you round to all the best bits of each destination we visit. Indulge in a spot of nature loving at the magnificent Plitvice Lakes National Park, learn about previously besieged Sarejevo with a walking tour of the city and experiment with goulash in a fun cooking class in Budapest.
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This part of the world is hotter than hot right now, and we aint gonna lie, this trip's name says it all. Sunshine, sunsets, and sights are served up left right and centre, with a nature fix dotted in-between to keep every explorer tuned in. 15-days of life changing experiences are yours for the taking. 
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May 2019

May
25
  • Saturday 25th May
  • Saturday 8th June
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June 2019

Jun
8
  • Saturday 8th June
  • Saturday 22nd June
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$2,445
Jun
22
  • Saturday 22nd June
  • Saturday 6th July
Definite departure $2,580
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July 2019

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6
  • Saturday 6th July
  • Saturday 20th July
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20
  • Saturday 20th July
  • Saturday 3rd August
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August 2019

Aug
3
  • Saturday 3rd August
  • Saturday 17th August
Definite departure $2,580
$2,580
Aug
17
  • Saturday 17th August
  • Saturday 31st August
$2,495
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Aug
31
  • Saturday 31st August
  • Saturday 14th September
Definite departure $2,425
$2,425

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BEST OF BALKANS (START SPLIT)

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itinerary
Map
Itinerary

ITINERARY

Nights spent per location
1
1 night
Split
via
via
Bosnia & Herzegovina
2
2 nights
Dubrovnik
via
via
Kotor
2
2 nights
Budva
via
via
Mostar
2
2 nights
Sarajevo
1
1 night
Belgrade
2
2 nights
Budapest
1
1 night
Ljubljana
1
1 night
Plitvice
1
1 night
Zadar
1
1 night
Split
+3 more
see detailed itinerary
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Map
Itinerary
  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • Bus route
  • River route
  • Plane route
  • Traveller Photos
DAY 1 - Arrive Split
Split
What better place to get acquainted with your new squad then here on the coast of Croatia. Spend a free day roaming around or rest in your hotel room before we catch up over our first cosy Croatian dinner.
Stay
Hotel Dalmina (or similar)
DAY 2 - Split to Dubrovnik
Split
Split it's been fantastic, but we have to leave for other Croatian gems further down the coast.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
See the fortified city and the Old Port
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Dinner Cruise
EUR 37.00
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Dubrovnik
The drive along the Dalmatian coastline to Dubrovnik is a sightseeing must do all on its own. On arrival in the city you'll be greeted by limestone walls; an Old Town filled with quintessentially Croatian cafes and plenty of clubs; and a mountain meets sea situation will see you falling in love within seconds. After you've been guided around the city by our team, you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content. Tonight over dinner with the crew, spirits will no doubt be high and the show's not over yet!
Stay
Petka Hotel (or similar)
DAY 3 - Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
The city of Dubrovnik is so much more than just a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Game of Thrones location - not that either of those claims to fame are even mildly mediocre. After you've been guided around the city with intricate detail with our local guide you'll be armed with the knowledge to pick out a waterside rock bar where you can swim and indulge 'til your heart's content.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Local walking orientation in Dubrovnik
See the fortified city and the Old Port
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
City Walls Kayaking Trip
EUR 34.00
Stay
Petka Hotel (or similar)
DAY 4 - Dubrovnik to Budva via Kotor
Dubrovnik
Now that we've done all things Dubrovnik, we'll coast our way to Montenegro via the dramatic Adriatic Coastline.
Kotor
All good journeys are broken up by fjords, steep mountain landscapes & a trot in a town that meets old and new. Our journey between Dubrovnik and Budva will tick all the boxes,  stopping in the super-yacht spot of pretty Kotor.
Budva
If you tire of European coastal towns, you have tired of life. Take it easy tonight with the assurance that you have all day tomorrow in Montenegro's seaside beauty of Budva.
Stay
Slovenska Plaza Hotel (or similar)
DAY 5 - Budva
Budva
Just what does one do with a whole day free to explore the 2,500 year old town of Budva? Well - you could start with a dip in the dreamy Adriatic Sea, continue with coffee in a café draped in vines down a narrow cobbled stone road, finish with the Church of St. Ivan, and eat some milk-soaked lamb and buttered polenta along the way. That should get you started.
Stay
Slovenska Plaza Hotel (or similar)
DAY 6 - Budva to Sarajavo via Mostar
Budva
The time has come to farewell our ocean hangs in exchange for rivers, countrysides and captivating culture, which means a sad goodbye to beautiful Budva.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Walk across the Mostar Bridge
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Dining with the locals
EUR 34.00
Mostar
Mostar is home to the world's cutest bridge. According to us. But still - we've seen a lot of bridges. You'll have plenty of time to oohh and aahh before we kick on to our 2-night site of Sarajevo.
Sarajevo
Later on in our perfect day, we'll skip into the brimming with lively culture town of Sarajevo, also known as Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital. With all the day's explorations you may just want to hang out and take on the city with the fresh eyes of a new day.
Stay
Hollywood Hotel (or similar)
DAY 7 - Sarajevo
Sarajevo
The only way to uncover the town of Sarajevo is with the wisdom shared on a guided walking tour. We'll help you tap into history & understand the magnitude of our destination before leaving you to lighten the mood with an evening of bars and nightlife, should you so choose.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Guided walking tour
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Guided War Tunnels Tour
EURO 15.00
Dining with the locals
EUR 34.00
Stay
Hollywood Hotel (or similar)
DAY 8 - Sarajevo to Belgrade
Sarajevo
Rise up, roamers! We're departing for the town of Belgrade to continue our epic frolic through the Balkans. 
Belgrade

Another border crossing is on the agenda as we wave our way into Serbia en route to Belgrade. Medieval meets modern in this bustling, pure white city. Zen folk can go sit on the Hill of Contemplation or stroll Sava rivers, others can see the fortress of Beogradska Tvrđava & enjoy the lively mood of Belgrade by night. 

Stay
Prag Hotel (or similar)
DAY 9 - Belgrade to Budapest
Belgrade
Leaving Belgrade behind, today we're onto beautiful Budapest. 
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Sightseeing of Buda, Pest, the Royal Palace, the Church of St. Matthias, the Chain Bridge & Fisherman's Bastion
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
River Cruise with Dinner
EUR 39.00
Budapest
Fast becoming one of the hottest destinations in Europe, Budapest is on our beeline. Despite having all day tomorrow to get cosy with this city, we'll get stuck into it today checking out the likes of the royal palace, the famed chain bridge & the stunning parliament building. Later you'll have the option to take a cruise and make the most of your first Hungarian evening. Later, you'll no doubt want to keep things moving at one of the city's famous ruins bars, that need to be seen to be believed!  
Stay
Hotel Danubius (or similar)
DAY 10 - Budapest
Budapest
This morning we'll set out along the cobbled streets of Budapest for a guided walking tour to explore what this city has on offer. We'll see St Stephen's Basilica, a grand neo-Classical Roman Catholic affair named after the first King of Hungary, and the largest church in the country. The rest of the day will be yours to lounge about at the famous thermal baths and soak up the city alfresco. This evening we'll join forces as a group for the final time (sob) for a guided demo in making traditional goulash, and a chance to chow down together.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Goulash Cooking Demonstration
Locally guided tour of Budapest
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Group Photo
EUR 10.00
Stay
Hotel Danubius (or similar)
DAY 11 - Budapest to Ljubljana
Budapest
Having immersed ourselves in all things Hungarian, we're now ready for the road to Ljubljana, a name you'll be able to pronounce by the time we're leaving for Croatia.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Walking tour of the city
See Ljubljana's castle & old town
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Slovenian Folklore Evening
EUR 34.00
Ljubljana
Although you might find nods to neighbouring countries within Slovenian culture, a distinct identity has evolved from this melody of influences. After our guided walking tour, explore the bohemian art district of Metelkova Mesto, sit by one of the cities atmospheric watercourses & try all the incredible food on offer.
Stay
TBA (or similar)
DAY 12 - Ljubljana to Plitvice Lakes
Ljubljana
Next up is something altogether drop dead gorgeous....
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Visit the UNESCO Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice
A strong introduction to Croatia is on the cards today with cascading teal forest pools at Plitvice Lakes. Why this place is not famous world over as one of the prettiest places in Europe, we have no idea.
Stay
Bellevue Hotel Plitvice (or similar)
DAY 13 - Plitvice to Zadar
Plitvice
We'll hit the road and head south for Zadar. 
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
See the city's Roman Ruins
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Bike Ride
EUR 27.00
Zadar
Croatia, we can't get enough. So it's good that we have a couple more days to get to know you better. Arriving in Zadar will see us greeted with Roman ruins, and seaside vibes, so find a local restaurant, ask for the catch of the day and wash it all down with a Rakija, a Dalmatian drink that the region is famous for. All in the name of culture, of course. 
 
Stay
Porto Hotel (or similar)
DAY 14 - Zadar to Split
Zadar
Today there's still exploring to be done and sights to see. 
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Let's Split Dinner
EUR 45.00
Split
Tonight it's best get outside, grab a delicious dinner and & a few hours on the dance floor.  The nightlife here goes off, and your Trip Manager knows all the best places to head, so go on, get out there and make this a night to remember. 
Stay
Hotel Dalmina (or similar)
DAY 15 - Depart Split
Split
This morning, Split becomes sob town as the adventure ends and we say our teary goodbyes. We have two words: reunion trip. It's the only way to ease the pain.
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Best of Balkans (Start Split)

4.7
30 independent reviews
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Caitlin Hughes
Traveled Oct 2018
A fantastic trip! Bosnia was definitely the highlight of the trip!
Traveled Oct 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Oct 2018
Loved the sites and beautiful countries but did not like how extremely rushed we always were. The accommodations were average to poor at times, in less than desired locations. The bus driver Alex was wonderful though!! So nice and friendly and helpful. Our tour manager, Ric, however was not. Quite unpleasant at times and a bit rude to some people on tour. Not approachable at all. Was honestly scared to ask him anything. He seemed quite annoyed with any type of question. He appeared quite burnt out honestly and that he no longer liked his job. Think the tour would've been much more enjoyable with another tour manager.
Traveled Oct 2018

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Teyernan Butcher
Traveled Oct 2018
Best purchase of my life!
Booked from Hervey Bay Traveled Oct 2018

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Kim Chung
Traveled Sep 2018
I would highly recommend the Best of Balkans (Start Split) trip! It exceeded my expectations with beautiful sites, fun activities, history lessons, delicious fresh food, and wonderful locals. Plitvice Lakes will blow your mind and photos just don't do the place justice. Ric was an excellent tour manager and Alex was a legend coach driver and both made our trip fantastic! Our tour group was phenomenal and we can't wait to meet up again for mini-Contiki reunions! This is my third Contiki Tour and my husband's second tour. Thank you Contiki for another amazing trip!
Traveled Sep 2018

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Monica Young
Traveled Sep 2018
I got to see the most beautiful places in such a short amount of time, most of which took me by complete surprise because I have to heard of them before. Close enough to each other that you didn't spend half of your time on the bus :) I would highly recommend Best of Balkans to anyone!
Traveled Sep 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Aug 2018
Overall I greatly enjoyed this tour. Both the tour guide and driver were knowledgable about the areas and helpful. This tour does move very fast at times and you have very limited down time and time to relax/ get ready for events. Doing this tour made me feel comfortable getting from place to place and getting through border crossings without stress. However, this is a never ending tour so people join at different points. This was kind of a bummer, I would have preferred to stay with the same group throughout the tour. Many of the travelers who got on in Budapest to go to Split were simply using it as a way to get to yacht week or sail Croatia and were a different group of travelers compared to those doing the whole Balkins tour.
Traveled Aug 2018

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Emma Ibbotson
Traveled Aug 2018
Great locations and activities. Great pace and really made the most out of each and every day we had in this beautiful part of the world
Traveled Aug 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Aug 2018
The changes to some of the hotels - original hotels certainly had a higher "value" as compared to the replacement ones. Value here as in proximity to the main areas (e.g. Split & Budva).
Traveled Aug 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Aug 2018
Good value for money. Wouldn’t manage to arrange this myself!
Traveled Aug 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Aug 2018
Good although the downgrade from a 4 star to a 3 star in Montenegro made me feel a bit cheated out of my money
Traveled Aug 2018

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Phyllis Lau
Traveled Aug 2018
4th Contiki tour... Absolutely no regrets.
Booked from Scotland Traveled Aug 2018

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Lewis Jones
Traveled Jul 2018
This trip was great! You got to visit some of the more touristy areas of the Balkans, as well as getting to some more undiscovered areas like Sarajevo and Belgrade. Plenty of add-ons as well as a good amount of free time, and the people on my trip were heaps of fun!
Booked from Brisbane Traveled Jul 2018

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Etienne Lebrun
Traveled Jul 2018
Le voyage couvre plusieurs pays et villes, tous aussi intéressants et fascinants les uns des autres.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Jul 2018
It was a great trip. Well organized.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Amanda Palermo
Traveled Jun 2018
The balkans were way more beautiful then I expected. This tour gives you the perfect amount of time in every place. It would be difficult to travel this area and get through all the boarders if traveling alone so I’m definitely glad I choose to do this trip with contiki, it was worry/stress free.
Traveled Jun 2018

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Anonymous
Traveled Jun 2018
Best trip ever! The places we visited were amazing! Made so many memories and lifelong friends! Never thought I would ever visited this part of the world but I am so glad I did! Trip of a lifetime that I will remember forever.
Traveled Jun 2018

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Noor Afian Abdul Rahman
Traveled May 2018
In the catalogs we are suppose to go Romania but didn't happen ??
Traveled May 2018

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Ivan Bekavac
Traveled Sep 2017
Highly recommend. Lots of fun
Traveled Sep 2017

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Anonymous
Traveled Sep 2017
Great destinations with lots to experience!
Traveled Sep 2017

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Matthieu Dalcourt
Traveled Sep 2017
Awesome as always. easy to purchase
Traveled Sep 2017

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