Take to the Dalmatian coast as you head from the gorgeous Croatian coastal cities of Split and ancient Dubrovnik, through the fjords of Kotor towards the vibrancy of Sarajevo and finally ending up in Budapest. This one uncovers this underrated part of the world, showcasing 5 incredible countries in just 11 days.
What better way to understand Sarajevo than to meet the locals in their own homes? Sit and dine with a multigenerational family as they serve you a traditional Bosnian meal of stuffed vine leaves and onions, burek, potatoes and cabbage, along with traditional coffee and wine. As you eat, the family will tell you stories of how they have bounced back since the horrific Bosnian War, and how Sarajevo has a whole has gone from a bombsite into one of the most vibrant emerging cities in Europe.
With its world-famous cascading waterfalls, Plitvice National Park is an unmissable stop in Croatia. This natural paradise is yours to explore, and as you hike through its forestland your jaw will drop at the sparkling lakes and tumbling waterfalls.
Thermal baths are a Hungarian tradition, and none is more traditional that Szechenyi, which is over 100 years old and has hosted around 100 milion bathers in its warm medicinal waters. With 18 pools offering plenty of space to soak and unwind, you can also get a massage, enjoy the saunas or hit the gym.
Learn all about how this hearty Hungarian meal is made, as your master chef for the day takes you through each vital ingredient. Then you'll be served a feast and have some drinks with your Contiki fam before being handed your own traditional Goulash recipe card so you can show off your skills when you return home.
This rebuilt Ottoman bridge emulates a 16th century piece of gorgeous Islamic architecture, which was tragically destroyed during the Croat-Bosniak war. The rebuilt bridge opened in July 2004, and has retained its unique beauty and soaring rainbow arch. For 477 years it has also been the site of a traditional dive competition, in which local young men take the (very dangerous) plunge into the freezing waters below.
As you paddle across the Adriatic coast - with a backdrop of cragged limestone mountains – you can gawp at one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, with the towering walls and palaces, fountains and facades all demonstrating why this was one of the most important trading ports in the world. There’s a reason Dubrovnik is such a natural filming location for Game of Thrones, in which it goes by the name King’s Landing.
With its spa, jacuzzi and fitness centre, Hotel Adria, Dubrovnik is the perfect place to reenergise. But the real showstopper is the rooftop pool, overlooking the beautiful Gruz Bay below.