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Exploring the Balkans: A Tailored 26-Day tour through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Montenegro


Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor: "The stunning Bay of Kotor as seen from the Verige viewpoint."
Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor: "The stunning Bay of Kotor as seen from the Verige viewpoint."

Step into the captivating and diverse world of the Balkans with our latest blog post, detailing Ted and Margaret’s remarkable 26-day journey. Curated by Limitless Balkan, this tailor-made tour traversed the scenic coasts of Croatia, the historic landscapes of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the rugged beauty of Montenegro. Readers will be transported to the cobbled streets of Mostar, the lush National Parks of Croatia, and the serene shores of the Adriatic Sea. Alongside expert private guides and drivers, they experienced a world where luxury meets history and culture. Their travels were sprinkled with unique experiences, such as truffle hunting in Istria, visit to the private palace in Dubrovnik and sunset views from Srd Hill, all while indulging in the comfort of boutique accommodations, making their journey through the Balkans a tapestry of exclusive and unforgettable moments.



Sunset from Srd Hill: "A stunning sunset over Dubrovnik and the Adriatic from Srd Hill."
Sunset from Srd Hill: "A stunning sunset over Dubrovnik and the Adriatic from Srd Hill."

 


Day 1 - Zagreb Welcomes Ted and Margaret



Arriving to Hotel Esplanade, Zagreb in style
Hotel Esplanade, Zagreb

After their flight from the USA, Ted and Margaret arrived in Zagreb, a city where history and modernity coexist. Aleksandar, their guide, was waiting to greet them and escort them to the Hotel Esplanade, an architectural gem dating back to 1925, known for its blend of comfort and luxury. Their first evening was spent in the comfort of their deluxe room, resting and anticipating the days ahead.















 


Day 2 - Zagreb, The Heart of Croatia




Zagreb, with its Austro-Hungarian architecture and vibrant street life, unfolded before them. Their private walking tour covered the historic Upper Town, home to the iconic St. Mark’s Church, known for its colorful tiled roof. The panoramic car tour introduced them to Novi Zagreb, a testament to the city’s expansion and modernization, and the Green Horseshoe, a string of parks and architectural marvels. The evening offered them a chance to explore streets of Zagreb at their leisure.



 

Day 3 - The Charm of Varazdin




The next day, they ventured to Varazdin, a city that captivates with its baroque buildings and the well-preserved Varazdin Castle. Karlo, their guide, shared stories of the town's past as Croatia's former capital and its remarkable preservation of baroque and rococo architecture. They returned to Zagreb in the evening, filled with memories of Varazdin's elegance.



 

Day 4 - From Zagreb to Istria's Culinary Heartland




Ted and Margaret's adventure led them from Zagreb’s bustling streets to the tranquil countryside of Istria.

The day was marked by a truffle hunting expedition, a tradition deeply rooted in Istrian culture. They joined the Karlic family in the forests, following the scent of truffles with experienced dogs. A cooking class followed, turning their finds into a gastronomic delight. The day ended at the Spirito Santo Palace in Rovinj, a hotel that perfectly encapsulates the blend of historic charm and modern luxury.



 

Day 5 - Pula's Historic Might and Rovinj's Coastal Beauty




Their exploration continued in Pula, where they marveled at the ancient Roman amphitheater, a colossal structure that stands as a testament to the city’s historical significance. In Bale, they experienced the rich taste of Istrian olive oil, a cornerstone of the region's cuisine. The day concluded with a guided stroll through Rovinj's enchanting old town, winding through streets that echo with centuries of history.


 


Day 6 - The Enchanting Brijuni National Park




From Fazana, they embarked on a boat to the Brijuni Islands, an archipelago known for its diverse flora, fauna, and historical sites, including Roman villa ruins and a safari park. A private guide led them through the island's intriguing past and natural beauty. After a day of discovery, they returned to the tranquil streets of Rovinj for a relaxing evening.



 


Day 7 - From Istrian Charm to Plitvice's Natural Splendor




The journey led Ted and Margaret away from the coastal allure of Istria to the majestic Velebit mountains. Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its cascading lakes and waterfalls, was their destination. They paused for a hearty lunch at Degenija Restaurant before immersing themselves in the park's upper lakes, guided by Aleksandar. A hidden viewpoint provided them a breathtaking glimpse of the lower lakes, a prelude to their stay at Hotel Fenomen. Their evening was spent leisurely, soaking in the tranquility of their surroundings.



 

Day 8 - Plitvice's Lower Lakes Exploration




Despite the rain's gentle patter, the allure of Plitvice's lower lakes was undiminished. Aleksandar led them through an easy walk, revealing the unique beauty of each waterfall and lake, a dance of nature's finest elements. The rest of the day was theirs to relax at Hotel Fenomen, perhaps reminiscing about the park's natural wonders or enjoying the hotel's amenities.


 

Day 9 - Zadar's Ancient Echoes and Split's Living History




The morning departure from Plitvice led Ted and Margaret to the ancient city of Zadar. Here, Luca, their guide, revealed the city's rich history, from the Roman Forum to the modern Sea Organ and Sun Salutation installations that marry ancient history with contemporary art. The afternoon saw them continuing to Split, a city etched in Ted's memory since the 1960s. Staying at the Hotel Murum, they found themselves in a luxurious room steeped in history, right in the heart of this vibrant city.


 


Day 10 - Timeless Charm of Trogir and Split’s Diocletian Legacy




Danijela introduced them to Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where every stone tells a story of the city's Greek, Roman, and Venetian past. The afternoon was spent back in Split, exploring the remnants of Diocletian’s Palace and walking the Riva, where centuries-old traditions blend seamlessly with modern life.


 

Day 11 - Rediscovering Split Through Memory and Change




This day was left open for Ted and Margaret to explore Split leisurely. Ted revisited the locations of his old photographs, creating a bridge between his past and present in this historic city. The couple enjoyed a relaxed pace, absorbing the essence of Split's enduring charm.


 


Day 12 - Mostar's Enchanting Heritage




The journey from Split led Ted and Margaret to Mostar, a city where East meets West in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At Hotel Kriva Cuprija, nestled near the iconic Stari Most bridge, they experienced Bosnian hospitality. Their guide, Amna, unveiled the charms of Mostar's Old Town, including the legendary bridge, a symbol of connection and resilience. A visit to the Old Turkish House Kajtaz, an authentic Ottoman-era residence, provided a window into the traditional Bosnian lifestyle. The evening in Mostar was a serene affair, allowing them to absorb the city’s unique atmosphere.


 


Day 13 - Sarajevo's Resilient Spirit




Sarajevo greeted them with its poignant history and vibrant culture. Mohammed, their guide, started their journey at the Tunnel of Hope, a key site during the 90s war, offering a deep understanding of the city's recent past. The tour continued into Sarajevo's heart, where the blend of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian influences is palpable. They savored local flavours during a lunch break before exploring more of the city's rich history. The day concluded with a return to Mostar, reflecting on Sarajevo's enduring spirit.


 


Day 14 - From Ston's Walls to Korcula's Charm




Departing Mostar, they journeyed towards the Dalmatian coast. Their first stop was Ston, known for its extensive medieval walls and salt pans. In Mali Ston, they delved into the world of oysters, enjoying a fresh seafood experience right from the sea. The day also featured a visit to Milos Winery, where they indulged in fine Croatian wines and learned about local viticulture. The final leg of the day brought them to Korcula Island. Here, the historic Hotel Korcula awaited them with its luxurious seaside suite, promising a serene island retreat.


 


Day 15 - Korcula's Enchantment Unveiled