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.
Day 1 - Zagreb Welcomes Ted and Margaret
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
The day in Korcula started with Aleksandar behind the wheel who was in charge for safe & enchanting drive up to a panoramic viewpoint. There, with Sasa, their private local guide, Ted and Margaret enjoyed a nature walk, absorbing the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the dense forests that make the island a green oasis. Their exploration continued in the Old Town, a walled city rich in history. They strolled through narrow streets that echoed with tales of Marco Polo, believed to have been born here. The evening was leisurely spent, allowing them to indulge in the relaxed pace of island life.
Day 16 - A Day of Leisure and Discovery in Korcula
With no set plans, Ted and Margaret had the entire day to themselves. They could revisit the charming corners of the Old Town, perhaps enjoying a coffee in a quaint café, enjoy walks by the sea, sampling local delicacies, or discovering quaint shops, the day was theirs to savor.. The island, renowned for its local wines and olive oils, offered plenty of opportunities for culinary exploration.
Day 17 - From Korcula to Dubrovnik, via the Heart of Peljesac
Their departure from Korcula led through the scenic Peljesac Peninsula. Aleksandar drove them through the Old tunnel to Dingac area, a remarkable feat of local ingenuity used by winemakers to transport grapes. The journey through Dingac's renowned vineyards was a visual delight, with stops for pictures against the backdrop of sprawling vines. The later drive provided stunning views of the Elaphiti Islands and the Dubrovnik region, with a brief visit to the lush Trsteno Arboretum adding to the day's experiences. By the late afternoon, they arrived in Dubrovnik and settled into the luxurious Hotel Excelsior, their home for the next four nights.
Day 18 - Immersive Exploration of Dubrovnik
Starting from the Hotel Excelsior, Ted and Margaret's day was dedicated to unraveling the mysteries and beauties of Dubrovnik. Their guide, Tea, met them for a private walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, weaving through the city's storied streets. The highlight was an exclusive visit to a family-owned palace, a rare glimpse into the aristocratic life of old Dubrovnik.
In the afternoon, Aleksandar took them on a panoramic tour of the area. The drive to Srd Hill offered breathtaking views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. They also visited 90s war ruins of a hotels, a stark reminder of Dubrovnik’s recent past. Their day culminated in a visit to the War Museum in the Srd mountain fortress, followed by a sunset that painted the sky in stunning hues, offering them a moment of reflection over the city's turbulent history and present beauty.
Day 19 and 20 - Leisure and Culture in Dubrovnik
These days were theirs to explore at leisure. Ted and Margaret took the opportunity to walk the famed city walls of Dubrovnik, offering unparalleled views of the Old Town and the sea. They visited the Franciscan Monastery and its ancient pharmacy, one of the oldest in the world, still in operation. Their cultural immersion continued with a classical music event held in the Rector’s Palace, a venue that combines historic ambiance with artistic excellence. These two days allowed them to experience Dubrovnik's vibrant cultural scene and explore its historical treasures at their own pace.
Day 21 - Entering the Bay of Kotor
The day marked the beginning of their Montenegro chapter. Leaving Dubrovnik with Aleksandar, they crossed the border into Montenegro, greeted by the breathtaking Bay of Kotor. Their first stop at Verige offered stunning views of the bay. In Perast, they met Bojan, their local guide, who took them to the serene Our Lady of the Rocks island and through the picturesque streets of Perast. After enjoying a drink by the sea, they continued to Kotor. There, they checked into a boutique 5* hotel, delighting in a junior suite with a sea view. Bojan’s tour through Kotor's old town brought centuries of history to life. The evening was theirs to unwind and explore Kotor at their leisure.
Day 22 - Serpentine Roads and Lovcen National Park
The day was an adventure with Aleksandar driving them up the famous 25 serpentine roads to Njegusi, where mesmerizing views of Montenegro unfolded. They continued to Lovcen National Park, indulging in a nature walk and visiting the lofty mausoleum. The drive back down was thrilling, with the narrow road winding through breathtaking scenery. Lunch at Marenda, a top-rated steakhouse, was a culinary delight. The day ended with a leisurely late afternoon, allowing them to soak in the beauty and tranquility of the area.
Day 23 - Farewell to Montenegro, Hello Cavtat
Leaving Montenegro, they journeyed back to Croatia with Aleksandar, heading to the peaceful town of Cavtat. Along the way, they visited Molunat, Croatia's southernmost point, and made a stop at Pasjaca beach, a stunning beach carved into Konavle cliffs. Their stay in Cavtat was at the luxurious 5* Hotel Supetar, where they were greeted with exceptional hospitality. The day was a blend of natural beauty and the serenity of the Dubrovnik region.
Day 24 - Relaxing in Cavtat
Ted and Margaret spent their day leisurely exploring the charming town of Cavtat. This hidden gem on the Adriatic coast, known for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning waterfront, and rich historical heritage, offered them a peaceful retreat. They wandered along the picturesque promenade, visited local art galleries, and perhaps enjoyed a quiet moment at a seaside café, savoring the local cuisine and reflecting on their incredible journey.
Day 25 - A Quiet Day in Srebreno
With Hotel Supetar closing for the season, they moved to the 5* Sheraton Hotel in Srebreno. This day was another opportunity for relaxation and leisure. Srebreno, a tranquil coastal town, provided a serene backdrop for their final day in Croatia. They could stroll along the beach, enjoy the hotel's luxurious amenities, or simply relax in their elegant room, soaking in the views of the Adriatic Sea.
Day 26 - Farewell and Departure
Their memorable 26-day tour with Limitless Balkan came to an end. An early morning transfer from the Sheraton Hotel to Dubrovnik Airport marked their farewell to the Balkans. As they headed home, Ted and Margaret carried with them memories of scenic landscapes, historical insights, cultural experiences, and the warmth of Balkan hospitality, all woven into the fabric of their unforgettable journey.
As their 26-day private tour through the Balkans concluded, Ted and Margaret’s experiences underscored the essence of what Limitless Balkan strives to offer – a journey that intertwines luxury with the authentic spirit of each destination. Their 26-day private tailor-made tour through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro was a masterful blend of cultural immersion, historical exploration, and natural wonder. Every destination they visited was not just a stop but a deep engagement with the place and its people, facilitated by personalized guidance and insight. It was a journey that went beyond the usual, offering a deep, enriching experience that only a private tour can provide – a true inspiration for travelers seeking to explore the Balkans with elegance and depth. Ted and Margaret returned home not just with memories and photographs but with a profound connection to the Balkans, a connection fostered by the personalized touch and attention to detail that Limitless Balkan DMC as boutique travel agency provided. Their story is more than a travelogue; it's an inspiration for all who seek to explore the Balkans with depth, comfort, and exclusivity.
Bespoke Private Tours with Limitless Balkan Boutique Travel Agency
At Limitless Balkan DMC, we pride ourselves on creating tailor-made experiences that capture the heart and soul of the Balkans. Every intricate detail of this journey, from private transfers to exclusive experiences, speaks to our commitment to delivering exceptional luxury travel in Croatia and beyond.
Interested in embarking on your own Balkan adventure? Reach out to us at Limitless Balkan DMC and let us make your dream journey a reality.