See the epoch of ancient art at Athen’s Parthenon, wander around the sanctuary of Delphi, and admire the ancient Diocletian palace of Split.
Ancient gods, kings, and emperors were high maintenance. They’d demand tremendous temples, pompous palaces, and gargantuan gardens. But this is great for you, because they look flippin’ marvellous! On this adventure, you see the epoch of ancient art at Athen’s Parthenon, wander around the rich, ruined sanctuary of Delphi, and admire the ancient Diocletian palace of Split. What’s more is this trip isn’t just about the rich and famous, because you also get down and dirty in the tunnels of Sarajevo and neck shots with the locals of Belgrade.
We spend 9 days exploring Croatia, Greece, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia. We visit Split, Athens, Thessaloniki, Delphi, Lake Orhid, Skopje, Belgrade, Niš, Sarajevo.
What Is Included...
Your fantastic Busabout crew
8 nights’ accommodation
All coach transport
Orientation walks of Thessaloniki, Nis and Split
Mostar local guide
Delphi local guide, plus site and museum entrance
Balkan Trail Starts at 7:30am at Athenstyle, Athens
The Tour Ends at 9:30am at Golly & Bossy, Split
When We Go
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9 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Athens to Delphi to Thessaloniki
This morning we depart Athens for Thessaloniki with a stop off in Delphi around lunch. Perched on the slope of Mount Parnassus, Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site best known as the home of the Oracle of Apollo, and where many great leaders met to seek the council of the Gods. There is an included tour of the city with a local guide and entry into the museum. We arrive at Thessaloniki in the early evening ready for another delicious Greek meal, and then set out to explore the capital of Greek Macedonia with its quirky vibe, rich history and many archaeological sites and ruins.
Day 2: Thessaloniki to Ohrid
We depart Thessaloniki early this morning towards Macedonia on our jaunt to Ohrid. Situated on Lake Ohrid this is a UNESCO Cultural and Natural site. This city is home to a cornucopia of churches (Ohrid is known for having 365 churches, one for each day of the calendar year), a monastery, and the vestiges of many ancient basilicas. There will be an optional walking tour in order to better highlight the sights available in this picturesque lakeside city. Then we will enjoy a traditional Macedonian meal. There will be ample time to then take in some sites or perhaps relax alongside the lake and its calm waters.
Day 3: Ohrid to Skopje
We will be departing in the late morning, leaving plenty of time for a quick swim in Lake Ohrid. We then set a northerly course for the Macedonian capital city of Skopje. Located on the Vardar River, Skopje is home to a several examples of Roman architecture. Upon arrival we have an optional walking tour to help you acclimatise to your new surroundings. Then feel free to explore the Roman ruins, aqueduct, and Skopje Fortress. Tonight check out the diverse nightlife on offer in Skopje, ranging from live music to casinos and nightclubs. There’s something for everyone here!
Day 4: Skopje to Nis to Belgrade
We depart early on our journey into the heart of Serbia, en route we will stop for lunch in one of the oldest Balkan cities, Nis. This ancient city was once considered the gateway between the East and West, and after lunch, upon our departure, it will be our gateway to Belgrade. We arrive in the Serbian capital in the afternoon, where will have an optional walking tour to help you get your bearings followed by a pub crawl to soak up Belgrade’s friendly party atmosphere (and cheap drinks!). Join us for dinner in a traditional Serbian restaurant before heading out for the evening to enjoy the spectrum of entertainment options available, with a favourite being the party barges or splav, as they are locally known.
Day 5: Belgrade
Explore Belgrade and its many attractions, including churches, the Old Palace, museums, the parliamentary buildings, and many more. Those interested in scientific pursuit and the history should visit the Nikola Tesla Museum, this archive of his life’s work contains numerous designs, drawings, photographs, and thousands of original documents that could not been seen elsewhere. For those looking to relax in the scenic surrounds or delve into the local history should visit Kalemegdan Park and Fortress and have a lazy walk through the pristine and extremely culturally significant park. This evening we have an included authentic Serbian dinner followed by a free night to continue the party in this dynamic city.
Day 6: Belgrade to Sarajevo
Today we head west to the Bosnia and Herzegovina border, along a route that would have been marched by Serbian soldiers during the atrocities of the 1990s. We arrive in the late afternoon, giving you some time to explore Sarajevo, a true melting pot of faiths, containing churches, synagogues, and mosques. Having survived a four-year siege the city has a painful history going back to the Bosnian War. Tonight explore the emerging, vibrant nightlife of the area. There are numerous cafes, clubs, and bars in which to share a drink and story with the locals.
Day 7: Sarajevo
Today we begin with an optional walking tour of the city as well as an excursion to the Tunnel of Hope, which linked Sarajevo to her allies during the siege. Sarajevo played host to the Winter Olympics in 1984 and hasn’t lost its Olympic spirit, check out the old Olympic venues and grab some street food. There is also the Old Bazaar, or Bascarsija as it is locally known, which is the cultural and historical hub of the city. Tonight we will be enjoying the local cuisine at the (in)famous Sarajevo Brewery, prepare for a few pints!
Day 8: Sarajevo to Mostar to Split
We depart for Split early this morning with a stop in Mostar around lunch. There is an included walking tour with a local guide to fully acquaint you with the area, then visit the Bridge Museum and watch as professional divers defy the odds diving from the bridge. We make our way after lunch and arrive this evening in the coastal gem of Split, Croatia. With heavy hearts and fond memories we share our final dinner of the tour with some of the finest seafood Croatia has to offer. See the majestic walls of the ancient Diocletian’s Palace and then enjoy your final night out. Split comes alive at night with its varied selection of bars, clubs and cafes with something for everyone!
Day 9: Split
Enjoy your final breakfast before your departure. We hope to see you again, and if you’re continuing your journey on our Hop-on Hop-off network, the next stop is Venice via Zadar!
This tour connects with the following trips
All of our tours are designed to link to each other. The Balkan Trail connects to these great trips.