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Black Sea Explorer with Best of the Balkans 2020
(Itinerary A)

24 days with Scenic  Rating: Deluxe

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Budapest
Welcome to the wondrous city of Budapest, one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cities. Upon arrival transfer to your luxurious hotel, and unpack for your overnight night stay. Tonight you will meet your fellow travellers and enjoy a delicious welcome dinner. (Dinner)

Day 2 Budapest - Zagreb
Today we head south and cross the Croatian border, travelling to the capital Zagreb. Located on the southern slopes of the Medvednica Mountain and on the banks of the Sava River, Zagreb is Croatia’s largest city and it beautifully encompasses its traditional European history with its modern function as the economical and governmental hub of the country. Upon arrival discover this majestic city on a guided tour. Then, check in to your hotel for your two night special stay. (Breakfast)

Day 3 Zagreb
Today, journey to beautiful Plitvice National Park. Wander meandering pathways that pass emerald green lakes, stepped and linked by magnificent waterfalls. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4 Zagreb - Sarajevo
This morning we leave Croatia and journey to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo is referred by many as the city with a soul; with its unique blend of Western and Eastern styles, the way of life and its pleasant and good natured people is what makes Sarajevo so alluring. This afternoon arrive at your hotel, your base for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5 Sarajevo
Explore the treasures of Sarajevo on a guided tour that includes Bascarsija in the heart of old Sarajevo, Gazi Husrev Beg’s Mosque and the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum.

Enrich
Tonight you’ll be treated to a private home-hosted dinner of traditional Bosnian cuisine where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about everyday life in Sarajevo. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6 Sarajevo - Dubrovnik
Today we head towards the beautiful Mediterranean coast towards the stunning city of Dubrovnik. On the way we stop in the beautiful city of Mostar. On your guided tour of the city, visit the Turkish house and the Old Bridge which was built by the Ottoman Empire in 1565. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing to Dubrovnik where you will be accommodated for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7 Dubrovnik
Today see Onofrio’s Fountain and visit the Old Pharmacy in the Franciscan Monastery.

Freechoice: Take a scenic journey through the pretty countryside, visit the Konavle villages and the town of Cavtat. Alternatively, if you’re feeling more energetic, walk Dubrovnik’s medieval ramparts.

This evening visit a local farm house where you will get to meet the owners and taste their delicious home grown produce during a mouth-watering dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8 Dubrovnik - Budva
After breakfast continue our journey to Montenegro; although the country is relatively small in terms of area, it boasts stunning mountainous landscapes, truly beautiful walled towns, dramatic coast lines and historic monuments. Today you will discover the Bay of Kotor, the pearl of the medieval Mediterranean, which is presented in its full beauty on your included guided tour. Kotor is locked between a cliff on one side and the blue Adriatic Sea on the other; here you will wander through labyrinths of narrow and cobblestoned streets and see all the major sights including the Romanesque Cathedral of St Triphun which is encircled by walls and the fortress, and included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Continuing through this beautiful region you will arrive at your overnight stay in the historic town of Budva. (Breakfast)

Day 9 Budva - Tirana
Today travel to the byzantine city and the capital of Albania, Tirana and check into your hotel. The city was founded as an Ottoman town in 1614, and since then it has become the largest city and capital of Albania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10 Tirana - Ohrid Lake
After breakfast enjoy your informative city tour of Tirana taking in sights such as Skanderbeg Square, the Clock Tower and the Et’hem Bey Mosque. This afternoon we journey from Albania to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the fascinating town of Ohrid Lake. The area has been declared a World Heritage protected site due to its outstanding natural beauty, historical and cultural heritage, this is your base for the next two nights.

Enrich
This evening enjoy a traditional Macedonian dinner and folklore show in a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 11 Ohrid Lake
Today we enjoy an Included tour of Ohrid town. With its temples, ruins and Byzantine basilicas, Ohrid is considered one of the most ancient towns in the Balkans. The name Ohrid comes from its location – built on a hill; the whole town is surrounded by walls and its Fortress is considered to be the oldest and best-preserved in Macedonia.

Freechoice: Visit the Monastery of St Naum or enjoy a cooking class in a local village. Alternatively take a guided hike through the Galicica National Park. (Breakfast)

Day 12 Ohrid Lake - Sofia
Your first stop today is Skopje which has been inhabited since 4000 BC. Skopje was part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, these influences are still present in this modern capital. Continuing our journey we arrive in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and our centrally located hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 13 Sofia
With your local guide, you’ll get to discover neo-classical Stalinist architecture, tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th-century Russian and Viennese architects. (Breakfast)

Day 14 Sofia - Bucharest
This morning enjoy the landscapes of Bulgaria as we journey to the Romanian capital of Bucharest for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 15 Bucharest > Giurgiu
Freechoice: Explore Bucharest and learn about its communist past, including a visit to Ceausescu’s Spring Palace. Or tour the Village Open Air Museum and discover ethnography exhibits depicting Romanian heritage and culture.

Later, travel to Giurgiu where you will be personally welcomed by your friendly dedicated staff on board your luxury Scenic Space-Ship. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 Silistra
Freechoice: Discover Silistra Fort during an active walking tour, or take an excursion to Varna on the Black Sea coast. Alternatively, visit a local village and primary school to learn about life in Bulgaria. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 17 Rousse
Freechoice: Visit Rousse, where you’ll be treated to a guided sightseeing tour. Alternatively, discover the Byzantine gem of Veliko Tarnovo and the World Heritage-listed village of Arbanassi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 18 Iron Gates
Relax and admire the scenery as you cruise the spectacular Iron Gates, a narrow gorge that the Danube has carved out between the Carpathian and Balkan Mountains. It’s a spectacular setting for a cruise and also the natural border between Serbia and Romania. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 19 Belgrade
Freechoice: Enjoy an in-depth tour of one of Europe’s oldest capitals, Belgrade, including a visit to Tito’s Memorial, or take an orientation tour of Belgrade and see the highlights before time at leisure to wander this fascinating city. Alternatively, choose a guided bicycle ride along the Danube, or for some true insight into everyday life, take a walk through the city with a student. Or, journey to Sremski Karlovci, where you can wander the town with our experts and marvel at the beautiful Baroque elements.

Enrich
Visit the largest orthodox temple in the Balkans, St. Sava and enjoy a choir performance in the Temple Crypt. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 20 Osijek
Freechoice: Explore Osijek on a guided city tour, or if you’re the more active type, you can opt to take a blissful guided bike ride through Osijek’s countryside.

As a special Scenic guest, you’ll be invited into the home of a local family for a traditional home-cooked meal and the chance to discover what everyday life is really like in Croatia. With great food and wonderful company, this will be a magnificent meal and a rare opportunity to meet people who understand the local way of life intimately. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 21 Kalocsa
Located on the Great Hungarian Plain, Kalocsa is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. Today you will have the opportunity to witness a traditional Puszta horse show. Be greeted by the horsemen of the Puszta region where this type of activity has been practised for centuries. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 22 Budapest
Today cruise into the mighty city of Budapest, you will be awe-struck by the sheer beauty of this city. Disembark your ship and join your local guide on a tour of the city. Your guided tour will finish at your hotel, where you will check in for your two night stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 23 Budapest
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore this magnificent city. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 24 Budapest
After breakfast, prepare to head home. It may be the end of your journey, but it’s the beginning of a lifetime of fond memories. (Breakfast)

Tour Map
All This Included
Discover the best of the Balkans on this luxury 24-day round-trip tour and cruise from Budapest, one of Europe's oldest and most beautiful cities.
  • 51 meals including 23 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches and 17 Dinners
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard Scenic Crystal or Scenic Ruby
Notes
  • Itineraries are subject to change.
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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