Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure in one of the world’s most diverse regions?
If you answered YES, a Balkans tour could be right up your alley, allowing you to discover many hidden gems across Eastern Europe.
From historical sites to beautiful coastlines, there are many unique experiences that make this region exceptionally alluring.
I have put together this Balkans itinerary based on my experience on the 9 Day Best of Balkans Tour with Travel Talk Tours.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about booking a Balkans trip!
OVERVIEW – 9 DAY BALKANS TOUR
Here is an overview of the 9-day Balkans tour with Travel Talk Tours:
- Day 1: Arrival in Sofia
- Day 2: Sofia to Belgrade
- Day 3: Belgrade to Sarajevo
- Day 4: Mostar and Trebinje
- Day 5: Dubrovnik
- Day 6: Kotor and Shkoder
- Day 7: Tirana and Ohrid
- Day 8: Ohrid and Skopje
- Day 9: Skopje and Sofia
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE 9-DAY BALKANS TRIP
Below is a list of what is included in the Balkan itinerary with Travel Talk Tours:
- Accommodation in 4-star hotels
- 8 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- Air-conditioned, modern coach to get around the Balkans
- Where available, complimentary hotel and coach Wi-Fi
- Airport transfer from Sofia Airport on day 1
- Experienced Travel Talk local guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY BEST OF BALKANS TOUR
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE 9-DAY BALKAN TRIP ITINERARY?
Below is a list of what is not included on the tour:
- Flight tickets
- Travel insurance
- Optional activities
- Tips and donations
- Entrance fees to the sights and museums
- Other services not stated in the itinerary
9-DAY BALKANS TOUR ITINERARY
So without further ado, let’s dive into this Balkans trip itinerary!
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN SOFIA
The first stop on this Balkan itinerary is Sofia, Bulgaria. As you arrive at the airport, you’ll be taken to the hotel with your Travel Talk guide since airport pick-up is included.
Get ready to settle in and meet your fellow travelers, and at around 7 pm your guide will host a welcome meeting where you’ll receive all the essential information about the tour.
Be sure to listen carefully, as this will set you up for an unforgettable adventure!
After that, around 8:15 pm, join an optional group dinner where you’ll taste some delicious local cuisine and explore the charming streets of Sofia.
I recommend getting a good night’s rest as day 2 is a travel day from Sofia to Belgrade, Serbia.
DAY 2: SOFIA TO BELGRADE
Start your day with a hearty breakfast to fuel yourself for an adventure-packed day in Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia.
You will be staying at the luxurious 4-star Abba Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the city, with easy access to all the tourist hotspots.
Upon arrival, your tour guide will give you a 1-hour walking tour of the city and after that, you’ll have free time to grab some lunch at a local restaurant and explore the sights.
From the Belgrade Fortress, enjoy the breathtaking view of the Danube and Sava rivers, and experience the bustling main street of Knez Mihailova.
Discover the fascinating stories behind St. Sava Temple, Republic Square, Terazije Square, and much more – that’s right, your guide knows it all!
Be sure to indulge in the local cuisine, visit the traditional Sarma stalls, and sip on the infamous Slivovitz.
As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun, but don’t worry, you have the entire afternoon to explore the bustling capital city of Serbia.
DAY 3: BELGRADE TO SARAJEVO
The tour continues on day 3 from Belgrade to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city, a place that has been through the ruffest of times.
Discover the scars of war through the bullet and cannon holes that are scattered throughout the city, while also discovering its unique beauty during a walking tour of the old town.
The local cuisine is also not to be missed, especially the mouthwatering lamb dishes.
After fueling up, you’ll have free time to roam around, soaking up the history and beauty of this vibrant city.
For a panoramic view of Sarajevo, head up the hill to the Yellow Fortress, afterward grab a cold beer at the local brewery, or simply walk along the edges of the river that cuts through the city.
The accommodation in Sarajevo is the stylish and comfortable Hotel Ibis Styles where you can get some well-deserved rest before the next leg of this Balkans itinerary.
DAY 4: MOSTAR & TREBINJE
On day 4, you’re in for a treat as you venture to the pearl of Herzegovina – Mostar. I guarantee you’ll be in awe as soon as you arrive.
A walking tour is included with a local guide where you can bask in the beauty and history of the Old Town.
You’ll have free time to explore the iconic Stari Mostar Bridge, go shopping at the markets, and have lunch at one of many local venues in town, each offering breathtaking views of the bridge.
After that, an optional activity you won’t want to miss is the trip to the Kravice Waterfalls.
Dive into the crystal-clear waters and enjoy a relaxing afternoon beneath the falls. It’ll be the cherry on top of a perfect day on the Balkans tour!
Finally, jump back on the coach for a 2-hour drive to Trebinje for an overnight stay at the 4-star Central Park Hotel.
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY BEST OF BALKANS TOUR
DAY 5: DUBROVNIK
Day 5 on the Balkan itinerary is a full-day trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most popular city, especially for Game of Thrones fans!
The UNESCO Heritage Old Town is surrounded by towering city walls and the striking orange-tiled roofs can be seen from afar.
Start the day with a guided walking tour that will take you on a journey through the town’s rich history.
Afterward, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore on your own. Some highlights include walking atop the mighty walls, getting lost in the narrow streets, and swimming at one of the many stunning beaches along the coast.
I also recommend joining today’s optional activity which is a boat trip to Kolocep Island where you can enjoy free drinks on the boat, lunch at a seaside restaurant, and a swim at the beach to cool off.
This day trip to Dubrovnik was personally the highlight of the Balkans trip, and the day ends back at the hotel in Trebinje for the night.
DAY 6: KOTOR & SHKODER
On day 6, the Balkan trip itinerary continues to Kotor and Shkoder from Trebinje. Try your best to score a window seat on the coach because this route boasts picturesque views.
Once you arrive, prepare to be taken aback by the beauty of Kotor, a fortified town in Montenegro.
Your expert local guide will take you on a walking tour of the old town, where you’ll get to admire the charming medieval citadel and characteristic architecture.
And of course, you’ll have a few hours of free time and I recommend taking the hiking trail to the Lady of Remedy Church for a panoramic view of Kotor.
After that, it’s time to venture to Shkoder, Albania where you’ll experience the true authenticity of Albanian culture.
And while Albania has an infamous reputation, it’s a stunning country part of this Balkans trip.
Spend the afternoon exploring the city center where you’ll see stunning landmarks like the Ebu Bekr Mosque, as well as a selection of great restaurants for a hearty dinner.
After a jam-packed day, get a good night’s rest at the Grand Hotel Europa.
DAY 7: TIRANA & OHRID
The next destination on this Balkans trip itinerary is Tirana, Albania’s capital city, which is home to a vibrant art scene and boasts impressive architecture.
Enjoy a walking tour of the city which will give you a glimpse of its wonders, from the stunning Skanderbeg Square to the famous Et’hem Bey Mosque.
Afterward, the tour continues to Ohrid in North Macedonia, and after a breezy check-in at Hotel Aqualina, you’ll have to opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the lake.
On this night is the optional Balkan dinner and performance where you can experience authentic Macedonian culture and cuisine.
There’s simply no better way to enjoy the 7th day of this Balkans itinerary!
DAY 8: OHRID & SKOPJE
Before leaving this wonderful lakeside city, a guided tour is included for you to discover its UNESCO-protected lake, the Monastery of Saint Naum, the medieval fortress, and more!
Of course, you’ll have free time to take a stroll along the lake and through the charming Old Bazaar, where traditional crafts and cuisine blend seamlessly with modern-day shops and cafes.
Then it’s time to head off to Skopje, the bustling and modern capital of North Macedonia.
Once checked into the hotel, you’ll have free time to explore and grab dinner in the nearby neighborhood, or simply take some rest and save your energy for a city tour the following day.
DAY 9: SKOPJE & SOFIA
On day 9, the last day of this Balkans itinerary, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel before exploring the mesmerizing city of Skopje with a local guide.
Have your camera ready to take photos of this stunning city including the legendary statue of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian Arc de Triumph, Macedonia Square, and more!
After this exhilarating tour, enjoy some free time to check out other landmarks and bustling streets filled with bars and cafes.
You’ll then leave for Sofia in the afternoon where the Balkans tour will come to a close.
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY BEST OF BALKANS TOUR
BALKANS ITINERARY – FAQ
Now that we’ve covered everything you must know about the Balkan itinerary with Travel Talk Tours, here are some frequently asked questions from first-time visitors.
WHERE ARE THE BALKANS?
The Balkans, also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic region in southeastern Europe.
It’s bounded by the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean seas) and the Marmara Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.
Its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava, and Kupa Rivers.
The region includes many countries, which are Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, Croatia, Greece, and Slovenia.
Parts of Turkey and Italy are also located within the geographical region of the Balkans.
HOW TO GET TO THE BALKANS?
The Balkans is easily accessible from many parts of Europe.
The best way to get to the Balkans is to fly to Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia International Airport (SOF) is well-connected with major cities worldwide.
Airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, and Turkish Airlines, among others, operate regular flights to Sofia.
Once you’ve landed in Sofia, I highly recommend taking a guided tour with a reputable company like Travel Talk Tours.
They offer various tours that explore different parts of the Balkans, providing deep insights into the region’s history, culture, and natural wonders.
COST OF A BALKANS TOUR?
If you’re considering a tour of the Balkans, it’s essential to budget accordingly.
On average, for an organized tour with a company like Travel Talk, you can expect to pay around $1050 per person.
This typically includes accommodation, transportation between destinations, local tour guides, and some meals.
For optional tours, activities, additional meals, and souvenirs, it’s wise to budget an extra $50 per person per day.
This allows you to enjoy local experiences, taste regional cuisine, and bring home some souvenirs.
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY BEST OF BALKANS TOUR
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE BALKANS?
The optimal time to visit the Balkans depends on your personal preferences and planned activities.
Generally, the most pleasant times are during spring (March to May) and fall (September to October) when the weather is typically mild and the landscapes are at their most vibrant.
Summers (June to August) can be hot and crowded but are perfect for beachgoers. Winters are cold, especially in mountainous areas, but they’re great for winter sports.
DO I NEED DIFFERENT CURRENCIES & SIM CARDS?
In the diverse Balkans region, different countries use different currencies and sim cards.
For instance, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, and Greece use the Euro, while nations like Bulgaria and Albania have their own currencies.
Therefore, it’s wise to have some local currency on hand for each country you visit.
To stay connected, consider purchasing prepaid SIM cards from local telecom providers in each country.
When traveling in multiple countries, like on this Balkans tour, I recommend getting an e-sim card, so you won’t need to buy a local sim in each country.
That said, remember that WiFi is always available at hotels on tour with Travel Talk!
Forget plastic SIM Cards… Get an eSIM!
Say hello to eSIM – a virtual SIM card pre-loaded with mobile data so you can get online and stay connected around the world.
OneSimCard is the best eSIM for travel, with low-cost data packages available in 150+ countries.
Simply buy online, install it on your smartphone, and you’re good to go!
DO I NEED A VISA FOR THE BALKANS?
Visa requirements for the Balkans vary depending on your nationality and the countries you plan to visit.
Most Western tourists, including those from the EU, UK, USA, Canada, and Australia, can enter many Balkan countries without a visa for stays up to 90 days.
These countries include Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia, Albania, and Bulgaria.
However, some countries like Kosovo might have specific entry requirements.
For other nationalities, a visa may be required. It’s always recommended to check online for each country you plan to visit for the most up-to-date visa information.
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE BALKANS?
When visiting the Balkans, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Hidden Money Wallet
Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!
Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!
The Nomatic Travel Backpack has 20+ innovative features, perfect for everyday use!
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
The most compact, lightweight, and quick-dry towel for traveling!
Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!
SUMMARY – BALKANS ITINERARY
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about this Balkans tour, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
Search and book accommodation worldwide.
Compare and book cheap flights to anywhere.
Find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world.
Book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance.
Search all rental cars in your next destination.
Need travel insurance for your next trip?
THANKS FOR READING
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