Croatia & Bosnia Tour of History and Cultural Exploration

The Old Bridge - Stari Most - in Mostar, Bosnia.
A 8 day trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina & Croatia 
4.92 out of 5 stars
12 reviews

Experience the turbulent past and vibrant re-invention of Central Europe, as you explore the streets of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. A truly unique experience awaits the intrepid luxury traveler who embarks on this journey through the Baroque streets of Dubrovnik, under the bridges of Mostar and into the enchanted forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park.  Ever surrounded by the presence diverse individuals, magnificent architecture and an ongoing stream of fresh local flavours, this experience caters to each of your senses, and most definitely your mind. Enjoy the mystery, mystique and promise that these inimitable destinations offer to those who choose to explore them. 

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General Information

The cathedral in Zagreb, Croatia.
Bicycle in courtyard in Zagreb, Croatia.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Dubrovnik, Mostar, Sarajevo, Osijek, Djakovo, Zagreb, Plitvice National Park, Zadar, Split

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik – Welcome to Croatia!

Today, adventure begins as your international flight descends over the city of Dubrovnik. Peering out your window, you will likely catch your first glimpse of the orange roofs and perimeter wall that epitomize this historic city. After disembarking and collecting your baggage, you will then meet a private chauffeur who will drive you from the airport to your luxury hotel of choice. Spend what remains of your afternoon gradually adjusting to the Croatian way of life. Consider strolling through the Old Town or out along the pebbled beaches and rock ledges that fringe the region more broadly. Orientate yourself westwards, perhaps with a glass of local Croatian wine in hand, as you watch your first Central European sunset. After dark, flavors of the Mediterranean will come alive over a candlelit dinner before you retire to your lavish surroundings for the night.

Day 2: Travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Visiting the City of Bridges on Route to the Capital, Sarajevo

Following a seaside breakfast, this morning you will travel east towards the Bosnia and Herzegovina border. After crossing, you will descend down into the valley of the Neretva River, eventually arriving at the City of Bridges: Mostar. Also recognized as the cultural capital of Herzegovina, you will travel towards the iconic Old Bridge. Though initially built by the Ottoman Empire, the bridge and the surrounding region has numerous cultural influences that pay homage to the diversity and turbulence of the past. The recent restoration by UNESCO preserves this site not just as one of the Islamic World’s finest pieces of Balkan architecture, but also as a symbol of regional reconciliation and multiculturalism. Wander the perimeter learning about the nuances of this stunning town, before returning to the vehicle to journey onwards to Sarajevo. 

You will arrive in Sarajevo in the afternoon, with just enough time to learn briefly about this capital’s contentious past. A city tour will share with you stories about the divide of the Western and Central Roman Empire, and the clashes between Central Orthodox, Ottoman and Roman Catholics. Equally as important, however, are the emergent stories of reconciliation and integration that have come out of a turbulent past. As you wander the streets of Sarajevo, you will bear witness to the rebirth of this vibrant city as a multitude of Muslim, Christian and Jewish songs and chimes swirl out of mosques, cathedrals and temples and out into the air around you.   

Day 3: Return to Croatia, Arriving in Baroque-Infused City of Osijek, on the Banks of the Drava River  

This morning you will return to Croatia, arriving in the city of Osijek on the edge of the Drava River. Heralded as the gastronomical capital of the country, today will be filled with regional flavors of game and produce amidst striking Baroque architecture. As one of Croatia’s most important towns, Osijek suffered greatly during the war. Though much reconstruction has occurred in the years since, signs of violence remain permanently etched into the facades of many buildings and homes; the most notable being the partially reconstructed National Theater. Between meals you will have the opportunity to explore the town on a guided tour. Wander through the stained glass walls of the Cathedral of St. Peter before entering the Tvrjda (the Old Fort), an 18th century Baroque military compound. Follow promenades along the riverbank in the late afternoon, before settling in to your next meal.

Day 4: Drive to Croatia’s Capital, Zagreb, Stopping in Djakovo on Route to Visit the Stunning Cathedral

Departing from Osijek in the early morning, you will continue towards Zagreb, stopping en route when the peaks of Djakovo’s Cathedral of St. Peter soar above the horizon. Heralded by Pope John XIII as the most beautiful cathedral between Venice and Istanbul, you will have an opportunity to stretch your legs as you wander through the intricately adorned interior.

Afterwards, you will continue on towards the capital. In recent years, Zagreb has re-invented itself as a distinct and ever-welcoming European city. Cafes spill excitedly out onto the surrounding sidewalks, while culture and history radiate from local monuments and sites. As a pleasantly walkable city, you will have the remainder of the afternoon to stroll along Lenuci’s Horseshoe, a lush walkway fringed by the Croatian National Theatre, the Botanical Gardens, and other Baroque era masterpieces. The Cathedrals of St. Mark and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are two other prized sites, given their multi-colored rooftops and soaring spires. In the evening, venture into Zagreb’s bourgeoning culinary scene, famed for innovatively re-inventing classic Croatian specialties.  

Day 5: Spend a Full Day Wandering between Meadows, Forests and Terraced Lakes in Plitvice  

Today, the rhythm of your adventure will change dramatically as you venture into the fairytale landscapes of Pltivice Lakes National Park. Characterized by a series of sixteen terraced lakes surrounded by fir, spruce and delicately flowering fields, you will spend the entire day wandering blissfully throughout. Gentle trails and wooden promenades will lead you around granite cliffs and beneath waterfalls as you gradually circle turquoise and emerald lakes. As a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site, this will be the perfect complement to the history and culture in which your journey has been steeped in thus far. Enjoy the tranquility of a sunny piece of moss and the powerful romance of standing alone beside a waterfall before settling in for a possible picnic in the shade.

In the late afternoon, you will emerge from this surreal wonderland, driving to the town of Zadar. Here, Roman history livens once more as you find yourself surrounded by monuments, forts, and churches. Acquaint yourself briefly with the city as you wander through the moonlit streets before retiring to your luxury hotel on the Dalmatia Coast. 

Day 6: Explore the History of Zadar, before Driving to the Seaside Town of Split

Step into Roman history first thing this morning, as you depart on a historic tour of Zadar. Beginning at the second century Roman Forum, you will retrace Zadar’s turbulent past as you search for signs of empires, world wars and foreign occupations. Hear tales of reconstruction and resiliency as you wander back in to present day, observing the signs of vibrancy and revitalization around you.

From Zadar, you will drive along the Dalmatian Coast as you travel south en route to Split. Chic and energetic, this seaside town has long captured the hearts of opulent and intrepid individuals. Though the seaside Riva promenade will beckon, spend the early afternoon first exploring Diocletian’s Palace. More accurately described as an old city than a palace, upon entering through the unparalleled archways of the Golden Gate you will find a buzz of activity. Vendors fringe the Peristyle (courtyard) etched with historic moments, while two black granite sphinxes provide protection to the Temple of Jupiter and the cathedral. Wander down into the basement and out along the seaside promenade, as images of Mediterranean royalty swirl around you and the sea.

Day 7: Return to Dubrovnik, Driving alongside the Makarska Riviera

Prior to departing for Dubrovnik, enjoy a coffee on the edge of the Riva as the city livens with the morning sun. From here, you will drive alongside the Makaraska Riviera, pausing for moments on the edge of a quiet pebbled beach in the shadow of the surrounding mountains. Follow the winding road through this serene landscape before ultimately returning to the city of Dubrovnik where your adventure began.

Spend your final afternoon exploring the famous sights and quiet corners of Old Dubrovnik and its surroundings. Enjoy time at the Franciscan Monastery and one of Europe’s oldest pharmacies before venturing out onto a rocky plateau for some fresh Adriatic air and, finally, slipping into the sea.  Return through the city’s archways in the evening, for a final moonlit feast and spend a few extra moments tonight strolling the cobblestone alleyways of Dubrovnik, with ice cream in hand, before retiring for the evening. 

Day 8: Travel Home on an International Flight Departing from Dubrovnik’s International Airport

Today, your weeklong tour of Central Europe draws to a close as you enjoy a final seaside cup of coffee at your luxury hotel in Dubrovnik. Depending on your time of departure, you may have a few moments to stroll the Old City or slip into the Adriatic Sea one final time before beginning your journey home. Alternatively, there is always the option to extend your vacation by a few more days, allowing you to savor a few more moments in the Mediterranean. A tour through the Greek Cyclades or a visit to Slovenia’s Lake Bled may be the perfect way to round off this experience.

Read the reviews of Croatia tour companies to see what other travelers experienced while in Croatia.



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