23 days in The Balkans Itinerary

23 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock The Balkans route planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Sofia, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tirana, Albania
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Kotor, Montenegro
— 1 night
Drive
4
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 2 nights
Fly
5
Split, Croatia
— 15 nights
Drive
6
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fly

S M T W T F S
10
11
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13
14
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16
17
18
19
20
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24
25
26
27
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31
1
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3
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6

Sofia, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
On the 10th (Sun), take a stroll through Vitosha Boulevard, then admire the landmark architecture of Temple Sveti Nikolay, and then get engrossed in the history at National Institute of Archaeology with Museum. On the 11th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Sofia Church.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Sofia itinerary app.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Sofia is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Abu Dhabi to Sofia due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Abu Dhabi in October, expect Sofia to be cooler, temps between 20°C and 6°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Tirana.

Things to do in Sofia

Historic Sites · Tours · Shopping · Neighborhoods
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Tirana, Albania

— 2 nights
Tirana, the largest city in Albania, represents one a lively and fast-paced metropolis.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Et`hem Bey Mosque, browse the exhibits of Muzeu Historik Kombetar, then explore the galleries of BunkArt 2, and finally don't miss a visit to Skanderbeg Square. On the next day, stroll around Grand Park (Parku i Madh), then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then learn about all things military at Bunk'Art 1, and finally admire the striking features of Enver Hoxha Pyramid.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Tirana planner.

You can drive from Sofia to Tirana in 7 hours. Other options are to fly; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Sofia to Tirana is minus 1 hour. In October, Tirana is somewhat warmer than Sofia - with highs of 27°C and lows of 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Kotor.

Things to do in Tirana

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Spas
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Kotor, Montenegro

— 1 night

Bride of the Adriatic Sea

Perched on the edge of a fjord-like bay rimmed by rugged mountains, Kotor grew around a medieval settlement purposely built like a maze.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Thu): contemplate the waterfront views at Bay of Kotor, pause for some serene contemplation at Our Lady of the Rocks, then race across the water with a speed boat tour, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Nikola Church.

To see reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Kotor trip itinerary maker site.

Getting from Tirana to Kotor by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. In October in Kotor, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Kotor

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

— 2 nights

Pearl of the Adriatic

Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Dubrovnik City Walls and then take a stroll through Old Town. On the 16th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head off the coast to Lokrum Island, take in the spiritual surroundings of Synagogue, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Blaise, and finally visit Cavtat Old Town.

For photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Dubrovnik trip planner.

Traveling by car from Kotor to Dubrovnik takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Kotor in October, expect a bit warmer with lows of 15°C in Dubrovnik. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Split.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Neighborhoods · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

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Split, Croatia

— 15 nights

Sportiest City in the World

Experience an authentic Adriatic lifestyle in Split, the largest city along the sea's coast.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Split: Hvar (Franciscan Monastery, Spanish Fortress, &more), Trogir (Trogir Square & Historic City of Trogir) and Zadar (Greeting to the Sun - Il Saluto al Sole, Sea Organ (Morske Orgulje), &more). Dedicate the 18th (Mon) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. Spend the 23rd (Sat) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Diocletian's Palace, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, make a trip to Split Synagogue, and admire the masterpieces at Galerija Mestrovic.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Split day trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Dubrovnik to Split takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Split can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Sarajevo.

Things to do in Split

Tours · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips

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Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jerusalem of Europe

Nearly destroyed by war during the 1990s, the riverside city of Sarajevo now serves as one of the region's major educational, cultural, and commercial hubs.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Sun): don't miss a visit to Sarajevo War Tunnel, admire the masterpieces at Galerija 11/07/95, and then let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour.

To see reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Sarajevo sightseeing tool.

Getting from Split to Sarajevo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Split in October, things will get slightly colder in Sarajevo: highs are around 20°C and lows about 6°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) early enough to catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Sarajevo

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Albania travel guide

3.9
Castles · National Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Eagles
With its young bustling metropolis, networks of cobblestone pedestrianized streets, coastal beach towns, and cities of ancient ruins, Albania will continuously surprise you. As you reach each new major town and discover how completely different it is from the last, your appreciation will deepen for this tucked-away land steeped in history. Travel, eating, and accommodation here is very inexpensive, freeing you from budget concerns and allowing you to travel in the style that you want. Meanwhile, you may find yourself going days without spotting another tourist. While this means that many things will not be customized for visitors (non-English menus, sparse accommodation, and fewer international transportation options), you'll experience the feel of authentic Albania.

Montenegro travel guide

4.4
Historic Sites · Bodies of Water · Beaches
Whether you're in the mood to explore unspoiled nature, see historical sights, or soak in the Mediterranean atmosphere of beaches and parties, in Montenegro you can find everything within arm's reach. The Montenegrin coastline offers both large city beaches abundant with amenities, as well as peaceful fishing villages and secluded coves. Fortified old towns, medieval cathedrals, and monasteries are certain to satisfy history enthusiasts. Further inland are some of the nation's larger cities, as well as an abundance of opportunities for an active vacation. Wander off the beaten path, hike the mountains and canyons, and experience the traditional hospitality of villages where time seems to stand still. The national cuisine reflects the diversity of the landscape, including everything from fresh meat and dairy specialties, to a selection of seafood. The size of the country allows you to see a lot even during a short stay.

Croatia travel guide

4.4
Historic Walking Areas · Landmarks · National Parks
Once situated on the edge of empires between the Balkans and Central Europe, Croatia represents a land of great natural diversity and rich cultural heritage. Croatian cultural tourism relies on the charming juxtaposition of contrasts. Venetian palaces sit next to Napoleonic forts, Viennese mansions face Socialist Realist sculpture, and early Slavic churches built on the sites of ancient Roman settlements offer countless sightseeing opportunities. Croatia's museums present the main stages of the history of Europe. The country's sapphire seawater and long coastline speckled with islands draws visitors, as do numerous nature reserves, marinas, ancient fortified towns, and sandy and rocky beaches. In recent years, Croatia's shoreline has become a famed center for nautical tourism and naturism, and is a promising diving destination. Hikers explore outdoor landscapes of canyons, underground grottoes, dramatic waterfalls, stony peaks, and scenic lakes of the Dinaric Alps, which hug the coastline. Inland areas showcase mountain resorts, national parks, pine forests, vineyards, and spas.

Bosnia and Herzegovina travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Bridges · Historic Sites
Heart-Shaped Land
With the legacy of war still fresh on the streets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this Balkan gem is often overlooked as a holiday destination. Part of the former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina endured a bloody and destructive war for independence in the 1990s, which ripped apart its capital and other important cities. Since then, Bosnians have moved on, and as the rest of the world does too, tourism in the country is slowly growing. You’ll be welcomed by locals with open arms, eager to share their country and culture with those who include Bosnia and Herzegovina in their itineraries. Sarajevo and Mostar top most visitors' list of places to visit for their rich history and charming streets. Make sure to indulge in some local specialities such as burek.