Balkans cultural holiday
Description of Balkans cultural holiday
This two week cultural holiday in the Balkans is reminiscent of the classic Grand Tours of the former Republic of Yugoslavia as it incorporates all of the highlights associated with Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro as well as plenty of secret places, off the beaten track.
From the walls of Dubrovnik to the rural villages of Bosnia, this all encompassing small group experience really brings the Balkans to life with magnificent mountains in Montenegro and rolling hillsides in Slovenia just a couple of scenic backdrops to get your pulse racing a little faster.
As this 15 day tour gives you plenty of chances to stay for 2 or 3 nights in each of the main locations you’ll find lots of time to rest and explore with well-appointed, centrally based accommodation allowing for an authentic opportunity to immerse yourself in local life.
Outside of city streets you’ll be invited into family-run farmhouses and private pensions where characterful rural towns and villages are right on your doorstep from where to discover a host of cultural sites of interest and opportunities to check out seasonal menus in regional restaurants.
Of course, your hosts will also provide an excellent arrangement of home cooked meals and breakfasts using locally-sourced produce and traditional specialities to help you taste the difference from one Balkan country to the next.
Local guides also provide further insight into each country’s cultural contrasts with informative and entertaining tales and special recommendations conjuring a really well-rounded cultural holiday.
It’s also possible to add on a few extra days at the start or end of the tour with activities such as sailing around the Kornati islands, visiting the Plitvice lakes or getting active outdoors in Slovenia’s Julian Alps.
1 Reviews of Balkans cultural holiday
Reviewed on 21 May 2018 by Chek Khiaw Tan
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Driving through the Julian Alps, seeing people (and being inspired by them) living out the next stage of their lives setting up goat cheese farm, cultivating new business ideas in the local community catering to tourists, continuing family legacies in small agriculture farms, eating at small restaurants run by young creative chefs, staying at farmhouse/private lodging provided by locals (and not hotel chains), interacting with locals and hearing their stories.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Have some idea of what you want to see and interact actively with your guide to customize an itinerary that fits your budget (varying type of lodging, meals, sights to see) and time.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, by staying at lodging and eating at eateries run by locals and visiting and buying organic products of small farmers.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Very good. Would definitely recommend Andrew Villone who was very prompt and responsive during the time of planning. Andrew is very knowledgeable and understood what we wanted and was able to help us finalize an itinerary which provided us with local and authentic experiences and at a good pace (we had originally planned for ambitious itinerary that would entail changing lodging everyday which he advised against). There were three of us in the group and he was tour manager, guide (in addition to local guides at the major cities), driver who was with us throughout the 12-day tour through Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovenia. Very much appreciated his personable service.
PlanetTo reduce the amount of driving we use a hub-and-spoke approach. Guests stay in fewer lodging locations that become their 'base' as we run many day trips that are all close by to the base. This means less driving, less emissions and more time everyday spent with local businesses and not sitting in cars. Being in one place for longer than a day helps our guests get to know the regional communities better. We only use modern diesel vehicles that energy efficient and comply to the strict standards of European Union.
All of our invoices, travel information and travel documents to our clients are issued as PDF - not printed on paper. The majority of our brochures are disseminated via PDF downloads and emails rather than printed on paper. In our office we operate mainly with computers. We use emails rather than fax and do print documents but store them on our computers and in online clouds.
PeopleWe offer our travelers small family-owned hotels, pensions/B&B's to stay in. Overnight in these locally owned lodgings enhances the visitors’ experience, since they get an opportunity to be welcomed by a local host and receive a better insight into the everyday life of local people. It also puts guests in touch with people they would normally not come across while traveling in large cities or without knowing the local roads. We communicate directly to these suppliers so there is no middle man who would get most of the money. Instead, the majority of money generated on our tours goes into the pockets of small wineries, shops, farmhouses and other locally operated businesses.
All of the meals included in our tours are at locally owned and operated restaurants, farmhouses and pensions. In this way our clients have an opportunity to taste some of the typical specialties of the region and at the same time help the local economy. Most of the food served at these places are from the owner's land, though a few items are supplemented from other local farmers and food producers in the region.
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