Highlights of the Balkans: Serbia to Croatia with Kathy Didier

13 days
Full of rich history, fascinating culture, and stunning landscapes, the Balkan Peninsula is a region waiting to be explored. From the Serbian capital and picturesque shores of Lake Ohrid to the timeless traditions of Albania and Croatia’s epic coastal beauty, you’ll discover the diversity of these former Yugoslav republics and what makes each unique.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

On this guided tour, you'll walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some steep hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Belgrade today.

Belgrade 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Belgrade

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Serbia! Transfer to your hotel and get settled in. Then, meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner while enjoying a traditional performance of Tamburaši music.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Belgrade

  Included meals: Breakfast

Experience the sights of Belgrade on a guided tour.

• Take in panoramic views of Republic Square

• Pass by shops and cafes as you stroll along Knez Mihajlova street

• Enter the cliff-top Kalemegdan Fortress, built in 535 AD

• View the Cathedral of Saint Sava and Tito’s Memorial

Enjoy a free afternoon in Belgrade or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in Novi Sad: Sightseeing & Wine Tasting $109pp* Details

Start your day with a stop in the wine region of Sremski Karlovci, where you'll learn about the wine and honey production of the Zivanovic family. Once you’ve had your fill of wine and honey, enter the impressive Petrovaradin Fortress on the way to Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia. Enjoy free time in Novi Sad for lunch, followed by a sightseeing tour of this culturally rich city.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Skopje 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: Skopje via Manasija Monastery & Niš

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Make your way to Skopje, Macedonia, stopping to view historic places in Serbia along the way. 

• Step inside the UNESCO-listed Manasija Monastery, a medieval Orthodox site with fortified walls

• Marvel at the beautifully preserved frescoes inside the monastery 

• Continue on to Niš, the largest city in southern Serbia and one of the oldest in Europe

. Visit the Ćele-Kula, a tower in Niš made to commemorate the First Serbian Uprising  

Later this evening, join your group in Skopje for a performance of traditional Macedonian music during an included dinner.

Lake Ohrid 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Skopje

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, set out to explore the beautiful capital city of Macedonia with a local as your guide. 

• Admire sweeping vistas of the city from the top of Skopje Fortress

• Walk down from the fortress to see the Ottoman-era Mustafa Pasha Mosque

• Stroll through the Old Bazaar and over the Stone Bridge into the New Town 

• Pass by Macedonia's parliament building and the Mother Teresa Memorial House, opened in 2009 to pay tribute to the life of the celebrated humanitarian

Later this afternoon, pass by spectacular mountain scenery en route to the UNESCO-recognized Lake Ohrid.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Ohrid & Saint Naum Monastery

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take in all that the charming lakeside city of Ohrid has to offer on a guided tour.

• Enter Samuil’s Fortress and walk along its historic 4th-century walls

• See the Ancient Theatre of Ohrid, built in the Hellenistic style

• Walk up to the cliff-top Church of Saint John at Kaneo for panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains

• Pass by the Church of Saint Sophia and enter the National Workshop for a paper-making demonstration

• Board a boat and enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Ohrid 

Then, spend the afternoon exploring the medieval Monastery of Saint Naum.

• See the resident peacocks that roam the grounds

• Enter the monastery to view its intricate frescoes

• Stop at the Bay of Bones Museum, a prehistoric settlement located on Lake Ohrid

Tirana 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Transfer to Tirana & winery tour

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Cross the border into Albania as you make your way to Tirana. Stop along the way to tour an Albanian winery, where you'll sit down for lunch and a wine tasting. Then, continue on to Tirana for a free evening.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Tirana

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the Albanian capital today on a guided tour. 

• Take in Mother Teresa Square, the second largest plaza in Tirana

• Make your way down the Boulevard of National Martyrs to Skanderbeg Square, an eponymous tribute to the Albanian national hero

• See the Palace of Congresses, Post Blloku, the pyramid, and the 18th-century Et’hem Bey Mosque

• Enter the National Historical Museum of Albania

Enjoy a free afternoon in Tirana or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Historic Albania: Krujë $75pp* Details

Take a guided tour of the Albanian town of Krujë, located between the Ishëm River and Mount Krujë. You’ll visit a small bazaar full of local handicrafts before entering Krujë Castle to visit the Skanderbeg Museum. Inside, you’ll learn about national hero George Castriot Skanderbeg and his involvement in the Albanian-Ottoman wars. Then, enter the National Ethnographic Museum, a restored Ottoman home that offers a glimpse at traditional life in Albania. Enjoy some free time in the town to eat lunch, shop and explore on your own before traveling back to Tirana.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Budva 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Budva via Shkodra & Lake Skadar

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue on to Budva, making stops along the way. 

• Stop in Shkodra, a small city situated at the foot of the Albanian Alps, to step inside the hilltop Rozafa Castle

• Travel through the Lake Skadar region of Montenegro to the town of Virpazar, where you'll embark on a scenic boat ride

• Continue along the Montenegro coast to Budva, paying a visit to the charming peninsula village of Sveti Stefan en route

Day 10: Kotor & Perast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Located in a secluded bay on the Adriatic coast, Kotor is known for its Venetian-era fortifications. Today, you’ll explore this scenic town on a walking tour.

• Pass through the UNESCO-recognized medieval old town to view the ancient city walls and Cathedral of Saint Tryphon

• See the old clock tower and Orthodox Church

In the afternoon, transfer along the Bay of Kotor to the Venetian town of Perast. Here, you’ll embark on a boat trip out to the man-made islets of Saint George and Our Lady of the Rocks.

Dubrovnik 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Transfer to Dubrovnik

  Included meals: Breakfast

Leave Montenegro behind as you transfer to Dubrovnik today, catching one last glimpse of the beautiful Bay of Kotor as you go. 

Enjoy a free evening in Dubrovnik or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Scenic Dubrovnik Coast Cruise & Dinner $69pp* Details

This excursion begins with a cruise along the shoreline of one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Arriving on the beach, you’ll dine at a local restaurant before setting out on a stroll through Dubrovnik’s medieval streets.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Dubrovnik

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set on a peninsula on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik’s massive walls have served as the city’s calling card for centuries. Today, you’ll take a guided tour. 

• Stroll through the UNESCO-protected old town

• Pay a visit to the 13th-century Franciscan monastery, which boasts the most extensive library in the region

• View the Rector’s Palace and the city’s ornate cathedral

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to continue exploring Croatia.

Add the Croatian Coast Starting from $549 pp

Travel north to discover even more of the Balkan Peninsula's natural beauty and rich cultural traditions. Get to know historic Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then explore Split, Croatia's second largest city with a stunning setting on the Adriatic Sea.

Split 2 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Split via Mostar

  Included meals: Breakfast

Say goodbye to Dubrovnik today as you make your way to Split, stopping en route in the Bosnian city of Mostar for a guided tour.

• Walk across the UNESCO-recognized Stari Most, a 16th-century Ottoman bridge 

• Step inside the Karagöz Bey Mosque, the largest in the region

• Enter a preserved Turkish house to see what local life was like over 100 years ago

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Split

  Included meals: Breakfast

Today, enjoy a guided tour of Split, a coastal city that seamlessly combines tradition and modernity.

• Enter Diocletian’s Palace, an enormous third-century complex and UNESCO World Heritage site

• View monuments to the city’s varied cultural influences, including Gothic churches, Renaissance palaces, Venetian fortifications, and an Egyptian sphinx

• Examine sculptures, drawings, and paintings at the Ivan Mestrovic Museum

Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Split on your own or add an excursion.

Tonight, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.

Optional Excursion - Adriatic Trogir $85pp* Details

Make your way to Salona, an ancient Roman archeological site, and view ruins of the city’s 1st-century aqueduct and thermal baths. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon in the seaside town of Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an architectural legacy touched by the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Venetians. You’ll tour the city center, viewing the 15th-century city gates, Venetian-era Fortress Kamerlengo, Duke’s Palace, and triple-naved Trogir Cathedral. Later, enjoy free time to shop, snack and explore before returning to Split.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Skopje, Macedonia
  • Tirana, Albania
  • Budva, Montenegro
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • This tour visits Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia (plus Bosnia & Herzegovina on the tour extension). In order to enter these countries, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.   

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some steep hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times as well as getting in and out of boats.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  •  Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Belgrade and depart from Dubrovnik (or Split on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).


  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.



  • Cuisine of the Balkans varies greatly by region. Serbian food typically incorporates influences from central Europe as well as flavors borrowed from the East. Meals usually center around meats like pork, lamb, and goat. Serbians also love pastry, often in the form of varieties of pie.
  • Traditional Macedonian cuisine includes a combination of Balkan and Mediterranean classics made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and grilled meats.
  • Foods in Albania are primarily composed of meat and vegetables. In the Tirana region, the coastal climate allows for fresh fruits, poultry, and fish from the Adriatic Sea such as sole, flounder, and perch.
  • Food in Montenegro offers a variety of flavors. Potatoes, cabbage, ham, and sausage might make you feel at home but you may want to try something new such as bakrdan (a porridge of cornmeal, potato, and cheese) or the tasty ćevapi kebab (a grilled meat patty).
  • In Croatia, you may like to try traditional Balkan dishes, such as duvec (vegetables and meat), moussaka (eggplant and minced meat), sarma (minced meat and rice), and raznjici (grilled veal or pork). Thirsty? Almost every region of the country produces its own varieties of wine, each of which are quite delicious.


Electricity & air conditioning

  • Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia (plus Bosnia & Herzegovina on the tour extension) all operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C or F plus with two small, round pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • The majority of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.    


  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. In more remote locations, internet access may be limited and is not guaranteed.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia (plus Bosnia & Herzegovina on the tour extension) are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).   
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.  


  • You will use the Serbian dinar in Serbia, the Macedonian denar in Macedonia, the Albanian lek in Albania, the euro in Montenegro, and the Croatian kuna in Croatia. (On the tour extension, you will also use Bosnian convertible mark in Bosnia & Herzegovina.)
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.


  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on your tour. 
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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