Vienna to Dubrovnik
Travel from Vienna to Dubrovnik on a tour through Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. Discover a region where the past continues to weave its spell through alpine towns and green valleys, and emanates from medieval castles and austere monasteries - getting a sense of the hidden magic of Central Europe. Traversing nine countries, there is much to see and plenty of opportunity to experience the culture and the people of this enchanting pocket of Europe. Better yet, there's loads of flexibility for you to do it your own way.
Days 1-2: Vienna
Touch down in Vienna and soak up the splendour of Austria's capital on a walking tour. Pass the Gothic St Stephen's Cathedral and the enchanting Hofburg Palace before continuing around the Ringstrasse. In free time, get lost in the marbled halls of the Sisi or Leopold museums and stop to fill up on local delights like Sachertorte or a Wiener wurste.
Days 3-4: Cesky Krumlov
Cross into the Czech Republic and travel to bohemian Cesky Krumlov. With its cobblestone alleys and impressive old buildings, this is a city straight out of a fairytale. Discover the surrounding countryside on a two-wheeled excursion and if time permits, pay an optional visit to a local brewery or enjoy a guided castle tour.
Days 5-7: Prague
Travel to Prague, the 'City of a Hundred Spires', which never fails to charm with its gorgeous architecture, crooked streets and internationally renowned jazz scene. Mosey through the Old Town for a slice of Bohemia, visit Prague Castle, check out restaurants hidden away in old vaulted cellars and take a day trip out to the World Heritage-listed Sedlec Ossuary, or 'Bone Church'.
Day 8: Teplice nad Metuji
See how the locals live in rural areas while on a stay at a family-run pension. Pass the afternoon contemplating the weird and wonderful sandstone formations in the Teplice National Park or, if feeling adventurous, clamber up steep stairs and ladders to a lookout point.
Days 9-10: Krakow
Cross the border into Poland and stop to pay respects at the sombre Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum before continuing on to Krakow. Wander through the streets of the atmospheric Old Town that once housed Polish kings, see St Mary's Church and be sure to indulge in some traditional pierogi.
Days 11-12: Tatra Mountains
Limber up for trekking in the Tatra Mountains, where the crisp air and lush mountainscape makes for an unforgettable experience. When the terrain becomes too challenging, give muscles a rest aboard the funicular railway. Enjoy warm hospitality at the small alpine resort of Tatranska Lomnica.
Days 13-16: Budapest
Arrive in Budapest, the eclectic capital of Hungary. Budapest is a city of two halves - literally. Buda, on the west bank, features rolling hills while Pest, on the east bank, has a grid-like layout. Linking the two is the Chain Bridge, which spans the sparkling River Danube. Marvel at the Castle District, see former communist monuments at Statue Park and trawl through a host of museums and galleries. Then, why not end the adventure at one of the thermal baths scattered around the city, complete with whirlpools, submerged seats and chessboards.
Days 17-18: Osijek
Cross the border into Croatia and travel to Osijek. Navigate the hallways of grand buildings, stroll along the banks of the Drava River or pick up the true flavours of this destination at a local cafe. Choose to travel to Vukovar, a town that symbolises the devastation of the recent war.
Day 19: Novi Sad
Experience how Novi Sad, with its fascinating blend of traditional culture and Austro-Hungarian architecture, is one of the most enthralling cities in Serbia. Call into a family-run vineyard and a unique honey museum while relishing the scenic environs of Sremski Karlovci.
Days 20-21: Belgrade
Soak up the history of Belgrade city, one of the oldest in Europe, and experience a mix of progressive flamboyance and conservative customs. Visit the confluence of two major rivers, the Sava and the Danube, to see why Belgrade is such an important link between Eastern and Western Europe. Mosey through the Bohemian quarter or explore city boulevards where Orthodox churches vie for space next to fashionable nightclubs.
Days 22-24: Sarajevo
Travel through serene countryside to Sarajevo, the lively capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the evening, be sure to visit Bascarsija, the main street of Sarajevo, to find the best bosanski cevapi - grilled minced meat mixed with mild spices. Perhaps enjoy a day trip from Sarajevo to Mostar to see a town that was reduced to rubble during the Yugoslav wars and has since been rebuilt, becoming an important symbol of the new Balkans.
Day 25: Ostrog
Follow pilgrims up the rocky mountain path to Ostrog, a 17th-century monastery in the mountains of Montenegro. Hike to the upper monastery where relics of the founder, Saint Vasilije, are kept.
Days 26-27: Kotor
Get delightfully lost in the crooked alleyways of Kotor. Climb the hills behind the city to discover the ruined castle of the former ruler. In free time, enjoy a cruise on the Kotor Fjord or consider a day trip to Budva, a popular coastal town nearby.
Days 28-29: Dubrovnik
Travel to Dubrovnik in Croatia and take a walk along the city walls for views of the Adriatic Sea. Perhaps climb Mt Srd for an aerial perspective or toast the end of the Balkan Adventure over dinner.
Soak up the royal history of Krakow's Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through the city's medieval main square
Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Soak up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague before stepping right into a fairytale in the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov
So much of what is great about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse
Enjoy a scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe’s second longest river is also one of its most beautiful
Hike in the picturesque Tatra Mountains and traverse the steep slopes via funicular, gondola and electric steam train
A sobering tour of Auschwitz concentration camp offers insight into one of the most tragic periods in human history
Cross the Chain Bridge in Budapest and take the funicular up to Buda Castle for beautiful views over Pest
Sip Serbian wine at a family-run vineyard in quaint Sremski Karlovci, just outside of Novi Sad. Known as the Serbian Athens, Novi Sad has been built, destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries
Wander through Belgrade’s Bohemian quarter and grand 19th-century boulevards, before launching yourself into its animated nightlife
Witness Mostar's famous bridge divers hurl themselves from the stones of a bridge that has stood their for centuries
Sarajevo is one of the most scenically located cities in Europe. See the sights on a guided walking tour and learn about its recent history as a city under siege
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