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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeRegional Journey
Welcome to Vienna.
Leave Vienna airport for your hotel with transfers provided at 10:00, 13:00 or 15:00. Vienna is famous for its delicious coffee and pastries so why not stroll to a local cafe after checking in? At 17:30, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner served with wine at a local restaurant.
Stately Vienna and the Habsburgs.
Vienna owes much of its present-day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs. Join your Local Expert for a private visit of Maria Theresa’s Schönbrunn Palace and its formal gardens. Then, take some great photos on a circuit of the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital’s architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence, Austrian Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
Zagreb’s Twin Towns.
Head through Styria’s forested mountains, past Graz and over the Slovenian border to reach the 700-year-old university town of Maribor. Follow the Drava River through Croatia before heading for its capital, Zagreb, to explore with your Local Expert. Donji Grad, the Lower Town, is devoted to business, art and spacious parks, where streets are wide and airy and the layout is designed to give a sense of grandeur. See the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square and continue to Ban Josip Jelačić Square en route to the cathedral. Board the city's funicular to Gornji Grad, the medieval Upper Town. It's a network of little streets, stretching between the Kaptol and Gradec hills. View the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Lotrščak Tower.
The Crystal Lakes of Plitvice.
Take this morning to relax and enjoy your hotel's facilities. In the afternoon depart for your boutique hotel, perfectly located to explore the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, this is Croatia’s first and largest national park. While the park is predominately forests and grasslands, a true highlight is the interconnected lakes that cascade from one to another.
Plitvice Lakes, Ancient Trogir and Split.
With a Local Expert, explore the Plitvice Lakes, a scenic wonderland of 16 lakes flanked by thundering waterfalls and primeval forest. See Veliki Slap, the highest waterfall in the park and Tomićevo Pogledalo for views over the park. Travel along the coast and visit Trogir, which was founded by the Greeks more than 2300 years ago. and is renowned for its beautiful cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace. Continue to the historic port of Split.
Your Local Expert will lead you through the labyrinthine streets and arcaded squares. See St. Duje's, which was originally Diocletian's Mausoleum and the Temple of Jupiter, which today is a baptistery, as well as the Golden Gate. Venture into the basement rooms, thought to have housed the Emperor's slaves. Travel alongside sparkling deep blue seas and the rocky islands of the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik. For dinner, choose from a selection of hand-picked, local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.
Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic.
The walled town of Dubrovnik, was once described as 'paradise on earth,' according to George Bernard Shaw. Join a walking exploration of the city, guided by a Local Expert. Get a glimpse into local life, as you explore the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions of the Old Town. Walk past Onofrio's Fountain, see the Old Jewish Quarter and the synagogue, and marvel at the grandeur of the cathedral and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. The remainder of your stay is yours to explore as you wish. Perhaps soak up the sun by your hotel's pool, relax at a cafe or embark on an optional cruise?
Scenic Drive to Kotor and Tirana.
Just over the border, visit the old town of Kotor. Admire the bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its still azure waters lapping at the edge of the medieval towns, dotted between the surrounding mountains. Then travel through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro and Albania and continue to the fascinating capital of Tirana. Led by your Local Expert, explore this warmhearted and colourful city, and see the diverse relics that remain from its Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
Across to Corfu.
Journey across Albania to Greece where you set sail for the cobalt-blue waters of Corfu. Renowned since Odysseus for its untamed beauty and strategic position in the Mediterranean, Corfu remains an island where it is easy to relax with its pristine beaches, lapped by cobalt blue waters.
Relax in Corfu.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and enjoy the beautiful island of Corfu. Perhaps explore the Old Town and admire the interesting mix of architectural styles, from Roman and Venetian to French and British, each resembling an era of the island’s interesting past before it was united with Greece. Alternatively, you may want to lay-back and unwind at one of the incredible beaches nearby, or board a cruise for stunning views around the island?
Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World.
Set off from your island paradise for Delphi, a spectacular cliff-side amphitheatre and worthy of its status as the centre of the ancient world. History and mythology run deep here, with finds of ritual artefacts that date back to 4,000 B.C and remains of a Mycenaean settlement. It is said that Delphi is the location where two eagles crossed paths, after they were released by Zeus from opposite end of the universe to find ‘the navel of the world.’
Delphi sightseeing and on to Athens.
Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels then continue to the ancient city of Athens, the modern capital of Greece. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
The Glory of Athens.
Join a Local Expert for a morning of city sightseeing. Enjoy the glory of ancient Greece from the Acropolis with the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. You will also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. This afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace.
Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens airport.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Vienna (Contemporary) - Austria
Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
Zagreb (Traditional) - Croatia
Conveniently located in Zagreb's historic Old Town, the Sheraton Zagreb Hotel is perfectly situated for your stay. Spacious rooms are comfortable and traditionally-decorated, while the hotel's Piano Bar offers a trendy atmosphere, where you can enjoy a drink and reflect on your day of sightseeing.
Plitvice (Resort) - Croatia
Split (Traditional) - Croatia
The modern Hotel President Solin is conveniently located just a few minutes from the ancient city of Split and the famous Diocletian’s Palace.
Dubrovnik (Contemporary) - Croatia
Overlooking the sea in the beautiful Lapad Bay, the Kompas hotel was fully renovated in 2015 andis only a 2 minute walk to the beach and close to the popular promenade.
Tirana (Contemporary) - Albania
Just minutes from the city's geographical centre in Skanderbeg Square, The Plaza Tirana is conveniently located in true heart of the city. Trendy, modern interiors enrich a sense of state-of-the-art elegance, while plus, contemporary rooms will make for a comfortable stay.
Cavalieri Hotel/Bella Venezia Boutique Hotel/Divani Corfu, Corfu.
Amalia Hotel Delphi/Aegli Arachova.
Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Center.