Tour Review – Balkan Explorer 15 Day Trip from Topdeck (PT. 2)

I did mention in my previous blog relating to this one that I will be posting Part 2 soon, thanks to all for your patience and that have read Part 1 your feedback you have given my helps me publish better context for the future. If you haven’t check out Part 1 of my Topdeck Tour Review you can do so by clicking here.

Budva

Part 2 of my tour review begins with saying goodbye to Dubrovnik, but fortunately the sun and partying was not going to stop just yet, we were on route to Budva, Montenergo.

This town did not disappoint me at all with its beautiful crystal-clear water beaches, amazing restaurants, funky bars and of course sunny weather.

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The Esplanade in Budva, Montenegro

Montenegro was in fact once part of Serbia before declaring independence in 2006, so tourism isn’t as popular as other cities in Eastern Europe but it makes up for it by untouched beaches.

Kotor was the first stop we made once we crossed the border, a town surrounded by city walls and home to numerous amounts of cats. Everywhere you look in this town you will see all different breeds of cats, this is due to a rat problem the area had which resulted in them importing cats.

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Port of Kotor, Montenegro.

Once we reached Budva and I could see the views, the vibes of this place were so good. We had our group dinner at the hotel then headed to one of many bars in town followed by a massive club called Trocadero to finish the night off.

For our free day the following day we had an optional of a private boat tour to take us along the coast of Budva, he took us to many different diving spots and caves where we could swim in. After a nice swim it was now time to have a nice meal, our trip leader recommended a beautiful restaurant overlooking the water called La Bocca. I then went to explore the old town followed by sitting on the beach.

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Discovering Caves off the coast of Budva, Montenegro.

Dinner tonight was on the beach at a waterfront restaurant called Tropico, perfect for watching the sunset whilst having a beautiful meal along the beach and is Great for seafood lovers.

Zadar

It was now time to say hello again to Croatia and the city of Zadar.

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Views from Zadar Cathedral Bell Tower.

A beautiful little beachside city rich in roman culture and architecture. Our stay here was just for the night but we had a good chance to see the sunset which Alfred Hitchcock describes it as “the world’s best sunset”.

Along the beach you can hear the Sea Organ, an underwater instrument played by the waves that hit the shore. You can also see the Greeting to the Sun which is a series of solar panels that light up with colours and perform a show at night.

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So do you think that is the world’s best sunset? – Zadar, Croatia

If you want to get great scenic views of the city then the Zadar Cathedrals bell tower is the right place for that. You can also enter the cathedral to see its many decorated interior designs.

Plitvice Lakes

After a quick stop over in Zadar we were off to see the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, on the way there we were lucky enough to have an included wine tasting tour. We were introduced to the owner and show how he makes his wines, after that we were seated inside for a tasting of 5 different types of wines and served some cheese, biscuits and cold meats.

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Stunning waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes National Park.

As we reached the lakes and the beautiful forests we then checked into our hotel which was across the road from the park entrance. The following day we entered the park and saw amazing views of the waterfalls and natural scenery. There is multiple walking track that are shown on many signs around the park and which include long and short tracks.

It can take up to 6 hours to do that whole park, depends on how many times you stop and take photos. By night time everyone was exhausted and had a relaxing evening outside the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the forest.

Ljubljana

The final leg of our journey approached as we made our way to the dragon city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. This is one of those cities that just surprised me so much and I didn’t expect to love it and to have a heap of fun.

Rain and cold weather was the forecasted but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city centre with a walking tour, The Dragon Bridge and Ljubljana Castle. In my opinion this city was the most multicultural out of all the places in The Balkans. The different cuisines, buildings and lifestyles were western compared to the other eastern European countries.

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WOW Ljubljana is beautiful.

For lunch it was Fish and Chips Slovenian style at Vino & Ribe, but lunch isn’t complete without dessert and when in Ljubljana ice cream is the way to go. It is said that Ljubjana has the best ice cream in Europe. For this to be true I needed to check it out and of course it passed the test!

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That was really good Ice-Cream! – Cacao Cafe, Ljubljana.

Topdeck took us to Gostilna Sokol for dinner, one of the oldest tradition restaurants in town. A place worth visiting for a Slovenian meal. My highlight of this city is its nightlife, the bars and clubs is where it’s all at. By 11:00pm the city is just buzzing with people enjoying themselves and having a good time, so that’s exactly how we spent our last night on tour before heading back to Budapest for our final farewell.

But wait, we had one more event to attend to. SPArty at Szechenyi Spa & Baths – A summer event where the thermal baths turn into a night club. Now this is a highly recommended event to attend to if you travel the Budapest in summer time, it was a perfect way to end my trip and party it up with all the new people I’d meet.

This trip couldn’t have gone ahead without the leadership of our amazing trip leader  Lana and coach driver Damian. A massive thank you to both of you!

A big shout out goes everyone I’d meet on tour but to few awesome people: Maggie, Sim, Tayla, Claire, Alex, Chris, Arif, Jesse, Eli, Belinda and Jenny, was so great to meet such friendly people and to share a good time with.

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Group Photo at Greetings to the Sun – Zadar, Croatia.

Peace Out

TZULS 😛

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