Three weeks in the Balkans is an excellent amount of time to spend between Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Check out each country's must-sees on an ultimate highlights tour, or if you enjoy staying active while traveling, dedicate your time to hiking, kayaking, and rafting. Alternatively, hop between charming taverns, cooking classes, and markets on a culinary adventure, or soak up the Balkans' rich culture on an itinerary that features capital cities and historic villages.

Itinerary #1: Ultimate Balkan Highlights Tour

Perfect for first-time visitors to the region, this epic Balkan highlights itinerary features the must-sees of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Throughout, you'll pause for overnights in nine different locations, embark on guided and independent explorations, and spend unhurried time in nature. From Bled's postcard-worthy island and the drowned landscapes of Plitvice Lakes National Park to the storied Old Towns of Dubrovnik and Split, each destination promises not only to wow but also to enrich your understanding of Balkan history and culture.

Follow the Adriatic coast down to Dubrovnik on this three-week Balkan adventure
Follow the Adriatic coast down to Dubrovnik on this three-week Balkan adventure
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Free Time to Explore Ljubljana
Day 2 Ljubljana Guided Walking Tour Ljubljana
Day 3 Transfer to Bled via Radovljica Bled
Day 4 Discover Bled Tour & Island Boat Ride, Visit Vintgar Gorge Bled
Day 5 Transfer to Bovec via Vršič Pass Scenic Drive Bovec
Day 6 Transfer to Rovinj (Croatia) via Škocjan Caves Rovinj
Day 7 Half-Day Trip to Pula, Free Afternoon in Rovinj Rovinj
Day 8 Explore Istrian Hill Towns & Truffle Lunch, Transfer to Plitvice Lakes Plitvice Lakes
Day 9 Plitvice Lakes National Park Tour, Transfer to Split Split
Day 10 Split Walking Tour, Half-Day Tour to Klis Fortress & Trogir Split
Day 11 Day Trip to Hvar: Croatia's Sunniest Island Split
Day 12 Full-Day Boat Tour to Blue Lagoon & Island of Šolta Split
Day 13 Transfer to Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) Sarajevo
Day 14 Sarajevo Food & Culture Tour, Free Time to Explore Sarajevo
Day 15 Transfer to Mostar, Afternoon Walking Tour Mostar
Day 16 Transfer to Dubrovnik (Croatia) via Blagaj & Buna Spring Dubrovnik
Day 17 Dubrovnik Walking Tour, Visit Lokrum Island Dubrovnik
Day 18 Cable Car Ride or Hike Mount Srđ, Konavle Region Culinary Experience Dubrovnik
Day 19 Transfer to Kotor (Montenegro), Explore Perast & Our Lady of the Rocks Kotor
Day 20 Day Trip to Cetinje & Lovčen Kotor
Day 21 Depart Kotor  

Your ultimate Balkan adventure begins in Ljubljana, and after spending two days taking in the sights of Slovenia's charming capital, you'll continue to Bled. This scenic Julian Alps town is renowned for its one-church island and close proximity to the Vintgar Gorge, and you'll have plenty of time to explore both during your stay. Afterward, transfer along the awe-inspiring Vršič Pass Scenic Drive to Bovec, and spend the evening conquering a hike of your choice. Next, cross the border to Rovinj, Croatia, where, in between exploring independently, you'll tick off a day trip to Pula's impressive Roman Amphitheater.

Week two of your adventure kicks off in Plitvice Lakes National Park, and after an evening arrival, you'll want to wake early to explore before the crowds before continuing to Split. After the fast-paced last few days, you'll be happy to unpack for a four-day stay. Throughout, explore Diocletian's Palace, Trogir, and Klis Fortress alongside private guides and spend a day each soaking up the dreamy island landscapes of Hvar and Šolta. Next, travel inland to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and delve into the city's culinary side during a food and culture tour.

The third week of your trip starts with an overnight in Mostar, home to the iconic Stari Most bridge, followed by a transfer to Dubrovnik. Here, over three days, you'll explore its Old Town, spend an afternoon on the car-free island of Lokrum, and take a cable car up to Mount Srđ. Additionally, venture out of the city for dinner at a family farmhouse before continuing to Kotor, Montenegro. Upon arrival, dedicate the afternoon to exploring its many Venetian palaces and Romanesque churches, then wrap up your adventure with a memorable day in Mount Lovćen National Park. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Nature & Outdoor Adventures in the Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia & Montenegro

Hike, raft, kayak, zipline, and paraglide through the Balkans on this activity-filled outdoor adventure. Perfect for nature-loving travelers, you'll spend time in the most breathtaking destinations of the region, including Lake Bled, the mountainous Soča Valley, Paklenica National Park, and Plitvice Lakes National Park. When you're not out adventuring, refuel through food tours, scenic transfers, and free afternoons to explore at your own pace.

This three-country trip kicks off in Slovenia, with outdoor adventures on the Soča River
This three-country trip kicks off in Slovenia, with outdoor adventures on the Soča River
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Afternoon Walking Tour Ljubljana
Day 2 Transfer to Bled, Discover Bled Town & Traditional Boat Ride Bled
Day 3 Bled Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Visit Vintgar Gorge Bled
Day 4 Hike to Debela Peč Mountain Bled
Day 5 Transfer to Bovec via Vršič Pass Scenic Drive Bovec
Day 6 Soča Valley Zipline, River Rafting & Tandem Paragliding Bovec
Day 7 Transfer to Rovinj (Croatia) via Škocjan Caves Rovinj
Day 8 Walking Tour of Rovinj, Cycling on Parenzana Trail Rovinj
Day 9 Transfer to Plitvice Lakes, Guided Hike in Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes
Day 10 Transfer to Zadar, Afternoon Walking Tour Zadar
Day 11 Hiking Day in Paklenica National Park Zadar
Day 12 Transfer to Split, Walking Food Tour Split
Day 13 Cetina Canyon Adventures Day: Rafting & Ziplining Split
Day 14 Ferry to Hvar, Island Cycling Tour Hvar
Day 15 Full-Day Boat Tour to Blue Cave & Pakleni Islands Hvar
Day 16 Ferry to Dubrovnik, City Walking Tour & Mount Srđ Dubrovnik
Day 17 Dubrovnik Sea Kayaking Excursion Dubrovnik
Day 18 Transfer to Žabljak (Montenegro), Free Afternoon Žabljak
Day 19 Transfer to Kotor, Hike to the St. John Fortress  Kotor
Day 20 Walking Tour of Kotor & Perast Kotor
Day 21 Depart Kotor  

While your adventure starts leisurely, with a free afternoon to meander amid Ljubljana's highlights, you'll soon transfer to Bled for an activity-packed three-day stay. A walking tour and visit to Bled Island greets your arrival, then wake before dawn for a thrilling hot-air balloon ride, followed by hikes in Vintgar Gorge and to the summit of Debela Peč. Next, traverse the Vršič Pass on your way to Bovec, and upon arrival, immerse yourself in the region's mountainous landscapes through a hike of your choice. You'll also spend an afternoon ziplining, whitewater rafting, and paragliding before setting your sights on Croatia. 

Your first Croatian destination is Rovinj, a seaside town on the Istrian peninsula and the perfect place to recharge while sampling local cuisine and biking along the Parenzana Trail. Then, dedicate a day to hiking in ​​Plitvice Lakes National Park before continuing to the ancient Roman city of Zadar. Here, after checking out city sights at your own pace, you'll again don your hiking boots for a guided trek in Paklenica National Park. Afterward, continue south to Split and enjoy an indulgent evening sampling Croatia's finest seafood, ensuring you're fueled up for a zipline and hiking excursion in nearby Omiš

From Split, travel by ferry to Hvar and settle in for a fun-filled two-day stay. Your home on this storied island is Hvar Town, which is an ideal base to hop between quaint fishing villages and cruise around the Pakleni archipelago. Afterward, another ferry journey brings you to Dubrovnik, and although the main draw here is undoubtedly the walled Old Town, you'll also hike up to Mount Srđ and embark on a sea kayaking excursion. Then, with your trip winding down, overnight in Montenegro's charming mountain town of Žabljak and spend your final days exploring Kotor's medieval streets. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Flavors of the Adriatic: Montenegro, Croatia & Slovenia

Experience the fresh ingredients and unique regional differences of Balkan cuisine firsthand with this diverse gastronomy-focused trip. Indulge in fresh oysters straight from the sea, tuck into local taverns, and sip wine with beyond-beautiful sea views. When you're not dining, learn how to make Balkan dishes yourself through numerous cooking workshops and a take to the Istrian forests with a canine companion for a memorable truffle hunting experience.

Savor the freshest seafood as you make your way along the Adriatic coast
Savor the freshest seafood as you make your way along the Adriatic coast
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kotor (Montenegro), Free Time Kotor
Day 2 Hike to St. John Fortress, Kotor Food & Wine Walking Tour Kotor
Day 3 Transfer to Dubrovnik (Croatia) via Perast, Walking Tour of Dubrovnik  Dubrovnik
Day 4 Free Morning in Dubrovnik, Konavle Region Culinary Experience Dubrovnik
Day 5 Half-Day Elafiti Islands Speedboat Tour Dubrovnik
Day 6 Transfer & Ferry to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula Wine Tasting & Oysters Korčula
Day 7 Beach Time on Korčula, Lumbarda Wine Tour & Konoba Dinner Korčula
Day 8 Ferry to Hvar, Traditional Peka Dinner Hvar
Day 9 Hvar Cycling Tour, Ferry to Split Split
Day 10 Split Culture & Food Tour, Soparnik Culinary Workshop Split
Day 11 Day Trip to Mostar & Blagaj (Bosnia & Herzegovina) Split
Day 12 Transfer to Plitvice Lakes via Krka Wine Tasting & Šibenik Plitvice Lakes
Day 13 Walking Tour of Plitvice Lakes, Traditional Peka Lunch, Transfer to Rovinj Rovinj
Day 14 Half-Day Trip to Pula, Istrian Cooking Class Rovinj
Day 15 Explore Istria's Medieval Towns, Truffle Lunch at Family Estate Rovinj
Day 16 Transfer to Bled (Slovenia) via Piran Bled
Day 17 Discover Bled Town & Island Boat Ride, Traditional Slovenian Culinary Class Bled
Day 18 Bled Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Visit Vintgar Gorge Bled
Day 19 Transfer to Zagreb (Croatia) via Ljubljana, Honey Tour with Local Beekeeper Zagreb
Day 20 Zagreb Food & Culture Tour, Stroll Around Tkalčićeva Street Zagreb
Day 21 Depart Zagreb  

Your culinary adventure begins in Kotor, and after waking up your appetite with a hike up to St. John Fortress, you'll join an indulgent food and wine walking tour. Next, transfer to Dubrovnik—a Croatian city famous for its walled Old Town, decadent seafood, and beautiful coastal landscapes. Over a three-day stay here, you'll experience them all through guide-led tours, a family farm cooking experience, and an Elafiti Islands speedboat tour. Afterward, on your way to Korčula, pause in Ston to sample fresh oysters, then spend your time on this lovely island sunbathing, sipping wine, and sampling local cuisine. 

The second week of your adventure begins with a ferry to Hvar and a hearty peka dinner at a family-owned restaurant, ensuring you're well-fueled up for a half-day cycling excursion. Next, board another ferry, this one bound for Split, and celebrate your arrival over dinner near the dazzling Diocletian's Palace. Continue your culinary exploration the following day during a private food tour and a soparnik cooking class, then detour to Bosnia and Herzegovina for visits to Mostar and Blagaj. Afterward, en route to Rovinj, pause in Plitvice Lakes National Park to hike and spend the night.

Your time in Rovinj is all about getting to know the nature and culinary traditions of the Istrian peninsula. Visit the impressive Pula Arena, learn the secrets of Istrian pasta at a cooking workshop, hop between hilltop villages, and go truffle hunting with a local family. Then, continue north to the beautiful Slovenian town of Bled and pack in all sorts of adventures over the following three days, including a boat tour of Lake Bled, a remarkable hot-air balloon flight, and a cooking class. Your final destination is Zagreb, but before bidding farewell, squeeze in a private food and culture tour. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Balkan Capitals & Culture: Podgorica, Sarajevo, Ljubljana & Zagreb

This authentic Balkan culture tour features a fascinating blend of capital cities, small villages, and national parks and is perfect for travelers seeking an immersive trip. Over three weeks, you'll see firsthand where "East meets West" in Mostar, wander amid Dubrovnik's famous Old Town, and dine within the striking Ljubljana Castle. In addition, scenic transfers, guided city tours and hikes, and planned side excursions make this itinerary perfect for those who prefer to soak up their surroundings without worrying about any logistics.

Get a taste of Istria's Venetian influences in coastal Opatija
Get a taste of Istria's Venetian influences in coastal Opatija
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Podgorica (Montenegro), Self-Guided City Tour Podgorica
Day 2 Transfer to Kotor via Skadar Lake Kotor
Day 3 Full-Day Tour of Lovčen National Park & Historic Cetinje Kotor
Day 4 Transfer to Dubrovnik (Croatia) via Perast & Our Lady of the Rocks Dubrovnik
Day 5 Dubrovnik Walking Tour, Authentic Konavle Cooking Class & Dinner Dubrovnik
Day 6 Full-Day Cavtat & Konavle Valley Tour Dubrovnik
Day 7 Transfer to Mostar (Bosnia & Herzegovina) via Blagaj, Afternoon City Tour Mostar
Day 8 Free Day in Mostar: Explore the Old Town & Visit Kravica Waterfall Mostar
Day 9 Transfer to Sarajevo, Free Time to Explore Sarajevo
Day 10 Sarajevo Food & Culture Tour Sarajevo
Day 11 Transfer to Split (Croatia) via Međugorje, Split Walking Tour Split
Day 12 Half-Day Klis Fortress & Trogir Tour Split
Day 13 Day Trip to the Island of Brač Split
Day 14 Transfer to Plitvice Lakes, National Park Walking Tour Plitvice Lakes
Day 15 Transfer to Opatija, Free Time to Explore Opatija
Day 16 Explore Istria's Medieval Hill Towns Opatija
Day 17 Transfer to Ljubljana (Slovenia) via Predjama Castle & Postojna Cave Ljubljana
Day 18 Day Trip to Lake Bled & Škofja Loka Ljubljana
Day 19 Transfer to Zagreb (Croatia), Afternoon City Tour Zagreb
Day 20 Half-Day Trip to Varaždin, Croatia's Former Capital Zagreb
Day 21 Depart Zagreb  

Your cultural odyssey begins in Podgorica, Montenegro's capital, which is the perfect place to shrug off travel fatigue while exploring at your own pace. Then, transfer to Kotor and delve into the region's culture and nature through a full-day trip featuring Lovćen National Park and the historic town of Cetinje. Continuing north, you'll soon find yourself in Dubrovnik, uncovering the many stories of its walled Old Town through a walking tour and local-taught cooking class. Additionally, head to Konavle Valley for a dreamy lunch and wine tasting before setting your sights on Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Your first destination in Bosnia is Mostar, and during your two-day stay, you'll learn why it's considered where "East meets West" while exploring its Old Town and iconic Stari Most bridge. Afterward, continue to Sarajevo, where, thanks to a local guide, you'll be treated to a thorough introduction to the city's markets, mosques, and historic streets. A three-day stay in Split is featured next on your itinerary, and upon arrival, kick things off with a guided walking tour. Then, explore Klis Fortress, Trogir, and the nearby island of Brač before setting your sights on Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The third week of your adventure kicks off with a transfer to Opatija, located on the Istrian peninsula, and after taking a day to explore independently, you'll join a guide to hop between the region's hilltop towns. Next, transfer to Ljubljana, the charming capital of Slovenia, and celebrate your arrival over dinner inside the Ljubljana Castle. You'll then embark on a day trip to Lake Bled and the medieval town of Škofja Loka before continuing to your final destination—Zagreb. Here, a fascinating city tour and a day trip to Croatia's former capital, Varaždin, mark the end of your delightful adventure. Learn more

More Great 3-Week Croatia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Croatia? Check out these other three-week Croatia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


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Map of 3 Weeks in the Balkans - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 3 Weeks in the Balkans - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas