Mon 17 until Sun 23 May 2021 (confirmed)
Zagreb, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Mostar, Neum, Dubrovnik
Great 4* hotels at top locations
Direct flight Zagreb, return Dubrovnik (1 stop)
The dates, program, flights and hotels of this trip are 100% confirmed. It now depends on the Belgian and Croatian governments to open up their borders and allow safe (group) travel. You can pre-reserve your spot now and indicate your preferences for flights, hotel rooms and meals. If the tourist sector opens up again you can reconfirm the reservation to make it fixed.
Repeatedly recognised by leading travel magazines as one of the world’s most amazing coastal cities, it is no wonder Dubrovnik was chosen as one of the decors of the HBO mega series Games of Thrones. For that reason alone the city appears on many bucket lists. In fact, the entire Adriatic coastline of Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina is totally worth it, as well as the inland regions. Expat Club will therefore organise a spectacular road trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik by private bus. Under normal traffic conditions you can drive this 600-km stretch in just 8 hours, but we will take 7 days and will show you the best spots along the way, including the historic cities Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Mostar and Neum, as well as the stunningly beautiful Plitvice and Krka National Parks, both with amazing scenery and spectacular waterfalls. And if you are, like us, a UNESCO World Heritage Site hunter, you can tick off seven new sites from your list. Combine that with great food and great company, and there is yet another trip you cannot miss!
Everything about the trip is confirmed, except the trip itself. We wait for positive news about the travel restrictions. If you would like to join, you can now simply pre-reserve your spot. Note, unlike what we did in the past, this is more than just indicating interest. We expect you to be serious about joining us, having many people on the list who are not serious in joining us is not helpful (we have to confirm flights and hotels as well at some point). You will not have to pay now, and you can still opt-out for free until the moment you have to reconfirm. In other words, zero risk.
What is the trip fee?
Based on the current almost all-inclusive package, this trip will costs only €1699 per person (early-bird available), based on 2 people sharing a room. If you pre-reserve your spot, you will be offered an early-bird discount once the trip actually opens for reservations (this depends on the corona rules, until then you are not obliged to book). An early booking is highly advised because the price may go up due to changes in airfares and hotel rates. The single-room supplement is €315. Alternatively, you can share your room with another lady or gentleman (only same-gender rooms available).
What is included in the trip fee?
We have a smartly designed schedule that allows us to see as much as possible with much time to enjoy the cities, the beaches, the parks and the hotel. We want to avoid unnecessarily losing time so we planned a few lunches and dinners beforehand. This worry-free trip includes the following:
- Direct flight Zagreb, return Dubrovnik with Croatian (1 stop)
- All airport taxes and fees
- Private airport transfers
- 6 nights in great 4* hotels at perfect locations in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Sibenik, Neum & Dubrovnik
- 6x breakfasts, 4x lunches & 5x dinners
- Private transportation by modern bus
- Guided tours in Zagreb
- Visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvička jezera)
- Entrance fees Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Guided tour Zadar
- Visit to Krka National Park
- Visit to Sibenik
- Visit to Trogir
- Guided tour Split
- Visit to Omis
- Visit to Stécci site
- Guided tour Mostar
- Visit to Neum
- Guided tour Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Cable Car & Panoramic viewpoint
- 2 countries
- 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- 5 professionally guided tours
- Unlimited plunges in the Adriatic Sea
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
Who can join us?
Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone feels comfortable.
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Expat Club and families
Expat Club welcomes everyone, including families with children. However, due to the extended guided tours this trip is not meant for younger children. Contact us if you are interested so we can ensure you get the right rooms and a family/child discount. These discounts are valid on the early-bird and regular trip fees (no further discounts apply, including pre-reservation discounts).
As with all Expat Club trips we carefully designed the entire program to arrange a smooth trip for everyone and to see the very best sights while taking time to enjoy it all. This includes the outstanding location of our superb hotels, pre-reserved entrance times, organized lunches and dinners, good local transportation etc. Although we’re going to see a lot, rest assured that we have plenty of time to discover each destination while having also enough time for lunches and dinners, as well as relaxation (e.g. swimming in Adriatic). Of course unexpected things like road closures may always occur. Whatever happens, we always do our best to come up with the best possible alternative in collaboration with local guides, bus drivers, hotels and welcoming restaurants and museums.
Monday 17 May
– Morning flight to Zagreb (or possibly late evening flight)
– Check-in hotels: Hotel Dubrovnik (in Zagreb)****
– Guided city tour Zagreb (UNESCO World Heritage Site, morning flight only)
– Welcome dinner (for those on morning flight)
Tuesday 18 May
– Free time Zagreb, museums
– Drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Check-in Kolovare Hotel**** in Zadar
Wednesday 19 May
– Guided tour Zadar (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Visit to Krka National Park
– Visit to Sibenik (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Check-in Amadria****+ in Sibenik
Thursday 20 May
– Guided tour Trogir (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Guided tour Split (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Check-in Globo Hotel****
– Dinner on Riva Waterfront
Friday 21 May
– Visit Omis
– Visit Mala Crljivica Stecci (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Visit Mostar (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Check-in Hotel Vapore**** in Neum (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Saturday 22 May
– Check-in Lero Hotel**** in Dubrovnik
– Cable car, Panorama & Imperial Fortress
– Guided tour Dubrovnik (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
– Dinner in centre
Sunday 23 May
– Free time (at beach or in town)
– Late afternoon flight to Brussels (1 stop Zagreb)
This road trip only bridges a distance of about 800km between Zagreb and Dubrovnik (including a few D-tours), roughly the same distance as from Brussels to Munich. With so many beautiful spots, multiple UNESCO sites, lovely villages and impressive historic cities along the way, we will of course make many stops, including the following ones:
- Plitvice National Park (UNESCO)
- Krka National Park
- Sibenik (UNESCO)
- Trogir (UNESCO)
- Palace of Diocletian, Split (UNESCO)
- Stécci Medieval Graveyards (UNESCO)
- Mostar (Bosnia, UNESCO)
- Neum (Bosnia)
- Old City of Dubrovnik (UNESCO)
For our road trip we will make use of a private modern bus. At Expat Club you are always assured of top-quality material, whether it’s a day or a weekend trip, or a long road-trip like this one. The distances during this trip are not so big, so we won’t be spending long days in the bus but enjoy the beautiful sights instead. All destinations and D-tours are more than worth it, and the route itself along the Adriatic and through the hills makes it even more special.
Situation on the Sava river, Zagreb is Croatia’s largest city with about 1,1 million in habitats in the metropolitan region. Like many cities in the region, its history dates back to Roman times, although the name is almost 900 years old. We are going to pay a short visit to this lovely Capital city. For those joining us on the morning flight, we will first have lunch upon arrival in the hotel, followed by a guided city tour, free time, drinks and dinner in the evening. For those on the evening flight, you will be picked up from the airport by private transfer. The next morning everybody will have some free time until an early lunch to further explore the city or one of the museums.
Plitviče Lakes National Park
One of Croatia’s biggest tourist attraction is the 295 square kilometer Plitviče Lakes National Park, almost two times the size of Brussels and attracting over one million visitors per year. It is known for the many levels of lakes, some smaller and some bigger, all joined by waterfalls, hiking trails, walkways and a boat. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitviče cannot be missed on any trip to Croatia. Since we have a mixed group, we would like to give everyone the chance to discover the park at his and her own pace. We’ll be spending several hours here and you can walk as far and as fast as you can, or just sit down somewhere and enjoy the scenery.
The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
We start our trip in Zadar, with a direct flight from Brussels. With a population of 75.000 it its considerably smaller than Split and Zagreb, but it is this city that takes home the trophy of Croatia’s oldest city. Traces of civilisation can be found in the Stone Age, but as a city its origins go back to the 9th century BC. Over the course of 2 millennia it was controlled by various powers, and this incredible history will reveal itself when we will discover this beautiful city together with a local guide.
Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries: Stato da Terra – Western Stato da Mar This property consists of 6 components of defence works in Italy, Croatia and Montenegro, spanning more than 1,000 km between the Lombard region of Italy and the eastern Adriatic Coast. The fortifications throughout the Stato da Terra protected the Republic of Venice from other European powers to the northwest and those of the Stato da Mar protected the sea routes and ports in the Adriatic Sea to the Levant. They were necessary to support the expansion and authority of the Serenissima. The introduction of gunpowder led to significant shifts in military techniques and architecture that are reflected in the design of so-called alla moderna / bastioned, fortifications, which were to spread throughout Europe. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
Krka National Park
The beautiful Krka National Park lies within Šibenik-Knin County, and covers a total area of 109 km² of the loveliest sections of the Krka River, and the lower course of the Čikola River. The national park is a vast and primarily unaltered area of exceptional natural value, including one or more preserved or insignificantly altered ecosystems. The purpose of the park is primarily to serve science, culture, education and recreation, while tourism activities have also been introduced for its visitors. Including the submerged part of the river at the mouth, the Krka River is 72.5 km long, making it the 22nd longest river in Croatia. It springs in the foothills of the Dinara mountain range, 2.5 km northeast of Knin. With its seven waterfalls and a total drop in altitude of 242 m, the Krka is a natural and karst phenomenon. The travertine waterfalls of the Krka River are the fundamental phenomenon of this river. (source: website Krka National Park)
We follow the Krka River from the National Park to our next destination on the Adriatic Sea, the historic city of Sibenik. Also here we’ll find another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Saint James Cathedral from 1402. The city has a nice waterfront with several restaurants, so it’s a perfect stop for a lunch or a drink before we continue to Split.
The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik (1431-1535), on the Dalmatian coast, bears witness to the considerable exchanges in the field of monumental arts between Northern Italy, Dalmatia and Tuscany in the 15th and 16th centuries. The three architects who succeeded one another in the construction of the Cathedral - Francesco di Giacomo, Georgius Mathei Dalmaticus and Niccolò di Giovanni Fiorentino - developed a structure built entirely from stone and using unique construction techniques for the vaulting and the dome of the Cathedral. The form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
At just 25km from Split lies the small city of Trogir. With just 13.000 it pales in comparison to its bigger sister, but it is at least equally impressive. With one best preserved medieval town centres, also Trogir appears on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We are going to stop here for some time before we drive the last stretch to Split.
Historic City of Trogir Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Its beautiful Romanesque churches are complemented by the outstanding Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
For many who visit the Dalmatian coast Dubrovnik would probably be the main destination. But the city of split is pure gold too. What a great place to visit. With about 250.000 inhabitants, this modern seaside city actually started 2200-2300 years ago as a greek colony. Going through various faces, you can taste the history on every street corner.
Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian The ruins of Diocletian's Palace, built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., can be found throughout the city. The cathedral was built in the Middle Ages, reusing materials from the ancient mausoleum. Twelfth- and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style make up the rest of the protected area. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
This is not one of our main destinations, but since it’s the end of a river that meanders through a gorge that we will follow for a few kilometers on our way landinward.
Stécci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards
Croatia is rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Although spread out over 4 countries, and not much more than a collection of tombstones, the Stécci medieval graveyards are truly impressive if you consider their age. We will briefly visit one of the 28 sites when we travel from Split to Mostar since they’re on the route anyway.
Stécci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards This serial property combines 28 sites, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, western Serbia, western Montenegro and central and southern Croatia, representing these cemeteries and regionally distinctive medieval tombstones, or stećci. The cemeteries, which date from the 12th to 16th centuries CE, are laid out in rows, as was the common custom in Europe from the Middle Ages. The stećci are mostly carved from limestone. They feature a wide range of decorative motifs and inscriptions that represent iconographic continuities within medieval Europe as well as locally distinctive traditions. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
So you thought we were only going to Croatia? That you could simply drive from Zadar to Dubrovnik? But did you think about the small corridor of Bosnia and Herzegovina that cuts off the Southern part of Croatia? There was a time when people first took a boat to the Peljesac Peninsula and then drive Southbound, and therefore bypassing Bosnia. That sounds a bit cumbersome for our road trip, so we decided to actually see something in the 2nd country on this road trip and visit the city of Mostar and Neum, the latter where we will also stay for a night.
A city named after the keepers of a bridge that splits the city in half. The Stari Most or Old Bridge was built in the 16th century by the Ottomans, but was destroyed in November 1993 during the Croat-Bosniac war. Rebuilt in 2004, it is the most recognisable landmark in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will spend a few hours here for lunch and looking around, and of coursing to cross the bridge. In the summer months many daredevils will make the 20m jump into the river below. Go ahead, we’ll take pictures and videos for you 😉
Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most, after which it is named. In the 1990s conflict, however, most of the historic town and the Old Bridge, designed by the renowned architect Sinan, was destroyed. The Old Bridge was recently rebuilt and many of the edifices in the Old Town have been restored or rebuilt with the contribution of an international scientific committee established by UNESCO. The Old Bridge area, with its pre-Ottoman, eastern Ottoman, Mediterranean and western European architectural features, is an outstanding example of a multicultural urban settlement. The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities. (source: Unesco World Heritage Site)
With just 3000 inhabitants, Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a rather small town. Still, its strategic location in the country’s corridor to the Adriatic makes it a perfect spot for both national and international tourists. The distance from North to South is only 10km, although the winding coastline gives the country 20km of sea access. We will stay one night in Neum before we go to Dubrovnik and enjoy a bit more of Bosnian hospitality.
The city of Dubrovnik was already added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1979. It is no doubt one of the Mediterranean’s tourist hotspots, especially after the series Game of Thrones picked the city as one of their filming locations. With a population of almost 45.000, it is much smaller than Split, and even Zadar, but it is Dubrovnik that takes the trophy for most popular holiday destination. With its magnificent city walls, beautiful blue water and its fully restored historic city center, it is a true pleasure to walk around here. We will be enjoying a guided tour and much free time to make this the absolute highlight of our trip.
Old City of Dubrovnik The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO. (source: Unesco World Heritage site)
Expat Club is known for selecting great hotels at super locations. Instead of staying in just one “strategically” chosen hotel on the coast and going on exhausting daytrips, we will stay in top-reviewed 4* hotels in Zagreb, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Neum and Dubrovnik. Each hotel has an outstanding location in the city centers, except for the one in Sibenik that is superbly located on the seaside a bit out of town, and the one in Dubrovnik. The historic center there is so small that only very few tiny hotels are within or close to the city wall. Our hotel is at only about 15 minutes walkin. The rest of the Dubrovnik hotels are situated (much) further away, so you can rest assured that this it the best we could arrange. Just be aware we may not offer everyone a spot in this hotel, so early booking is advised. If full, we can offer a more expensive 5* hotel or a regular 3* hotel at 10-15 minutes extra walking.
Choose your room
In each hotel you can choose a variety of rooms.
- Single room – 1 single or double bed for 1 person (surcharge €225)
- Double room – 1 large bed for 2 persons (a couple or parent/child)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 persons (two friends sharing a room)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 solo travellers who would like to share a room
- Triple/family rooms & suites – at request
Room sharing for solo travellers
If you travel alone, you can share a “twin room” with 2 single beds (male or female rooms). We introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. This means you don’t have to search for a friend who wants to join the trip, but of course feel free to make some extra promotion 😉 You can simply indicate during checkout that you’d like to share a room and we’ll do the rest. We do not assign you to a room, but you choose who you want to share the room with during the first day of the trip. It is a perfect way to lower your costs and to meet another friendly expat.
We are offering convenient flights with Croatia Airlines, a reputable airline with modern aircrafts and a member of Star Alliance (all taxes and fees included). It’s by far the best way to get to Zagreb and fly back from Dubrovnik. For PriorityPass members, there are lounges in both airports and in Brussels of course.
Outbound flight Tuesday 18 May
Today you can choose between 2 flights. If you want to spend more time in Zagreb and wouldn’t mind taking an extra day off, then join us in the morning. If you prefer to go to work on Tuesday, just travel on a convenient evening flight. Whatever you choose, a transfer to our downtown hotel will be included. Note: we have limited seats on both flights. If you book late, you may have to pay a surcharge to get on your desired flight.
morning: Brussels 09h45 – Zagreb 11h25
evening: Brussels 20h25 – Zagreb 22h05
Inbound flight Monday 24 May
Since there are no direct flights to Brussels, we are traveling back via Zagreb with a short layover. The great thing about this flight is that we can still spend the entire morning in town or on the beach and have a nice lunch before going to the airport. This way you get an extra day of vacation.
Dubrovnik 16h20 – Zagreb 17h15
Zagreb 17h55 – Brussels 19h45
- The trip will be carried out by Croatian Airlines and reputable local bus and hotel partners.
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, or if you would like to discuss certain things, you are more than invited to contact us.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurances that cover you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).