Wednesday 12 until Sunday 16 May 2021 (t.b.c.)
Various places in Croatia & Bosnia and Herzegovina
Accommodation in various 3* and 4* hotels
Direct flights with Ryan Air to Zadar, from Dubrovnik
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 and Herzegovina is totally worth it. Expat Club will therefore organise a spectacular road trip from Zadar to Dubrovnik with a private bus. Under normal traffic conditions you can drive this 350-km stretch in just 4 hours, but we will take 4 days and will show you the best spots along the way, including the historic cities Sibenik, Trogir, Split and Mostar, as well as the stunningly beautiful Krka National Park with its many waterfalls. And if you are, like us, a UNESCO World Heritage Site hunter, you can tick off eight new sites from your list. Combine that with great food and great company, and there is yet another trip you cannot miss!
This trip is not yet confirmed in terms of dates, program and time. Although we aim to organise it during the long Ascension day weekend, the exact dates depend on the flights to/from Zadar and Dubrovnik (possibly even Podgorica). We also cannot yet give you a price indication. Expat Club is keen on adding Croatia and Bosnia to the list of destinations and travel there with a group of fun people (max. 25-30 people). If you are interested, we would love to hear that. You can now pre-reserve a spot for free and without obligations. We will then inform you whenever we have more information available. If you are a member and logged in, simply click on the RSVP button. If you are not a member, you can register first and follow these stops, or simply submit your name and email address on this page. Membership is not required for any of our trips because we only offer this online option for those who want to connect more with others.
What is included in the trip fee?
We have a smartly designed schedule that allows us to see as much as possible without having the feeling that you have to run. We just want to avoid unnecessarily losing time by planning things well beforehand, including lunches and dinners, so you won’t have to think what to do next. A worry-free trip that includes the following items:
- Flights to Zadar and from Dubrovnik with Ryan Air (1 stop)
- Private airport transfers
- 4 nights in 4* hotels in Zadar, Split, Neum & Dubrovnik
- 4x buffet breakfast
- Private local transportation
- Guided tours in Zadar, Split, Mostar & Dubrovnik
- Visit to Zadar
- Visit to Krka National Park
- Visit to Sibenik
- Visit to Trogir
- Visit to Split
- Visit to Omis (short)
- Visit to Stécci site (short)
- Visit to Mostar
- Visit to Neum
- Visit to Dubrovnik
- All entrance fees for group visits
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
What is the trip fee?
At this moment we cannot yet tell you the trip price. We can just say that we are making use of good 4* hotels, private transfers and guides, and that we include all entrance fees. We do so to ensure you will get the best possible experience and that you can focus on enjoying this amazing part of Europe.
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 think about the entire program to arrange a smooth trip for everyone. This includes the location of the hotels, pre-reserved entrance times, organised lunches and dinners, good local transportation etc. Still, unforeseen things can happen that may influence our program, such as traffic and road blocks, unexpected closed destinations etc. 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. The below program is rather rudimentary and does not yet include the actual dates, but gives a good indication of what you can expect. It will surely still change a bit until we can confirm it fully, which may include an extra 6th day (depending on flight availability).
Flight to Zadar
Guided visit Zadar
Hotel in Zadar
Visit to Krka National Park
Guided visit Sibenik
Guided visit Trogir
Guided visit Split
Hotel in Split
Visit Mala Crljivica Stecci
Hotel in Neum
Visit to Dubrovnik
Visit to Dubrovnik
Flight to Brussels
This road trip only bridges a distance of about 350km between Zadar and Dubrovnik, roughly the same distance as from Brussels to Paris plus 50km. Without too much traffic, one could drive this stretch in just 4 hours. But with so many beautiful spots, multiple UNESCO sites, lovely villages and impressive historic cities along the way, we will make a few stops of course, including the following ones:
- Zadar (hotel 1)
- Krka National Park
- Split (hotel 2)
- Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
- Neum (Bosnia and Herzegovina, hotel 3)
- Dubrovnik (hotel 4)
For our road trip we will make use of a private bus. The distances are not so big, so don’t worry we’ll be spending many hours every day in the bus, namely about 3 hours on the first day, 4 on the second, and 1 on the rd day of travelling. The 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.
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 City, 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 though 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)
For your comfort, convenience, and safety, we will be staying in good 4* hotels in the centres of Zadar, Split, Neum and Dubrovnik. We cannot yet share which hotels, but as usual we always pick good one at great locations and with good reviews. In the hotels on this trip you can choose between the following room types.
- Single room – 1 large bed for 1 person (surcharge applies)
- 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 – 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. We also do not assign you to a room, but you choose who you want to share the room with. You can select this room sharing option during the reservation processs. It is a perfect way to lower your costs and to meet another friendly expat.
It’s not everybody’s favourite airline, but it’s the only one that can take us to and from the places we want to begin and end our road trip. So bear with us the chaotic boarding procedures, the non-reclinable seats and the cheap advertisement for scratch cards on board, but we’re sure you’re gonna survive 😉 The exact flight times are not yet known, but we will publish them as soon as we can confirm the trip. During the reservation process you can indicate whether you would like to check-in a bag or suitcase, reserve a seat in advance, or like to enjoy the “speedy boarding” at the airport (like the other half of the airplane). No, at Expat Club we are not a big fan of Ryan Air, especially because all the “extra’s” may make the good deal not so good after all, but it will do the job to get us exactly where we need to be.
- The trip will be carried out by Ryan Air.
- 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, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers 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).