May we introduce you to some countries, regions, cities and towns that you may not have previously considered visiting, but which we strongly recommend you should see.
Our June 2013 Travel Insider Balkan and Baltic Bucket List tour is a great way to work through some of your ‘bucket list’ countries, cities and towns, and also some that probably aren’t yet on your bucket list – but which should be.
We use the term ‘bucket list’ positively – to mean great places you should see, but probably never will unless something makes it easy and positive for you to do so. That’s where we come in – with this tour, making it easy and positive for you to achieve these hopes and dreams.
Maybe also you are trying to qualify for membership in the Traveler’s Century Club – this tour’s concentrated exposure to many different countries in a very efficient time frame (and good value, monetarily speaking, too) will get you well towards entry (or, if already a member, to the next level).
Who This Tour is For (and Not For)
Self evidently and deliberately, this tour covers a lot of ground in a short time. We try to vary the pace a bit, and include a few two night stops in places, but so as to get the most experiences in the least amount of time, it is necessarily more of an overview type tour than a detailed tour concentrating on only one or two places.
Some people will hate this. Others will love it.
Some people will be delighted at a chance to briefly but still significantly get an exposure to many countries in a part of the world they might not otherwise get to travel to, with a minimum of ‘time cost’ associated. Some people will view this as a ‘research trip’, and based on what they see on this trip, they’ll then know where to return in the future for more detailed stays. And some people will see it as a great way to add 17 more countries and the sights associated with them to their overall store of life experiences.
We hope you might find one of these categories describes yourself. But if you want to take it easy, and have a minimum of hotel changes and a maximum of extended stays and detailed immersions, this might not be the ideal tour for you (but you could also compromise and take one or two of the three sections plus more leisure time at either end).
A Quick Note About Where We Go
We do a sort of horseshoe-shaped tour down through the Balkans to the Black Sea, then ascend up and over to the Baltic Sea and further north all the way to Helsinki (see the map below).
The tour includes time in 17 different countries, and runs 20 days in full. This takes you through much of the unknown and unexplored Europe. We never go anywhere ordinary and common such as France, Germany, Italy, etc – anyone can go there, any time. As a Travel Insider, you’re getting the special tour of unspoiled and even almost hidden Europe, of places few of your friends have ever been to.
But just because these places have yet to become ‘A List’ attractions like Paris and Rome, doesn’t mean they’re not wondrous and special – for example, included in our tour are 11 different World Heritage sites – sometimes single designated places, sometimes entire towns and cities.
Our prediction is that as the tourism ‘infrastructure’ develops in these regions – more flights and airports, more hotels, more tour operators, and so on – and as the places become better known, many of the places we visit will take their rightful place on the European ‘A List’. We’ve visited some of these places before, and in our own experience (and that shared with us by other Travel Insiders), they have all greatly exceeded expectations, and many have been real treasures.
Seeing these places before they become fully tourist oriented is all the more reason to go now. Visit places before they become focused (fixated!) on tourism, before they become festooned with souvenir shops or generic expensive international fashion stores. Visit them before they get crowded with a crush of tourists every summer season, and instead enjoy them now, while they still faithfully show their uniqueness and their charm.
Shorter Tour Options Also Available
If you can’t spare the full 20 days, we offer shorter options, with the tour being split into three unequal thirds (Ljubljana to Belgrade, Belgrade to Kyiv, Kyiv to Helsinki). Choose one, two or all three sections, depending on the time you have available and the places you most want to add to your life’s list of experiences encountered and enjoyed.
And if 17 countries isn’t enough, we offer suggestions for self-guided pre and post tour options that can add three more countries to the pre-tour option and three more countries to the post-tour option. Wow – you’re now looking at 23 countries if you do it all! And even more if you extend your travels still further……
So come join The Travel Insider’s 2013 Balkan and Baltic Bucket List Tour, and enjoy a kaleidoscope of different countries, cultures, sights, sounds, tastes and tours with a small group of like-minded Travel Insiders.
Click the links for more information on :
- Tour Overview, Dates and Details
- Itinerary and Options
- Tour Pricing
- Safety and Health
- Notes and Fine Print
- Application To Join
The tour includes two different overnight train journeys, plenty of deluxe coaching, and even a ferry journey too. Here is a summary map approximately showing the itinerary from the start of the tour in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and traveling all the way to Helsinki in Finland.