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The Continental Classic Express


Travel on the Continental Classic Express

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2018 Tour code: COJ18

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Days 1-2 - To Budapest

Today, meet your Tour Manager at Gatwick Airport in London. From here, we board our flight to Budapest, transferring to our hotel, the 4-Star Hotel Lifestyle, on arrival. Day 2 sees us enjoying a guided tour of beautiful Budapest.

This city of two halves is divided by the River Danube, and sewn together with a variety of bridges. On one side, hilly Buda is rife with stunning examples of medieval architecture, filled with old buildings and cobbled streets. On the other, fl at Pest is a lively spot during the day or night, boasting of a myriad of trendy restaurants and bars. On our tour, we explore both sides of the river. Some of the highlights include the Parliament Building, a stately and symmetrical building, whose whitewashed facade reflects perfectly in the waters of the Danube, which it overlooks. St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest Castle, and Matthias Church are also sights that we see, and included in our tour is entrance into Mattias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion, which offers breathtaking views over the city.

This afternoon, you are at leisure to further enjoy the delights of Budapest. Why not enjoy a late lunch at one of the vibrant bars or cafés that fill Pest? This evening, we venture to a local restaurant to enjoy our first dinner together.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Parliament Building, Budapest
Days 3-4 - To Belgrade on the Continental Classic Express

Today, we transfer to the station to board the Continental Classic Express. Travelling in specially chartered carriages, enjoy winding through the stunning scenery of Eastern Europe in comfort and style. The carriages are decorated in warm colours, and offer comfortable seats, all of which have tables for refreshments, as well as large windows. On our journey today, we travel to Belgrade, passing Lake Balaton on our way. This long and pleasantly blue body of water is the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, and is surrounded by verdant and hilly countryside, and numerous collections of towns and villages crowd around its shores. We enjoy lunch on board our train today, and this evening, we transfer to our hotel, the 4-Star Hotel Moskva, after arriving in Belgrade. Our dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

We begin Day 4 with a half day coach tour of Belgrade. During the tour, we view some of the sights of the city, including Belgrade Fortress, otherwise known as Kalemegdan Fortress, an imposing building that has loomed over this region since 535 AD. The House of Flowers is another iconic building in Belgrade. The mausoleum of Tito, once the President of Yugoslavia, it is a rather lovely building, filled with tropical plants, flowers, and white marble. Following the tour, we enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant, and then the rest of your afternoon and evening is at leisure to continue exploring Belgrade.

  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - The Šargan Eight Railway

Today, we venture onwards into Bosnia and Herzegovina on board the Continental Classic Express railway for our second journey on specially chartered carriages. After enjoying some lunch on the train, we disembark and take a coach journey to the Pozega Railway Museum. Here, we can see some fantastic examples of steam locomotives, including an ex French military train, that was built in 1917.

After some time here, we re-board the coach to travel to Mokra Gora, where we embark on a journey on the Šargan Eight railway. Originally opened in 1925, the line ran for just under 50 years. It was re-opened in 2003, after a spectacular reconstruction effort, and continues to be a popular tourism destination today. It is easy to see why, as this majestic heritage railway line passes over the Šargan Pass, with incredible views over the verdant forests and craggy mountains of the region. At the end of the route, we arrive in Višegrad, where we embark on a coach tour of this picturesque town, before continuing by coach to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sargan Eight Railway
Day 6 - Sarajevo

We explore Sarajevo this morning on an informative, half day coach tour. An incredibly multicultural city, Sarajevo is the only European capital to have a mosque, two churches of different denominations, and a synogogue, within close range of each other. The city has also been part of a number of empires since it's founding in 1461, including the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, lending the city a wonderful array of architecture, history, and culture, that is a delight to discover. One of the sights that we see in this wonderful city include the historic centre of the city, the Baščaršija. One of the oldest areas in the city, this bazaar was once considered the centre of Sarajevo, and it is around this square that one can find the different religious buildings that make the city so unique. We also see the Latin Bridge that stretches over the river Milijacka, which was built in the time of the Ottoman empire in the 16th century, and was the site for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. We also see some of the more modern additions to the city, including the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum, dedicated to the maze of tunnels that were constructed under the city during the 1993 Siege of Sarajevo. The siege itself lasted longer than the Bosnian war, ending in 1996, and gaining the reputation as the longest siege of a city in modern warfare. This afternoon, transfer to the beautiful suburb of Ilidza, which we explore on our second guided tour of the day. This delightful area is surrounded by picturesque mountains, as well as having the azure ribbon of the Bosna river pass through it. Whilst here, we take a carriage ride to the spring of Vrelo Bosne, an idyllic landmark within the buzzing hubbub of Sarajevo.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - To Bar on the Continental Classic Express

Today, we travel by coach to Užice where we begin our specially chartered journey on the Continental Classic Express, to take us to the charming coastal town of Bar. On our journey, soak in the scenery, which is filled with unparalleled beauty, as we pass through the Moraca gorge, surrounded by craggy and high reaching cliffs, as well as over the Mala-Rijeka Viaduct, a rather incredible feat of engineering which boasts the title of the highest railway bridge in Europe. Watch out also for the Skutari Lakes, stunning azure pools which we pass on our way. After enjoying lunch and tea on the train, we disembark in Bar this evening, where we transfer to our hotel in time for dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 - Kotor

Today, our final destination is Dubrovnik, however first we stop off at the stunning town of Kotor. Beginning our time here with a guided walking tour, before a short time at leisure to continue absorbing the stunning surroundings of this UNESCO listed town. Later, we transfer to the ferry port, from where we venture onwards to visit 'Our Lady of the Rocks', an islet topped by a Catholic Church, which we have time to explore. After the ferry returns to Kotor, we continue on to Dubrovnik.

  • Breakfast
Days 9-10 - Dubrovnik and at leisure

After breakfast, it is time to explore Dubrovnik, one of the largest cities in Croatia and a blossoming tourism hotspot. We begin with a walking tour of Dubrovnik's Old Town, This section of the city is a delightful cluster of medieval buildings that, thanks to its amazing preservation, has the honour of holding a UNESCO World Heritage listing. Entrance to the Franciscan Monastery and Cathedral is included, and so we have the chance to look around here before transferring back to the hotel. The rest of today, and Day 10, is at leisure, ahead of a final farewell meal together this evening.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, we transfer to Dubrovnik Airport to fly back to London Gatwick. On arrival, our tour concludes

  • Breakfast
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