The Dalmatian

Experience Southern Europe from an entirely different perspective as you glide by rail from historic Dubrovnik located on the stunning Dalmatian Coast to Budapest through the captivating Balkans.

Dubrovnik – Mostar – Sarajevo – Belgrade – Podgorica – Bar – Sargan Vitasi (Sarganbahn) – Timi?oara – Sighi?oara – Sibiu – Cluj Napoca – Debrecen – Tokaj - Budapest

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Champagne reception on departure with a military brass band performance
  • Admire the medieval and Baroque splendour of ancient Budapest
  • Ride the incredibly scenic Šargan Eight narrow-gauge heritage railway
  • Explore the UNESCO-honoured medieval citadel and colourful streets of Sighisoara
  • Discover Sarajevo’s poignant history through a truly absorbing guided tour of the city
  • Dine with a dazzling view of the Adriatic at 2-star Michelin restaurant, Nautika, Dubrovnik

Day 1 Dubrovnik

Croatia

Arrivals day in Dubrovnik, where you will be met and transferred to a luxury hotel for a two-night stay. Enjoy a welcome reception dinner in the elegant surrounds of the hotel where you can meet your fellow travellers on this highly anticipated journey.

Day 2 Dubrovnik

Croatia

Founded in the 13th century Dubrovnik is steeped in history and is perhaps one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe, essentially unchanged for 700 years, with its prominent position overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea and across to nearby Lokrum Island. It is known particularly for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. We will tour the old town travelling through Ploce Gate to visit the Franciscan Monastery with one of the world’s oldest pharmacies, the Old Harbour, St Laurence Fortress and the Rector’s Palace.

Day 3 Mostar & Sarajevo

Bosnia & Herzegovina

After breakfast we travel by bus (131kms) from Dubrovnik to Mostar.

A crossroads of many civilizations, cultures and three religions, Mostar was one of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire. The town’s renowned stone arch bridge linking the Christian and Muslim areas was re-built in the summer of 2004. We also visit Turkish House and the mosque before walking through the narrow, bazaar streets, where you can shop for traditional souvenirs and handicrafts.

Our private train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, is waiting for guests in Mostar to embark. Settle into your private en-suite cabins whilst we make the short journey across Bosnia & Herzegovina to Sarajevo.

The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo is an intriguing blend of Eastern and Western culture; it has mosques and minarets, an ancient bazaar and an atmospheric old Turkish quarter. Discover the city’s poignant history through a truly absorbing tour detailing the horrors of the Balkan War. Sarajevo suffered from the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The scars of war are still evident as we travel past war-torn buildings and we make a special visit to the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport. Your guide, who lived through the 1992-1996 conflict, brings to life in touching fashion the struggles the citizens of Sarajevo faced during the siege of the city.

Day 4 Belgrade

Serbia

This morning enjoy the pleasures of life on board the Golden Eagle Danube Express as we travel through the countryside towards Serbia. After lunch we make our arrival into the now Serbian capital, Belgrade, the former capital of Yugoslavia. Located at the strategic meeting point of the Danube and Sava Rivers, this truly cosmopolitan city, with a tumultuous history, has fortifications from Celtic times, medieval tombs and Turkish baths.

Our city tour includes the ‘House of Flowers’ – the mausoleum of former Yugoslavian President Josip Tito, the Town Hall, Republic Square and Knez Mihajlova Street, as well as ‘Varos’ Gate and a visit to the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress.

Day 5 Podgorica & Bar

Montenegro

This morning we arrive into Podgorica. Given it has undergone five name changes, passed through the empires of the Romans, Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians, and twice been wiped off the map entirely, it is little wonder that Podgorica seems permanently gripped by an identity crisis. Its streets are an interesting hotchpotch of Ottoman oddments, Austrian shopfronts, communist tower blocks and modern shopping malls.

We spend the afternoon in Bar where we enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the coastal town.

Day 6 Sargan Vitasi

Serbia

Today we take a section of the scenic narrow-gauge heritage railway from Sargan Vitasi towards the town of Visegrad. The full line is an engineering marvel through the mountains of Serbia. The system of loops and hairpin bends is known as the ‘Sargan Eight’. The average gradient is 1 in 55, and the line goes through 22 tunnels; the longest at the summit is 1,666m long.

Day 7 Timisoara & Sighisoara

Montenegro

We arrive early morning into Timisoara, particularly known for its Secessionist architecture. The central square, Piata Victoriei, is surrounded by baroque buildings and the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral, with its mosaic-patterned roof tiles and icon gallery. Here we discover on our walking tour the first European city that used the horse-drawn trams (1869) and electrical street lighting (1889) and was the first Romanian city that in December 1989 declared itself free of the Communist regime following the start of the revolutionary uprising three days earlier.

We enjoy lunch back on board our private train and take time to relax before a late afternoon arrival into Sighisoara for a walking tour of the town’s main highlights. A World Heritage site rumoured to be the birthplace of Dracula, it is one of the best-preserved fortified medieval towns in Europe. Burgher houses and ornate churches line its cobbled streets.

Day 8 Sibiu & Cluj Napoca

Romania

This morning we arrive into Sibiu, known particularly for its Germanic architecture in the Old Town due to the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city today can be seen the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower which connects the two main squares.

We return to the train for lunch whilst we continue on our rail journey and head for the university city of Cluj Napoca, located in the heart of Transylvania where we enjoy a city tour. No visit to Transylvania is complete with trying chimney cake (Kurtoskalacs). This pastry was created in Transylvania and it is baked to perfection here.

Day 9 Debrecen & Tojak

Hungary

Today we head across the Great Hungarian Plain to its capital city Debrecen. Today, Debrecen exudes the feel of a pleasant provincial town with its colourful piazzas and spacious parks where we enjoy a walking sightseeing tour through the city’s iconic streets and squares.

Tokaj is a picturesque historical town of old buildings nestled by the confluence of two rivers. It is the centre of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine district where the mineral rich volcanic rock makes for strong-bodied sweet wines, and we will have a lunch and wine tasting at one of the local cellars.

Tonight, we arrive at our final destination, Budapest, where you will be transferred to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace for a two-night stay.

Day 10 Budapest

Hungary

Budapest is an alliance of two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda and the imposing Royal Palace, dominates the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest. Our city tour includes the Castle District, St. Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. We will also see the Citadel, the Opera House, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Heroes Square and the City Park.

Day 11 Budapest

Hungary

Following breakfast on the final morning you will be transferred to the airport for onward departures.

Why not extend your stay in Budapest to explore more of the city at your leisure? Please contact us for hotel options, touring programmes and rates.

Dates & Prices

2022 PRICES

USD ($) Deluxe ClassSuperior Deluxe Class
Twin ($) Single ($)Twin ($) Single ($)
May 22 - Jun 1 16,295 24,39520,495 34,195
Deposit $2,000$2,500

2023 PRICES

USD ($) Deluxe ClassSuperior Deluxe Class
Twin ($) Single ($)Twin ($) Single ($)
Oct 11 - Oct 21 16,295 24,39520,495 34,195
Deposit $2,000$2,500
GBP(£) USD($) EUR(€)

TOUR INCLUSIONS

ACCOMMODATION

  • Five-star pre and post tour accommodation
  • Private en-suite accommodation on the Golden Eagle Danube Express train

DINING

  • Freshly prepared meals on board, using the finest local ingredients
  • Authentic dining experiences in local restaurants
  • Inclusive alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from Standard Bar list
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners

EXCURSIONS

  • Expertly guided off-train excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Freedom of Choice touring options

SERVICE

  • Cabin attendant service including evening turndown
  • Experienced Tour Management team
  • Services of a UK-registered Doctor and medical facilities on board
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All gratuities – on and off the train
  • Luggage porterage throughout the journey

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