expat explore balkans: dubrovnik, croatia

Croatia. This was the main destination I was looking forward to in the trip. I tried planning to go here solo, just this country--cos... Game of Thrones 😂--but I ended up going to to its neighbors as well.

We only went to the capital city of Dubrovnik aka King's Landing. We stayed here for two nights and just had a full day where we went on an orientation tour in the morning and I took the GOT tour afterwards. Do I regret buying almost all of the stuff in the official store? I'll never tell. 😂 They say Dubrovnik has inflated the prices 3-5 times since the show and they didn't lie.

I'd come back to see Split and Zagreb, but on a different season, maybe pre-fall where its warmer and less crowded.

Manila-Amsterdam and back is via KLM.

Booked round-trip on Transavia (a budget airline, subsidiary of KLM) from Amsterdam to Athens vv. Kinda expensive cos it was summer but I used a part of my miles so it was okay. :)

The Tour
Booked with Expat Explore. Search for the 16-day Balkan Explorer.

I've always traveled on DIY itineraries before and this is the first time I joined a group tour. I've solo traveled in Western and Central Europe but I wasn't quite comfortable on doing a Balkan tour on my own so I booked this trip.

What I liked about this tour

It's hassle-free. I booked online and paid online--on installments--which was really convenient for my budgeting.

Expat Explore has a very responsive customer service who helped me on guidelines with my Schengen visa. No, they don't process visas but when I wanted to double-check if I can enter certain countries using mine (specifically Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia), they were very helpful to confirm from their end. I also did check of course with our local embassies (who are also very responsive) via email.

So in the end, if you're a Filipino doing the Balkan Explorer and you have a valid Schengen Visa, Type C, Multiple Entry--you're good!

It has some meals included. One of the hardest questions every day is "What do you want to eat?" This helped haha.

The accommodations are decent. Yes, the Balkans is still in Europe but notch it down. Like a lot down from your very modern city hotels (even the 3-star). The Balkans is very laid back and so are their accommodations. :)