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Russia & Europe

POLAND RIVER CRUISES MACEDONIA

SERBIA

SLOVENIA

RUSSIA

FLY-DRIVES

CITY BREAKS

MOSCOW

TRANS-SIBERIAN

BELARUS KOSOVO MOSTAR

TSAR’S GOLD

CENTRAL EUROPE

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

BALTIC STATES

ALBANIA

MOLDOVA

TRAIN JOURNEYS Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol BS1 4XE Telephone: 020 7666 1294 Email: regent@regentholidays.co.uk www.regentholidays.co.uk Regent Holidays is part of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited

ABTA No.Y1152

Russia & Europe — The Alternative Collection 2017

ROMANIA

VOLGA RIVER

MONTENEGRO

E U RO P E BALKANS

The Alternative Collection 2017

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

ST. PETERSBURG CROATIA UKRAINE

HERMITAGE

RUSSIA & BEYOND | BALTIC STATES | BALKAN PENINSULA | EASTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE


ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited

Contents

THE COLLECTION

6 Albania

58

Baltic States

8 9 10 11

60 61 62 63

Classic Baltics Baltic Capitals Baltic Fly-Drive Tallinn & the Islands

Albania & the Balkans Balkan Explorer Cultural Landscapes of Albania Southern Albania

12 Kosovo

64 Russia

14 15

66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79

Highlights of Moscow & St Petersburg Highlights of St Petersburg History of Stalingrad Space Odyssey Moscow World of Tanks Russian Revolution Essential Moscow & St Petersburg Hotels in Moscow & St Petersburg St Petersburg Short Break St Petersburg Hotels Moscow City Break Moscow Excursions St Petersburg City Break St Petersburg Excursions

80

River Cruises

82 84 85

Volga Dream Luxury River Cruise MS Shaskov or MS Chernishevsky River Cruise Siberian Lena River Cruise

Luxury Kosovo Short Break A Balkan Adventure

16 Macedonia 18 19 20 21

Skopje & Lake Ohrid Macedonia Fly-Drive Cultural Landscapes of Macedonia Bear Watch Macedonia

22 Serbia 24 25

Highlights of Serbia Cultural Landscapes of Serbia

26 Montenegro 28 29

Cultural Landscapes of Montenegro Adriatic Fly-Drive

30 Bosnia-Herzegovina 32 33

Bosnia in Depth Sarajevo & Mostar

34 Croatia 36 37 38 39

Highlights of Croatia Fly-Drive Istria & Kvarner Fly-Drive A Journey through the Balkans Dalmatian Highlights Cruise

40 Slovenia 42 43 44 45

Highlights of Slovenia Cultural Landscapes of Slovenia Ljubljana & Lake Bled Slovenia & Croatia Fly-Drive

46 Romania 48 49

Halloween in Transylvania Behind the Iron Curtain

50

Central Europe

52

Essential European Capitals

54 Poland 56 57

Essential Warsaw & Krakow Krakow City Break

86 Trans-Siberian 88 90 91 92 93

www.rainbowtours.co.uk

Western & Oriental’s passion is tailor-made travel and personalised service. Their worldwide collection encompasses beach escapes, family holidays, multi-centres, experiences and honeymoons. So whether it is the Caribbean & the USA, Far East, India & Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean & Middle East or the Mediterranean, their expert Travel Specialists can tailor the perfect holiday for you.

www.westernoriental.com

Trans-Siberian on the Luxury Tsar’s Gold Train The Alternative Trans-Siberian Group Tour Moscow to Vladivostok on the Imperial Train Moscow to Beijing Trans-Siberian Moscow to Vladivostok Trans-Siberian

94 Belarus 96 97

Cultural Landscapes of Belarus A Journey from Minsk to Kaliningrad

98 Moldova 100 101

Undiscovered Moldova Essential Moldova

102 Ukraine 104 105 106 107

Kyiv & Chernobyl Essential Ukraine Cultural Landscapes of Western Ukraine Kyiv City Breaks

110

Country Information

112

Booking Conditions

Cover image: World War II Memorial in Volgograd, Russia

= Group Tour

Pioneers of responsible travel, Rainbow Tours specialises in tailor-made holidays to Africa, Madagascar and Latin America, taking you to world famous sights as well as hidden corners right at the heart of local cultures. Their well-travelled team arranges safaris, custom-made trips for couples, family holidays, honeymoons and expert-led groups, as well as relaxing beach breaks.

This page: St.George Island in Montenegro

A pioneer in luxury travel, ITC has spent over 40 years creating bespoke holidays of a lifetime for our valued clients. As one of the UK’s longest-established independent, luxury tour operators we offer a genuine passion for travel, extraordinary local knowledge, a pedantic approach to fine details and an inspired workforce who sincerely love what they do.

www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk

Founded in 1983, Villa Select is known for its unique and discerning selection of carefully hand-picked villas across Europe, the Caribbean and Thailand. From traditional, rustic countryside retreats to contemporary, centrally-located luxury villas, Villa Select provides a friendly and professional service from the moment you book right through to the service you receive in resort.

www.villaselect.com


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Lake Bled, Slovenia, Europe


Specialists in the Alternative for Over 40 Years Regent Holidays has been pioneering travel experiences to a wide range of unique and off-the-beaten-track destinations since 1970. Whether you want to embark on a journey through Russia’s little known autonomous republics, discover the hidden gems of Albania on an in-depth group tour, visit Lake Bled’s island church on a Slovenia fly-drive or wander the cobbled streets of Tallinn’s Old Town on a Baltic city break, our Travel Specialists can offer expert advice on planning your alternative holiday.

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Ask the Experts Welcome to our 2017 brochure, an eclectic collection of our favourite unique and inspiring places to visit in Russia and Europe. And we should know; from our earliest forays into Albania in 1971 to our groundbreaking Soviet Union tours of the 1980s, we’ve been pioneers in off-the-beaten-track holidays for over 40 years. Visit our website for more inspiration, or call a Regent Travel Specialist on 020 7666 1294 for expert travel advice.

For Holiday Pioneers If you’re thinking about a Regent holiday, you’re probably somebody who likes to do things a little differently. Our destinations can be off-the-beaten-track, and some still remain relatively undeveloped. That’s just part of what makes them so unique; travelling with this in mind will help you appreciate the little quirks and cultural differences you may encounter on your journey. Our Travel Specialists are on hand to give advice on what to expect.

Specialist Knowledge It’s important to get the most out of your holiday, whether it’s a city break in St Petersburg or a two week journey through the Balkans. Because our team of Bristol-based experts travel frequently and extensively, they can offer specialist advice to help plan your ideal alternative holiday. Look out for their insider tips throughout this brochure or visit our website to read detailed blogs from their latest travels. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the

Russian Revolution we have put together a Regent exclusive group tour that follows the life and movements of Vladimir Lenin throughout this turbulent time in Russia’s fascinating history. Turn to page 71 for more information or visit our website.

Group Tours or Tailor-Made Travel The collection of suggested tailor-made itineraries and group tours featured in this brochure are just a few of our recommendations for experiencing the best that these fascinating destinations have to offer. Some of our group tours are unique one-off tours exclusive to Regent Holidays, while others with regular departures throughout the year are operated by our trusted local partners; our Travel Specialists can advise which would be best for you. If you choose to opt for a tailor-made tour, our country experts will use their extensive knowledge to help put together the perfect itinerary for you, departing any day, for any duration, with or without a local guide.

Holidays protected by ATOL Your financial protection is important to us, which is why we are fully bonded by ATOL. Our ATOL licence (2786) protects any Regent Holidays package that includes a flight, and ensures that your money would be refunded or that you would be repatriated in the unlikely event of our insolvency. We are also a member of ABTA (ABTA number V2359) which means we are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you. Also if your holiday does not include flights, ABTA will financially protect your holiday by ensuring you receive a refund or, if your arrangements include return travel to the UK (other than flights) you are returned to the UK in the event that your holiday cannot be provided as a result of our insolvency.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Albania The Inside Story Members of the first Regent group who travelled to Albania in 1971 would struggle to recognise the country today. Gone are the virtually traffic-free roads, collective farms and churches and mosques converted into sports halls, but the warm Albanian welcome, dramatic scenery, evidence of 400 years of Ottoman occupation and enthralling archaeology are still the same.

Story to tell Ellie Marr

Discover a country of wild, natural beauty with dark, brooding mountains, a rugged, undeveloped coastline and hills clad with olive trees. Explore the museum cities of Berat and Gjirokastra, both dominated by towering castles, and learn about the national hero, Skanderbeg, in Kruja Castle Museum. Marvel at the extraordinary 3rd century B.C. amphitheatre at Butrint and the ancient city of Apollonia where much remains to be discovered. Drive the rollercoaster road along the Albanian Riviera, pass remote mountain villages and gaze down on pristine, unspoilt beaches. Join the evening promenade in Tirana, now more Mediterranean in style, and meander through the neighbourhood where the Communist Party leaders used to live.

Why I love Albania Albania is a great allround destination; from the mountains and remote villages of the Albanian Alps, over to the Adriatic and Ionian coastlines and down to the pretty UNESCO towns of Berat and Gjirokastra, Albania is a varied destination with something for everyone. To top it all off its ancient and recent history is fascinating. It won’t remain under the radar for very long!

1000 BC

150

1478

1878

1920

Bronze Age sites at Maliq, Tren, Podgor and Gaitan

Ptolemy’s map shows city of Albanopolis (located northeast of Durrës)

Krujë falls to Ottoman Turks; many Albanians flee to southern Italy, Greece & Egypt

Albanian leaders meet in Kosovo and form the League of Prizren

Albania admitted to League of Nations as sovereign and independent state

588 BC

1466

1861

1912

Greek colony of Apollonia founded

National hero Skanderbeg leads defence of Krujë against Ottoman armies

First school known to use Albanian language in modern times opens in Shkodër

Muslim and Christian delegates at Vlorë declare Albania independent


Albania

Regent Recommends Albanian Riviera

Albania & Macedonia

Albania Short Break

Albania’s coastline is one of its greatest attractions, stretching over 450 kilometres with two distinct landscapes – the Adriatic and the Ionian. The Adriatic has shallow water and long sandy beaches edged by fragrant coastal pines. The Ionian coast has smaller rocky coves and deeper water, where citrus and olive trees dominate the landscape, giving it a more classic Mediterranean appearance. Driving along the Albanian Riviera from Durres to Fier over the Llogara pass and on to Lukove, the stunning sea views will impress even the most jaded of travellers. It is certainly one of the most picturesque roads in the Balkans. We can book beach-stays in Durres, Vlora, Dhermi and Saranda.

Combine the historical highlights of Albania with the beauty of Lake Ohrid on our Cultural Landscapes tailor-made tour. Stay at handpicked boutique-style hotels as you journey from Tirana to the Roman amphitheatre of Durres, Berat’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and on to Albania’s most important archaeological site at Butrint. Take one of the most scenic routes in Europe along the stunning Vjosa River Valley, where waterfalls crash down sheer mountainsides and eagles swoop over the lush green landscape, before crossing into Macedonia to visit the 13th century Church of St Jovan, perched dramatically on the cliffs overlooking beautiful Lake Ohrid.

What better way to be introduced to one of the most fascinating countries of the Balkans, than spending 5 days uncovering the highlights of Albania. Spend time in the bustling capital of Tirana, visiting the Et’hem Beg Mosque and exploring the remnants of Communist era architecture. Once you’ve wandered through peaceful public squares and stopped to sample the lively cafes of the Blloku district, venture down to the beautifully preserved Ottoman Berat, Albania’s treasured UNESCO heritage town. Head up to the top of the Medieval Citadel to take in sweeping views that stretch from Mt Tomorri, to the minarets and rooftops of the town.

Albania - Perfect For Culture and history buffs will be fascinated by Albania’s abundance of ancient churches, archaeological sites and concrete pillboxes. Nature lovers will appreciate the 450 kilometres of coastal scenery and lush green valleys, while walkers and trekkers can venture into the Dinaric Alps or the Pindus Mountains. 1944

1971

1997

2010

Albania becomes communist under Enver Hoxha

Regent leads first tour to Albania; only clean shaven travellers allowed!

Armed uprising in protest at collapse of pyramid schemes leaving thousands bankrupt

National comic hero Sir Norman Wisdom dies

1928

1961

1991

2004

Parliament declares Albania a kingdom with King Zog at its head

Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations with Albania

Pope John Paul II makes historic visit

Albania enters Eurovision Song Contest for the first time!

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to an Albania Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Historic city of Berat, Albania

Albania & the Balkans This exclusive Regent tour combines the historic cities and stunning landscapes of Albania and includes forays into Kosovo and Macedonia to visit the unmissable Balkan treasures of Prizren and Lake Ohrid. Staying in accommodation from boutique hotels to mountain resorts, travel with a local guide discovering Albania’s traditional ‘Gheg’ shepherd communities, ancient monasteries and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tirana | Fly to Tirana and transfer to the historic town of Kruja. Visit the restored Castle and Citadel and the Skanderbeg Museum. (D) Day 2 Kruja to Shkodra | Shop for souvenirs at Kruja’s old bazaar before continuing for lunch at the renowned restaurant; ‘Mrizi i Zanave’. In Shkodra visit the Marubi Museum and Rozafa Castle before travelling towards the Albanian Alps. (B,L) Day 3 Shkodra to Valbona | Board the Komani ferry and sail along the Koman Lake, past remote hillside settlements. Arrive in the village of Fierza and continue to the Valbona Valley in the heart of the Albanian Alps. The village of Valbona is tucked underneath Mount Jezerca, the highest mountain in Albania. Overnight at a guesthouse in Valbona. (B,D) Day 4 Valbona to Prizren | Spend the morning in Valbona Valley. Visit the ‘Gheg’ community and learn how they make a living before having lunch in a “stan” – the traditional shepherds’ summer house on the slopes of Gjarper Mountain. Continue to Kosovo and the famous Decani Monastery. Stop in Rahovec for wine tasting at the Stone Castle Winery before reaching Prizren for the overnight stay. (B,L,D) Day 5 Prizren to Tirana | Embark on a tour of the pretty Ottoman town of Prizren and shop for the silver filigree that the town is famous for producing. Cross back into Albania for two nights in Tirana. (B,D)

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Day 6 Tirana | Enjoy a city tour of Albania’s capital. Begin in the lesser known suburbs before discovering the National Museum, National Martyrs’ Cemetery, National Art Gallery and Et’hem Beg Mosque. (B,D)

Day 7 Tirana to Ohrid | Cross into Macedonia via Elbasan to explore the lakeside town of Ohrid. Enjoy a walking tour before heading towards the Church of St Jovan at Kaneo, beautifully situated on the cliffs above the lake. (B,L)

Day 14 Berat | Explore the lower and upper quarters of the fortress of Berat and meet a famous Albanian writer; an expert in the arts and literature. (B,D) Day 15 Fly to the UK | Transfer to Tirana airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 8 Ohrid to Korce | Visit the picturesque Monastery of Sveti Naum en route back to Albania. Tour Korce, known as the country’s centre of culture and arts, visiting the Orthodox Cathedral, Old Bazaar and Museum of Medieval Arts. (B,D) Day 9 Korce to Gjirokaster | Travel through the heart of the Vjosa Valley to the UNESCO city of Gjirokaster. (B,D) Day 10 Gjirokaster area | Visit the pleasant village of Libohove and continue to one of Albania’s oldest churches, the Labova of the Cross, before returning to Gjirokaster to admire the Ottoman-style tower houses and visit the medieval castle. (B,L) Day 11 Gjirokaster to Saranda | Explore Butrint, a well-preserved archaeological site frequented by Roman aristocrats. Continue to Saranda on the beautiful Ionian coast. (B,L) Day 12 Saranda to Vlora | Travel along the Albanian Riviera and admire views of the stunning Ionian coastline. Visit the Fortress of Ali Pasha Tepelena before continuing on to the port town of Vlora for a tour of Independence Square. (B,D) Day 13 Vlora to Berat | Visit the archaeological site of Apollonia, a vital Roman stronghold. Stop at the Cobo winery for a tasting before continuing to Berat renowned for its large number of Byzantine Orthodox churches. (B,D)

Tour duration

15 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

12 May & 8 Sep 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1755 £230

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Albania

Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Balkan Explorer Get to know the landscapes, characters and cultures of the individual countries that make up the Balkan Peninsula on a journey through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia. Begin and end in Tirana to city-hop through Podgorica, Sarajevo, Prizren and Skopje, tackling the ancient UNESCO heritage sites, museums and stunning national parks that lie in-between.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tirana | Meet your guide at the airport and journey to Kruja, the medieval capital of Albania. (D) Day 2 Shkodra | Tour Kruja’s Ethnographic Museum, castle, Scanderbeg museum and old bazaar. Continue to Fishta village – birthplace of Gjergj Fishta, the famous Albanian Franciscan poet of the National Resistance. Reach Shkodra, set on the banks of a sparking lake at the foot of Albania’s wild mountains for the night. (B,L) Day 3 Shkodra to Budva | Make your way to Montenegro, beginning with a city tour of the capital city, Podgorica, before reaching the charming fishing village Vir Pazar. Travel through Cetinje, the medieval capital and overnight in Budva. (B,L) Day 4 Budva Region | From Budva, drive the scenic route to Kotor where you’ll tour the medieval architecture of this UNESCO-listed old city. A boat trip from Kotor bay to the ancient village of Perast offers panoramic views. Return to Budva and explore the castle. (B,L) Day 5 Budva to Mostar | Cross the Bosnian border to reach Mostar to walk across the Stari Most old bridge and browse the medieval bazaar. En-route, explore the UNESCO-listed medieval town of Pocitelj and the Buna River springs in Blagai. (B,D) Day 6 Mostar to Sarajevo | Continue to Sarajevo and tour the Tunnel of Hope museum, Biscevica House, Karadozbegova Mosque Hamam and the colourful Bazaar Bascarsiia. (B,D) Day 7 Sarajevo | Spend the morning learning about Bosnian history at several of Sarajevo’s museums before an afternoon at leisure. (B,D)

Day 8 Sarajevo to Durmitor | Drive towards Montenegro stopping in the oldest national park in Bosnia, Sutjeska. Combine this with a trip across the border to Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park. (B,D)

Day 15 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 9 Durmitor to Kolasin | Explore the glacial Black Lake, rocky faces and pine trees of Durmitor National Park on foot before reaching the Tara Canyon. Overnight in Kolasin. (B,D) Day 10 Kolasin to Prizren | Cross the border into Kosovo. Embark on a walking tour of Peje city centre, visit the Decan Orthodox monastery and reach Prizren to explore the archaeological sites and artisan crafts of this ethnically diverse town. (B,D) Day 11 Prizren to Skopje | Visit Pristina, a cosmopolitan and vibrant city. Head to Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, to enjoy the old Ottoman city region and new Macedonia Square – complete with a golden statue of Alexander the Great. (B,D) Day 12 Skopje to Bitola | Today visit the ancient Roman archaeological site of Stobi and the famous Painted Mosque dating back to 1495 in the old town of Tetovo city. Drive to Bitola, Macedonia’s second biggest city. (B,D) Day 13 Bitola to Ohrid | Explore the mosaics, ancient theatre and Roman baths at the Archaeolocial Site of Heraclea before continuing to Ohrid, passing through Prespa Lake National Park and Galicia National Park. (B,D) Day 14 Ohrid to Tirana | After a boat trip on Lake Ohrid, drive to the Albanian capital Tirana to tour the city. Enjoy time at the ancient legionary cohort fortress, Skampa. (B,D)

Tour duration

15 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

22 Sept 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£2525 £340

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to an Albania Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Kruja Castle

Cultural Landscapes of Albania The location of the first ever Regent Holidays tour in 1971, Albania was one of the last countries to gain independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. Discover the country’s central and southern highlights on this private tailor-made tour which journeys from Tirana to Roman archaeological sites and UNESCO World Heritage cities, and along the Albanian Riviera where the landscape changes dramatically from Adriatic to Ionian. Stay at hand-picked boutique-style hotels, enjoy delicious four course dinners and uncover a beautiful land of unspoilt countryside and off-the-beaten-track historical gems.

Suggested Itinerary

10

Day 1 Fly to Tirana | Fly to Tirana and transfer to Berat for an afternoon guided city tour. Berat is one of Albania’s oldest cities and arguably one of the best-preserved Ottoman settlements in the Balkans. Untouched by communist urban planning after being designated a Museum City in 1976, Berat’s attractive white houses wind their way up to the famous hilltop citadel, whose walls encircle a smattering of medieval Orthodox churches and ruined mosques as well as a superb ethnographic museum. (D)

can be found. Continue to the church of Labovë e Kryqit, one of the oldest churches in Albania, and Libohovë, a small village located at the foot of Mount Bureto. In the afternoon visit the town of Gjirokastra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known by many as the City of Stone, it comprises hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls. A visit to the vast 13th century castle brings the adventurous tales of medieval rulers and communist atrocities alive. (B,D)

Day 2 Berat to Vlora | Complete the tour of lower Berat before departing to Vlora. Stop at Ardenica Monastery, built by Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos in 1282 after the Siege of Berat victory. Continue to the Archaeological Park of Apollonia, founded at the beginning of the 7th century BC by the Greeks and a prosperous trading city in Roman times. Continue to Vlora and Muradie Mosque. (B,D)

Day 5 Gjirokastra to Tirana | Depart to Tirana with a stop en route at Durres, the country’s most ancient city which has been an important trading hub ever since the first ships docked in the 7th century BC. Though little of its rich history remains on display today, the Archaeological Museum houses a superb collection of Illyrian, Greek and Roman artefacts. Continue to Tirana and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B,D)

Day 3 Vlora to Saranda | Drive along the stunning Albanian Riviera towards Saranda with stops in the National Park of Llogara and Porto Palermo castle, built by Ali Pasha of Ioannina in the early 19th century. Continue to the Porto Palermo Naval Base which looks like a scene from a James Bond film, and in the afternoon visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butrint. The Greek and Roman ruins of Butrint are Albania’s most important archaeological site. Continue the drive to coastal Saranda. (B,D)

Day 6 Tirana | Tirana is located on the site of a Byzantine fortress and has been the capital of Albania since 1920. Enjoy a city tour including visits to the Mosque of Ethem Bey, the Clock Tower, the National Museum, National Art Gallery, Skanderbeg Square, the Martyrs’ Cemetery, Grand Park and various government buildings. (B,D)

Day 4 Saranda to Gjirokastra | Stop at Syri i Kaltër (Blue Eye), a deep forest spring where turtles, waterlilies, dragonflies and kingfishers

Day 7 Shkodra | Embark on an excursion to the cradle of northern Albanian culture - Shkodra. A highlight of this lakeside town are the ruins of the Fortress of Rozafa, an ancient Illyrian castle built on a rock hill with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the lake and the

Lead Mosque. Return to Tirana with a stop at Kruja, perched atop a hill and famous for its fortress, the Museum of Skanderbeg and the Ethnographic Museum. Spend some time wandering the Kruja Bazaar, an excellent place to purchase souvenirs. (B,D) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1795 £175

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Albania

Butrint

Southern Albania This new holiday uses the gateway of Corfu to access the highlights of south and central Albania, visiting the UNESCO sites of ancient Butrint, Gjirokastra and Apollonia Archaeological museum. Take a break from these fascinating historical sights by relaxing on Ksamil Beach located around 8 miles outside Saranda. Here, swim and snorkel in the clear Ionian waters among small emerald-green islands. Spend evenings grazing on juicy green olives and sipping raki in one of the many cafés on the promenade in Saranda with the lights of Corfu twinkling across the sea.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Corfu | Fly to Corfu and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) Day 2 Corfu to Saranda | Stroll across to Corfu’s new port and catch the morning ferry to Saranda. Saranda, one of Albania’s most attractive towns, is located on a beautiful horseshoe bay nestled between mountains and the Ionian Sea. The name Saranda is derived from an early Christian monastery dedicated to Agioi Saranda. (B,L) Day 3 Saranda | Free day to relax on Saranda’s golden beach. (B) Day 4 Saranda to Gjirokastra | Take a morning drive to the UNESCO heritage site of Butrint, a national park which includes well preserved archaeological ruins and unspoilt Mediterranean flora and fauna. The park has a lake which connects to the Ionian Sea by a small channel and the wetlands which surround the lake are a wonderful protected habitat for animals and aquatic species which are in danger of extinction. During Roman times, Butrint was a popular holiday resort for the Roman aristocracy and the well preserved baptistery with its richly decorated mosaic floor and the Great Basilica date back to this period. Continue to Gjirokastra for lunch, visiting the ‘Blue Eye’ water spring en route. Gjirokastra is another UNESCO heritage site, known to many as the ‘City of Stone’, due to its hundreds of Ottoman-style tower houses with their distinctive stone roofs, wooden balconies and whitewashed stone walls. Spend time here walking around the ancient cobbled streets and visit the vast 13th-century castle, which dominates the city. (B,L)

Day 5 Gjirokastra to Tirana | Today drive to the town of Berat known as the ‘town of a 1,000 windows’. Berat is one of Albania’s oldest cities and arguably one of the bestpreserved Ottoman settlements in all the Balkans. Attractive white houses wind their way up to the famous hilltop citadel, whose walls encircle a smattering of medieval orthodox churches and ruined mosques as well as a superb ethnographic museum. Visit the excellent Onufri museum which contains a wonderful collection of Albanian icons. After lunch transfer to Albania’s capital, Tirana. (B,L)

Day 7 Saranda | Free day to relax on Saranda’s golden beach. (B,L) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to Saranda’s port for the ferry to Corfu Town. Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 6 Tirana to Saranda | Enjoy a morning city tour of Tirana often described as a cross between Istanbul and Naples with a pinch of Minsk. Head south and visit the ancient archaeological site of Apollonia. Founded in 558 BC by settlers from Corfu and Corinth, Apollonia was an important port along the route between Rome and Byzantium. Continue along the stunning coastal road to Saranda and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B,L)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Seasonality

May to Sep

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1445 £330

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to an Albania Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Kosovo

The Inside Story

Story to tell Ellie Marr

Kosovo is ideal for pioneering travellers, keen to discover Europe’s newest country which only declared independence in 2008.Tourist facilities are sparse, and UN personnel still roam the streets of Prishtina, but this lends Kosovo the air of a raw, undiscovered gem waiting to be explored. For a city break with a difference, opt for a long weekend in Prishtina, or perhaps use this newly emerging European capital as a base to explore the Serb enclave of Gracanica where Byzantine frescoes adorn the 12th century Orthodox monastery. Beyond the capital a wealth of treasures await; the country’s Islamic and Orthodox influences are evident in the abundance of mosques and monasteries found in the small towns and villages, while the countryside beckons with snow-capped mountains, wide open plains, wildflower meadows and glistening waterfalls. Don’t miss the glorious Ottoman city of Prizren, nestled at the foot of the Sharri Mountains, its narrow cobbled streets crammed with old stone houses, exquisite mosques and Turkish baths.

Why I love Kosovo There is more to see and do in Kosovo than one might first expect. The Decani Monastery, stunning Rugova Gorge, private family wineries, exploring Prizren old town and paying your respects at Prekaz Village – the list goes on! Don’t forget to try the deliciously fresh grilled trout at the Trofta fish farm in Istog. A definite highlight of mine!

200

12th-13th C

1912

1941

1974

Kosovan region is inhabited by the Triballi, a Thracian tribe

Many Orthodox churches and monasteries built throughout Serbia

Serbia regains Kosovo from Turks following Balkan Wars

WWII sees Kosovo fall under Italian-controlled Albania

Kosovo gains autonomy and de-facto self-government in the Yugoslav constitution

1100

1389

1918

1946

Kosovo part of the Serbian empire, ruled by the Nemanjic dynasty

Battle of Kosovo heralds over 500 years of Turkish Ottoman rule

Kosovo becomes part of Kingdom of Serbia

Yugoslav Federation absorbs Kosovo


Kosovo

Regent Recommends Prishtina City Break

Presenting Prizren

Gastronomic Kosovo

Prishtina is perfectly proportioned for a short break and is currently being regenerated at great speed. Be sure to discover the jewellery and costumes on show at the Emin Gjiku Ethnographic Museum, a beautifully preserved Ottoman townhouse, and to visit the city’s mosques including the Sultan Mehmet Fatih Mosque which was converted to a Catholic church during the Austro-Hungarian era, and Jashar Pasha Mosque with its vibrant Turkish baroque-style interior. Prishtina is also renowned for its coffee culture, so do as the locals do and watch the world go by with a macchiato. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3, 4 and 5-star city breaks in Prishtina.

Whether you choose to discover Kosovo on an escorted group tour or tailor-made holiday, one of the highlights will undoubtedly be glorious Prizren, Kosovo’s Ottoman gem, surrounded by mountains and packed full of mosques, tekkes, artisan shops and town houses with their upper storeys jutting out into the narrow cobbled streets. Browse the art gallery housed in the former hammam, visit Gazi Mehmet Pasha – one of the town’s most beautiful 15th century mosques, cross the famous 16th century stone-arched bridge, peer into the crumbling homes of 19th century noblemen and explore the riverside complex of buildings which make up the League of Prizren Museum.

To get to the heart of the real Kosovo, spend a day sampling local wines and traditional dishes which take their influence from Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Croatian, Greek and Italian national cuisines. Head to Tuscany-esque Rahoveci and make a stop at the Stone Castle Winery, the largest winery in the Balkans, where the Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir come highly recommended. Continue to Velika Hoca to experience traditional winemaking at the Bozaj family winery, and be sure to try traditional Rahoveci cuisine including fresh Sharri goats’ cheese, peppers in cream, pogaçe bread and the superb Rahoveci Tava – fresh vegetables baked in a clay pot.

Kosovo - Perfect For As one of Europe’s – and indeed the world’s – newest countries, a trip to Kosovo will certainly appeal to travellers with a pioneering spirit. Those with an interest in military history can reflect on events at the ancient battlefields and the memorials to more recent conflicts, whilst religious history enthusiasts will enjoy the juxtaposition of medieval Orthodox churches and rejuvenated mosques. 1989

1992

1999

2008

Milosevic, now the Yugoslav President, strips Kosovo of its autonomy

War breaks out in the Balkans

NATO launches air strikes until Milosevic withdraws troops

Kosovo declares independence from Serbia

1987

1991

1998

2002

2009

Slobodan Milosevic rallies Kosovo Serbs against ethnic Albanians

Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia declare independence from Yugoslavia

Serb forces launch brutal crackdown and engage Kosovo Liberation Army in conflict

Pro-independence Ibrahim Rugova elected President

Regent takes the first ever UK tourist group to Kosovo

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Kosovo Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Prizren

Luxury Kosovo Short Break On this 6-day guided tailor-made tour discover traditional wines and cuisine of Kosovo and enjoy a relaxing break at the luxury Swiss Diamond Hotel, Prishtina’s first and currently the only five star hotel in Kosovo. Wander through Prishtina and learn more about its history in the National Museum. Stop at small towns and villages where family wineries and ancient wine cellars abound and taste the superb Rahoveci Tava (fresh vegetables baked in clay in the oven).

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Prishtina | Fly to Prishtina and transfer to the Swiss Diamond Hotel. Check in for five nights. Day 2 Prishtina | Wake up in Prishtina and embark on a half day walking tour of the capital of Kosovo. Visit the National Museum and the Grand Mosque — constructed in the second part of the 16th century — ­ as well as the Monument of Skanderbeg (Albanian National Hero). See Government and Parliament Buildings and the National Theatre. Perhaps make a pit stop for coffee before continuing to walk along Mother Teresa Avenue, visiting the National Library and University Centre, Old Eminxhiku House and the House of Kosovo Academy. (B) Day 3 Prishtina | Today discover and taste traditional wines of Kosovo on a winery tour. Stop at Stonecastle Winery ­— the largest winery in the Balkans ­— where the oldest guide and wine technologist Mr. Vahdet will show you around, and perhaps, pay a visit to Stonecastle Wine boutique where you have the chance to pick up some of the specialities! Visit the recently opened House of Wine and then take a short walking tour of Rahovec before driving to Velika Hoca. Experience

14

traditional wine making at Petrovic family winery before enjoying a traditional Rahoveci feast, with famous Sharri cheese, peppers in cream, pogaçe bread and superb Rahoveci Tava (fresh vegetables baked in clay in the oven). All the food will be accompanied with excellent Rahoveci wines, on your request. (B) Day 4 Prishtina | Visit the “Marble Cave” in Gadime and the Brezovica Ski Resort and enjoy a welcome drink of Slivovica Raki. Continue through the lovely gorge to the newly built resort complex of “Sharri” in the Zhupa Valley, nestled between the spectacular Sharri Mountains. Experience traditional hospitality and lunch here before continuing to Prizren. On arrival take a city tour of the Old Market and Town, Hammam, Prizreni League Monument and Ethnographic Museum, Sinan Pasha Mosque and Catholic Cathedral, before returning to Prishtina. (B)

the extraordinary Deçani Gorge. Move on to the region’s main city, Peja. Upon arrival take a short sightseeing tour and then a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, visit Peja Patriarchy Orthodox Monastery (nun’s sisterhood) and drive deeper into the Rugova Gorge. (B) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Free morning before transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 5 Prishtina | Today embark on a tour of the culturally diverse region of Dukagjini. En route stop at the village of Isniq to visit Osdautaj Kullas, with its unique traditional architecture. Continue to Decani and visit the unique Baroque-Roman style Serbian Orthodox Monastery (UNESCO listed), within Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Fully Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1200 £340

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Kosovo

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

A Balkan Adventure This unique tailor-made itinerary connects the diverse Balkan cities of Tirana, Kotor, Peja, Prishtina and Prizren by private transfer. Travel through the unspoilt landscapes of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo, journeying from mountainous borders to sparkling coastlines. During this tour, enjoy plenty of free time to discover each historic city independently, where plenty of interesting relics from the Ottoman and Soviet eras can be found.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tirana | Fly to Albania’s capital and transfer to the hotel for three nights. Day 2 Tirana | Enjoy two free days in Tirana to explore at leisure or book optional excursions. Stroll through Skanderbeg Square and Boulevard of the Martyrs to the National Art Gallery or head to the Blloku area to experience the capital’s up-and-coming café and restaurant scene. (B) Day 3 Tirana | Perhaps take a day trip to Kruja, a small hilltop town with far-reaching views and a wonderful Turkish bazaar, or down to Berat to find out why it’s known as the ‘town of a thousand windows’. (B) Day 4 Tirana to Kotor | Transfer to Kotor on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 5 & 6 Kotor | Perhaps spend free time exploring the World Heritage Site’s impressive 20 metre ramparts, wandering the labyrinthine streets of the medieval Old Town, or simply relaxing at one of Kotor’s waterside restaurants. It’s also possible to take a bus to the city of Cetinje, formerly the capital of Montenegro for 500 years, with its 15th century monastery. (B) Day 7 Kotor to Kolasin | Transfer to Kolasin, a small mountain resort established by the Turks in the 17th century with spectacular views of Bjelasica Mountain. Check in to the hotel for a two night stay. (B) Day 8 Kolasin | Perhaps explore the Biogradska Gora National Park, one of Europe’s last three remaining primeval forests. Hike in the surrounding mountains or rent a rowing boat on the lake. (B) Day 9 Kolasin to Peja | Today transfer by

car into Kosovo and drive through dramatic mountain scenery to Peja for an overnight stay. (B)

the border with Albania, head to the hilltop ruins of the city’s castle, used for military purposes right up until 1912. (B)

Day 10 Peja to Prishtina | Spend two days exploring Prishtina at leisure, peering behind the communist façade to discover crumbling hidden gems from the city’s Ottoman heyday. (B)

Day 14 Fly to the UK | Enjoy a free morning in Prizren to explore at leisure and perhaps purchase any souvenirs before taking a transfer to Tirana for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 11 Prishtina | Explore Prishtina at leisure. Day trips to either the Memorial Complex of the Battle of Kosovo or to the small village of Gracanica, with its wonderful 14th century Serb Orthodox monastery, are both possible. (B) Day 12 Prishtina to Prizren | Transfer to the renowned Museum City of Prizren and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 13 Prizren | Spend free time exploring the jewel in Kosovo’s crown – the incredibly well-preserved Ottoman city of Prizren with its picturesque cobbled streets packed with mosques, town houses, Turkish baths and tekkes, where Dervish ceremonies still take place today. For superb views of the tightly-packed town below and onwards to Pashtrik Mountain and

Tour duration

14 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1600 £415

Price includes flights, accommodation, transfers and sightseeing tour.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Kosovo Specialist on 020 7666 1294

15


Macedonia

The Inside Story

Story to tell Andrea Godfrey

The old and the new stand side-by-side in Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, where black-clad Orthodox priests rub shoulders with fashion-conscious teenagers clutching stateof-the-art gadgets. The Ottoman influence is still apparent in the Old Bazaar and the slim minarets of the mosques, while the many music festivals of the summer months are testament to the city’s youthful outlook. Away from Skopje, encounter a land of gleaming lakes and rivers, brooding mountains, remote stone villages and stunning monasteries. Sleepy Ohrid comes alive in the summer when visitors are drawn to its idyllic lakeside location and UNESCO-protected churches, basilicas and monasteries. Get some fresh air with a hike through the forested wilderness of Macedonia’s national parks and soak up the stunning alpine views. Head for the town of Bitola, peppered with mosques and Orthodox churches, with its beautifully preserved Turkish bazaar. Here, discover Roman Heraclea, with its baths and mosaics, and hilltop Treskavec Monastery, a medieval pilgrimage site famed for its remote mountain location and wonderful Byzantine frescoes.

Why I love Macedeonia On my last visit I travelled to the eastern town of Berova in cold, wintery March. This is a very popular place amongst the Macedonians for its cool mountain air. I loved wandering around and visiting the craftspeople in their own homes – I bought knitted socks from smiling grandmothers, admired intricate wood carving and tasted delicious Maleshevo regional cheese.

356 BC

323 BC

800

1913

Philip II of Macedonia’s wife Olympias gives birth to Alexander the Great in Pella

Alexander the Great dies; his empire stretches from Serbia to Pakistan

Basil I begins the Macedonian dynasty in Byzantium

Ottoman rule ends after five centuries. Macedonia is partitioned between Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece

339 BC

400

1910

At the age of 17, Alexander leads the Macedonian army to victory over the Illyrians

The Romans make Sculpi, just outside modern day Skopje, capital of the Dardania province

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as Mother Teresa, is born in Skopje


Macedonia

Regent Recommends Wines of Macedonia Tour

Ohrid City Breaks

Skopje City Break

Viticulture has been the heart of Macedonia since Roman times; thanks to an abundance of sunshine as well as Mediterranean and continental breezes, wine grapes thrive in the rich, rocky soil. The country’s wine region centres around the Vardar River which bisects the country north to south. On this 8-day private tour, explore this stunning area of snow-capped mountains, picturesque lakes and sleepy villages and enjoy wine tasting almost every day. Visits include the prolific Tikves region and Popova Kula Winery, where it’s possible to taste wines produced from many typical Macedonian grape varieties such as Stanushina, Temjanika, Zilavka, Prokupec and Vranec.

Sublime Ohrid is undoubtedly Macedonia’s most alluring attraction. The beautiful town is located on the UNESCO listed Lake Ohrid which is 300 metres deep and 34km in length. From its atmospheric Old Quarter boasting beautiful churches set along a graceful hill to the nearby Galichica National Park, a haven for nature enthusiasts and the secluded beaches of Lake Ohrid, it is an ideal city break. Spend days exploring the narrow streets lined with cafes and restaurants before heading to the shores of Lake Ohrid for some walking, fishing, boating and various other water sports. Be sure to walk up to Ohrid’s medieval castle, Samuel’s Fortress for a great view.

Macedonia’s compact capital is fast developing into a vibrant, modern city, but its Ottoman and Byzantine influences still remain. Investigate the narrow streets of the Old Town, with their tiny shops and beautifully-tiled mosques, and meander through the Old Bazaar area, brimming with tempting treasures. Don’t leave town without visiting the museum devoted to Mother Teresa, or heading out to Kale Fortress for panoramic views over the city. In the evenings, do as the locals do and partake in a reviving raki or take in one of the open-air concerts in Macedonia Square. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3, 4 and 5-star city break options.

Macedonia - Perfect For Macedonia is packed full of ancient relics, historical sites and beautiful landscapes, but is far less busy than neighbouring Greece or Bulgaria. So visitors interested in tracing the marks left by empires – from Alexander the Great to the Romans to the Ottomans – without having to elbow their way through the tourist hordes, will find this unspoilt treasure absolutely ideal. 1929

1945

1991

2005

The Kingdom is renamed Yugoslavia

The Yugoslav socialist federation is established with Tito as president

Macedonia declares independence

Becomes a candidate for EU membership

1918-19

1941

1980

1993

World War I ends, Macedonia becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats & Slovenes

Germany invades Yugoslavia

Tito dies, heralding a wave of nationalism among the federation’s republics, including Macedonia

Joins the UN under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Macedonia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

17


Boats on Lake Ohrid

Skopje & Lake Ohrid This itinerary combines the historic and cultural attractions of Macedonia’s capital with charming Lake Ohrid, one of the world’s oldest lakes. Skopje is a pleasant city in which to spend a few days; explore its famous bazaar and the Church of the Holy Saviour. Travel through beautiful countryside to picturesque Ohrid, a city museum with many archaeological treasures including early Christian basilicas and beautiful churches such as St. John at Kaneo.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Skopje | Fly to Skopje and transfer to the hotel for three nights.

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to Ohrid airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Days 2-3 Skopje | Enjoy time to explore the splendours of this historic crossroads at leisure – wander around the old bazaar, visit the Church of the Holy Salvation and cross the famous Stone Bridge which, with its elegant thirteen arches, joins the Old Turkish quarter with the Orthodox area to the south. Admire the Warrior on a Horse statue and fountain in the centre of Macedonia Square, thought to depict Alexander the Great, or visit hilltop Kale Fortress, built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, for stunning views over the city. On warm summer evenings relax at an outdoor cafe and watch the world go by, or in the winter months enjoy a hearty meal of skara – grilled pork or chicken – and stuffed peppers at one of the capital’s many traditional restaurants. (B)

Alexander Square Boutique Hotel / Skopje Newly opened in 2016, this hotel sits in the heart of Skopje, surrounded by all the city has to offer. Featuring a range of different room types, some with balcony and panoramic views of the city, this boutique property is the perfect base in Skopje.

Day 4 Skopje to Ohrid | Transfer by private car to the lakeside town of Ohrid and check in to hotel for four nights. (B)

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Days 5-7 Ohrid | Enjoy three full days to explore the charming town of Ohrid at leisure. Discover incredible ancient churches, many adorned with vibrant frescoes, and look out for the numerous artisan workshops where a wide range of handmade arts and crafts can be found. Consider booking an optional excursion to the village of Kalishta or in the summer months take a boat trip to St Naum Monastery at the other end of the lake near the border with Albania. In the evenings perhaps relax with a glass of delicious Macedonian wine and freshly caught Ohrid trout, watching the sun set over the lake. (B)

Hotel Vila Sveta Sofija / Ohrid A cosy hotel as the name suggests, with 34 tastefully decorated rooms and friendly staff who will ensure your stay is enjoyable. Opened in October 2012, the location couldn’t be better, just a short walk from the Old Town and the main city square. Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£605 £120

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and transfers


Macedonia

Ohrid, Macedonia

Macedonia Fly-Drive Macedonia known as ‘The Land of Lakes’, is truly one of the best kept secrets in the Balkans. This unique tour will take you to beautiful stone monasteries and churches, resplendent with colourful frescoes and icons. You will also discover old Roman ruins and wander along shores of tranquil mountain lakes. We have based this itinerary on good three-star hotels and group A car hire. We can also quote for four/five star hotels and larger cars if required.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Skopje | Fly to Skopje and pick up hire car, drive to hotel (25 kilometres) and check in for two nights. Day 2 Skopje & Environs | Free day to explore Skopje. You can visit the Church of Holy Salvation, Old Bazaar, Kale Fortress, The Museum of Macedonia (National Museum), Mustapha Pasha Mosque and Daut Pasha Baths, followed by the medieval churches in Skopje and surroundings. (B) Day 3 Skopje to Demir Kapija | Visit the Canyon Matka and the 14th century church of St Andrew near Skopje. Here, you can also take a boat ride through the canyon and visit Nad Vrelo Cave. Drive through the Canyon of the Vardar River and town of Veles to reach the ancient city of Stobi. This archaeological site offers sweeping views of the central Macedonian plain and contains buildings such as the 2nd-century amphitheatre. Continue to Demir Kapija (110 kilometres) and check in to the Popova Kula Winery for one night. (B) Day 4 Demir Kapija - Bitola | Drive on to Prilep and enjoy a short walk through the bazaar before continuing to Bitola, Macedonia’s second largest town. Bitola is

an extraordinary mixture of old and new and a meeting point of different cultures and civilisations. In the afternoon, visit the Roman ruins of Heraclea, famous for its mosaics, ancient theatre and Roman baths. Check in to hotel in Bitola for one night. (B) Day 5 Bitola to Ohrid | Drive to Ohrid (70 kilometres) via the village of Kurbinovo. Arrive in Ohrid and check in to hotel for three nights. (B) Days 6 & 7 Ohrid | Free days to explore Ohrid. Highlights include the churches of St Sophia and St Clement, a classic Byzantine church that dominates the Old Town. The church of St John at Kaneo stands alone on a small promontory jutting out into the lake at the western end of the Old Town and provides spectacular panoramic views of the lake. (B)

Day 9 Ohrid to Skopje via Struga and Mavrovo | Drive back to Skopje (256 kilometres) with stops in Struga and the Mavrovo National Park. Struga is famous for its wall of water, where the Black Drim River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. Continue to the canyon of the River Radika and visit the monastery of St John Bigorski. Drive through the Mavrovo National Park, where the highest peaks in Macedonia can be found. Arrive in Skopje and check in for one night. (B) Day 10 Fly to the UK | Drive to Skopje airport, drop off car and fly back to the UK. (B)

Day 8 Galicica National Park and St. Naum | Drive to the villages of Velestovo, Konjsk and Elsani, all situated in the stunning Galicica National Park (136 kilometres). Visit the monastery of St. Naum, situated close to the springs of the Black Drim River which are famous for their miraculous healing powers before returning to Ohrid. (B)

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£875 £176

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Macedonia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

19


St. Panteleimon Church, Nerezi

Cultural Landscapes of Macedonia Macedonia, known as ‘The Land of Lakes’, is one of the best kept secrets in the Balkans. This tour takes you to beautiful stone monasteries and churches, resplendent with colourful frescoes and icons. Travel by private car with a driver-guide to explore old Roman ruins, wander along the shores of tranquil mountain lakes and discover remote national parks, where little appears to have changed in the rural mountain villages for hundreds of years.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Skopje | Fly to Macedonia’s compact capital and transfer to the hotel for two nights.

its rare yet magnificent frescoes, painted in 1191. Arrive in the picturesque lakeside town of Ohrid and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B)

Day 2 Skopje | Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Skopje including the Church of Holy Salvation, the Old Bazaar, Kale Fortress, the Museum of Macedonia (National Museum), Mustapha Pasha Mosque and Daut Pasha Baths. Travel into the surrounding areas and discover an abundance of wonderful medieval churches such as the 12th century Monastery of St. Panteleimon in the village of Nerezi, with its famous 14th century frescoes. (B,L)

Day 6 Ohrid | Discover the historic treasures of Ohrid, one of the oldest settlements in Europe, on a morning walking tour. Highlights include the churches of St Sophia and St Clement. Head to the Church of St. John at Kaneo, located on a small promontory jutting out into the lake, for spectacular panoramic views across the lake. Attributed to John the Theologian, the church is thought to date from the end of the 13th century, and the well-preserved frescoes of St Clement, St Erasmus and Constantine Kavasilas are especially notable. (B,L)

Day 3 Skopje to Bitola | Drive through the canyon of the Vardar River to reach the ancient city of Stobi. This archaeological site offers sweeping views of the central Macedonian plain and contains a 2nd century amphitheatre and early Christian ruins with extensive, ornate mosaic floors. Continue on to the Popova Kula Winery for lunch and to sample the wine which Macedonia is famous for producing. Continue to Bitola, Macedonia’s second largest town, and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B,L) Day 4 Bitola | Begin with a morning tour of Bitola, which was known as the ‘City of the Consuls’ during Ottoman rule. Bitola is an extraordinary mixture of old and new, and a melting pot of cultures and civilisations. In the afternoon, visit the well-preserved Roman site of Heraclea, famous for its mosaics, ancient theatre and Roman baths from the ancient Macedonian Empire. (B,L)

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Day 5 Bitola to Ohrid | Travel to Ohrid via the village of Kurbinovo where the 12th century church of St George can be found. Whilst the church itself is a modest building, it is famed for

Day 9 Skopje | Enjoy a free day at leisure in Skopje. Perhaps enjoy a meal at Kapan Han, one of three remaining Ottoman caravanserais still standing in the Old Bazaar, or peruse the exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art. (B) Day 10 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 7 Galicica National Park | Enjoy an excursion to Galicica National Park, a mountainous region of outstanding natural beauty which covers an area of 227 km² between the lakes of Ohrid and Prespa. Visit the monastery of St Naum, one of the most beautiful monasteries in Macedonia and an important place of pilgrimage, situated close to the springs of the Black Drim River famous for their miraculous healing powers. (B,L) Day 8 Ohrid to Skopje | Visit Struga, famous for its wall of water where the Black Drim River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. The town has many ancient churches as well as wooden framed houses characteristic of 18th and 19th century Macedonian architecture. Continue to the canyon of the Radika River and visit the monastery of St John Bigorski before driving through Mavrovo National Park, where the highest peaks in Macedonia can be found. Arrive back in Skopje and check in for a two night stay. (B,L)

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1425 £180

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Macedonia

Brown Bear, Pelister National Park

Bear Watch Macedonia Roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with conservation projects working to preserve Macedonia’s most spectacular unspoiled wilderness. This tour gives you the opportunity to explore national parks like you’ve never done before, roaming with park rangers to spot, record and preserve some of Europe’s last truly wild populations of bear, lynx, deer, wolf and boar. After, spend a few days exploring the pretty lakeside town of Ohrid.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Skopje | Fly to Skopje and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a guided walking tour of Skopje and its old town before having dinner at an authentic 15th century oriental han. (D) Day 2 Skopje to Mavrovo National Park Depart for Mavrovo National Park where you will join the park rangers for conservation operations at the deer reproduction centre including maintenance and feeding activities. After a picnic lunch, hop inside a 4x4 jeep for an off-road adventure to the wild goat habitats of the park looking out on the drive for other animals including eagles, falcons, wolves, deer and bears. Hike through dense forest to the feeding stations and learn how to recognise animal tracks, scents and sounds. Continue hiking to one of the peaks where you can watch eagles hunting. Return to the lodge for a traditional dinner. (B,L,D) Day 3 Mavrovo National Park to Pelister National Park | Wake up early and enjoy a bear watching hike to densely populated bear areas. Transfer to Pelister National Park and check-in in to your accommodation. Enjoy a traditional Macedonian slow-food lunch. In the evening, embark on a bear watching hike with the

opportunity to spend the night in hide. (B,L,D) Day 4 Pelister National Park to Bitola Embark on an early morning observation hike in search of wildlife to reach the eastern slopes of the mountain. Here, help the park rangers to replant some rare and prehistoric pine called Molika. Continue on an easy hike through the Molika forest. In the evening enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Bitola’s old town. (B,L,D)

Naum Monastery at the other end of the lake near the border with Albania. In the evenings perhaps relax with a glass of delicious Macedonian wine and freshly caught Ohrid trout, watching the sun set over the lake. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 5 Bitola to Ohrid | Continue to explore the city of Bitola where a melting pot of cultures and civilisations can be found. Perhaps visit the well-preserved Roman site of Heraclea, famous for its ancient theatre, mosaics and Roman baths dating back to the ancient Macedonian Empire. In the afternoon transfer to the picturesque lakeside town of Ohrid. (B) Days 6 & 7 Ohrid | Spend two full days exploring the charming town of Ohrid at leisure. Discover incredible ancient churches, many adorned with vibrant frescoes, and look out for the numerous artisan workshops where a wide range of handmade arts and crafts can be found. Consider booking an optional excursion to the village of Kalishta or in the summer months take a boat trip to St Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Seasonality

May to Sept

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1765 £69

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers, sightseeing tour and conservation contribution to the National Parks

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Macedonia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

21


Serbia

The Inside Story Visit Serbia and bask in a warm welcome at every turn as you discover a country reinventing itself. Those in the know appreciate Belgrade’s great architecture, museums, galleries, outstanding restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Away from the capital, fast-flowing rivers, mountain peaks, woodland trails and Orthodox monasteries hidden in wooded valleys await discovery.

Story to tell Ellie Marr

Why I love Serbia The Roman site of Viminacium never fails to impress me. This grand capital of the ancient Roman province Moesia is located 12 kilometres from Požarevac. They have recently built a small hotel here and for the Time Team enthusiasts out there you can even work alongside the archaeologists. There is always something new to see on every visit as the excavation is an ongoing process.

Elegant Novi Sad sits on the banks of the Danube with the picturesque Petrovaradinski Fort overlooking the river, while Nis boasts an imposing Ottoman fort and Subotica is home to attractive Hungarian-style Art Nouveau architecture. The fertile plains of Vojvodina sweep across the country, and the mountainous region to the south is home to rugged villages, ski resorts and hiking trails. For jaw-dropping scenery, don’t miss the Djerdap Canyon, where the normally tranquil Danube is transformed into a thundering torrent as it squeezes through the narrow gorge. Visit our website for the full range of holidays including city breaks, group tours, fly-drives and tailor-made tours.

700-800

15-18th C

1918

1989

Slav tribes settle into presentday Balkan territories and assimilate the Illyrians

Serbia part of Ottoman Empire

End of WWI; Kingdom of Serbs, Croats & Slovenes – later renamed Yugoslavia – is formed

Slobodan Milosevic becomes President of Serbia

1389

1817

1945

Invading Ottoman forces decimate the Serbs in the Battle of Kosovo

Serbia becomes an autonomous principality

Serbia becomes part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under President Tito


Serbia

Regent Recommends Serbia Fly-Drive

Wines of Serbia Tour

Belgrade City Break

Discover the highlights of Serbia on a week-long fly-drive holiday which journeys between prehistoric sites, modern cities and idyllic national parks. Travel through stunning mountain landscapes, visit incredible isolated monasteries and explore the relics of ancient forts and Roman cities. Be sure to leave the hire car behind for an evening and try some of the wines from Serbia’s 70,000 hectares of vineyards. Highlights along the way include the pretty mineral spa resort of Vrnjacka Banja and 12th century Studenica Monastery, the largest and richest Orthodox monastery in Serbia. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist to tailormake a Serbia fly-drive, staying in either 4 or 5-star hotels.

Before the communist era Serbia was one of the biggest producers of quality wine in Europe and in recent years the country’s nine wine regions have made an awardwinning comeback. On this 8-day tour travelling by private car with a driver-guide, stop at small towns and villages where family wineries and ancient wine cellars abound. Taste Bermet dessert wine, a specialty of the Fruška Gora region, visit Rajac where 270 stone wine cellars surround a picturesque central square, and stop in the small village of Gudurica where the home-grown Muscat Ottonel and Banatski Riesling come highly recommended. Visit our website for a detailed tour itinerary.

The highlight of a city break in Serbia’s up and coming capital is undoubtedly the vibrant atmosphere – do as the locals do and spend time whiling away the hours at a pavement café, head to Kalemegdan Park where panoramic views of the Sava and Danube rivers draw native Belgraders for an evening stroll, or eat at one of the many boat restaurants moored along the edge of the river. Spend time in and around Stari Grad, the city’s compact Old Town, where the National Museum and National Theatre frame Republic Square, and don’t miss the 19th century Orthodox cathedral. Visit our website for 3, 4 and 5-star city break options.

Serbia - Perfect For Serbia is a wonderful destination for travellers looking to combine vibrant city life with ancient folkloric traditions, which still permeate the country’s rural towns and villages. One of the best ways to sample Serbia is with a food or wine tour, so those looking for a gastronomic discovery will enjoy visiting Belgrade’s Rakia Brandy Workshop and tasting some of Serbia’s delicious local cheeses. 1992

2000

2006

Montenegro and Serbia form Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Milosevic overthrown after accusations of rigging presidential election

Serbia declares itself independent sovereign successor state to Union of Serbia and Montenegro

1991

1991-99

2002

2011

Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia break away from Yugoslavia

Bloody tide of inter-ethnic conflict culminates in NATO air strikes

Slobodan Milosevic trial for charges of genocide and war crimes begins in The Hague

European Commission endorses Serbia for EU candidate status

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Serbia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

23


Dinaric Alps, Serbia

Highlights of Serbia Discover a timeless land of national treasures from 6000 BC to medieval Serbia, where impressive monasteries and vivid frescoes flourish. Travel through a stunning landscape of rivers, mountains, lakes and vineyards, uncovering colourful monasteries, imposing fortresses and traditional villages. Generous Serbian hospitality abounds, with hearty traditional meals and delicious wines from the local vineyards included.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Belgrade | Fly to Belgrade and transfer to Novi Sad, Serbia’s second biggest city. Take a walk through the Old Town before sitting down to a hearty welcome dinner. (D) Day 2 Novi Sad to Belgrade | Discover Sremski Karlovci, an attractive town on the banks of the Danube, and visit the baroque Orthodox Cathedral, Patriarch’s Palace and the Four Lions Fountain. Continue along the beautiful slopes of Fruska Gora National Park and enjoy a tour of medieval Grgeteg Monastery, dedicated to St. Nicholas. Visit a rustic farm and tuck in to an organic lunch with local wines from one of the centuries-old vineyards found in the park’s lower valley. Arrive in Belgrade in the afternoon and embark on a city tour with stops at the Parliament, St. Sava Orthodox Cathedral, Kalemegdan Fortress and Knez Mihajlova Street. (B,L) Day 3 Belgrade to Kladovo | Drive to Viminacium, one of the most important Roman cities and military camps, which today covers an area of over 450 hectares. Indulge in a Roman-style lunch before visiting Lepesnki Vir – an important Mesolithic archaeological site. Continue to Kladovo, a small town on the shores of the Danube surrounded by vineyards. Enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise along the Danube’s Iron Gate Gorge. (B,L,D)

24

Day 4 Kladovo to Vrnjacka Banja | Pay a visit to Felix Romuliana in Gamzigrad. With its beautiful frescoes and mosaic floors, this UNESCO-protected Roman complex is considered to be one of the finest preserved examples of Roman palace architecture. After an alfresco lunch, head to the remote Kalenic Monastery, a masterpiece of the Morava School of architecture. End the day in the spa town of Vrnjacka Banja. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Vrnjacka Banja to Studenica Monastery Visit Gradac Monastery and its icon painting workshop before moving on to the Monastery of Sopoćani, built in 1260. Its extensive Byzantine frescoes, portraying the Gospels, are considered by many to be the finest from this period in Europe. After lunch, take a stroll around the fine Ottoman town of Novi Pazar. Continue on to the famous Studenica Monastery Complex, the largest and richest Orthodox monastery in Serbia. Enjoy a privileged overnight stay at the Studenica Monastery Dormitory, where a traditional monastic dinner is served. (B,L,D) Day 6 Studenica Monastery to Zlatibor Drive through the Dinaric Alps and the UNESCOlisted Studenica-Golija Biosphere Reserve, a mosaic of forests, shrubs and lakes. Stop for lunch at a rural house in the Uvac Nature Reserve before continuing on to the mountainous region of Zlatibor for a two-night stay. (B,L) Day 7 Zlatibor Region | Board old wooden carriages for a ride on the narrow-gauge Sargan 8 Railway, so-named as it follows a figure of eight route through Serbia’s steep mountain cuttings and rocky gorges. Afterwards visit the Sirogojno Open Air Museum and enjoy a traditional lunch before taking the opportunity to shop for the region’s renowned woollen textiles. (B,L)

Tour duration

9 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Day 8 Zlatibor to Belgrade | Stop at Terzica Avlija Ethno Park with its typical rural households from Uzice District and enjoy a pottery demonstration. Return to Belgrade for a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Departures

21 May 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1570 £270

Day 9 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.


Serbia

View over Belgrade towards the Danube River

Cultural Landscapes of Serbia Beginning in the capital city, Belgrade, set off to explore the cultural landscapes of Serbia on this tailor-made tour, travelling by private car with a driver-guide. Explore the incredible medieval monasteries of Fruska Gora National Park, admire the well-preserved mosaic floors of Felix Romuliana and travel on a unique scenic railway — the historic Sargan Eight — which loops through the beautiful mountain landscape in a figure of eight.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Belgrade | Fly to Serbia’s capital and transfer to the hotel for a three night stay. Take a short panoramic tour of the city and enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the Skadarlija area. (D) Day 2 Belgrade | Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Belgrade including visits to Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan Park, the old quarter, Central Republic Square, Prince Mihailo Street, Terezije Square, the Old Palace and St. Sava Cathedral. Afternoon at leisure; perhaps visit one of the city’s many museums such as Tito’s Museum or the House of Flowers. (B,D) Day 3 Vojvodina | Take a full day excursion to the Vojvodina Plain, including a visit to Fruska Gora National Park, renowned for its vineyards and monasteries dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Visit Sremski Karlovci, a small baroque town famous for its architecture and wine cellars. The last stop of the day is Novi Sad, Serbia’s second largest city. (B,D) Day 4 Belgrade to Kladovo | Visit Viminacium, one of the most important Roman cities and military camps from the 1st to 4th centuries. Continue to Lepesnki Vir — an important Mesolithic archaeological site dating from between 6700-5500 BC. Visit the Diana Roman fortification from the 2nd century AD en route to the riverside town of Kladovo. (B,D) Day 5 Kladovo to Vrnjacka Banja | Drive to Felix Romuliana via the Rajac Wineries. With its beautiful frescoes and mosaic floors, this UNESCO-protected Roman site is considered to be one of the finest examples of Roman

palace architecture. Continue to Vrnjacka Banja, one of Serbia’s most celebrated and beautiful spa towns. (B,D)

Belgrade for a final night in the capital.

(B,D)

Day 10 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 6 Vrnjacka Banja to Zlatibor | Travel to magnificent Studenica Monastery, the largest and richest Orthodox monastery in Serbia, with its white marble churches and impressive collection of Byzantine-style frescoes. Continue to Sopocani Monastery, a UNESCOprotected site famed for its colourful wall paintings, before arriving in Zlatibor for a three night stay. (B,D) Day 7 Sargan Eight Railway | Take an excursion to Sirogojno and visit the open-air museum before travelling to Mokra Gora for a train journey on the unique mountain railway. The Sargan Eight is an old-fashioned narrow-gauge railway which cuts through the picturesque mountain landscape. Continue to the ethnic village of Drvengrad, built by film director Emir Kusturica for his film ‘Life is a Miracle’, before returning to Zlatibor. (B,D) Day 8 Zlatibor | Take a boat ride through the Uvac Nature Reserve to try to catch a glimpse of one of the 60-65 pairs of Griffon Vultures that nest around Zlatar mountain. Return to Zlatibor for a free afternoon. (B) Day 9 Zlatibor to Belgrade | Travel to Openlac via the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge. Oplenac is the unofficial capital of the Karadjordjevic dynasty. It features the magnificent mausoleum of the royal family and the church of St.George which is one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches in the country. The inside of the church is covered with must see mosaics from floor to ceiling.Travel back to

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1425 £315

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Serbia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

25


Montenegro

The Inside Story

Story to tell Ellie Marr

For a country which is barely 100km from top to bottom, Montenegro has an incredibly rich history from the Romans and Ottomans to the Austro-Hungarians and Soviets, and an even richer landscape. Discover a stunningly beautiful coastline fringed with sandy beaches and backed by dramatic mountains, where olive tree-covered foothills overlook the turquoise Adriatic Sea to create picture-perfect vistas. Take in the beautiful walled coastal towns of Budva and Herceg Novi with their narrow streets, tiny squares, historic churches and world class views. In World Heritage-listed Kotor, where mountains sweep down to the sea at the head of southern Europe’s deepest fjord, the Byzantine walls encircle the old city which was once one of the best fortified towns on the Adriatic. Travel inland and marvel at Ostrog Monastery suspended dramatically from a sheer cliff face, discover the primeval forest of Biogradska Gora National Park, explore Durmitor National Park with its spectacular canyons and glacial lakes or admire the magnificent Prokletije Massif which forms the border with Albania.

Why I love Montenegro Montenegro literally translates as ‘black mountain’ so it’s no surprise that this tiny country has its fair share of them. See these magnificent mountain ranges in the various national parks – be sure to include a visit to Biogradska Gora National Park, which has one of the few remaining primeval forests left in the world and is surrounded by the Bjelasica mountain massif.

8th-9th C

1798

1918

Slav tribes settle in territories of present day Montenegro

Acknowledged as an independent principality

Becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes – later renamed Yugoslavia

15th-18th C

1878

1945

Absorbed by Ottoman Empire but retains substantial autonomy

Independence recognised under international treaties

Becomes part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under President Tito


Montenegro

Regent Recommends Kotor & Budva

National Parks

Bojana River

Combine the beautiful Adriatic towns of Kotor and Budva on a twin centre holiday with private transfers between the two. Travel May to October and enjoy independent exploration of the historic fortified towns or perhaps choose to take optional excursions around the Boka (inlet) Kotorska, where delights such as the beautiful town of Perast await. In Kotor, be sure to wander the maze of small streets behind the 20 metre ramparts, and in Budva a boat trip to St Nikola Island is highly recommended for wonderful views back to the Budva Riviera and the mountains above. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3 and 4-star hotel options.

While the word ‘Montenegro’ often conjures up images of terracottaroofed towns perched on the Adriatic coast, Montenegro is also home to spectacular national parks. Biogradska Gora National Park protects 1,600 hectares of virgin woodland – one of Europe’s last three primeval forests – and is surrounded by the rolling Bjelasica mountain range. Once you’ve walked around the beautiful Lake Biograd, journey through the pretty landscape dotted with mountain villages and wildflower meadows, forested areas, rivers and glacial lakes. The UNESCO listed Durmitor National Park was spectacularly carved by glaciers and the mountains have become a hub for hiking.

One of our favourite places in Montenegro is Bojana River, past Ulcinj and near the Albanian border. On both banks of the river there are small wooden houses on stilts, reminiscent somewhat of Southeast Asia. Many of these wooden houses have been converted into restaurants some rustic, some elegant, but they all have one thing in common, in that they serve the most delicious fresh fish. Fishermen sell their freshly caught fish straight from their boats during the day. Some of the restaurants are also well-known for their delicious homemade baklava and potent raki. Don’t go too far down the river bank as there is a nudist beach!

Montenegro - Perfect For Those fascinated by the history of the Balkan region will appreciate Montenegro’s well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Sites and charming Old Towns. The beautiful coastline of the Adriatic will not disappoint anyone looking for a relaxing holiday with world class beaches and stunning vistas. 1991

1999

2002

2006

Pro-independence Milo Djukanovic becomes Prime Minister

Abandons dinar in favour of German mark

Montenegro adopts the euro

Declares independence, Serbia responds by declaring itself the independent sovereign successor state to the Union of Serbia and Montenegro

1992

2000

2002

Montenegro joins Serbia in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Milosevic ousted by pro-Western reformers in Belgrade

Government collapse over the new union with Serbia

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Montenegro Specialist on 020 7666 1294

27


Kotor

Cultural Landscapes of Montenegro Discover the highlights of Montenegro, from the mountains to the coast. Uncover the history of the ancient walled towns, Budva and Kotor, whilst soaking up spectacular Adriatic views. Inland, visit the cliffside Ostrog Monastery and the national parks; in Biogradska Gora National Park a jeep safari takes in Bjelasica Mountain and picturesque villages. A visit to a winery in Limljani provides the opportunity to try local wines, meats, olives and cheeses.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tivat | Fly to Tivat on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. Visit Kotor bay and the Baroque town of Perast before taking a boat trip out to the Island of ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’. Day 2 Kotor to Podgorica | Explore the UNESCO listed town of Kotor, a town with intricate marble streets that lead to peaceful shady piazzas. Highlights of Kotor include Flour Square with Pima and Buca Palaces and the Clock Tower. After the city tour, continue towards the old capital city of Cetinje with a stop en route in Njegusi village, to sample locally produced, meats and cheeses. On arrival in Cetinje, visit King Nicola’s Museum before continuing to Podgorica. (B,L) Day 3 Podgorica to Zabljak | Today will be spent travelling northwards towards the mountain town of Zabljak. The first stop of the day will be at the extraordinary Ostrog Monastery for stunning views. The monastery was built in the 17th Century by one of the four Montenegrin Saints, Vladika St. Vasilije and today is a popular pilgrimage site for followers of the Orthodox religion. Continue to Pluzine and Piva Lake and Monastery,

located along the ring of Durmitor. (B) Day 4 Zabljak to Kolasin | Embark on a morning walk around the sparkling Black Lake of Durmitor National Park. After lunch in Zabljak, move on towards Kolasin via the Tara River Canyon – the deepest in Europe at 4,265 feet – and the impressive Djurdjevica Bridge. From the bridge, watch rafters float by below, whilst daredevils whiz past on the canyon-spanning zip wire. Continue on to Kolasin, the gateway to Biogradska Gora National Park. (B,L,D) Day 5 Kolasin | Today, explore the Bjelasica Mountain Massif by jeep safari. Bjelasica surrounds Biogradska Gora National Park, which is one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe. Travel through mountain villages, stopping for lunch at a local village restaurant. Drive past vast forests, rippling rivers, glacial fed lakes and meadows covered with wild flowers. Return to Kolasin for the night. (B,L,D)

Balkans. Stop at a local winery in Limljani and sample local wines. Explore the charming Old Town with its medieval walls, cobbled lanes and small shady piazzas. Visit the churches of St Trojica, St Ivan, St Bogorodica and St Sava. (B) Day 7 Budva | Visit the Sveti Stefan region and wander through the villages of Przno and Sveti Stefan. Sveti Stefan is home to the exclusive Aman Resort, located on its own private island, and linked to the mainland by a traffic free causeway. You will have the chance to arrange your pass onto this island by booking a lunch at one of the resort’s restaurants. Return to Budva to relax at one of the many beaches or perhaps soak up the old town’s atmosphere. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your return flight . (B)

Day 6 Kolasin to Budva | After breakfast, head towards the coastal town of Budva via the beautiful Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Tailor-made, Unguided Seasonality

28

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel £1440 Single room supp. £130 4-star Hotel £1600 Single room supp. £230 Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Montenegro

View of Ulcinj

Adriatic Fly-Drive Discover the incredibly beautiful Adriatic coast from Kotor to Ulcinj, the southernmost town on the Montenegrin coast on this fly-drive itinerary. Enjoy days exploring Kotor and its surroundings. Stop in the ancient Royal Capital of Cetinje on the drive to Budva, where three nights provide ample time to explore the Sveti Stefan region. Finally explore the Ottoman town of Ulcinj, where the fantastic restaurants along the Ada Bojana are renowned for fresh seafood dishes and sunset views.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tivat | Fly to Tivat on the Montenegrin coast. On arrival, collect your hire car and make your way to the UNESCO world heritage town of Kotor (7km). Check in to your hotel for a two night stay. Day 2 Kotor | Spend the day getting to know Kotor and the surrounding Boka Bay area. The old town of Kotor is a car free zone so leave the car behind and wander its intricate marble streets on foot, crammed full of picturesque boutiques and cafes. The Square of Arms is the main thoroughfare of the town and a perfect place to rest and watch the world go by. Head back to the car for a drive around the Boka Bay, making sure to stop off in the quaint Baroque town of Perast and catch the water taxi out to Our Lady of the Rocks Island which offers a fantastic panoramic view of the bay from its shores. (B) Day 3 Kotor to Ulcinj | Drive along the coast to Ulcinj. Stop en-route in Petrovac for morning coffee at a cafe located along its picturesque promenade. Continue along the coast to the port town of Bar. Watch the ships pass or discover the two-thousand-year old olive tree ‘Mirovica’, now a state protected feature and thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world. On arrival in Ulcinj, check in to your hotel for a two night stay. (B) Day 4 Ulcinj | Perhaps today could be the day for some well deserved R & R. The longest beach in the country, the 14km Velika Plaza, is a 20 minute drive away. Soak up the sun or take a stroll along the water’s edge. In the evening, continue down towards the Albanian border, stopping at one of the seafood restaurants on the island of Ada Bojana,

created by the river delta. The sunsets here are spectacular, accompanied by a plate of beautifully fresh grilled fish and a glass of something chilled. (B)

early evening, make your way back to Budva.(B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Drive to Tivat airport. Drop off car and fly back to the UK. (B)

Day 5 Ulcinj to Budva via Lake Skadar | Drive to the Lake Skadar National Park. The largest lake in the Balkans is home to 260 species of birds. The lake is surrounded by traditional fishing villages and quaint monasteries so continue the drive around the lake. The lakeside town of Virpazar is the park’s largest settlement and contains a few small restaurants including one housed on a boat in the lake. Continue to Budva and on arrival, check in to your hotel for a three night stay. (B) Day 6 Budva | Spend the morning exploring the old town of Budva (car free zone). The city walls are a miniature version of Dubrovnik’s but offer a full bird’s-eye view of the town below. Once back on the ground, soak up the bustling atmosphere inside the walls, peeking inside the many intriguing churches that dot the narrow lanes before enjoying lunch at one of the restaurants encircling the town. (B) Day 7 Cetinje | Head up to the old royal capital of Cetinje today. Make a stop in the village of Njegusi, where you can take the opportunity to taste the delicious, locally produced meats and cheeses that the villagers sell. On arrival in Cetinje, take a look around King Nicola’s Museum which is home to many interesting artefacts documenting Montenegro’s tumultuous history. Return to Budva via the 25 Serpentines road which snakes its way down the mountainside. At the top the view of the bay below is simply stunning and will entice anyone to pull out their camera. In the

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

May - Oct

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£795 £150

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Montenegro Specialist on 020 7666 1294

29


BosniaHerzegovina The Inside Story

Story to tell Ellie Marr

Bosnia-Herzegovina has firmly established itself on the tourist trail with visitors drawn by dramatic alpine scenery, thundering rivers, ancient towns, hidden monasteries, medieval fortresses and isolated villages. In a country where Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations meet Roman and Austro-Hungarian influences, you can find mosques, synagogues, Orthodox churches and Catholic cathedrals just a stone’s throw away from each other. Wander along the narrow cobbled streets of Bascarsija in Sarajevo and join the locals for a strong Turkish coffee. Visit striking Mostar and watch divers leap off its rebuilt landmark bridge over the Neretva River. See the pilgrims flocking to Medjugorje and the site where an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared. Step back in time in sleepy Kraljeva Sutjeska, investigate the catacombs in Jajce which were used as shelter during the recent war, hike along trails through the glorious Dinaric Alps and stumble across remote villages and monasteries on Bjelasnica Mountain, where the way of life has changed little for its residents.

Why I love BosniaHerzegovina The Bosnian people are one of this intriguing country’s greatest assets. I often find that the warmest nationalities are those which have endured the horrors of war. Bosnians take their coffee and guesthosting very seriously and would never dream of not having a fresh pot of coffee brewing for visitors.

7th C

1463

1914

1941

Slavs settle in territories of modern day Bosnia

Ottoman Turks conquer Bosnian region

Bosnian Serb student, Gavrilo Princip, assassinates Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo

Annexed by pro-Hitler Croatian puppet state

9th C

1878

1918

1945

Control of Bosnia split between Serbia and Croatia

Given to Austro-Hungarian Empire as a colony

Austro-Hungary Empire collapses; Bosnia becomes part of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes

Liberated by Tito; becomes republic within Yugoslav Socialist Federation


Bosnia-Herzegovina

Regent Recommends Best of Bosnia

Sarajevo to Belgrade

Sarajevo City Break

Discover the highlights of Bosnia and Herzegovina on a week-long tailor-made tour with private car and driver-guide, staying in either 3 or 4-star hotels and guesthouses. Tour Sarajevo’s Old Town, enjoy a hearty meal at a family home in Bosnia’s most isolated village, and explore the Franciscan church and monastery of Kraljeva Sutjeska. See Jajce’s impressive city centre waterfall, admire Mostar’s famous bridge and discover Blagaj’s 15th century Dervish monastery, beautifully situated at the source of the River Buna beneath a 200 metre cliff. Visit our website for a suggested tailor-made itinerary or speak to a Regent Balkans Specialist for more information.

Travel between these historic Balkan capitals by public bus and uncover two great cities establishing themselves back at the heart of Europe. Sarajevo, nestled between wooded hills and divided by the Miljacka River, has a fascinating pre-war history from the Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral to the Jewish museum, formerly a synagogue when it was built in 1556. Transfer to Serbia’s capital on the banks of the River Danube and soak up the vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere, from the churches of the Old Town to New Belgrade with its Gallery of Modern Art. Speak to a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3, 4 and 5-star hotel options.

A true crossroads of east and west, Sarajevo’s cultural diversity is played out in its religious architecture, with one district boasting a mosque, synagogue and Orthodox and Catholic churches on the same square. Discover the coffee shops and craftsmen of the Turkish quarter, before taking the steep walk (or bus!) up to Jajce Castle and the remains of the medieval town, where panoramic views of the city below unfold. Sarajevo has a vibrant nightlife – in the evenings perhaps head to the Old Town to indulge in traditional Bosnian cuisine or visit one of the city centre jazz bars. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3 and 4-star city break options.

Bosnia-Herzegovina - Perfect For Bosnia-Herzegovina has been through more than most European countries in recent years, and those wishing to experience a country reinventing itself will enjoy the revitalised charms of Mostar, evoking the Bosnia-Herzegovina of old, and up-and-coming Sarajevo — a buzzing testament to ethnic diversity and social regeneration. 1991

1995

2001

2011

Communism falls; BosniaHerzegovina forms a coalition government of nationalist Serbs, Muslims and Croats

Bosnian Serbs massacre thousands of Muslims at Srebrenica

Hague war crimes tribunal finds Radislav Krstic guilty of genocide

Serb, Croat and Muslim political leaders agree on formation of a new central government

1993

1996

2004

Conflict grips the region, culminating in partial destruction of Mostar

Dayton peace accord creates two entities; one for Bosnian Muslims and Croats, the other for Serbs

Mostar’s bridge is restored and reopened

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Bosnia-Herzegovina Specialist on 020 7666 1294

31


The Old Bridge, Mostar

Bosnia in Depth Combine the stunning landscapes of this Balkan country with a journey through Bosnia’s history from the 4th century BC to the modern day. Pay respects at the WWII Sutjeska battlefield, soak up the capital city’s captivating atmosphere with a few days in Sarajevo, discover the history behind Mostar’s famous bridge and travel into the Bjelasnica Mountains to experience local life in Bosnia’s most isolated village.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Dubrovnik | Fly to Dubrovnik and transfer to the pretty town of Trebinje in Bosnia Herzegovina for a welcome dinner. An 18th century trading centre, the town is famed for its enormous old mills. (D) Day 2 Sarajevo | Visit Sutjeska National Park, home of the highest mountain peak in the country and site of the WWII Battle of Sutjeska – one of the toughest battles fought by the Yugoslav partisans. Visit the Tito WWII Heritage Monument before travelling to Sarajevo for three nights in the nation’s capital. (B,L,D) Day 3 Sarajevo | Explore Bosnia’s multicultural capital on a sightseeing tour. Visit the Museum of Sarajevo, built on the site of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, as well as the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum which offers an intriguing insight into life during the Bosnian conflict. In the afternoon travel to Vrelo Bosne, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Stroll past bubbling streams and waterfalls and discover the Austro Hungarian buildings, which hint at the country’s opulent past. (B,L) Day 4 Sarajevo to Lukomir | Journey into the Bjelasnica Mountains to Lukomir, Bosnia’s highest and most isolated village, where the inhabitants still wear traditional costume. For those who wish, take a breathtaking walk along the Rakitnica Canyon, with alpine green hills on one side and the deep craggy expanse of the canyon on the other. Return to Sarajevo and enjoy free time to explore at leisure. (B,L)

32

Day 5 Sarajevo to Jajce | Step back in time in the tiny town of Kraljeva Sutjeska. Explore the Franciscan church and monastery with its rich library and stop at one of the oldest mosques in Bosnia. Drive to Travnik, picturesquely

located in the Lavsa river valley. Former capital of the Ottoman Empire, this historic town was once known as the European Istanbul. Continue to Jajce for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 6 Jajce to Mostar | Discover the highlights of Jajce on a sightseeing tour including the beautiful waterfall and ruins of St. Luke’s Church. Continue to the village of Prusac, the largest Muslim gathering site in Europe, where highlights include the Handanija Mosque and medieval castle of Biograd, situated on a rock overlooking the valley. After lunch depart for Mostar for three nights. (B,L) Day 7 Mostar | Embark on a guided city tour of Herzegovina’s cultural capital. View the famous bridge and visit a farmers’ cooperative to sample delicious local delicacies such as prosciutto and livno cheese. In the afternoon travel to Blagaj, a beautiful village at the source of the River Buna, to discover the impressive tekke, a 15th century Dervish monastery at the foot of a 200 metre cliff. (B,L) Day 8 Herzegovina | Visit the old Ottoman town of Pocitelj and wander its narrow lanes. Continue to Mogorjelo, the ruins of a Roman villa rustica, and stop at the Herceg Ethno Village to gain an insight into traditional ways of life. See the impressive 120-metrewide Kravice waterfalls, before returning to Mostar. (B,L) Day 9 Mostar to Dubrovnik | Explore Radimlja, a stećak necropolis, and Vjetrenica Cave, famed for its cave drawings estimated to be over 10,000 years old. Finally, discover the medieval Orthodox monastery of Zavala, built into the rock face, with its interior covered in 17th century frescoes. Continue to Dubrovnik for the final night. (B,L)

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

1 Jun 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1,485 £175

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Bosnia-Herzegovina

Mostar

Sarajevo & Mostar This tailor-made, twin centre itinerary combines two of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most appealing yet diverse cities – Bosnia’s cosmopolitan Sarajevo and Herzegovina’s Ottoman delight, Mostar. Travel between the two by local bus and explore each city at your own pace. This suggested itinerary is based on 3-star hotels – speak to a Regent Balkans Specialist to tailormake your own trip or upgrade to 4-star hotels. We can also include transfers by private car or train.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Sarajevo | Fly to Sarajevo and check in to the hotel for two nights. Perhaps head out to soak up the lively evening atmosphere at the cafés and bars of the old town or jazz clubs of the city centre. Day 2 Sarajevo | Explore Bosnia’s historic capital at leisure. Perhaps visit the oriental Bascarsija area and stop for Turkish coffee at Halvat cafe or Morica Han. Discover the ruins of the medieval town at Jajce Castle, shop for handmade copper dishes on Kazandziluk Street, visit beautiful Gazi Husrev Begova Mosque or why not try the local beer at Pivnica — the old Sarajevska brewery. (B)

many restaurants on the banks of the river for spectacular panoramas. (B) Day 5 Mostar to Sarajevo | Continue exploring Mostar at leisure or perhaps take an optional excursion to nearby Blagaj to discover the 15th century Dervish tekke. Take a bus back to Sarajevo and check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Guesthouse Kandilj / Sarajevo This 3-star hotel, a Regent favourite at the heart of the Old Town, has just ten traditionalstyle rooms, decorated with Bosnian handicrafts. The quaint courtyard is ideal for relaxing at the end of a full day sightseeing. Hotel Kriva Cuprija / Mostar With an excellent Old Town location just 50 metres from the famous bridge, this character-filled hotel has a sun-drenched terrace which is perfect for an evening aperitif or for dining alfresco.

Day 3 Sarajevo to Mostar | Take one of the frequent public buses to Mostar and enjoy the view on the two and a half hour journey. Check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 4 Mostar | Discover Herzegovina’s beautiful Ottoman city. Why not stop for a Turkish coffee at the 16th century Tabhana Turkish Bath courtyard, a favourite social spot for locals. Shop for pomegranates at Tepa Market and admire the ornate Islamic architecture of Koski Mehmed-Pasha Mosque. In the evening, dine at one of the

Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£635 £125

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, airport transfers and bus tickets

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Bosnia-Herzegovina Specialist on 020 7666 1294

33


Croatia

The Inside Story

Story to tell Ellie Marr

Croatia is deservedly one of Europe’s must-visit destinations, where travellers delight in the magnificent azure coastline strewn with over a thousand tiny islands. Discover immaculately preserved Venetian-era settlements nestled around picturesque harbours, illuminated by the Mediterranean sunshine.

Why I love Croatia My favourite place in Croatia is the fascinating city of Split. There aren’t many other cities in the world that can boast a currently inhabited Roman palace. I could spend all day wandering its hidden passageways. In contrast, exploring Marjan Hill and its secluded rocky beaches is a great way to get away from the bustle of the old town.

The walled cities of Dubrovnik and Split captivate visitors with their old squares and narrow alleyways which beg to be explored. In July and August Dubrovnik’s streets come alive with the six week Summer Festival, where open-air performances enjoy a stunning backdrop of the historic Old Town. Or perhaps choose to avoid the crowds and travel in February to see locals in traditional costume celebrate St. Blaise Day with parades and folk dances. Use cosmopolitan Zagreb, whose thousand-year-old upper town contrasts with the Austro-Hungarian lower town, as a base to explore medieval castles or sample wines in the vineyards of Zagorje. Head inland for medieval towns, endless fields of lavender and the beguiling beauty of Croatia’s national parks dotted with lakes and waterfalls.

600 BC

1463

1941

1971

Greeks colonise the Adriatic Coast

Ottoman Turks conquer the region

Nazi Germany invades; “Greater Croatia” formed, also comprising most of Bosnia and western Serbia

“Croatian Spring”; activists demanding autonomy are arrested and Communist Party purged

229 BC-9 AD

1918

1945

1980

Romans conquer the Illyrians; Croatia falls under the Roman Empire

Croatia joins the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes – later renamed Yugoslavia

Croatia becomes part of Yugoslav socialist federation following bitter resistance campaign

President Tito dies and Yugoslav republics slowly assert independence


Croatia

Regent Recommends City Breaks

National Parks

Island Hopping

Croatia’s picturesque cities offer the perfect combination of grand history and relaxing café culture. Be prepared to be enchanted by Dubrovnik’s well-preserved baroque town, dominated by its encircling walls, perfectly situated on the idyllic Dalmatian coast. Amble along the tightly packed narrow streets of the Old Town and spend time in the Dominican Monastery admiring its collection of fine paintings. In Zagreb, discover the thousand-year-old upper town of Gornji Grad before descending to the lower town and Ban Josip Jelacic Square – a masterpiece of Austro-Hungarian style. Ask a Travel Specialist about 3, 4 and 5-star hotel options.

Plitvice National Park is famous for its lush greenery and large terraced waterfalls. Swim in the azure lakes that gently wait behind each terraced fall and follow winding hiking trails through the park, following the river upstream. This National Park is a popular choice for our fly drive itineraries. Hikers keen for a bit more adventure should head to Paklenica National Park, an area spanning the natural canyons and beech-carpeted slopes of Mount Verbit, offering more strenuous hiking trails and a diverse range of flora and fauna to spot en route. Here you’ll find nomadic shepherds that still practise traditional lifestyles.

When hundreds of islands litter the Adriatic waters of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, it’s impossible to visit just one. Thankfully, the close proximity of each of the islands makes them perfect for an islandhopping tour. Start by exploring the old Roman Architecture of Split before heading to the secluded beaches of Vis, whose transparent seas are littered with sunken ships and marine treasures. Visit the famous Zlatni Rat ‘Golden Horn’ beach, known as one of the most stunning in the Adriatic, on Brac Island and set off for Hvar, loved for its dazzling coast and cobbled harbour town before exploring the winding streets and city walls of Korcula and Dubrovnik.

Croatia - Perfect For For those who like to combine their historic explorations with a relaxing Mediterranean lifestyle, Croatia has it all. From the natural beauty of stunning coastlines, deep forests and mountainous national parks, to medieval walled cities, ancient fortresses and Roman remains, few could fail to be captivated by Croatia’s charms. 1990

1992-95

2003

2011

First free elections in more than 50 years; Ultra-nationalist Franjo Tudjman voted in

Becomes embroiled in inter-ethnic civil war against Bosnian Serbs

Submits formal application for EU membership

Signs EU accession treaty paving the way for full membership

1991

2001

2009

Declares independence; adopts the familiar redchequered flag

Hague tribunal indicts former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes

Joins NATO

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Croatia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

35


Korcula Island

Highlights of Croatia Fly-Drive A fly-drive holiday is the perfect way to experience the many delights of this magnificent country up-close and at your own pace. Drive scenic routes across verdant valleys, through secluded mountain villages and along pristine Adriatic coastline. Stop off at stunning, historic hotspots such as the ancient city of Zadar, magic Dubrovnik, enchanting Split and the beautiful island of Korcula with its sparkling beaches and picture-perfect Old Town.

Suggested Itinerary

36

Day 1 Fly to Zagreb | Fly to Zagreb, collect the hire car and check in to the hotel for two nights. Day 2 Zagreb | Enjoy a full day exploring the cosmopolitan city of Zagreb, where the highlights lie within the thousand-year-old upper town of Gornji Grad. Here, find the Presidential Palace and the historic St. Mark’s Church displaying the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slovenian coats of arms, now an impressive emblem of the city. Linking the upper town with the lower town is the world’s shortest funicular. (B) Day 3 Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes | Drive to Plitvice (190 km) with a possible stop en route in Slunj for a stroll around the Rastoke watermills. Check in for two nights. (B) Day 4 Plitvice Lakes | Today explore Plitvice Lakes. The area of Plitvice, declared a National Park in 1949, comprises densely forested mountains and a string of sixteen crystal clear emerald lakes and waterfalls. Alongside the lakes there are over 50 miles of walkways so you can choose a leisurely stroll or a more ambitious hike. In 1996 the Plitvice Lakes were entered in the UNESCO Register of World Natural Heritage Sites. (B) Day 5 Plitvice Lakes to Zadar | Drive to Zadar (145 km) and check in for one night. Explore this typical laidback Mediterranean walled town, with a romantic harbour, white stonepaved streets, fashionable cafes and ancient landmarks. (B) Day 6 Zadar to Split | Drive to Split (158 km). Stop en route at Krka National Park to admire the famous waterfalls before heading to Sibenik and Trogir, two undiscovered gems, where you might think you have landed on a

film set, as every corner is full of character and locals are ‘busy’ resting in the shade from the warmth of the sun. Check in to your Split hotel for two nights. (B) Day 7 Split | Discover historic Split, a charming UNESCO Heritage City with its magnificent Diocletian’s Palace and central piazza, Peristil. This popular square is an acoustic-rich setting for a cappella singers at dusk. (B) Day 8 Split to Korcula | Drive the coastal road down to the Pejlasic peninsula, where you can cross by hourly ferry from Orebic to Domince on Korcula island (180km). Check in to your Korcula hotel for three nights. (B) Day 9 Korcula | Korcula is one of the largest and most attractive of Croatia’s many islands with over 190 rocky coves, secluded beaches and extensive vineyards. The main town on the island has a fascinating Old Town, with Venetian architecture and stone walls dating from the 14th century. There is plenty to do on Korcula, apart from relaxing, including exploring by some of the island’s numerous walking trails. (B) Day 10 Korcula | Perhaps take an excursion to the neighbouring island of Mljet where a third of the island is classed as national park. Bike along pine forested trails, swim in the inland saltwater lakes or kayak across them to a marooned Benedictine monastery. (B) Day 11 Korcula to Dubrovnik | Drive to Dubrovnik (110 km) and check in for four nights. (B) Days 12-14 Dubrovnik | Explore Dubrovnik and its surrounding areas. Perhaps venture further afield into Montenegro or to Mostar. Take a cruise to the three most beautiful islands of the Dubrovnik archipelago –

Kolocep, Lopud and Šipan – commonly known as the Elaphiti islands. These verdant islands are renowned for their gardens full of oranges and lemons, pretty seascapes and picturesque villages. (B) Day 15 Fly to the UK | Enjoy a last morning in Dubrovnik before driving to the airport for the return flight to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

15 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1630 £745

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire


Croatia

Porec

Istria & Kvarner Fly-Drive Discover the stunning Croatian coast from the comfort of your own four wheels. Pick up your hire car to tour the pretty towns and scenic countryside of the Istrian Peninsula, before crossing the sparkling waters to discover some of the beautiful islands that dot the Adriatic. Explore the natural beauty and intriguing history of the region, uncovering medieval and Roman towns, bustling harbours and coastal coves, wine districts and wild landscapes.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Pula | Fly to Pula on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. Pick up the hire car and head into the city. Spend three nights in Pula . Day 2 Pula | Enjoy a day exploring the city. Once the Roman administrative headquarters, Pula boasts an impressive Roman Amphitheatre that now hosts concerts throughout the summer. History is scattered throughout the town and at its centre is the Forum containing the Temple of Augustus. (B) Day 3 Brijuni Islands | Visit the olive and pine tree strewn Brijuni Islands, off the coast of Fazana. The islands are home to the former summer residence of President Tito – from where he entertained the rich and famous. The islands are now a national park. (B) Day 4 Pula to Porec | Drive from Istria’s southern tip up the western coast, stopping in the quaint medieval town of Rovinj. Reminiscent of Venice, Rovinj is traversed by a network of winding lanes, flanked by colourful buildings leading to a bustling working harbour. Continue to the Lim Fjord – a valley stretching 35km. (B) Day 5 Porec | Explore Porec – a town which has retained the original grid layout of a Roman garrison town. The highlight is its

Byzantine Euphrasius Basilica and remarkable 6th-century Byzantine mosaics. (B) Day 6 Porec to Motovun | Head inland to the beautiful Istrian interior, dotted with hilltop villages – the most scenic of these being Motovun. Walk around the town walls and admire views of the vineyards and forests below, which harbour Istria’s famous wine and truffles. (B) Day 7 Porec to Mali Losinj | Hop over to the islands today, making your way across the peninsula to the port at Brestova. Take the ferry to the island of Cres and head south through the wild landscape to Italianate Cres town, featuring many well preserved Venetian elements. Continue to Mali Losinj Island for two nights. (B) Day 8 Mali Losinj Island | The island has been popular since the Austro-Hungarian reign and remains littered with fine homes and villas from this period of its history. Stroll around the town, soaking up its relaxed atmosphere and stop in one of the quayside cafes that line the waterfront. (B) Day 9 Mali Losinj to Krk | Take the ferry to Krk – the largest of Croatia’s islands. Explore the striking onion-domed Campanile of old

town Krk, before heading to the old stone hilltop village and wine cellars of Vrbnik, which produce the famous Zlatina white wine. (B) Day 10 Krk to Opatija | Cross the toll bridge to the mainland and head up to Opatija. (B) Day 11 Opatija | Opatija boasts a wide seafront promenade lined with grand AustroHungarian and Hapsburg villas, a reminder of the town’s popularity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Discover the secluded rocky coves leading along to the small town of Lovran. (B) Day 12 Fly to the UK | Make your way to Pula airport via the picturesque town of Labin. Return to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

12 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1220 £285

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Croatia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

37


View over Split

A Journey through the Balkans For independent travellers who like to explore at their own pace, this tailor-made journey uses local buses and trains to get to the heart of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Stroll along the banks of the Danube in vibrant Belgrade, discover the legacy of the Ottomans in historic Mostar and use picture-perfect Dubrovnik as a base to explore the stunning Dalmatian coast, where over 1,000 beautiful islands dot the waters of the glistening Adriatic.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Zagreb | Fly to Croatia’s capital. Transfer to the hotel on arrival and check in for two nights. Day 2 Zagreb | Explore the cosmopolitan city of Zagreb at leisure, perhaps choosing to admire the Habsburg architecture of the lower town’s grand squares, visit the Old Town’s fine baroque church of St. Catherine or simply relax and enjoy the café culture of Trg Jelaica. (B) Day 3 Zagreb to Belgrade | Take the train from Zagreb to Belgrade (approx. six hours) and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 4 & 5 Belgrade | Enjoy two full days to explore Serbia’s capital at leisure. Take time to discover the treasures of the Old Town – Stari Grad – where the history of the city unfolds in its imposing Neo-Classical square, Orthodox churches and bohemian streets. In New Belgrade, the Gallery of Modern Art and lively floating Danube restaurants provide a fascinating contrast. (B) Day 6 Belgrade to Sarajevo | Take the bus from Belgrade to Sarajevo (approx. seven hours) and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 7 & 8 Sarajevo | Spend two free days in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s up-and-coming capital.

Here, the city’s position as a cultural crossroads of east and west is evident in the rich treasures of the Turkish Old Town, and the many diverse religious buildings including the Jewish Museum, the 19th century Catholic cathedral and the old Orthodox church on Mula Mustafe Baseskije, thought to date from 1539. For panoramic views of the city, be sure to head to hilltop Jajce Castle, the last Bosnian site to fall to the Ottoman Turks. (B) Day 9 Sarajevo to Mostar | Take the bus from Sarajevo to Mostar (approx. two and a half hours) and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 10 Mostar | Mostar is Herzegovina’s Ottoman gem, with its famous rebuilt stone bridge straddling the Neretva River symbolising a nation reborn. Spend free time here exploring the Old Town where 16th century mosques, Turkish-style houses, traditional craft workshops and a vast array of coffee shops await. Perhaps consider an optional excursion to Blagaj to visit the 15th century Dervish monastery scenically located at the foot of a 200 metre cliff. (B) Day 11 Mostar to Dubrovnik | Take the bus from Mostar to Dubrovnik (approx. three to four hours), check in to the hotel for three nights. (B)

Days 12 & 13 Dubrovnik | With two full days to explore the Pearl of the Adriatic, options here are plentiful. Walk the ancient wall which encircles the city for stunning views over the southern Dalmatian coast and the red roofs of the UNESCO-listed Old City. Cross the wooden drawbridge to Pile Gate and stroll the famous marble-paved main street where the Franciscan church and monastery can be found, or perhaps head to Peline Street to reflect on the recent conflict at the Dubrovnik War Photo gallery. (B) Day 14 Dubrovnik to Split | Take the bus from Dubrovnik to Split (approx. four and a half hours) and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 15 Split | The highlight of Croatia’s second biggest town is undoubtedly Diocletian’s Roman Palace, the largest private residence in antiquity, which now provides the location for a whole town within its ancient walls. Perhaps visit the enchanting town of Trogir and explore its stone passageways and squares. (B) Day 16 Fly to the UK | Take flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

16 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided

38

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1355 £435

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, bus and train tickets


Croatia

Mljet Island

Dalmatian Highlights Cruise Board the MS Adriatic Pearl in Dubrovnik and relax as you gently slip between beautiful islands and harbour towns, docking in the evenings to visit local bars and dine in restaurants. Discover the enchanting vineyards and stunning national park lakes of Mljet Island, stop at Korcula Island to explore the mini medieval town and sail along the breathtaking Peljesac Peninsula on this 8-day cruise through turquoise waters.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Dubrovnik | Fly to Dubrovnik and transfer to the MS Adriatic Pearl. Set sail to the beautiful small town of Korcula and watch the sunset from the small peninsula. (D) Day 2 Korcula to Omiš | Enjoy a walking tour of Korcula and learn about its peculiar building layout and tales of the great Marco Polo who was born in Korcula. Sail towards the island of Brac, passing through the scenic Peljesac channel, around the tip of Peljesac peninsula and the south-eastern tip of the Island of Hvar. Swim in a secluded bay before sailing to Pucisca, nestled in a beautiful bay on the island of Brac, surrounded by white limestone quarries. Dock in Pucisca and visit a stonemasonry school to learn about Brac limestone traditions before continuing to Omiš for the night. (B,L) Day 3 Omiš to Split | Opt for a short walking tour of Omiš, built below steep mountains at the mouth of the river Cetina. Continue to sail to Split and upon arrival you are free to explore the UNESCO listed Old Town at leisure or enjoy a guided walking tour. In the afternoon, join the locals and enjoy a cup of coffee on the seaside promenade. (B,L)

Day 4 Split to Vela Luka | Sail to Hvar, also known as the sunniest island in Croatia and famous for its endless fields of lavender and rosemary and a stunning coastline. On arrival, a local guide will take you on a guided walking tour of Hvar’s ancient streets. Set sail to Korcula Island stopping en route for a swim near the beautiful Pakleni islands and a snack of Dalmatian fried fish. Arrive in Vela Luka for an overnight stay. (B,L) Day 5 Vela Luka to Mljet | This morning, your captain will hand pick a bay to swim in the crystal-blue Adriatic. Continue sailing to Pomena on the island of Mljet which houses Mljet National Park, famous for its two turquoise saltwater lakes surrounded by thick forest. On arrival, spend time exploring the park at leisure; perhaps rent a bike, cycle or kayak on and around the lakes and through forests. (B,L) Day 6 Mljet to Slano | Sail past the Elaphiti islands, stop for a swim on Jakljan Island and visit Šipan Island before reaching Slano. (B,L) Day 7 Slano to Dubrovnik | This morning, it is possible to take a ‘Taste of Dalmatia’ guided tour where you will visit Ston and sample some of the finest Dalmatian wines at a local winery.

Set sail to Lopud Island for a swim before continuing to Dubrovnik to cruise beneath its City Walls and to Gruž Port. Enjoy a guided tour of Dubrovnik to visit the ancient town protected by 13th century fortifications. After the tour perhaps take the cable-car to the top of the hill for some great photo opportunities. (B,L)

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Cruise Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1290 £420

Price includes flights, cabin on board, meals as specified and airport transfers.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Croatia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

39


Slovenia

The Inside Story

Story to tell Ellie Marr

In a glorious location between the Alps and the Adriatic, Slovenia is a compact corner where you can find yourself walking in snowy alpine fields in the morning and bathing in the warm sea in the afternoon. With the capital, Ljubljana, at the heart of the country, forested mountains, karst caves, medieval castles and natural spas can all easily be explored in one visit.

Why I love Slovenia The proximity of Lake Bled to Ljubljana is why I think Slovenia is the perfect short break destination. In under an hour you can travel from the cultural capital to the ethereal beauty of Bled with its romantic emerald green lake. Whatever the time of year, views of the tiny island and its church never fail to impress.

Ljubljana is a lively, cultural city with an abundance of architectural styles from Art Nouveau to socialist-era, while Piran and Koper on the coast proudly display their Venetian influences. With Slovenia’s cities being smaller than most by European standards, exploring on foot is the best way to discover green parks, vibrant culture and the many reminders of 600 years of Austro-Hungarian rule. The star of the show is Lake Bled, surrounded by towering alpine mountains with the hilltop castle gazing down on the picture-postcard island and its Church of the Assumption. Rise early and take a rowing boat to the island or take a stroll along the easy lakeside walking trail.

585-595

1282

1918

1945

Slavs settle in the region

Habsburg rule over most of the Slovene lands begins

Collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Slovenia joins the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes

Becomes a constituent republic of socialist Yugoslavia

952

1511

1941

1980

Great Carantania, first Slovenian and first Slavic state, is first mentioned

Ljubljana devastated by an earthquake; city rebuilt in renaissance style

Slovenia occupied by Nazi Germany and Italy during WWII

President Tito dies in Ljubljana


Slovenia

Regent Recommends Ljubljana City Break

Slovenia, Bosnia & Croatia

Slovenia Fly-Drive

With a feel of Prague or Vienna, Slovenia’s small but perfectly formed capital is a joy to discover. Take the funicular up to Ljubljana’s Castle, which dominates the skyline, and pay a visit to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas with its classic twin towers. Cross from the world of the living to the dead through the monumental arch of Zale cemetery, rent a bike and cycle through bucolic Tivoli Park or watch the world go by from one of the many cafés and bars which pack the main square, Presernov Trg. Admire the Tromostovje triple bridge, one of the city’s many Plecnik landmarks, or peruse the exhibits of the National Gallery. Ask a Regent Balkans Specialist about 3, 4 and 5-star hotel options.

With regular departures between May and October, this 11-day escorted group tour combines Ljubljana and Bled with the historic highlights of Bosnia and Croatia. From Sarajevo’s Turkish bazaar to Dubrovnik’s picturesque Old Town and the incredible Roman palace of Split, travel by comfortable coach enjoying informative guided tours. Journey through Slovenia’s coast and karst region to Postojna, home to one of the largest caves in Europe, and tour the incredible subterranean world by miniature electric train before enjoying a guided walk through the stalagmite decorated caverns. Visit our website for a day-by-day itinerary or speak to a Regent Specialist.

Explore the green landscapes of Slovenia at your own pace on this 8 day fly-drive. Discover stunning castles carved into the landscape, emerald-green lakes amongst vast forests, quaint mountain towns and a beautiful Venetian coastline. Start in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s small capital and one of Europe’s greenest cities. Drive to picturesque Piran, a Venetian built town on the Adriatic, stopping en route at Postojna Cave, and the incredible Predjama Castle, a Renaissance castle perched on a cliff. Continue to scenic Lake Bled and visit Bled Castle and the 1.6km long Vintgar Gorge that carves its way through vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort Hills.

Slovenia - Perfect For Such is Slovenia’s modest size, a holiday here is ideal for those looking for a gamut of travel experiences, from outdoor activities to culture to relaxation, all in a short space of time. The wealth of mountains, lakes and rivers will entice hikers and skiers while the medieval towns, picturesque churches and wonderful castles are enough to satisfy the most hardened of history buffs. 1989

1999

2004

2008

Slovene parliament confirms the right of the country to secede from the Yugoslav federation

Allows NATO to use airspace during the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia

One of 10 new states to join the EU

Becomes the first former communist state to assume the EU presidency

1991

2002

2007

Slovenia declares its independence

Formally invited to join NATO at the Prague summit

Adopts the euro as its currency

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Slovenia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

41


Lake Bled

Highlights of Slovenia Using Slovenia’s compact capital city Ljubljana – also one of Europe’s greenest cities – as a base, embark on a series of day trips to uncover the charm of the north, east, south and west of Slovenia. This highlights tour discovers stunning castles carved into the landscape, emerald green lakes punctuating vast forests, quaint mountain towns and a beautiful Adriatic coastline where the pretty architecture is inspired by Venice.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Ljubljana | Fly to Slovenia’s small but beautiful capital, Ljubljana, meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel. Day 2 Ljubljana | Spend the morning touring Slovenia’s capital city. Walk through the baroque old town and marvel at the architecture designed by Joze Plecnik including the iconic Triple Bridge, the lively fruit, vegetable and flower market and the embankments of Ljubljana River. Cross the Dragon Bridge, an art Nouveau masterpiece each end adorned with a dragon – the symbol of Ljubljana, and walk to Presernov Trg Square before taking the 70m-long funicular railway up to Ljubljana Castle built in 1511. The afternoon is free to explore the city at leisure. (B,D) Day 3 Ljubljana to Ptuj | Drive east to Ptuj to explore the castle which includes the Ptuj Regional Museum and the red marble tombstone of Frederick IX, the last lord of Ptuj, who died in 1948. Wander through the beautiful castle chambers displaying period furniture, tapestries and paintings. View collections of 500 weapons and musical instruments before heading outside for stunning views of Ptuj and the Drava River.

42

Enjoy wine tasting in the Jeruzalem area before travelling back to Ljubljana. (B) Day 4 Ljubljana to Piran | Enjoy a full day excursion exploring the southwest of Slovenia. Drive to Postojna and head underground to explore the Postojna Cave system – a series of caverns, halls and passages some 20.6km long and two million years old. From here, take a short drive to Predjama Castle, the largest cave castle in the world built into a cliff 123m high then continue to Piran. This beautiful coastal town is one of the best preserved historical towns on the Adriatic jam packed with Venetian Gothic architecture. (B) Day 5 Ljubljana to Notranjska Regional Park Head south for a full day excursion to Notranjska Regional Park. Visit Lake Cerknica, also known as the disappearing lake, one of Slovenia’s most unusual natural phenomena. Visit Lake Cerknica museum and the restored 16th century Snežnik Castle. Its four floors are richly decorated with period furniture and portraits of the Schönburg-Waldenburg family, who bought the castle in 1853 to use as a summer residence. Continue on to Rakov Skocjan, a 6km-long gorge centrally located in

Notranjska Regional Park. (B) Day 6 Ljubljana to Kobarid | Spend the day exploring Slovenia’s midwest region. Visit the UNESCO listed Antonijev rov mercury mine in Idrija. From Idrija drive along the river Idrija and river Soˇca to reach the picturesque town of Kobarid nestled in between mountain peaks. Visit the WWI Museum and learn about Kobarid’s turbulent history. (B) Day 7 Ljubljana to Lake Bled | Drive to the beautiful town of Bled at the foothills of the Julian Alps in Slovenia’s northwest. Visit Bled Castle, a medieval castle perched on a steep cliff more than 100m above Lake Bled before cruising to Bled Island on a hand propelled gondola (pletna) to explore the baroque Church of the Assumption that dates back to the 17th century. Leave Bled and take a short transfer to Mt Vogel for a cable car ride up to the top (1,535m) for a stunning view. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

1 Sept 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1,245 £235

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.


Slovenia

Bohinj Lake

Cultural Landscapes of Slovenia Slovenia is one of Europe’s underrated treasures. Blessed with stunning mountain ranges, shimmering lakes and alpine forest, it almost seems unfair that Slovenia should also be home to a picture-perfect Adriatic coast. But possibly its greatest asset is that the crowds have yet to cotton on. Explore Ljubljana, the pretty capital city overlooked by a castle at its centre before visiting the mountains, picturesque Lake Bled, the Postojna Caves and coastal Piran.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Ljubljana | Fly to Ljubljana. On arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel in Ljubljana where you will spend the next two nights. Day 2 Ljubljana | Get to know the pretty centre of Ljubljana on a morning walking tour. This compact capital city is a delight to explore, peppered with fine examples of Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture and easily discovered on foot. Walk from Presernov Square overlooked by statues and over the city’s iconic Triple Bridge to the central market, which bustles daily with people selling fresh produce. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, taking the funicular railway up to Ljubljana Castle for sweeping views across the town. (B) Day 3 Ljubljana to Piran | You will be met by your guide this morning and driven out to Slovenia’s Karst region known for the Postojna Caves – a famous 20km long network of passages and chambers, cut through by a train that takes you deep into the belly of the caves. You’ll also have the chance to visit the Predjama Castle, perched high over a cliff edge, before

continuing to Piran, a Venetian town nestled on Slovenia’s 43 kilometre long coastline. Overnight in Piran. (B)

perched on a cliff high above the lake. Continue on to Slovenia’s other Alpine beauty – Lake Bohinj. Return to Bled. Overnight in Bled. (B)

Day 4 Piran to Goriska Brda | Spend the morning touring Piran before visiting popular tourist resort, Portoroz, and continuing to the Secovlje Salt-pans. Head inland and travel to Lipica stud farm and continue your journey with a drive through the vineyard region of Goriska Brda, where you will have the chance to sample local cuisine and wines. Dinner and overnight in Goriska Brda. (B,D)

Day 7 Bled | Spend the day exploring Bled at leisure. Walk the perimeter of the great lake, climb up to the castle for astounding views and uncover a slice of Slovenia’s history, and try the famous local Bled Cake – a custard and cream cake delicacy. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer back to Ljubljana airport for your flight to the UK. (B)

Day 5 Goriska Brda to Bled | Take a morning drive, following the emerald green Soca River upstream, through Kobarid (mentioned in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms) and visit the WWI museum. Travel on to Bovec, taking the Vrsic pass (1,611m) to reach ski, biking and walking village, Kranjska Gora, before ending the day in Bled, a quaint peaceful town on the edge of the stunning Lake Bled. Overnight in Bled. (B) Day 6 Bohinj | Embark on a sightseeing tour of Bled to explore the charming town, the stunning lakeshore and imposing Bled Castle

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Guided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1960 £370

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Slovenia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Lake Bled

Ljubljana & Lake Bled This twin centre tailor-made holiday allows you to explore beautiful Lake Bled and cultural Ljubljana at your own pace. The journey between Ljubljana and Bled takes just 45 minutes, leaving plenty of free time to enjoy city sightseeing and scenic lakeside walks. This suggested itinerary can be tailor-made to suit your time frame and accommodation preferences —­choose from 3 or 4-star hotels in Ljubljana and 4 and 5-star hotels in Bled.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Ljubljana | Fly to Slovenia’s capital and transfer to Lake Bled for three nights. Opt to stay in either the 4-star Best Western Hotel Lovec or the 5-star Grand Hotel Toplice, both with the option to upgrade to a lake view room. Days 2 & 3 Lake Bled | Enjoy two full days to explore the picturesque lakeside resort of Bled at your own pace. Lake Bled is truly the jewel of Slovenia with its iconic church-topped island in the middle of the lake. There are many easy trails which follow the edge of the lake, or for the more energetic perhaps consider the trek to Bled Castle for stunning views. Take a gondola to Bled Island to explore the 17th century church and on warm summer evenings eat out at one of the many cosmopolitan town centre restaurants. (B) Day 4 Bled to Ljubljana | Return to Ljubljana by private car and check in to the hotel for three nights. Choose to stay in either the 3-star City Hotel or the 4-star Grand Hotel Union, both centrally located with the highlights of Slovenia’s capital on the doorstep. (B) Days 5 & 6 Ljubljana | Spend two full days in Slovenia’s small yet culturally packed capital city, coveted over the centuries by the Celts, Illyrians, Romans and Slavs. Walk up to the castle for dramatic panoramic views across to the Julian Alps and imposing Mount Triglav, cross the Zmajski Most and see the four dragons which guard the famous bridge or visit the Gruber Palace to admire the incredible baroque architecture. (B)

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Day 7 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

7 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Unguided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3 & 4-star Hotel £700 Single room supp. £155 4 & 5-star Hotel £810 Single room supp. £200 Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and transfers


Slovenia

Piran, Istrian Peninsula

Slovenia & Croatia Fly-Drive Discover the highlights of Slovenia along with Croatia’s stunning Istrian peninsula on this fly-drive through a beautiful variety of landscapes — from the Julian Alps to the Adriatic coast. Explore Roman ruins, medieval castles and pretty Venetian coastal towns on this leisurely journey which allows plenty of free time to explore at leisure. This suggested tailor-made itinerary includes Group A car hire and accommodation in 3 and 4-star hotels.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Ljubljana | Fly to Ljubljana, pick up the hire car and drive to Bled (34 km). Check in to the hotel for two nights. Day 2 Lake Bled | Enjoy a free day at leisure in picturesque Bled with its emerald-green lake and 11th century castle. Perhaps take a pletna boat ride to the island church or simply enjoy a relaxing lakeside stroll along one of the many walking trails. Also highly recommended is a visit to Savica Waterfall and nearby Lake Bohinj, a beautiful glacier lake. Head to the Church of St. John the Baptist, originally dating from the 13th century, for wonderful views over Slovenia’s largest lake. (B) Days 3 & 4 Bled to Portoroz | Continue on to the coastal town of Piran, perhaps stopping en route at Postojna Caves, Slovenia’s largest cave complex, and the 700-year-old Predjama Castle. (Piran is almost a car free zone – so parking is on the outskirts of the city and a shuttle bus will take you to the hotel). (B) Days 5 & 6 Portoroz to Pula | Depart Slovenia and enjoy a leisurely drive to Pula (96 km) exploring the many highlights of the Istrian peninsula en route. Stop off in Porec with its Euphrasius Basilica and remarkable 6th

century Byzantine mosaics or perhaps visit Rovinj, the charming Adriatic town just a two hour ferry journey from Venice. Continue to Pula on the southern tip of the peninsula for a two night stay. Istria’s administrative centre since Roman times, Pula is best explored on foot. Discover the town’s incredible Roman ruins including one of the world’s bestpreserved amphitheatres and admire the eclectic collection of architecture ranging from Venetian Gothic to Austro-Hungarian. In the evenings, enjoy the town’s café culture or perhaps do as the locals do and head to Verudela for the best restaurants. (B) Days 7 & 8 Pula to Opatija | Drive to Opatija (101 km) on Istria’s north eastern coast. Perhaps stop at Labin, a charming medieval hilltop town, before continuing along the winding coastal road to Opatija, known locally as ‘Vienna on Sea’. Packed full of Habsburg villas and palaces, Opatija was the most fashionable seaside resort of the AustroHungarian empire. Check in to the hotel for two nights and enjoy ample time to explore the beautifully manicured parks and gardens, eat at one of the restaurants with a sea view terrace, or perhaps stroll along the shore to the nearby fishing village of Volosko. (B) Days 9 & 10 Opatija to Ljubljana | Drive back to Ljubljana (148 km) through inland Istria, where the rolling hills and medieval hilltop villages are reminiscent of Tuscany. An emerging gastronomic region, perhaps make time to stop at one of the many wineries or farms to try the local produce — the area is renowned for its truffles. Check in to the Ljubljana hotel for two nights and enjoy free

time to explore Slovenia’s attractive capital. A steep walk up to the medieval castle provides panoramic views over the whole city and onwards towards the Julian and Kamniske Savinje Alps, while the pavement cafes of Preseren Square are the place to watch the world go by, surrounded by some of the city’s finest examples of Art Nouveau buildings. Why not visit Jože Plecnik’s City Market and picturesque Tromostovje triple bridge, before heading to the Architecture Museum to find out more about the contribution he made to Ljubljana’s architectural heritage. (B) Day 11 Fly to the UK | Enjoy a last morning in Ljubljana before driving to the airport for the return flight to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

11 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1015 £310

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Slovenia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Romania

The Inside Story Romania might be an EU member but much of the country remains in a bucolic time warp. Here you will discover a land of densely forested mountains, deep gorges, medieval towns and fairytale castles.

Story to tell Christina Gibbons

Bucharest is a city of contrasts with the colossal Palace of Parliament and glorious Belle Époque architecture. Tree-lined boulevards, Orthodox churches, 18th century monasteries and well-manicured parks vie for attention. A highlight is Transylvania, immortalised as the land of Dracula. Its rugged mountains and inviting valleys are home to Saxon churches and idyllic villages, where locals still wear traditional dress as they walk beside their horse-drawn carts. Unleash your imagination as you visit imposing Bran Castle and be charmed by the beautifully preserved hilltop town of Sighisoara, a perfectly intact 16th century gem of cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches.

Why I love Romania For me the wonderful churches of Bucovina are the highlight of a holiday in Romania. It’s incredible to think that the intense blues used on the Last Judgement fresco, which fills the entire western wall of Voronet Monastery, date from the 16th century.

Head to the Carpathians in search of brown bears or travel to Bucovina to admire the incredible church exteriors adorned with vivid frescoes.

1000

1859

1930s

1940

Romanian state first mentioned in sources

Wallach and Moldavia principalities merge, forming modern Romania

Rise of fascist “Iron Guard” mass movement

Romania cedes territory to Hungary and USSR after signing of German-Soviet pact

1463

1916-18

1938

Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Count Dracula, becomes Prince of Wallachia

Romania fights on Allied side during WWI

King Carol II establishes dictatorship


Romania

Regent Recommends The Merry Cemetery

Bucharest to Istanbul

Bucharest City Break

Behind the Church of the Assumption in the small town of Sˇapân¸ta in northern Romania there is a unique cemetery, known as the Cimitirul Vesel – the Merry Cemetery. Filled with over 600 darkly humorous gravestones, each marked with a lively, beautifully carved wooden cross, painted in bright blue and decorated with a painting and an original poem that depicts something about the life and character of the plot’s eternal inhabitant. Some of the verses are wickedly funny; others are more whimsical such as “Underneath this heavy cross, lies my poor mother in law... Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home, she’ll bite my head off!”

Combine the flavour of West and East with images of modern city life in three grand capital cities. Begin spending days exploring the wide, tree-lined boulevards and glorious Belle Époque buildings of Romania’s largest city and capital, Bucharest. Continue on to Sofia, Bulgaria’s youthful capital, where onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and Red Army monuments dominate the horizon. Take the cable car up to Mount Vitosha for excellent views over the city before sampling some local wine. End in Istanbul where you will weave your way through colourful bazaars, sail to Buyukada Island and sip on Turkish coffee in the lively Old Town of Sultanahmet.

Don your most comfortable walking shoes to explore Bucharest’s highlights on foot. First stop at the sprawling Parliament Palace, the world’s second largest building surpassed only by the Pentagon. Such communist excess contrasts with the abundance of Belle Époque buildings, the glorious old quarter, Lipscani, and the green lung of the city, Cismigiu Gardens, whose lake you can row across in the summer and skate on in the winter. Attend a concert at the Romanian Athenaeum or sample some covrigi – pretzel-style salted bread rings – from a city centre kiosk. Visit our website to find out more about 3, 4 and 5-star city break options.

Romania - Perfect For Travellers with an interest in Soviet-era history can still find evidence of Ceausescu’s communist regime in Bucharest, while those who appreciate well-preserved, centuries-old architecture will delight in the many beguiling buildings and hidden villages to be found in rural Romania. Literary fans will enjoy spotting the influences that inspired Bram Stoker in Transylvania. 1944

1955

1989

2007

Romania switches sides as Soviet forces close in

Romania joins Warsaw Pact

Bloody national uprising; Ceausescu and his wife caught and executed on Christmas Day

Romania joins European Union

1941

1945

1965

2004

Romania fights alongside Germany against the Soviet Union in WWII

Soviet-backed government installed

Nicolae Ceausescu becomes Communist Party leader

Romania admitted to NATO

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Romania Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Bran Castle

Halloween in Transylvania Delve into the history surrounding Romania’s most infamous historical figure, Vlad the Impaler or as he is more commonly known Count Dracula on this 6-day tour of Transylvania. Discover Sibiu’s Evangelic Cathedral where Vlad’s son was buried after his assassination, explore the town of Medias where he was kept prisoner by the Hungarian king, enjoy a walking tour of the fabulously preserved town of Sighisoara where he was born and of course, visit dramatic Bran Castle, made famous by Bram Stoker’s novel as the residence of the vampire count.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Bucharest | Fly to Bucharest and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Embark on a city tour of Bucharest before enjoying a welcome dinner at the ornate Caru’ cu Bere Restaurant, one of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest. (D) Day 2 Bucharest to Sibiu | This morning, travel to Targoviste, the former royal capital of Wallachia from 1418 until 1659. The ruins of the former royal court remain the town’s leading attraction and Vlad Tepes (Dracula) lived here for 7 years as the ruler of Wallachia and is said to have committed many atrocities here. Travel to Curtea de Arges, a former capital of Wallachia during the 14th century and visit the ruins of the Old Princely Court, built by Vlad’s ancestors. Journey through the beautiful Olt Valley to Sibiu, once the richest town in Transylvania, and stop at Cozia Monastery built in the 14th century by Dracula’s grandfather, Prince Mircea the Old. (B)

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Day 3 Sibiu to Sighisoara | Explore the city of Sibiu and see the huge Gothic Evangelic Cathedral, where Vlad’s son, Mihnea, was buried after his assassination just outside the church. Continue to Medias, the town where Vlad was kept prisoner by the Hungarian king Mathias Corvinus and on to the Saxon village of Biertan with its fortress church that is one of Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the afternoon arrive in the medieval walled city of Sighisoara, where a walking tour will reveal the famous Clock Tower Museum, The Armour Room, The Torture Room and the house where Vlad the Impaler was born in 1431. On the night of Halloween dine in

the house, where Dracula was born, now conveniently a restaurant. (B, D) Day 4 Sighisoara to Brasov | In the morning journey to Brasov. Saxon settlers founded this fairy-tale town in the 12th century and it still boasts medieval old stone walls, imposing watch towers and orange-tiled roofs. A highlight of the tour is Bran Castle, perched on a bluff not far from Brasov. This former fortress on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia is said to have been Bram Stoker’s inspiration for the residence of the vampire count in his famous novel. (B) Day 5 Brasov to Bucharest | This morning, uncover the history of this pretty town with its turrets and maze of cobbled streets. The highlight of the city tour is a visit to the Black Church, the largest Gothic style church in south-eastern Europe and so called because of a fire in 1689 which blackened its outer walls. Stop by Azuga and visit the famous wine cellars built in 1892 by the Rhein family, who supplied the Romanian Royal Court between the two world wars with its delicious sparkling wines. Here, enjoy a lunch with wine-tasting. In the afternoon continue to Sinaia, a beautiful mountain resort known as “The Pearl of Carpathians” and explore Peles Castle, former summer residence of King Carol the 1st. The final stop of the tour is rather appropriately said to be the burial place of Vlad the Impaler at Snagov Monastery. Enjoy a spooky farewell dinner at the Count Dracula Club in Bucharest. (B,L,D) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Free morning before transfer to airport for flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

29 Oct

Group size

Min 8, Max 14

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£965 £160

Price includes flights, accommodation, meal as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.


Romania

Brasov Council Square

Behind the Iron Curtain Take a look back at Romania and Moldova’s communist era on this intriguing 8-day group tour. In Brasov, learn more about life under Ceausescu’s rule. Cross the border into Moldova and visit Chisinau’s History Museum with its hidden exhibition dedicated to the communist era, before travelling to the breakaway Transdniestr Republic, where the spirit of the old USSR thrives. Have lunch at a collective state farm, dine with a typical Romanian family, sample wines at Purcari and stay in a communist era hotel in Galati on the banks of the Danube.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Bucharest | Fly to Bucharest and transfer to your hotel. If time permits, visit some of Bucharest’s important sights. Check in to hotel, followed by a short presentation about Romania’s communist history. (D)

includes artefacts from the soviet era. Enjoy an afternoon visit to the wine cellars of Cricova, one of Moldova’s most popular wineries. Continue to Tiraspol and overnight here. (B,L,D)

Day 2 Bucharest to Brasov | Spend the morning exploring the city, visiting Bucharest’s Parliament Palace, built in the 80s by order of Ceausescu, and Ghencea Cemetery, where Nicolae Ceausescu, his wife Elena and their son Nicu are buried. Before leaving for Brasov, stop in a canteen, formally known as a ‘cantina’, where due to a shortage of food in communist times, people were forced by the authorities to eat in large work style canteens. All the cantinas are now malls, where people freely choose to eat! En route to Brasov, stop to wander around the famous Bran Castle, which is said to have been Bram Stoker’s inspiration for the residence of the vampire count in his famous novel. Overnight in Brasov. (B,D)

Day 5 Tiraspol to Chisinau | Encounter ‘Homo Sovieticus’ in Transdniestr’s capital city, Tiraspol. The old USSR is alive and kicking in this breakaway territory. Although not internationally recognised as a separate country, Transdniestr is a de facto independent state called the Pridnestroian Moldavian Republic. The country’s national coat of arms still includes the traditional hammer and sickle and you’ll still find the odd statue of Lenin which has remained intact. Have lunch with a World War II veteran and learn more about life in the Soviet Union. After lunch continue to Chisinau and enjoy dinner with wine tasting. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Brasov to Birlad | A morning walking tour of Brasov will lead you to The Black Church and up Strada Prundului to Piata Unirii. Here you’ll find the beautiful Church of St. Nicholas and The First Romanian School, situated in its grounds. Depart for Birlad for overnight stay in a soviet inspired hotel. In the evening, meet with a typical Romanian family and discuss how life has changed for them since Soviet times. (B,D) Day 4 Birlad to Tiraspol | Set off today to the Republic of Moldova and its capital city, Chisinau. A tour of the city will include a visit to the World War II Memorial, Lenin Monument and History Museum, which

Day 6 Chisinau to Galati | Drive back to Romania, stopping off at a ‘Kolhoz’ – a soviet collective farm, where lunch will be served. Cross the Prut River, the border between Romania and Republic of Moldova, at Cahul-Oncesti. Arrive in Galati, an industrial city on the Danube, where the jewel of the communist industry was the steel factory! Spend the night in a communist era hotel and sample delicacies made from fresh fish caught in the Danube. (B,L,D) Day 7 Galati to Bucharest | Return to Bucharest – the 300km journey will take around 4 to 5 hours and a stop will be made en route for lunch. Spend some time at leisure in Bucharest before attending a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to airport for flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures

29 Aug

Group size

Min 2, Max 15

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1535 £215

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Romania Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Central Europe

The Inside Story The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Hungary might be cosied up as Central European neighbours but each country has its own distinct character to enchant and entertain its visitors. Beautiful capital cities lie at the heart of each country, from the majestic imperialism and musical heritage of Vienna to the impressive gothic architecture of Prague, all elegantly showcase the history of the region they call home. Discover the ancient lands and twelve UNESCO World Heritage Sites that make up Czech Republic, exploring the dramatic castles and pristine countryside before sampling the world-class local beer in the beautiful streets of Prague.

Story to tell Fergus Jones

Slovakia might be the newborn of Central Europe, having only divorced from the Czech Republic in 1993, but it has blossomed into a fascinating country to visit in its own right. The Danube winds through the dainty, baroque old town of Bratislava and the castle perched on a hill high above offers spectacular views of the city unfurling below. Further downstream, the Danube flows past towering fairytale castles and through the heart of Hungary.

Why I love Central Europe Central Europe encompasses a combination of mountain rusticity with old-world style. I love Hungary because you can combine the faded romance of its capital with the country’s beautiful rural areas such as scenic Lake Balaton. Starting from Bulgaria’s rugged Black Sea coast, you can head inland and discover nothing but breathtaking scenery and magnificent national parks. In Sofia, head to the central market to pick up fresh bread and local cheese.

The path of the River Danube Source Germany

Slovakia

Austria

Croatia

Hungary

Serbia


Central Europe

Regent Recommends City Breaks

Fly-Drives

Explore by Train

With frequent short haul flights connecting the UK with almost all of Europe’s major cities daily, it’s almost too easy to escape for a few days and discover a new country with a short city break. A host of beautiful cities blossoming with their own individual character, exquisite architecture and rich, varied histories lie at your fingertips. Soak up the music and grandeur of Vienna, saunter along the River Elbe through the heart of Dresden or relax with a soak in the traditional bathhouses of Budapest. Peer over the hilltop castle walls to watch Bratislava unfurl beneath you or explore the Turkish influences in Sofia, there’s history and charm in abundance.

A fly-drive is the perfect option for those looking to thoroughly explore a country or a region. Embark on a journey taking you further from the bustling capital cities and off the beaten track to meet local communities, travelling through stunning landscapes to discover the country’s best kept secrets at your own pace. Tailormake a route through the Czech Republic to incorporate the twelve UNESCO World Heritage Sites that litter the countryside, or pick just a few to weave between. Make it your mission to stop at each of the beautiful natural landscapes that make up Slovakia or head for the Bulgarian mountains to visit the monasteries and national parks.

The beauty of Europe lies in its accessibility. Each country is linked by high speed rail networks offering you the chance to easily combine multiple destinations. But why stop there? The local trains that run throughout each country connect the capitals to the lesser known cities, allowing for a deeper delve into each nation. Combine Germany with Poland by incorporating a short train journey into your trip, escorting you from Dresden to Wroclaw. Climb aboard a train from Budapest to explore more of Hungary than its capital and discover the golden Great Church of Debrecen, or take the scenic route through the Slovak mountains from Poprad to Kosice.

Romania

Moldova

Bulgaria

Mouth Black Sea

Ukraine

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Central Europe Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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View Over Prague

Essential European Capitals Discover Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest on this essential European journey for independent travellers. Using local trains and the hydrofoil that links Vienna and Bratislava, explore each capital at your own pace, with plenty of free time to peruse world-class museums and galleries, admire grand palaces and castles or simply embrace local life at the many restaurants and cafés. Ask a Regent Europe Specialist to tailor-make this suggested itinerary, with accommodation in your choice of either 3, 4 or 5-star hotels.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Prague | Fly to the Czech Republic’s renowned capital and transfer to the hotel for three nights.

Day 6 Vienna to Bratislava | Private transfer to Bratislava and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B)

Days 2 & 3 Prague | Spend two full days exploring the Gothic and baroque delights of Prague. Head to the Castle District on the west side of the river and be sure to visit the abundance of churches, palaces and galleries as well as the 9th century castle itself. Cross Charles Bridge and discover – quite literally – another side to the city, where the Jewish Quarter and Old Town Square offer an abundance of cultural and historical highlights. In the evenings perhaps enjoy a live performance at Reduta Jazz Club or dress up for the opera or ballet at the National Theatre. In the winter months Prague’s Christmas markets equal any in Germany. (B)

Day 7 Bratislava | Enjoy a free day in Slovakia’s capital, where the Carpathian Mountains meet the Danube. Discover the city’s Hungarian past and step back to Roman times at Bratislava Castle, frontier post of the empire from the 1st to the 5th century. Admire the exhibits in the ultramodern Slovak National Gallery or head to the Franciscan Church where the original Gothic chapel can still be found. In the evening perhaps catch an opera or ballet at the Slovak National Theatre. (B)

Day 4 Prague to Vienna | Take the day train from Prague to Vienna and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 5 Vienna | Explore the Habsburg city of Vienna at leisure or perhaps book optional excursions. Stroll through the wonderful baroque gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, delight in the treasures of the grand Museum Quarter, admire Gothic St Stephen’s Cathedral or book well in advance to watch graceful stallions perform to a programme of classical music at the world famous Spanish Riding School. Embrace the city’s coffee culture and indulge in coffee and cake at one of the opulent coffee houses. (B)

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Day 8 Bratislava to Budapest | Take the day train to Budapest and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 9 & 10 Budapest | The mighty Danube cuts a swathe through the heart of Budapest. Perhaps choose to spend two free days in Hungary’s capital on the Buda side of the city, where the medieval castle, Habsburg fortress, 19th century Fisherman’s Bastion and soviet Statue Park provide a journey through history, or stroll over Chain Bridge to Pest, where the Neo-Renaissance-style State Opera House can be found. (B) Day 11 Fly to the UK | Enjoy free time in Budapest before the flight back to the UK. A trip to one of the city’s famous spas such as Gellert Baths is a reviving way to end the holiday. (B)

Tour duration

11 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Unguided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel £835 Single room supp. £295 4-star Hotel £995 Single room supp. £455 Price includes flights, accommodation, arrival transfer in Prague, train and hydrofoil tickets


Central Europe Czech Republic The Czech Republic and in particular its stunning, history-riddled capital, Prague, has blossomed into one of the continent’s leading travel destinations following the fall of communism in the late ‘80s. Combine a visit to modern, urban Prague with a walk through the medieval heart of the city and cross the 14th century Charles Bridge to pass through the baroque architecture districts before heading to one of the twelve UNESCO sites that set the Czech Republic apart.

Bulgaria There’s more to Bulgaria than the bargain ski resorts and the throbbing Black Coast beaches. Savvy travellers who venture inland are rewarded with remote villages peppering wild mountain ranges and charming UNESCOlisted monasteries. Spend some time exploring the galleries and streets of pretty Sofia before setting off in search of brown bears, seeking solace in the stunning national parks and visiting the ancient ruins of past civilisations; including Roman and Greek fortresses.

Slovakia Slovakia may be small, but this petite product of the breakup of Czechoslovakia just 20 years ago proves that when it comes to countries, size isn’t everything. Within its borders, Slovakia is home to majestic, craggy Tatra Mountains, rolling lowland wilderness and swathes of dense forest ready to be hiked. Tradition and history are rife here as fairytale castles, folkloric villages and ancient ruins cover the country and crumbling fortresses tower over medieval towns.

Hungary Hungary’s exotic allure extends farther than the stunning architecture, vibrant “ruin pubs” and lavish bathhouses of Budapest – some of the country’s greatest treasures lie hidden further from the beaten track. Head further afield to explore the stunning Lake Balaton and the lakeside villages in the Balaton National Park, stay in a Baroque castle in Tolna County, discover ancient folklore and rich heritage in Hortobagy and sample the famous Hungarian wines of the Eger region. www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Central Europe Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Poland

The Inside Story Visit Poland and discover breathtaking landscapes peppered with hilltop castles and stunning lakes, as well as ancient towns and cities rich in history, both glorious and tragic. Admire the painstaking reconstruction of Warsaw’s Old Town which contrasts dramatically with the Stalinist architecture, take in the Gothic treasures of Krakow, whose imposing castle peers down on a maze of medieval streets, and discover the rebuilt Renaissance delights of Gdansk, where the city’s maritime heritage is best discovered on a boat trip along the river.

Story to tell Fergus Jones

Head into the mountains where well-marked walking trails criss-cross the Tatras or travel to the Baltic coast and discover windswept sand dunes. Delve into the cavernous chambers of Wieliczka’s salt mines, stop at Jasna Gora Monastery, home to the miraculous icon of the Black Madonna, and contemplate the lives of those whose tragic stories ended at Auschwitz. Enjoy heart-warming traditional dishes such as pierogi — delicious dumplings filled with potato, ground meat or cheese — or join the locals in a toast with a cherry vodka.

Why I love Poland The Wieliczka Salt Mine, not far from Krakow, might not initially sound like a holiday must — until you discover that it houses an entire underground cathedral carved from the rock salt by miners, where salt chandeliers with a clear, glass-like appearance adorn the ceiling and intricate carvings decorate the walls. A stunning subterranean surprise!

966

1569

1918

1940

1945

Duke Mieszko I, founder of the Polish state, adopts Catholic Christianity

Signs Union of Lublin, establishing the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth

Independent Polish state restored after end of WWI

Soviet troops massacre over 22,000 Poles at Katyn

Soviet forces capture Warsaw

1025

1794

1939

1941

Boleslaw I proclaims the Kingdom of Poland

Disappears from the map after Commonwealth is partitioned among Prussia, Russia & Austria

Nazi Germany invades Poland

Nazi concentration camps built around Poland


Poland

Regent Recommends Krakow & Tatras

Poland Group Tour

Auschwitz

Nestled at the foot of the spectacular Tatra Mountains, Zakopane is the winter sports capital of Poland. Plentiful snow and challenging runs make for excellent skiing, while the summer months offer walkers mountain lakes, glacial valleys and stunning waterfalls. Enjoy three days in historic Krakow before taking the bus — a journey of around two and a half hours — to Zakopane. A town full of folklore and bearing the legacy of Poland’s artistic set from the 1930s, this independent alpine getaway in the shadow of the spectacular Tatra peaks can be as relaxing or as active as you choose. Ask a Regent Poland Specialist for more information.

Discover Poland’s historic highlights on our 8-day Classic Poland coach tour with regular departures between June and September. Staying in 4 and 5-star hotels, travel from the Baltic coast in the north to Krakow in the south uncovering Prussian castles, royal cities and wartime memorials. Enjoy sightseeing tours of Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow, where architectural treasures and historic tales abound. Explore the Teutonic Knights’ Castle in Malbork, visit Jasna Gora Monastery, home to the miraculous Black Madonna, and reflect on the tragic events of WWII on a sobering visit to Auschwitz. Visit our website for a day-by-day itinerary and departure dates.

The now State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest concentration and extermination camp of the Nazi regime, where over one million people including Jews, gypsies and Soviet POWs lost their lives during the horrific events of the Holocaust. After the war, the Polish government restored the former camp, turning it into a museum to honour the victims. Whilst a visit here is undoubtedly chilling, it is also an important part of the country’s history and a testament to the postwar generation. Regent can arrange a round-trip excursion from Krakow which takes around six hours and includes coach or private transfers and entry to the museum with museum guide.

Poland - Perfect For Lovers of old architecture will be charmed by the well-preserved centres of Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk, with enough cobbled streets, medieval churches, castles, cafes and museums to lose yourself in for days. Poland is also a proud brewing nation with many establishments housing their own microbreweries, so beer enthusiasts are extremely well-catered for. 1947

1989

1992

2010

Becomes Communist People’s Republic

Roundtable talks between Solidarity, the Communists and the Catholic Church

Soviet troops begin to withdraw from Poland

President Lech Kaczynski and many other senior officials killed in a plane crash

1945-1961

1978

1990

2004

2012

Warsaw’s Old Town meticulously rebuilt after war devastation

Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal of Krakow, elected Pope as John Paul II

Soviet Russia finally admits to the Katyn massacre

One of 10 new states to join the EU

Co-hosts 2012 European Football Championships with Ukraine

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Poland Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Marketplace, Warsaw

Essential Warsaw & Krakow Combine dynamic Warsaw with the charm of Krakow on this twin centre holiday with plenty of free time to explore each historic city at leisure. Follow the Royal Way in Warsaw’s meticulously rebuilt Old Town, a four kilometre route from the Royal Castle to the Lazienki Summer Palace, or remember the tragedies of WWII at the Ghetto Monument. Take the train to Krakow, the only large city in Poland whose architecture survived the war years intact, where the Old Town’s Gothic churches and baroque palaces are a delight to explore.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Warsaw | Fly to Poland’s capital and transfer to the hotel for three nights. Days 2 & 3 Warsaw | Enjoy two full days to explore Warsaw at leisure or book optional excursions. Today, the overriding impression of Warsaw is of a thriving capital surrounding a revived Old Town, and it’s hard to believe that the city was all but destroyed during WWII. Like other cosmopolitan European capitals, Warsaw is a city of elegant boutiques, excellent cafés and world-class museums, such as the superb Chopin Museum and the National Museum which houses an outstanding collection of Polish sculptures and paintings from the medieval period to modern day. Be sure to visit the Royal Castle, which exhibits some of Eastern Europe’s finest art, as well as the magnificent Cathedral of St John and Wilanów Palace — former 17th century summer residence of King Jan III. For some great value, unpretentious food, head to one of the many milk bars which survived the fall of the Iron Curtain, or for a more upmarket evening, dress up for an opera or ballet performance at the Grand Theatre. (B) Day 4 Warsaw to Krakow | Transfer to Warsaw Railway Station and take the train to Krakow (approx. 2½ hours). On arrival in Krakow transfer to the hotel and check in for three nights. (B)

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Days 5 & 6 Krakow | As the cultural capital of Poland, Krakow never suffers a shortage of exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performances. From buskers and street artists in the main square to opera in the

concert halls, it is impossible to avoid immersing yourself in a host of cultural delights. Shop for local crafts in the market square’s Cloth Hall, admire the wonderful Flemish tapestry collection at the 16th century Wawal Castle, visit the Jewish Museum which is housed in an old synagogue or listen out for the hourly trumpet call from 14th century St Mary’s Church.

Excursions

Pre-book optional coach tours from Warsaw & Krakow • Warsaw City Tour £42 • Krakow City Tour £43 • Auschwitz-Birkenau £46 • Wieliczka Salt Mines £46

Oskar Schindler’s wartime factory is now an excellent museum which tells the tale of Krakow’s five years under Nazi occupation, and is well worth the slight detour from the city’s historical hub. Perhaps pre-book optional excursions to the nearby Wieliczka Salt Mine or to AuschwitzBirkenau — the former concentration camp turned state museum which honours the victims of the WWII genocide. In the evenings, Krakow’s Old Town offers a wealth of gastronomic delights including pubs and bars housed in old vaulted cellars, while the vibrant Kazimierz district is home to the city’s up-and-coming bar and café scene, where the Plac Nowy Square is the hub of bohemian life. (B) Day 7 Fly to the UK | Travel to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B) This suggested itinerary can be tailor-made with your choice of 3-star, 4-star or boutique hotels. Ask a Regent Poland Specialist about adding city sightseeing coach tours or excursions to Auschwitz-Birkenau or the Weiliczka Salt Mines.

Tour duration

7 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Unguided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel £630 Single room supp. £160 4-star Hotel £755 Single room supp. £335 Boutique Hotel £900 Single room supp. £395 Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and train tickets


Poland

Wawel Castle Square, Krakow

Krakow City Break Regent Recommends Explore this jewel of a city on foot and discover a maze of medieval streets lined with incredible Gothic and Baroque architecture. With all Regent’s city break hotels located close to the main market square, the 16th century Renaissance-style Cloth Hall is the ideal place to start; shop for traditional crafts on the ground floor or head upstairs to browse the Gallery of 19th Century Polish Painting. Stroll down the roads which used to form the historic Royal Way to Wawal Hill where the Castle and Cathedral are located. From Krakow, it is possible to visit both the impressive Wieliczka Salt Mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Ask a Regent Poland Specialist to pre-book coach excursions. (See p56 for prices).

When to go Krakow is the de facto cultural capital of Poland and hardly a month passes by without the city’s streets marking a special occasion with an exciting festival or parade. The Festival of Sailors’ Songs in February regales thousands of people each year with rousing performances of both modern and traditional sea shanties, while in July, the International Festival of Street Performers sees a colourful assortment of jugglers, stilt walkers, tightrope walkers and comedy acts bring the streets to life.

Prices Krakow city break prices are per person and include three nights accommodation with breakfast, return flights with low cost carrier easyJet and all airport taxes. Add a private return airport transfer from £27pp.

Warsaw & Gdansk City Breaks We can also book city breaks in Warsaw and Gdansk, as well as tailor-making itineraries to include some of Poland’s most interesting cities such as Torun and Wroclaw. Please visit our website for details.

HHH Hotel Alexander Prices from £310pp twin-share Just 200 metres from Krakow’s iconic market square, this simple hotel with just 51 guest rooms is ideal for travellers on a budget. With a team of friendly, helpful staff and an enviable Old Town location, the Hotel Alexander represents excellent value for money.

HHHH Senacki Hotel Prices from £410pp twin-share Located on the historic Royal Way, this elegant hotel is just a minute’s walk from Wawel Castle and Cathedral. A small, boutique-style hotel with just 20 rooms, the 19th century building has views over the magnificent baroque-style Church of St Peter and St Paul.

HHHH Hotel Amadeus Prices from £395pp twin-share This boutique hotel is a real find in Krakow. Situated in an historic 16th century townhouse on a quiet street just a few steps from the market square, the 20-room hotel is decorated in an elegant baroque style. Enjoy Polish and international dishes in the cosy cellar restaurant.

HHHHH Radisson Blu Krakow Prices from £410pp twin-share This modern, international hotel with all the facilities expected of a Radisson, is just a short walk from both the market square and Wawel Castle. Each of the 196 rooms is bright and modern, and the fashionable Milk & Co restaurant specialises in delicious fresh seafood.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Poland Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Baltic States

The Inside Story

Story to tell Christina Gibbons

With wonderful medieval Old Towns, dense forests, pine fringed sandy beaches, hotels to suit all budgets and fantastic dining, the Baltics have something for everyone. Estonia boasts wonderfully diverse architecture, from Russian Orthodox churches to isolated wooden windmills and Danish castles. The capital, Tallinn, is a true fairytale city rivalling the likes of St Petersburg and Budapest. In Latvia discover a serene land of rolling plains, quiet dairy farmlands, dense forests, old fortresses and ornate palaces. Riga is decorated with red brick Gothic buildings and a rich collection of Art Nouveau architecture, and the seaside suburb of Jurmala stretching along the coast to the west of the city offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of this busy capital. Visitors to Lithuania will enjoy highlights such as the atmospheric Hill of Crosses at Siauliai, Trakai’s medieval castle, the narrow streets and merchant houses of Klaipeda and the stunning Curonian Spit as well as the picturesque city of the Iron Wolf, Vilnius.

Why I love the Baltics Having made his fortune manufacturing mattresses you would expect nothing less than a really comfy bed at this rural retreat in the depth of the Lithuanian countryside called Padvaisko dvaras rural farmstead. The owner and his wife have spared no expense to recreate a 19th century farmstead. The interiors of the wooden chalets are reminiscent of childhood fairytales – you can almost imagine Little Red Riding Hood knocking on the door.

1179

18th C

1869

1940

Earliest mention of Estonian folk singing

Russian Empire gains control of most of presentday Baltic states

First Estonian Song Festival, one of the largest amateur choral events in the world

Baltic partisans known as “the Forest Brothers” begin guerrilla war against Soviet rule

13th C

1831

1918-20

1941

Christianity and feudalism introduced following the invasion of the Crusaders

First crosses appear on what becomes Lithuania’s famous Hill of Crosses

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania become sovereign nations

Nazi Germany invades Baltic region


Baltic States

Regent Recommends Essential Estonia

Lithuania Fly-Drive

Tallinn & St Petersburg

This individual itinerary begins in Tallinn and uses the excellent local bus connections to explore this diverse country. The border town of Narva, neglected from most travel itineraries, is a worthwhile stop to view the two ancient frontier fortresses facing each other across the river; Hermann Castle on the Estonian side and the Ivangorod Castle on the Russian side. Finally head to Pärnu with its wide stretch of white sand beach, a magnificent, historic town centre, leafy park areas and quiet streets lined with early 20th century villas. Extend your holiday to include historic Haapsalu — a favourite health resort of the Russian Tsars.

Discover the highlights of Lithuania, on this 10-day fly-drive itinerary. Explore the beautiful baroque town of Vilnius, travel to the fairytale red-bricked castle in Traikai — Eastern Europe’s only island castle — and from Kaunas, continue along the scenic Panemuné road visiting castles and manor houses that line this picturesque route. Spend time relaxing in Lithuania’s resort town of Nida, on the stunning Curonian Spit, where the fragile landscape of shifting sand dunes, and pine forests where elk and wild boar roam free, is protected by national park status. This tour can also be arranged using public buses. Speak to a Regent Baltics Specialist for more details.

Combining Estonia’s medieval capital Tallinn with Russia’s imperial capital St Petersburg, this 8-day tailor-made tour offers plenty of time for independent exploration. Awash with chic cafés and gourmet restaurants Tallinn still maintains its historical charm and character through its delightful medieval Old Town which is full of slender steeples and narrow streets. Travel to St Petersburg by luxury bus is included, and in just eight hours a range of stunning attractions from ornate palaces to world-famous galleries are on offer. Prefer to fly between the two cities? Speak to a Regent Travel Specialist for details or to book optional excursions.

The Baltics - Perfect For Those who have already perused Prague, browsed Budapest and seen St Petersburg and are wondering where to set their sights next, should look no further than the Baltics. The cities of Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius are historical marvels with all the medieval charm and cultural highlights of more well-known destinations but without the crowds. In the Baltic countryside, history buffs will be enamoured by palaces, castles and abandoned Soviet missile bases. 1945

1989

1994

2004

Baltic countries brutally subjugated by Soviet Union after WWII

The Baltic Way – huge protest against the Soviet regime where 2 million form human chain

Last Russian troops withdraw from territory of Baltic states

Baltic countries join European Union and NATO

1988

1991

2001

2011

‘Singing revolution’ brings Estonian people together in bid for national unity

Soviet government recognises independence of Baltic republics

Riga celebrates 800th anniversary

Estonia adopts euro as currency

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Baltics Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn

Classic Baltics This essential introduction to the three Baltic capitals is an excellent tour for first time visitors or for those who enjoy a relaxed pace on group tours. Staying in 4 and 5-star hotels, this itinerary not only includes sightseeing tours of each city but also visits highlights including the Hill of Crosses, Rundale Palace in Latvia and the Estonian seaside resort of Pärnu. Ask a Regent Baltics Specialist for details about optional afternoon excursions to Trakai, Sigulda and Kadriorg Park and Palace.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Vilnius | Fly to Vilnius and take optional transfer to the hotel. Check in for two nights and attend a welcome meeting. Day 2 Vilnius | Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Vilnius including the Cathedral of Peter and Paul, the Gothic Church of St Anne’s and the baroque buildings of Vilnius University. The afternoon is free to spend at leisure or take an optional excursion to the medieval capital of Trakai. This 14th century red-brick castle, tranquilly located on an island on Lake Galve, houses a small history museum. (B) Day 3 Vilnius to Riga | Depart by coach to Riga with stops en route at the Hill of Crosses — an atmospheric place of pilgrimage — and Rundale Palace, the former residence of the Duke of Courland. Arrive in Riga and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B,L) Day 4 Riga | Embark on a morning sightseeing tour of Latvia’s capital. The Old Town of Riga represents more than 800 years of history with its narrow cobbled streets, 3rd century Dome Cathedral and colourfully restored merchants’ houses. Visit the city’s famous Art Nouveau district and spend the afternoon at leisure. (B)

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Day 5 Riga | Enjoy a free day to explore Riga at leisure or book optional excursions. Perhaps join a morning sightseeing tour to the beautiful town of Sigulda, Latvia’s winter capital, known locally as the Switzerland of Latvia. Here, visit the Turaida Museum Reserve including the 13th century German Knights’ Castle and Gutmanis Cave, the deepest cave in the Baltics, located on the Gauja riverbank. (B)

Day 6 Riga to Tallinn | Travel by coach to Tallinn, stopping en route at the Ethnographical Open Air Museum, situated on the outskirts of Riga, to discover traditional Latvian rural buildings. Continue to Pärnu, a beautiful seaside resort on the Baltic Sea, to explore the historic town centre and enjoy a stroll along the golden-sand beach. Arrive in Tallinn late in the afternoon and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B,L)

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Free morning depending on time of flight. Optional transfer to the airport for flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 7 Tallinn | Embark upon a morning sightseeing tour of Tallinn including the medieval Upper and Lower Towns, Pirita Olympic Yacht Centre and the Song Festival Grounds, a place which many Estonians hold dear as the birthplace of Estonia’s Singing Revolution in 1988. The afternoon is free to explore at leisure or enjoy an optional excursion to Kadriorg Park and Palace. Originally an imperial summer residence and designed by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I, the palace now houses the foreign art collection of the Estonian Art Museum. Ask a Regent Baltics Specialist for details of this tour. (B) Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departures 20 May, 10 Jun, 24 Jun, 8 Jul, 22 Jul, 5 Aug, 26 Aug, 16 Sep Group size

Min 2, Max 45

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1135 £350

Includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and sightseeing tours


Baltic States

Vilnius Old Town

Baltic Capitals Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are crowned by three of the most enchanting capitals in Eastern Europe, and this itinerary provides the perfect introduction to each Baltic country. Each capital is highly individual in character and boasts an extraordinary wealth of historical buildings and an expanding cultural scene. Sampling the different atmospheres, flavours and customs will provide an invaluable insight into this captivating corner of Europe.

Suggested Itinerary This is Regent’s most popular and longest running private tour in the Baltics and can be tailor-made to suit individual requirements. The itinerary leaves you free to spend the days as you wish, however, we can recommend the must-see sights and book a variety of excursions. A choice of 3, 4 or 5-star hotels is offered in each city and travel is included on local coaches, but private transfers by car can also be arranged. If you would like to extend your holiday with stays in Helsinki and/or St Petersburg ask a Regent Travel Specialist for details. Day 1 Fly to Vilnius | Fly to Vilnius. Transfer to the hotel and check in for three nights. Days 2 & 3 Vilnius | Spend the day exploring Lithuania’s capital. A city of churches with a steeple view on every corner, Vilnius has the largest Old Town in Europe, which has gained its place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Discover a treasure trove of pristine winding streets and colourful baroque buildings, take the funicular from the Lower to the Higher Castle to enjoy wonderful views across the rooftops or learn about the country’s recent history at the Museum of Genocide Victims in the former KGB headquarters. (B) Day 4 Vilnius to Riga | Spend the morning at leisure before taking the bus to Riga. On arrival, check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 5 & 6 Riga | Riga with its wonderful blend of medieval and Art Nouveau architecture is the largest and most cosmopolitan of all the Baltic capitals. The city’s parks separate the historic Old Town from the new town. Trendy bars and chic cafés line the cobblestone streets and the city has a thriving restaurant scene.

Crumbling façades are being restored to their former glory. Be sure to explore the Sovietstyle Central Market which is bursting at the seams with traders selling their wares. (B) Day 7 Riga to Tallinn | Spend the morning at leisure before taking the bus at midday to Tallinn. On arrival, check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Days 8 & 9 Tallinn | Spend the day exploring Tallinn’s medieval Old Town where the delightful maze of cobbled streets is overlooked by towering 14th century church spires and proud merchant houses. For fantastic views of the city, climb the tower in the Town Hall and enjoy people watching in Town Hall Square – a location which transforms with the seasons. In summer outdoor cafés fill the space which plays host to medieval festivals and in winter it becomes home to a magical Christmas market. (B) Day 10 Fly to the UK | Enjoy a free morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Unguided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel £799 Single room supp. £275 4-star Hotel £865 Single room supp. £330 5-star Hotel £1280 Single room supp. £725 Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, airport transfers and bus tickets.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Baltics Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Trakai Castle, Lithuania

Baltic Fly-Drive This popular fly-drive itinerary travels from Tallinn to Riga and on to Vilnius but also visits spectacular attractions in-between. Pass through laid-back provincial towns containing the region’s unique wooden architecture or stop to spot rare birds and animals at national parks. Drive via Lahemaa National Park to the university town of Tartu, explore the medieval town of Cesis and stop at the eerie Hill of Crosses. From Vilnius, it is possible to visit Stalin World in Druskininkai.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tallinn | Fly to Tallinn and collect the hire car at the airport. Drive to Estonia’s capital city and check in to the hotel for two nights. Day 2 Tallinn | Enjoy a free day at leisure in Tallinn. Make time to explore the medieval Old Town with its enchanting muddle of 13th century church spires, maze of narrow streets and impressive Town Hall Square. Stop to relax in one of the city’s many chic cafés. (B) Day 3 Tallinn to Tartu | Depart for Tartu stopping en route in Estonia’s largest National Park — Lahemaa. Here, discover the beauty of northern Estonia’s landscape through the parks, forests, lakes, fishing villages and manor houses, including the fully restored 18th century Palmse Manor. Continue to the leafy city of Tartu, home to Estonia’s oldest and most renowned university. On arrival check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) (185km) Day 4 Tartu to Riga | Drive to Riga, stopping in the town of Cesis en route to visit the medieval castle ruins. Continue to Sigulda, located in Gauja National Park. Dubbed the “Switzerland of Latvia”, Sigulda provides a gorgeous and dramatic setting perfect for both relaxing and more active pursuits. Enjoy a walk through lush forests and the beautiful grounds of the 13th-century Turaida Castle or take a hair-raising ride on a winding bobsled track. Arrive in Riga and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) (250km)

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Day 5 Riga | Spend the day exploring Latvia’s capital city. From the medieval Old Town and the large Art Nouveau district to the moving Occupational Museum of Latvia and the

huge Central Market housed in old Zeppelin hangars, there is plenty to discover in this lively capital city. (B) Day 6 Riga to Bauska | Continue to Bauska, a small town located close to the Lithuanian border. Here, in the Zemgale region of Latvia it is possible to visit Rundale Palace as well as the ruins of Bauska Castle and a Zemgalian farm. Check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) (65km)

steeple view on every corner, Vilnius has the largest baroque Old Town in Europe. Discover a treasure trove of pristine winding streets and colourful baroque buildings. (B) Day 10 Fly to the UK | Spend the morning at leisure. Return the car to the airport and fly back to the UK. (B)

Day 7 Bauska to Kaunas | Travel to Kaunas via the Hill Of Crosses in Siauliai. This religious hill is covered with tens of thousand of crosses and is recognised as a national centre of pilgrimage. On arrival in Kaunas, check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) (210km) Day 8 Kaunas to Vilnius | Continue the journey to Vilnius setting time aside to stop at Trakai Castle, a beautiful red-brick fortress set on a tranquil lake — the best-known monument in Lithuania. Perhaps spend time exploring the fascinating castle museum. Travel to Vilnius and on arrival check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) (98km) Day 9 Vilnius | Spend the day at leisure in Lithuania’s capital. A city of churches with a

Tour duration

10 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Fly-Drive Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1190 £299

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and car hire


Baltic States

Vilnius Old Town

Tallinn & the Islands This itinerary is a wonderfully luxurious way to combine Tallinn with the delights of the Pädaste Manor on Muhu Island. Muhu Island is an unspoilt treasure, characterised by its rolling meadows, juniper forests, and isolated farms. The dolomite cliff and caves on the northern shore, the 13th-century St Catharine’s Church, abandoned Soviet missile base and the old Koguva fishing village are all worth a visit during your stay.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Tallinn | Fly to Estonia’s medieval capital and transfer to the Hotel Telegraaph, Tallinn’s most exquisite five-star historic hotel. Check in to a superior room for four nights. Days 2 & 3 Tallinn | Spend these days exploring the twisted cobbled lanes of Estonia’s small capital. (B) Day 4 Tallinn to Muhu | Take a private transfer from Tallinn to the Island of Muhu including a short trip by ferry from Virtsu on the mainland. Check in to a double room in the Carriage House, Pädaste Manor for three nights. (B) Days 5 & 7 Muhu Island | Explore the neighbouring island of Saaremaa with its medieval churches and nature reserves. Stop by the Angla Windmills, Kaali Meteorite Crater and Mihkli Farm Museum. Relax in the peaceful surrounds of Pädaste Manor and sample some of the spa treatments on offer. (B)

Pädaste Manor Located at the southern tip of Muhu Island by the sea, this opulent resort is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World chain. The Pädaste Manor dates back to the 15th Century and offers superb accommodation with a small spa centre and restaurant. Suites have private balconies with a picturesque view of the bay and the private farmhouse offers luxury accommodation for guests who prefer more privacy. The restaurant provides wonderful dishes of Estonian cuisine which are served on the sea view terrace or inside by the fireplace. Relax in the spa centre, the Roman steam bath with natural herbal extracts or the Muhu wood-burning sauna with fresh birch and juniper keg.

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to Tallinn airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

18 Mar–17 Oct

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1195 £780

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified and transfers.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Baltics Specialist on 020 7666 1294

63


Russia

The Inside Story

Story to tell Peter Wybrow

Moscow’s Red Square with its Kremlin and psychedelic St Basil’s Cathedral is the iconic image of Russia, but contrast this with the small towns of the Golden Ring, with rural landscapes dotted with golden-domed Orthodox churches, for a glimpse of the real Russia. St Petersburg provides visitors with a wealth of imperial parks and palaces to explore and the city is home to the word-renowned State Hermitage Museum which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2014. Take an epic railroad journey and pause at Yekaterinburg, where the Romanovs met their end, before heading into Siberia with its endless steppe and taiga. Stop off at TransSiberian towns or head into the wilderness to stay in yurts and encounter shamans and throat singers. For a short break with a difference, consider visiting the enclave of Kaliningrad, squeezed between Poland and Lithuania, or for those with an interest in Soviet history, visit Stalingrad or one of the other Soviet Hero Cities which played their part in Russia’s WWII defence.

Why I love Russia The grandeur and opulence of Russia’s state buildings really has to be seen to be believed. The three million works of art and artefacts of the Hermitage could keep me busy for days, but my favourite place to visit is Pushkin Palace – no matter how many times I go I never fail to be wowed by the stunning walkway to this hugely impressive baroque building.

800s

988

1237-40

1613

1812

1897

East Slavs settle in various regions throughout Russia

Grand Prince Vladimir marries into the Byzantine Empire and converts to Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Mongols invade and destroy most of Russia’s cities

Michael Romanov elected as Tsar, heralding the Romanov dynasty

Russia defeats Napoleon’s invading forces and participates in his overthrow

Bolsheviks and Mensheviks form the Social Democratic Party

862

1147

1552-56

1689-1725

1853-57

Varangian warrior, Rurik, leads his people to Novgorod

City of Moscow founded

Ivan the Terrible defeats the Mongols at Astrakhan, extending Russian rule to the Caspian Sea

Peter the Great introduces farreaching reforms

Allied force of French, British and Ottomans defeat Russia in the Crimean War


Russia

Regent Recommends Russian Visa Service

Golden Ring Tour

Highlights of Moscow

Every trip to Russia will require a visit to the Russian embassy in London to finalise your visa and this is a trip you’ll have to make in person. But for professional help completing the long – and often confusing – visa form, Regent Holidays offer an in-house Russian visa service to make your travels even smoother. Our in-house visa specialist, Robin Armstrong, will talk you through the forms and ensure that this long process is as hassle-free as possible. Having lived in St Petersburg for a number of years, Robin is also on hand to offer some handy travel tips and secrets and would be more than happy to share his wealth of Russia knowledge with you.

Combining two of the Golden Ring’s most fascinating cities, Vladimir and Suzdal, with the magnificent duo of Moscow and St Petersburg, this 8-day group tour takes in some of Russia’s most intriguing sights and is an unforgettable way to experience a side of Russia that is often overlooked by visitors. The Golden Ring contains a number of architectural wonders to rival the cathedrals of Europe. The elaborate Orthodox churches in their simple Russian villages provide a captivating contrast to the imposing Kremlin walls of Moscow and the glittering palaces of St Petersburg. Speak to a Regent Russia Specialist for more details or visit our website for a full itinerary.

Discover the beauty of one of the world’s most opulent and fascinating capitals on our 5 day Highlights of Moscow Group Tour – the perfect tour for the first time visitor. Staying at the centrally located 4-star Novotel Moscow Centre Hotel, this tour has been designed to introduce you to the main attractions of the city. Step inside the Kremlin complex to view the extensive collections of beautiful costumes and the famous Armoury Chamber, admire the colourful St Basil’s Cathedral on the iconic Red Square, walk along the old Arbat Street, and visit the Gorki Leninskie Sanatorium — the place where Vladimir Lenin died — now hosting three museums in his honour.

Russia - Perfect For 35 years on from our first foray into Russia it never fails to enthral. Perfect for culture vultures, with its grandiose cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, Russophiles will also appreciate the Soviet history and landmarks. Lovers of the great outdoors will delight in a cruise on the legendary Volga River, gazing at shimmering forests of silver birch and pastoral countryside. 1917

1942-43

1955

1988

2000

Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, seize government

Soviet Union defeats the Nazi advance at the Battle of Stalingrad

Warsaw Pact established

Gorbachev replaces Gromyko as president

Vladimir Putin succeeds Boris Yeltsin as President

1914

1918-22

1950

1961

1991

2013

Russia fights alongside Britain and France in WWI

Civil War between the Red Russians and the anticommunist White Russians; Soviet Union formed

Soviet Union and China sign 30-year alliance treaty

Yuri Gagarin makes first manned space flight

The Soviet Union collapses

St Petersburg hosts G20 Leaders’ Summit

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Catherine Palace, Pushkin

Highlights of Moscow & St Petersburg This essential introduction to Russia’s two greatest cities is ideal for first time visitors. Moscow and St Petersburg vie for supremacy but they both possess their own unique charms; Moscow with its air of chintzy glamour and iconic landmarks and St Petersburg with its classical grandeur, serene canals and Parisian sophistication. In 8-days, visit the main attractions and enjoy free time for independent exploration to discover the many museums and galleries.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Fly to Moscow and transfer to the hotel for three nights. (B) Day 2 Moscow | Depart on a sightseeing tour of the capital by coach, passing key sights such as Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre. In the afternoon visit the Tretyakov Gallery to admire the world-renowned collection of Russian fine art. (B) Day 3 Moscow | Head to one of Moscow’s most iconic attractions, the Kremlin, for a half day tour including the Armoury Chamber which now houses Russian treasures ranging from religious icons to Fabergé eggs. (B) Day 4 Moscow to St Petersburg | Visit Old Arbat Street for a morning walking and shopping tour of Moscow’s famous thoroughfare. Later, discover the most impressive stations of the Moscow Metro before transferring to the railway station for the journey of just over four hours to St Petersburg. Transfer to the hotel for four nights. (B) Day 5 St Petersburg | Enjoy a morning city tour of St Petersburg by coach. Pass several key sights along the way, with a photo-stop at impressive St Isaac’s Cathedral. In the afternoon, travel to Peter and Paul Fortress for a tour of the resting place of Peter the Great. (B) Day 6 St Petersburg | Visit the worldrenowned Hermitage Museum for a morning tour. Displaying nearly three million artefacts across six buildings, this fascinating collection features outstanding works from across Russia and Europe. (B)

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Day 7 St Petersburg | Discover the grand

estate of Tsarskoye Selo in the town of Pushkin. Admire the lavish late-baroque Catherine Palace with its restored Amber Room and spend time exploring the picturesque grounds and gardens. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Spend the morning at leisure until an afternoon departure transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Train Travel Travelling by train is a quintessential Russian experience. On this tour we take the express Sapsan (meaning Peregrine Falcon) Train between Moscow and St Petersburg which travels at speeds of up to 155mph and takes just over four hours. Opera & Ballet Tickets For a special evening’s entertainment, ask us about booking tickets to a world-class performance at Moscow’s Bolshoi or St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre.

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Group size

Min 2, Max 45

2017 departure dates 28 Jan, 11 Feb, 25 Feb 11 Mar, 18 Mar, 25 Mar 1 Apr, 8 Apr, 15 Apr, 22 Apr, 29 Apr 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, 27 May 3 Jun, 10 Jun, 17 Jun, 24 Jun 1 Jul, 8 Jul, 15 Jul, 22 Jul, 29 Jul 5 Aug, 12 Aug, 19 Aug, 26 Aug 2 Sep, 9 Sep, 16 Sep, 23 Sep, 30 Sep, 7 Oct, 14 Oct, 21 Oct, 4 Nov, 18 Nov, 2 Dec, 23 Dec Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1225 £230

Price includes flights, accommodation in 4-star hotels, meals as specified, transfers, train tickets and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Russia

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

Highlights of St Petersburg Built by order of Peter the Great in 1703, St Petersburg is one of the world’s most romantic cities. Well-known for its rivers and canals, getting around the city by boat is a popular choice; sightseeing cruises whisk visitors to the city’s top attractions, floating restaurants provide a unique experience and river buses serving as public transport beat the city’s downtown traffic. Imperial parks and palaces all offer unique charms so it’s well worth visiting as many as possible.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to St Petersburg | Fly to St Petersburg, transfer to your hotel and check in for four nights. Day 2 St Petersburg | Enjoy a morning city tour of St Petersburg by coach, accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide who will familiarise you with the city, its history and points of interest. Enjoy several key sights along the way, with a photo-stop at St Isaac’s Cathedral. In the afternoon, transfer to Peter and Paul Fortress; dating back to 1703, the fortress is one of the oldest buildings in St Petersburg and the resting place of Peter the Great. (B) Day 3 St Petersburg | Spend the day visiting the world renowned Hermitage Museum and explore the vast collections of outstanding works of the Hermitage. Open to the public since the mid 1800’s, and displaying nearly three hundred thousand artefacts across six buildings, this fascinating collection features works from Russia, Europe and Egypt. (B) Day 4 St Petersburg | Visit the grand estate of Tsarskoye Selo in the town of Pushkin,

and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Russian nobility. Admire the lavish lateBaroque Catherine’s Palace with its restored Amber Room, and spend time exploring the picturesque grounds and gardens*. (B) *January to April, and October to December

Day 5 Fly to the UK | Spend the day at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Visit the grand palace and gardens of Peterhof (Petrodvorets), designed according to the orders of Peter the Great. This impressive palace complex is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with visitors drawn to the unique fountains, intricate architecture, and immaculate garden. (B)

Tour duration

5 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Group size

Min 2, Max 45

2017 departure dates 31 Jan, 14 Feb, 28 Feb, 14 Mar, 21 Mar, 28 Mar 4 Apr, 11 Apr, 18 Apr, 25 Apr 2 May, 9 May, 16 May, 23 May 6 Jun, 20 Jun, 27 Jun, 4 Jul, 11 Jul, 18 Jul, 25 Jul 1 Aug, 8 Aug, 15 Aug, 22 Aug, 29 Aug 5 Sep, 12 Sep, 19 Sep, 26 Sep 3 Oct, 7 Oct, 10 Oct, 17 Oct, 24 Oct, 7 Nov, 21 Nov, 5 Dec, 26 Dec Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£880 £170

Price includes flights, accommodation, in 4-star hotels, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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WWII Memorial in Volgograd

History of Stalingrad Founded in 1589 as the fortress Tsaritsyn, Volgograd is better known by its pre-1960s name of Stalingrad. The city played a pivotal role in defending Russia during the Second World War and was awarded the title ‘Hero City’ in 1945. Spend three days discovering the key historic sites, from The Battle of Stalingrad Museum – one of the world’s biggest WWII museums – to the memorial complex of Mamayev Kurgan and the Red October Factory.

Itinerary Day 1 Volgograd | Fly to Volgograd and transfer to the hotel for four nights. Day 2 Volgograd | Discover the main highlights including Mamayev Hill and the Grain Elevator, a particularly well defended Soviet strongpoint during WWII, on a city tour of Volgograd. After lunch, visit the Panorama Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad, one of the biggest WWII museums in the world, and discover hundreds of unique exhibits, including Zaitsev’s rifle (a famous Soviet sniper) and a panoramic canvas illustrating the Battle of Stalingrad. (B,L) Day 3 Volgograd | Located in the northern part of Volgograd, the Red October Steel Factory, Stalingrad Tractor Factory – which produced the legendary T-34 tank during the war – and Barrikady Gun Factory became world-famous for the combat which took place there during 1942-1943. Spend time exploring the area and discover Lyudnikov’s Island, a piece of land heavily defended during WWII under the command of Colonel Ivan Lyudnikov. (B,L) Day 4 Volgograd | Visit Kalach-on-Don where an armoured clash took place between the German 6th Army and the Soviet 64th and 1st Tank Armies in 1942. Some months later, several Soviet tank corps encircled the besieged German 6th Army in Stalingrad by capturing Kalach, therefore cutting off enemy supply routes. After lunch explore the last headquarters of the German 6th Army and discover where General Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrendered to Soviet forces in 1943. (B,L)

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Day 5 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

A short history German plans to capture and gain control of the city of Stalingrad began in the summer of 1942 and by mid November Soviet defenders had been pushed back into narrow zones along the west banks of the Volga River. The Red Army launched Operation Uranus on 19 November1942 which targeted attacks on the weaker Romanian and Hungarian forces protecting the German 6th Army.

in recognition of their bravery. Almost completely destroyed during the war, the construction of the modern city began in 1946. Only known as Stalingrad for a period of 26 years, the city may regain its wartime name if a referendum proposed by President Putin goes ahead.

German forces became overrun and on 23 November 1942 the Soviets captured Kalach and surrounded the German Army in Stalingrad. Hitler ordered the army to stay but after months of heavy fighting and with ammunition and food supplies exhausted, the German 6th Army surrendered at the beginning of February 1943. The Battle of Stalingrad (August 23 1942 — February 2 1943) is among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of German troops and even more Russians. In 1945, along with gaining Hero City status, Great Britain’s King George VI awarded the citizens of Stalingrad the jewelled Sword of Stalingrad Tour duration

5 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

21 Sep 2017

Group size

Min 8, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1380 £295

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Russia

Monument to the Conquerors of Space

Space Odyssey Moscow There’s far more to Moscow than the Red Square icons — Russia’s cosmopolitan capital is also one of the best places in the country to learn about the Soviet history of space exploration. Unearth the city’s fascinating association with world-leading space technology with visits to the futuristic Museum of Cosmonautics, the impressive Monument to the Conquerors of Space and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre at Star City.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Moscow | Fly to Moscow, transfer to the Hotel Hilton Leningradskaya and check in for four nights. Day 2 Moscow | This morning travel to the Central Air Forces Open Air Museum in Monino, an airfield located just outside of Moscow. This vast site is home to more than 170 different types of aircraft, as well as Cold War-era artefacts like spy equipment, uniforms and weapons (this excursion takes around 5 hours). After lunch enjoy a panoramic guided tour of Moscow and see the world-famous sights and impressive landmarks of this vivacious city, such as Tverskaya Street, Lubyanka Square with the notorious ex-KGB building, famous red-brick towers of the Kremlin, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow State University, Novodevichy Convent, Bolshoi Theatre, Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills and Olympic Luzhniki stadium. (B,L) Day 3 Moscow | Travel by metro to the Cosmonautics Museum. This quirky exhibit is located under the huge monument to the Soviet Union’s race to the stars on Prospect

Mira. Here find models of satellites, original space suits from both sides of the Atlantic, the interior of part of the Mir space station to explore, photos and documents from famous cosmonauts such as Yuri Gagarin and artwork relating to man’s obsession with conquering space. The stuffed bodies of the first dogs in space, Belka and Strelka, sit proudly next to the tiny pods that they flew around the Earth in. Most of the explanations are in Russian so take full advantage of this guided museum visit. In the afternoon take a tour of the grounds of the Kremlin. The Moscow Kremlin represents the history of Russia in stone and is a unique historical and cultural museum-reserve, which contains numerous monuments from different centuries: the palaces of Russian Tsars, Metropolitans and Patriarchs, as well as the modern official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. On this excursion explore the grounds and visit one of the many Cathedrals. (B, L) Day 4 Moscow | Today embark on a guided excursion to Star City and the Cosmonauts Training Centre (6 hours) by car. Learn about

the history of Russian space exploration and glean some interesting facts about Star City, the role of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and see these unique facilities where actual space training still takes place. The tour includes a visit to the Soyuz Spaceship Hall where you will learn about the creation of Soyuz spaceships, as well as Sokol spacesuit, space food and cosmonauts flight preparation programmes. On this tour you will also see the world’s biggest Centrifuge TsF-18. This outstanding facility is used for simulating g-loads during all the stages of space flight in cosmonauts’ trainings and for cosmonauts’ selection. Visit the Hydrolaborator, which is used for vehicular activity training using the specialised spacesuit Orlan under simulated weightlessness conditions.* (B,L) Day 5 Fly to the UK | Free morning before transfer to airport for flight back to the UK. (B) *Please note that this excursion does not include any experiences but is a tour of the facilities with a specialised guide. As Star City is a live training centre tours may be cancelled at short notice and alternative tours may be offered.

Tour duration

5 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

1 May 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1115 £150

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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KV-2 Tank

World of Tanks Calling all travellers with an interest in Soviet military history! This new, exclusive group tour discovers lesser-seen parts of Russia and Ukraine, taking in Moscow’s military museums and the Kubinka tank museum. Explore the major battlefields around Kursk and tour Kyiv’s secret Cold War nuclear missile base. This tour includes the opportunity to ride in a Soviet armoured vehicle and try out firearms used during the Great Patriotic War.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Fly to Moscow and transfer to your hotel for two nights.. Day 2 Kubinka | Visit the famous Kubinka Tank Museum. Kubinka was previously a secret testing facility for the Soviet Army. Admire the collection of Soviet-era vehicles including a prototype of the T-72 MBT, the King Tiger and the German Panzer VIII “Maus” – the largest tank ever built. (B) Day 3 Moscow | This morning, visit the Central Army Museum which holds over seven hundred thousand exhibits from the Soviet Army, Navy and Air Force. Admire captured Nazi flags and standards, Victory Banner Number 5, which was taken to the roof of the Reichstag in 1945 and the wreckage of Gary Power’s U2 spy plane shot down at the height of the Cold War in 1960. In the afternoon visit the Great Patriotic War Museum before taking the overnight train to Kursk. (B) Day 4 Kursk | Meet the guide at the train station in Kursk and check in to the hotel for four nights. Day 5 Marino & Rylsk | Embark on a city tour of Kursk before driving to Marino for a tour of the palace and park complex. The palace was built as the main residence of Prince Ivan

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Baryatinsky. After lunch drive to the ancient merchant city of Rylsk which was founded in the late 10th century. Return to Kursk for dinner in the hotel or local restaurant. (B, L) Day 6 Ponyri | Explore Ponyri and visit the various key battle sites and memorials as well as the museum before driving to Svoboda. After lunch, visit Rokossovsky’s bunker and the Nativity of the Mother of God monastery — one of the oldest monasteries in Russia. (B, L) Day 7 Belgorod & Prokhorovka | After breakfast, depart for the Belgorod Region. Explore the villages of Yakovlev and Prokhorovka, in the southern sector of the Battle of Kursk. In Belgorod, visit the main sights including the memorial dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who fought in the Afghanistan conflict of the 1980’s.

ride in an armoured car and try out firearms including the MG42 and the AK47. Continue to Pervomaisk to tour the Museum of Strategic Missile Troops. Sit in the command seat in the underground control bunker and hold the failsafe keys which would have been used to launch the missiles in the event of a nuclear war. Admire the giant SS-18 ‘Satan’. (B) Day 11 Kyiv | Free day in Kyiv to explore the city. Perhaps take an excursion to Chernobyl and Pripyat. Day 12 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

(B, L)

Day 8 Kursk | After breakfast catch the train to Kyiv and check in to the hotel for three nights. (B) Day 9 Kyiv | Enjoy a full day city tour of Kyiv including Kreschatyk, the Golden Gates, the St. Sophia and St. Michael Cathedral. After lunch visit the Cave Monastery complex before heading to the Great Patriotic War Museum. (B) Day 10 Pervomaisk Strategic Missle Base | Travel south to a military museum where you will Tour duration

12 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

16 Sep 2017

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£2595 £295

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, bus and train tickets. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Russia

Peterhof Palace & Park

Russian Revolution Specially designed to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, this brand new group tour follows the life and movements of Vladimir Lenin throughout this turbulent time in Russia’s fascinating modern history. Explore Moscow and pay the man himself a visit at his mausoleum before setting off for Kazan, exploring his house museum in Ulyanovsk, and getting to know St Petersburg.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Arrive in Moscow and transfer to your hotel.

a city tour to see the university where Lenin studied. Later fly to St Petersburg. (B)

Day 2 Moscow | Embark on a city tour, visiting the Lenin Mausoleum. Situated in the iconic Red Square in the centre of Moscow, the mausoleum serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin and his embalmed body has been on public display here since his death in 1924. In the afternoon, visit Lenin’s estate at Leninskie Gorki, to explore his study and private rooms. (B)

Day 6 St Petersburg | Meet and transfer to your hotel for breakfast. A morning city tour will introduce you to Smolniy, where Lenin and Krupskaya lived for a period. In 1917 the building was chosen as the Bolshevik Party headquarters and after the revolution, became the headquarters of the local Communist Party. A monument of Lenin guards the entrance. (B)

Day 3 Moscow to Kazan | Today explore the Kremlin territory, including some of the cathedrals. One of the largest and most interesting museums in the world, this is also home to the President of the Russian Federation. Inside the monumental walls and towers, the Kremlin boasts gold domed cathedrals with unique frescos, the Tsar Cannon, the Tsar Bell, the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Senate and Arsenal. In the late afternoon, catch the overnight train to Kazan. (B)

Day 7 St Petersburg | Poster-boy of St Petersburg, the State Hermitage is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious museums. Spend the morning exploring the collection, started by Catherine the Great and boasting over 3 million exhibits. In the afternoon, explore the Elizarov Museum-flat with a guide, where revolutionary Elizarov lived with his wife, Lenin’s elder sister. Lenin and Krupskaya also lived here upon returning from exile. (B)

Day 4 Ulyanovsk | Disembark at Ulyanovsk to visit the Lenin House Museum at the former property of the Ulyanov family. This preserved and restored house shows the environment in which the family lived. Observe a Ceremony of Initiation to the Lenin party and lay flowers at the Lenin monument. Dinner tonight takes place in a Soviet style restaurant or a Brewery with ‘Red’ beer tasting and Russian cuisine. (B,L,D) Day 5 Kazan | Travel in the early morning to Kazan, a beautiful city celebrating harmonious Christian and Muslim coexistence with a church and mosque built side by side. Take

Day 8 St Petersburg | Today travel to Peterhof to explore the park and palace of this luxurious and beautifully preserved estate located on the shore of the Finnish gulf, 29km from St Petersburg. Modelled to be the ‘Russian Versailles’, the Grand Palace features an ornate Ceremonial Staircase, a gilded Ballroom, a throne room and heavily decorated Oriental Chinese Study. Peek into the private royal family quarters and wander the stunning landscaped park to reach the Grand Cascade, a lavish ensemble of fountains and bronze statues. (B) Day 9 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

9 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

13 Sep 2017

Group size

Min 8, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£2445 £395

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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St Petersburg

Essential Moscow & St Petersburg Combine Moscow and St Petersburg, and discover Russia’s opulence and grandeur at your own pace on our most popular private tailor-made tour. Spend three days exploring the political heart of Russia with its enduring Kremlin, before taking the fast train to St Petersburg to discover lavish palaces, fashionable boulevards and serene canals. In each city, embark on a private guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide, before enjoying plenty of free time for independent exploration.

Suggested Itinerary Choose from 3, 4, or 5-star hotel options to create a tour which suits your own style and budget, and enjoy a hassle-free experience with all transfers and train travel included. All you have to do is decide when to go. Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Fly to Moscow and transfer to the hotel for three nights. Day 2 Moscow | Meet the guide at the hotel reception and embark on a morning city tour of Moscow by metro. Visit Red Square, plus see the Kremlin (from the outside), Alexandrovsky Garden, GUM — the former State Department Store — and the Bolshoi Theatre. (B) Day 3 Moscow | Enjoy a free day in Moscow to explore at leisure or book optional excursions. Ask a Regent Russia Specialist about half-day tours to the Kremlin’s Armoury. (B) Day 4 Moscow to St Petersburg | Spend a free morning at leisure before transferring to the railway station for the fast day train to St Petersburg. On arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in for four nights. (B)

Day 5 St Petersburg | Meet the local guide for a morning city tour of St Petersburg, including photo-stops across the water to Peter and Paul Fortress, Battleship Aurora and the Winter Palace. (B) Days 6 & 7 St Petersburg | Explore St Petersburg at leisure. Perhaps head to the city’s famous Imperial Estate, Peterhof or visit the State Hermitage Museum. Celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2014, this incredible museum houses over three million fascinating artefacts. Ask a Regent Russia Specialist for more details or to book optional excursions in advance. (B)

to eliminate any ticket desk hassles at the station. This price includes economy class tickets on the day train, however if you would prefer to travel business class or would like the quintessential Russian experience of an overnight train journey, please contact a Regent Russia Specialist for prices.

Day 8 Fly to the UK | Enjoy some last-minute sightseeing before transferring to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B) Train Travel On this tour we use the express Sapsan Train between Moscow and St Petersburg which takes around four hours. We purchase the tickets for you in advance and your guide will deliver tickets to you in Moscow,

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Unguided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel £995 Single room supp. £260 4-star Hotel £1170 Single room supp. £315 5-star Hotel £1445 Single room supp. £445

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Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers, train tickets and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Russia

Hotels Moscow

HHH Assambleya Nikitskaya Hotel

HHHH Marriott Courtyard Moscow

HHHHH National Hotel

This small hotel, with just 29 rooms, is a real find in Moscow where many hotels tend to be on the large side. Even better, it is located just 5 minutes away from Red Square and the Kremlin, the metro stop and several restaurants. It may not have the extensive facilities of its larger comrades but the rooms are smart, modern and comfortable. The hotel also offers a delicious complimentary breakfast.

The Marriott Courtyard is excellently located, just a short walk from Red Square and the Kremlin. The hotel restaurant serves an excellent buffet breakfast and rooms are modern and have all the facilities for a comfortable stay. Dine in the Flathouse Iron and Roadhouse — a popular Moscow restaurant serving American and Mexican cuisine in a rustic setting.

A member of The Luxury Collection this hotel has one of the best locations in Moscow. The hotel has 221 rooms of various categories including 49 suites. Rooms are fully equipped with heated bathroom floors, internet access, colour TV and 24 hour room service. The award winning restaurant ‘Mokovsky’ serves excellent traditional Russian food and the fitness & spa centre is a great place to relax.

HHH Hotel Asteria

HHHH Hotel Ambassador

HHHHH Hotel Astoria

With a perfect location overlooking a canal and within walking distance of Nevsky Prospekt and many major attractions, this is a popular choice for a visit to St Petersburg. The 72 rooms are comfortable and smart and offer beautiful views of the Fontanka River and the Old City. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast as well as Russian and European cuisine in the restaurant.

Combining stylish 19th century architecture with modern amenities, this delightful hotel is situated in the historic centre of the city. All 251 rooms have been decorated in pastel shades and most offer a view of the city centre or the hotel’s cosy courtyard. Standard rooms are spacious and some have their own balconies. Dine in a choice of 2 restaurants before relaxing in the sauna.

This luxurious hotel occupies an unrivalled setting in St Isaac’s Square. All 169 rooms including 86 suites combine contemporary elegance with the Astoria’s strong sense of history and charm and feature free Wi-Fi, interactive entertainment and Italian marble bathrooms. Dine on French favourites with a Russian twist in the Astoria Cafe and relax in the rejuvenating spa.

St Petersburg

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Grand Cascade, Peterhof

St Petersburg Short Break Discover the highlights of sophisticated St Petersburg on this tailor-made short break, offering a combination of guided tours to some of the city’s most iconic attractions and plenty of free time for independent exploration. Visit the immense, stunning palaces in the small town of Pushkin, admire colourful churches and discover St Petersburg’s renowned theatres and museums including the incredible State Hermitage Museum.

Suggested Itinerary This short break can be tailor-made to suit your budget and requirements. Choose to stay in a 3, 4 or 5-star hotel and enjoy the convenience of private transfers and transportation to the city’s main sights during the day. Day 1 Fly to St Petersburg | Arrive in St Petersburg and transfer to the hotel for five nights. Day 2 St Petersburg | Depart on a morning sightseeing tour of St Petersburg visiting key sights including Peter and Paul Fortress, where Peter and Paul Cathedral, the original house of Peter the Great and the Royal Mint are located. Continue to Nevsky Prospekt, St Petersburg’s main avenue, which is dotted with impressive buildings including Kazan Cathedral and the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Visit Admiralty building, the Summer Garden and the buildings of the Mariinsky Theatre. (B) Day 3 The Hermitage Museum | Enjoy a morning tour at the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum. Celebrating its 250th year in 2014, the museum houses over three million artefacts including paintings, sculptures and archaeological finds. Works of art are spread across several buildings, with the heart of the collection located in the Winter Palace — former state residence of the Russian Tsars. Be sure to collect a free colour map at the information kiosk and continue exploring this incredible attraction at leisure after the guided tour. (B)

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Day 4 Peterhof | Visit St Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial Estate, Peterhof. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stunning complex of palaces, gardens and fountain cascades is one of St Petersburg’s most popular attractions. Spend time exploring the elaborate interior of the Grand Palace where the highlights include the white and turquoise Throne Room and the richly gilded Ballroom. Be sure to discover the famous Grand Cascade, an ensemble of 64 fountains and other decorations including bronze statues and bas-reliefs, which runs from the northern façade of the palace to Marine Canal. (B) Day 5 The Palaces of Tsarskoye Selo & Pavlovsk | Travel south of the city to the town of Pushkin to visit the palace and park at Pavlovsk, which was the former summer residence of the Russian Tsars. The romantic park that surrounds the palace is filled with pavilions, grottoes and ancient statues. Continue to the grand Imperial Estate of Tsarskoye Selo, where the main attraction in the area is Catherine Palace, the last resting place of Catherine the Great. Explore the elaborate interior of the palace including the Grand Hall, the largest state room in the palace, the Portrait Hall, where the walls are lined with portraits of Catherine I and Empress Elizabeth, and the beautifully restored Amber Room. (B) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Spend the morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made, Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from (per person twin share) 3-star Hotel Based on Hotel Asteria £950 Single room supp. £150 4-star Hotel Based on Hotel Ambassador/ Hotel Indigo £1115 Single room supp. £315 4-star Hotel Based on Hotel Angleterre £1160 Single room supp. £275 5-star Hotel Based on Hotel Astoria £1300 Single room supp. £320 5-star Hotel Based on Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 £835 Single room supp. £245 5-star Hotel Belmond Grand Europe £1400 Single room supp. £380 Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111).


Russia

Hotels

HHHH Hotel Indigo

HHHH Angleterre Hotel

This boutique hotel is themed around the famous Russian composer Tchaikovsky. The spacious rooms offer a complimentary mini bar, TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel’s restaurant, Vino&Voda, is a popular dining spot, especially in the summer when you can enjoy panoramic views over St Petersburg on the rooftop terrace. Dine on Russian cuisine and enjoy its extensive wine list of over 100 wines. Perhaps enjoy a cocktail or two after dinner in the hotel’s Afisha bar.

One of the first hotels in St Petersburg and a haven for artists and poets in the 1920s, the Angleterre retains its class and opulence. It is situated next to its sister hotel, the Astoria, overlooking St Isaac’s Cathedral. The elegant rooms combine classic and modern styles and look on to the quiet inner courtyard with the deluxe rooms facing St Isaac’s Square. The hotel is within walking distance from the Nevsky Prospect and all the major sightseeing and shopping spots.

HHHHH Kempinski Hotel Moika 22

HHHHH Belmond Grand Europe

This grand hotel is located on the banks of the Moika River, looking onto Palace Square, home to the Hermitage museum. The Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 offers 200 elegant rooms and suites designed with classical decor. With complimentary Wi-Fi and a mini bar you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay. Dine at the Bellevue Brasserie restaurant — which has three terraces offering 360-degree views of the city, the Beau Rivage restaurant, the Wine Cellar 1853, the Tea Room and the Von Witter bar.

The Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is a cultural and culinary landmark in the heart of St Petersburg. Positioned adjacent to Arts Square, it is one of the most glamorous hotels in the city and has strong associations with the worlds of theatre, music and dance. The hotel is renowned for its impressive façade and decorative interiors from the lobby to the bedrooms, and offers 5 restaurants and bars as well as a 24-hour fitness centre and designer outlets.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Kremlin, Moscow

Moscow City Break Regent Recommends Moscow is one of the world’s most opulent and fascinating capitals. Gaze at the city’s dazzling array of churches and monasteries, and explore the Kremlin, one of Moscow’s most iconic attractions — once home to Russian Tsars and communist leaders. Red Square is Moscow’s centrepiece displaying rich symbols of Russia’s turbulent past. St Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world, Lenin’s Mausoleum, and the prestigious GUM State Department Store are its main attractions. Travelling around Moscow couldn’t be easier — the metro is cheap, quick and reliable and most of the elaborate stations are attractions in themselves. The city’s restaurant scene has come a long way so decide between Central Asian or Western European cuisine, often in surroundings recreating the Soviet past. No trip to this incredible destination would be complete without catching a worldclass ballet or opera performance at the Bolshoi Theatre.

Prices from £590pp twin-share Located in the centre of Moscow, the opulent Historical Hotel Sovietsky will take you back in time to the Soviet era and serve you a fascinating slice of history. Marvel at the hotel’s beautiful Stalinesque architecture, high ceilings, beautiful woodwork and last but not least the grand marble staircase. Feast on Russian cuisine in the famous Yar Restaurant.

HHH Marriott Royal Aurora Prices from £695pp twin-share Treat yourself to boundless luxury in Moscow’s historic city centre, just steps away from renowned attractions like Red Square and the Kremlin. The impeccably designed rooms offer an impressive range of luxury amenities. Other highlights include a full fitness centre, a heated pool and exquisite on-site restaurants.

HHHHH Radisson Royal Moscow

When to go

Prices from £750pp twin-share

Moscow is an excellent city break destination all year round. Den’ Goroda (City Day), held in early September, celebrates the historic founding of the city and includes various festivities and street parties as well as a free concert on the street of Tverskaia Ulitsa. Russian Winter Festival, usually held in the weeks either side of New Year, sees thousands of Muscovites brave the freezing weather to congregate on Izmailovsky Park to enjoy traditional folk performances, sleigh rides and plenty of vodka drinking.

Located on the most prestigious thoroughfare in the city — at the intersection of Moscow’s Kutuzovskiy Prospekt and Novy Arbat — this luxurious hotel, one of Stalin’s Seven Sisters, has 497 elegantly furnished rooms. Enjoy shopping in the gallery boutiques or relax in the hotel’s spa.

Prices

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HHH Historical Hotel Sovietsky

Moscow city break prices are per person and include three nights accommodation with breakfast, return flights in economy class with British Airways and all airport taxes.

HHHHH The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya Prices from £1055pp twin-share Occupying one of the most prestigious buildings in the capital, the centrally located St Regis Moscow Nikolskaya is a luxurious hotel in the historic heart of Moscow. All 210 rooms offer postcard-perfect views of the bustling streets around the hotel. Outside your room you can dine in the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant or enjoy treatments in the Alexandria Beauty Lounge & Spa.


Russia

Moscow Excursions Moscow City & Metro

Sergiev Posad

Stalin’s Bunker

5 HOURS

6 HOURS

2½ HOURS

This popular tour combines a city tour by car plus a metro tour which takes around 2 hours. Here is an excellent opportunity to see the most beautiful stations, decked out in marble and crystal chandeliers, sculptures and paintings. Also a bonus on this tour is that your guide can show you how to purchase metro tickets and how to use the metro so you will feel more confident when you want to explore Moscow by yourself. Please note that metro tickets are not included – you will need to pay for these locally.

The town of Sergiev Posad, known as Zagorsk during the Soviet era, is a small industrial and agricultural city. Originally named after Saint Sergey Radonezhsky, as in the 14th century he founded a monastery there that became one of the greatest in Russia. Nowadays, the monastery carries the name of Trinity Lavra of St Sergey and is considered to be the “Russian Vatican”. This monastery is best known for the blue-domed Assumption Cathedral, towering over the white stone walls of the monastery.

A unique memorial complex of Russian military history. Established in the 30’s, it was Stalin’s auxiliary command post during the war, with a conference room, working office and a completely built-in infrastructure. As a museum, the complex was opened up to visitors in 1996. Visit the conference room, Stalin’s private office and dining room, and see on display some of his personal effects.

1 PERSON £139 2 PERSONS £70 3+ PERSONS £52

1 PERSON £220 2 PERSONS £115 3+ PERSONS £84

Kremlin Including One Cathedral & Armoury

Monino Central Air Force Museum

4 HOURS

6 HOURS

All the churches in the grounds of the Kremlin are unique in their architecture, the beauty of their interiors and collection of icons. This tour includes a visit to the Armoury (please note that this tour does not include the Diamond Fund – prices for entrance into the Diamond Fund are available on request). The Armoury holds a rich collection of early weaponry, fabrics, clothes, cookware, furniture, carriages and some jewellery. Please note that the Kremlin museums are closed on Mondays.

One of the largest museums of its type in the world, Monino is a must see for any lover of aviation.

1 PERSON £175 2 PERSONS £99 3+ PERSONS £82

1 PERSON £184 2 PERSONS £88 3+ PERSONS £68

Originally a secret military facility, the museum has a vast and fascinating collection of exhibits such as the world’s largest helicopter, and the Tu-144 supersonic airliner, as well as many prototypes and rare experimental models. 1 PERSON £226 2 PERSONS £115 3+ PERSONS £90

77 www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294


St Petersburg

St Petersburg City Break Regent Recommends Built by order of Peter the Great in 1703, St Petersburg is one of the world’s most romantic cities. Well-known for its rivers and canals, getting around the city by boat is a popular choice; sightseeing cruises whisk visitors to the city’s top attractions, floating restaurants provide a unique experience and river buses serving as public transport beat the city’s downtown traffic. Imperial parks and palaces all offer unique charms so it’s well worth visiting as many as possible. Peterhof – the city’s most impressive Imperial Estate is world-famous for its spectacular fountains, Pavlovsk is surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens, and the magnificent summer residence of the Russian Tsars, Catherine Palace, home to the recently restored Amber Room, is a highlight not to be missed. Set aside time to explore Peter and Paul Fortress and be sure to visit the incredible State Hermitage Museum which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2014.

When to go St Petersburg is awash with cultural events throughout the year. White Nights in June sees the streets brought to life as the city basks in the midnight sun, while festivals such as Singing World and the International Early Music Festival showcase the cream of Russia’s musical talent and the Beer Festival provides a jolly knees up. In winter, the International Winter Festival Arts Square brings together a pantheon of the city’s biggest museums and cultural venues for a programme of classical music, theatre, ballet and exhibitions.

Prices

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St Petersburg city break prices are per person and include three nights accommodation with breakfast, return flights in economy class with British Airways and all airport taxes.

HHHH Fifth Corner Prices from £595pp twin-share The 5th corner hotel is located in central St Petersburg, just a 10-minute walk from Nevsky Prospekt. The 45 rooms enjoy a warm, contemporary-style décor and stylish bathrooms, air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast and dine at the in-house restaurant serving contemporary fusion cuisine.

HHHH Domina Prices from £715pp twin-share Located on the Moika River Embankment, this 5* luxury boutique hotel is just steps away from the Vladimir Nabokov House Museum and a short walk to St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage Museum, the Winter Palace and Kazan Cathedral. The contemporary hotel has 109 unique rooms ranging from standard to luxurious suites.

HHHHH Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg Prices from £770pp twin-share Set in the heart of St Petersburg on Nevsky Prospect, this elegant hotel is extremely close to all the main sights. The rooms are spacious and come with all the luxuries you would expect from this grand hotel. Dine on authentic world dishes in the Imperial Restaurant or relax and unwind in the lobby bar, Bar Nevsky or Cafe Vienna.

HHHHH State Hermitage Museum Hotel Prices from £865pp twin-share This 5* hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Dostoyevsky’s historical neighbourhood. All 126 classically decorated rooms are luxurious and spacious and feature free Wi-Fi. There are 3 restaurants and bars, offering Russian Imperial cuisine, Italian cuisine and afternoon tea. After dinner, perhaps relax in the luxurious Neva Spa.


Russia

St Petersburg Excursions Petrodvorets

The Hermitage

Canal Trips

4-5 HOURS

3½ HOURS

2½ HOURS

Otherwise known as Peterhof and perhaps St Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular Imperial Estate. The Grand Palace, filled with fascinating and elaborate interiors, sits on top of a high seashore ridge overlooking the vast Lower Park. The palace is surrounded by an enormous park, adorned with fountains, statues and pavilions. Travel one-way by hydrofoil during the summer months*

One of the world’s greatest museums, the State Hermitage Museum was founded in 1764 and occupies the buildings of the Winter Palace and Small, Old and New Hermitages. The museum’s collection now has more than three million items from paintings, graphic art and sculptures. The enormous collection almost amounts to a comprehensive history of Western European art and viewing it requires a little planning.

In the summer months see St Petersburg’s iconic sights from the rivers and canals that give this grand city its title of Venice of the North.

1 PERSON £125 2 PERSONS £74 3+ PERSONS £71 *Add £23 per person to travel one-way by hydrofoil

1 PERSON £89 2 PERSONS £52 3+ PERSONS £50

The Palaces of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin Palace) & Pavlovsk

St Petersburg city with Peter & Paul Fortress

6 HOURS

3½ HOURS

Located 30 kilometres south of St Petersburg, Tsarskoye Selo is the former residence of the Russian Tsars. Pavlovsk Palace was built in classic style by the architect Cameron. Around the palace is a romantic park with rivers, pavilions, grottoes and ancient statues. Closed on Fridays

City tour including Peter and Paul Fortress. Founded in 1703, to defend St Petersburg against enemy raids, this fortress from the middle of the 18th century held Russia’s political prisoners. This complex includes the Peter and Paul Cathedral, designed by Trezzini, which is the city’s tallest building, the original house of Peter the Great, (the founder of the Russian Navy), the Royal Mint and other buildings.

1 PERSON £147 2 PERSONS £87 3+ PERSONS £85

1 PERSON £93 2 PERSONS £50 3+ PERSONS £48

Ballet & Opera Tickets We can book ballet and opera tickets in St Petersburg including the Mariinsky Theatre and the Hermitage Theatre. Please contact us for details of what’s on during your stay.

1 PERSON £87 2 PERSONS £47 3+PERSONS £43

79 www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294


River Cruises Moscow’s Kremlin

The Inside Story

Story to tell Christina Gibbons

From the colourful icons of Moscow to the imperial treasures of St Petersburg, travel through Russia’s picturesque waterways, past ancient monasteries and shimmering forests of silver birch, on a relaxing river cruise.

Why I love River Cruises There is always so much more to discover in Russia and from the water even the familiar sights take on a new perspective. For me, setting sail has such a great feel of adventure and excitement, and I love the pace of life on board which offers plenty of time to just stand and gaze at the gently evolving shoreline.

Venture inside Yaroslavl’s spectacular Church of Elijah the Prophet to admire its unusual frescoed murals, visit the fascinating Kirillo-Belozerksy Monastery in Goritsy, stretched out along the banks of the Sheksna River looking more like a small medieval town, and stop at the tiny fairytale island of Kizhi on the northern shore of Lake Onega where the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture is a real highlight. Guides on all the ships are knowledgeable, experienced and very professional, and they are an essential element of the cruise experience. For a more personal approach opt for a luxury cruise ship with their smaller ratio of guide to passenger. Speak to a Regent Russia Specialist for detailed information about our range of boat options, from 3 to 5-star.

922

1397

1552

1598

Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan documents Volga Vikings

St Cyril founds KirilloBelozersky Monastery near Goritsy

Uglich inhabitants help Ivan the Terrible capture Kazan

Time of Troubles begins with demise of Rurik dynasty

1010

1463

1591

1612

Prince Yaroslav the Wise founds Yaroslavl

Yaroslavl incorporated into Grand Duchy of Moscow

Son of Ivan the Terrible, Dimitry, murdered in Uglich

Yaroslavl becomes de facto capital of Russia


River Cruises

Regent Recommends Flexibility & choice

Lower Volga Cruise However, if you like a combination of downtown, luxury hotels in Moscow and St Petersburg with a leisurely cruise between, then the Volga Dream is for you. For those not wanting to compromise on accommodation, the cabins on the Volga Dream and on the Rostropovich are as good as 5-star standard hotel rooms with real beds, large picture windows and all the other extras you would expect from a luxury hotel. What better way to pass the time between ports than to curl up in a leather armchair with a good book from the well stocked library on the Volga Dream. The ambience is one of a London gentlemen’s club without the cigars.

If you’re cruising between Moscow and St Petersburg whichever ship you choose the ports of call will be the same. If your aim is purely to see the best of both of these incredible cities, combined with visiting some fascinating and lesser known riverside towns and islands, if you prefer the comfort and predictability of not having to unpack and re-pack or having to decide where and when to eat, which excursions to book or how to occupy the evenings then the Chernishevsky will fit the bill. This boat is very popular so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. For a full list of departure dates visit our website.

Board the Volga Dream in Moscow and embark upon a 13-day voyage along the Volga River and down the River Don to the gateway of the Caucasus — Rostov-on-Don. Cruise to the attractive city of Astrakhan — home to over 30 bridges and many canals and discover why this city is called the Venice of Asia. Visit Yaroslavl, one of the loveliest cities of the Golden Ring, stop at Nizhni Novgorod, home to political exiles for years, admire Kazan’s city skyline of minarets and onion domes and travel to Volgograd — formerly known as Stalingrad — where the most famous battle in WWII took place. Visit our website for a full day-by-day itinerary.

RUSSIA

River Cruises - Perfect For Cruising on the famous Volga River offers some incredibly scenic highlights and is perfect for those wanting to experience beyond Russia’s main cities to ancient towns and fairytale islands. Fans of religious architecture will be impressed by striking churches and incredible monastery complexes. Whilst on board nature lovers will appreciate the beautiful pastoral countryside gently drifting by. 1690

1714

1937

1990

Church of St Dmitry on the Blood built by Romanovs

Kizhi Church of the Transfiguration constructed without nails

Moscow Canal connects Moskva River with Volga River

Kizhi Pogost added to UNESCO World Heritage list

1703

1917

1939

1996

St Petersburg founded by Peter the Great

Bolsheviks seize state power in October Revolution

Stalin’s Uglich Dam floods parts of the town

Mandrogi traditional village reconstructed

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Volga Dream Luxury River Cruise Board the luxurious MS Volga Dream I and choose between two different programmes , Gold or Platinum. This itinerary is ideal for travellers looking to explore both the Russian countryside and the treasures of Russia’s grandest cities in style. Discover the iconic sights in Russia’s capital before setting sail along the Volga River to the beautiful Golden Ring city of Uglich. Stop at Russia’s oldest city Yaroslavl, dock in Goritsy for a tour of the Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery, admire Kizhi’s onion-domed masterpiece and finally, spend time exploring the grand city of St Petersburg. About the Volga Dream With 50 beautifully appointed air-conditioned guest cabins, the Volga Dream is one of the most luxurious vessels cruising on Russia’s waterways. The 60 crew members offer an unprecedented level of service to the 109 guests onboard. Each cabin comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, safe and a mini-bar. Cabins on the Cabin Deck have portholes and guests staying on the Main Deck, Promenade Deck and Boat Deck can enjoy views of the passing countryside through large picture windows. Facilities on board include the Neva Lounge and bar, Ladoga Bar, souvenir boutique, a wellstocked library with internet access, a 24 hour tea and coffee station, beauty salon, laundry service, and a fitness centre with sauna.

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All meals are included on the cruise and the very best of traditional Russian cuisine and international flavours is offered along with extraordinary personal service and attention to detail. Every day a buffet lunch is served in the restaurant with international dishes inspired by the local produce bought onshore that day. On sunny days guests are invited up on to the Boat Deck to enjoy alfresco dining and a barbecue lunch whilst beautiful views of the Volga River drift by. In the evenings the chef brings a la carte dining to the table each night, from fresh steamed sturgeon to a rack of lamb or steak au poivre, tiger prawns or authentic Russian borsch. At lunch and dinner a complimentary choice of red or white wine is served and for those wanting something more special, the Maitre D’ will be glad to offer a selection of fine wines to accompany the meal.

Volga Dream Gold Either side of the cruise, 5-star accommodation is provided at the Hotel Marriott Aurora in Moscow and the Kempinski Moika 22 in St Petersburg meaning your luxury holiday doesn’t just begin and end on the boat. Enjoy daily sightseeing in small groups of no more than 25. Volga Dream Platinum The Volga Dream Platinum caters for those discerning travellers who prefer to travel privately or in an intimate group. This programme includes accommodation in the finest hotels, the opulent St. Regis Moscow Hotel Nikolskaya in Moscow and St Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe. Group size on excursions is no more than 15, and a special early entrance to the Hermitage Museum is also included. Separate visits are made to the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin and the Museum of Cosmonautics. Gourmet meals are included in restaurants in Moscow and St Petersburg.

Itinerary Day 1 Moscow | Fly to Moscow and transfer to 5-star hotel. In the evening there is a welcome meeting with the local guide. Day 2 Moscow Gold Programme Enjoy an orientation city tour of Moscow which includes Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, the GUM Department Store and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Continue to the famous Novodevichi Cemetery which holds the tombs of famous Russians. Free afternoon to explore Moscow on your own. (B)

Platinum Programme This morning visit the Kremlin and Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and Fabergé eggs. Continue to the Diamond Fund to see Catherine the Great’s diamond encrusted coronation crown and the 190 carat Orlov Diamond. (B,L) Day 3 Moscow Gold Programme This morning explore the Kremlin and visit the Armoury Museum with its collection of Tsarist thrones, ceremonial crowns, coaches and gifts of state. Continue to the beautifully frescoed 15th-century Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals. Free afternoon to explore Moscow on your own. (B) Platinum Programme This morning visit the Kremlin and Armoury Museum to view its collection of opulent coronation finery, hand-forged armour and weapons, royal carriages and sleighs, and dazzling Fabergé eggs. Continue to the Diamond Fund to see Catherine the Great’s diamond encrusted coronation crown and the 190 carat Orlov Diamond. After lunch visit the Museum of Cosmonautics to learn about Yuri Gagarin’s first flight in space and see a variety of space-related exhibits including the models of Sputnik and Soyuz. (B,L) Day 4 Moscow Gold Programme Free morning to explore Moscow at leisure. In the afternoon, visit to the Tretyakov Gallery, the first museum dedicated to Russian fine art,


River Cruises

Moscow’s Kremlin at night

Moscow’s metro, known for its architectural grandeur and then transfer to the luxurious Volga Dream. Meet for the Captain’s welcome reception and dinner as the cruise begins. (B,D) Platinum Programme Morning visit to the Tretyakov Gallery. After lunch explore Moscow’s metro before transferring to the luxurious Volga Dream. Meet for the Captain’s welcome reception and dinner as the cruise begins. (B,L,D) Day 5 Uglich | Admire the Cathedral of the Resurrection as the ship approaches Uglich and step ashore to embark upon a walking tour of this Golden Ring city. Discover the 17th century Chapel of St Dmitry on the Blood, explore the five-domed Church of the Transfiguration and enjoy a concert of choral music. (B,L,D) Day 6 Yaroslavl | Arrive in Yaroslavl and admire the city skyline dotted with onion domes and towering spires. The city was unharmed during WWII and many of the churches from the 13th and 17th centuries are still intact. Visit the Saviour Transfiguration Monastery and the 17th century Church of Elijah the Prophet. In the afternoon and evening on board learn how to cook Russian food. (B,L,D) Day 7 Goritsy | Today, sail on the White Lake, once known as the Tsar’s fishing grounds. Dock in Goritsy and tour the KirillovBelozersky Monastery, founded by the hermit Saint Cyril. The monastery contains the 13th century Cathedral of the Assumption, with superb frescoes. Tonight on board enjoy some Russian vodka tasting with dinner. (B,L,D) Day 8 Kizhi | Cruise to the picturesque island of Kizhi. On a walking tour of the island discover the magnificent Church of Transfiguration which was constructed without using a single nail and spend time exploring the open-air Museum of Wooden Architecture. (B,L,D) Day 9 Svir River and the Village of Mandrogi | Cruise the scenic Svir River, which connects Lake Onega and Lake Ladoga. Disembark in Mandrogi to experience daily life in a quaint wooden village. Visit the local crafts centre to

see how the famous matrioshka dolls are hand painted. (B,L,D) Day 10 St Petersburg | Arrive in St Petersburg. This captivating city was founded by Peter the Great in 1703. Built on a group of islands connected by bridges, it is one of the great art cities of the world. (B,L)

rivers and canals. (B,L) Day 13 Fly to the UK | Free morning before transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Gold Programme Morning city tour of St Petersburg including Peter and Paul Fortress, burial place of the Romanov monarchs. Afternoon visit to the renowned Hermitage Museum. Platinum Programme Enjoy a city tour of St. Petersburg and after lunch visit the Faberge Museum which contains the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Faberge, including eggs commissioned by the Russian Royal family. Day 11 St Petersburg Gold Programme This morning depart for a half day sightseeing tour to Peterhof. Visit the Grand Palace and Lower Park. The lavish décor of the buildings is rivalled only by its famous Grand Cascade of fountains. Free afternoon to explore St Petersburg on your own. (B) Platinum Programme This morning, avoid the crowds and visit the famed Hermitage Museum before they officially open. In the afternoon continue to Peterhof, returning to St Petersburg by hydrofoil. (B,L) Day 12 Catherine’s Palace | This morning visit Catherine the Great’s Palace and see the restored Amber Room, once deemed the “eighth wonder of the world”. Take time to stroll in the formal gardens and enjoy lunch at Podvorie, a restaurant in a traditional Russian log house. (B,L) Gold Programme After lunch, return to St Petersburg and visit the Faberge Museum. (B,L) Platinum Programme En route to St Petersburg visit a ‘Russia in Miniature’ Interactive Museum. In the evening board a small river boat for a tour around the

Tour duration

13 days

Holiday type

River Cruise Guided Excursions

Departures Moscow to St Petersburg 25 May, 20 Jun, 6 Jul, 18 Jul, 30 Jul, 11 Aug, 24 Aug, 7 Sep, 21 Sep St Petersburg to Moscow 2 Jun, 14 Jun, 12 Jul, 5 Aug, 17 Aug, 30 Aug, 13 Sep, 27 Sep Prices from (per person twin-share) Gold £2345 Platinum £3245 Price includes flights, accommodation, standard cabin on the cabin deck, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

MS Shaskov or MS Chernishevsky River Cruise From Russia’s cosmopolitan capital, Moscow, to the splendours of imperial St Petersburg, explore Russian landscapes and ancient towns on a 12-day tour. Both 3-star, four-deck vessels feature comfortable outside cabins offering great views of the passing countryside. Continental and Russian cuisine, plus regional specialities are served on board. With plenty of cruising time guests can relax in the sauna, enjoy the music room and on board evening entertainment.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Fly to Moscow and transfer to the boat. In the evening enjoy a welcome dinner on board. (D) Day 2 Moscow | Embark on a tour of the capital by coach. Visit Red Square, admire the multi-domed St Basil’s Cathedral, and discover the Lenin Mausoleum and the Bolshoi Theatre. (B,L,D) Day 3 Moscow | Enjoy a morning excursion to the Kremlin and one of the cathedrals located within the grounds. Spend some free time at leisure before the ship departs Moscow in the evening. Perhaps book a half-day tour to the Kremlin’s Armoury. Speak to a Regent Russia Specialist for more details. (B,L,D) Day 4 Uglich | Despite its funny sounding name, Uglich is one of Russia’s most picturesque towns and is best viewed from the river. Visit the renowned green-domed Cathedral of Transfiguration and the Church of St Dmitry on the Blood. In the evening enjoy a gala dinner hosted by the Captain. (B,L,D) Day 5 Yaroslavl | Arrive in the historic city of Yaroslavl, located at the confluence of the Volga and Kotorosi Rivers. On a sightseeing tour see the 17th century Church of Elijah the Prophet which stands in the city’s centre and is Yaroslavl’s most beautiful church. (B,L,D) Day 6 Goritsy | The ship arrives in Goritsy in the afternoon. Here, enjoy an excursion to Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. This incredible medieval complex stretches out along the shore of the Siverskoye Lake and is one of the largest and best-preserved buildings in northern Russia. (B,L,D)

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Day 7 Kizhi | The ship reaches the tiny

fairytale island of Kizhi on the northern shore of Lake Onega. Explore the openair Museum of Wooden Architecture, a fascinating collection of over 90 historic wooden buildings, and discover the beautiful Church of the Transfiguration. (B,L,D) Day 8 Mandrogi | The ship arrives at Mandrogi. Relax and enjoy a picnic on the riverbank. (B,L,D) Day 9 St Petersburg | Depart on a sightseeing tour of St Petersburg by coach visiting key sights for photo-stops including the Admiralty Building, Battleship Aurora, Winter Palace and St Isaac’s Cathedral. (B,L,D) Day 10 St Petersburg | Spend the morning at the Hermitage Museum exploring the world’s largest collection of artefacts including sculptures, archaeological finds and paintings from famous artists such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. In the afternoon enjoy a tour of one of St Petersburg’s most famous attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof. (B,L,D) Day 11 St Petersburg | Enjoy a free day in St Petersburg to explore at leisure or book optional excursions. Perhaps choose to visit Catherine Palace, located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo. Explore its legendary Amber Room and spend time exploring the immaculately kept grounds and gardens. (B,L,D) Day 12 Fly to the UK | Enjoy the morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

12 days

Holiday type

River Cruise Guided Excursions

Departures MS Shaskov Moscow to St Petersburg 9 May, 30 May, 20 Jun, 11 Jul, 1 Aug, 22 Aug, 12 Sep, St Petersburg to Moscow 20 May, 10 Jun, 1 Jul, 22 Jul, 12 Aug, 2 Sep, 23 Sep Departures MS Chernishevsky Moscow to St Petersburg 23 May, 13 Jun, 4 Jul, 25 Jul, 15 Aug, 5 Sep, 26 Sep St Petersburg to Moscow 13 May, 3 Jun, 24 Jun, 15 Jul, 5 Aug, 26 Aug, 16 Sep Prices from Moscow - St Petersburg £1795 St Petersburg to Moscow £1690 Price includes flights, standard cabin on board, transfers, meals as specified and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


River Cruises

The Lena River

Siberian Lena River Cruise Board the MS Mikhail Svetlov in Yakutsk, one of the major port towns on the Lena River and embark on a journey along the Lena River — one of the longest rivers in the world. Discover remarkable rock formations and uninhabited areas and take in the changing landscape of Siberia before reaching the Arctic Circle, where small settlements are home to reindeer breeders and the summer sun never sets.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Yakutsk | Fly to Yakutsk. Transfer to the river port and board the Mikhail Svetlov. On an optional city tour of Yakutsk discover the impressive collection of historical artefacts at the Museum of Local Lore, including one of the world’s only complete woolly mammoth skeletons. (D) Day 2 Lena Pillars | Arrive at Lena Pillars, a natural rock formation stretching 80 kilometres along the banks of the Lena River. Admire this natural phenomenon from a viewing platform in the taiga. (B,L,D) Day 3 Cruising | Cruise on the Buotama rivermouth, near the village of Bulgunnyahtakh. In 2006, wood buffaloes were brought to the area from Canada with the aim of restoring the bison herd in Yakutia — the historical homeland of the animals. View the bison and learn about their reacclimatisation to life in Russia. (B,L,D) Day 4 Cruising | The journey reaches a section of the Lena River that enters the CentralYakut lowland. The ship follows the route of the Aldan River, one of the largest tributaries of the Lena River, surrounded by the stunning Verkhoyansk Mountains. (B,L,D) Day 5 Zhigansk | Cruise to Zhigansk, where the population of 3,000 is mainly concerned with hunting, fishing and cattle breeding. Tour the town, where it is possible to buy fur boots made from reindeer hide. (B,L,D) Day 6 Kusur | Visit Kusur, a small settlement in the north of the Arctic Circle. Here the men are engaged in reindeer husbandry and hunting and the women make beautiful traditional clothes decorated with fur and beads. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Tiksi | Arrive at the town of Tiksi, the most northerly point of the tour. Here, the sun appears day and night over the summer months until it disappears for a long winter. Tour the town and surrounding tundra, and visit the Regional Museum. (B,L,D)

reaches the village of Sottintsy. Here visit the local museum dedicated to Russian explorers and the lifestyle of the first settlers. (B,L,D) Day 14 Depart Yakutsk | Arrive back in Yakutsk early in the morning. Transfer to the airport. (B)

Day 8 Cruising | Spend a full day on board cruising along the Lena River. Today the ship reaches the Arctic Ocean where the Lena River ends, cutting through mountains of solid rock forming a series of canyons and granite walls rising up to 400 metres high. (B,L,D) Day 9 Siktyakh | Today sail to Siktyakh, a small village with around 300 inhabitants, located on the picturesque high bank of the Lena River not far from the mouth of the Siktyakh River. It was founded by messengers of Catherine the Second, who arrived to collect Yasak, a fur tax exacted from the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Visit the small wooden Orthodox church from that time in the village. (B,L,D) Day 10 Polar Circle | Spend the day cruising in the Polar Circle. During the winter solstice (December 21-22) northward of the Polar Circle the sun does not rise at all and during the summer solstice (June 21-22) the sun does not set. During the trip the ship will cross the Polar Circle in the Zhigansky district. (B,L,D) Day 11 Cruising | Spend a full day on board the ship. Pass the border of the Polar Circle en route to Agraphena Island. (B,L,D) Day 12 Cruising | Enjoy a full day cruising. Pass one of the widest points of the Lena River at the confluences with its main tributaries — the Vilui and Aldan rivers. Admire this spectacular area, home to over 40 islands. (B,L,D) Day 13 Sottintsy | In the afternoon the ship

Tour duration

14 days

Holiday type

River Cruise Guided Excursions

Departures

8 Jul, 24 Jul, 7 Aug, 21 Aug

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£2700 £410

Price includes standard cabin on board, transfers, meals as specified and sightseeing tours. Price excludes flights, Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Trans-Siberian

The Inside Story For more than a century, the Trans-Siberian trains have chugged across the world’s largest country and past the world’s deepest lake regardless of weather, revolution or political upheaval, providing an essential link for families and traders alike.

Story to tell Christina Gibbons

Transporting refugees, exotic and mundane goods and those seeking a new life, these are working trains not designed for luxury. As fellow travellers you will share your days with many varied nationalities and your most vivid memories will be from these chance meetings as much as from the scenery and typical Soviet facilities. Trace the history of this intriguing region as you pass through iconic cities and towns such as Yekaterinburg where the Romanovs met their end, Ulan Ude with its unique Buryat culture and oversized monument of Lenin’s head, and Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal, with its fine Decembrist architecture.

Why I love the Trans-Siberian Get to know your carriage attendant! These people will be all-powerful during the journey and make good allies. They clean your compartment and the bathroom, tell you how long the train will stop for, lock your compartment whilst you are eating in the restaurant wagon and most importantly will wake you when it’s time to get off!

Disembark at Ulaanbaatar to explore the vast Gobi Desert or make Datong your last stop if you plan to make the onward journey to South Korea by ferry.

Trans-Siberian Route (Distance from Moscow in km) 0 Moscow

RUSSIA

1,816

2,712

4,098

Yekaterinburg

Omsk

Krasnoyarsk

191

1,436

2,144

3,335

Vladimir

Perm 2

Tyumen

Novosibirsk


Trans-Siberian

Regent Recommends Stop at Yekaterinburg

Stop at Irkutsk

Stop at Ulaanbaatar

Named after two Catherines — Peter the Great’s wife and the Russian patron saint of mining — Yekaterinburg has a rich and varied history which is well worth uncovering. Probably most famous as the location where the Romanovs met their end in 1918 and also as the birthplace of Boris Yeltsin, this prosperous, gem-rush town is also a great base for exploring the Ural mountains. Stay for two nights and enjoy excursions to the Romanov Monastery complex as well as the Europe-Asia Obelisk and perhaps even experience a real Russian banya. Ask a Regent Russia Specialist to include our Yekaterinburg stop-over as part of your tailor-made journey.

After travelling 5,178km from Moscow, break the journey with a stop at Irkutsk – the gateway to beautiful Lake Baikal. A two night stay in this historic city will allow for a full day excursion to the shore of the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake which stretches for nearly 400 miles through southeastern Siberia. Surrounded by mile-high snow-capped mountains, the region is a unique area of natural beauty, and in the summer months it’s possible to travel by hydrofoil to the lakeshore settlement of Listvyanka at the source of the Angara River. Ask a Regent Russia Specialist about including a stop at Irkutsk on your tailor-made TransSiberian tour.

If you’re travelling through to Beijing, a stop in Mongolia’s quirky capital is a must. Spend a night in the city and discover Ulaanbaatar’s communist history and decorative monasteries before transferring to the more serene Terelj National Park for two nights. Stay in a Mongolian ger camp, visit an ancient Buddhist temple, and meet a nomadic family to learn about the traditional way of life. For those with more time to spare, perhaps consider taking the train from Ulaanbaatar to Sainshand to explore the incredible East Gobi before continuing on to Beijing. Call a Regent Russia Specialist on 020 7666 1294 for more information about stopping in Mongolia.

Trans-Siberian - Perfect For For travellers who recognise it’s the journey and not the destination that matters, a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway cannot be beaten. Those wanting to experience Russia beyond Moscow and St Petersburg will find many historic cities, authentic working towns and picturesque landscapes along the route, providing an in-depth glimpse into this vast region.

5,642 Ulan-Ude

MONGOLIA

5,925

7,013

Sukhbaatar

Dzamyn Ude

7,483 CHINA

Datong

5,178

5,900

6,304

7,023

7,865

Irkutsk (for Lake Baikal)

Dozorny

Ulaanbaatar (for Gobi Desert)

Erlian

Beijing

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Trans-Siberian Specialist on 020 7666 1294

87


Kazan Kremlin

Trans-Siberian on the Luxury Tsar’s Gold Train One of the greatest railway journeys in the world, enjoy this iconic route in true style aboard the luxury Tsar’s Gold Private Train. Watch the ever-changing landscapes of Russia, Mongolia and China roll by from your comfortable cabin, enjoy vodka and caviar tasting on board and make regular stops to discover the highlights of this classic route. Please note that this journey is also available Moscow to Beijing.

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive Beijing | Arrive in Beijing and enjoy an afternoon city tour including the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square. (D) Day 2 Beijing | Discover some of Beijing’s greatest sights on a tour to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. In the evening enjoy a Peking duck feast. (B,L,D) Day 3 Beijing to Mongolia | Visit the Forbidden City before joining the train for the overnight journey to Mongolia. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Lake Baikal | Arrive at the old station of Port Baikal. Enjoy a short boat ride on the lake and if the night is warm, a picnic dinner will be served on the shore before re-boarding the train. (B,L,D)

Day 4 Gobi Desert | Journey through the vast Gobi Desert to the border and change to the private train. Visit Erlian to explore the colourful border market before travelling towards Mongolia’s capital. (B,L,D)

Day 9 Irkutsk | Check in to the Irkutsk hotel for one night and enjoy a tour of the city including the lively market hall. An afternoon excursion to the open-air museum gives an insight into bygone Siberian life. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Ulaanbaatar | Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel for two nights. Embark on a tour of the city including the Choijin Lama Temple. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Mongolian music performance. (B,L,D)

Day 10 Eastern Siberia | Continue through Eastern Siberia with its mountains, crystalclear rivers and verdant slopes. Back on board the train enjoy caviar and vodka tasting. (B,L,D)

Day 6 Ulaanbaatar | Visit Gandan Monastery and the Mongolian Alps, known for their stunning rock formations. Lunch in a yurt is followed by a demonstration of Mongolian horsemanship and wrestling. (B,L,D)

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Day 7 Ulan Ude | Continue the journey through the valley of Selenga before arriving in Ulan Ude where the train joins the TransSiberian Railroad. Enjoy a guided city tour before resuming the journey. (B,L,D)

Day 11 Novosibirsk | Pull into Siberia’s largest city and enjoy a traditional Russian welcome of bread and salt. Embark on a city tour and admire views of the Ob River before the train continues westwards. (B,L,D)

Day 12 Yekaterinburg | Stop in the capital of the Ural Mountains and enjoy a short tour of the city centre to discover the newly erected Cathedral-on-the-Blood where Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, and members of his family were executed by revolutionaries during the Russian Civil War. (B,L,D) Day 13 Kazan | Arrive in Kazan, the old Tartar capital on the banks of the Volga, and enjoy a guided tour of the city. The city’s Kremlin is a highlight, with a colourful mishmash of architecture dating from the 16th to the 21st century. (B,L,D) Day 14 Moscow | End the train journey in Moscow and check in to the hotel for one night. Visit the Kremlin with its glorious cathedrals and enjoy an evening city tour including Red Square. (B,L,D) Day 15 Fly to the UK | Continue the sightseeing in Moscow with a guided city tour before transferring to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

15 days

Holiday type

Railway Tour, Fully Guided

Departures

Beijing to Moscow 14 May, 11 Jun, 7 Jul,

30 Jul, 25 Aug, 17 Sep

Moscow to Beijing 6 May, 3 Jun, 29 Jun, 22 Jul, 17 Aug, 9 Sep

Prices from

£3995 per person

Price includes accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes flights, Russian Visa (see pages 110-111).


Trans-Siberian

On Board With a relaxed and informal atmosphere on board, and dedicated conductors on hand 24 hours a day, the Tsar’s Gold Private Train can accommodate up to 200 passengers. The train has four restaurant cars with bar service and modern air-conditioned carriages. Travellers can choose from six accommodation categories — Standard, Classic, Superior and Nostalgic Comfort categories have shared facilities and the Bolshoi and Bolshoi Platinum categories offer en suite amenities. International and traditional Russian cuisine is served in the dining cars and each of the restaurant cars operates as a bar and lounge after dinner. Drinks can be purchased from the conductors in each carriage and the dining car where Euros, Russian Roubles and US Dollars are all accepted.

Moscow Kazan

Yekaterinburg Lake Baikal

Novosibirsk

Irkutsk

Ulan Ude

Ulaanbaatar

Erlian

Gobi Desert

Beijing

89 www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Trans-Siberian Specialist on 020 7666 1294


Tobolsk Kremlin

The Alternative Trans-Siberian Group Tour You’ve heard of the epic Trans-Siberian Railway, but have you heard of Tobolsk, Perm or Birobidzhan? This 18-day journey travels along the world’s most famous railway line, but stops to explore lesser-visited cities. Each carefully-chosen stop delves into a different unusual part of the railroad’s history. Explore Soviet-era autonomous Jewish regions, discover the largest Karst cave systems in Russia and travel to Siberia’s former capital city.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Moscow | Fly to Moscow, transfer to your hotel and enjoy an evening cruise along the Moskva River. (D) Day 2 Moscow | Today visit Red Square before catching the train to Perm. (B) Day 3 Perm | Perm was a closed city during Soviet times due to the production of military equipment and although it remains heavily industrialised, investments in art and culture are creating a bustling town. (B) Day 4 Kungur Ice Cave | Visit Kungur Ice Cave, a 5km-long karst cave system on the banks of the Sylva River. This system of underground halls is filled with rocks and vast ice stalactites of unusual shapes and sizes. Take the evening train to Tobolsk. Overnight on board. (B) Day 5 Tobolsk | Head off the main line to reach Siberia’s former capital, Tobolsk, and visit its magnificent Kremlin. Until the early 20th century it remained a centre for exile. Involuntary guests included Fyodor Dostoevsky and Tsar Nicholas II. Day 6 Tobolsk | Take a trip to Abalak Tourist Complex to see traditional Siberian wooden architecture, visiting the ‘Ded Moroz’, the Russian Father Christmas, and ‘Baba Yaga’, the witch of Russian fairy tales. (B)

90

Day 7 Tobolsk to Novosibirsk | Board the overnight train to Novosibirsk. (B) Day 8 Novosibirsk | Visit Novosibirsk’s History of Trans-Siberian Railway Museum. Here the train station is the biggest along the rail line, the Library is the largest in Siberia and the Opera and Ballet Theatre is the biggest in Russia. (B) Day 9 Novosibirsk to Ulan Ude | Explore freely. Perhaps visit Akademgorodok, a deserted soviet town built for the Russian Academy of Sciences, slowly awakening with bars, coffee shops and a new generation of scientists. Board the overnight train to Ulan Ude. (B) Day 10 On Train | Spend the day on the train, passing Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk. Overnight on board. Day 11 Ulan Ude | Today the train skirts Lake Baikal’s southern shores and arrives in Ulan Ude. Check in to your hotel for two nights. Day 12 Ulan Ude | Sample Ulan Ude’s Mongolian cuisine and visit Ivolginsky Datsan, a Buddhist monastery in the Khamar-Daban Mountains. Ulan Ude largely resisted Sovietisation but the main square displays Communist architecture and a giant Lenin head. (B)

Day 13 Ulan Ude to Birobidzhan | Take the early train to Birobidzhan, travelling further west overnight. (B) Day 14 Birobidzhan | In Birobidzhan, learn about the city’s turbulent history as an autonomous Jewish region established in 1929 by the Soviet government, and the waves of imprisonments that followed. Day 15 Birobidzhan to Khaborovsk | Take the early train to Khabarovsk. On the sandy banks of the Amur River, Khabarovsk feels more like a coastal town than a bustling Siberian city. Explore 19th-century Russian architecture and visit the Far Eastern Railway Museum. (B) Day 16 Khaborovsk to Vladivostok | Explore Khabarovsk before boarding the evening train to Vladivostok. (B) Day 17 Vladivostok | Vladivostok is far more than just the railway’s eastern terminus. On the Pacific coast, it is a tranquil place to stretch your legs after the journey and visit the Arsenev Regional Museum. Day 18 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK via Moscow. (B)

Tour duration

18 days

Holiday type

Group Tour

Departure

15 Sep

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£3990pp £330

Price includes accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Prices excludes flights, Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Trans-Siberian

Ulan Ude

Moscow to Vladivostok on the Imperial Train Travel along the world’s longest railway in style on the luxury private Imperial Train from Moscow to Vladivostok. Stop to explore grand Siberian cities like Kazan, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk and picnic by Lake Baikal. This tour is ideal for those who want to discover the romance and history of the Trans-Siberian Railway without compromising on comfort, neatly avoiding wondering where to lay your head each night or trying to fathom rail timetables in Cyrillic.

Itinerary Day 1 Arrive in Moscow | Arrive in Moscow. Transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Day 2 Moscow to Kazan | Explore the sights of Moscow, visiting the Kremlin with its Cathedrals and Red Square and wander the famous Arbat Street before boarding the private chartered Imperial Russia Train to Vladivostok. (B,L,D) Day 3 Kazan | Kazan, the sparkling capital of the Tartarstan Autonomous Republic perched on the banks of the Volga. Tour the city’s impressive Kremlin adorned with sparkling domes and tall minarets and learn the secrets of the Tartar Cuisine. (B,L,D) Day 4 Yekaterinberg | Pull in to Russia’s third capital – Yekaterinburg, founded in 1723 by Peter the Great. Visit the famous Church on Blood where Tsar Nicholas II was executed and travel to the west to reach the obelisk that marks the continental boundary of Asia and Europe. (B,L,D) Day 5 Novosibirsk | Roll into Novosibirsk, a small Siberian town that grew into a city due to its position on the Trans-Siberian line. Watch the Ob River flow 2,300 miles from its source to the Arctic and visit the largest opera theatre in Russia, Lenin Square and the Novosibirsk Railway Museum. (B,L,D) Day 6 On the train | Watch the Siberian landscape glide past the window from the comfort of the train as you journey on and enjoy activities and lectures on board. (B,L,D) Day 7 Irkutsk | Arrive in Irkutsk, one of the oldest Siberian cities on the banks of the mighty Angara River. Walk through

neighbourhoods of old wooden buildings and discover Siberian architecture before visiting the Ethnographical museum. (B,L,D) Day 8 Lake Baikal | Take a ferry to the lakeside village of Listvyanka and visit the Baikal Museum and wander through the local market. Enjoy a picnic on the shore of Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and oldest freshwater lake. (B,L,D)

Monument to Fighters, Nikolai Arch and the Marine station. Head over to Russky Island whose preserved fortifications illustrate its fascinating Soviet era military history. (B,L,D) Day 14 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. (B)

Day 9 Ulan Ude | Formerly closed for foreigners, Ulan Ude is now the capital of the Buryat Autonomous Republic and home to the largest Lenin’s head statue. Stop by a Buryat family yurt to learn how to erect a yurt and sample traditional dishes. (B,L,D) Days 10-11 On the train | Siberia at its most remote and mysterious unfolds before you as the train follows the Shilka and Amur Rivers and continues on to Khaborovsk. (B,L,D) Day 12 Khaborovsk | Enjoy a city tour of Khaborovsk. Continue by train to Vladivostok. Day 13 Arrive in Vladivostok | Explore Russia’s San Francisco, with mountains springing up above Vladivostok’s network of bays. Stroll through its historical centre and see the Tour duration

14 days

Holiday type

Railway Tour, Fully Guided

Departures

Moscow to Vladivostok 21 Jul Vladivostok to Moscow 1 Aug

Prices from Per person twin share £4995 Price includes accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Prices excludes flights, Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Trans-Siberian Specialist on 020 7666 1294

91


Terelj National Park, Mongolia

Moscow to Beijing Trans-Siberian A once-in-a-lifetime journey of 7,865km, travelling on the regular service train from Moscow to Beijing is the ultimate railway adventure. Regent Holidays can tailor-make your ideal Trans-Siberian holiday, planning your stops and excursions en route. Speak to a Russia Travel Specialist for our recommendations – perhaps stop in Irkutsk for a full-day tour to the shores of great Lake Baikal, opt to overnight in Yekaterinburg to explore the Romanov Monastery complex or disembark at Ulaanbaatar for a journey into the heart of Terelj National Park.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Moscow | Arrive in Moscow and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Day 2 Moscow | Explore Moscow at leisure or book optional excursions. With a wealth of world-class sights on offer including the Kremlin, St Basil’s, Red Square and the Tretyakov Gallery, it won’t be difficult to keep busy. Take an evening transfer to the railway station for the train to Irkutsk. (B) Days 3-5 On Train | From the comfort of your compartment, watch some of Russia’s most historically important cities pass by, including Yekaterinburg, Omsk and Novosibirsk. Day 6 Irkutsk | Arrive in Irkutsk, transfer to the hotel and check in for two nights. (B)

for the train to Mongolia. Spend two nights aboard, and stop at the border town of Naushki to change trains. (B)

Day 14 Beijing | End the epic journey on arrival in Beijing, China’s historic capital, which begs to be explored.

Day 10 Terelj National Park | Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and transfer by car to Terelj National Park for two nights in a traditional ger camp. A sightseeing tour of the area includes a visit to an ancient temple and optional horse riding. (L,D)

Beijing Add-On Spend three days exploring the remnants of China’s imperial past, from the Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven to the fast-disappearing Hutongs. Enjoy day tours of Beijing and the Great Wall and stay at a centrally-located 4-star hotel. Speak to a Regent Trans-Siberian Specialist for more details.

Day 11 Terelj National Park | Continue the exploration of Terelj National Park with a visit to a nomadic family to learn about their lifestyle, sample local produce and help erect a traditional ger. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Lake Baikal | Embark on a full-day excursion to the small Siberian village of Listvyanka, scenically perched on the shores of the great Lake Baikal. In the summer months travel one way by hydrofoil, returning by car via the Taltsy Ethnographic Museum. (B,L)

Day 12 Ulaanbaatar | Transfer back to Mongolia’s bustling capital for lunch followed by a city tour. Here, stark Soviet structures and chaotic modern shopping streets contrast dramatically with the serenity of quiet monastery courtyards. In the evening, enjoy a folk concert with dinner. (B,L,D)

Days 8 & 9 Train to Ulaanbaatar | Transfer from the hotel to Irkutsk Railway Station

Day 13 Train to Beijing | Transfer to the railway station for the overnight train to Beijing. Tour duration

14 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided

92

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from

£2125 per person

Price includes accommodation in 2nd class, 4-berth compartment, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Please contact us for prices to upgrade to a 1st class 2-berth compartment. Price excludes flights, Russian & Chinese Visas (see pages 110-111)


Trans-Siberian

Vladivostok Railway Station

Moscow to Vladivostok Trans-Siberian The true Trans-Siberian, this incredible rail journey from Russia’s opulent capital to its easternmost coast traverses an unbelievable seven time zones. Vladivostok, a naval outpost forbidden to foreigners for so long, is now well and truly open for business. The suggested itinerary below includes a stop at Irkutsk for Lake Baikal — the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. Contact a Regent Trans-Siberian Specialist to tailor-make this epic railroad journey, including stops at your chosen Siberian towns and cities, or in reverse from Vladivostok westwards.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Moscow | Arrive in Moscow and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Day 2 Moscow | Enjoy a free day in Moscow to explore the capital’s historic treasures at leisure or book optional excursions. Take an evening transfer to the railway station for the train to Irkutsk. (B) Days 3-5 Train to Irkutsk | Pass through Perm, Yekaterinburg and Omsk on the train to Irkutsk. Yekaterinburg Add-on Ask a Regent Trans-Siberian Specialist about stopping in Yekaterinburg for two nights. An attractive, prosperous city located in the foothills of the Urals, Yekaterinburg is located on the border of Europe and Asia and is famed as the place where the Romanovs were murdered. Here you can experience a real Russian banya or take part in various seasonal activities from ice-fishing and snow safaris to gentle rafting on the River Serga or mountain biking in the Urals. Day 6 Irkutsk | Arrive in Irkutsk, transfer to the hotel and check in for two nights. Perhaps spend time exploring the city with its ornate Decembrist cabins and colourful Orthodox cathedrals.

Day 7 Lake Baikal | Embark on a full-day excursion to the small Siberian village of Listvyanka, scenically perched on the shores of the great Lake Baikal. In the summer months travel one way by hydrofoil, returning by car via the Taltsy Ethnographic Museum. (B,L)

Day 12 Depart Vladivostok | Fly back to Moscow or perhaps opt to take an onward flight to Pyongyang (Thursdays only) to join one of our North Korea tours. (B)

Days 8-10 Train to Vladivostok | Transfer from the hotel to Irkutsk Railway Station for the train to Vladivostok. (B) Ulan Ude Add-on Ask a Regent Trans-Siberian Specialist about stopping in Ulan Ude for two nights. The capital of the Buryat Republic and formerly a Cossack garrison, Ulan Ude became an important trading post on the tea route between China and Irkutsk. Visit the impressive Ivolginsky Datsan — a Tibetan Buddhist monastery — or experience ancient Russian culture in a village of ‘Old Believers’, whose inhabitants still dress and worship as their ancestors did. Day 11 Vladivostok | Arrive early in the morning and transfer to the hotel for an overnight stay. Explore the city at leisure, perhaps strolling along the waterfront at Korabelnaya Embankment to catch a glimpse of the Pacific Fleet. Tour duration

12 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from

£1495 per person

Price includes accommodation in 2nd class, 4-berth compartment, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Please contact us for prices to upgrade to a 1st class 2-berth compartment. Price excludes flights, Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Trans-Siberian Specialist on 020 7666 1294

93


Belarus

The Inside Story Still a largely rural economy, Belarus is a land of picturesque villages, wide plains, forests, lakes and national parks where bison, bears and wolves can be found. It may not be the most talked about of countries, but it does have its place in history.

Story to tell Christina Gibbons

Polotsk, the oldest city in the country, boasts an ancient cathedral, fortress and convent, Brest, enjoys WWII Hero City status, 20th century artist Marc Chagall was born in Vitebak and Russia signed the agreement which declared the dissolution of the Soviet Union in Viskuli. Despite the capital’s lack of sights from the pre-war years, travellers can still find many reminders of the Soviet period in Minsk. Communist-era buildings and statues of Lenin are now mixed in with a generous helping of fine restaurants, trendy cafés, art galleries and sophisticated shops.

Why I love Belarus The history of the Soviet Union has always intrigued me and travelling to Belarus is like stepping back in time to a bygone era. Society here is incredibly safe and wellordered; I always feel extremely welcomed and comfortable in Belarus.

Travel outside of the capital to discover the beautiful 16th century fairytale castle in Mir, and the former palace home of the Radzivili family in the historic settlement of Njasvizh, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

1067

1307

1654

1863

1921

First mention of Minsk in the Hypatian Code

Belarus fully incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Minsk conquered by troops of Tsar Alexei of Russia

Anti-Tsarist uprising led by Kastus Kalinouski quashed

Treaty of Riga divides Belarus between Poland and Soviet Russia

1129

1569

1793

1918

‘White Russia’ absorbed by the Grand Princes of Kyiv

Poland annexes Belarus after the Treaty of Lublin

Minsk annexed by Russia as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland

Proclaims independence as the Belarussian National Republic


Belarus

Regent Recommends Best of Western Belarus

Minsk City Break

Chernobyl Heart

Explore the sights and towns to the west of Minsk including Grodno, one of the oldest cities in Belarus and Brest, a former border town of the Soviet Union on this 8-day tour of Belarus. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a Belarusian family and a visit to the Railway Museum in Brest to see a locomotive named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the KGB. Over 1,300 sq km of primeval forest in Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, not only survives but thrives here, providing a breathtaking and evocative glimpse into the kind of landscape that was once abundant across Europe but is now scarce. The park is also home to the last European bison population.

Discover reminders of Soviet times in Minsk, with its communist-era blocks, Parliament Building and statue of Lenin in Independence Square. Admire Stalin-era grandiose gems including the Post Office, GUM Department Store and Palace of Culture and take a tour to the intriguing Stalin Line — fortifications which protected the Soviet Union from Western aggression. Perhaps enjoy a stroll along Nezavisimosti Prospect (Independence Avenue) to visit key landmarks such as the architecturally impressive National Library of Belarus. In the evening witness this modern capital city come to life with fine restaurants, sophisticated bars and buzzing live music venues.

Chernobyl Heart is a UK-based charity raising funds to buy equipment for Gomel Children’s Hospital in southeast Belarus, many of whose young patients are suffering the long-term after-effects of the 1986 nuclear disaster. Visit the website at www.chernobylheart.org.uk to find out more and make your donation securely online.

Belarus - Perfect For For lovers of military history and the Soviet period Belarus has it all – visit the Stalin Line Open-Air Museum, where you can experience the living conditions of the troops inside the pill boxes and battlements as well as clamber over tanks and other military hardware from World War II and the Cold War. Fans of “Violin Playing Goats” will certainly want to include a visit to Vitebsk, birthplace of Surrealist artist, Marc Chagall. 1945

1991

1998

2011

Becomes one of founding members of the United Nations

Declares independence as the Soviet Union breaks up

Value of Belarus rouble halved and food rationing imposed

President Lukashenko inaugurated for a fourth term in office

1941

1986

1994

2001

Nazi Germany invades; more than 2 million Belarusians are killed

Chernobyl nuclear disaster contaminates a quarter of the country

Alexander Lukashenko becomes president

Elections criticised as undemocratic after Lukashenko re-elected

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Belarus Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Minsk

Cultural Landscapes of Belarus Belarus is a fascinating country found right in the heart of Europe, criss-crossed by ancient trade routes from west to east and north to south. Over the centuries it has suffered from numerous invasions but this has added to its rich history and culture, not to mention the heroism of its people. Sightseeing is varied from medieval towns with their preserved fortresses and churches to the stark architecture of the Soviet times.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Minsk | Fly to Minsk and transfer to the hotel and check in for 3 nights.

Continue to Brest and check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B)

Day 2 Minsk | Enjoy a morning city tour of Minsk including the main highlights such as Independence Square, Victory Square with its 38 metre-high obelisk and the Island of Tears. In the afternoon visit the Stalin Line Open-Air Museum. The Stalin Line was the main defence to protect Minsk from the advancing German Army. Experience the living conditions of the troops inside the pill boxes and battlements, as well as clambering over tanks and other military hardware from World War II and the Cold War. (B)

Day 5 Brest to Grodno | Morning city tour of Brest including the famous Brest Hero Fortress, a majestic Soviet style war memorial which was constructed on the site of the 1941 battle, to commemorate the known and unknown defenders of the Hero-Fortress. In the afternoon drive to Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park before continuing to Grodno to check in to the hotel for two nights. (B)

Day 3 Minsk | This morning visit Khatyn and Glory Mound. The memorial complex of Khatyn commemorates the site of the village which was burnt by the Nazis. See the outline of the streets and from the former chimney tops, bells toll as a sobering reminder. From Khatyn travel to the Glory Mound, a monument set on top of an artificial hill. The monument was constructed to honour the Soviet Army, which liberated Belarus from the Nazis in 1944. Soil from nine “Hero Cities” of the former Soviet Union and from World War II battlefields was brought handful by handful to make the artificial hill alongside the Minsk to Moscow highway. Enjoy a free afternoon in Minsk. (B)

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Day 4 Minsk to Brest | Drive to Brest with a stop en route at Nesvizh Castle, which was once owned by the noble and powerful Radzivill family, until the Red Army seized the property in 1939. It was rebuilt over the centuries so many times that it has myriad architectural styles including Renaissance, Baroque, Neo-Gothic to name but a few.

Day 6 Grodno | Enjoy a morning walking tour of Grodno, one of the oldest cities in Belarus founded in the 11th-century on the banks of the Neman River. Highlights include St Gleb Church, also known as Kalozha Church. (B) Day 7 Grodno to Minsk | Return to Minsk with a visit en route to the medieval town and UNESCO Heritage Site of Mir. The construction of this 16th-century Gothic-style castle complex was started by Duke Ilinich, before passing to the Radzivill family, who completed it in a Renaissance style. Continue to Minsk and check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Morning transfer to airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Fully Guided

Departure

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share

£1890

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours. Price excludes Belarus and Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)


Belarus

The statue of Lenin, Minsk

A Journey from Minsk to Kaliningrad Starting from the Soviet style capital of Belarus to the little known Russian enclave of Kaliningrad this individual itinerary will introduce you to three very diverse former communist states. This itinerary is based on three-star central hotels with bus and train tickets, as well as a private transfer from Lithuania to Kaliningrad. We can of course tailor-make this tour to suit you if you would prefer to stay longer in any one place or upgrade the hotels.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Minsk | Fly to Minsk and transfer to the hotel for three nights.

afield such as Thomas Mann’s summer house and the eerie ‘Hill of Witches’. (B)

Days 2 & 3 Minsk | Follow a route from Independence Square to October Square and get your fill of Stalin-era grandiose gems including the Post Office, GUM Department Store and Palace of Culture. Much of Belarus was destroyed in World War II, and there are still reminders everywhere of this tragic period of history, but the capital, Minsk, has filled the former areas of destruction with well-tended lawns and flower beds. There is a surprisingly good choice of restaurants and bars at very reasonable prices. (B)

Day 8 Nida to Kaliningrad | Take a private transfer from Nida to Kaliningrad. Under Soviet rule the former wealthy port of Konigsberg changed dramatically to the present day Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, separated from the motherland by Lithuania and Belarus. Check in to the hotel for three nights. (B)

Day 4 Minsk to Vilnius | Take the train from Minsk to Vilnius. There are several departures daily and the journey takes around 4½ hours. Arrive in Vilnius and check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 5 Vilnius | Discover unspoiled winding streets and a church on every corner in the picturesque Baroque Old Town. Take the funicular from the Lower to the Higher Castle for views across the rooftops. To learn more of the country’s recent history, pay a visit to the Museum of Genocide Victims in the former KGB headquarters. (B) Day 6 Vilnius to Nida | Take a bus from Vilnius to Nida. There are several departures a day and the journey takes around 5 hours. Check in to the hotel for two nights. (B) Day 7 Nida | This ancient fishing town is brimming with quaint, timber houses painted in a variety of bright colours and boasts a lovely, cosmopolitan beach perfect for some relaxing bathing. The quaint fishing village of Nida is an ideal base from which to explore places further

Days 9 & 10 Kaliningrad | Meander through the delightful tree-lined former German neighbourhoods and discover the remains of the old city gates, in particular the Dohna Tower which contains the Amber Museum. Make time to visit the World Ocean Museum, on a former Soviet research vessel, and the old Foxtrot-class Soviet submarine. (B) Day 11 Kaliningrad to Klaipeda | Take a local bus to Klaipeda, Lithuania’s third largest city and the only link between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. (B) Day 12 Klaipeda | Take a stroll around the charming Old Town with its slightly hodgepodge attempts of reconstruction following World War II, visit one of many interesting museums and galleries including the excellent Martynas Mazvydas Sculpture Park, or stay out late and sample the vibrant nightlife. (B) Day 13 Klaipeda to Vilnius | Take the local bus to Vilnius, where the best way to immerse yourself in the medieval streets and alleys of Vilnius’ Old Town, is on foot or an escorted cycle tour. (B) Day 14 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

14 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Departure

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1095 £370

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, bus and train tickets Price excludes Belarus and Russian Visa (see pages 110-111)

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Belarus Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Moldova The Inside Story Tucked between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is a hidden gem with a sleepy provincial capital, a rich cultural heritage and a thriving wine industry. Discover the remains of medieval fortresses and archaeological complexes, take time to explore the capital, Chisinau, and to travel to the Soviet throwback self-proclaimed republic of Transdniestr.

Story to tell Peter Wybrow

Chisinau hasn’t quite shaken off its communist heritage with its 20th century Soviet architecture but this is tempered by tree-lined boulevards, picturesque parks and a vibrant nightlife. Venture out of town to the fortress at Soroca, home to a large gypsy population who live in lavish mansions, join the monks at the spectacular Orheuil Vecha cave monastery, tour the vineyards on the Wine Route and relax at the thermal springs of Cahul. Transdniestr is an enigma where the Soviet Union lives on. However, in Tiraspol, where Socialist banners and monuments to Soviet heroes abound, smart shops and chic restaurants are making an appearance so be sure to visit soon before it loses its quirky nature.

Why I love Moldova For me Chisinau is Eastern Europe’s friendliest capital, but be sure to venture further afield to explore the surreal communist throwback republic of Transdniestr. Only here can you buy a framed photo of Stalin at the post office or have your photo taken aboard a Soviet T-34 tank in the central square.

14th - 15th C

1812

1920

1940

1945

Principality of Moldavia established between Dniester River and Carpathian Mountains

Treaty of Bucharest hands Eastern Moldova to Russia and Western Moldova to the Ottomans

Treaty of Paris recognises union of Bessarabia with Romania

Russia annexes Bessarabia to form Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic

Soviet Union regains control

16th - 19th C

1918

1924

WWII

Russia and Ottoman Empire fight for Moldavian territory

Bessarabia declares independence following Bolshevik revolution in Russia

Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic founded by the Soviet Union

Romanian puppet regime installed in Moldavian SSR


Moldova

Regent Recommends Chisinau City Break

Moldova Purcari Break

ChildAid

Discover a blend of 19th century and Soviet architecture in Moldova’s capital Chisinau, famous for having more green spaces than any other city in Europe. Wander through Cathedral Park, where the city’s Orthodox Cathedral and the Holy Gates can be found, take a stroll along the Alley of Classics in Stefan cel Mare Central Park, and be entertained by the changing of the goose-stepping guards every hour in Memorial Park. Explore the open-air military exhibition at the National Army Museum and visit the cottage where Russia’s national poet, Alexander Pushkin, wrote The Prisoner of the Caucasus and other classics. Ask a Moldova Specialist about 3, 4 or 5-star hotel options.

Once known as the vineyard of the Soviet Union, Moldova has a vibrant wine industry, so choose Regent’s tailor-made short break and enjoy a tasting of the finest wines in the country. Staying in the capital Chisinau, travel to Purcari Winery and sample varieties such as Rosu de Purcari and Negru de Purcari — thought to be a favourite of Queen Elizabeth II — and tour Cricova Wine Cellars, an underground wine city housing a huge collection of exclusive wines. With free time to spare, ask a Regent Moldova Specialist to include a trip to Orheiul Vechi’s picturesque cave monastery. Visit our website for a suggested dayby-day itinerary.

As the poorest country in Europe, Moldova has limited resources to care for its disabled children. British charity, ChildAid, works with Hippocrates rehabilitation centre in Chisinau to provide free treatment to over 200 children from the poorest families each year. We can arrange visits to Hippocrates where you can meet the staff and learn more about their work. Any gifts, clothes or toys for the children are gratefully appreciated. ChildAid is running an appeal to raise vital funds — to find out more, make a donation or sponsor a child please visit their website www.childaidrr.org.uk

Moldova - Perfect For Moldova was once known as the ‘vineyard of the Soviet Union’ and its proud wine-producing heritage remains today; wine lovers will find countless delights here at producers such as the Milestii Mici winery, which boasts the largest wine cellar in the world, and the many modern, family-run vineyards that are popping up. 1989

1992

1994

2006

Romanian reinstated as official language

Becomes member of United Nations

New constitution grants special autonomy status to Transdniestr region

Protests against a Russian decision to suspend imports of Moldovan wine

1980s

1991

1993

2001

2012

‘Era of Openness’ results in resurgence of Moldovan nationalism

Gains independence after collapse of Soviet Union

Moldovan leu replaces Russian rouble as currency

Communist leader Vladimir Voronin becomes president

Newly elected President Timofti identifies European orientation as priority

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Moldova Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Curchi Monastery

Undiscovered Moldova From your base in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, discover the highlights and history of this tiny country. Explore the Orheiul Vechi cave monastery, spend a day in the breakaway communist republic of Transdniestr and taste Moldova’s finest wines – a country once known as the vineyard of the Soviet Union. If you opt to join our October tour, you will also have the opportunity to experience Chisinau’s annual Wine Festival.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Chisinau | Fly to Chisinau, transfer to the hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner at a typical Moldovan restaurant. (D) Day 2 Chisinau | Embark on a walking tour of Moldova’s capital. Discover the shops and restaurants lining Chisinau’s main street, stop at the Central Cathedral and admire the Parliament building. This tour allows you to spend time in Stefan cel Mare Park, where granite sculptures of Romanian literary figures line the Alley of Classics. In the afternoon visit Capriana Monastery. Our October tour has been designed to coincide with the annual Wine Festival and includes wine tasting at some of the Moldovan winery stands. (B,L) Day 3 Causeni & Purcari Winery | Travel to Causeni to visit a wonderfully preserved church from the Tatar-Mongolia era of the 15th century. Continue to Purcari Winery – the oldest wine estate in Moldova. Established in 1827, Purcari Winery is located in the southwest of Moldova where the soil and climate provide the perfect environment for the production of red wines. Enjoy a tour of the cellars followed by a wine tasting. (B,L)

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Day 4 Cricova, Tipova & Orheiul Vechi Enjoy an excursion to Cricova Wine Cellars, one of Moldova’s most popular wineries. Travel north to visit Tipova, one of the oldest cave monasteries in the country, before continuing to one of Moldova’s most famous and impressive sights – Orheiul Vechi. This remote and unique cave monastery, created by Orthodox monks in the 13th century, is carved into a limestone cliff. Visit a museum detailing the traditional life of 19th century Moldovan farmers. (B,L) Day 5 Soroca, Pokrovka & Rudi | Travel to the city of Soroca, located on the Nistru River. Visit the medieval fortress which played a key role in defending the country from the Turks and see the Candle of Gratitude monument which was built to commemorate those who have created and preserved the national culture of Moldova. Explore the traditional village of Pokrovka before a short excursion to Rudi Nunnery and Kalarashevka Monastery. (B,L) Day 6 Gagauzia | Drive south and explore the Gagauzia region, an area of three towns and more than 20 villages scattered throughout the three districts of Comrat, Cedar-Linga

and Vulcanesti. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the capital Gaguzia-Comrat, visit the National Gagauz History and Ethnographic Museum and visit a thoroughbred racehorse stud farm in Ceadir-Lunga. (B,L) Day 7 Transdniestr | Today spend the day exploring Transdniestr, a self proclaimed independent republic inside Moldova, with its own currency, police force and border guards. Located 40 miles southeast of Chisinau in the Nistru Valley, the administrative capital, Tiraspol, is considered to be a living museum of Soviet culture. With a population of 200,000, the city has its share of Lenin statues and monuments such as a T-34 tank on a pedestal. Whilst here, tour the Historical Museum and visit the Kvint brandy factory to sample some of the region’s high quality cognac before embarking upon a sightseeing tour of Tiraspol. Return to Chisinau in the evening. (B,L,D) Day 8 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

17 Jun & 7 Oct 2017

Group size

Min 10, Max 16

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1515 £225

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Moldova

House of Soviets, Tiraspol

Essential Moldova Based in Moldova’s quirky capital of Chisinau, a series of day trips give you a taste of this tiny country. Moldova was known as the vineyard of the former Soviet Union and it is easy to see why when this trip visits Milestii Mici, where cavernous wine cellars await. Visit the nearby spectacular Orheiul Vechi cave monastery. Orthodox monks carved out the monastery in the 13th century and today a handful of monks are slowly restoring the caves.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Chisinau | Fly to Chisinau, transfer and check in to the hotel for five nights. Day 2 Chisinau | Free day in Chisinau to explore at leisure or book optional excursions. Chisinau is often referred to as ‘Small Rome’ as it lies over seven hills. However, the similarity ends there. Tree-lined boulevards and numerous parks make Chisinau feel more like a sleepy provincial capital than the Eternal City. There are plenty of excellent restaurants, all offering varieties of Moldova’s national treasure – its wine. (B) Day 3 Milestii Mici | Today visit the Milestii Mici Winery, where the tour explores the old traditions of winemaking in Milestii Mici. The qualified wine manufacturer will show you the underground cellars, where the huge barrels of wine are aged and you will learn the old traditions of winemaking. There is a special tasting hall designed in medieval style with wooden tables and benches. Here you will try various brands of wine and a small snack. (B) Day 4 Tiraspol | Today visit the capital of Transdniestr, a self proclaimed independent republic, which has dreams of joining Russia. Located 40 miles southeast of Chisinau in the Nistru Valley, Tiraspol is considered to

be a living museum of Soviet culture. With a population of 200,000 the city still has its share of Lenin statues, monuments like a T-34 tank on a pedestal and retained names of its streets like Lenin Street. During the city tour you will see the Pokrov Church (Intercession of the Virgin), the Republican Drama and Comedy Theatre, Central Post Office, the Lenin and Suvorov Monuments, Kirov Square, and the ruins of the Srednyaya Fortress (on the outskirts of town). (B) Day 5 Orheiul Vechi | Today journey to Orheiul Vechi, an historical monastery complex, situated 40 miles away from Chisinau, on the site of the Moldovan medieval city Orhei. Here visit the 19th-century Adormirea Maicii Domnului Church, see the remains of GetoDacian fortress, a functioning cave monastery, as well as the ruins of the old Turkish bath. Also included is a traditional lunch in a typical 19th-century Moldovan house, where you can sample some traditional Moldovan cuisine. (B,L) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Private, Guided

Departure

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£799 £150

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Moldova Specialist on 020 7666 1294

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Ukraine

The Inside Story Tragically Ukraine has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently and together with our local partners and friends we are monitoring the situation closely. A ceasefire was agreed on 5 September 2014 between Ukraine, Russia and the separatists. Travel to Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts are still off limits but these areas were never on any tourist map in the first place.

Story to tell Peter Wybrow

City breaks to Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa are still possible, as well as exploring off-the-beaten track cities such as Chernivtsi, Kamenets Podilsky and Uzhgorod in West Ukraine. Dazzling frescoes, old cathedrals and charming baroque and Renaissance architecture fill the popular cities of Kyiv and Lviv, where numerous art galleries, cafés and museums line the cobbled streets.

Why I love Ukraine I have recently visited Ukraine for the first time and I loved it! It has everything for a memorable holiday – vibrant cities, incredible architecture, fabulous beaches, wonderful mountain scenery and great vodka!

Venture into the dramatic Carpathian Mountains, where the ethnic Hutsul people follow their traditions in hidden valleys, and hike to the peak of the highest mountain, Goverla, for superb panoramas. Pose for a photograph on the Potemkin Steps in Odessa or delve into Ukraine’s tragic past on a day trip to Chernobyl where the worst nuclear disaster of the 20th century took place.

989

1775

1921

1945

1986

Kyivan Rus established as the first eastern Slavic state

Catherine the Great orders the destruction of the Cossack settlement at Zaporizhzhya

Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic established as Russian Red Army conquers two-thirds of Ukraine

Allied victory in WWII leads to Soviet annexation of western Ukrainian lands

Reactor at Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes killing thousands

1554

1917

WWII

1960s

Fiercest band of Cossacks – the Zaporizhzhya Sich – set up on an island in the Dnipro River

Central Rada (Council) set up in Kyiv following collapse of Russian Empire

Suffers terrible devastation under Nazi occupation until 1944

Increase in covert opposition to Soviet rule


Ukraine

Regent Recommends Chernobyl

Kyiv & Lviv Twin Centre

In true Regent style, dare to go where few tourists have been before and venture inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone. Chernobyl is a place ever synonymous with the massive nuclear disaster that rocked the Soviet Union and the world in 1986. Now, three decades later, the levels of radioactivity have dropped to safe levels and we offer adventurous travellers the opportunity to explore this area on our exclusive 6-day Kyiv and Chernobyl Group Tour which also includes Kyiv’s olpulent golden-domed cathedrals. We can also arrange tailor-made trips to Chernobyl for individuals and private groups.

This tailor-made itinerary combines the grandiose and cosmopolitan city of Kyiv with the cultural and elegant city of Lviv. Gaze at golden-domed churches, discover architectural treasures and shop for souvenirs and Soviet memorabilia in the capital before travelling by overnight train to Lviv, a city noted for its UNESCO World Heritage status. Marvel at the town’s unique architecture. Spend leisurely afternoons in Viennese-style coffee houses or perhaps enjoy a night at the city’s famous Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Choose to stay in either 3, 4 or 5-star hotels and ask a Regent Ukraine Specialist about including a day trip to Chernobyl from Kyiv.

Kyiv & Carpathian Mountains Combine a city break in Kyiv with a relaxing stay in the beautiful and dramatic Carpathian Mountains. Spend days exploring the wonders of Kyiv before flying to Lviv for a transfer by car to the Radisson Blu Resort, Bukovel in the Carpathian Mountains. Here, either enjoy skiing in the winter or hill walking in the summer. This new luxury hotel which opened in 2012 is located in the little village of Polianitsia in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and is not far from Bukovel in the Carpathian Mountains, which with its 51 kilometres of pistes of varying difficulty and length is Ukraine’s biggest and best equipped winter destination.

Ukraine - Perfect For History buffs will find plenty of points of interest in Ukraine. In Kiev, or rather Kyiv, visit the excellent National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War with its far-reaching views over the River Dnieper. Fans of religious architecture will be fascinated by stunning churches and unique cave monasteries where you can browse the crypts filled with mummified monks. 1991

1996

2000

2010

2014

Ukraine declares independence following attempted coup in Moscow

Andrea Godfrey, Regent Programme Manager, moves to Kyiv to manage a travel agency

Chernobyl nuclear power plant shut down, 14 years after the accident

Parliament votes to abandon NATO membership aspirations

Euromaidan Uprising and the Crimean Crisis

1988

1994

1997

2004

2012

Prominent writers and intellectuals set up Ukrainian People’s Movement for Restructuring (Rukh)

L. Kuchma becomes president and moves to reform economy

Friendship treaty signed with Russia

“Orange revolution” leads to a fairer second election; Yushchenko becomes president

Euro 2012 Football Championship held in Poland and Ukraine

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Ukraine Specialist on 020 7666 1294

103


Kyiv

Kyiv & Chernobyl Despite its time in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Ukraine remains one of Regent’s favourite destinations. This unique tour offers a fascinating insight into the country’s past and present. Compare the opulence of Kyiv’s golden-domed cathedrals with the stark remains of Chernobyl, touring inside the Exclusion Zone including one night in Chernobyl itself, staying in a small hotel built for scientific advisors monitoring the radiation.

Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Kyiv | Arrive in Ukraine’s capital, check in to the hotel for two nights and spend the evening at leisure. Day 2 Kyiv | Enjoy a full day city tour of Kyiv including Kreschatyk – the capital’s main street, the Golden Gates, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery and the Chernobyl Museum. After lunch explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra (Cave Monastery) with its cluster of golden domes overlooking the Dnieper River. Visit the Great Patriotic War Museum, established in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of liberation from the Nazi invaders, and now the country’s leading research and educational centre of military history, home to over 300,000 exhibits. Spend the evening at leisure. (B,L)

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Day 3 Kyiv to Chernobyl | Depart Kyiv and travel around 70 miles to Chernobyl, a place ever synonymous with the massive nuclear disaster that rocked the Soviet Union in 1986, for an unparalleled insight into one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters. Once through the control checkpoint at the outer boundary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone, an introductory presentation gives an informative history of the area. In the afternoon, head further into the zone to visit the exterior of Reactor No. 4, only recently declared safe and opened to curious visitors, and take an extended tour of the ghost city of Pripyat. Once home to 50,000 residents, Pripyat now lies abandoned and overgrown. The plant workers and their families were evacuated the day after the catastrophe. Visit sites such as the school, sports centre,

swimming pool and iconic ferris wheel – a haunting symbol of the tragedy. Return to Chernobyl for dinner and an overnight stay in the small hotel built for scientific advisors – a truly unique experience. (B,L,D) Day 4 Chernobyl to Kyiv | Continue the indepth tour of Chernobyl today, visiting further sites in and around Pripyat, including the Cooling Reservoir. Meet the locals who have, despite government warnings, decided to resettle inside the zone. 80% of the selfsettlers remaining are women, now mostly in their 70s and 80s, creating a unique community of babushkas who refuse to leave the motherland. Depart Chernobyl for Kyiv and check in to the hotel for two nights on arrival. (B,L) Day 5 Kyiv | Make use of a free day in Kyiv to discover the capital’s mix of Soviet-inspired architecture and grand Kyivan Rus complexes at leisure. Perhaps opt to stroll down Andrew’s Descent, (Andriyivsky Uzviz) where souvenir stalls, art galleries and restaurants line the quirky cobblestone streets. Stop to admire the baroque beauty of St Andrew’s Church, built in 1754 by the Italian architect who designed St Petersburg’s Winter Palace. At the foot of the Uzviz, the histories of the Descent’s buildings are told in the Museum of One Street. We recommend making time to stop for a bowl of borscht topped with sour cream for an authentic taste of Ukraine. Speak to a Regent Holidays Travel Specialist about booking tickets for an evening performance at the State Operetta Theatre or National Philharmonic Hall. (B) Day 6 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

6 days

Holiday type

Group Tour Fully Guided

Departure

2 Jun, 25 Aug & 29 Sep

Group size

Min 8, Max 15

Prices from Per person twin share £960 No single room supp Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours.


Ukraine

Lviv

Essential Ukraine This is an ideal itinerary for first time visitors to Ukraine. Using convenient overnight trains, we link up the main but diverse cities in Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa. In Kyiv, explore architectural treasures such as the 11th century St. Sophia Cathedral and the Caves Monastery. In Lviv, spend afternoons in Viennese-style coffee houses, before continuing to Odessa to visit the famous Potemkin Steps and explore the region’s rich maritime history.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Kyiv | Fly to Kyiv and transfer to your hotel for 4 nights. Day 2 Kyiv | Spend three days exploring Ukraine’s capital at leisure. Explore the underground caves of the Pechersk Lavra monastery and be sure to venture inside St. Sophia’s Cathedral to gaze at the wellpreserved frescoes and mosaics. (B) Day 3 Kyiv | Although controversial, the Monument to the Friendship of Nations is still a popular sight to visit, probably due to the fact its location offers a wonderful view of the city and Dnieper River. From here follow the footbridge to Trukhaniv Island where cafés, restaurants and the city’s beaches can be found. (B) Day 4 Kyiv | Perhaps consider taking a day trip from Kyiv and gain an insight into the Chernobyl story from past to present and learn about the massive nuclear disaster that rocked the Soviet Union and the world in April 1986. Speak to a Regent Ukraine Specialist about booking this trip in advance. (B) Day 5 Kyiv to Lviv | Morning transfer from the hotel to the train station in Kyiv and board the day train to Lviv. On arrival in Lviv transfer to the hotel for three nights. (B)

Day 6 Lviv | Start your exploration of Lviv in Market Square at the heart of the Old Town, but be aware you could spend the whole day here. Sixteenth-century Market Square has cobbled, winding roads, palaces, fountains, statues and myriad architectural styles, including Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic. Be sure to visit the handmade chocolate shop. Keep a look-out for its large glass windows which offer a fantastic view of the in-store chocolate factory. (B) Day 7 Lviv | Day at leisure to explore further. (B) Day 8 Lviv to Odessa | Free day before taking the overnight train to Odessa. (B) Day 9 Odessa | Arrive in Odessa and check in to the hotel for three nights. In this laidback town, the famous Potemkin Steps lead down to the Black Sea and Ukraine’s biggest commercial port. (B) Day 10 Odessa | Make time to wander along Deribasivs’ka Street, a colourful and energetic route jam-packed with restaurants, bars and cafés, and head to Vorontsov’s Palace to explore the adjoining park complex and enjoy fantastic views of the Black Sea coastline. (B) Day 11 Odessa | Day at leisure to perhaps relax on one of Odessa’s many beaches. (B)

Day 12 Fly to the UK | Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Tour duration

12 days

Holiday type Tailor-made Unguided Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£695 £230

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Ukraine Specialist on 020 7666 1294

105


Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University

Cultural Landscapes of Western Ukraine The perfect introduction to lesser-visited Western Ukraine. Starting in the former Habsburg city of Lviv, journey through the Carpathian mountains on an 8-day private tour to visit bustling cities and small local villages for a taste of daily life in rural Ukraine. Discover ancient castles and picturesque wooden churches, spend time in Yaremcha, Chernivtsi and Ternopil, and visit the impressive Pochaiv Monastery.

Suggested Itinerary Day 1 Fly to Lviv | Arrive Lviv, transfer to your hotel and check in for two nights. This is the largest city in Western Ukraine and has far less visible Soviet influence than many of Ukraine’s large cities. In fact, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts pretty Central European-style architecture with cobbled streets and tram lines. Day 2 Lviv | Awake in Lviv and embark on a sightseeing tour that takes you through the city’s historical Rynok Square. The tour continues in the afternoon to reach Vysoky Zamok (High Castle) hill. In the evening, relax at your hotel or perhaps opt to enjoy a ballet at the Opera House. (B) Day 3 Lviv to Yaremcha | Today set off for Yaremcha to enjoy a walking tour of one of the most popular resorts of Ukraine, visiting its traditional handicraft market. Continue to the village of Bukovel for the afternoon and take a lift to the top of a hill for the best view of the surrounding mountain ranges. In the evening, return to Yaremcha to check in to the Krasna Sadyba Hotel. (B)

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Day 4 Yaremcha to Chernivtsi | In the morning drive to Chernivtsi and see its Byzantine-style red-bricked university and the twisted cupolas of St Nicholas. The city of Chernivtsi is located in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, on the banks of the Prut River. The town is an old outpost of the Habsburg Empire and once had a large Armenian, Jewish and German population. Check in to the Bukovyna hotel in the city centre for one night. (B) Day 5 Hotyn & Kamyanets-Podilsky Castles After breakfast, head towards Hotyn for a sightseeing tour which includes the city’s picturesque medieval castle, looking out over the Dniester River. Continue to the town of Kamyanets-Podilsky, one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, which is situated on the territory of the national park Podillia. Here you will explore its old castle, the Armenian quarter and the Cathedral of Peter and Paul. In the afternoon, make your way to Ternopil and check in to the Ternopil hotel for one night. (B)

topped monastery has been the foremost spiritual centre for Orthodox denominations in Western Ukraine for centuries. Continue to Olesko Castle, a monument from the 14th -17th century, and see its rich collection of paintings and sculpture. In the afternoon, return to Lviv and check in to the Hotel Panorama for two nights. (B) Day 7 Lviv | Spend the day at leisure. Perhaps wander the cobblestone streets and relax in a coffee house, or set off to explore the architecture of this UNESCO listed site. (B) Day 8 Fly to the UK | After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)

Day 6 Ternopil to Lviv | The impressive Pochaiv Monastery (Orthodox) tops today’s itinerary. This gleaming white, gold dome-

Tour duration

8 days

Holiday type

Tailor-made Fully Guided

Seasonality

Year-round

Prices from Per person twin share Single room supp.

£1275 £250

Price includes flights, accommodation, meals as specified, transfers and sightseeing tours


Ukraine

Kyiv

Kyiv City Breaks What’s in a name? Kiev or Kyiv. You might notice we spell the capital city of Ukraine in two different ways. Well, Kiev is the recognised transliteration of the name of the city in Russian, and also the old Ukrainian name which has been used for centuries (by the likes of national hero, Taras Shevchenko, no less) right back to the times of Kyivan Rus. Kyiv meanwhile is the transliteration of the modern Ukrainian name of the city and the official name as far as all legal and political issues are concerned. Following the establishment of an independent Ukraine in 1991, there was a move by many Ukrainians to favour Kyiv as it symbolised a departure from all things Russian, and indeed Kyiv is now used by the UN and many other official bodies as the correct name.

When to go The month of May is always an interesting time to visit Kyiv. On Victory Day, the 9th, the whole city lines the streets to commemorate those who died in World War II and to witness the colourful pomp and ceremony of the parading military. Kyiv Days Festival, usually on the last weekend of the month, sees Kyiv transformed into an open-air stage, hosting live concerts, dance performances and spectacular nightly firework displays.

Prices Kyiv city break prices are per person and include three nights accommodation with breakfast and return flights in economy class with Ukraine International and all airport taxes.

HHH Hotel Rus Prices from £325pp twin-share The Hotel Rus is located in the centre of Kyiv, offering panoramic views of the impressive Olympiyskiy Stadium. A 5-minute walk takes you to Khreshchatyk Street and the nearby Palats Sportu metro station. Enjoy the hotel’s large buffet breakfasts and Ukrainian and European food served at lunch, as well as a sushi bar.

HHH Hotel Impressa Prices from £399pp twin-share The intimate Hotel Impressa is one of Kyiv’s most charming and understated hotels. Located in the centre of the historic capital of Kyiv, its 18 cosy rooms are individually decorated and include airconditioning, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and modern bathrooms. Enjoy complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant “Chito Gvrito”.

HHHH Radisson Blu Kyiv Prices from £520pp twin-share The Hotel Radisson Blu is located in the historical centre of Kyiv, just a short walk to St Sophia Cathedral and the Golden Gates. The Hotel offers 255 modern rooms fully equipped with free high speed Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and satellite TV. Guests can savour Italian cuisine at Mille Miglia Ristorante & Enoteca.

HHHHH Eleven Mirrors Design Hotel Prices from £770pp twin-share Ukraine’s leading boutique hotel, the Eleven Mirrors Design Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Kyiv, just a few metres from the National Opera House. Its contemporary design runs throughout the hotel and each of the 49 rooms and suites offers panoramic city views. Dine in the Eleven Mirrors restaurant, before relaxing by the fireplace with a cocktail in hand at the bar.

www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Ukraine Specialist on 020 7666 1294

107


Specialists in the Alternative for over 40 years Our Brochure Collection

Iceland & the Arctic Winter

Iceland & the Islands Summer

ICELAND

ICELAND | GREENLAND

GREENLAND

FAROE ISLANDS

LAPLAND

LAPLAND | FINLAND

FINLAND

NORWAY | ARCTIC VOYAGES

NORWAY

AZORES

This collection of Regent’s favourite hotels, tours and experiences is designed with Aurora hunting in mind. Whether you want to chase the mystical northern lights in a jeep designed for adventure, race across the icy wilderness on a sledge pulled by huskies, drift off to sleep in a cosy glass igloo or relax in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, our Iceland & the Arctic Specialists can book your ideal winter holiday.

108

Take to the open road and explore Iceland’s black sand beaches, dramatic waterfalls and imposing glaciers as well as discovering breathtaking crater lakes in the Azores and the beautiful fjords in Norway. Witness the magnificent midnight sun, drift off to sleep in a lighthouse in Finland, or embark on an unforgettable Arctic cruise around Spitsbergen in search of polar bears and narwhals.


Alternative Asia

Small Group Tours

CENTRAL ASIA | MONGOLIA

ABKHAZIA | ALBANIA | AZORES | BALTICS | BALKANS

CHINA | TAIWAN | BHUTAN

BELARUS | BHUTAN | BORNEO | BOSNIA | BURMA | FAROE

NORTH KOREA | SOUTH KOREA

ISLANDS | IRAN | KAZAKHSTAN | MACEDONIA | MOLDOVA

BURMA | INDOCHINA

MONTENEGRO | NAGORNO KARABAKH | NORTH KOREA

BORNEO | INDONESIA

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | RUSSIA | ROMANIA | SERBIA | SLOVENIA

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

TAJIKISTAN | TURKMENISTAN | UKRAINE | UZBEKISTAN

Perfect for those who want to travel further afield, this brochure features inspirational content and travel tips. From exploring Taiwan by train, hiking the hills in Bhutan, discovering the secret world of North Korea or sampling Sichuan cuisine in China you’ll find a selection of our favourite group tours, tailor-made holidays and alternative short breaks inside as well as our brand new destination Papua New Guinea.

Our small group tours brochure features pioneering tours designed by our destination experts that will send you well off-the-beaten-track. In this 2017 collection you will find tours to our newest destination and breakaway state, Abkhazia, cultural journeys through Iran, a special one-off tour celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution as well as a selection of our popular classics.

109 www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Specialist on 020 7666 1294


Country Information & Visas

Country City January

Temperature Average High/Low °C Time GMT Currency April July October

Visa Information for UK Passport Holders

Albania

Tirana

12/2 18/8 31/17 23/11

+1

Lek

Austria

Vienna

2/-2 16/6 24/15 15/7

+1

Euro

N/A

Belarus

Minsk

-3/-8

+3

Belarusian Rouble

REQUIRED Through CIBT

Bosnia

Sarajevo

3/-4 15/5 26/13 16/6

+1

Convertible Mark N/A

Bulgaria

Sofia

2/-4 16/5 26/15 17/8

+2

Lev

N/A

China

Beijing

1/-10

+8

Yuan

REQUIRED Through CIBT

Croatia

Zagreb

3/-4 14/5 26/14 15/7

+1

Kuna

N/A

Czech Republic

Prague

0/-5

+1

Koruna

N/A

Estonia

Tallinn

-4/-10 6/0 20/13 10/3

+2

Euro

N/A

Hungary

Budapest

2/-4 17/6 27/15 16/5

+1

Forint

N/A

Kosovo

Prishtina

3/-5 16/5 27/12 18/5

+1

Euro

N/A

Latvia

Riga

-4/-11 9/0 22/10 11/5

+2

Euro

N/A

Lithuania Vilnius

-5/-11 12/3 23/11 10/3

+2

Euro

N/A

Macedonia Skopje

05/-3 20/4 32/14 19/6

+1

Macedonian Denar N/A

Moldova

Chisinau

-1/-5 16/5 28/16 17/8

+2

Leu

Montenegro Podgorica

9/2 19/9 33/21 21/12

+1

Euro

N/A

Poland

Warsaw

0/-5 13/3 24/15 14/5

+1

Zloty

N/A

Romania

Bucharest

2/-7 18/5 30/16 18/6

+2

Leu

N/A

11/3

21/7

11/5

23/13

31/21

23/13

10/3

20/6

12/6

N/A

N/A

Russia Moscow -7/-16 8/2 25/13 9/3 +3 Rouble

Visas needed – Regent now offers a visa service to assist with Russian visas

Serbia

Belgrade

3/-3 18/7 28/17 17/8

+1

Serbian Dinar

N/A

Slovakia

Bratislava

2/-3 16/7 24/14 15/5

+1

Euro

N/A

Slovenia

Ljubljana

2/-5 15/2 25/12 14/5

+1

Euro

N/A

Ukraine

Kyiv

-4/-10 14/4 25/14 13/6

+2

Hryvnya

N/A

Applying for a visa via CIBT Visa Agency

110

For more information or to apply for a visa, contact CIBT by email at info@cibtvisas.co.uk or call 0207 963 3862, identifying yourself as a Regent Holidays client to ensure that you are provided with the correct visa information and instructions.


111 www.regentholidays.co.uk | Talk to a Specialist on 020 7666 1294


Booking Conditions Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully. They contain important information about your holiday contract. Regent Holidays specialise in travel to unusual destinations, many of which still remain relatively underdeveloped and without the facilities and service levels found in western European countries. When you book an alternative holiday with us we will of course do everything we can to provide you with a holiday exactly to your specification, however it is important to understand that this type of travel carries the risk that accommodation, transportation schedules and other parts of the holiday may be subject to local alterations beyond our control and occurring at short notice. You may also find that standards are lower than you have come to expect and we ask that you take this into consideration before booking. 1. CONTRACT Your contract is with Regent Holidays, a brand of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited, Concorde House, Canal Street, Chester, UK, CH1 4EJ, company registration number 8687765. Referred to as “the company”, “we”, “us” and “our” in this contract. They only apply to holiday arrangements which you book with us in the UK and which we agree to make, provide or perform (as applicable) as part of our contract with you. All references in these booking conditions to “holiday”, “booking”, “contract”, “package”, “tour” or “arrangements” mean such holiday arrangements unless otherwise stated. A binding contract is only entered into when we issue a confirmation invoice. By contacting us or your travel agent to make a booking you accept that you have the authority to bind all members of your party to these terms and conditions. It is essential that you check the travel details on the confirmation invoice and inform us immediately of any errors. Your booking is also subject to the conditions of carriage of your chosen airline. 2. YOUR FINANCIAL PROTECTION We hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 2786). When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong. We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be reassigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme. We are also a member of ABTA (ABTA number V2359). If your holiday does not include flights, ABTA will financially protect your holiday by ensuring you receive a refund or, if your arrangements include return travel to the UK (other than flights) you are returned to the UK in the event that your holiday cannot be provided as a result of our insolvency. Please go to www.abta.com for a copy of the guide to ABTA’s scheme of Financial Protection. 3. PRICE POLICY All prices advertised or quoted are per person based on sharing a twin/double room and are in pounds sterling unless otherwise shown and are subject to change, up or down, until the booking is confirmed. After that, we will only increase the price in limited circumstances to reflect increases in transportation costs (including fuel and airfares), dues, government approved taxes (including VAT), both in the UK and overseas, fees chargeable for services (including landing taxes and embarkation and disembarkation and security fees at airports), Government action or exchange rate variation. If the surcharge would increase the cost of your holiday by 10% or more, you may cancel your holiday and receive a full refund. We will absorb the cost, and you will not be charged, of any increase equivalent to or up to 2% of the original price of your holiday (excluding amendment fees). No surcharges will be made within 30 days of departure. Prices in this brochure were calculated at the exchange rate of £1 = €1.35 and £1 = USD1.56. 4. TRAVEL INSURANCE Your holiday package with us does NOT include travel insurance and we believe that it is essential to take out comprehensive travel insurance when you go on holiday and we strongly recommend that to do so is in your interests and those of your family. We also ask that you provide us with the details of your insurer, the policy number and the emergency contact details to assist you in the event of an accident or emergency abroad. It will be necessary for you to comply with the requirements of the policy in the event of a potential claim; e.g. reporting a theft to the local police. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. 5. PAYMENT FOR YOUR HOLIDAY Your deposit is considered part payment towards your holiday. The exact deposit required shall be made clear at time of quotation/ booking. On occasion full payment may be required to secure certain elements of your trip; if this does arise we shall inform you of this at time of booking. Deposits are non-refundable and as such are a security towards confirming your holiday. Normally the balance and final payment should be made no less than eight weeks prior to departure. However, on occasion some components and/or destinations may require final payment no less than 90 days prior to departure, in which case you shall be informed of this at time of booking. If any balance remains unpaid, travel documentation will not be issued and we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled and apply the cancellation charges set out below. Final travel documents will normally be sent out approximately two weeks before departure. All money paid to a travel agent will be held by the agent on our behalf. Payment must be in the currency of the invoice and you are responsible for bank charges. Full payment, deposits and balances made with a credit or charge card (switch and debit cards excluded) will automatically incur an additional 2% charge and 2.5% for Amex of the payment. 6. BROCHURE AND WEBSITE ACCURACY Whilst we make every effort to ensure that the information in our brochure is as accurate as possible, it is published many months before your holiday takes place. We reserve the right to make changes to the brochure and any information it contains. You will be informed of any material changes before booking. Regent Holidays are only responsible for information contained within our own publications and websites. We are specifically not responsible for third party information (from tourist boards and hotels for example) contained in any other brochures or websites. 7. AMENDMENT AND CANCELLATION BY YOU (A) AMENDMENT We will do our best to assist you in altering your arrangements after booking but cannot guarantee that this will be possible. If alterations can be made you will be responsible for all extra charges and costs and we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £50 per booking plus any applicable charges levied by our suppliers. In some cases, flights cannot be changed after booking and the full cost of a new air ticket will be payable. We also reserve the right to treat any amendment less than eight weeks prior to departure as a cancellation and apply the cancellation charges set out below. (B) CANCELLATION All cancellations must be made in writing by the person who made the booking and are effective on the day we receive it. As we incur substantial costs and losses on a cancellation, we will apply the following cancellation charges based on payment/balance date of eight weeks prior to departure. For those bookings where additional amounts were paid in excess of the standard deposit at the time of booking or before the standard balance due date, these shall be considered non refundable. Number of days prior to departure Cancellation charge as percentage of total holiday price when cancellation notice received Up to 56 days 55-43 Days 42-31 Days 30 Days or less

Forfeit deposit 50% 75% 100%

Agents or third party organisations acting on our behalf are unable to amend or change the contract or terms and conditions within it. 8. AMENDMENT AND CANCELLATION BY US (A) AMENDMENTS It is occasionally necessary for us to make changes to advertised products and services and we reserve the right to make such changes. In exceptional circumstances we may have to modify your holiday after booking. If the change is minor we will do our best to notify you in advance but are not obliged to do so and no compensation is payable. If the change is material (for example, a change of flight time by more than twelve hours, change of destination or to a lower standard of accommodation), we will notify you as soon as practically possible and offer you the choice of (i) accepting the alternative arrangements or (ii) arranging an alternative holiday with us or (iii) cancelling your holiday. Whichever option you choose we will pay you compensation unless the change has been caused by force majeure or low bookings as defined below. Days before departure 57 56-29 28-15 14-0

Compensation per person Nil £40 £50 £70

(B) CHANGES DURING THE HOLIDAY If we are unable to provide a significant proportion of your holiday whilst you are away, suitable alternative arrangements will be made for you at no extra cost or, if we are unable to do so, you will be returned to your point of departure and given a pro-rata refund for any part of the holiday not received. This does not apply to minor changes in your accommodation, itinerary or transportation. (C) CANCELLATION BY US Whilst we hope we will never have to cancel your holiday, this does very occasionally happen and we reserve the right to do so. Should it be necessary to cancel your holiday we will endeavour to offer alternative travel arrangements of equivalent or similar standard, together with a price refund if appropriate. Alternatively we will provide a full and prompt refund. (D) FORCE MAJEURE Compensation will not be payable in any cases where an amendment, change or cancellation is due to “force majeure”, defined as unusual or unforeseeable events or circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which neither we nor our suppliers could avoid. These include, but are not limited to, war, threat of war, riot, civil disturbance or strife, terrorist activity (actual or threatened), industrial disputes, technical or maintenance problems with transport, machinery or equipment, power failure, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, flood, drought, adverse weather conditions, levels of water in rivers, acts of God, closure of airports, changes of schedules or operational decisions of transport providers. (E) LOW BOOKINGS Compensation is not payable if a holiday or tour does not take place because a required minimum number of passengers to enable the holiday or tour to take place has not been reached and you were informed of that requirement at the time of booking. We will notify you at least eight weeks before departure if your holiday has not reached the minimum number and is therefore cancelled and where possible we will offer a similar holiday on a different date or an alternative holiday departing at or around the original date. 9. OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOU We take care to ensure that all involved in the preparation and supply of your holiday maintain the highest standards. Please remember that the appropriate standards will be those prevalent in your destination which may not be the same as developed international standards. We will pay reasonable compensation (subject to below) if the product supplied to you is not of the standard described or contracted for by you. This compensation will be limited (except in the case of death or injury) to no more than twice the holiday price of the person affected. Should you suffer injury, illness or death as a result of the proven fault of ourselves, our suppliers or their employees acting in the course of their employment we will offer you compensation as would be paid in an English Court. If the incident relates to you or any member of your party being killed, injured or becoming ill during or as a result of, carriage by aircraft, ship, train or coach as part of the holiday arrangements organised by us our liability to pay compensation is limited in accordance with the liability of the carrier/service provider under any international convention which governs such services. Copies of these Conventions are available upon request. Our liability to you does not apply if you or any member of your group is at fault; if the failure is the fault of someone else not connected with providing the services which form part of our holiday contract with you; the failure is due to any unusual or unexpected circumstances beyond our control, which we could not have avoided even if we had used all care possible or the failure is due to any event which we or the supplier of any service could not help, expect or prevent. Any acceptance of liability is subject to you agreeing to assign to us your rights against any third party responsible for the events leading to your claim and to you affording us all necessary assistance in pursuing that claim. 10. COMPLAINTS AND ABTA ARBITRATION Whilst we aim to ensure that your holiday runs smoothly, there may be times when it does not. Please follow the complaints procedure below to minimise inconvenience to all parties: 1. Any complaint should be reported immediately and directly to the supplier and, as soon as possible, to our local representative (where applicable). If you fail to follow this simple procedure, your right to claim compensation may be affected, as we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify the problem. 2. In the unlikely event that neither our representative nor our supplier is able to resolve the matter to your complete satisfaction, please put in writing the details of your complaint to us either at our address or by email regent@regent-holidays.co.uk 3. Once in receipt of a complaint, we will react swiftly to resolve the matter. Our aim is to rectify any shortcomings immediately, so that you can fully enjoy the remainder of your holiday. If you still have cause for complaint on your return to the UK, you are required to seek satisfaction by writing to the Company within 28 days of the end of your holiday and providing full details of the holiday and the reason for dissatisfaction. We regret that we cannot accept liability in relation to any complaint or claim which is not notified entirely in accordance with this clause. Disputes arising out of, or in connection with your booking which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration if you so wish under a special scheme arranged by ABTA Ltd and administered independently. The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA website (www.abta.com). The scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element. Your application for arbitration and other required documents must be received by ABTA within 18 months of your return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the scheme may still be available if we agree, although the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. For injury and illness claims, you can request the ABTA mediation procedure and we have the option to agree to this. Where we act as agent, please bear in mind that your contract is with the supplier of the arrangements concerned. Unless the supplier is also a member of ABTA, only disputes relating to our actions as agent can be dealt with by the arbitration scheme or mediation procedure and not complaints about the arrangements themselves or the acts/ omissions of the supplier. 11. PASSPORTS, VISAS AND OTHER ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTATION It is your responsibility to ensure that all necessary passports are machine readable. You should also ensure that all necessary visas, international driving licences, vaccinations and other health documents are in order. All passports must have a validity of at least six months from your scheduled return date to the UK. You will generally need clear/clean pages for visas, as required, to be inserted. You must read all documentation that is supplied to you and ensure that all information contained within is correct. Failure to do so may incur amendment charges which are your responsibility. Some countries and airlines now require additional passenger information (API). We will inform you which countries require this information. This information is compulsory and is required by authorities. It is essential that all clients provide the API prior to travelling. Failure to provide this information may result in you being denied boarding for your flight. No refund will be permitted and any additional costs will be borne by the named clients. 12. SPECIAL REQUESTS Whilst we will endeavour to comply with any special requests such as airline seating, diets and room requirements, we can only do so on a “goodwill” basis. As these are usually only provided at the discretion of the relevant supplier, we cannot guarantee availability and cannot be held responsible if they are not provided. 13. MEALS All pre-booked meals on our group tours will be on table d’hôte basis, Supplements can apply for à la carte basis. 14. EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES We are only responsible for excursions and activities sold by us prior to departure and which form part of your holiday contract. Should you purchase excursions in the destination, your contract and any liability arising from it will be with the supplier directly. 15. JURISDICTION We both agree that English law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description which arises between us (“claim”) except as set out below. We both also agree that any claim must be dealt with by the ABTA arbitration scheme referred to above or Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and any claim governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply). 16. DATA PROTECTION POLICY In order for us to process your booking we need to store and record your information, including data as supplied. This may include transfer of such information outside of the European Economic Area to parties involved in the arrangements of your holiday. Equally we use such information for updating our mailing lists, for fraud prevention, market research and analysis and from time to time you may receive travel related information from us or from another company from within ITC Luxury Travel Group Ltd. Should you not wish to receive such literature please advise us in writing. 17. UK FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE ON OVERSEAS TRAVEL The Foreign & Commonwealth Office produces up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. For further information please visit www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo or telephone 0870 606 0290. For full terms and conditions please visit our website Registered in England, number 8687765 © ITC Luxury Travel Limited All rights reserved. Date of issue January 2017


ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited

Contents

THE COLLECTION

6 Albania

58

Baltic States

8 9 10 11

60 61 62 63

Classic Baltics Baltic Capitals Baltic Fly-Drive Tallinn & the Islands

Albania & the Balkans Balkan Explorer Cultural Landscapes of Albania Southern Albania

12 Kosovo

64 Russia

14 15

66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79

Highlights of Moscow & St Petersburg Highlights of St Petersburg History of Stalingrad Space Odyssey Moscow World of Tanks Russian Revolution Essential Moscow & St Petersburg Hotels in Moscow & St Petersburg St Petersburg Short Break St Petersburg Hotels Moscow City Break Moscow Excursions St Petersburg City Break St Petersburg Excursions

80

River Cruises

82 84 85

Volga Dream Luxury River Cruise MS Shaskov or MS Chernishevsky River Cruise Siberian Lena River Cruise

Luxury Kosovo Short Break A Balkan Adventure

16 Macedonia 18 19 20 21

Skopje & Lake Ohrid Macedonia Fly-Drive Cultural Landscapes of Macedonia Bear Watch Macedonia

22 Serbia 24 25

Highlights of Serbia Cultural Landscapes of Serbia

26 Montenegro 28 29

Cultural Landscapes of Montenegro Adriatic Fly-Drive

30 Bosnia-Herzegovina 32 33

Bosnia in Depth Sarajevo & Mostar

34 Croatia 36 37 38 39

Highlights of Croatia Fly-Drive Istria & Kvarner Fly-Drive A Journey through the Balkans Dalmatian Highlights Cruise

40 Slovenia 42 43 44 45

Highlights of Slovenia Cultural Landscapes of Slovenia Ljubljana & Lake Bled Slovenia & Croatia Fly-Drive

46 Romania 48 49

Halloween in Transylvania Behind the Iron Curtain

50

Central Europe

52

Essential European Capitals

54 Poland 56 57

Essential Warsaw & Krakow Krakow City Break

86 Trans-Siberian 88 90 91 92 93

www.rainbowtours.co.uk

Western & Oriental’s passion is tailor-made travel and personalised service. Their worldwide collection encompasses beach escapes, family holidays, multi-centres, experiences and honeymoons. So whether it is the Caribbean & the USA, Far East, India & Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean & Middle East or the Mediterranean, their expert Travel Specialists can tailor the perfect holiday for you.

www.westernoriental.com

Trans-Siberian on the Luxury Tsar’s Gold Train The Alternative Trans-Siberian Group Tour Moscow to Vladivostok on the Imperial Train Moscow to Beijing Trans-Siberian Moscow to Vladivostok Trans-Siberian

94 Belarus 96 97

Cultural Landscapes of Belarus A Journey from Minsk to Kaliningrad

98 Moldova 100 101

Undiscovered Moldova Essential Moldova

102 Ukraine 104 105 106 107

Kyiv & Chernobyl Essential Ukraine Cultural Landscapes of Western Ukraine Kyiv City Breaks

110

Country Information

112

Booking Conditions

Cover image: World War II Memorial in Volgograd, Russia

= Group Tour

Pioneers of responsible travel, Rainbow Tours specialises in tailor-made holidays to Africa, Madagascar and Latin America, taking you to world famous sights as well as hidden corners right at the heart of local cultures. Their well-travelled team arranges safaris, custom-made trips for couples, family holidays, honeymoons and expert-led groups, as well as relaxing beach breaks.

This page: St.George Island in Montenegro

A pioneer in luxury travel, ITC has spent over 40 years creating bespoke holidays of a lifetime for our valued clients. As one of the UK’s longest-established independent, luxury tour operators we offer a genuine passion for travel, extraordinary local knowledge, a pedantic approach to fine details and an inspired workforce who sincerely love what they do.

www.itcluxurytravel.co.uk

Founded in 1983, Villa Select is known for its unique and discerning selection of carefully hand-picked villas across Europe, the Caribbean and Thailand. From traditional, rustic countryside retreats to contemporary, centrally-located luxury villas, Villa Select provides a friendly and professional service from the moment you book right through to the service you receive in resort.

www.villaselect.com


Russia & Europe

POLAND RIVER CRUISES MACEDONIA

SERBIA

SLOVENIA

RUSSIA

FLY-DRIVES

CITY BREAKS

MOSCOW

TRANS-SIBERIAN

BELARUS KOSOVO MOSTAR

TSAR’S GOLD

CENTRAL EUROPE

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION

BALTIC STATES

ALBANIA

MOLDOVA

TRAIN JOURNEYS Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol BS1 4XE Telephone: 020 7666 1294 Email: regent@regentholidays.co.uk www.regentholidays.co.uk Regent Holidays is part of ITC Luxury Travel Group Limited

ABTA No.Y1152

Russia & Europe — The Alternative Collection 2017

ROMANIA

VOLGA RIVER

MONTENEGRO

E U RO P E BALKANS

The Alternative Collection 2017

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

ST. PETERSBURG CROATIA UKRAINE

HERMITAGE

RUSSIA & BEYOND | BALTIC STATES | BALKAN PENINSULA | EASTERN & CENTRAL EUROPE

Russia & Europe 2017  
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