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Best of Adriatic or Best of Eastern Europe tour?

My first choice tour for 2018 -- the Best of the Adriatic (14 days) -- was booked up for its April through May dates, which is when I can/most want to go. So I put myself on the Adriatic wait list for those April/May dates, and booked the Eastern Europe tour instead, along with award flights on United. But I just got a note from the RS office to say a spot opened up on the first Adriatic tour (April 22) opened up!

Who out there has been on both tours? Do you recommend one over there other? There is some overlap, which is why I "settled" for the Eastern Europe tour. But I've also never been to Prague or Budapest. Should I cancel my Eastern Europe plans to take the Adriatic? I think it would only come at the expense of changing my award ticket and routing in and out of LJU and DBV, two tougher cities to get in/out of.

[For context, I've been the Turkey, Greece, Sicily, Spain (MyWay) and GAS (MyWay) tours, and enjoyed Turkey, Greece, and Sicily most. I'm not a big museum/church person, like active tours and visiting natural sites, and of course love good food.]

Posted by
317 posts

Hi! I've been on both tours and I absolutely preferred the Eastern Europe tour. (that may have been different if the Adriatic tour I was on this past September would have had sun instead of cloudy, cool, rainy weather). The Eastern Europe tour has a great mix of large cities - Prague, Krakow, Budapest and many rural adventures too. I'm not sure how warm the Adriatic area is in April, but so much of that tour would be better if you had warm, sunny days to enjoy the coast. The large cities of Prague, Krakow, and Budapest would be great at any time of year. Lots of architecture, museum, cultural sites to visit. I think the EE tour still includes the visit to the school in Hungary and lunch with the kids. And a great winery visit too. And you still get to visit Plitvice, Ljubljana, and Lake Bled - the highlights for me of the Croatia area.

When I think of the Adriatic I think of sunny afternoons in a cafe or along the shore. Just depends on what you like to do on your vacation. I have to say that I did really enjoy the days in Bosnia - seeing what's going on in that area now. But I don't think you "settled" for the Eastern Europe - I think that's a great choice!

Posted by
50 posts

Thank you Barbara! It's nice to have such a clear vote.

The one frequent critique I noticed in the EE tour reviews was the bus time. I've been on tours with long rides (e.g., Greece, Turkey, GAS) and, to an extent, I enjoy the time to relax and chat with tour mates. But did it feel like the EE bus time detracted from the tour?

Posted by
547 posts

I have not taken the Best of Adriatic tour, but was on the Best of Eastern Europe this past September. The bus time did not detract from the tour, in my opinion. Sanel (our wonderful Bosnian guide) used that time to share good information, and I always enjoy seeing the countryside go by. Also, we had a lot of rain on our bus days, so that worked just fine. Lake Bled and Plitvice National Park were fabulous!

Posted by
503 posts

Hi Lori, I have yet to take the Best of the Adriatic tour but did take the Best of Eastern Europe last September. It was absolutely perfect and I loved every minute of it! You can not go wrong if you choose this tour and I assure you, you won't feel like you "settled". Good luck with your choice as either one is going to be great.

Posted by
317 posts

Lori, I actually always enjoy the bus time. Usually I'm the one driving somewhere, so it's a luxury for me to be able to watch the countryside go by. Often your guide is giving a little talk or language lesson or you're taking pics out the window or chatting with your travel companions, or if you're like me having a snack that you picked up at that last bakery or deli or someone is sharing chocolates passed down the aisle, etc, etc. And there's always a break about every 2 hours, so the bus time usually just flies by. Don't let the bus time put you off the tour!

Posted by
60 posts

Our 5th RS tour was EE In May 2016 w/ Peter as our guide. It was fantastic. Six or seven countries. Really fabulous. I would gladly do it again. I learn so much. Want to repeat tour.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks, everyone, for your votes of confidence on the Eastern Europe tour. That's where I'm headed at the end of April!

Posted by
1859 posts

Congratulations on a truly tough decision! I bet you'll love it. Like Sally, we had Peter as our guide last August. What a special time in those beautiful, interesting and enchanting countries! The stay in Rovinj was especially lovely. That said, I also loved Best of the Adriatic (2015-different but also fabulous guide), for all the same reasons. In responding to your question, I found it hard to recommend one over the other so if I were you, I would sign up for the Adriatic next time!

Posted by
990 posts

Hi Lori --
Wow, you've been (literally!) all over the map making this decision.
I know you'll have a great time.
If you come to the January or March SF travel group meeting (and let me know you are coming) I'll give you a few dollars worth of Kuna that I have left over from my last trip.
And we would all be happy to see you again.
SharYn

Posted by
4637 posts

If you never been to Prague and Budapest go for Eastern Europe tour. Prague, Budapest, Krakow I did on my own. Adriatic I did with Rick Steves tour. It's more difficult to do on your own. Public transport is not as good like between P, B and K.