The Balkans with Original World

By Gary LeClair
This item appears on page 29 of the May 2018 issue.

My wife and I completed a 3½-week private tour of Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia in May 2017. The tour was arranged by Barbara Sansone, owner of Original World (San Rafael, CA; 888/367-6147,

Including all hotels, breakfasts, two drivers and two guides (since one guide wasn’t licensed in Albania), our trip for two cost $13,007.

The tour was fantastic, with travel in a brand-new, air-conditioned van that was very comfortable. All of the hotels were 3-star or better, but the one in Zagreb was 4-star, even by US standards.

We started each day at 9 a.m. and usually returned to the hotel around 4:30 or 5 p.m. Our drivers drove safely, and they were willing to change the itinerary when we wished to do so. We felt well cared for. The guides even lugged our luggage.

We went to places many tourists wouldn’t ordinarily go and felt lucky to see so much of these countries. We liked the fact that Barbara had previously been to these places, herself.

I heartily recommend Original World. Our private tour wasn’t much more expensive than a group tour would have been.

Springfield, OR