Frequently Asked Questions
Who are we ?
Terra Balka is an incoming travel agency, specialised in tailor-made trips to three countries: Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. The agency was born from the initiative of Myriam Fernandez and Florian Servant. Our office is located in Zagreb, Croatia, 30 minutes from Slovenia and 2 hours from the Adriatic coast. Montenegro is also easily accessible from Zagreb, which is a strategic geographical position to operate in these three destinations!
More information about Terra Group.
What is a local agency, an incoming travel agency ?
A local or incoming agency is a travel agency specialised in the destination in which it is based. It designs your journey with the activities, accommodation and guides that we know best. The local agency takes care of all the logistics of your trip and masters all the details and peculiarities of its destination(s). Calling on a local agency for your tailor-made trip is the guarantee of making your trip unique for an authentic experience rich in discoveries. We are the incoming agency to many English-speaking agencies and Tour operators and we also offer our trips to the general public directly via our website.
What are our references ?
Terra Balka is one of the member agencies of Terra Group, a network of incoming agencies operating on 4 continents: Europe, America, Africa and Oceania. Launched in 1998, Terra Group is a network of incoming travel agencies specialising in tailor-made travel.
Terra Balka is the official receptive of a good number of tour operators and travel agencies in English-speaking countries and throughout the world. Several of these professionals are affiliated to the charter “Agir pour un tourisme responsable” (ATR). We are members of the ATTA.
Terra Balka promotes local eco-responsible actors. We are working in this direction in order to encourage sustainable and responsible tourism that respects our destinations. The objective is also to give meaning to your trip by guaranteeing a rich and authentic experience.
You can also consult the testimonials of travellers who have made us on our Terra Balka Travelers Reviews page.
Who is my email contact ?
You will be in direct contact with one of our expert travel designers who will help you design your tailor-made tour.
The personalisation of your trip is our priority, for an experience perfectly adapted to your wishes and requirements.
Our team is expert in our different destinations. We are all passionate about this region of the Balkans and we know Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro inside out.
We favour communication by phone, especially for a first contact. Afterwards, we will talk to you in the way you prefer: email, phone, whatsapp, skype, etc.
Our travel proposals will always be sent by e-mail. And to ensure the best possible experience, our e-mails will sometimes be accompanied by an explanatory Loom video. So together we create the trip of your dreams.
Our travel experts will be your main contact throughout the design of your trip, but also during the course of your trip on site.
Get to know our experts.
How do we work ?
We place great emphasis on details. They are the key to a successful trip. It is very important for us to know your habits, your desires and your expectations so that your trip is unique.
This is why we have set up the travel compass, which explores the traveller’s deepest motivations and allows us to provide you with unique experiences… Let us guide you! It’s fun and innovative. Of course it is not mandatory either, you can also contact us.
How is the booking process ?
Once the programme has been drawn up and validated together (itinerary, services and prices), we will launch the reservations of the different service providers as soon as we have received your deposit (30% of the total amount).
Anticipating means putting all the chances on your side to benefit from the best services on site and to favour serenity.
It is recommended that you anticipate your arrival date as much as possible so that we have time to work in good conditions and obtain availability.
The more you anticipate your trip, the more interesting the choice of hotels will be.
Example: we work with several 3* hotels in Bohinj, Slovenia. One of them is our favourite. If the reservation is made 6 months before the trip, there is a good chance that this accommodation will be available. 3 months before the trip, it might not be available anymore and we will offer you another 3* hotel, maybe more expensive. By anticipating, you benefit from the best availability in the 3 destnations.
Here is our advice (as far as possible) for a trip in July and August:
In Croatia and Slovenia, book before February.
In Montenegro, book before April.
This also applies to the choice of our local guides.
It will also give you other advantages:
- More attractive price conditions.
- Early bookings with our suppliers (hotels, transport, guides, planes, etc.).
- More flexibility to modify or add an activity.
In all cases, even if you only have a very short time to organise your holiday, our travel designers will do their utmost to offer you quality services adapted to your travel plans. You can be sure of our expertise in finding you the best services, even at the last-minute!
Which tour / itinerary to choose in Croatia, Slovenia and/or Montenegro ?
Let us inspire you with our proposals for tailor-made tours in Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Here are the itineraries recommended by our team. They are only a showcase, examples of trips to guide your travel project and above all to give you ideas.
You will find on our site some of our travel proposals. Ideally, you should contact us, in order to design your tailor made trip together, thanks to the advice and recommendations of our travel designers who are specialists in our different destinations.
Why are travel prices not displayed on the site ?
Our site is above all a “showcase” where our travel ideas and the different thematics are displayed.
Our philosophy is to design trips that are 100% personalised according to your criteria: period and length of trip, number of participants, accommodation category, services (guides, transport), activities and additional steps.
All these elements therefore imply a tailor-made quote for each travel project.
It is therefore important, when you request a quote, to give us as much detail as possible about your project so that we can send you a detailed and costed proposal that is as appropriate as possible to your request.
How do I book a tour or stay with Terra Balka ?
Nothing could be simpler!
Once your travel project has been confirmed, we invite you to pay a 30% deposit to confirm your stay. The receipt of this deposit can take up to 4-5 days. We will then book the accommodation you have chosen. If they are fully booked, we will then offer you an equivalent alternative. Finally, at 45 days, we ask for the balance to be paid. All you have to do now is pack your bags!
For more details about the process of booking your trip, please refer to the following page: The ten steps of your trip with Terra Balka.
We also advise you to consult our general and special conditions of sale.
How to pay for your journey ?
It is particularly important for a local agency to provide you with a simple, secure and efficient solution.
You will be able to choose between payment by bank transfer to our business account in Croatia or by credit card on our secure platform (bank charges at your expense).
Your trip is confirmed upon receipt of a deposit.
What are the formalities for travelling to Croatia?
If you are a member of the European Union, Croatia is not part of the Schengen area, but a valid identity document or passport is sufficient to stay in the territory for less than 3 months.
If you are not a member of the European Union, you will simply be asked to bring your passport with you. However, please check that your passport is valid for 6 months from the date of your arrival.
More information on the next page: Preparing for your trip to Croatia.
What are the formalities for travelling to Slovenia?
There are no border formalities between Slovenia and its EU neighbours. Whatever your nationality, you do not need to show your passport or go through customs.
However, if you arrive from a non-Schengen country, such as Croatia, there is an identity check at the border. EU nationals simply need to show their identity card on arrival.
If you are not an EU citizen, a valid passport is required.
More information on the next page: Preparing for your trip to Slovenia.
What are the formalities for travelling to Montenegro?
Simply check that your passport is valid for 6 months from the date of arrival. Many countries benefit from visa exemption (including France, Belgium, the rest of the European Union, Switzerland and Canada for a stay of less than 3 months). An identity card is sufficient for entry into Montenegro.
More information on the next page: Preparing your trip to Montenegro.
What is the best time to go to the Balkans ?
Croatia is divided into two parts, each of which has a rather different climate: The inland part is marked by a continental climate, with harsh winters with snowfall and negative temperatures, and hot summers. The Adriatic coast is defined by a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters, hot and dry summers and sea water at 26°C in summer.
The best time to go to Croatia is from mid-April to mid-October: the temperatures are pleasant and the sea is warm enough for swimming. Depending on the year, until mid-November the weather is very pleasant. For those who love winter adventures or the Christmas market it is possible to come from December to March as well.
In Slovenia, three types of climate are mixed and rotate: alpine climate (in the north), continental climate (in the east) and Mediterranean climate (in the west and south). In April, the temperatures are still fresh, but from May and June is the right time. Spring offers flowery landscapes in the Julian Alps. Summer is the ideal season to travel to the coast and discover Slovenian Istria. To visit Ljubljana, it is also best to come between May and October to enjoy the terraces along the river Ljubljanica and the unrivalled charm of the Slovenian capital.
In autumn, temperatures cool down and snow can fall on the Alpine peaks. The scenery is fantastic thanks to the autumn colours in the many forests and lakeside areas.
In Montenegro, while the winter is mild on the Adriatic coast, it is icy in the northern mountains, where a thick blanket of snow falls. It’s like Scandinavia! We have already tested a winter holiday in Zabljak for skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing and the thermometer was between -10°C and -20°C.
In summer, and even as early as May, it is hot everywhere (32-33 °C average high in Podgorica). The water temperature reaches 21°C as early as June and up to 25°C in August. Autumn is relatively rainy, especially in the west of the country.
The ideal season for exploring the Adriatic coast of Montenegro is from May to mid-October. The high temperatures make it possible to enjoy both the sea and the mountains.
How do I travel on a self-drive tour?
The Balkan region is suitable for Road trips. Renting a vehicle is a pleasant way to discover Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. Our travel designers have travelled all over the country and will be able to recommend a tour adapted to your desires.
Each country has its own specificities, which is why we will give you a detailed road book before your arrival to guide you throughout your road trip.
The International driving licence is accepted in all 3 destinations.
For more information on road trips, please consult our Travel Formulas.