Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro have for centuries been at the crossroads of ancient civilisations, with a magical mixture of European and Near Eastern culture. The diversity is very clear, from the vibrant cities to the tiny traditional villages. Here we find a unique fusion of traditions, religions and architecture. Outside the towns and cities, the raw natural beauty is breathtaking, with ancient forests, rugged peaks and the beautiful Adriatic coastline where we explore the magnificent Bay of Kotor before making our final stop in the wonderful Croatian city of Dubrovnik.
Walk the pristine marble streets and city walls of Dubrovnik
Discover a stunning mix of Balkan countries with beautiful scenery and fascinating cultures
Visit enchanting Mostar with its iconic bridge
Explore the cosmopolitan and historic Bosnian capital – Sarajevo
Admire the beauty of the sparkling Adriatic in Kotor, Montenegro
Enjoy gentle walking in the stunning Durmitor National Park
Start Dubrovnik Airport; Drive To Kotor In Montenegro.
Hotel Porto In or similar
We start in Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia before transferring (approx. 3
hours) to the beautiful sea-faring town of Kotor. Neatly tucked away in one
of South East Europe's largest fjords, Kotor is a cultural treasure dating
from the 12th Century and still retains the Mediterranean ambience of the
Kotor City Tour; Boat Ride To Gospa Od Skrpjela And Perast Islands In The Bay Of Kotor.
Hotel Porto In or similar
Today we visit Kotor's 4.5km long fortification walls and its many churches
and palaces. These are the main reasons why in 1979 Kotor was included on
UNESCO's list of natural and cultural heritage sites. Our approx. 2 hour walk
will take you through some of Kotor's spacious squares, lined with grand
townhouses, known locally as palaces, and various impressive religious
buildings. After our tour, we take a short transfer to Perast, a town once
owned by the Venetians, a fact which explains the distinctly Italian feel.
The panorama of Perast is dominated by the 17th Century church of St Nikola,
protected by a Venetian fortress and surrounded by beautiful palaces and
gardens once built by the famous sea captains of the Adriatic. Here we have
lunch overlooking the bay. Following lunch, we take a boat ride to the 'Lady
of the Rocks' island and visit the chapel. The views of towering cliffs of
the Dinaric Alps from the boat are truly impressive, giving us a different
perspective of the Montenegrin coastline. We transfer back to our hotel by
boat, the best way to really enjoy this fabulous setting. In the evening we
will visit Budva, one of the oldest settlements on the Montenegrin coast with
perhaps the best nightlife of the entire area.
Transfer To Cetinje For City Tour. Drive To Unesco Durmitor N.P.,Visiting Ostrog Monastery En Route.
Hotel Zabljak or similar
We transfer (approx. 2 hour) to Cetinje for a city tour. The town of Cetinje
lies at the foot of Lovcen Mountain and was the ancient capital of
Montenegro. Since 1485 Cetinje has been the sacred centre of Montenegro, and
as a result, the city houses more museums and cultural heritage sites than
any other city in Montenegro. Our tour will take us to some of the main sites
in this lonely cultural oasis in the Cetinjsko fields.
From Cetinje, we set off towards Montenegro's mountainous interior, en route
visiting the holy shrine of St.Vasilije high up in the shady Ostrog
Mountains. Few people expect to witness such a marvellous spectacle when they
arrive. Intricately carved into the rising rock face, the Ostrog Monastery is
considered by many to be the most inspiring Orthodox sacred place in the
former Yugoslavia. The monastery has become the largest religious pilgrimage
site in the country, with many Orthodox Christians and even Catholics and
Muslims paying homage to St. Vasilije, the founder of the 17th Century
monastery. The day culminates with a drive (approx. 3 hours) through isolated
villages and high mountain passes to the small ski resort of Zabljak. Zabljak
sits neatly on a plateau at 1500m, surrounded by beautiful pinewood forests,
high alpine mountains, and the deep Tara Canyon.
Walk Around Zabljak Plateau With Its Lakes And Traditional Highland Villages.
Hotel Zabljak or similar
Today we explore the Zabljak Plateau with its numerous lakes and traditional
villages. We start with a walk around the area's largest lake, a beautiful
spot with crystal clear waters reflecting the surrounding peaks. Around
lunchtime we transfer to the village of Podgora. The village has recently
become part of a regional ecovillage network helping to promote tourism in
rural communities. A local family provides us with a tasty lunch of
traditional Montenegrin mountain food. We will also visit and enjoy views
from one of the numerous viewpoints above Tara Canyon, which is considered to
be the deepest European Canyon and as such is listed in the UNESCO World
We then transfer back to Zabljak and have the afternoon free to explore,
enjoy a scenic walk, go for an invigorating dip in the lake, or perhaps drink
a glass of local wine or beer in one of Zabljak's cafés.
*Hotel Zabljak or similar*
Transfer To The Piva River On The Border With Bosnia; Lunch And A Walk Along The Banks Of This Beautiful River; Drive To Sarajevo.
Hotel Cosmopolit or similar
Transfer (approx. 2-3 hours) to the border between Montenegro and Bosnia, via
Durmitor's interior with its impressive peaks, isolated mountain lakes and
deep canyons. The mountain roads are narrow and we will meet the occasional
shepherd with his sheep moving up to the higher grassy pastures of Durmitor.
This seasonal migration has taken place for centuries and is very much part
of Montenegrin culture and tradition, even today.
We wind our way out of the Piva Gorge down to Scepan Polje, the border
crossing into Bosnia & Herzegovina, stopping where possible to enjoy the
views in this wild and uninhabited part of Bosnia. Before lunch, we take a
walk along the Piva River to an old suspension bridge, which for a long time
was the only connection between the two river banks. The water here is
wonderfully pure and offers a great setting for a photo. After lunch above
the Piva River, we continue through an empty and mountainous part of east
Bosnia & Herzegovina to Sarajevo.
City Tour Including The Sarajevo Tunnel Museum.
Today we have a full day exploring Sarajevo on foot and by bus. One of the
most culturally diverse cities in Europe, Sarajevo spent over 400 years under
Turkish governorship until the Austro-Hungarians arrived in the late 19th
Century. Forty years later, the empire collapsed when Archduke Ferdinand was
assassinated here, hastening the outbreak of the First World War. The late
20th Century saw Sarajevo host the Winter Olympics in 1984, and the long
siege of the city during the recent conflict. Our tour of the major
historical, cultural and war sites in the city will help you to piece
together its complex history.
Our day involves a walking tour of the main sites, and a visit to the famous
Sarajevo Tunnel Museum. The tunnel provided the citizens of Sarajevo with a
lifeline during Sarajevo's 1400 days of isolation and was the only reliable
way of supplying goods and electricity to the city as all other supply lines
were cut off by the Serbian Army. This is a sobering and fascinating visit.
Drive To Lukomir, Bosnia And Herzegovina's Highest Inhabited Village; Walk To Canyon.
Sarajevo, Lukomir, Sarajevo
Hotel Cosmopolit or similar*
We transfer (approx. 2 hours) to Lukomir, Bosnia's highest village at 1469
metres, with its ancient 'stecci' (mediaeval tombstones). Here we get an
insight into the traditional way of life. Customary dress and the occasional
turban and fez are still worn, going hand in hand with the more contemporary
features of everyday life such as electricity and running water. The village
houses here are a powerful image of a simpler time. We then take a walk down
towards the Rakitnica Canyon nearby and find some excellent viewpoints to
admire this majestic scenery. The scale of the mountains coupled with the
canyon far below are sights that will live long in the memory. Lunch is taken
in the village prepared by one of the main families still living there and
will be traditional and filling. We return to Sarajevo at the end of the day.
Transfer To Mostar For Sightseeing And City Tour.
Hotel Kapetanovina or similar
We transfer (approx. 2.5 hours) to Mostar where we have a whole day to visit
this beautiful Herzegovinian city. Mostar was founded in the 15th Century and
the architecture is a precious combination of Turkish ingenuity and
Herzegovinian and Dalmatian workmanship. We spend the morning and afternoon
exploring Mostar, a city that was famously split during the conflict of the
early 1990s. You will still see the scars of war, but these days Mostar is
once again a warm and bustling place with an intriguing history. The rest of
the day is free for you to explore the city on your own.
Explore Ottoman Town Of Pocitelj, Kravica Waterfalls And Visit Nearby Village Of Blagaj.
Počitelj, Blagaj, Mostar
Hotel Kapetanovina or similar
Our first stop today will be Pocitelj. This oriental style town has recently
been added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites and also hosts the
longest operating art colony in southeast Europe. The most striking object in
Pocitelj is the Sahat Kula, a silo-shaped fort that dominates the skyline
from a hill above the town. It used to house watchmen and military guarding
against possible invasion from the Neretva Valley. Our next stop will be
Kravica Waterfall, a wonderful green oasis in the rocky Herzegovinian
landscape. After a short walk and perhaps even a cooling swim we head off for
lunch to Blagaj.
Blagaj's highlights are the Buna Spring and the adjacent Ottoman
house/monastery. The spring here is amazing. It flows out of a 200m cliff
wall and single-handedly creates the Buna River. Unsurprisingly, the Ottoman
sultan was impressed and ordered a Tekija to be built right next to it. This
16th Century house/monastery was built for the Dervish cults and is still one
of the most mystical places in all of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Blagaj's Old Town
is worth taking a walk through. This lazy Herzegovinan town moves at a slow
pace and many of its old structures are reminiscent of Ottoman days. In the
vicinity are also old flour mills that the strong Buna River used to power.
We spend the late afternoon and evening in Mostar.
Transfer To Trebinje, Followed By Wine Tasting; Continue To Dubrovnik.
Hotel Komodor or similar
Our journey now takes us back to Dubrovnik via Radimlja with its numerous
beautiful mediaeval Christian tombstones, and Trebinje – the southernmost
city in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Trebinje has a rich history that dates back to
the Middle Ages. Here we will visit a family-owned winery and get a taste of
life in old Herzegovina. Here we will venture into the cellars for an
intimate taste of the rich, earthy, bold tastes of the red wines.
Herzegovina's wines are amongst the newest in the 'second world' wine
category. This tradition, however, has been in existence since Roman times.
Herzegovina's sunny Mediterranean climate and rich hinterland soils produce
the finest wines in southern Europe.
After the lunch break we will travel south to our final destination
Dubrovnik; a magnificent walled city that lies at the southernmost tip of
Croatia. Formerly a prosperous trading centre, Dubrovnik is now a UNESCO
World Heritage Site, and its perfectly preserved Old Town and rich cultural
life draw many visitors each year. We end the day with free time in
Dubrovnik, so you might either go swimming in the warm Adriatic or explore
the Old Town on your own and take a walk along the ancient walls of
The trip ends this morning in Dubrovnik after breakfast. You may however
wish to extend your stay in the Croatian capital to further explore its
cobbled streets or enjoy the beautiful coastline. Should you wish to do so
please ask a member of the sales team about our post-tour nights.
All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner are included.
Breakfast will usually be either hot and cold buffets or a choice of set
Breakfast in Bosnia and across the Balkans usually consists of bread and
pastries, dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, cereal, eggs cooked in a
variety of ways, smoked meats, honey, tea and coffee, milk and juices.
Typical Bosnian cuisine consists of ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes,
onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, spinach, courgette, beans and
dairy products such as milk, cheese, pavlaka (sour cream) and Kajmak (similar
to clotted cream). Meat dishes usually consist of beef and lamb and
specialities include cevapi, burek, dolma (stuffed vegetables with meat) and
goulash. Desserts often have an Eastern influence with baklava being very
popular. The alcoholic drink rakija made from apples or plums is common in
this region also.
Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, but options are limited
throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro - please advise of any
specific dietary requirements at time of booking.
We spend 10 nights in hotels, most of which are well located for our adventures. Below are the standard accommodations used; however, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.
Kotor: Hotel Porto In (nights 1-2)
Just a two-minute walk from the Unesco-listed old town, this 17-room hotel is ideally located for our time in Kotor. There’s also a small beach 655ft (200m) from the front door. The hotel itself has a 50-seat restaurant and bar, serving a mix of national and international cuisines.
Zabljak: Hotel Zabljak (nights 3-4)
A grand, angular design and modern Scandi-style rooms make Hotel Zabljak stand out. But it’s the mountain views that may be the lasting memory. For an additional cost, there’s access to a wellness centre with a gym and hot tub.
Sarajevo: Hotel Cosmopolit (nights 5-7)
In the heart of the city, Hotel Cosmopolit is well located for our adventure, just a short walk from the Miljacka river. It’s a bright, modern property often praised for its cleanliness and welcoming staff.
Mostar: Hotel Kapetanovina (nights 8-9)
Our two-night stay at Kapetanovina means we’re only a three-minute walk from the star attraction in town: the Old Bridge of Mostar. The rooms are modern and have a colour scheme inspired by the Neretva River.
Dubrovnik: Hotel Komodor (night 10)
Our final night is spent at Hotel Komodor, a three-star beachside property. It has 113 rooms, which are split between the main building and an annex. There’s a terrace with a pool and sun loungers too, plus the seaside promenade is just a five-minute walk away.
Tourism is still developing in the Balkans – one of the reasons it’s ideal for adventurous travellers. We have seen increased investment in infrastructure over the years, but there is a difference in quality between some of the city hotels and the more rustic hotels and pensions in the smaller towns.