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Bosnia & Beyond

from $2,479.00

Experience the cultural variety and natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Montenegro

  • Reviews 30 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 18
All about the Bosnia & Beyond.

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.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
* 10 nights hotels and pensions, all rooms ensuite
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs.

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Discover a stunning mix of Balkan countries with beautiful scenery and fascinating cultures
  • Explore the cosmopolitan and historic Bosnian capital – Sarajevo
  • Visit enchanting Mostar with its iconic bridge
  • Admire the beauty of the sparkling Adriatic in Kotor, Montenegro
  • Walk the pristine marble streets and city walls of Dubrovnik
  • Enjoy gentle walking in the stunning Durmitor National Park

 

  • 10 nights hotels and pensions, all rooms en suite
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private minibus

 

  1. Day 1 Start Dubrovnik Airport; drive to Kotor in Montenegro.

    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 region.*Hotel Porto In or similar*

  2. Day 2 Kotor city tour; boat ride to Gospa od Skrpjela and Perast islands in the Bay of Kotor.

    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.* Hotel Porto In or similar*

  3. Day 3 Transfer to Cetinje for city tour. Drive to UNESCO Durmitor N.P.,visiting Ostrog Monastery en route.

    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.*Hotel Zabljak or similar*

  4. Day 4 Walk around Zabljak Plateau with its lakes and traditional highland villages.

    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 Heritage list.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*

  5. Day 5 Transfer to the Piva River on the border with Bosnia; lunch and a walk along the banks of this beautiful river; drive to Sarajevo.

    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.*Hotel Astra Garni or similar*

  6. Day 6 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.*Hotel Astra Garni or similar*

  7. Day 7 Drive to Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina's highest inhabited village; walk to canyon.

    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.*Hotel Astra Garni or similar*

  8. Day 8 Transfer to Mostar for sightseeing and city tour.

    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.*Hotel Kapetanovina or similar*

  9. Day 9 Explore Ottoman town of Pocitelj, Kravica Waterfalls and visit nearby village of Blagaj.

    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.*Hotel Kapetanovina or similar*

  10. Day 10 Transfer to Trebinje, followed by wine tasting; continue to Dubrovnik.

    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 Dubrovnik.*Hotel Komodor or similar*

  11. Day 11 End Dubrovnik.

    The trip ends this morning in Dubrovnik after breakfast. You may however wish to extend your stay in the Croatian capital to further explore it’s 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.

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Where you stay

Hotels

Twin Room, Hotel Zabljak, Zabljak, Bosnia

ourism is still developing in this region however with increased tourism has come increased investment in the infrastructure. There is however a difference between some of the city hotels available and the more rustic hotels and pensions in the smaller towns. All accommodation will have en suite facitilies and free Wi-Fi.

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Kotor- Hotel Porto In

Zabljak- Hotel Zabljak

Sarajevo- Hotel Astra Garni

Mostar- Hotel Kapetanovina

Dubrovnik- Hotel Komodor

Single supplements are available upon request.

Hotel Room, Hotel Astra Garni, Sarajevo, Bosnia

 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner are included.

Breakfast will usually be either hot and cold buffets or a choice of set meals.

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

This is a cultural discovery trip with some walking. You don’t need to be an experienced hill walker, just of average fitness. Walks are optional so the trip is still suitable for anyone. Travel is by private bus, generally on good roads.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Balkan delights

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the immense Bay of Kotor from Lovcen mountain - wow! Durmitor National Park - spectacular & humbling Mostar - dsepite the hoardes of tourists it is lovely & well worth seeing
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Anaid was fun, full of facts & kept things going along smoothly

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

MONTENEGRO, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crystal alpine Black Lake in Durmitor National Park and the walk & lunch at Lukomir, Bosnia's highest village. The contrasts of Sarajevo from the chilled Otoman influenced cafe culture; war damaged buildings; communist era trams; the war tunnel museum and great baklava.  
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We lucked out and benefited from two excellent and extremely knowledgeable tour leaders (one was learning the itinerary for a future trip). Anaidt was an infectiously enthusiastic history student and able to provide the historial insight. Alen was a mountaineer and snowboarder so great in the mountains. Both were great travelling companions and dealt extremely well with water born illness which struck down half the group event though they themselves were also affected by the bug.    
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bear in mind that you are crossing lot's of boarders (mostly very smoothly and quickly) including an unexpected crossing at the beginning of the trip where you cross somewhat unnecessarily from Croatia into Bosnia and then into Montenegro - rather than from Croatia direct into Montenegro which the trip notes don't mention. All the hotels were of pretty good quality. The hotel in Sarajevo is the best on the trip but located about 5 km from the city centre - although very easy to get in by tram.     
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus should include a visit to Tito's bunker in Konjic which is located on the drive from Mostar to Dubrovnik.  

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

I LOVE the Balkans!!!!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on the line where East meets West in Sarajevo, seeing the famous bridge in Mostar, seeing the mountains and Black Lake in Zabljac, Montenegro. Walking the city walls in Dubrovnik. Visiting the Sarajevo tunnels and having people that lived through the conflict share their experiences.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky enough to have 2, as Evelin will lead the next tour he was shadowing our leader Mustafa. They were both excellent. They could not do enough for you. They were always punctual, polite, funny, knowlegable, helpful and respectful. Carried our bags to the hotels .Very concerned for our safety both on the hikes and in the towns/cities. They tried to teach me some of the Bosnian language but to no avail. I found it one of the hardest languages I have ever heard! lol
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take high factor sunscreen as the sun was fierce even in May/June. Some of the hikes had some sheer drops and i'm not good with heights (but the leaders stayed with the people like me) Don't take sterling. In Mostar and Dubrovnik they were happy to take Euro's (as well as Bosnian Marks and Croatian Kuna) The hotels could not change Sterling( they would change Euro's) and you would need to go to a bank. Dubrovnik is pretty but I found it very touristy, especially with the cruise ships in town.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I try not to read up on my destinations as I have gotten pre conceived ideas before and then been disappointed. I expected the Balkans to be like Russia in appearence and it's people but found Montenegro to be like Canada with it's lakes and mountains! The local people were lovely and I can't wait to do the Serbia, Macedonia and Albania trip next year, which will be with at least 3 of the group who were on this tour.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

montenegro, bosnia and herzegovina

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The way Anaid our guide brought the history alive in conjunction with visiting the museums made me feel that I could understood what the people experienced.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    He was extremely knowledgeable on the history of the countries. In addition he ensured everyone was okay and that he genuinely wanted us to enjoy our trip
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Start reading the Cellist of Sarajevo before you go and finish it while you are there

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Balkans adventure

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed all parts of the trip. Some particular highlights were the trip to Lukomir, Bosnia's highest village - it took quite a long drive up a gravel road to get there (mention must go to our fantastic driver, who approached this, as well as the frequent hairpin bends up and down mountains throughout the trip, with calm expertise!) but was worth the drive. We started with a fairly easy hike to a mountain waterfall (I found the hike down easier than the hike back up, but that might be my fitness level!) and afterwards were were rewarded by a delicious homemade lunch provided for us by one of the village families. It was fantastic to do as it would not have been possible had I not been traveling with the Exodus group I also found visiting Sarajevo very interesting, and we were able to get a good introduction to the recent history in the city. We visited the Sarajevo Tunnel museum and our group leader was happy to share his experiences of the 1990s siege. Sarajevo itself was a beautiful city with very diverse culture and history.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Alen, was fantastic. He was very easy-going and friendly, and provided us with lots of interesting information about the places we visited and the culture of the region. He was happy to answer our group's many questions, made sure we had good information about things to do during our free time, shared with us his personal experiences of the 1990s conflicts and was a wonderful ambassador for Bosnia and Sarajevo.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Those of us who spent a few days in Dubrovnik before or after the group trip were glad we had arranged this - the time in Dubrovnik is limited (arrival in the afternoon and group flight was the next lunchtime) so there was really just time for a late-afternoon visit to Dubrovnik Old Town and supper. I also recommend taking walking boots - it does advise these in the trip information, but I wasn't sure it would be necessary for the walks we were doing. I was very glad to have mine in the end, as the ground on the walks was not necessarily easy underfoot, especially with some loose stones etc underfoot on the Lukomir walk. I also advise good insect repellent if you are susceptible to bites - I did get bitten by mosquitoes on both occasions that I didn't wear any repellent. Zip off shorts-trousers, or a long skirt for women would be handy for the monastery trips - something that could be stored in a backpack. They did tend to provide wrap-around skirts and headscarves to borrow if you needed them but some people might prefer to have their own.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I had a great time on this holiday, was lucky to be with a lovely group of fellow travelers (11 of us in total) and would recommend it.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 15, 2021
Available
$2,479.00
N/A
June 5, 2021
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$2,479.00
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June 19, 2021
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$2,479.00
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July 3, 2021
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$2,579.00
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July 31, 2021
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August 14, 2021
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$2,579.00
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August 28, 2021
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$2,579.00
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September 4, 2021
Available
$2,479.00
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September 11, 2021
Available
$2,479.00
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September 18, 2021
Available
$2,479.00
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