Hiking in the Balkans
Day 1 Dubrovnik
Arrive at any time. Welcome meeting in the evening.
Day 2 Kotor (1B)
A first day of hiking today, leaving Croatia and heading over the border into Montenegro. One of the youngest countries on the globe, Montenegro achieved independence in 2006 and has since become a great adventure destination. Transferring from Dubrovnik, it's a short journey to get to Kotor. Taking to the mountains, hike to the village of Njeguši, on Mount Lov?en. The stone walls of the village was the birthplace of one of Montenegro's early ruling dynasties, although now it is a tiny village occupied by a handful of people. Stop here after the climb to try the local smoked ham and cheese before transferring back to Kotor for the evening.
Day 3 Lov?en National Park (1B)
Return from Kotor to Lov?en National Park today, and a first attempt at a summit. Jezerski Vrh is one of the highest points in Montenegro, with an elevation of 1657m. The trail winds through the thickly wooded mountain side, mostly following old pack horse tracks. There will be some loose stones underfoot, so be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes, and watch your step. The hike is clearly marked on the way up, and along the way to the summit, stretches of the route are paved. At the summit itself, there is a mausoleum dedicated to the Montenegrin bishop Petar II Petrovic Njegos, although it is easy to be distracted by the views of Skadar Lake, Kotor Bay and the surrounding mountains all around.
Day 4 Durmitor National Park (1B)
This morning there is a short transfer north to Durmitor National Park, the most famous of all the parks in Montenegro. After arriving at the hotel in Zabljak, head out for a hike in the afternoon. A trail leads up to the crystal clear waters of Crno Jezero (Black Lake), a hike of around 40 minutes, with the imposing mountain of Durmitor on one side, and dense forest on the other. Continuing along, Jablan Jezero, another glacial lake is approximately an hour and a half further hiking. Here, the trail changes to pass through lush meadows before arriving at the green waters of the lake. Return to Zabljak for the night.
Day 5 Durmitor National Park (1B)
A full day hiking takes us into the Ališnica Valley, heading for the summit of Planinica (small mountain). Ališnica Valley is a glaciated valley with a variety of eco-systems along the route. The hike changes from barren landscapes to small pools and rugged peaks through the valley. The summit of Planinica at 2330m is a gentle rounded summit, although it takes a lot of energy to make the hike along a good path. The ascent is worth it for the mountain views all around. The Škr?ko Lakes are directly west, the Tara Canyon to the north, views you will want to stay all day to enjoy. Returning to Zabljak is a hike of around 3 hours. Total trekking time - approx. 7 hours.
Day 6 Sarajevo (1B)
A change of pace today, starting with a transfer out of Montenegro and into Bosnia, to the city of Sarajevo. Arriving around late morning, there's an orientation walk to get your bearings in the city in the afternoon, before you are free to explore more of this fascinating city. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a beautifully unique city famed for religious and cultural diversity. A place where Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs are living peacefully together setting examples for the rest of world that faces and has faced similar struggles.
Day 7 Bjelašnica (1B)
The most challenging day of hiking today, with a trek to the summit of Bjelašnica, home to the 1984 Olympic games. This full day hiking will cover the peaks of Bjelašnica, including the highest point of 2067 metres. Along the hike, there are many varied sights, including traditional Bogomil and Bosnian villages, watermills, canyons, waterfalls, lakes, and mountain huts. A lot of the mountains are covered in forest, including swathes of beech tree forest as well as smaller spruce tree areas interspersing the mountain sides. After a full days hiking, return to Sarajevo for the night.
Day 8 Dubrovnik (1B)
Return to Dubrovnik this morning. Depart at any time.