Bosnia & Beyond

Bosnia & Beyond
Bosnia & Beyond
Bosnia & Beyond
Bosnia & Beyond
Bosnia & Beyond
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

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

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.

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
Food

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.

Destinations
  • Europe
  • Croatia
  • Montenegro
  • Sarajevo
  • Mostar
  • Dubrovnik
  • Kotor
  • Split
  • Bosnia
Tour Types
  • Winter
  • Small Group
  • Multi-Country Holidays
  • Multi-Country Culture Holidays
  • Adventure
  • Active
  • Foodie
  • Cultural
  • Multi-country
  • Food & Drink Holidays
  • Singles
Day 1

Fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia; transfer (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 unique Mediterranean ambiance of the region. *Hotel Porto In or similar*



Day 2

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*



Day 3

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*



Day 4

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*



Day 5

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 Cosmopolit or similar*



Day 6

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 Cosmopolit** or similar*



Day 7

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 Cosmopolit **or similar*



Day 8

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*



Day 9

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*



Day 10

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*



Day 11

Transfer to Dubrovnik Airport; fly to London. 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 * All accommodation * Transfers for group flights


An exceptionally interesting and varied trip

This trip exceeded my expectations in terms of the sheer variety of scenery and experiences. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro are stunningly beautiful countries and, as yet, unspoilt by mass tourism. The Bay of Kotor, with the mountains rising up precipitously behind; the remote valleys and settlements; turquoise lakes and rivers; deep gorges and waterfalls; fascinating towns and cities like Cetinje, Sarajevo and Mostar; monasteries below sheer rock faces; isolated villages offering great hospitality; plentiful food portions; wine tastings; a superb guide who brought the incredible history to life: what more could one want? Although we saw and experienced a huge amount, there were no early starts, and the drives were punctuated by stops at places of interest. It was also good to spend at least two nights at each place apart from the last (Dubrovnik), so that we were not packing up and moving on every day. Our driver, Semir, also deserves a mention - he was always helpful and was a very steady driver, so we felt completely safe.

Rating: 5




Beguiled by Bosnia

This holiday gave a great taste of 3 Balkan countries, breath-taking scenery, attractive towns and villages and sobering insights into the past suffered there, particularly Bosnia. A variety of sites, history and experiences were included which made the trip really interesting. The only downside was the over-popularity of Dubrovnik at the end of the trip

Rating: 5




Two surprising gem's

This is a fascinating trip and I would recommend you book soon before some of the places you visit become too popular. The trip starts in Montenegro, and you spend a mixture of time in the stunning town of Kotor and out in the wilds of Durmitor NP and Zabljak. The views and walks are beautiful. Onto Bosnia and much learning about the recent war, however the country has far more to offer than this with wine tasting, waterfalls, remote villages and of course the very touristy, Mostar. The trip is paced well, with no really early starts and time allowed for you to explore yourself. Walks are not difficult and the food meaty, whilst accommodating vegetarians. If asked I would say "just book"

Rating: 5




A fabulous trip - full of variety

A superb trip with great variety - coastal scenery, mountains, rivers, lakes, canyons, the city of Sarajevo, and then all the history, culture and peoples of the Balkans. It was a very easy trip with comfortable travel, unhurried and yet lots seen and done. I really enjoyed travelling with the group - always someone to go out with for meals or a drink and yet plenty of time to do your own exploring.

Rating: 5




Exceeded my expectations

An amazingly diverse trip taking in wonderful UNESCO world heritage sites. From cities to isolated mountainous hikes, swimming at Kravica waterfalls and lunches in out of the ordinary hidden gems. I now have a much greater knowledge and understanding of the war in these countries.

Rating: 5




Bosnia and beyond

This was an enjoyable and illuminating trip, very efficiently run. Almost all places visited were worthwhile, with the possible exception of Budva. A mixture of lovely scenery (especially the Montenegro mountains), comfortable travelling and towns/cities attractive in themselves but with an extra layer of history.

Rating: 5




Bosnia and beyond

A great trip, scenically a good mix of coastal and mountain scenery, local culture well explained & a great introduction to this part of the Balkans.

Rating: 5




Fantastic Trip

If you love glorious mountain scenery on every day of your journey then this is the trip for you. Every place we went looked like it could be an airbrushed postcard, yet the beauty was very real. The walks were lovely and not too difficult, although I do recommend bringing walking poles. I was fortunate enough to be in a group with Sabina as our guide. While I've never had a bad guide with Exodus, Sabina stands out as the best. She did a wonderful job of looking out for everyone in the group and making sure everyone felt included. Her love and knowledge of the Balkans really came through. Our driver was very skilled and he kept us safe on some narrow, winding roads.

Rating: 5




Bosnia visited

I was hoping to understand more about the recent war in Bosnia. I didn't learn much except that this is an extraordinarily complicated place the crossroads of Europe geographically and historically, that nationalism is toxic, and that efforts by internationalbodies such as the UN were incapable of preventing war and even genocide if one of the combatants decide on a course of action.

Rating: 5




Bosnia and Beyond

I have just completed this Exodus tour of the Balkans, and I rate it amongst the best well rounded tours I have experienced. The itinerary was excellent. The bus and accommodations were very good. There was a very good balance of road time through breathtaking countryside, to walks, hiking and group meals experiencing local foods, to free time. Our driver was safety conscious. I would sign up for an Exodus tour again without hesitation.

Rating: 5



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You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

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Touring with Exodus

With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.

Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.

Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.

Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!

When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.

Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.

At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

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Group Size:6 - 18
Suitable For: 16 to 99
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:7 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 1 dinners.
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