Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia & Bosnia
Balkan Explorer

Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia – Balkan Explorer Tour- a 15 day Small Group Tour.

Visiting Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, this Balkan tour is a medley of former Yugoslav republics. Highlights include dynamic, modern European cities and coastal resorts, centres of conservative Orthodox Christian heritage, Sufi Islamic monasteries, pre-historic cultural centres, the point of origin for WW1, and a capital city that still bears the scars of Europe’s most recent war.

Mention the Balkans to anyone and it can conjure up a plethora of images – flashpoint of the First World War, the atrocities of the recent civil war, Tito’s Communist dictatorship.

We get to look beyond these clichéd stereotypes on our two week trip through four stunningly beautiful countries – Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We explore the crossroads of cultures, of Christianity meets Islam in fascinating historical cities such as Sarajevo and Belgrade, as well as some of the best landscapes in Europe at Durmitor and Biogradska Gora. Learn about the recent tragic history of the region in old Mostar and explore the medieval walled city of Kotor.

Over two weeks the Balkan tour may or may not make the region easier to understand. However, cultural and ethnic differences which have over the centuries in turn forged alliances and catalysed conflict will become apparent. This is a holiday, with fine wines and excellent cuisine, but it’s also an exploration of human nature.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


On your arrival in Belgrade you will be met and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is free time. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar.

Today we start with a tour of Belgrade, taking in the temple of St Sava, the parliament buildings and Republic Square, and the Kalemegdan Fortress and the museum of Yogoslav history. Later on we will join up with a cruise on the Danube to see more of the city’s sights, before some free time to explore the city on your own. (Note: cruise is dependent on the weather conditions). Overnight Hotel Rex or similar (B)

An early morning start as we set off to explore the Fruška Gora National Park, also referred as the “Serbian Athos” and “The Holly Mountain”, due to the 16 Orthodox monasteries from the late 15th and 16th centuries that are situated on its territory. We continue to Sremski Karlovci, a Serbian cultural centre in 18th and 19th centuries. Here we have a city tour and can partake in a wine tasting of local brands with appetizers at the local cellars. We will visit the Petrovaradin Fortress, knows as “The Gibraltar of the Danube” before exploring the historical attractions of Novi Sad, including the iconic clock tower. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar (B)

(300km, approx. 5hrs driving)

This morning we leave Belgrade behind as we travel along the winding valley of the River Danube. We visit the medieval fortress of Golubac, located near the border with Romania. The fortress is situated at the very entrance of the Djerdap Gorge, which is known also as the Iron Gates, on the section where the Danube River is at its widest. We continue to the archaeological site of Lepenski Vir, located in the Đerdap Gorge. It was the centre of one of the most important prehistoric cultures and the remains of religious architecture dating from 6500 to 5500 BC have been found here. Overnight Hotel Djerdap or similar (B)

(200km, approx. 4hrs driving)

This morning we travel to Rajac wine cellars, located near the village of the same name. It is a unique architectural complex of wine cellars built from the mid eighteenth century. The complex consists of 270 wine cellars and a central square with fountain. We will visit The National Museum in Zaječar before continuing to the ancient Roman complex of palaces and temples, Felix Romuliana. This is one of the most important late Roman sites in Europe. After exploring the site we will head to Vrnjcka Banja and our hotel for the evening. Overnight at Hotel Liders or similar (B)


(350km, approx. 7hrs driving)

Today we visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites- the Studenica and Sopocani Monasteries, which are the largest and wealthiest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries. with fine Byzantine paintings; Sopocani is part of Stari Ras, Serbia’s first capital, a cluster of medieval fortifications and churches. Sopocani Monastery, built in 13th century, has frescoes that are considered to be masterpieces of European fresco painting of the time. We cross the border in to Montenegro and stay in the town of Kolašin. Overnight at the Hotel Cile or similar (B)

(120km, approx. 3hrs driving)

We continue on to Biogradska Gora, an isolated area of forests and mountains surround nine glacial lakes. This is one of Europe’s last three remaining primeval forests. Our journey continues to the Durdevica Tara Bridge, which at 172 meters above the Tara River, was at the time building was finished, the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. This is a great place to for a photo opportunity before we travel to Durmitor National Park with its breathtaking scenery of mountains, forests, lakes and high pastures. We will visit the Black Lake and, time permitting, take a walk around lake. Overnight Pavlovica Konaci or similar (B)

(200km, approx. 5hrs driving)

The Sedlo Pass (1907 m) on the road from Zabljak to Piva Lake is the highest road pass in Montenegro and we will stop here for a photo break with views over the Piva River Canyon. We continue our journey with a visit to the Ostrog monastery, with its chapels set in a sheer rock face and linked by beautifully decorated caves, passages and stairways. There is a visit to Podgorica where we have a few hours of free time before we end our day in Cetinje, an important historical centre dating from the 15th century and the cultural and spiritual heart of Montenegro. Overnight Hotel Sport Inn or similar (B)

(40km, approx. 2hrs driving)

This morning we visit the former palace of King Nikola, now Montenegro’s National Museum in Cetinje before we set off to Kotor. On the way we will stop for a visit at the Lovcen National Park and view the mausoleum of Peter II Petrovic Njegos. Our journey today ends in Kotor (or Prcanj a few kilometres from the city), where we will have a walking tour to discover the old city, the Cathedral of St Tryphon and the fortress of Saint Ivan. Overnight Hotel Galia or similar (B)

(150km, approx. 4hrs driving)

After breakfast we will take a cruise around some of the islands in Kotor bay. (Note: Subject to weather conditions). We then cross the border in to Croatia and head to Dubrovnik, which is one of the most attractive cities in the region. Here we will take a walking tour with a local guide and visit the Dominican Monastery. We leave Dubrovnik and head to our stopover for the evening, Trebinje, just over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Overnight at Platani Hotel or similar (B)

(60km, approx. 1.5hrs driving)

Today we will start with a morning sightseeing tour of Trebinje before travelling to the necropolis on Radimlja. This is the best-known site of the medieval tomb stones in the country and is among the most valuable monuments of the medieval period in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our next stop is the village of Blagaj Tekija, a Dervish monastery outside Mostar that is nearly 600 years old. Situated at the base of a cliff, next to the source of the river Buna, it’s a unique and picturesque series of buildings. The last stop of the day is Mostar, where we check in at our hotel for the evening. Overnight Hotel Rivero or similar (B)

(70km, approx. 2hrs driving)

We leave Mostar this morning to head to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. On the way we will stop off at Konjic. The city is one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia, dating back almost 4000 years and is set in a beautiful wooded area that is popular with outdoor sports enthusiast and walkers. Our journey continues to Sarajevo where we will take a tour through the old oriental part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city, with its beautiful architecture, sweet shops and cafes. We visit the Latin Bridge, site of the start of World War I and where you can spot various markings on the pavements which are ‘mini-memorials’ to the sniper victims of the recent war. We also visit the tunnel museum, a section of the tunnel that was the only way of accessing the city during the siege of 1992-1995. Later there is free time to explore the city on your own. Overnight Hotel Saraj or similar (B)

We will visit the River Bosna and have free time today to explore Sarajevo at your own pace. Overnight Hotel Saraj or similar (B)

(350km, approx. 6hrs driving)

We leave Sarajevo and stop to visit the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, the historic bridge in Višegrad widely known from book “The Bridge on the Drina”, the best-known novel of Serbian writer and winner of the Nobel prize, Ivo Andrić. It was built in 1577 by the Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. From Visegrad we take the road via the Tara Mountain and the Drina River valley (with photo stops) back to Belgrade. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar (B)

At a suitable time, you will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the airport for your onward flight (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Single Supplement from £250.

Return flights from London to Belgrade start at £180. Contact us for a quotation.

We know that for many of our destinations flying cannot be avoided. But we believe that for some of our tours, taking the train is a practical, affordable and most of all a very enjoyable alternative. Even flying in just one direction will have a very positive benefit on the environment. To compare the emissions for your next trip take a look at this easy to use emissions calculator –

One-way fares from London to Belgrade or vice versa start at £170.

For a quote to travel from a European city other than London please contact us. We will advise you of the options, including routes and fares.

Contact us for further details about how we can help you plan the perfect environmentally friendly addition to your holiday. As well as train tickets, we can arrange stopovers along the way, including hotels and guided tours.

Kindly note that our Hidden Europe tour of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia can be taken directly after this tour for an in-depth foray into the fascinating Balkan region.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Balkan Explorer Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation on twin share basis
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

A well thought out trip which suited us perfectly. Would not hesitate to recommend you to others.


Margot and Mike Richards, USA