Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia & Bosnia
Balkan Explorer

Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia – Balkan Explorer – a 15 day Small Group Tour from £2415 per person.


Visiting Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, this 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 Balkans may or may not become 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

Busy

Tour style

Traveller

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.

Itinerary.

On arrival in Belgrade transfer to hotel accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore independently. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar.

Today we explore Belgrade, visiting the temple of Saint Sava, the parliament buildings, Republic Square, and the Kalemegdan Fortress. Later, we take a cruise on the River Danube to see more of the city’s sights, before some free time to relax, perhaps ordering a coffee and watching Belgrade’s citizens about their business. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar. (B)

Please note: The Danube cruise is weather dependent.

There’s an early start this morning as we set off to explore Fruška Gora National Park, also referred to as ‘The Holy Mountain’ due to the 16 Orthodox late 15th and 16th century monasteries within the park boundaries. Afterwards we continue to Sremski Karlovci, a centre for Serbian culture in the 18th and 19th centuries where a city tour includes visiting cellars and tasting local wines. Later we drive to Petrovaradin Fortress, known as ‘The Gibraltar of the Danube’ before exploring the historical attractions of Novi Sad, including its iconic clock tower. Overnight Hotel Rex or similar hotel. (B)

This morning we leave Belgrade behind and travel along the winding Danube valley. Near the border with Romania we visit the medieval fortress of Golubac, situated at the very entrance of Djerdap Gorge, known also as the Iron Gates, where the Danube at its widest. Afterwards we continue to the archaeological site of Lepenski Vir, located in the gorge itself. The site was once the centre for an important prehistoric culture, and remains of religious architecture have been found that date from 6500 to 5500 BC. Overnight Hotel Djerdap or similar. (B)

Today we travel to Rajac Wineries’ cellars near the village of the same name. The unique complex built around the mid-18th century comprises 270 stone cellars, a central square and fountain dedicated to Saint Tryphon, patron saint of winemakers. Afterwards we visit The National Museum in Zaječar before continuing to the ancient Roman site of Felix Romuliana. This is one of the most important late Roman sites in Europe. Later, we head to Vrnjcka Banja and our hotel for the evening. Overnight at Vrnjcka Banja Hotel or similar. (B)

 

After breakfast we leave Vrnjcka Banja and head to the Studenica and Sopocani Monasteries. Constructed in the 12th century, Studenica is the largest and wealthiest of Serbia’s Orthodox monasteries, with a fine collection of Byzantine paintings. Built in the 13th century, Sopocani is part of a cluster of medieval fortifications and churches that form Stari Ras, Serbia’s first capital. The monastery contains masterpieces of European fresco painting. Both monasteries are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Afterwards we cross the border into Montenegro and stay in the town of Kolašin. Overnight at the Hotel Cile or similar. (B)

This morning we drive to Biogradska Gora, an isolated area of forests and mountains surrounding nine glacial lakes, one of Europe’s last three remaining primeval forests. Later, we continue to Durdevica Tara Bridge, which at 172 metres above the Tara River, was once the largest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. After time for photographs we travel on to the breath taking mountains, forests, lakes and high pastures of Durmitor National Park. If we arrive in good time we’ll  walk around the park’s Black Lake. Overnight Hotel Enigma or similar. (B)

Leaving the park this morning we cross the 1,907m Sedlo Pass on the road from Zabljak to Piva Lake, the highest road pass in Montenegro, where we’ll stop and take in views over the Piva River Canyon. Afterwards we continue to Ostrog Monastery where chapels are set in a sheer rock face and linked by beautifully decorated caves, passages and stairways. Later we visit Podgorica where there’ll be time to explore independently, before ending 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)

This morning we visit Cetinje and the former palace of King Nikola, now Montenegro’s National Museum, before departing for Kotor. On the way we stop at Lovcen National Park to see the mausoleum of Peter II Petrovic-Njegos. Our journey today ends in Kotor where we’ll take a walking tour to discover the Old City, the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and the fortress of Saint Ivan. Overnight Hotel Marija 2 or similar. (B)

After breakfast we take a cruise around the islands in Kotor Bay before crossing the border into Croatia and heading to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Dubrovnik, one of the most attractive cities in the region. Here we take a walking tour with a local guide and visit the Dominican Monastery. Later we leave Dubrovnik and head to our evening stopover at Trebinje, just over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Overnight at Platani Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note: The Kotor Bay cruise is weather dependent.

This morning starts with a sightseeing tour of Trebinje before travelling to the necropolis of Radimlja near Stolac. This site has the best-known collection of mediaeval tomb stones in the country and is among the most valuable mediaeval monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Afterwards our next stop is the village of Blagaj Tekija where a 600-year-old Dervish monastery is situated at the base of cliffs overlooking the source of the river Buna. This is a beautiful, tranquil place animated by the natural energy of the water. Later we arrive in Mostar where the Old City and bridge are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight Hotel Rivero or similar. (B)

We leave Mostar this morning and drive to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. On the way we’ll stop at Konjic, set in a beautiful wooded area popular with walkers, and one of the oldest permanent settlements in Bosnia, dating back almost 4,000 years. Arriving in Sarajevo we take a tour through the old oriental parts of the city known for its architecture, sweet shops and cafes. Later we visit the Latin Bridge where the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria precipitated World War I. Nearby, various markings on the pavements are memorials to victims of snipers during siege of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1996. Afterwards we visit the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum, a section of the tunnel that provided access to the city during the siege. Later there’s free time to explore Sarajevo independently at your own pace. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar. (B)

Today we visit the River Bosna and later have to free time to relax or explore the city independently. Overnight Hotel Hecco or similar. (B)

Leaving Sarajevo, we stop to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad widely known from book, ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ by Yugoslav/Serbian Nobel Laureate, Ivo Andrić. The bridge was constructed in 1577 by the Ottoman court architect Mimar Sinan on the order of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. From Visegrad, we return to Belgrade via Tara Mountain and the Drina River valley. 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)

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

Dates & Price.

  • Tour Code
    Start
    End
    Trip Status
    Pricing
     
  • Tour Code 20-01
    Start Tuesday May 26, 2020
    End Tuesday June 9, 2020
    Contact us for Availability
     

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 20-02
    Start Tuesday September 1, 2020
    End Tuesday September 15, 2020
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,415.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 20-03
    Start Monday September 21, 2020
    End Monday October 5, 2020
    Guaranteed
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,415.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-01
    Start Thursday April 22, 2021
    End Thursday May 6, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,545.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-02
    Start Thursday May 20, 2021
    End Thursday June 3, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,545.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-03
    Start Thursday August 26, 2021
    End Thursday September 9, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,545.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More
  • Tour Code 21-04
    Start Wednesday September 22, 2021
    End Thursday October 7, 2021
    Available
     
    Available Seats: 12

    Adult ( 1 - 12 Pax ) £2,545.00 /Person

    - +

    Trip Extras:

    Balkan Explorer Tour (BBE) Single Supplement
    £ 235.00 / unit

    Single travellers - we understand that in our busy world many people travel alone. Although we do charge a single supplement, if you are willing to share with another traveller then please contact us and we will do our best to match you up. Otherwise please select the applicable single supplement below.

    Learn More

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers. Please contact us to check on group numbers if a tour is not guaranteed as your reservation may be enough to guarantee the tour departs.

Single Supplement from £235.

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 – https://uic.org/ecopassenger.

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.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour costs from £29 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £38 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

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