Balkans Via Dinarica Hiking Tour

An Epic Multi-Country Trek in the Dinaric Alps


On this multi-country trek on one of Europe's least-explored mountain ranges, the Dinaric Alps, discover rich cultures and spellbinding landscapes of the Western Balkans. From Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and down to Albania - the 1,200-mile-long Via Dinarica is every hiker's dream come true. Raft whitewater rapids down Europe's largest canyon, marvel at old-growth forests and glacier-fed lakes, dip into the royal-blue Adriatic Sea, and tour Sarajevo's nostalgic old town. On this epic three-week adventure, the most challenging part is bidding farewell to the beautiful Balkans.

22 Days

From: $7,995

On this multi-country trek on one of Europe's least-explored mountain ranges, the Dinaric Alps, discover rich cultures and spellbinding landscapes of the Western Balkans. From Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana, across Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and down to Albania - the 1,200-mile-long Via Dinarica is every hiker's dream come true. Raft whitewater rapids down Europe's largest canyon, marvel at old-growth forests and glacier-fed lakes, dip into the royal-blue Adriatic Sea, and tour Sarajevo's nostalgic old town. On this epic three-week adventure, the most challenging part is bidding farewell to the beautiful Balkans.

Highlights


  • Summit some of the Dinaric Alps' highest peaks and explore six Balkan national parks over 22 days

  • Raft down the deepest canyon in Europe, on Tara River's class II-IV whitewater rapids

  • Journey to isolated highland villages across the Balkans, like Lukomir in Bosnia and Valbona in Albania

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Balkans Via Dinarica Hiking

Start: Ljubljana, Slovenia  End: Tirana, Albania

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive at Ljubljana & Transfer to Bled

    Day 1

    Arrive to Ljubljana airport and meet your MT Sobek trip leader outside of customs and immigration area, to escort you to the hotel in the charming lakeside town of Bled. At the welcome dinner this evening, meet the rest of the group.

    Accommodation: Hotel Savica-Bled, Slovenia

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Explore Triglav National Park, Hike to Debela pec & Visit Bled Castle

    Day 2

    This morning, hike through the forests of Pokljuka plateau towards Lipanca alpine meadow and Blejska Koca Hut. The path reaches a saddle between the summits of Brda and Debela pec for the first views of the central Julian Alps. Head towards the grassy peak of Debela pec (6,605') for views of the Ljubljana basin and Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak and the symbol of the park. In the afternoon, return to Bled, for a walk along the lake and a visit to its iconic medieval castle, the oldest castle in Slovenia.

    Accommodation: Hotel Savica-Bled, Slovenia

    Activity: 5-hours/8 miles hiking with 2,788' elevation gain & loss

    Transportation: 45-minutes private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike Risnjak National Park in Croatia

    Day 3

    Depart this morning to Risnjak National Park on Croatia's northern border with Slovenia, the northernmost of Croatia's eight national parks. Covering more than 24 square miles, it provides habitat for more than 1,000 different plants, as well as wolves, bears, and lynx. Hike across its undulating forested terrain to Schlosser's mountain hut at the base of Veliki Risnjak peak (5,013'). If you have energy to spare, hike up to Veliki Risnjak for stunning 360-degree views. In the afternoon, transfer to the small pretty town of Fuzine, known for great walking and cycling.

    Accommodation: Hotel Bitoraj-Fuzine, Croatia

    Activity: 6 hours/10.5 miles hiking with 2,820' elevation gain & 1,575' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Premuzic Trail in Northern Velebit National Park

    Day 4

    Depart early for Northern Velebit National Park, one of the most beautiful areas of the Croatian Dinaric Alps. Start the hike near the Zavizan mountain hut, the highest meteorological station in Croatia. After a half-hour walk, embark on the famous Premuzic trail, a 35.5-mile-long route that follows the main ridge of Velebit mountain. While hiking this first stage of the trail, pass through Rozanski Kukovi, a nature reserve that protects many endemic and rare plant species, as well as rich fauna, including the three big predators of Croatia: bears, wolves, and lynx.

    Accommodation: Hotel Velinac

    Activity: 6-7 hours/10 miles hiking with 2,800' elevation gain & 1,280' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Marvel at the Limestone Peaks of Central Velebit

    Day 5

    After breakfast, embark on the last section of the Premuzic trail. Hike among the Dabarski Kukovi - high limestone rock towers overlooking the green valleys of Central Velebit - and head up to the Visibaba, a highland plateau with stellar views of the islands dotted along the Adriatic coast. After completing this rocky circular adventure, transfer to Starigrad Paklenica, a town situated on the Adriatic coast. Drive along the well-known Adriatic Magistrala, a scenic road that winds along the Croatian coast and offers dazzling coastal vistas.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vicko-Starigrad Paklenica, Croatia

    Activity: 4-5 hours/5 miles hiking with 1,476' elevation gain & 1,148' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Paklenica National Park

    Day 6

    Wake up to the sounds of seagulls and salty winds coming from the Adriatic. The village of Starigrad is the gateway to Paklenica National Park, a hiking and rock-climbing paradise wedged between two narrow gorges. Explore the bigger of the two gorges, with steep climbing walls, rocky peaks, well-maintained trails, and stunning views down the gorge. Rest at the main hut in the center of the park, cool off, replenish your water bottle, and follow the Paklenica river back down to the coast for a well-deserved dip in the Adriatic.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vicko-Starigrad Paklenica, Croatia

    Activity: 5-6 hours/8.5 miles hiking with 2,444' elevation gain & 2,460' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Tour Mostar & Reach Blidinje Nature Park

    Day 7

    Wake up early and transfer to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the beautiful city of Mostar. Tour the old city and see its famed old bridge. The bridge is locally known as Stari Most, and the town was named after the bridge keepers, or "mostari." After a tasty lunch on the banks of the Neretva river, head out towards Blidinje Nature Park, from where you continue the Bosnian part of the Via Dinarica adventure.

    Accommodation: Hotel Hajducke Vrleti-Blidinje Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Hajducka Vrata and Drinaca Peak

    Day 8

    Start the Bosnian part of the Via Dinarica adventure with Blidinje Nature Park, where the hike begins over Cvrsnica mountain. The first part is a very gentle ascent through a thick beech forest. As the elevation rises, climb above the tree line and east toward Drinjaca (6,686') and Hajducka Vrata, a stunning natural arch typical for karst and limestone. After lunch, head back part of the way to the top of Vilinac peak (6,950'), before continuing back down to Blidinje for some delicious traditional pine liqueur and hearty highland village fare.

    Accommodation: Hotel Hajducke Vrleti-Blidinje Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Activity: 6-8 hours/9.5 miles hiking with 2,460' elevation gain & 2,953' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Discover the Highland Village of Lukomir

    Day 9

    Transfer to the village of Umoljani, located on the mountain of Bjelasnica that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. From the traditional-style mosque, walk to the seven watermills, and continue to the Studeni Potok cascades. Walk upstream, see the serpent-like formations of Studeni Stream, and continue uphill to Obalj peak (6,220'). From here, take in spectacular views of Rakitnica canyon and Lukomir, Bosnia's highest village (at 4,820'), with ancient medieval tombstones and a traditional way of life. Descend back for a tasty homemade dinner and transfer to Babin Do, the mountain's main ski resort.

    Accommodation: Hotel Bjelasnica-Babin Do, Bosnia

    Activity: 4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,970' elevation gain & 1,706' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Wild Visocica Massif

    Day 10

    Today explore the wild Visocica massif, with pointed peaks and narrow valleys, and bordered by rivers on all sides. Start by winding through the Bjelasnica backroads before hitting the Rakitnica River and crossing over towards Tusila village (3,937'). Hike up through open meadows and thick beech forest to the summit of Vito (6,430'), and enjoy a lunch paired with panoramic views. Then follow a narrow ridge to Drstva peak (5,932') and descend to meet the vehicle and transfer to Sarajevo, the nation's capital. Enjoy dinner in the old town this evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel Europe-Sarajevo, Bosnia

    Activity: 7-8 hours/7.5 miles hike with 2,790' elevation gain & 2,707' elevation loss

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • See the Sights of Sarajevo

    Day 11

    Spend the day exploring the vibrant city of Sarajevo for a glimpse into its turbulent past that spanned empires - from the Ottoman Turks to the Austro-Hungarians. More recently, the city was host to the 1984 Winter Olympics and then made the news in the 1990s during the siege by Serb forces. Tour the ancient Ottoman quarter called Bascarsija, with its stone-flagged alleys and red-roofed houses sitting amongst minarets, as well as major historical and cultural sites. After lunch, explore on your own. In the late afternoon, transfer to the Sutjeska National Park.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mladost-Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia

    Activity: 2 hour city walking tour

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Sutjeska National Park

    Day 12

    In the morning, transfer to Sutjeska National Park, before continuing to the tranquil lake of Donje Bare. After lunch, hike through a beech forest and open mountainous terrain to the summit of Ugljesin (6,096'), for one of the best panoramic views of the Zelengora peaks and the rock face wall of Volujak. Continue the stunning circuit back to Gornje Bare lake via the Tovarnica ridge, with Bosnia's highest peaks a constant companion on the horizon. Then transfer back to the hotel in the Tjentiste valley, before an early dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mladost-Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia

    Activity: 4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,640' elevation gain & 2,018' elevation loss

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Trnovacko Lake or Summit Mt. Maglic

    Day 13

    Today drive to remote Lokva Derneciste to begin hiking through old growth forests and open, mountainous terrain. Split into two groups: one will do the moderate 2.5-hour hike to the emerald green Trnovacko Lake (4,921') and the other will tackle the strenuous 4-hour trek up to Maglic summit (7,828'), the highest and mightiest peak in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a 2.5-hour descent down to the lake. The group will reconvene at Trnovacko for a 2.5-hour hike among huge amphitheater of rocky peaks to Prijevor, and transfer back to the hotel.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mladost-Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia

    Activity: 4-5 hours/6.2 miles hiking with 984' elevation gain & loss to Trnovacko Lake - or - 9 hours/8.6 miles hiking with 4,264' elevation gain & loss to summit Mt. Maglic

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft the Tara River & Head to Durmitor National Park

    Day 14

    Rest your legs but get some thrills on today's rafting adventure through the deepest river canyon in Europe. After leaving the hotel, sit back and enjoy the spectacular views along the Drina river, until the place where the Piva and Tara canyons join. There, put in for a rafting journey on the Tara, which sits more than 3,000 feet down in the canyon with stunning wilderness all around. After enjoying an early dinner along the river, continue on to the town of Zabljak on the edge of Durmitor National Park in Montenegro.

    Accommodation: Hotel Soa

    Activity: 3-4 hours rafting Class II-IV rapids

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Ascend Prutas Peak in Durmitor National Park

    Day 15

    Today ascend the sloping deep-green Prutas peak, with the most stunning views of other Durmitor sights, like the Soa Nebeska wall, the amazing Skrcka Lakes valley, and the stunning Susica canyon. After a short drive to Dobri Do (5,577'), begin climbing a grassy slope toward Skrcko Zdrijelo Pass (6,935'), and then follow a rocky path with magnificent views of the massive Bobotov Kuk. Shortly after reaching the peak, have lunch paired with breathtaking views. After the 5-hour hike, arrive back in Zabljak in time for dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Soa

    Activity: 5-6 hours/5 miles hiking with 2,460' elevation gain & 2,480 elevation loss

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Climb Bobotov Kuk, Montenegro's Highest Summit

    Day 16

    Today, climb Montenegro's highest peak, Bobotov Kuk (8,277'). Starting relatively high at 6,230 feet, hike up the grassy slope of Surutka toward Zupci, a magnificent massif with 14 sharp, rocky "teeth." After circling Zupci, arrive at the glacial lake Zeleni Vir and begin a steep, rocky ascent toward Bobotov Kuk. The views expand with every step until the summit - with vistas all the way to the Adriatic on a clear day. Enjoy lunch here, and then descend via the Mlijecni Do, to take a short ride back to Zabljak for a well¬-deserved rest.

    Accommodation: Hotel Soa

    Activity: 6-7 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 2,130' elevation gain & 3,035' elevation loss

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to Theth Village in Albania's Accursed Mountains

    Day 17

    Today say goodbye to Montenegro and cross over into Albania. Make a lunch stop in the town of Shkodar and continue to the remote village of Theth in the namesake national park. Stroll around the village and learn about some of the ancient customs that reign these communities on the edge of the Albanian Alps - known by some as the Accursed Mountains. (Don't let the name fool you; the range is known for its stunning, unspoiled beauty.) Have dinner and overnight at a family-run guesthouse in Theth.

    Accommodation: Villa Gjecaj-Thethi Valley, Albania

    Transportation: 7-hour private van transfer (with breaks)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike from Theth to Valbona, Crossing the Valbona Pass

    Day 18

    Today load the luggage into the vehicles and hike from Theth to Valbona along an old mule trail that is the only direct connection between the two valleys. This scenic but challenging hike begins in the Valley of Theth (2,460') then climbs steeply upward through beech woods and grassy meadows towards Valbona Pass (5,770'). At the top, enjoy a picnic lunch and breathtaking views of both Theth and Valbona National Parks. Today's alternative is a full-day transfer that includes a ferry boat ride over the blue waters of Komani lake, followed by a short walk around Valbona.

    Accommodation: Hotel Rilindja

    Activity: 8 hours/11 miles hiking with 4,050' elevation gain & 4,265' elevation loss or alternative full-day transfer

    Transportation: Alternative: 5.5-hour private van transfer & 2.5 hour ferry ride

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Climb the Maja Rosit Pass

    Day 19

    This morning, start the hike directly from the guesthouse, passing through dry river beds and climbing through forests of beech and pine. Frequently used by the villages bringing their sheep and cows to higher pastures, the trail winds up through grassy open terrain to a lonely shepherds' hut. Enjoy a cold drink here before pushing on to the Maja Rosit pass (6,690') that separates Albania from Montenegro. After a hearty picnic lunch of highland cheese and local beer, head back down the same way, through the hamlet of Kukaj and on to Valbona.

    Accommodation: Hotel Rilindja

    Activity: 5-6 hours/7 miles hiking with 2,625' elevation gain & 2,460' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit the Monastery of Decan & Head to Prizren

    Day 20

    This morning, drive to the lower valley to visit one of Kosovo's beautiful Orthodox monasteries, the 14th-century St. Nicholas Monastery of Decan. Then continue on to the historic city of Prizren, to spend the evening in an Ottoman-style neighborhood and enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant.

    Accommodation: Hotel Prizreni-Prizren, Kosovo

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Take In the Highlights of Tirana

    Day 21

    After a morning departure from Prizren, drive through the Albanian hinterland and arrive to Tirana, the capital of Albania. After checking into the hotel, head out on a tour of this charming, cosmopolitan city, visiting the Skenderbey square, the old mosque, and the vibrant Blloku neighborhood packed with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Enjoy a farewell dinner in one of these restaurants before returning to the hotel.

    Accommodation: Sarotel-Tirana, Albania

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Tirana

    Day 22

    After breakfast, have a 30-minute transfer to Tirana International Airport.

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

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Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

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Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

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Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

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Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Lorenc Konaj

Lorenc Konaj

Lorenc fell in love with the natural environment and pristine wilderness, in what was then known as Yugoslavia, as a child. He soon discovered his other joy in life, that of sharing the beauty of the region with those visiting his little corner of the globe-a place rich in culture, history, and gorgeous nature. Lorenc is a Certified Mountain Guide and Ranger for the BiH Mountain Association, a member of a Mountain Rescue Team, and has led MT Sobek trips in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2007. When not leading trips, Lorenc develops new adventures and trains guides in Bosnia.

Samer Hajric

Samer Hajric

Samer is from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is a certified mountain guide by the Mountaineering Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina and UIAA standards. He has been guiding for MT Sobek since 2007 and his first magical encounter with the Dinaric Alps was back in 2000. In Samer's own words: "My passion for the mountains and the rigours of the outdoors, combined with the warm-heartedness of the local people, left an indelible impression on me. It will be my great pleasure to show you this part of the world and the area which holds a special place in my heart-the Dinaric Alps."

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Arrive to Ljubljana airport and meet your MT Sobek trip leader outside of customs and immigration area, to escort you to the hotel in the charming lakeside town of Bled. At the welcome dinner this evening, meet the rest of the group.

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Depart early for Northern Velebit National Park, one of the most beautiful areas of the Croatian Dinaric Alps. Start the hike near the Zavizan mountain hut, the highest meteorological station in Croatia. After a half-hour walk, embark on the famous Premuzic trail, a 35.5-mile-long route that follows the main ridge of Velebit mountain. While hiking this first stage of the trail, pass through Rozanski Kukovi, a nature reserve that protects many endemic and rare plant species, as well as rich fauna, including the three big predators of Croatia: bears, wolves, and lynx.

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Wake up to the sounds of seagulls and salty winds coming from the Adriatic. The village of Starigrad is the gateway to Paklenica National Park, a hiking and rock-climbing paradise wedged between two narrow gorges. Explore the bigger of the two gorges, with steep climbing walls, rocky peaks, well-maintained trails, and stunning views down the gorge. Rest at the main hut in the center of the park, cool off, replenish your water bottle, and follow the Paklenica river back down to the coast for a well-deserved dip in the Adriatic.

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Wake up early and transfer to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the beautiful city of Mostar. Tour the old city and see its famed old bridge. The bridge is locally known as Stari Most, and the town was named after the bridge keepers, or "mostari." After a tasty lunch on the banks of the Neretva river, head out towards Blidinje Nature Park, from where you continue the Bosnian part of the Via Dinarica adventure.

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Start the Bosnian part of the Via Dinarica adventure with Blidinje Nature Park, where the hike begins over Cvrsnica mountain. The first part is a very gentle ascent through a thick beech forest. As the elevation rises, climb above the tree line and east toward Drinjaca (6,686\') and Hajducka Vrata, a stunning natural arch typical for karst and limestone. After lunch, head back part of the way to the top of Vilinac peak (6,950\'), before continuing back down to Blidinje for some delicious traditional pine liqueur and hearty highland village fare.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.607197 [Longitude] => 17.492850 ) [8] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 9 [DayTo] => 9 [Headline] => Discover the Highland Village of Lukomir [ActivityOverview] => 4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,970\' elevation gain & 1,706\' elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Transfer to the village of Umoljani, located on the mountain of Bjelasnica that hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. From the traditional-style mosque, walk to the seven watermills, and continue to the Studeni Potok cascades. Walk upstream, see the serpent-like formations of Studeni Stream, and continue uphill to Obalj peak (6,220\'). From here, take in spectacular views of Rakitnica canyon and Lukomir, Bosnia\'s highest village (at 4,820\'), with ancient medieval tombstones and a traditional way of life. Descend back for a tasty homemade dinner and transfer to Babin Do, the mountain\'s main ski resort.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3.5-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 42.947920 [Longitude] => 17.681330 ) [9] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 10 [DayTo] => 10 [Headline] => Hike the Wild Visocica Massif [ActivityOverview] => 7-8 hours/7.5 miles hike with 2,790\' elevation gain & 2,707\' elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today explore the wild Visocica massif, with pointed peaks and narrow valleys, and bordered by rivers on all sides. Start by winding through the Bjelasnica backroads before hitting the Rakitnica River and crossing over towards Tusila village (3,937\'). Hike up through open meadows and thick beech forest to the summit of Vito (6,430\'), and enjoy a lunch paired with panoramic views. Then follow a narrow ridge to Drstva peak (5,932\') and descend to meet the vehicle and transfer to Sarajevo, the nation\'s capital. Enjoy dinner in the old town this evening.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2.5-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.856258 [Longitude] => 18.413076 ) [10] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 11 [DayTo] => 11 [Headline] => See the Sights of Sarajevo [ActivityOverview] => 2 hour city walking tour [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Spend the day exploring the vibrant city of Sarajevo for a glimpse into its turbulent past that spanned empires - from the Ottoman Turks to the Austro-Hungarians. More recently, the city was host to the 1984 Winter Olympics and then made the news in the 1990s during the siege by Serb forces. Tour the ancient Ottoman quarter called Bascarsija, with its stone-flagged alleys and red-roofed houses sitting amongst minarets, as well as major historical and cultural sites. After lunch, explore on your own. In the late afternoon, transfer to the Sutjeska National Park.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.333333 [Longitude] => 18.683333 ) [11] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 12 [DayTo] => 12 [Headline] => Explore Sutjeska National Park [ActivityOverview] => 4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,640\' elevation gain & 2,018\' elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

In the morning, transfer to Sutjeska National Park, before continuing to the tranquil lake of Donje Bare. After lunch, hike through a beech forest and open mountainous terrain to the summit of Ugljesin (6,096\'), for one of the best panoramic views of the Zelengora peaks and the rock face wall of Volujak. Continue the stunning circuit back to Gornje Bare lake via the Tovarnica ridge, with Bosnia\'s highest peaks a constant companion on the horizon. Then transfer back to the hotel in the Tjentiste valley, before an early dinner.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.316667 [Longitude] => 18.6 ) [12] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 13 [DayTo] => 13 [Headline] => Hike to Trnovacko Lake or Summit Mt. Maglic [ActivityOverview] => 4-5 hours/6.2 miles hiking with 984\' elevation gain & loss to Trnovacko Lake - or - 9 hours/8.6 miles hiking with 4,264\' elevation gain & loss to summit Mt. Maglic [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today drive to remote Lokva Derneciste to begin hiking through old growth forests and open, mountainous terrain. Split into two groups: one will do the moderate 2.5-hour hike to the emerald green Trnovacko Lake (4,921\') and the other will tackle the strenuous 4-hour trek up to Maglic summit (7,828\'), the highest and mightiest peak in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a 2.5-hour descent down to the lake. The group will reconvene at Trnovacko for a 2.5-hour hike among huge amphitheater of rocky peaks to Prijevor, and transfer back to the hotel.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.251667 [Longitude] => 18.726667 ) [13] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 14 [DayTo] => 14 [Headline] => Raft the Tara River & Head to Durmitor National Park [ActivityOverview] => 3-4 hours rafting Class II-IV rapids [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Rest your legs but get some thrills on today\'s rafting adventure through the deepest river canyon in Europe. After leaving the hotel, sit back and enjoy the spectacular views along the Drina river, until the place where the Piva and Tara canyons join. There, put in for a rafting journey on the Tara, which sits more than 3,000 feet down in the canyon with stunning wilderness all around. After enjoying an early dinner along the river, continue on to the town of Zabljak on the edge of Durmitor National Park in Montenegro.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.155011 [Longitude] => 19.120846 ) [14] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 15 [DayTo] => 15 [Headline] => Ascend Prutas Peak in Durmitor National Park [ActivityOverview] => 5-6 hours/5 miles hiking with 2,460\' elevation gain & 2,480 elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today ascend the sloping deep-green Prutas peak, with the most stunning views of other Durmitor sights, like the Soa Nebeska wall, the amazing Skrcka Lakes valley, and the stunning Susica canyon. After a short drive to Dobri Do (5,577\'), begin climbing a grassy slope toward Skrcko Zdrijelo Pass (6,935\'), and then follow a rocky path with magnificent views of the massive Bobotov Kuk. Shortly after reaching the peak, have lunch paired with breathtaking views. After the 5-hour hike, arrive back in Zabljak in time for dinner.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 30-minute private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.133333 [Longitude] => 19.016667 ) [15] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 16 [DayTo] => 16 [Headline] => Climb Bobotov Kuk, Montenegro\'s Highest Summit [ActivityOverview] => 6-7 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 2,130\' elevation gain & 3,035\' elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today, climb Montenegro\'s highest peak, Bobotov Kuk (8,277\'). Starting relatively high at 6,230 feet, hike up the grassy slope of Surutka toward Zupci, a magnificent massif with 14 sharp, rocky "teeth." After circling Zupci, arrive at the glacial lake Zeleni Vir and begin a steep, rocky ascent toward Bobotov Kuk. The views expand with every step until the summit - with vistas all the way to the Adriatic on a clear day. Enjoy lunch here, and then descend via the Mlijecni Do, to take a short ride back to Zabljak for a well¬-deserved rest.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 30-minute private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 43.127778 [Longitude] => 19.033333 ) [16] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 17 [DayTo] => 17 [Headline] => Journey to Theth Village in Albania\'s Accursed Mountains [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today say goodbye to Montenegro and cross over into Albania. Make a lunch stop in the town of Shkodar and continue to the remote village of Theth in the namesake national park. Stroll around the village and learn about some of the ancient customs that reign these communities on the edge of the Albanian Alps - known by some as the Accursed Mountains. (Don\'t let the name fool you; the range is known for its stunning, unspoiled beauty.) Have dinner and overnight at a family-run guesthouse in Theth.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 7-hour private van transfer (with breaks) [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 42.4 [Longitude] => 19.766667 ) [17] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 18 [DayTo] => 18 [Headline] => Hike from Theth to Valbona, Crossing the Valbona Pass [ActivityOverview] => 8 hours/11 miles hiking with 4,050\' elevation gain & 4,265\' elevation loss or alternative full-day transfer [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

Today load the luggage into the vehicles and hike from Theth to Valbona along an old mule trail that is the only direct connection between the two valleys. This scenic but challenging hike begins in the Valley of Theth (2,460\') then climbs steeply upward through beech woods and grassy meadows towards Valbona Pass (5,770\'). At the top, enjoy a picnic lunch and breathtaking views of both Theth and Valbona National Parks. Today\'s alternative is a full-day transfer that includes a ferry boat ride over the blue waters of Komani lake, followed by a short walk around Valbona.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => Alternative: 5.5-hour private van transfer & 2.5 hour ferry ride [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 42.453333 [Longitude] => 19.887778 ) [18] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 19 [DayTo] => 19 [Headline] => Climb the Maja Rosit Pass [ActivityOverview] => 5-6 hours/7 miles hiking with 2,625\' elevation gain & 2,460\' elevation loss [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

This morning, start the hike directly from the guesthouse, passing through dry river beds and climbing through forests of beech and pine. Frequently used by the villages bringing their sheep and cows to higher pastures, the trail winds up through grassy open terrain to a lonely shepherds\' hut. Enjoy a cold drink here before pushing on to the Maja Rosit pass (6,690\') that separates Albania from Montenegro. After a hearty picnic lunch of highland cheese and local beer, head back down the same way, through the hamlet of Kukaj and on to Valbona.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 42.479444 [Longitude] => 19.850556 ) [19] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 20 [DayTo] => 20 [Headline] => Visit the Monastery of Decan & Head to Prizren [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

This morning, drive to the lower valley to visit one of Kosovo\'s beautiful Orthodox monasteries, the 14th-century St. Nicholas Monastery of Decan. Then continue on to the historic city of Prizren, to spend the evening in an Ottoman-style neighborhood and enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 2.5-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 42.216667 [Longitude] => 20.733333 ) [20] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 21 [DayTo] => 21 [Headline] => Take In the Highlights of Tirana [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

After a morning departure from Prizren, drive through the Albanian hinterland and arrive to Tirana, the capital of Albania. After checking into the hotel, head out on a tour of this charming, cosmopolitan city, visiting the Skenderbey square, the old mosque, and the vibrant Blloku neighborhood packed with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Enjoy a farewell dinner in one of these restaurants before returning to the hotel.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 1 [Dinner] => 1 [Travel_Type] => 3-hour private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 41.328889 [Longitude] => 19.817778 ) [21] => Array ( [DayFrom] => 22 [DayTo] => 22 [Headline] => Depart from Tirana [ActivityOverview] => [EstimatedLength] => [ActivityLevel] => [ItinBlock] =>

After breakfast, have a 30-minute transfer to Tirana International Airport.

[Breakfast] => 1 [Lunch] => 0 [Dinner] => 0 [Travel_Type] => 30-minute private van transfer [Quotation] => [Quotation_Attribution] => [Quotation_Location] => [Itinerary_Location] => [Latitude] => 41.328889 [Longitude] => 19.817778 ) ) [ActivityHighlight] => Daily elevation gain and loss varies from 1,000 - 4,000\'. Hikes are 4 - 8 hours over several consecutive days on uneven and rocky terrain. The highest altitude will be 7,828\' on day 13. Multiple nights will be spent in comfortable but basic accommodations. [Trip_Level] => 4 )

Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 4. Daily elevation gain and loss varies from 1,000 - 4,000'. Hikes are 4 - 8 hours over several consecutive days on uneven and rocky terrain. The highest altitude will be 7,828' on day 13. Multiple nights will be spent in comfortable but basic accommodations.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

5-hours/8 miles hiking with 2,788' elevation gain & loss

Day 3

6 hours/10.5 miles hiking with 2,820' elevation gain & 1,575' elevation loss

Day 4

6-7 hours/10 miles hiking with 2,800' elevation gain & 1,280' elevation loss

Day 5

4-5 hours/5 miles hiking with 1,476' elevation gain & 1,148' elevation loss

Day 6

5-6 hours/8.5 miles hiking with 2,444' elevation gain & 2,460' elevation loss

Day 8

6-8 hours/9.5 miles hiking with 2,460' elevation gain & 2,953' elevation loss

Day 9

4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,970' elevation gain & 1,706' elevation loss

Day 10

7-8 hours/7.5 miles hike with 2,790' elevation gain & 2,707' elevation loss

Day 11

2 hour city walking tour

Day 12

4-5 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,640' elevation gain & 2,018' elevation loss

Day 13

4-5 hours/6.2 miles hiking with 984' elevation gain & loss to Trnovacko Lake - or - 9 hours/8.6 miles hiking with 4,264' elevation gain & loss to summit Mt. Maglic

Day 14

3-4 hours rafting Class II-IV rapids

Day 15

5-6 hours/5 miles hiking with 2,460' elevation gain & 2,480 elevation loss

Day 16

6-7 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 2,130' elevation gain & 3,035' elevation loss

Day 18

8 hours/11 miles hiking with 4,050' elevation gain & 4,265' elevation loss or alternative full-day transfer

Day 19

5-6 hours/7 miles hiking with 2,625' elevation gain & 2,460' elevation loss

Accommodations


Lodgings run the gamut from modern mountain resorts, old historic city hotels, family-run guesthouses, and cozy B&Bs.

Hotel Savica-Bled, Slovenia
Hotel Savica-Bled, Slovenia

Hotel Savica is a three-star hotel in the heart of lakeside Bled. The clean and cheerful rooms are modern and minimalist, with a private bath, air-con, minibars, and Wi-Fi. Hotel guests can use the thermal pools of the Ziva Wellness Centre for free and get discounted admission to the saunas.

Hotel Bitoraj-Fuzine, Croatia
Hotel Bitoraj-Fuzine, Croatia

A family-run hotel in the heart of Fuzine, this charming retreat has 20 well-appointed rooms with a full array of perks such as Wi-Fi, air-con, and minibars. The restaurant is known for serving excellent cuisine, with the accent on game dishes - a local specialty.

Hotel Vicko-Starigrad Paklenica, Croatia
Hotel Vicko-Starigrad Paklenica, Croatia

The family-owned Hotel Vicko is a three-star hotel with a superb seaside location in Starigrad Paklenica. Guests are welcomed with a cocktail and get free use of beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and beach towels. All of the 58 rooms have a private bathroom, air-con, satellite TV, and a safe, with views of either a park or the sea.

Hotel Hajducke Vrleti-Blidinje Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hotel Hajducke Vrleti-Blidinje Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina

A three-star hotel known for its rustic architecture and beautiful natural surroundings, Hotel Hajducke Vrleti has simple and comfortable guest with hardwood floors and low-slung beds. Decorated with antiques, the restaurant serves traditional Blidinje specialties that win raves from the guests. The friendly staff is super helpful and makes guests feel right at home.

Hotel Bjelasnica-Babin Do, Bosnia
Hotel Bjelasnica-Babin Do, Bosnia

A full-service mountain retreat, Hotel Bjelasnica features well-equipped guest rooms with scenic views and a full array of amenities, like Wi-Fi and TV. Facilities include a restaurant, a bar, and a spa with a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and a fitness room.

Hotel Europe-Sarajevo, Bosnia
Hotel Europe-Sarajevo, Bosnia

Inside an Austro-Hungarian building from 1882, this grande dame hotel in the heart of Sarajevo exudes a historic ambience. The rooms feature a classic style and all the mod perks, like Wi-Fi and TV. The Viennese Café is a landmark, serving great cakes and pastries from Mozart's Patisserie. The on-site spa has an indoor swimming pool and Turkish baths.

Hotel Mladost-Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia
Hotel Mladost-Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia

Located in Sutjeska, Hotel Mladost has a gorgeous setting, with marvelous views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The rooms are clean, bright, and cheerful, each with a private bath; Wi-Fi is available in the common areas. The onsite restaurant serves local cuisine on a scenic outdoor terrace. One of the most outstanding features of the hotel is the enormous swimming pool.

Hotel Soa
Hotel Soa

The four-star Hotel Soa provides a surprising oasis for visitors to Durmitor National Park, with lots of services and amenities and attractive, modern design. Rooms are decorated in light woods with sleek, minimalist furniture, and come with a private bath, flat-screen satellite TV, and beautiful park views. The restaurant offers service in a stylish dining room or on a terrace with panoramic views.

Villa Gjecaj-Thethi Valley, Albania
Villa Gjecaj-Thethi Valley, Albania

In the village of Theth, the family-owned Villa Gjecaj comprises a charming stone house constructed in 1922, plus a recently added modern building. The simply furnished rooms have either a private or shared bath, while common areas include a restaurant that serves traditional home-cooked Albanian dishes. The location in a secluded pristine valley is a highlight of a stay here.

Hotel Rilindja
Hotel Rilindja

Experience the natural wonders of Valbona at this peaceful and remote retreat in the heart of the Albanian Alps. Its comfortable guestrooms have an alpine chalet feel with wood accents and come appointed with simple amenities. The key draw of the hotel is its get-away-from-it-all feel and it's a perfect stop-off on your Via Dinarica adventure.

Hotel Prizreni-Prizren, Kosovo
Hotel Prizreni-Prizren, Kosovo

A lovely B&B steps from the old town of Prizren, Hotel Prizreni features spacious and comfortable rooms with good Wi-Fi, air-con, minibars, and flat-screen TVs; some rooms have views of a nearby mosque (which could potentially give you a unique wake-up with their early morning call to prayer). The welcoming staff gets high marks for taking great care of guests.

Sarotel-Tirana, Albania
Sarotel-Tirana, Albania

With an ideal location in the center of Tirana, the four-star Sar'Otel is a short walk to Skenderberg square. The bright, modern rooms have private baths, flat-screen TVs, and air-con; most come with balconies. The indoor swimming pool, sauna and hammam are available at an additional cost. You can enjoy a snack in the bar or the garden terrace.

Hotel Velinac
Hotel Velinac

Located on the seaside in Karlobag, this hotel offers a personal level of service, friendliness, and authentic flair. Most of the rooms either have sea views of overlook the town's small central square and are equipped with individual restrooms and wi-fi. The on-site tavern serves a particularly notable breakfast each morning, and guests can enjoy a private beach just steps from the entry to the hotel.

Weather


The mornings are cool but it warms during the day before cooling off again in the evening.

 
Jun
Aug
Ljubljana 
High
Low
High
Low
Ljubljana
76
56
80
59
Sarajevo 
High
Low
High
Low
Sarajevo
77
55
82
57
Tirana 
High
Low
High
Low
Tirana
83
60
88
63

Know Before You Book


Accommodations
All accommodations have private en-suite bathrooms, except for Villa Gjeca which has shared bathrooms.. For solo travelers who have paid the single supplement, single rooms are available at all accommodations except Villa Gjecaj and Hotel Rilindja (3 nights in total). This is due to a limited number of rooms at these hotels. All other accommodations have enough capacity for solo travelers to have their own rooms.

Remember that you are traveling through the Balkans and through some still developing areas. A lot of the comforts you are accustomed to may not be available, and time flows at a different pace. Patience and respect are the crucial ingredients for a successful trip and an enriching experience.

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

An MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Ljubljana Jože Pucnik Airport (LJU) between 1:00 - 1:30pm outside of Customs. We will then transfer 1 hour by minibus to Bled.

Will this Balkans adventure be similar to the Alps of Switzerland?

Only with regards to challenge. The tourism infrastructure is developing rapidly in the Balkans, but is not yet as developed as in Western Europe. Come expecting fewer luxuries and amenities.

What can I expect in the way of accommodations?

We\'ve booked the best possible accommodations in the towns and villages where we will stay. In the Balkans, "best possible" is often a lower standard than you might be used to. This itinerary was designed for the adventurer who does not mind basic accommodations in exchange for off-the-beaten-path fun.

Do I need hiking boots for this trip?

Yes. You will need to wear high-ankle, all weather hiking boots for this trip.

What food can I expect in the Balkans?

Healthy, locally-sourced, organic meals that include meats (red meat and poultry), fish and seafood, and an abundance of produce, all seasoned with local herbs and olive oil. Nearly all diets can be accommodated.

What is the religious make-up of the Balkans population?

The Balkans are a melting pot of Orthodox Christianity, Islam and Roman Catholic Christianity.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


This is an excellent way for people who are interested in the Balkans to experience firsthand the mountains, the culture, the people, the languages and the food of this very unique area of our planet. If you have a flexible spirit and are in great condition and love new experiences this is the trip for you!

Julie B.
MT Sobek Guest, Balkans Via Dinarica Hiking

"A wonderful trip to a part of Europe that remains mostly undiscovered. nI loved going to SIX countries in one trip! Each was special.nWe learned first hand, from our guides, about the recent history from the Balkan region, Sarajevo especially, and it was so interesting and moving. On top of that we had excellent hiking, delicious food, and amazing guides! Highly highly recommend!"

Terry G.
MT Sobek Guest, Balkans Via Dinarica Hiking