Rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty combined with warm hospitality, special characters and temperament of 2 South-European countries
When talking of mixture of European and Near Eastern culture, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro are the perfect example. They have been crossroads of ancient civilizations, from Mostar and Sarajevo with oriental influence and to Kotor and Budva, the diversity is very clear. You will find the unique combination of architecture, religion and tradition in the numerous tiny hamlets, where also tranquil way of life has remained unchanged for years. There are Jewish synagogues, Catholic chapels, Orthodox monasteries and small wooden mosques within meters of each other. You will be stunned by the natural beauty of this region, their ancient forests, rugged peaks and beautiful waters of Adriatic coastline. Do not forget to explore the magnificent Croatian city of Dubrovnik and the wonderful bay of Kotor.
Day 1: Start in Dubrovnik and then drive to Kotor in Montenegro
You will start in Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia, then you will take an approximate 2.5 hours transfer to the Town of Kotor, the cultural treasure dating form the 12th Century. The city still retains the unique Mediterranean ambience of the region.
Day 2: Sightseeing of the city Kotor, boat ride to Gospa od Skrpjela and Perast islands in the Bay of Kotor.
The day will start with visiting Kotor’s 4,5 km long fortification walls and its many palaces and churches, which are the main reason of the Kotor being included on UNESCO’s list of world’s natural and cultural heritage sites in the year 1979. Along the 2 hours long walk; we will pass some of the Kotor’s squares, religious buildings and the fortifications for the glimpse of the city from above.
We will end the tour with lunch in the old part of the Town as the Venetian conquerors did centuries ago. After the lunch, we will take a 1,5 hour boat ride to the ‘Lady of the Rocks’ and St. George islands in the Bay of Kotor. From the boat, you will get a different perspective of the Montenegrin coastline with the stunningly beautiful view of the towering cliffs of the Dinaric Alps. The Bay of Boka with its beauty has fascinated many writers, among others also George Bernard Show and Lord Byron. You will set ashore at the ancient seafaring town Perast, which panorama is dominated by the 17th Century church of St. Nikola, protected by a Venetian fortress and surrounded by palaces and gardens. Later in the evening, we will explore the history of Budva, one of the oldest settlements on the Montenegrin coast with probably the best coastal nightlife.
Day 3: Transfer to Cetinje for a sightseeing of the city, and then drive to UNESCO Durmitor N.P. Also visit of Ostrog Monastery on the way.
An approximate 1 hour transfer to Cetinje where you will have a city tour. The city is located at the foot of the Lovcen Mountain and is the ancient capital of Montenegro. In comparison to any other city in Montenegro, Cetinje has more museums and cultural heritage sites, as a result of being the sacred centre since 1485.
Later we will set off towards Montenegro’s mountainous interior. The final destination is the village of Zabljak in the centre of Durmitor National Park, but after the visit of Ostrog Monastery which is considered by many to be the most inspiring Orthodox sacred place in the former Yugoslavia. It has become the largest religious pilgrimage site in the country, with many Orthodox Christian and even Catholics and Muslims paying homage to St. Vasilije, the founder of the 17th Century monastery. We will drive through isolated villages and high mountain passes to the small ski resort of Zabljak
Day 4 You will be hiking on the Zabljak Plateau with its numerous lakes and traditional highland ethno villages.
We will explore the Zabljak Plateau with its traditional villages and numerous lakes. We will walk around the area’s largest lake, which place is covered with many endemic species of flower and wild herbs. Around lunchtime we will be picked up and taken to the village of Podgora which has recently become part of a regional eco village network. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure, maybe enjoying the beautiful highland scenery, swimming, or drinking a glass of local wine or beer on one of Zabljak’s rustic cafes.
Day 5 Transfer to the Bosnia & Montenegro border – Piva River. Lunch and a short walk along the banks of the Piva River; Drive to Sarajevo.
Approximate 1.5 hour transfer to the border between Montenegro and Bosnia, via Durmitor’s interior. We drive out of the Piva Gorge, down to Scepan Polje, the border crossing into Bosnia & Herzegovina. We will enter the wild and empty part of Bosnia. Before taking a lunch, we will take a short walk to an old bridge, which was once the only connection between the two river banks. Later we will continue our trip to Sarajevo.
Day 6 Sightseeing of the City Sarajevo, with Sarajevo Tunnel Museum included
We will explore city of Sarajevo on foot and by bus. Sarajevo is one of the most oriental and culturally diverse cities in Europe; the tour of the major historical, cultural and war sites in the city will help you to piece together its complex and fascinating history. After 2.5 hour long walk we will have lunch in Bascarsija where you will try some of the delicious local dishes. Later, we will set off by vehicle to see Sarajevo from above and pay a visit to the famous Sarajevo War Tunnel museum.
Day 7 Drive to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest inhabited village Lukomir, and a relaxing 4-hour walk to canyon.
An approximate 1.5 hours transfer to the highest Bosnia village at 1469 meters, Lukomir, with its ancient “stecci“(mediaeval tombstones). Here you will experience the traditional way of life with the traditional dress and the occasional turban with fez that are still worn. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the rare view of Rakitnica which gives you the feeling of finding the end of the world. You will visit the local villagers; explore the waterfall and the amazing Rakitnica Canyon.
Day 8 Transfer to Mostar where the sightseeing tour will be held and visit of the nearby village of Blagaj.
An 2.5 hour Transfer to Mostar where you will have a city tour and a visit of a nearby village Blagaj. Mostar was founded in the 15th Century and its architecture is a precious combination of Turkish ingenuity plus Herzegovinian and Dalmatian workmanship.
You will have the afternoon and evening will for exploring Mostar. The city was split during the conflict in the early 1990s, there are still the scars of war visible, but still, Mostar is once again a warm and bustling place with a fascinating history.
After lunch we will visit the nearby village of Blagaj, which highlights are the Buna Spring and the adjacent Ottoman house/monastery. It was built for the cults and is still one of the most mystical places in all of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Day 9 Visit the Ottoman town of Pocitelj and exploring the Kravica Waterfalls; Wine tasting.
First, we will stop at Pocitelj, the unique oriental style town, listed as a UNESCO heritage site. We will visit Sahat Kula, a silo-shaped fort that towers on the top of the hill above the town and was used to house watchmen and military guarding against possible invasion from the Neretva Valley. The next stop will be Kravica waterfall, green oasis in the rocky Herzegovinan landscape. After a short walk or perhaps a cooling swim, we head off for lunch at one of the many vineyards. The wines here are newest in the ‘second world’ wine category, however, the tradition has been in existence since Roman times. In the afternoon we will slowly return back to Mostar and enjoy the cool breezes of the Neretva River.
Day 10 Visit of Tvrdos Orthodox Monastery; continuing to Trebinje where you will have a sightseeing of the city; return to Dubrovnik.
The journey will now take us back to Dubrovnik via Radimlja and Trebinje, a city with rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. We will visit the Orthodox Monastery of Tvrdos, which was built in the 15th Century. Later, we will travel south to Dubrovnik, our final destination for this day. Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which draws many visitors every year. A perfect way to end this day is with a swim in the warm Adriatic and a walk along the ancient walls of Dubrovnik.
End in Dubrovnik.