Wander Across the Balkans (Sep 2024)

Sep 05 — Sep 15, 2024
11 days
0/12 spots booked
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: To reserve your spot on a tour, a $500 deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be refundable - minus a 3% transaction fee - for 30 days. [Deposits are non-refundable within 90 days of the tour start date, even if 30 days have not yet passed since the payment date.]
Discover the essence of the Balkans on this immersive journey, where centuries-old traditions, picturesque landscapes, and culinary delights come together for an unforgettable experience
Discover isolated villages that have preserved centuries-old ways of life
Immerse yourself in the rich culinary traditions of the Balkans through authentic food experiences
Delight in wine tastings at family-run wineries
Navigate the waters of the Balkans' largest freshwater lake on a private boat tour
Uncover the secrets of medieval towns, where cobblestone streets and ancient walls whisper tales of bygone eras
Participate in a unique cooking class held in a Catholic monastery learning to prepare traditional Montenegrin dishes
Witness the vibrancy of traditional folk dances

Get ready for an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Balkans, where ancient history and rich culinary traditions seamlessly merge with the stunning natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia. We’ve carefully selected each destination on the itinerary, ensuring that they share the unique stories of a region as diverse in culture as it is in landscapes, promising you an adventure that’s both enriching and exhilarating.

Our tour will lead us through three unique countries, where we’ll have the opportunity to engage with local artisans, explore historic towns boasting medieval fortresses, indulge in private wine tastings at family-run vineyards, and immerse ourselves in a diverse range of enriching experiences. Along the way, we’ll visit breathtaking landscapes, discover isolated villages that embody centuries-old traditions, stroll through vibrant modern cities, take in the serenity of lakeshores, and explore captivating cultural sites.

Throughout the tour, we’ll become one with the local culture, extending an invitation not just to observe but to actively engage in traditions and connect with the people of the Balkans. From the vibrant energy of folk dance performances to the exploration of historic local towns and meaningful interactions with locals at every turn, this journey offers a genuine opportunity to embrace the authentic way of life in the Balkans. More than a mere tour, it’s a bridge to understanding the deep-rooted heritage and warm hospitality of this remarkable region.

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Pay a deposit of $500 per person
  • 1
    Sep 5Sarajevo
    Sarajevo
    Arrival day
    Included: Dinner
    Welcome to Sarajevo, the soulful capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A private driver will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our hotel in the city center. The remainder of the day will be yours to recover from jet lag and meet your fellow travelers. We'll then have a tour orientation in the evening followed by our welcome dinner.
  • 2
    Sep 6Sarajevo
    Sarajevo
    Highlights: Full-day tour of Sarajevo
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Prepare for an immersive morning that delves into the rich flavors and history of Sarajevo. Your palate will be introduced to Bosnian classics like ćevapi and burek, traditional dishes that are a testament to the country's culinary diversity. Wandering through Sarajevo's streets we'll explore some of the main landmarks such as the Baščaršija, the city's historical and cultural heart, as well as some hidden corners. The journey then ascends to the Trebević Mountain, offering a sweeping view of Sarajevo, framed by the majestic Dinaric Alps. Here we'll uncover the historical Olympic bobsleigh track, echoing stories from the 1984 Winter Olympics. After descending from the mountain, you'll have some free time to continue exploring the city at your own pace. Whether you choose to delve deeper into the historical quarters, visit museums, or simply relax in one of the city's many cafes, the afternoon will be yours to enjoy the city before we gather for a group dinner at a local renowned restaurant.
  • 3
    Sep 7Sarajevo » Lukomir » Konjic » Mostar
    Sarajevo » Lukomir » Konjic » Mostar
    Highlights: Isolated village, Yugoslavia's best kept secret, arrival to Mostar
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Today we'll venture from Sarajevo to discover Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina's highest and most isolated village. Perched atop the Bjelašnica mountain, Lukomir offers an unparalleled glimpse into a way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries. The journey begins with a thrilling jeep safari from Konjic, leading us through landscapes that blend natural beauty with rural tranquility. Lunch will feature age-old Bosnian dishes, prepared with locally sourced ingredients and age-old recipes passed down through generations. Our exploration then continues with a visit to Tito’s bunker in Konjic, a once-secret facility that now serves as a stark reminder of Yugoslavia's history. The day will conclude in Mostar, where the evening will be yours to enjoy the city's serene atmosphere.
  • 4
    Sep 8Mostar
    Mostar
    Highlights: Tour of Mostar, Počitelj fortress village, family-run winery
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    The essence of Herzegovina comes alive with a morning guided tour through Mostar, where local artisans will share with us their crafts, echoing tales of tradition and resilience. From the intricate designs of handmade jewelry to the woven textures of textiles, each piece tells a unique story of Mostar's enduring spirit. Our exploration then continues to the historical Počitelj, nestled along the Neretva River. This medieval fortress village, with its ancient mosque and timeworn stone architecture, stands as a reminder of its past strategic importance, offering breathtaking views and a sense of timelessness. Finally we'll head off to a local family-run winery, where the art of wine-making will come alive as we enjoy a wine tasting paired with a local lunch.
  • 5
    Sep 9Mostar » Trebinje » Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Mostar » Trebinje » Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Highlights: Drive to Boka Bay, stop at Trebinje, food experience in Žljebi
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today's journey will take us on a 3-hour drive from Mostar to the tranquil shores of Boka Bay, with multiple stops along the way. First we'll visit Trebinje, a town that beautifully showcases the harmonious blend of cultures within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here, we'll spend some time exploring its charming streets, historic architecture, and vibrant market, which all together reflect the town's dynamic community spirit. After soaking in the ambiance of Trebinje we'll move on to Žljebi, a picturesque stone village, where a local family estate awaits to offer us a unique private food experience. Upon reaching Boka Bay, you'll find its serene waters and stunning mountain backdrop inviting you to relax before we gather for a group dinner.
  • 6
    Sep 10Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Highlights: Full-day tour of Boka Bay, cooking class at a Catholic monastery
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    After breakfast we'll set off to explore the wonders of Boka Bay, starting in the picturesque town of Perast. This town, with its rich maritime heritage and stunning baroque architecture will offer us a perfect introduction to the bay's cultural landscape. From Perast we'll journey by boat to Our Lady of the Rocks, an islet where an ancient church and museum share stories of local devotion and seafaring life. Our adventure then continues to Kotor, a city cradled by UNESCO-protected walls, where we'll wander through its medieval core, discovering the layers of history preserved within its narrow streets and historic squares. The day's standout experience is a unique cooking class held in a Catholic monastery in Prčanj, providing an exceptional setting to learn about Montenegrin culinary arts. Here we'll prepare an array of traditional dishes before enjoying our own delicious creations.
  • 7
    Sep 11Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Highlights: Lovćen Mountain and quaint villages
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Our journey today will take us from the scenic shores of Boka Bay to the majestic heights of Lovćen Mountain. Our first destination is the quaint village of Njeguši, known for its Montenegrin cuisine and as the birthplace of Montenegro's most revered ruler and poet, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. Here, we'll indulge in a taste of the local specialties, like smoked ham and cheese, in a setting that feels like a step back in time. The cultural highlight of our visit will be a lively performance of the traditional Montenegrin folk dance, bringing to life the country's heritage through music and movement. Our adventure then continues with a visit to Lovćen National Park, where the Mausoleum of Njegoš sits atop one of the park's highest peaks, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The optional climb to the mausoleum, though a bit challenging, will reward us with 360-degree views of Montenegro's rugged terrain and the Adriatic Sea. Our day's journey concludes with a tour of Budva Old Town, a mosaic of medieval architecture, bustling squares, and quaint streets, offering a glimpse into the Adriatic's storied past.
  • 8
    Sep 12Boka Bay (Tivat)
    Boka Bay (Tivat)
    Highlights: Finest wines of Montenegro, Skadar Lake
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    The day kicks off with a visit to a viewpoint overlooking the picturesque Sveti Stefan, a famous islet connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, offering postcard-perfect views. From here we'll journey to a family-owned winery in the Crmnica region, renowned for its robust vintages and lush vineyards. Here, a wine tasting session will continue to teach us about the process of Montenegrin wine-making, accompanied by insights into the region's grape varieties and techniques. Our exploration will then lead us to Skadar Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the Balkans, where we'll embark on a private boat tour. The highlight of the day will be our visit to the Plantaže vineyards, a sprawling estate that houses one of Europe's largest vineyards within a magnificent wine cellar, ingeniously repurposed from a former military airport. Here, amidst the vast tunnels of the Šipčanik cellar, we'll enjoy a lunch that perfectly pairs the estate's wines with time-honored Montenegrin cuisine.
  • 9
    Sep 13Boka Bay (Tivat)
    Boka Bay (Tivat)
    Highlights: Luštica Peninsula, abandoned submarine military tunnel
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Our day begins in the heart of the peninsula with a visit to Klinci Village, where a food and rakija tasting will showcase the peninsula's culinary delights and homemade spirits. Next, a short hike will takes us to the charming fishing village of Rose, the starting point for an exhilarating speedboat tour around Boka Bay. This tour not only reveals the bay's breathtaking scenery but also includes a visit to an abandoned submarine tunnel from the Yugoslav era, adding a touch of intrigue to our maritime adventure. The day will then conclude with a leisurely evening in Tivat, a luxury marina offering a variety of dining and relaxation options. Here we'll enjoy dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the Adriatic coast.
  • 10
    Sep 14Boka Bay (Tivat) » Dubrovnik
    Boka Bay (Tivat) » Dubrovnik
    Highlights: Free morning, drive to Dubrovnik, farewell dinner
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    Today we'll enjoy the morning at a leisurely pace, soaking in our last moments in Montenegro with the luxury and comfort of our 5-star resort. The morning will be yours to enjoy as you wish, taking advantage of the resort's exquisite amenities with a refreshing dip in the pool, a serene stroll through its beautifully landscaped gardens, or venture out to explore the charming surroundings of Tivat. After having some time for lunch, we'll embark on a 3-hour drive to Dubrovnik, the storied jewel of the Adriatic. Upon arrival you'll have the opportunity to wander through its famed streets, discovering the architectural marvels and vibrant atmosphere that make Dubrovnik a must-visit destination before we gather for our farewell dinner against the backdrop of Dubrovnik's enchanting ambiance.
  • 11
    Sep 15Dubrovnik
    Dubrovnik
    Departure Day
    Included: Breakfast
    As the tour comes to an end, you'll be picked up at the hotel for your airport transfer based on your departing flight time.

Tour Essentials

Physical Level: Medium
While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, walking tours in the cities, being outside in potentially cold temperatures, short hikes in the countryside, a few long journeys, early morning wake-ups and other similar scenarios.
Accommodation
Our accommodations for this trip include comfortable 4-star hotels and a top-rated 5-star resort in Tivat, ensuring a pleasant stay throughout. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom. There is a maximum of 6 single rooms available, offered on a first come-first served basis. The remainder of the rooms will be shared. Solo travelers will be paired together, two travelers per room in two single beds. (*Please note: If you book a shared room and we cannot find another traveler to share that room, there will be an extra surcharge for having a single room.)
Transport
During the trip, we'll travel in comfort with our deluxe vans. All of our vans offer comfortable seats and plenty of space. By not using buses, we will have access to areas that larger vehicles simply can't go.
Meals
Breakfast every day, 8 lunches and 5 dinners are included. With included meals, some will be served family style and other times you will be able to order anything you wish from the menu. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
Sustainability
As with all of our trips, we aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. Trash is recycled where possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.
Small Groups
This tour requires a minimum of 8 participants and has a maximum of 12 participants in order to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you'll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people. That's the kind of trip we love to offer!

What's included

Included
  • Wandering Earl Tours leader throughout
  • Small group (maximum 12 participants)
  • Accommodation (10 nights – 4* and 5* hotels)
  • Transportation within the Balkans (deluxe vans)
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • All mentioned activities and entrance fees
  • Breakfast every day, 8 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Water throughout the trip
  • Gratuities at hotels/included meals
  • All airport transfers (Sarajevo arrival / Dubrovnik departure)
Not Included
  • Flights to/from Sarajevo and Dubrovnik
  • Passport/visa fees
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Other gratuities

What's a Wandering Earl Tour Leader?

A Wandering Earl Tour Leader is more than a guide. They’re a travel fanatic, and this is more than just a job for them. It’s a passion. They’ll be with your group every step of the way, excited to lead you around the next bend and to take care of all the logistics so that you can relax and travel with ease.

They’ll be your ambassador as they introduce you to hyper-local guides who know their part of the world better than anyone else. They’ll work hard every single day to ensure that you have the type of travel experience that brings you the most rewards. With endless connections and the freedom to improvise, our leaders know exactly how to make a trip extraordinary.

And, most importantly, they’ll always be there for you any time you need them.