Wander Across the Balkans (Sep 2024)

Sep 14 — Sep 24, 2024
11 days
2/12 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. [*If the deposit is paid within 90 days of the tour start date, the deposit is non-refundable once paid.]
Discover the essence of the Balkans on this immersive journey, where long-lasting traditions and breathtaking nature guide the way!
Discover isolated villages that have preserved their ancient ways of life
Dive into 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 whisper tales of bygone eras
Participate in a unique cooking class held in a Catholic monastery in Montenegro
Witness the vibrancy of traditional folk dances

Join Wandering Earl Tours on a journey through the heart of the Balkans, a region so full of history, natural beauty, rich culinary traditions and deeply rooted culture. This spectacular trip takes you to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia and we’ve carefully selected each destination on the itinerary, promising a diverse adventure that’s both enriching and exhilarating.

As we journey through these three countries, 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 range of unique and rewarding experiences. Along the way, we’ll take in breathtaking landscapes, discover remote villages that embody centuries-old traditions, stroll through vibrant modern cities, enjoy the serenity of coastal towns, explore captivating cultural sites and dine on some absolutely wonderful cuisine.

Throughout this unique trip, the activities and destinations will allow us to learn about and appreciate so much of this region. Of course, we won’t be mere observers! This Wandering Earl Tour ensures that we will actively connect with the people and places we visit every day. More than a tour, this trip is a bridge to understanding the heritage and warm hospitality of this fascinating corner of the world!

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Pay a deposit of $500 per person
  • 1
    Sep 14Sarajevo / Arrival Day
    Sarajevo / Arrival Day
    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 15Sarajevo
    Sarajevo
    Highlights: Full-day tour of Sarajevo
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Prepare for a morning that dives straight 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 historic Olympic bobsled 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 late afternoon will be yours to enjoy the city before we gather for a group dinner at a local renowned restaurant.
  • 3
    Sep 16Sarajevo » Lukomir » Konjic » Mostar
    Sarajevo » Lukomir » Konjic » Mostar
    Highlights: Lukomir, arrival to Mostar
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Today we'll venture out of Sarajevo to discover Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina's highest and most isolated village. Located on top of 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 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 reminder of Yugoslavia's history. The day will conclude in Mostar where we'll check into our hotel and head out for a traditional 3-course dinner.
  • 4
    Sep 17Mostar
    Mostar
    Highlights: Tour of Mostar, Počitelj fortress, family-run winery
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Local artisans will share with us their crafts today, echoing tales of tradition and resilience. From the intricate designs of handmade jewelry to the woven patterns of textiles, each piece tells a unique story of Mostar's spirit. Our exploration will then continue to the historical Počitelj, located 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 for a wine tasting paired with a local lunch.
  • 5
    Sep 18Mostar » Trebinje » Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Mostar » Trebinje » Boka Bay (Herceg Novi)
    Highlights: Drive to Boka Bay, Trebinje, dining experience in Žljebi
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Today's journey will take us on a 3-hour drive from Mostar to the tranquil shores of Boka Bay in Montenegro, 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. After Trebinje we'll cross the border into Montenegro as we continue on to the Žljebi stone village, where we'll head to a local family estate for a unique private dining experience that our local friends have been able to arrange! Finally, upon reaching the town of Herceg Novi in the afternoon, you'll find its serene waters and stunning mountain backdrop inviting you to relax.
  • 6
    Sep 19Herceg Novi
    Herceg Novi
    Highlights: 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 offers 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 continues to surreal 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 20Herceg Novi
    Herceg Novi
    Highlights: Lovćen Mountain and quaint villages
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    Our journey 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 will reward us with 360-degree views of Montenegro's rugged terrain and the Adriatic Sea. Our day 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 past.
  • 8
    Sep 21Herceg Novi » Tivat
    Herceg Novi » Tivat
    Highlights: Finest wines of Montenegro, Skadar Lake
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    After breakfast, we'll head off for a visit to a viewpoint overlooking the picturesque Sveti Stefan, a famous islet connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. From here we'll take a short drive to a family-owned winery in the Crmnica region, renowned for its robust vintages and lush vineyards. We'll enjoy a wine tasting session that will 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, ingeniously repurposed from a former military airport, where we'll enjoy a wine tasting before continuing for a traditional Montenegrin lunch. Finally, we'll check into our luxurious 5* resort in a prestigious area of Tivat.
  • 9
    Sep 22Tivat
    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 up is a short hike that will take 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. 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, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere of the Adriatic coast.
  • 10
    Sep 23Boka Bay (Tivat) » Dubrovnik
    Boka Bay (Tivat) » Dubrovnik
    Highlights: Free morning, tour of Dubrovnik, farewell dinner
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    Taking in our last moments in Montenegro among the comfort of our luxurious 5* resort, the morning will be yours to enjoy as you wish. You can take advantage of the resort's exquisite amenities with a refreshing dip in the pool, a serene stroll through the beautiful gardens or venture out to explore the charming surroundings of Tivat. After lunch, we'll embark on a 3-hour drive to Dubrovnik, Croatia, the storied jewel of the Adriatic. Upon arrival, we'll have a guided tour through its famed streets, discovering the architectural marvels and vibrant atmosphere that make Dubrovnik a must-visit destination. In the evening, we'll all gather for our farewell dinner against the backdrop of Dubrovnik's enchanting old town.
  • 11
    Sep 24Dubrovnik / Departure Day
    Dubrovnik / Departure Day
    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 the time of your departing flight.

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 on cobblestones and uneven paths, a jeep safari in Lukomir, being outside in potentially cold or warm temperatures, short hikes in the countryside, drives of up to 5 hours, early morning wake-ups and other similar scenarios.
Accommodation
Our accommodations for this trip include comfortable 3/4* hotels, as well as a luxurious 5* resort in Montenegro, ensuring a pleasant stay throughout. All rooms have 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. In addition, our adventure includes a jeep safari to Lukomir, boat trips in Boka Bay and public transportation in the cities.
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. We seek out ways to limit plastic use, 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 – 3*/4* hotels and a 5* resort in Tivat)
  • Transportation within the Balkans (comfortable 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.