Hiking in the Balkans

Croatia · about Escorted or Guided Tour

At the crossroads between East and West, the Balkan Peninsula is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From the coastal city of Dubrovnik up into the mountains of Montenegro and the highest peak in Bosnia, cross the Balkans on two feet. Surrounded by medieval and modern history among lakes and canyons, this is the ideal setting for some of the best trekking that the Balkans has to offer.

What's Included

Hiking above the Bay of Kotor. Local ham and cheese tasting in Njeguši. Hiking to the summit of Jezerski Vrh. Hiking amongst the Durmitor peaks (2 days). Orientation walk of Sarajevo. Hiking on the slopes of Bjelašnica. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Hike amongst the fjords and mountains of undiscovered Montenegro, explore the lakes and summits of Durmitor National Park, trek the slopes of Bjelašnica – home to the 1984 Winter Olympics, discover where Eastern delicacies meet Western traditions in Sarajevo

Dossier Disclaimer

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.

2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.

3. Please note that this itinerary has been revised (compared to the itinerary in our 2014 brochure), to improve the flow and travel times.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, Avg 10.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Private minivan, walking, local bus

About our Transportation

Intercity transport on this trip will mostly be by train and occasionally by local bus. The bus and train systems in Italy are generally good, with seat reservations and toilet/snack facilities on longer journeys. Keeping to schedules is notoriously not one of the Italian transport system’s specialties, so pack in your MP3 player, a good book and some Italian phrases, and kick-back and enjoy the views with the locals.

Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the nature of station layouts in Italy (very few are equipped with escalators or elevators). Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.

Local Flights

If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Standard hotels (7 nts).

My Own Room

About Accommodation

It is important to note that accommodations in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not built to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather “thin” walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.

On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.

Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities

Joining Hotel

Joining Instructions

Transit from the airport to the hotel is easily accessible. Buses stop frequently in front of the airport terminal. Ticket is about 40 KN (roughly 7 USD). Take the bus to the stop at Pile Gates. You can then either choose to take a taxi or a local bus the rest of the way from this point. A taxi from Pile Gates to Hotel Vis is about 70 – 80 KN (13-14 USD).

If you choose instead to take the local bus from Pile Gates, you will want to take “Libertas” bus number 4. “Libertas” is the name of the local bus company. There is a bus stop just in front of Hotel Vis where you can exit. It’s generally around the 11th stop, but sometimes buses do not stop at each stop. Feel free to politely let the driver know where you are looking to get off, and they will be able to easily assist you. The ticket for a local bus can be bought from “Libertas” counters, newspaper stands, or inside the bus. Price is 12 KN (2 USD). Tickets purchased on the bus are a few Kunas more expensive.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel (*note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO. If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office, London, UK
After hours emergency number: +44 7817 262559

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack, rolling bag or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Light fleece top or sweater
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also “What to Take” and “Local Dress” sections of this dossier)
*1 smart outfit for nicer restaurants
•Sturdy walking/hiking shoes and casual sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•EUR cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Greece – Check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.

Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Departure Tax

Usually included in international air ticket

Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).

Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Split
Diocletian’s Palace sights 10HRK
Archaeological musem 20HRK

Mostar
Museum of Hercegovina 1.5BAM
Turkish house 2BAM
Wine tasting tour 7EUR

Sarajevo
Tunnel Museum 5BAM
National Museum 5BAM,

Bay of Kotor
Kotor Fortifications walk 2 EUR
Risan Roman Mosaics 2 EUR
Visit Perast & Islands 3 EUR each way
Taxi boats to beaches €10 each way

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

Newsletter

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

Max 16, avg 12

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.

Meal Budget

Allow USD230-300 for meals not included.

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: ECHA, ID: 22965

Itinerary

Day 1: Dubrovnik

Arrive at any time.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Dubrovnik/Kotor (1B)

Arrive in Kotor in time for an afternoon hike. Follow the mountain trails to the village of Njeguši, on the slopes of Mount Lovćen. After reaching Njeguši, try the local ham and cheese before a transfer back to Kotor. Opt to wander around the town.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Croatia – Montenegro)
Hike to Njeguši
Ham and Cheese Tasting

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 40km)
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 40km)

Day 3: Kotor/Lovcen National Park (1B)

After a short transfer to Lovćen National Park, enjoy a full day of hiking. Climb up to the summit of Jezerski Vrh, the highest point in Montenegro.

Included Activities:
Hike to Jezerski Vrh Summit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 32km)

Day 4: Lovcen National Park/Žabljak (1B)

Travel to Durmitor, the most famous of the national parks in Montenegro. After arriving at the hotel in Zabljak, hike out into the national park.

Included Activities:
Glacial Lakes Hike

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 150km)

Day 5: Žabljak (1B)

Enjoy more hiking in Durmitor National Park. Hike the rolling hills and valleys of Alisnica, making the ascent of Planinica, or “small mountain”. The stunning views from the top make the climb worthwhile – take in the sheer sides of the mountains and the surrounding lakes.

Included Activities:
Alisnica Valley Hike

Day 6: Žabljak/Sarajevo (1B)

Cross into Bosnia and transfer to Sarajevo this morning. Explore this charming and historic city on an orientation walk.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Montenegro – Bosnia)
Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 45km)
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 100km)

Day 7: Sarajevo (1B)

Home to several events of the 1984 Winter Olympics, the popular Bjelašnica Mountains tower over the surrounding countryside. Embark on the toughest day of hiking – the slopes of Bjelašnica are well worth the full day’s effort.

Included Activities:
Bjelašnica Mountains Hike

Day 8: Sarajevo/Dubrovnik (1B)

Return to Dubrovnik in the morning. The tour ends on arrival. Please book onward travel after 5pm.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Bosnia – Croatia)
Departure Day (Activities)

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 210km)
Private Vehicle (0.50-1.00 hours, 50km)

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