Summary

Travel Style:
Destinations: Europe
  • 9 Days From
    R 26400
  • Trip code: MVH
  • Activity: Cycling, Road Cycling
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 4 - 15
Moderate / Challenging

A pioneering ride through the remote mountain regions of Bosnia & Herzegovina!

The rich natural and cultural diversity of the Balkans provides the kind of variety you rarely find on European rides. This fascinating route provides the opportunity to visit three very different countries from the former Yugoslavia as we head from Bosnia over the Dinaric Alps into Montenegro and finally to Dubrovnik, on Croatia’s Adriatic Coast. The largely uncrowded roads allow for glorious views, a few good challenges and the opportunity to visit many cultural highlights along the way including the historic city of Mostar. The trip concludes in the magnificent city of Dubrovnik; famous for it’s ancient city walls, marbled streets and baroque architecture. A trip here will live long in the memory.

Key information
  • 8 nights hotels all en suite 
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Group normally 4 to 15 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Local bike hire included
Activities
  • 8 nights hotels all en suite 
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Group normally 4 to 15 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Local bike hire included

Highlights

* Beautiful remote scenery * Balkan culture and cuisine * Discover Mostar and Dubrovnik * Dinaric Alps to the Adriatic sea

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
12 May 2019
20 May 2019
Available
R 26400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Jul 2019
22 Jul 2019
Available
R 27400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
11 Aug 2019
19 Aug 2019
Available
R 27400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
01 Sep 2019
09 Sep 2019
Available
R 27400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
22 Sep 2019
30 Sep 2019
Available
R 26400

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start Dubrovnik Airport; transfer to Trebinje in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

After meeting at the airport we transfer to the old Ottoman trading centre of Trebinje, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s wine capital. Trebinje has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages with a beautiful intact old town that escaped damage during the war. We overnight in a hotel in the old centre. * Standard Hotel*

Day 2

Ride through Popovo Polje, visiting the Tvrdos Monastery; enjoy a wine-tasting in Dracevo and visit the Vjetrenica Cave, the largest underground cave in Bosnia.

Our first day takes us on a circuit of this wine growing region, past the villages and vineyards of Popovo Polje with magnificent views on all sides of the Herzegovinian limestone mountains. We climb up to the impressive Vjetrenica Cave, one of the largest in the Dinaric Alps. This morning’s section is on the old train tracks that serviced the region until the early 70’s. After lunch we head across Popovo Polje, flanked by the impressive limestone peaks of the Dinaric Alps. Having arrived at the other side of the valley, we’ll put away our bikes for the day and set off in a minibus to Tvrdos Monastery where we taste some of the local authentic wines. The return transfer takes us back to Trebinje. * Standard Hotel*

Day 3

Take the back roads over the Orjen Mountain range in the Dinaric Alps into Montenegro, then descend to Herceg Novi on the Bay of Kotor.

Today we head off in the direction of the impressive Orijen mountain range and Montenegro. However before we can cool off in the blue refreshing waters of the Adriatic our cycling journey takes us through a beautiful valley known for its delicate honey and pungent cheeses. We’ll make a short stop for lunch and a honey farming crash course from one of the local farmers. Here you can try your hand at extracting some of this golden elixir. The bee keeper moves his hives 3 times a year, so that the bees can visit different flowers and therefore produce different honey. As such it may be necessary to do this visit on day 2 depending on where the hives are when we visit the region. In the afternoon we enter Montenegro or ‘the Black Mountains’, where we have a 10km climb up to the border. From here we encounter rolling hills and extensive views of the Adriatic. Our early afternoon descent ends in the old seafarers’ town of Herceg Novi where we can go for a swim before dinner. We overnight in a seaside hotel. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

Boat transfer across the bay to the Listica Peninsula; ride the olive routes, before cycling the inner bay road to Kotor via the Venetian town of Perast.

We start the day with a 30 min boat ride across the beautiful outer Bay of Kotor from Herceg Novi to the traditional fishing village of Rose while our bikes are transported by the small ferry. We meander across the tranquil Lustica Peninsula and enjoy a warm welcome and a visit to the traditional olive oil farm of the Moric family. The road continues to the inner Bay of Kotor, winding peacefully along the shores with spectacular mountain landscapes plunging into the deep waters of the bay. We break for the 10 min boat trip to ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’ island just offshore from the baroque town of Perast. There will be time to visit the fascinating small museum and church on the island before the boat ride back to Perast. We finish the day riding into Kotor and our hotel base just a short walk from Kotor Old Town with its historic city walls, cobbled streets, piazzas and coffee shops. * Standard Hotel*

Day 5

Climb from Kotor to Lovcen Mountain via Njegusi to try traditional cheese and smoked ham; visit the famous mausoleum on Lovcen Peak.

The challenge today is to ascend the incredible serpentine road leading to Lovcen National Park high above the Bay of Kotor. Each turn in the road brings a new vista and the top of the road affords breathtaking views over the bay and in total there are a dizzying 29 switchbacks! Once marking the frontier between Austria, Hungary and the old Montenegro the origins of this road are steeped in history. Upon entering the national park a much more alpine landscape opens up, contrasting sharply with the Mediterranean coastline just a few kilometres away. One of the most important sites on Lovcen Mountains, from a cultural perspective, is the mausoleum of the celebrated Montenegrin poet and philosopher Njegos and it’s here that our ride ends today. We then have time to explore the area or perhaps go for a swim in our comfortable hotel in the national park. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

Descend to Skadar Lake via the ancient route connecting the hinterlands to the Adriatic Coast; en route stop at Cetinje, the former royal seat of Montenegro, finishing in Virpazar.

Having climbed up to Lovcen, today we start with the descent to Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro, a town of faded grandeur epitomised by the once imposing embassies and the Royal Palace. We take a short stop to explore the town itself. The descent continues towards the vast Skadar Lake, on the border with Albania. On the horizon during today’s ride stand the distant but imposing peaks of the Prokletije (Accursed) Mountains, the lands of feudal tribes for centuries. The ride follows the River ‘Crnojevica’, a major tributary to Skadar Lake, all the way to its entry point into the lake itself. Our base is a small hotel in the traditional fishing village of Virpazar where we can enjoy the lake fish, and sample local wines from the Crmnica Valley wine region on the lake shores. * Standard Hotel*

Day 7

Transfer from Virpazar to Nevesinje, climb Mt Velez and descend into Mostar.

This morning we start with a long (3-4hr) road transfer to the Montenegrin / Bosnian border at Vrancenovici Bileca and Nevesinje. This journey allows us to climb Velez Mountain, Herzegovina’s sleeping giant. Velez offers stunning views of the surrounding area, as well as a range of fortifications built by the Austrians in the late 19th Century. The highlight of today is a fast and beautiful descent along the old postal service route to Mostar. Very few people get to see Mostar from above. The route takes us directly to Mostar’s old bridge and the Neretva River, a fantastic way to end our riding. * Standard Hotel*

Day 8

Drive to Dubrovnik via the traditional towns of Blagaj and Stolac; afternoon free to explore.

We transfer (3hrs) to Dubrovnik for a well deserved tour of the town and swim in the Adriatic. We’ll stop along the way in the nearby village of Blagaj, with its well known Buna Spring and the adjacent Ottoman house/monastery. The spring here is amazing. It flows out of a 200m cliff wall and singlehandedly creates the Buna River. Dubrovnik is our final destination and a great way to end. This magnificent walled city lies at the southernmost tip of Croatia. Formerly a prosperous trading centre, Dubrovnik is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its perfectly preserved Old Town and rich cultural life draw many visitors each year. * Standard Hotel*

Day 9

End Dubrovnik.

Our trip ends in Dubrovnik. You may however wish to extend your stay in the Croatian capital to further explore it’s cobbled streets or enjoy the beautiful coastline. Should you wish to do so please ask a member of the sales team about our post tour nights.

Included

* All breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches and 1 dinner * All accommodation * Transfer for group flights * Local bike hire included

 

Food

 All breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches and 1 dinner are included on this trip.

Breakfast across the Balkans usually consists of bread and pastries, dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, cereal, eggs cooked in a variety of ways, smoked meats, honey, tea and coffee, milk and juices.

Lunches will be picnics and may include bread, cheese, sausage, meat or vegetarian paté, salad, chocolate bars, cookies and trail mix.

Typical Bosnian cuisine consists of ingredients such as tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms, spinach, courgette, beans and dairy products such as milk, cheese, pavlaka (sour cream) and Kajmak (similar to clotted cream). Meat dishes usually consist of beef and lamb and specialties include cevapi, burek, dolma (stuffed vegetables with meat) and goulash. Desserts often have an Eastern influence with baklava being very popular. The alcoholic drink rakija made from apples or plums is common in this region also.

Croatian & Montenegrin cuisine both share similarities to Bosnian cuisine but are also heavily influenced by Greek and Italian cuisines.

Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, but options are limited throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro – please inform the office of any specific requirements upon booking.

Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Map