The Best of Via Dinarica:
An Eight-day Hiking Adventure through Bosnia and Herzegovina & Montenegro
Explore the Via Dinarica in Bosnia and Montenegro, an area that is yet to be discovered by many hikers. On this adventure, you’ll find a playground for active travelers: Spectacular limestone peaks; the Tara Canyon – a UNESCO Nature site; glacier lakes; amazing views; colorful wildflowers; medieval villages; and welcoming culture.
Come and explore Durmitor & Sutjeska National Parks: two stunning areas located at the heart of Dinaric Alps. During your trek, you’ll ascend Maglic (2,386m) – the highest peak of Bosnia, raft the Tara river, a UNESCO protected site and Europe’s deepest canyon, and visit Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital city, which hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo offers an ancient mix of European and Eastern culture and living history.
This will be an unforgettable week of exploring.
Quotes from Travelers
The team was excellent. Everything from answering emails, providing information, planning a trip tailored to our desires, and then delivering on our expectations with consistent high quality service.
Green Visions provides both an affordable and unforgettable hiking experience. The guides are extremely knowledgeable, welcoming, cheerful, thoughtful and experienced.
Amazing, just simply amazing. The park is utterly beautiful, and our guide was also very knowledgeable of the history of both the park and Bosnia in general, and he obviously enjoys touring people, sharing his expertise and answering questions. What I also really like about these guys, is that they not only organize the trips, but also invest in ecological, local, projects!
- Visit Sarajevo, the Jerusalem of the Balkans
- Scale Maglic, the highest peak in Bosnia
- Rafting through the Tara Canyon, Europe’s deepest canyon
- Emerald glacier lakes of Durmitor National Park, UNESCO heritage
Itinerary – 8 Days
Day 1 – Sarajevo Arrival
Arrive in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Your trip leader will meet you outside of the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or she will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to our hotel in the old oriental trading quarter of Sarajevo.
In the afternoon there will be organized tour of the major historical, cultural and war sites in the city that will help you to piece together it complex and fascinating history.
In the evening we will enjoy a ‘welcome’ dinner and trip briefing. Our hotel tonight is in the old Ottoman trading quarter of Sarajevo.
– Dinner / Pension Kandilj, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Day 2 – Sutjeska National Park and Hike to Donje Bare lake & Ugljesin peak (1,858m)
In the morning we transfer to our hotel in Sutjeska National Park, before continuing to the tranquil lake of Donje Bare. After lunch we walk through a beech forest and open mountainous terrain to the summit of Ugljesin Peak (1,858m), for one of the best panoramic views of the Zelengora peaks and the rock-face wall of Volujak. We continue the stunning circuit back to Gornje Bare lake via the Tovarnica ridge (1.5 hours) with Bosnia’s highest peaks a constant companion on the horizon. We will be transferred back to the hotel in Tjentiste valley, before an early dinner.
– Moderate walk / 4-5hrs walk / 400Δh / 9km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Hotel Mladost – Tjentiste, Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Day 3 – Ascent of Maglic Mountain (2,386m), Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest peak
We transfer to Lokva Derneciste (approx. 1 hour) and head for Bosnia’s highest peak, Maglić Mountain (2,386m), through forest and open mountainous terrain. The ascent itself will take approximately four hours over fairly well maintained mountain trails with steep cliffs and is by far the most demanding part of today’s trek. Please note it is not recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo. Each step takes us further above the surrounding peaks until we reach the summit.
Here we have lunch and enjoy wonderful views over Montenegro and of our next stop, the emerald green waters of Trnovacko Lake. After descending to the lake in the afternoon we head for Prijevor where we meet our transfer to the hotel in Tjentiste.
– Challenging walk / 9hrs walk / 700Δh / 14km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Hotel Mladost – Tjentiste, Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Day 4 – Tara Rafting, the deepest canyon of Europe
The Tara is one of the four beautiful whitewater rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina that offer professionally guided rafting tours. Tara river ranks among Europe’s best for classes II – IV. This Tara River Rafting Tour will pleasantly surprise you with its stunning wilderness and unforgettable landscapes. A jewel amongst the world’s natural heritage spots, the Tara River boasts the deepest canyon in Europe. The river follows the natural border between Bosnia & Montenegro most of the time. Near the end of the rafting, we enter Bosnia & Herzegovina. The 1,300-meter canyon has created some of the best rafting and kayaking in Europe. We’ll enjoy an early dinner on the Tara River. Tonight we stay at simple wooden bungalows next to the river, enjoying the sound of water and campfire.
– II-IV class rapids, 3-4 hours of Rafting
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Bungalows at Highlander Camp, Tara river
Day 5 – Hike to Crkvicko polje and Sokolina plateau
After short transfer from Rafting Camp to Montenegro side and Mratinje dam, which is 220 metres high, which makes it as one of the highest in Europe, we’ll start today’s hike. The hike takes us in first bit uphill for about two hours after which we come out on plateau and continue over it, with great view on surrounding mountains. We end the day on the edge of Tara canyon at Sokolina guest house, with amazing view on river we actually rafted day before.
– Moderate walk / 5-6hrs walk / 600Δh / 11km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Sokolina Guesthouse, Durmitor National Park
Day 6 – Hiking from Nedajno Village to Susicko and Skrcko lakes
Today’s hike continues onwards to Skrka mountain hut via the Susicko lake and Skakala waterfall, starting from the village of Nedajno. Today’s hike is total of 19km with rocky, mountain terrain descending to plateau and forested trails, amazing views and stunning peaks surround us.
– Challenging walk / 8-9hrs walk / 600Δh / 19km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Mountain Hut Skrka – Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Day 7 – Ascent from Skrcko lake to Botun pass (1,877m), descent to Zabljak
Depart after an early breakfast. Today’s hike is 16.5 km with 900m ascent and 1,000m descent and approx eight hours hiking via the Botun pass, descending straight to the Zabljak, town located in the heart of Durmitor National Park. Part of the trail is scree with exposed and steep or narrow paths in some areas. Clients will be required to carry a backpack with overnight gear, a sleeping bag and packed lunch as well as a small share of the food.
– Challenging walk / 8hrs walk / 1000Δh / 16.5 km
– Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner / Pansion Javorovaca, Zabljak – Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
Day 8 – Transfer to Podgorica
Transfer to Podgorica Airport (2.5hrs) will be provided for your homeward-bound flight.
Trip Cost 2016
4 – 7 members 835 EUR
8 – 15 members 725 EUR
– Price is per person, double occupancy
– Single rooms are available on a request basis at certain places
– All travelers will be paired with a same gender roommate when a roommate is available
– If a roommate is not available, a EUR 80 forced single supplement will be charged
About Via Dinarica Adventures
Via Dinarica Adventures are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that combine spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenges. These expeditions are organized by some of the best Outdoor Adventure Companies in the Western Balkans.
You’ll explore fascinating, off-the-beaten-path places with top guides.
What is Included
– Transportation during entire trip with 8+1 MiniVan or 20+1 MiniBus (including Airport transfers)
– Fully equipped English speaking Tour Leader/Guide
– Accommodation for 7 nights
– Meals specified in itinerary
– Tara Rafting with all fees and safety equipment
– Sarajevo City walking Tour (with all entrance fees where needed)
– All fees and taxes for Sutjeska & Durmitor National Parks & VAT
– Flights to Sarajevo, Bosnia & from Podgorica, Montenegro
– Meals not specified in itinerary
– International travel insurance
– Optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff
– Souvenirs and items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
– Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. For air reservations, we recommend you contact VMD Adventure Travel directly, either by phone or the Internet.
Payment & Cancellation Policy
Payment of 10% deposit after booking confirmation. The rest of the amount is due four weeks before the trip date. Cancellation policy;
– Up to four weeks before startdate – loss of deposit
– Up to two weeks before start date – loss of 50% of total price
– Two weeks or less – loss of 100% of price
Then Leave the Rest to Us
Before you go, we provide you with extensive pre-departure information, including clothing recommendations, suggested reading lists, up-to-date health advice and other details.
Don’t take our word for how great our trips are. We’ll be happy to provide you with references of satisfied past travelers.
Feel free to call us on Skype, or email if you still have any questions or concerns.
We’re here to help you.
Note on Itinerary
Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed, it is subject to change for numerous reasons, including weather, beyond our control.
Note on Services
To comply with regional laws and regulations, we sometimes use local suppliers, who provide services that may include transportation, equipment, logistic support, and other services (hotels, restaurants, etc.). We work with service providers, who share our commitment to safety and quality, and work closely with them to develop itineraries unique to the Via Dinarica.
About your travel in Bosnia (BiH) and Montenegro
In Sarajevo we stay at Old town at Pansion Kandilj. Kandilj is a newly built family run guesthouse, fully modern while maintaining the Eastern spirit and allowing guests to experience traditional Bosnian atmosphere. All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with TV, direct phone line, broadband internet, bathroom and toilet.
In Sutjeska National Park, we use Hotel Mladost. This hotel has recently been reconstructed and provides very basic but comfortable accommodations. Rooms are private, with en-suite bathrooms, Wi-Fi and the usual modern comforts.
After rafting on the Tara we will stay at simple wooden bungalows next to the river, you will enjoy the sound of water and campfire. Bungalows are basic with 3-4 beds, with bedding. Toilets and showers are shared. This will be one of the best nights on this trip.
The first night in Montenegro we stay at Sokolina guest house: basic rooms in an old stone farmhouse which has been converted over for guest use. Home-cooked food and stories around the campfire with your charismatic host Dragan.
After long day-hike, we will overnight at Skrka Mountain Hut. The mountain hut facilities are basic with a communal sleeping area and your guides will cook the evening meal and breakfast.
For final night, in Zabljak, we stay at the Javorovaca Lodge, which offers comfortable double, triple and quadruple rooms with ensuite bathrooms, on the edge of Zabljak town. The lodge has its own traditional restaurant and always a warm welcome from the owners.
We provide breakfast on all days except day 1.
A picnic lunch is included on days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Lunches during the hikes will be picnic style, including bread, cheese, sausage, meat and vegetarian pate, salad, chocolate bars, cookies, trail mix, and coffee/tea.
Dinners in Sarajevo & Zabljak are in local restaurants known for their good food and great location. Dinners does not include beverages.
Vegetarian and special diets will be catered to, but options are limited throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please inform us of any specific requirements upon booking.
We use comfortable Opel Vivaro (8+1) or IVECO / VW Minivans (20+1) with A/C, depending on the size of the group.
Isn’t There a War in Bosnia?
No. Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) has recently celebrated 20 years of peace. The disintegration of the old Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia led to armed conflict in the region. On November 20, 1995, peace was signed between the various parties involved, and fighting ceased. Since then, the countries infrastructure has been largely reconstructed and tourists are returning to the country in ever-increasing numbers, making tourism the fastest growing economic sector.
Is Bosnia Safe?
Despite the memory of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s violent past, BiH is actually one of the safest places in Europe. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. Walking the streets of any town or city at any time of day or night is a relatively safe bet. For women, it is not unsafe to walk at night, even late, on your own.
Most of BiH’s roads are double lane and quite curvy due to the mountainous terrain. Road maintenance is getting better, but don’t let a pot-hole surprise you.
The main concerns for travelers in BiH are pick-pockets on tramways in Sarajevo. The pick-pockets can be avoided with simple precautions and awareness. On trams in Sarajevo, keep your purse close to you, and carry your wallet in your front pocket.
Trips rated EASY typically have 1-3 hours of activity per day, with hikes/walks less than five kilometers on mostly flat terrain at altitudes of up to 900 meters.
Easy to Moderate
Trips rated as EASY to MODERATE are designed for travelers seeking both EASY and MODERATE trip activity levels. Trips rated EASY to MODERATE typically have easier rated walks/hikes with options for more moderate activity levels on some days.
Trips rated MODERATE typically have 3-6 hours of activity per day, with hikes up to 15 kilometers on rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 1,900 meters.
Moderate to Challenging
Trips rated as MODERATE to CHALLENGING are designed for travelers seeking both MODERATE and CHALLENGING trip activity levels. Trips rated MODERATE to CHALLENGING typically have moderate rated walks/hikes with options for more strenuous activity levels on some days.
Trips rated CHALLENGING typically have 5-8 hours of activity per day, with hikes up to 15-20 kilometers on mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 2,700 meters.
Designed for very fit and experienced hikers. Trips rated ULTIMATE CHALLENGE typically have 10 or more hours of activity per day, hiking 20 or more kilometers on remote, mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, and uneven trails at altitudes of up to 2,700 meters.