May 27-June 5, 2019

Status OPEN
Cost $2238.00 (per person, double occupancy)
$170.00  (single supplement: see exceptions)  
Travel Dates May 27, 2019 to June 5, 2019
Description Prestigious National Geographic Traveler included the Via Dinarica Trail amongst world’s best destinations in 2017. Located in the Western Balkans, the Via Dinarica connects natural and cultural sights and encompasses three trails: Green, Blue and White. Our luggage will be transferred for us daily so we can enjoy our walks with just a day pack. On this trip, we will be exploring the Blue Trail from Montenegro to Bosnia which is the more northern route. The Blue Trail passes Biogradska gora and Lovcen National Park: two stunning areas located at the coastal part of Dinaric Alps. We will explore areas not many hikers have had the opportunity to see, raft the Neretva River, enjoy historic towns and villages and end in Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital which offers a wonderful mix of  European and Near Eastern culture and living history. This will surely be 10 days of memorable Balkans exploring.
Included Transportation per itinerary; daily luggage transfer; English speaking guide; 9 nights lodging; 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners; rafting, including all safety gear; all entrance fees per itinerary; all gratuities.
Not Included
  • Airfare to the meeting place
  • 2 trail lunches (average cost 10Euros/Convertible Mark equivalent)
  • 3 dinners (average cost 15Euros/Convertible Mark equivalent)
  • drinks
  • airport transfer on Day 10
  • trip insurance
Payment Policy A Deposit of $ _800.00_ is due with the application forms to register for the trip.

Must have at least __13   registered and paid in full by December 1, 2018 for the trip to go.

The Balance of $ 1438.00 is due no later than December 1st, 2018.

Cancellation Policy If registrant cancels prior to December 1st, 2018 all payments received by ADK minus $100.00 will be refunded.

After December 1st, 2018, a refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100.00 will be refunded.

Note that there is a $100 registration fee included in the trip deposit which is not refundable if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever.

If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.

Accommodations and Meals Our accommodations while hiking will be in small local lodging with single and double occupancy subject to the exceptions below. All websites are listed on the itinerary.

On Day 1, our lodging at Stavna is at an eco-village where we will stay in cottages equipped with a bathroom and can accommodate five people.

On Day 3, our lodging at Biogradska gora National Park is in simple wooden bungalows accommodating two to four people with shared toilet and shower facilities.

On Day 8, our lodging at Umoljani is in private double rooms with bathrooms. This is a small mountain chalet so single occupancy rooms cannot be guaranteed.

MEALS:

A typical breakfast in this area at a hotel would be a buffet with sweet and salty options, cereal and fruit. At more modest places usually cheese, meat, eggs and breads. Lunches on days 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 will be picnic style including bread, cheese, sausage, vegetarian pate, salad, chocolate bars, cookies and trail mix. On the two days lunch is not provided, you can shop at a grocery store for your food. Dinner, where meals are prearranged, might consist of soup, main course, salad and dessert and are in local restaurants known for their good food. No drinks are included. NOTE: ​ Vegetarian and special diets will be catered to, but options are limited throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Please inform Trip Leader of any specific requirements and consider bringing specific supplements if needed.

Trip Insurance It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list, if any; you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip. NOTE:  Medicare does not cover expenses outside the USA and its territories, and evacuation from a remote location can be astronomically expensive, especially if by helicopter.
Daily Itinerary Day 1, Monday, May 27:

Plan to arrive at the Podgorica, Montenegro airport by 12:00pm/noon and we will meet at a place to be determined. NOTE: This meeting time may change depending on flight arrival schedules in May 2019. Our private transfer will take us 2 hours to our hotel in Stavna, Montenegro. In the early evening, we will get together for an informational meeting followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Stavna, Montenegro: Eko Katun: www.ekokatunstavna.com; Meals: D

Day 2, Tuesday, May 28:

14km/8.7 miles; 6 to 7 hours; 900m ascent; Strenuous

Our day begins with an approach to Komovi massif from the north and we will catch our first views of Kom Vasojevicki (2,460 m). This is the largest and most eastern peak of Kosovo massif and the one we will climb today. Our constant ascent will take about 3 hours on a well maintained trail.  From the top is a beautiful view of the nearby Ljevorecki Kom,  Prokletije and many other mountains. Our view will seem like half of Montenegro is in the palm of your hand! A 1 hour afternoon transfer to Kolasin,

Overnight: Kolasin, Montenegro: Hotel Cile: www.hotelcile.me; Meals: B/L/D

Day 3, Wednesday, May 29:

18km/11 miles; 7 to 8 hours; 650m ascent; Strenuous

Morning transfer 20 minutes to Vranjak where our trekking starts in the pastures. We hike to Biogradsko Lake, over mountain Bjelasica. and through National Park Bio​gradska gora. The hike itself is not demanding and offers some memorable views toward north and south. The forest around Biogradsko Lake​is one of the last three large virgin forests in Europe and is a strictly protected natural reserve. In the heart of the forest is Biogradsko Lake, the biggest and   most famous in the region.

Overnight: Biogradska Gora, Montenegro: Biogradka Gora National Park: http://www.apartmani-montenegro.com/index.php?ob=50; Meals: B/L/D

Day 4, Thursday, May 30:

14km/8.7 miles; 4 to 5 hours; 1400m descent; Strenuous

Morning transfer 2 hours to Lovcen National Park. We will visit the Njegos Mausoleum, a magnificent mausoleum (built 1970 to 1974), which sits at the top of its second-highest peak, Jezerski Vrh (1,657m). The Mausoleum is dedicated to one of most important persons in Montenegro history, Petar II Petrovic Njegos. The 461 steps have to be climbed, to reach the entry, where two granite giantesses guard the tomb of Montenegro’s greatest hero. After this “learning” experience, we will start our hike directly from the Mausoleum. Even though the hike is mostly downhill, it is quite challenging. The first part of this hike is through small bushes and forest and the trail is what remains from the legendary route that connected Kotor with Njegusi village (which we pass on the way) and Cetinje, the old capital of Montenegro. We will descend to Kotor and be rewarded by phenomenal views of the Bay of Kotor and beyond. We end the day in this beautiful small coastal town, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Overnight: Kotor, Montenegro: Hotel Marija II: www.hotelmarija.me/en; Meals: B/L

Day 5, Friday, May 31:

17km/10.5 miles; 5 to 6 hours; 750m ascent; Strenuous

Morning transfer 2 hours to Tuli where our adventure continues in nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina. Soon after we cross the official border between the two countries, we start our hike to Vucji zub (1,805m) one of the highest peaks of the Orjen Mountain range. Orjen also has a rich plant and animal world and many endemic species can be found in it.  At the end of the day, we will take a short transfer to Trebinje, the most southern town of Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for its rich culture and wine production.

Overnight: Trebinje, Bosnia: Hotel Platani: www.hotel-platani-trebinje.com; Meals: B

Day 6, Saturday, June 1:

Rest Day

Today we rest our legs and enjoy some local culture. In the morning, we’ll explore the town of Trebinje which has a history that dates back to the Middle Ages. We have a 30 minute transfer to the Orthodox Monastery of Tvrdos, built in the 15th Century. At the monastery we will venture into the cellars for an intimate taste of the earthy, bold tastes of red wines. Herzegovina’s wines are amongst the newest in the ‘second world’ wine category. Herzegovina’s sunny Mediterranean climate and rich hinterland soils produce the finest wines in southern Europe. From the Monastery, we continue to Vjetrenica cave, one of the largest in the Dinaric Alps. This cave system has over six kilometres of underground passages and tunnels, many of which have not yet been explored. Vjetrenica has a rich subterranean biodiversity: more than two hundred different species have been identified. In the late afternoon we have a 2 hour transfer to Mostar, a UNESCO Heritage Site, and enjoy the sunset at the world famous Old Bridge.

Overnight: Mostar, Bosnia: Hotel Kapetanovina: www.kapetanovina.com; Meals: B

Day 7, Sunday, June 2:

Rafting; 3 to 4 hours of Rafting: class III rapids.

Morning transfer 2 hours to Glavaticevo where the Neretva River and some of the most exciting rafting in Europe awaits! This is the emerald of Herzegovina flowing over 100 kilometers from its source into the Adriatic Sea. Our river hosts are fully equipped and experienced to guide first timers or experienced rafters on a wonderful white water adventure. Expect deep canyon walls, endemic flora and fauna, and a wild and pristine atmosphere that only the Neretva can provide. The water level can vary in late spring and will most likely be class III. Neretva River Rafting is consistently a highlight of many trips to Bosnia and the Western Balkans.

Hiking option as an alternative to rafting: Ljubišnje’s lonely summit, Dernjačišta (2238m), is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third highest peak. The hike is mostly over the open terrain with some steep sections and wonderful views of north Montenegro and the Tara river canyon. Total hiking time: 3 hours.

Overnight: Boracko Lake, Bosnia: Villa Sunce: www.vila-sunce.com/en; Meals: B/L/D

Day 8, Monday, June 3:  

9km/5.5 miles; 5 to 6 hours; 750m ascent; Moderate

Morning transfer 2 hours to the village of Tusila where we begin our hike in the heart of the Visocica Mountains. This whole area is home to the beautiful karst stone, underground rivers and dotted with lakes. We trek through open meadows and lush beech forest to the summit of Vito. We will have lunch at this beautiful summit where the views are spectacular. In the afternoon we descend to our transportation and the 15 minute transfer to Umoljani village.

Overnight: Umoljani Village, Bosnia: Umoljani Mountain Chalet: www.umoljani.com; Meals: B/L/D

Day 9, Tuesday, June 4:

8km/5 miles; 3 to 4 hours; 550m ascent; Moderate

We begin our last hike on this incredible trip right from our lodging in Umoljani Village. This trek has it all: stunning views of  Rakitnica canyon, wonderful scenery of the hinterlands of Bjelasnica and a visit to Lukomir…Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest village. We will also have fantastic mountain views as we continue to the summit and then feel the cool breezes coming off Visocica. You will feel as if you arrived at the edge of the world. After a simple but tasty homemade lunch provided by a local family, we make our way into Lukomir. We will be picked up and transferred the 1 1/2 hours to Sarajevo, arriving mid-afternoon. Staying our last night in Sarajevo, ensures that we experience Sarajevo in the evening including the beautiful city lights at night. We will enjoy our farewell dinner in traditional Bosnian Restaurant, in the heart of the old town.

Overnight: Sarajevo, Bosnia: Pension Kandilj: www.kandilj.com; Meals: B/L/D

Day 10, Wednesday, June 5:

After breakfast, our tour ends and you are free to continue your travels with wonderful memories of our “Blue” Balkans Adventure! Meals: B

Notes TRAVEL ITINERARIES: We will meet at the airport in Podgorica, Montenegro, airport code: TGD. Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader advises the trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go. We will be ending our trip in Sarajevo, Bosnia, airport code: SJJ.

MINE AWARENESS: Minefields are a reality in some parts of Bosnia. All trails we will be hiking are in landmine free areas, safe, well traveled and far from all potentially dangerous or unknown areas. Our tour operator and guide take no risks and believe: We go where we know we can go safely or we don’t go. They cooperate with MAC (MineActionCenter) which is a government institution responsible for all demining processes in Bosnia. They have the most up to date and accurate information at all times.

TIME DIFFERENCE: Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina are 8 hours ahead of ET or GMT +1.

PASSPORT: A valid passport that has at least 6 months validity remaining from the date of your return.

VISA’S: Not required.

IMMUNIZATIONS: Not required.

EMERGENCIES: Leave your itinerary with your emergency contact so they can reach you at our accommodations each evening. And consider buying an international cell service plan.

WEATHER: The weather can vary from the cities to the mountains from daily temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees F and evening/night temperatures from 45 to 60 degrees F with little rainfall. The climate is changing so we will be prepared for all variances. Visiting mountain areas is always unpredictable concerning weather.

WI-FI AND CELL SERVICE: Wi-Fi should be available at most accommodations except at Stavna and Biogradsko Lake but could be unreliable. Cell service should be available in most places except some areas where we’ll be hiking in the mountains.    

CURRENCY: Euros in Montenegro and Convertible Mark in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ATM’s: You will find bank machines in Kotor, Trebinje, Mostar and Sarajevo. In larger cities you should be able to use credit cards as well. In other places, have cash on hand.

ELECTRICITY: The electric current in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina is 230V and 50 Hz. The power sockets are a type F.

TRANSPORTATION: 20+1 passenger Minivan with air conditioning.

FLIGHT RESERVATIONS: Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader advises this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to proceed.

TRIP PRICES/ARRANGEMENTS: Subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s and Trip Leader’s control.

TOUR OPERATOR: Trip Leader has created a unique tour with a local company, Green Visions: The Socially Responsible Travel Experience. Since 2000, Green Visions has been organizing hiking and adventure trips and they believe a holiday is most rewarding when it provides a visitor with an insight into the local culture while treading lightly upon the environment. Our trip is planned to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities by using local services in our host communities. As ADK trip participants, we will have the satisfaction of knowing our contribution will help support economic development and environmental protection in the region. Our trip liaison, Samer Hajric has been guiding Green Visions trips for 18 years and is a local of Sarajevo. His passion is for the mountains and the rigors of the outdoors and introducing visitors to this amazing environment.

What to Bring Luggage to be transferred is limited to one soft sided piece weighing not more than 20 kg/44 pounds. For daily hikes, choose clothing that is light and comfortable and easy to dress in layers depending on the weather. A day pack that is large enough to hold extra clothes, hats (both sun and light knit), light gloves, glasses, sunscreen, lunch, snacks (bring your own energy bars if you want them), water (at least 2 liters), fleece, rain jacket, rain pants and a waterproof pack cover. Wear comfortable preferably waterproof light hiking boots or sturdy hiking shoes that are adjusted to your feet to avoid blisters and sore joints. Sandals or light running shoes are not suitable for this hiking, since they do not give any ankle support or protection from rocks, vegetation or water. Hiking poles can also be useful, as they reduce the impact of the walk on the knees and joints and help with climbs and descents. Also plan on bringing a bathing suit, lightweight sandals and a microfiber quick dry towel for our rafting day and possible swimming opportunities.
Trip Leader Mary Chayka-Crawford
mchayford@comcast.net
P.O. Box 501 Lake Orion, MI 48361
248-496-2395