Cycling holiday in Bosnia & Montenegro

“A 9 day guided cycling holiday through Bosnia and Montenegro, up mountains and down to lakes and seashores. The Balkans at their most beautiful. Finishing in Dubrovnik, Croatia. ”

Highlights

Dubrovnik | Cycling in the Dinaric Alps | Popovo Polje wine region | Orijen mountains | Bay of Kotor Listica Peninsula | Perast | Lovken National Park |Lake Skadar National Park | Mount Velez | Mostar

Description of Cycling holiday in Bosnia & Montenegro

This nine day cycling holiday of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro is a carefully crafted circuit traversing some of Europe’s most underrated and yet spectacular mountains. Actually starting in the magnificent town of Dubrovnik in Croatia, we leave the tourist crowds behind to hit the hills in BiH. Or the Dinaric Alps to be precise. With six full days of cycling, this moderate to strenuous holiday takes on not just the ascents and descents of the Dinarics, but also through the softer wine region, Popovo Polje, stopping at traditional mountain villages or dramatic limestone caves.

Our mountain efforts in BiH take us finally into the Orijen mountain range which dips down to the Adriatic shores of Montenegro, where we spend a night in the Bay of Kotor. Wih plenty of well earned swimming on the cards. We spend a day on the other side of the Bay, taking a boat to the Listica Peninsula where we have a change of scenery cycling through olive groves and small farming settlements, and spending a night in the Venetian style town of Perast, with waterfront churches and palaces.

More mountains await in Montenegro’s Lovcen National Park, one of the highlights of this holiday for many cyclists, albeit challenging, with its famous serpentine road boasting 29 switchbacks. This is also home to the mausoleum of the country’s beloved ruler, philosopher and poet, Njegos who died in 1851 and thought of as a national hero of peace and human rights. We stay in a mountain lodge on this night of the trip.

Descend from these heights down to one of Montenegro’s most precious regions in terms of natural heritage, Skadar National Park, named after the eponymous lake and where we stay in the traditional fishing village of Virpazar. One last cycling challenge awaits before heading to Dubrovnik for a final day of rest, shopping and enjoying hanging out by the shore. Popping back into BiH, we climb Mt Velez, which overlooks the stunning, medieval town of Mostar. Descending into Mostar we cycle past its famous old bridge over the Neretva River. A bridge that was built during the Ottoman Empire, was destroyed during the war but has now been rebuilt. It has also become the country’s symbol of Muslim, Croat and Serb reunification, peace and reconciliation. A fine way to finish our journey around this country where cyclists not only pedal in peace, but are always welcomed with open arms.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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21 May 2017
£ 1499
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06 Aug 2017
£ 1559
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27 Aug 2017
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10 Sep 2017
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24 Sep 2017
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13 May 2018
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17 Jun 2018
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15 Jul 2018
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12 Aug 2018
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02 Sep 2018
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30 Sep 2018
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cycling holiday in Bosnia & Montenegro

Accommodation & meals:
Through our local partners we source good quality smaller hotels that fit with our itinerary, often in areas that do not have huge amounts of tourism. These are typically family-run and enjoying the benefits of increased visitor numbers through internal and international tourism. The meals on this trip are a key part of the cultural experience. Most lunches are provided during the rides, and usually take place in remote areas, making use of local producers, such as that provided by a local bee keeper. The towns we stay in are mainly off the regular tourist routes, and outside the larger cities. Restaurants in these towns and villages are small and family-run, offering traditional Bosnian dishes.

Community:
Our journey through this part of the Balkans includes several visits to cultural sites and activities. Many of the cycle routes on the itinerary cross areas famous for their produce. In each case we include a stop to visit a local producer and taste their wares. These include a wine tasting in Dracevo, a visit and lunch at a bee farm, tasting of local cheese and ham in Njegusi and a visit and tasting at an olive farm on the Lustica Peninsula. All money spent here goes directly to supporting and maintaining these very traditional industries, many of who are discovering tourism as a way to supplement their income.

Group size:
As a cycling holiday, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit. Use of the bikes allows us to cover fairly large distances, while offering very little adverse impact, like pollution and threat to wildlife. Cycling also allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. Our bikes are hired and maintained locally, and the addition of cycling to our programme in the Balkans opens up further opportunities for leaders or cycling specialists keen to move into tourism.

Activity:
UK office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.


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