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Hiking the Balkans: Via Dinarica

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 Trip Length
10 Days
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10 Day Hiking the Balkans: Via Dinarica Itinerary (Intrepid)
Countries Explored: Croatia Bosnia Herzegovina Montenegro Albania
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Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Intrepid's 10 Day Hiking the Balkans: Via Dinarica. Get your heart racing on this hiking trip that spans four countries and highlights some of the most incredible scenery across the Western Balkans. The Dinaric Alps stretch some 2,000 kilometres across Italy, through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, to the south-eastern part of Albania. You’ll discover some of the best bits of this breathtaking mountain range. Start out in the sun-kissed port-side hub of Split in Croatia.

Then, pull on your walking shoes for an...read more evening hike through Blidinje Nature Park, watch on as wild horses gallop through the countryside near Cincar Mountain and explore the fascinating city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You'll hike through Durmitor National Park and admire its glacial lakes and never-ending pine forests in Montenegro. And finally, take on the Valbona-Theth hiking trail in the Albanian Alps with a scenic mountain-framed ferry ride like no other to end your trip. With history, culture, nature and a little adventure all wrapped up into one epic trip – we think it’s time you join us on this hiking journey through the Dinaric Alps.


Pozdrav! Welcome to Croatia. This Mediterranean paradise might be best-known for its island-dotted coastline but it’s filled with a surprising charm, intriguing history and leafy green goodness that will be sure to delight you. Our trip starts in the glistening port hub of Split, lapped by the Adriatic Sea, with local produce stalls, cobblestone laneways and ancient buildings topped by iconic Croatian rust-tiled roofs. Your Intrepid trip officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening where you’ll get to know your new travel companions and locally based leader. If you arrive in town early, why not wander along the waterfront, grab yourself a fresh gelato and soak up the Mediterranean sun or head to the Old Town and marvel at its Ancient Roman Architecture juxtaposed against modern museums, shops and homes. If one day here just doesn’t seem like enough (we don’t blame you), we can arrange extra night’s accommodation at the start of your trip, subject to availability.

Wake up and enjoy a free morning to explore Split at your leisure. Perhaps grab a coffee along the waterfront promenade or chat to the locals selling brightly coloured fruits and veggies at the morning markets. After lunch, we’ll hit the road toward neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our first stop will be in Blidinje, where you’ll have a little free time to explore before our adventure really begins on a hike through to Hajdučka Vrata (Outlaw's gate). You’ll hike the Dinaric Alps as the sun sets with a certified Mountain Guide (who holds mountain rescue qualifications) and your local leader, both there to ensure your safety. One of the highlights of this trek is that night begins to fall just at the end of the walk – giving you a special opportunity to stargaze from the Alps. Make sure you pack a trusty head lamp (perhaps, with spare batteries) and walking poles for extra support. (B)

Wake up without an alarm today and have a well-deserved rest after last night’s hike. Fuel up on a hearty breakfast before we hit the road to your next accommodation spot and prepare for another epic hike in the surrounding mountains. Today, you’ll take on Cincar Mountain to meet its local herd of wild horses. Yep, you read that right. You’ll be accompanied by local experts who know the horses favourite hang-out spots. The southern parts of Cincar Mountain are home to more than 700 wild horses, with endless meadows, wide open space and fresh mountain air to sustain them, they’ve been here for more than half a century. Today’s hike will be relatively easy, it’ll be the sight of these majestic animals that takes your breath away. Watching wild horses galloping freely with mountain peaks behind them is a sight (and feeling) that you won’t soon forget. (B)

You’ll be up bright and early this morning to hit the road toward the village of Umoljani where our next hike, in Bjelašnica Mountain area, will kick off. With more than 40km of ski slopes in this area, Bjelašnica Mountain hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984 which were deemed ‘the best in history’ by the International Olympic Committee. So, it’s safe to say today’s terrain is the kind of take-your-breath-away alpine scenery you could only dream of. Your hike will be along a loop trail that crosses through the highest and most remote village in Bosnia – Lukomir. You’ll get the opportunity to hang out with the locals here; you’ll share lunch, laughs, local cheese and, of course, Bosnian coffee. Coffee-lovers assemble; the rich (exceptionally strong), chocolatey brew is rather addictive and to make things even sweeter – it's often served with a portion of Turkish Delight. This village is particularly charming; at 1,500m above sea level, it’s unique for its centuries old stone houses and traditional dress. You’ll discover fascinating history, culture and architecture during your pitstop here. After some time learning more about local life, you’ll hike the loop back to our private vehicle and we’ll set our sights on Sarajevo for the evening. (B/L)

After breakfast this morning, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Sarajevo – trust us, you’ll welcome every minute in this fascinating city. With a short leader-led walk in the morning, you’ll then have time to explore at your leisure. The city first hit the world stage after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife here sparked the beginnings of World War I. Then, in the early 90’s the city was held under siege for almost four years during the Balkan War, perhaps this is something that makes the vibrancy of the people and their spirit shine through so strongly here. You might like to explore the Old Town, sip a local Bosnian coffee, walk across the famous Latin Bridge, or look for the Sarajevo roses – memorials across the city. After some time here, you’ll get ready for our next stop (and next country of the trip) – Montenegro! Try to nab a window seat today, the countryside along the drive is something else. (B)

Fuel up on a hearty breakfast this morning, today is all about hitting the mountains! You’ll strap on your adventure boots, and we’ll start our hike from the main entrance of Durmitor National Park. A UNESCO world heritage site, the national park is painted by lyrical landscapes that are traversed by rivers and dotted with richly coloured glacial lakes, charmingly nicknamed the “mountain eyes” by the local inhabitants. The thing about Durmitor National Park is, it’s so vast and so breathtakingly beautiful, we have plenty of trail options for today’s hike. Your expert leader will take on your personal tastes and fitness levels and mix and match the trails here to create an epic day of hiking that the whole group enjoys. Don’t worry, glacial lakes, lush pine forests and fresh alpine air are a guarantee for any trail combination today. Your final climb of the day will get your heartrate up and lead you to one of the best viewpoints overlooking Tara Canyon. Once you reach the top, rest, relax and soak up those views – you've earnt it! (B)

You’ll set out bright and early this morning for Vusinje, a small village on the border of Montenegro and Albania. From here, you’ll hike towards Karanflii peaks which stand proudly over Grbaja Valley below. You’ll walk along the ridge of the mountains and while the distance isn’t as far as previous days, the elevation gain is significant - pack your walking poles to help you out! The trail winds around Prokletije Mountain and includes Popadija and Talijanka peaks with a front row view of the towering Karanfili peaks in the distance. Sit down to a packed lunch with your fellow adventurers and take a moment to soak it all in before heading to your accommodation in Gusinje in the afternoon. (B/L)

Another day, another country to explore. You’ll cross the border into Albania today – the fourth and final country to discover on our Balkan hiking adventure. Our first stop will be in Theth, one of the wanders in Albanian Alps, declared a Protected Historic Center by the Albanian Government. Lace up your walking shoes for our next walk on the Valbona-Theth hiking trail. This is a signature hike in the region – recognised for the rewarding vistas that sprawl far across the pine-dotted valley below and snow-capped Albanian Alps above. After a day on your feet, retire to your guesthouse in Valbona Valley where you’ll be treated to an authentic dinner with your group. Put your feet up and reflect on all of the hiking you’ve achieved in the last week. (B/D)

After breakfast today, you’ll enjoy a scenic ferry ride to Koman. Surrounded by mountains that seem to dive directly into the turquoise water of the lake, the 2.5 hour cruise will be just as much about the journey as the destination. It’s a nice opportunity to rest your legs and sit back to enjoy one of Mother Nature’s best shows. Once the ferry docks in Koman, you’ll be taken to Tirana by minibus. On arrival, your leader will take you on a short orientation walk around the country’s capital. You’ll have the evening at your leisure – you might like to head to a local restaurant to enjoy one final dinner with your newfound travel friends. Be sure to ask your leader for their best recommendations. (B)

Your Balkan hiking adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Hike one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges and discover the history, culture and landscapes of not one, not two, but four southern European countries – Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.
  • Watch herds of wild horses galloping freely with majestic peaks behind them and rugged mountain terrain beneath them in the countryside near Cincar Mountain.
  • Embark on a scenic hike to the highest and most remote village in Bosnia – Lukomir, where you’ll meet the locals, learn about their way of life and share lunch, laughs, local cheese and, of course, Bosnian coffee together.
  • Hike through Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, that will leave you awe-struck by the vistas across countless glacial lakes and never-ending pine forests.
  • Enjoy a ferry ride across Komani lake that proves that it’s just as much about the journey as the destination as you cruise across the turquoise waters framed by towering mountains that seem to plumet directly into the water below.

  • Hotel (8 nights)
  • Homestay (1 night)

  • 9 Breakfasts included
  • 2 Lunches included
  • 1 Dinners included

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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