Balkan Bike Tour
Eight days, seven nights. Cycling on paved roads through isolated countryside in the heart of the Balkan wilderness.
Start: Dubrovnik, Hotel Kompas, 14:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Finish: Dubrovnik Airport, 18:00, day eight. Please contact us for alternate arrangement.
Introductions and meeting in Dubrovnik
Meet in Dubrovnik, Croatia at 14:00 and transfer 1 ¾ hours to Kotor. Spend some time wandering this small town’s medieval alleys, hidden squares, and its ancient city walls 600 feet above the sea. You’ll be fitted to your rental bikes, and will spend the afternoon cycling an easy 20km route to the Bay of Verige. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips.)
Hotel Vardar, Kotor
From Kotor Bay you will climb a beautiful mountain road to the village of Njegusi, located at the base of Mt. Lovcen. Njegusi is the birthplace of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, the 19th century Prince-Bishop who was responsible for transforming Montenegro from a theocracy into a secular state, he is also considered to be one of the greatest Serbian poets ever. Situated so close to the Adriatic, the craggy slopes of Lovcen have been shaped by the warm climate of the sea and the harsh conditions of the interior, and are home to more than 1100 species of plants. This afternoon you’ll have the chance to hike to one of Lovcen’s summits from where you will admire unparalleled views over the Bay of Kotor. You’ll also enjoy a special meal prepared by our friend Milo, who is always eager to share his best pear brandy. BLD
Hotel Ivanov Konak, Lovcen
A beautiful and isolated country road will lead you along the Coast of Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the Balkans. Skadar is a birder's paradise, and if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of one of Europe’s last remaining pelicans. You will have lunch in the small village of Rijeka Crnojevica and continue on to the small village of Virpazar. BL
Hotel Vir, Virpazar
Start your day with a 30km transfer north through the capital of Podgorica. You will ride uphill toward Bioče and into the most amazing and beautiful mountain scenery of Montenegro and perhaps all of Europe. You will spend the day riding along remote country roads basking in the beautiful views over Montenegro’s wild mountain scenery, stopping to enjoy cool drinks in the shade of ancient walnut trees. Then it is onto Kolasin, an air spa town located at the base of Mounts Bjelasica and Sinjajevina. BLD
Hotel Bianca, Kolasin
65km with option to extend 25km in the afternoon
The scenery only becomes more spectacular as you ride further into the Tara River Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in Europe. A breathtaking road takes you through the canyon to Durdevic Tara from where the optional riding up to the Durmitor Plateau begins. The grandness of this place is often compared to scenes from both Tibet and Patagonia. You will rest for two nights in Zabljak, near the shores of the beautiful Black Lake which surrounds the slopes of Durmitor Mountain. BLD
Hotel Polar Star, Zabljak
40km with optional hiking available
Durmitor, which translates as “sleeping” in one of Montenegro’s ancient dialects, rises to 2522 meters/8,200 feet, and will be your playground for the day. For those who want a break from cycling, a hike through pine forests and along the glacial Black Lake is a delight. Bike riders will enjoy the quiet roads throughout the national park and atop the plateau, including the ride to the village of Mala Crna Gora. Return to Zabljak this afternoon with time to explore some of the small shops. BL
You will traverse the Durmitor Mountains today, riding on another scenic road that brings you to the Piva River Canyon. The day begins with 700 meters of climbing, but you will be rewarded with a great descent into the canyon. You’ll then ride toward the village of Rudnice and your cozy eco-huts situated in lush meadow just above a cliff overlooking Durmitor. BLD
Ethno Village Izlazak, Rudnice
Up to 65km
Your final day takes you to the Ostrog Monastery, a Serb Orthodox church that was carved into the limestone here in the 17th century. The monastery is Montenegro’s most popular pilgrimage site and is a great spot to enjoy vast views over the Bjelopavlići plain. From here it is an approximate 3 hour transfer back to Dubrovnik; you can expect to arrive by 18:00, pleasantly exhausted from a week of spectacular mountain travel. BL
Note about the route:
This is a moderately challenging ride with many climbs and descents, and day-filling distances. Abundant vehicle support is provided for more relaxed cyclists. The alpine scenery is fantastic, and the roads are very quiet.
In May 2005, emerging from a tumultuous history, Montenegro became Europe’s youngest independent state. Since then, tourism has begun to develop quickly, yet most of the country remains well off the beaten path of even the most well traveled explorer. Less affluent then its Adriatic neighbour Croatia, Montenegro has a rich history of culture and heritage heavily influenced by Christian, Muslim, Illyrian, Byzantine, Turkish, and Slav civilizations. This hilly cycling adventure provides a thorough experience of this humble but proud nation.
Starting in Dubrovnik, you will transfer a short distance to UNESCO protected Kotor, with its picturesque bay, considered one of the ten most beautiful in the world. You will experience stunning mountain massifs that resemble those of Tibet and Patagonia, Europe’s deepest canyons and gorges, pristine rivers, refreshing lakes, unspoilt forests, and quiet remote villages that seem stuck in time. You will enjoy deliciously fresh cuisine inspired by the diverse culture of the Balkan Peninsula in villages like Rijeka Crnojevica, before continuing deeper into the raw and exotic beauty of the wilderness. You will cycle through the spectacular Tara River Canyon on a breathtaking road to the Durmitor plateau. Here you will discover fantastic waterfalls and cascades, and learn about where some of Tito’s 800,000 Yugoslav Partisans took shelter during WWII.
There are climbs and descents throughout this adventure, the most thrilling of which include the deserted roads surrounding Durmitor National Park and the Piva River Canyon. If you wish, a day of hiking can be arranged among the pine forests surrounding the famous glacial Black Lake at the foot of Mt. Međed. On your final day, you will visit the monastery at Ostrog, perched upon a mountain, providing an unforgettable view of the Bjelopavlići Plain. Your adventure concludes with a transfer back to Dubrovnik from where you can ponder the past eight days of cycling bliss and travel joy through a country that few others have experienced.
Maps & Elevations
Dubrovnik, Hotel Kompas, 14:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Dubrovnik Airport, 18:00, day eight. Please contact us for alternate arrangements.
US 3135 C 3695(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, ferries, van support, full-time guide, luggage handling, maps and route notes, taxes)
N/ANot available for this tour.
US 760 C 895
Hybrid: US 215 C 255
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.