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This walking holiday journeys from the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro to the idyllic islands of Croatia, following some of the most beautiful coastal, mountain and village trails of the southern Balkans.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
Leisurely and Moderate
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins at Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) at 12pm, you will need to arrive by this time to join the transfer from the airport today. The latest your flight can arrive is 11.30am. We will travel together as a group to our hotel in Dobrota a one-and-a-half hours' drive.
Dobrota is a quaint little seaside settlement within walking distance of the walled city of Kotor. Described as one of Kotor Bays' more stylish enclaves, the seafront at Dobrota consists of old captain's villas, restored as seaside cafes and small hotels offering picturesque views of Mt Vrmac and the bay itself.
Hotel Marija 2 (or similar)
This morning we explore the prettiest and best preserved city in Montenegro, Kotor. The old city of Kotor is a well preserved urbanisation very typical of the middle ages, situated on one of the world's most beautiful bays. Kotor's fortifications stand up to 20 metres high and completed their protective loop of the city by the 14th century. The walls rise improbably from the surrounding slopes and we will walk to the top of them, a steep walk of around 1350 steps, to take in the magnificent views of the fjord and the winding, maze like streets of the city itself. On our way back down from the city walls we will visit the small church of Saint Jovan before taking some free time to explore the rest of the town where you might chose to visit the Sea Gate, the 12th century Saint Tryphon Cathedral or the Maritime Museum.
This afternoon there is the option to take a boat trip to the Lady of the Rock and Perast Town in the bay of Kotor. The Lady of the Rock is an artificial island created by dropping multiple rocks into the sea to lay on top of each other until an islet is formed. Legend has it that over the centuries, after they found an icon of Madonna and Child on the rocks, local seamen kept an ancient oath to lay a stone in the bay every time they returned safely. Over the years the islet was formed and now is home to the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks.
Today's leisurely grade four kilometre trek is expected to take around two-and-a-half hours with 300 metres of ascent and descent.
Today we start our walk from Kotor for one of the most scenic walks you can do on the Montenegrin coast. We walk up a zig zag meandering pathway to the top of Vrmac Mountain and then along the Vrmac Ridge that divides the Bay of Kotor and Bay of Tivat. The first part of the hike is mostly through forests, gradually ascending on the old Austro Hungarian stone pathway to the highest point on the Vrmac Ridge, Sveti Ilija (785m) with views of the inner bay at Kotor and then on the other side to the Adriatic and the town of Tivat. We descend from the ridge to the small beach at Markov Rt for a refreshing swim in the clear waters before we return to the hotel by bus along the coastal road.
Today's moderate grade 15 kilometre trek is expected to take around five hours with 650 metres of ascent and descent.
After breakfast we drive to Bosanka hill on the edge of the UNESCO listed walled city of Dubrovnik and walk for half an hour down into the city, entering through the ancient walls on foot. This short walk of around 40 minutes gives great views of the surrounding area. From Dubrovnik we take a catamaran to Mijet Island, known for its unspoiled natural beauty, including lush green forests, serene saltwater lakes, and a more tranquil ambiance than neighbouring islands. When we get off the catamaran we take a scenic walk to our hotel in Pomena Village which is will take around one hour.
Today's leisurely grade four kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with 200 metres of descent.
Hotel Odisej (or similar)
The western side of Mljet is often known as the Green Island as it is heavily wooded with over 70% of the island covered in forests. It is this area we will explore today as our looped hike starts out straight from our hotel and takes us around Malo and Veliko Jezero, or the Small and the Great Lake in Mljet National Park. The lakes are salt water and interconnected by a very narrow canal, there will be the opportunity to swim the lakes along the way today. The larger lake, Veliko Jezero, contains a small island known as Sv Marija upon which sits a 12th century Benedictine Monastery - we will take a short visit across to the island to have a look at the monastery and its church of St Mary. During its time on the island the monastery has taken on various guises, including a hotel during Tito's administration. The war in 1991 ended that particular phase and the monastery and church were left vacant with the possibility that the Benedictines may return to reclaim and reopen it. We return to Pomena before transferring to Polace for our next boat trip to the island of Korcula and our overnight stop in the village of Lumbarda.
Today's moderate grade 10 kilometre trek is expected to take around four hours with 300 metres of ascent and descent.
Hotel Borik (or similar)
Lumbarda is a small fisherman's village situated on the eastern coastline of Korcula island, well known for its vineyards and a 'unique' white wine known as GRK. Our walk today follows the shore from the beautiful sandy beaches at Lumbarda itself to the town at Korcula. On route we will get some wonderful views of the archipelago and its 22 islets, including Vrnik and Badija. We finish our walk in the medieval walled town of Korcula where we will have some free time to explore. The Old Town of Korcula is shaped a little like a fish bone with a succession of narrow streets all coming off the main street, or back bone. This design was said to reduce the effects of the wind and sun and keep its occupants sheltered. During your exploration you may wish to visit the 15th century, Gothic Renaissance style cathedral of Saint Mark or the alleged birth place of Marco Polo and its impressive tower that gives amazing panoramic views of Korcula. We then take the ferry to Orebic and transfer by road to Dubrovnik, for the last two nights of our holiday.
Today's leisurely grade seven kilometre trek is expected to take around three hours with 100 metres of ascent and descent.
Hotel Vis (or similar)
Those who seek paradise on earth, George Bernard Shaw once wrote, should come to Dubrovnik. This morning we have a guided walking tour of this stunning area, now fully restored following damage from the shelling in the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991-92. The Old Town still very much retains its unique atmosphere and charm and UNESCO have granted it World Cultural Heritage status as one of the world's finest examples of a fortified Medieval town. After your tour you will then have some free time to explore more of this wonderful city. You may choose to walk the length of the city walls (1940 metres in total) or take a cable car to view the city from above.
We will meet later tonight for our last meal of the holiday.
The trip ends this morning at our accommodation in Dubrovnik.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Dubrovnik at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) a 30 minutes' drive from the hotel.
Total distance : 23 miles
The Croatian Adriatic has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm, dry, sunny summers. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn, though generally it is in the form of short showers. Thunderstorms can occur in summer, generally helping to cool the air. Hvar Island gets the most sunshine in summer with 10-12 hours each day, followed by Split, Korcula Island and Dubrovnik with around 7-8 hours. Temperatures from May to October are generally in the low to mid 70's (in °F), but can reach into the 30's (in °C) in July and August. Trip itineraries with boat cruises can occasionally be disrupted due to bad weather.
2 Pin Round
Montenegro's coastline has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters, whereas the more mountainous inland areas have a sub-alpine climate with warm summers and very cold winters with frequent snowfall. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn in the coastal areas, though generally this is in the form of short showers. In the mountains rainfall tends to be more frequent including around the Bay of Kotor. Temperatures from May to October are generally in the low to mid 20's (in °C), but can reach into the 30's (in °C) in July and August.
Christian (mainly Serbian Orthodox)
Lady of the rock 10 to 20 Euros depending in group size Dubrovnick cable car £27 Dubrovnik city walls £35
The summer months can be very warm, bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. It can become cool, especially at night, so also bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier, a warmer fleece is recommended as a mid layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Long trousers -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear and towel -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair) -Insulated jacket
We recommend you bring walking boots/trail shoes with ankle support, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
Bring one main piece of luggage and a 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Camera -Walking poles (if you usually use them) -Personal toiletries -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Insect repellent -Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone) -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore -Lunch bag/Tupperware (for packed lunches)
Accommodation and service levels in Montenegro and Croatia are generally very good. On this trip we stay in a number of smaller, family-run hotels and guesthouses that might not offer the same luxuries as larger chain-style hotels, but they do provide a warm welcome and a comfortable place to stay. Staying in simple guesthouse is a fantastic way to experience a family atmosphere and try locally produced and traditional food.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
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Montenegro: Visas are not required by UK, US, Canadian, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Croatia: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
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You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
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On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend being up-to-date with your routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK including protection against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis protection is recommended by some medical sources at certain times of the year. Ticks are most active between spring and late autumn. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.