Self Guided Walking Holidays in the Balkans
Few other regions in the world offer such a diverse and unspoilt nature, rich history and friendly people like the Balkan peninsula in South-eastern Europe. Their turbulent past long forgotten, the Balkans are becoming Europe’s new adventure playground for a reason. Choose your self guided walking holiday in the Balkans from the list below.
This is a shorter version of our moderate South Montenegro and Kotor Bay dual centre-based self guided walking holiday in Montenegro. It offers a truly wonderful itinerary which includes some of the best walks in South Montenegro, considered one of the most breathtaking coastal areas in Europe.
The Via Dinarica is a mega trail that extends from Albania to Slovenia and traverses the largest karst field on earth. During this walking holiday, you will circle the great Buško Lake, ascend into Blidinje Nature Park and reach the town of Jablanica over Čvrsnica Mountain. The trip ends in the city of Mostar, famous for its Old Bridge – a jewel of oriental architecture.
Walk through the impressive Vikos Gorge, the deepest canyon in the world. Reach the alpine zone up to the beautiful Dragon Lake and enjoy the spectacular views, then descend the famous cobbled path of Scala Vradetou, built in the 18th century. Retreat every evening in elegant hand-picked stone mansions in the traditional villages along the route.
The southern Dalmatian Coast is often referred to as the Jewel of the Adriatic. Discover the fascinating Old Town of Dubrovnik and the enchanting Dalmatian coastline and its islands on this walking holiday in Croatia. This tour will show you the natural beauty of the old villages in Konavle region, the Elaphite islands and the Mljet island national park.
Old Montenegro and Boka Kotorska Bay self-guided walking holiday offers a truly wonderful itinerary which includes some of the best walks in Southern Montenegro, considered to be one of the most breathtaking areas in the whole of Eastern Europe. Accommodation is in a 4* hotel in Lovcen National Park and a lovely guesthouse in Perast.
Imagine walking through the green countryside full of vineyards, olive trees, rivers and forests, beautiful villages, and medieval towns situated on hills. The Trails and Wines of Istria walking holiday takes you to the heart of the unforgettable landscapes of Croatia and offers the chance to experience the delicious flavours of indigenous Istrian delicacies and wines.
Our Complete Montenegro Discovery 10-day walking holiday features the highlights of North and South Montenegro, including the beautiful Biogradska Gora – one of the last three primaeval rainforests in Europe, Durmitor National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lovcen National Park, and the fjord-like Kotor Bay, one of the most breathtaking coastal areas in Europe.
The Summits and Lakes of North Montenegro walking holiday features two of the most beautiful untouched natural environments in Europe, including the exquisite natural wonder of Biogradska Gora, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, one of the last three primeval rainforests in Europe, and Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This trip starts near Balea Lake, a picturesque glacial lake at just over 2,000 m. For a spectacular view of the Fagaras, you will hike to one of the highest peaks in Romania. For a glimpse into medieval Transylvania and its towns with narrow, winding streets, you take a stroll around the medieval towns of Sibiu and Brasov.
Experience European hiking as it used to be. This is a walking tour for intrepid travellers who are eager to discover the beauty of the Albanian Accursed Mountains at their own pace. The Accursed Mountains offer breathtaking natural scenery and great hiking opportunities in some of the last untamed natural locations and wilderness available in Europe.
When Peter Duncan took up a friend’s invitation to make his first visit to the Balkans, he was faced with an abundance of surprises. He happily admits: “Whilst I had visited many other regions of the world, this was a part of Europe, almost on my doorstep, which I knew so little about”.
Peter’s initial visit revealed to him the area’s immense potential as a self-guided hiking or adventure holiday destination, as well as the opportunity to discover its rich and ancient culture.
This is the region where it all started – and still the Balkans remain a special place for us.
Why Walking in the Balkans?
From the Carpathian mountains in the North to the region that stretches to the Black Mountains in the East, and from the Black Sea in the West, to the shores of the Aegean in the South. This part of the Old continent includes some of Europe’s most ancient and unspoiled natural environments. There are some of the continent’s oldest mountain ranges, last primaeval forests, glacial lakes, largest caves and unique natural rock phenomena. Europe’s largest canyon – Vikos Gorge (second only to the Grand Canyon), and the world-famous Danube river.
As Peter Duncan travelled through the area, he discovered its rich history, culture, and importance as a crossroads of civilisations and empires. Although sometimes perceived as the “New Europe” this part of the continent includes some of the most ancient countries and civilizations, being the one time home of: Ancient Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians, Romans, Alexander The Great, Spartacus, Saxons and parts of the Byzantine and Venetian, Austro Hungarian, and Ottoman empire.
The region is awash with myth and legend and abounds in archaeological sites, as well as ancient monasteries, fairytale castles, fortresses, museums, and galleries. Many rural areas still maintain their traditional customs and way of life, along with the warmth and hospitality for which the people have long been known. Folk singing and dancing play a large part in the region’s calendar. The participants in those events are often adopting their local costumes to take part in the festivals and rituals that have been a part of community life for centuries.
The region’s large number of accredited UNESCO natural and cultural world heritage sites have also assured its recognition on the world tourism stage.
The region is home to a beautiful mix of food and wine. From traditional Polish, Slovakian, and Romanian cuisine in the north, to Greek, Turkish, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences in the South. This part of Europe has a well-deserved reputation for diverse and distinctive cuisine. The region has been famed and respected for wine production since ancient times!
In addition to the spectacular nature, ancient culture, and excellent cuisine the area has a climate that ranges from continental in the north, to sub-tropical in the South. Offering long hours of sunshine, mild nights and some of the cleanest air in Europe.