Highlights of the Via Dinarica

Destination: Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia

| Activities: Hiking and one day of rafting

The Via Dinarcia trail spans across eight different countries in the western Balkans; a region once steeped in conflict. Now, this trail network crosses soaring limestone peaks, glimmering alpine lakes, and dreamy pastoral meadows, amalgamating diverse cultures, languages, and religions. Hiking the Via Dinarcia, Outside Magazine's Best New Trail in 2014, should be number one on your list, too. We’ll hike the highlights in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. The Balkans are still relatively quiet when it comes to mass tourism, so you have the amazing opportunity to indulge in the sublime serenity with us. It’s rugged, wild, and truly magical. You’ll explore remote villages, medieval towns, and vibrant cities along the Balkan peninsula, trying local cuisine and learning about the cultures along the way.


  • Hiking the highlights of Via Dinarica in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, still one of the least visited areas in Europe
  • Seeing spectacular limestone peaks, beautiful Adriatic coast, glacier lakes, amazing views, colorful wildflowers, medieval villages, and a gracious culture and people
  • Rafting down the spectacular Tara River
  • Hiking to the highest peaks in Bosnia and Montenegro
  • Visiting Mostar and Sarajevo, two of the Balkans' most beautiful cities

Departures and Prices

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  • A Bosnian English-speaking mountain guide and an AGC guide (If there are fewer than 8 on the trip, there will not be an AGC guide)
  • 2 nights in a mountain hut or hostel and 10 nights double occupancy in small hotels and pensions
  • All meals from dinner on first night to breakfast on last morning with the exception of one lunch. A glass of beer, wine, soda or water is included at dinners.
  • All activities on the itinerary including city tours, wine and food tasting in Mostar
  • All transportation during the trip in a private air-conditioned minibus
  • Group transport from the Zagreb, Croatia airport on Day 1
  • Tips for city guides and bus drivers

What's not included: International airfare, airport transfer outside the group transfer on Day 1, guide gratuities, mandatory emergency evacuation insurance, transportation to Sarajevo (SJJ) airport on Day 13.

Please note: Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required for this trip. Since this is an adventurous trip in a remote place, everyone is required to have post departure benefits which include emergency medical, evacuation and expatriation clauses. If you purchase complete trip insurance, these items are automatically included in your policy.
If you do not purchase complete trip insurance, these items can be purchased separately either through your personal insurance company, adventure insurance online companies and through the company that we recommend - Travelex. If using Travelex for this insurance as a separate policy, please use $1.00 for the trip cost when filling out their form. This will give you the post departure benefits required without insuring the entire trip. Your program manager will request policy numbers prior to travel.

Trip Info

This trip is designed for women in excellent physical condition who have prior hiking experience and are excited to experience an ambitious and new long trail. While the level of activity varies each day, you should be able to hike up to 8 hours on mountain trails with elevation gain and loss of 2500-3000 feet while carrying a daypack weighing about 15 pounds. Altitude is not a problem here. There is minor scrambling and some exposure (trails with a drop off no one side); women with significant fear of heights should call the office before registering. This trip is rated 5, which is our highest rating and requires aerobic and endurance conditioning prior to beginning the trip. Rating: 1 2 3 4 [5]

The focus of this trip is on hiking some of the most beautiful and challenging sections of the Via Dinarica, including the highest peaks in Bosnia and Montenegro. There is some time visit the culturally and historically rich cities of Sarajevo and Mostar, as well as sample regional wine. We also include a half day of moderate whitewater rafting, suitable for all levels of experience.

With the exception of our mountain section in Croatia, we will be staying in double occupancy rooms with ensuite bathrooms as detailed in the itinerary. During the mountain section in Croatia we will be staying in 2 mountain huts with shared accommodations and facilities.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. We will meet you at the airport at 3 p.m. for transfer to our hotel for introductions and overview of our trip before our welcome dinner in Zagreb. If you arrive earlier, we can arrange a private transfer. Zagreb is a beautiful and interesting city and well worth coming a day early if you have the time (not to mention that it will help with jetlag).

Overnight Hotel Central (D)
We will start the day with a wonderful Croatian breakfast to fill us up for a day of adventure. The short drive to the Somobor mountains is our first glimpse into the Croatian back country. We will get our body moving with a 5-mile warm up hike through the mountains. Beautiful vistas will compliment this undulating hike well, and with around 600 feet of elevation gain, it will be a great way to start our Balkan hiking adventure. After the hike, we will drive to Krasno for the night. This idyllic alpine village will be our jumping off point for our next two days of Croatian hiking. We can do a small warm up hike to get your body moving, and hopefully end the day trying some of the famous Krasnarski cheese, made locally in town, along with a glass of local wine. We will sleep well tonight to prepare for our big hike in the morning Hiking: 5 miles. 2-3 hours. Overnight: Krasno hotel (B, L, D)
Our adventure begins in Northern Velebit National Park. Velebit is the largest range of mountains in Croatia and we start our exploration on the Premuzic Trail. We spend our first day hiking past wide mountain pastures, karst valleys, and towering peaks. Built in 1931 and still an engineering marvel, the Premuzic Trail traverses the main ridge of Velebit with almost non-stop views of the Adriatic below. The Alan Shepherd Houses - our home for the night, with stunning views of the sea and the islands - are situated at the foot of the Alancic peak. Luckily, we carried just our daypacks today and our luggage is waiting for us at the hut. After dinner, we may wander the nearby area, with visible remains of stone walls, old shepherd's summer huts, animal shelters, and rainwater cisterns. This is Mirovo, which was one of the largest seasonal settlements on Velebit.

Hiking: 10 miles, 6 - 7 hours. Elevation gain: 1,230 feet. Overnight: Alan Mountain Hut (B, L, D)
Alas, this is our final day hiking in Croatia, but it does not disappoint. After a short transfer we start a beautiful circular hike. We'll discover the geomorphological beauties of Dabarski Kukovi area, including an ascent of Visibaba peak (3810 feet), offering amazing panoramas to the Northern Dalmatia coast. The hike ends at Ravni Dabar, where we meet our van and luggage for an hour and a half scenic coastal drive to Starigrad Paklenica, Croatia. This is a village and small port on the Adriatic coast where the mountains seemingly slip into the sea. It's a perfect place to take a dip in the sparkling blue waters and sample freshly caught fish, wine, olive oil, and bread. Often there is live music for a festive evening, if we still have energy.

Hiking 12 miles, 6 - 7 hours. Elevation gain: 2,100 feet. Overnight: Hotel Vicko, Starigrad (B, L, D)
After the last couple days of strenuous hiking, we'll enjoy a day of giving our legs a break. Our destination today is Mostar in Bosnia i Herzegovina (BiH). A 4-hour drive brings us to the middle of the former Yugoslavia which lies at the heart of the Dinaric Alps. Lunch will be at a local winery, the table filled with local delicacies and, of course, wine! After a well-deserved lunch, we'll take a city walking tour of Mostar, famous for its beautiful historic Ottoman-style bridge, which was destroyed in the war. A significant portion of the city has been rebuilt, and this formerly war-torn city is once again a lively destination. A significant portion of the city has been rebuilt, and this formerly war-torn city is once again a lively destination.

Overnight Hotel Almira (B, L, D)
Today we have a more leisurely morning, before traveling about 45 minutes to the Diva Grabovica Valley. This valley, home to several rare endemic trees and wildflowers, is one of the wildest and most beautiful areas on the Balkan peninsula. We'll hike on one of King Karadjordjevic's old hunting trails, climbing through the ancient forests of Cvrsnica Mountain to Zljeb. Starting from the valley of Diva Grabovica, it's a fairly steep climb at times, but truly stunning and refreshing. We'll climb 2.5 hours before reaching our destination, a perch overlooking the largest rock face on the Balkan Peninsula, where we can enjoy a picnic lunch. The peaks of Cvrsnica tower around us in every direction from this point. This is a great way to spend the day: spectacular views with a refreshing hike fit for a king, but very much for queens too! After the hike we continue our journey to Sarajevo, a drive of about 1.5 hours, where we spend the next two nights.

Hiking : 6 miles, 5 - 6 hours. Elevation gain: 2400 feet. Overnight: Pension Kandilj (B, L, D)
This morning we have a guided tour of Sarajevo, one of the most historically interesting and varied cities in Europe. It is a place where the Western and Eastern Roman Empire split and the city is famous for its historic religious diversity, with practitioners of Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism coexisting here for centuries. Sarajevo has been both an example of historical turbulence and the clash of civilizations, as well as a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance through multi-cultural integration. We have a free afternoon to continue exploring on our own or perhaps relax with a good book, before meeting up for dinner at traditional Bosnian restaurant.

Overnight Sarajevo Pension Kandilj (B, D)
Today we head to Sutjeska National Park, the oldest park and one of the two last remaining primeval forests in Europe. After dropping our luggage off at our hotel in Tjentiste, we'll drive for an hour to our hike near Donje Bare Lake. Sometimes referred to as the Yosemite of the Balkans, because of its stunning scenery and pristine habitats, the park is also famous as the location of the Battle of the Sutjeska in 1943 during World War II. Our hike is a loop, first to the tranquil lake of Donje Bare and then continuing through a beech forest and open mountainous terrain to the summit of Ugljesin Peak (6000 feet), for one of the best panoramic views of the Zelengora peaks and the rock-face wall of Volujak. We continue the stunning circuit back to Gornje Bare lake via the Tovarnica ridge with Bosnia’s highest peak a constant companion on the horizon.

Hiking 5.6 miles, 3 - 4 hours. Elevation gain: 1,280 feet. Overnight Hotel Mladost (B, L, D)
Today is the most challenging hike of the trip: Maglic Mountain (7,828 feet), the highest peak of Bosnia & Herzegovina! We'll keep a look out for wildlife on our four-hour ascent: bear, chamois (a goat-antelope species), boar, wolf, pine marten, and mink marten, wild cat, fox, and wild goats live in the park. Step by step we climb above the surrounding peaks on the well- maintained mountain trail with some steep cliffs, occasionally using chains for extra protection (not recommended if you suffer from vertigo.) Our reward at the summit is a break for lunch and breathtaking views over Montenegro and heart-shaped Trnovacko Lake. Dinner tonight is at a small local family restaurant where most of the food is grown and served by the wife and cooked by the husband.

Hiking: 9 miles, 9 - 10 hours. Elevation gain: 3,700 feet. Overnight at Hotel Mladost (B, L, D)
DAY 10
Today we travel to Zabljak, a high mountain village in Montenegro, and our home for the next two nights. After a 4-hour drive, we'll have time to drop our bags at the hotel and pick up some picnic food for lunch at the Crno Jezero (Black Lake) in nearby Durmitor National Park. Compared to yesterday, we'll have a mellow day hike around the Crno Jezero, dominated by the rocky peaks of Durmitor on one side and deep forest on the other. Despite the name, its waters take on a variety of colors throughout the day.

Hiking: 3.7 miles, 2 - 3 hours. Elevation gain: 400. Overnight Hotel Soa, Zabljak (B, L, D)
DAY 11
This may be the trip's most beautiful hike! We head back to Durmitor National Park for a climb up to the ridge between Lucin Peak (7860 feet) and Montenegro’s highest peak, Bobotov Kuk (8,277 feet). You can choose to stay here or to continue up the challenging ridge to the top of Bobotov Kuk. Both have breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys - there are 48 peaks in the park - and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Adriatic Sea. After our climb we return to Zabljak.

Hiking: to the ridge 7.5 miles, 5-6 hours. Elevation gain: 1,920 feet. OR Bobotov Kuk 8.5 miles, 6 - 7 hours. Elevation gain: 2,500 feet. Overnight Hotel Soa (B, L, D)
DAY 12
It's hard to leave Durmitor but it's time to head back to Sarajevo. On our way back we'll stop for a thrilling raft trip on the Tara River. We paddle through the deepest river canyon in Europe with 3,000 feet canyon walls rising above the stunning river wilderness area. After our adventure, we continue back to Sarajevo for a festive farewell dinner and celebration of our trip through the Balkans.

Rafting: 2 to 3 hours of rafting class II-IV rapids. Overnight Sarajevo Pension Kandilj (B, L, D)
DAY 13
What a challenge this has been! We leave satisfied in knowing not only that we have challenged ourselves, but that, simply by hiking on the Via Dinarica at this early stage, we have contributed to its development and to the development of many areas that need and welcome tourism. But now it’s time to bid farewell and to go home with new tales of adventure. Hotel reception will help you organize a taxi to the international airport (about 20 minutes away) to fly home or to continue on your travels.



(27 reviews)
4.5 Food
4.3 Lodging
4.6 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Kari B.
1 year ago

Varied terrain in the three different countries, learning about Balkan history, pushed physically (which I needed after several years of staying home), food. :)

Suzann W.
1 year ago

Local guides.

Jody R.
1 year ago

Sabina, our Bosnian guide, was absolutely wonderful. She made the trip for me.

Marie C.
1 year ago

It's always the people and the absolutely breathtaking scenery! Sabina, the Bosnian guide, was just delightful. I cannot say enough positive things about her. She truly is an advocate for her country, and she is working towards positive change there.

Renee G.
1 year ago

I really enjoyed our Bosnian and Croatian guides. Sharing the knowledge of their country and culture add the trip noteworthy.

Karen R.
1 year ago

The opportunity to visit the off the beaten path areas of Bosnia and Montenegro.

Helen V.
4 years ago

far exceeded

Diana D.
4 years ago

Patricia N.
4 years ago

Victoria O.
4 years ago

The mountains, Adriatic Sea, cities but especially the company of 13 wonderful women!

Victoria O.
4 years ago

The mountains, Adriatic Sea, cities but especially the company of 13 wonderful women!

Diana D.
4 years ago

The hikes were amazing and the non hiking activities were interesting and fun.

Pamela W.
4 years ago

Who knew Bosnia and Montenegro would be so gorgeous (yes I knew Croatia would) I thought the rafting was meh. Not sure how you would handle that day (kind of a travel day so you fit it in to break things up maybe) but it was zzzzz though pretty.

Maurine B.
4 years ago

Helen V.
4 years ago

I loved the hiking, I loved the guides, I loved the group and I liked exploring a new part (to me) of the world.. highlights were the mountains and the cultural experience.

Josefine A.
4 years ago

All the hiking destinations were fantastic. As a first timer in river rafting, I didn’t expect it to be so much fun! To be in the company of wonderful and supportive women is in itself a highlight of the trip.

Michelle M.
4 years ago

I’d heard a lot about Croatia but Bosnia was a big surprise. I loved the beauty and remoteness of the trails we hiked there, as well as the very interesting cities of Mostar and Sarajevo. Also I loved this group of women! I enjoyed every single one and really felt we were a great team.

Lisa S.
5 years ago

Beautiful hiking and the opportunity to learn more about the Balkans.

Gretchen O.
5 years ago

Seeing the Adriatic Sea, challenging hiking, fabulous guides and learning about the history of the Bosnian war, especially through hearing personal stories

Jennifer C.
5 years ago

Great hikes Would have preferred more independent time. For instance, there was no reason to have group lunches in Mostar or after the Sarajevo tour.

Lisa D.
5 years ago

The two guides were both great. The scenery was gorgeous, and most of the hikes were fantastic, if a bit muddy at times. The accommodations were ok -- I understand that in some areas there weren't a lot of options, but would have liked something a little more central in Sarajevo -- 15 minute walk to town up a steep hill. And my personal preference would have been to have a little more "down time" maybe 1 or 2 days minimum after hiking so we could meet for a drink before dinner. Felt like we were very rushed every day. Our second to last hike (around lake) was nothing special -- that would have been a good day to finish early.

Patty B.
5 years ago

The hiking, the scenery, the challenge.

Sylvie H.
5 years ago

It was a fabulous trip! I appreciated the amazing scenery, the level of challenge on many of the hikes, and our group. the cultural components with visits to Sarajevo and Mostar were also important to me. The food was very good and more than adequate. Accomodations good for the most part. I really enjoyed river rafting for the first time too!

Kathryn K.
5 years ago

Gorgeous views, challenging hikes, terrific guides, excellent food, amazing cultural insights, perfect itinerary all done with a fun, thoughtful interesting group of women!

Antoinette K.
5 years ago

Hiking with view of Adriatic, time spent in Mostar and Sarajevo. The history was just awesome!!!! Loved the fields of flowers.

Gina B.
5 years ago

Seeing the Adriatic Sea from the trail, the large meadows filled with wildflowers, the indescribable beauty of the Balkins, and reaching the summit of Bobotov Kuk.

Coralynn D.
5 years ago

beautiful landscapes, quality of hiking, historical/cultural learning, good company

  1. Where do we eat?

    Your breakfasts will be buffets at the hotels where you're staying. Dinner is in restaurants; sometimes there will be a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian entree, other times you can order off the menu. Lunches may either be picnics or in restaurants.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Food in the Balkans tends to be heavy on meat and cheese; there are fresh salads of tomatoes and cucumbers but lettuce is rare as are whole grains. Vegetarian and vegan options for this trip are available but limited; if you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, please bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. Some items, such as nuts, are widely available at grocery stores. If you cannot eat gluten, you will need to bring gluten-free products with you. If you're at all concerned, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.