Mountain Biking the Balkans

Day 1 Arrive in Trebinje

After arriving in Trebinje and checking in, we gather for a trip briefing, and then you are free to relax or explore this historic town. Dating back to the 10th century, it abounds with history and architectural splendours. Highlights include the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church, an early 20th century church famous for its spectacular interior artwork. Another must-see is the Saborna Crkva. Built between 1888 and 1908, this religious sanctuary stands elegantly on the historic Crkvina Hill and offers captivating panoramic views of ancient Trebinje. Later in the evening, we meet up for a welcome dinner.

Hotel Leotar

Day 2 Trebinje- Ljubinje - Trebinje

We embark on a cultural ride to explore the villages of Herzegovina. On serene back roads, we pedal on undulating village paths to the historic town of Ljubinje, with traces of settlements dating back to Roman times. We visit the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin. Built in 1867, the building contains a copy of the Gospels dating from 1793, donated by Russia. Breathing in the mountain breezes, we hop on our bikes and roll gently to Plana Dola, nestled on the rugged hills dotted with Mediterranean vegetation. Our last stop is Tvrdos Monastery. This Orthodox 15th-century monastery is surrounded by vineyards cultivated by the monks and features stunning painted murals. Visit the cathedral built in 1508, learn about wine production in the region, and sample red and white wines in the cellars of the monastery. Then it's back to Trebinje, where we call it a day and rest our muscles for the next adventure.

Hotel Leotar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 65km

Day 3 Trebinje – Dubrovnik

We transfer to the top of Croatia's Srdj Mountain, overlooking Dubrovnik's old town with striking views of its city walls and riviera. We then cycle on village paths and paved roads to the historic Mlini Kupari settlement. Established in the 12th century, the village was a major roof tile producer and is now famous for its picturesque countryside, turquoise waters, and seaside promenade. Then we get more local by having lunch with villagers and listening to curious stories and legends of the area that have been passed down for generations. After the delightful encounter, we transfer to Dubrovnik for the night.

Hotel Lapad Dubrovnik
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 20km

Day 4 Dubrovnik – Cavtat

Enjoy breakfast then transfer to Cavtat on the Adriatic coast. Formerly named Epidarius, the town, founded in the 6th century BC, abounds with breath-taking natural and architectural treasures. Up and down, we mountain bike and wind our way on single track and back roads through orchards and vineyards of the Konavle Valley with rugged cliffs that form a stunning contrast with the glassy water of the Adriatic Sea. Along the way, we also come across charming villages where we can greet friendly locals. Then we stop to snack and refresh ourselves while gazing views of the lush greenery and deep blue seas in the background before checking into our beachfront hotel to take a dip and enjoy the sunset.

Hotel Epidaurus
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 50km

Day 5 Cavtat - Herceg Novi

After breakfast, get in the saddle and start riding straight from the hotel over the rugged hills and verdant vegetation of the Konavle Valley. As the ride heads south to enter Montenegro, we enjoy the serene and charming villages of Zvekovica and Ljuta before taking a break by the glassy, 35-km Ljuta River. After refuelling ourselves, we pedal on to Herceg Novi. Nestled at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor and at the foot of Mount Orjen, Herceg Novi is not only historically picturesque but also a popular modern spa destination.

Villa Margot
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 38km

Day 6 Orjen -Tivat

A short morning transfer takes us to the start point of our tour on Mount Orjen. We cycle along an old military trail and make a brisk climb over the Orjen Saddle, towards Crkvice, and then our route heads south, traversing the mountain. Our route is a casual downhill as we follow a wagon trail through some beautiful scenes towards the town of Bunovici. We drop in around beautiful Risan Bay and visit the beautifully preserved baroque town of Perast. With its nine defensive towers, this once busy port now has a tiny population of just 350 people. We take a boat to visit the island of Our Lady of the Rocks, an artificial island created by sinking seized ships loaded with rocks. Our travel by boat continues across the enchanting Bay of Kotor to Tivat, for our overnight accommodation.

Hotel Palma
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 44km

Day 7 Tivat – Budva

From Tivat, our morning climb heads through the pretty village of Gornja Lastva rising above Tivat Bay. We take a military road to the summit of Sveti Ilija, where we get more spectacular panoramic views. Our route runs along the beautiful southeast side of the Lovcen Mountain as we pass Vrmac Fortress, an old Austro-Hungarian bastion. Descending through the Trojica Pass, our ride passes many small villages before a last climb and descent of the day into Budva, an incredibly picturesque and vibrant coastal town where we find our accommodation and get a well-earned rest – or you may choose to party all night in this Montenegrin Miami!

Hotel Mogren
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 37km

Day 8 Budva – Centinje

On this adventurous ride, we roll on the tracks of a disused railway line and use a 600-m long tunnel along the way. Today's first climb rises gradually for 25 km before we get the thrill of a beautiful descent into the fishing village of Virpazar; another stunning Montenegrin jewel with a population under 400. From here, we take to the waters of the sublime Lake Skardar National Park, designated as one of Europe's best bird watching sites, and we cruise for 2 hours north to the charming lakeside town of Rijeka Crnojevića. Our steep climbing continues along a narrow road to Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro. We overnight in this historical and spiritual city located in a small valley below Lovćen Mountain.

Pansion 22
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 57km

Day 9 Centinje – Kotor

We venture into Lovćen National Park and tackle an old military road up to the steep summit of Babina Glava. The reward for our efforts is a fantastic panorama of the countryside below and views across to the coast. Our route flattens out. and we ride past the mountain village of Dolovi before our final ascent to the mountain peak of Jezerski Vrh. The mausoleum of the poet-philosopher Petar Petrovic Njegos sits atop the zenith of the mountain, and the amazing Montenegro landscape spreads out below our feet. A rapid descent brings us back to the heart of the national park and to the tiny village of Njegusi, famed for its cheese and prosciutto. Continue cycling on an old Austrian road to Kotor. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor is well-known for its stunning architecture and its beautiful setting in a secluded part of the Boka Kotorska Bay. Stari Grad (Old Town) is a labyrinth of cobbled laneways linking small squares containing ancient churches and former aristocratic mansions. We have enough time for sightseeing in the old town before a farewell dinner packed with seafood specialties.

Hotel Marija
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 56km

Day 10 Centinje – Kotor

After breakfast, you may extend your stay or catch your onward flight.