Croatia & Montenegro Multi-Sport Vacation
An adventurer’s version of the Riviera awaits. The OARS Croatia & Montenegro Multi-Sport begins by discovering Lopud Island off the coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. Bask in the sun, swim, snorkel and paddle through this blue water paradise. Then, soak in the rich culture of Croatia at Trsteno’s Aboretum—the oldest Renaissance garden in Dalmatia. Continuing our way down to Montenegro we’ll stop en route to the highlands for a hike at The Walled City of Kotor. For the remainder of the trip we take in the area’s many architectural treasures influenced by the Greeks and Romans, as well as its natural treasures like the Bay of Kotor, one of the most deeply indented portions of the Adriatic coast, sometimes called the southernmost fjord in Europe. Your journey ends with rafting the final 11 miles of the Tara River—one of the last wild rivers in Europe. This eight-day adventure is perfect for travelers who want an adventurous coastal vacation in an off-the-beaten path European locale.
The Dalmatian Coast and Dubrovnik: The Pearl of the Adriatic
Croatia boasts over 3,600 miles of coastline, but the most famous section is the southernmost Dalmation Coast, which stretches from the town of Zadar in the North to the Bay of Kotor bordering Montenegro. The 350 km stretch includes Dubrovnik, one of the most exquisite destinations in the Mediterranean. Often called ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the starting and ending point of our Dalmatian Coast adventure. A powerhouse during the Middle Ages, Dubrovnik retains much of its historic character today and boasts many old buildings including the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world which dates back to before 1492, as well as the third oldest European pharmacy, dating back to 1317. Opportunities to absorb Dubrovnik’s ambience are found among the narrow alleyways, small squares, churches, monasteries and monumental fortresses that once protected this important shipping port. The Dalmatian Coast region also features inland gems such as the Biokovo mountains and the lowland plains of the Neretva Riviera. Not to mention incredible scuba diving and snorkeling in the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Tara River in Durmitor National Park
Located in the remote Northwest region of Montenegro, Durmitor National Park hosts three stunning canyons, one of which houses the untamed Tara River. The Tara canyon contains Europe’s deepest gorge at 4,265 feet, which is second only to the Grand Canyon as the world’s deepest canyon. You will float the Tara’s most famous 11 mile stretch from Brstnovica to Sćepan Polje, which features 23 splashy Class II/III rapids. Because of its steepness and depth, the Tara River Gorge also contains over forty waterfalls adding to its mystical qualities. All along the banks you’ll see thick pine forests; Durmitor houses Europe’s last virgin stands of black pine, which are more than 400 years old and tower some 160 feet high. If you’re there between June and October, keep your eyes peeled for wild strawberries and blueberries. Once back at your riverside cabins, there is hiking, cliff jumping, mountain biking and hydrospeed (also known as river-boarding) available to keep you occupied until your next local feast.
History of Montenegro and the Balkans
For such a small region, the Balkans have a long, complex history. Conquerors and emperors were drawn by the promise of ports and the protection of rugged terrain. Several empires cycled through the region beginning in 1000 B.C. with the Illyrians, then the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Slavs, and finally the Turks. In 1878, Serbia and Montenegro won their independence from the Ottoman Empire ushering in several decades of peace. The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 resulted in the union of Serbia and Montenego for the first time in 500 years as they joined forces to kick out the Ottomas. However World War I saw Serbia absorb Montenegrins, Croats and Slovenes—creating the first Yugoslavia. World War II solidified its status in the communist federation of Yugoslavia including Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Slovenia. During the 1990’s the regions experienced a series of wars as nationalism rose and the republics fought for more economic autonomy. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Montenegro remained a part of Serbia, under Milošević, through the Bosnian Wars. Craving a better standard of living and ties with the West, Montenegrins voted for independence in May 2006 and the country has since become a member of the EU.
Why Choose OARS for a Croatia & Montenegro Vacation?
OARS has been in business for over 45 years and that is no accident. We thrive on creating adventures that take you off the beaten path and away from the crowds to magical landscapes, rivers and coastlines. National Geographic, Outside, Men’s Journal and Sunset magazines along with NBC, CNBC, Forbes Traveler and SmarterTravel.com have all recognized OARS for serving up some of the “Best Trips on the Planet.”
Our Croatia & Montenegro Multi-Sport adventure is no exception. With more than 150 years of combined experience in the adventure travel industry, our staff of knowledgeable adventurers has put together an intimate paddling trip among the islands, grottoes and coves that make up the Dalmatian Coast from Croatia to Montenegro. When we’re not paddling the Adriatic Sea, or hiking around the Walled City of Kotor, or rafting the wild Tara River, guests explore the cities and villages of ancient Dalamatia and Montenegro.
We believe it is a fundamental part of adventure-tourism to work with local guides while at the same time bringing our wealth of experience to the table. In addition to our tour leader, we provide highly-skilled sea kayaking and rafting guides. These local tour guides share their personal experiences with guests as well as general information about the region and culture of the two countries we’ll visit: Croatia and Montenegro. Our like-minded partners realize they are accountable to OARS high standards, so you can rest assured you will be in be in good hands. OARS has taken out the guesswork and added our guarantee. We hope you have an opportunity to join us for this once in a lifetime Balkan adventure.