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16 Day West Balkans Guided Motorcycle Tour through Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro

Zagreb, Croatia

Thrilling Motorcycle Tour Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro

This tour is a perfect combination of extraordinary cultural heritage, unspoiled nature, and unique local cuisine. Designed to provide the riders with the thrill and challenge of riding through the Western Balkans, this tour features gorgeous landscapes and rare cultural intensity.

Key information

  • Terrain: asphalt
  • Bike: personal or rental bike (BMW R 1250 GS Adventure, R 1250 GS, R 1200 GS, F 750 GS, Suzuki V-Strom 1000 XT, V-Strom 650)
  • Mileage: 2700 kilometers / 1680 miles
  • Daily rides: 200 - 350 kilometers / 124 - 217 miles
  • Riding gear: available to rent
  • Meals: 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 15 dinners

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Zagreb
  • Drive to Istria - Croatia’s largest peninsula
  • Ride through the magnificent mountain areas of Gorski Kotar
  • See the Bosnian Mountains and ride on the Old Bridge of Mostar
  • Enjoy rest days in Plitvice Lakes, Gacka Valley, Konavle, Cavtat, Dubrovnik
  • Drive through the Bay of Kotor and the winding roads of Durmitor
  • Explore Istrian inland and and enjoy a coastal adventure
  • 15 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


14 riding days
Group size: 6-16 participants
Airport transfer included: Franjo Tuđman Airport
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will stay in comfortable and high-rating hotels, B&B's, and private accommodations.

Program

Day 1: Arrival day - Croatia, Zagreb

Upon your arrival to Zagreb, Croatia, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the one of the most attractive and vibrant Central European capitals.

Depending on the time of your arrival, you might have enough time to do some sightseeing or to simply rest and prepare yourself for the excitements that await you. You will be given all the necessary information concerning your tour at the welcome dinner in the evening of the first day.

Day 2: Zagreb - Istria - Gorski Kotar - Rovinj

Welcome to the second day of your coastal adventure. Your starting point is Zagreb and your goal is to reach Istria - Croatia’s largest peninsula - the home of exquisite wine, cheese, and truffles. You will be taking the ‘old road’ - formerly the only connection between the continental and coastal part of the country.

After the highway Zagreb-Rijeka was built, this road is rarely used, and luckily for you, it features good asphalt and some great curves. This road was built in early 19th century, in times of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and was named ‘Lujzijana’ after Maria Luisa, the daughter of the Emperor Francis I of Austria.

You will ride through the magnificent mountain areas of Gorski Kotar - known for its deep dark woods and cool and clear mountain streams. In the evening, you will be allowed to pick from some of the truffle-flavored specialties perfectly paired with Malvasia Istriana. You will spend the night in Rovinj.

Day 3: Istrian inland and coastal adventure

Taking a tour of Istria, you will visit some of its typical picturesque villages resting on hilltops surrounded by foggy valleys. In this area rich with history, every village has some interesting old stories to tell and many Roman and early Slavic remains to prove them.

A pleasant ride towards the western coast of Istria takes you to a beautiful coastal town of Poreč and its 6th century Euphrasian Basilica and many other sights to be seen.

Back on the road, you will reach the Lim Bay or Lim Fjord - an unusual geomorphological phenomenon and a paradise for oysters - a 11 kilometer long inlet into the western flank of Istria and one of the most beautiful landscapes on the entire peninsula.

Further south, there will be quite a few more extraordinary places to pass through such as Bale or Vodnjan, famous for its mummies (yes, mummies) - well preserved remains of body parts of several saints, which are said to have magical powers.

Continuing towards the south you will reach Pula, the biggest town in Istria, known for a Roman amphitheater, Augustus temple and many more historical gems to visit. From there, you are taking you to Plominka - an amazing scenic road taking you back north in the direction of Rovinj.

Day 4: Rijeka via Senj - Plitvice Lakes

The day starts with a ride through a tunnel connecting Istria with the Croatian mainland. You will ride through the gates of Adriatic and overlooking Croatia’s largest port - Rijeka, while riding a fast and elevated road ensuring a magnificent view of the entire area.

A ride along the coast and past the charming fishing villages will take you to Senj - a city of bora wind, a 17th century pirate bay, and an eyesore of the Venetian Republic. You will continue by riding the Old Road taking you across the north part of the magnificent mountain of Velebit and all the way to Lika and the amazing Plitvice Lakes. You will stay the night in the Ethno-Village of Plitvice.

Day 5: Rest day (Plitvice Lakes and Gacka Valley)

This corner of Croatia is famous for its most beautiful national park - Plitvice Lakes, protected by UNESCO and world-famous for its sixteen lakes arranged in cascades. During this rest day you will visit Plitvice and also the Gacka Valley - a large karst valley with countless springs forming the river Gacka, packed with picturesque old watermills.

This is one of the best places in the world to go fly fishing for trout. Here, you will try the specialties of this area - ecologically grown veal, lamb, or pork baked under Croatian peka bell or spit-roasted.

Day 6: The Adriatic Road - a line between the land and the sea

From Plitvice, you are heading back to the coast by taking the Adriatic highway, the best coastal road in this part of Europe - 100 kilometers of new asphalt, with a view of the rocks of Velebit on the left, and the vast blue sea on the right.

This road is world-known for hundreds of amazing curves. Thanks to the recently build highway, it is practically left to the bikers and rare adventure travelers. There are only a couple of fishing villages to slow us down for a few minutes, inviting you to take a short break over coffee.

As you leave the Adriatic highway, a new national park emerges on your left: Starigrad Paklenica - a steep canyon and a mecca for climbers. You will ride right through the belly of Dalmatia, an area called Ravni Kotari - a place of ideal climate and fertile land, an area filled with marasca orchards, olive groves and vineyards.

You will get a chance to see another pirate bay - Skradin - an amazing location where the mountain River Krka meets the sea (Krka National Park). From the hilly roads of Dalmatian hinterland, you will take a look at the historical city of Šibenik and then rest for the night in the city of Split.

Day 7: Bosnian Mountains - Old Bridge of Mostar

From Sinjska Krajina (Glavice) you are heading towards the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other side of the border you will pass Buško Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in Europe and a windy location surrounded by a mountain chain of stunning beauty.

You will take the curvy roads through the karst areas of western Herzegovina until you reach Mostar - the capitol of Herzegovina and a city of unique beauty and amazing history, split in two parts governed by two separate administrations - one held by the Croats and the other one held by the Bosniaks.

Located on the banks of the Neretva River, famous for many beautiful Islamic structures built during the Ottoman Empire, the most famous of which was the Old Bridge connecting the Muslim communities in the east with the Christian communities in the west.

The Old Bridge was destroyed during a bitter civil was in 1993 and reconstructed in 2004 by using the same limestone blocks salvaged from the river. In 2005, the bridge was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Day 8: Međugorje - Ston - Konavle - Dubrovnik

Heading southwest, you are about to reach Međugorje - one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the throughout the Catholic world, attracted by millions every year. Your next destination is the Nature Park of Hutovo blato - a bird reserve and a marshland created by Krupa River.

You will enter Croatia near Neum, and head towards Ston and see the largest defense wall after the Great Wall of China. Here you will enter Konavle and ride the last section of a 1000 kilometer long Adriatic coast on an amazing road through a region called Croatian California due to its wonderful climate and an amazing scenery showing nothing but the mountains and the sea. You will stay the night in the beautiful town of Cavtat.

Day 9: Rest day (Konavle - Cavtat - Dubrovnik)

Located southeast of Dubrovnik, the region of Konavle will strike you as an amazingly relaxing place - whether you decide to chill in a unique old town of Cavtat and enjoy its promenade fringed by pine and cypress trees or to climb up to Sokolgrad - a fairy tale fortress in the hills of Konavle.

This is also a unique chance to visit Dubrovnik - an absolute best of the Croatian coastal destinations, and only a short boat ride away from Cavtat. In case there is still some free time, you could visit Molunat - the cutest fishing village in the south part of Konavle, famous for its beautiful sandy beach.

The entire region is famous for a number of exclusive and high-rating restaurants where you will surely taste some of the most amazing specialties of the south Dalmatian cuisine: smoked ham and cheese, young lamb and veal baked under an iron bell, home-baked bread and grilled fish of the finest quality.

Due to its unique well-preserved architecture and the lush greenery of the centuries-old trees, the entire region of Konavle seems as if the time has stopped centuries ago. What a perfect place for a rest day!

Day 10: Montenegro - the Bay of Kotor and the winding roads of Durmitor

From the very south of Croatia you will enter Montenegro and ride along the Bay of Kotor - said to be the one of the most beautiful bays in the world and a biker’s paradise. The road follows the coastline, which makes it an ideal motorcycle route.

The tour runs past Perast - an old little town with about twenty beautiful orthodox churches, one of which is located on the islet just off the coast of Perast - Our Lady of the Rocks. The winding roads will take you up to Durmitor National Park, where you will spend the night in a mountain village called Žabljak, in the middle of the giant mountain range.

Day 11: The true Balkans - Sarajevo

Leaving Durmitor, the tour heads towards Bosnia and Herzegovina riding through green forest hills and past Sutjeska National Park - another breath-taking natural resort and the home to one of the last two rainforests in Europe.

Your route continues towards Sarajevo - one of the most vibrant centers of the Balkan world, known for its amazing ability to keep the spirits up even in the hardest of times. You will stay for the night in Sarajevo and feel for ourselves the essence of the word ‘Balkan’, embodied in every aspect of life in this exceptionally pleasant and lively city.

The evening in Baščaršija - the heart and soul of the city and its cultural and historical center, will offer a view into the golden age of the city once known as the largest trading hub in the Balkans.

Day 12: Back to Croatia - Đakovo, Osijek, Karanac

Heading north, the Bosnian magistral roads will take you through the old towns of Zenica and Doboj, and finally across the Sava River to the Croatian region of Slavonia. Slavonia is one of Croatia's winemaking areas, with Ilok and Kutjevo recognized as the centers of wine production.

Overall, the cultural heritage of Slavonia is a blend of historical influences, especially those since the end of the 17th century, when Slavonia started recovering from the Ottoman wars, and its traditional culture.

You will ride towards the historical town of Đakovo, famous for its 19th century St. Peter's cathedral and then turn east towards Osijek - the cultural and administrative center of the region. From there you will head towards Karanac - an amazing ethno village located close to the Hungarian border.

Here you will be able to gain a true and authentic experience of the region and its traditional architecture, cuisine and way of life.

Day 13: Rest day (Baranya - Karanac, Kopački rit(

Karanac is located in the region of Baranya, best known for the nature park of Kopački rit - one of the last European refuges of eagles.

During this rest day you can choose from many activities offered in this beautiful natural resort, such as: off-road car-rides, visiting the banks of Danube, and the location that staged the one of the most important battles of the WW2, visiting wine cellars in Kneževi Vinogradi or stay in the village and join the traditional culinary class.

The easternmost Croatian regions of Slavonia, Baranya and Syrmia are well-known for their regional specialties such as kulen, fish stew, scratchings (cracklings), and a variety of pork dishes that are best paired with a good sip of the slivovitz plum brandy.

Day 14: Hills of Papuk - Golden Valley

Back on the road, you will enjoy a ride through the magnificent large plains of Slavonia, heading towards the hills of Papuk - an area known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, the beauty of its surroundings, extraordinary herbal and animal species, geomorphologic phenomena, mountain-paths and creek sources.

Here you will have a chance to ride some of the most interesting roads crisscrossing this wonderful area where you might come across the giant, 500 years old oaks - the oldest living organisms in Slavonia.

You will spend the night in vicinity of the town of Požega, the area which has been called the Golden Valley (Valis Aurea - another famous wine region) since the times of the ancient Romans.

Day 15: Back to Zagreb - the last day 'in the saddle'

On the last day of the tour, your route will mainly keep you in the woods and the hilly areas of Papuk, while you enjoy your final ride towards Zagreb. You will ride through the biggest Marian shrine in Croatia - a picturesque little town called Marija Bistrica and reach the slopes of Medvednica, overlooking the capital.

The curvy road through the thick woodland will take you to the top of Medvednica, only to take you straight down to the city center. At the end of your journey, after two weeks ‘in the saddle’, nothing will seem the same as when you took off. You invite you to take a look at Zagreb, this time with new eyes.

Day 16: Departure

On your day of departure, your guides will escort you to the airport for a final farewell. Adventure Roads Limited are sure you will enjoy your new perspective long after you return to your homes and your daily routines.

Adventure Roads Limited hope that the sensation of reaching beyond your own personal horizons will stay with you and keep reminding you that this line could always be pushed a little further. Keep your mind open for new experiences and let them know when you are ready to ride with them again. They will be happy to hear from you anytime!

Bike rental deposit

A security deposit of 2000 EUR must be paid at the beginning of the motorcycle rental period. The deposit will be held until the undamaged motorcycle is returned in an acceptable condition.

Skill level

Intermediate:

  • can ride for 3-4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Advanced:

  • can ride for 5-6 hours
  • extensive riding experience
  • assistance on demand (if required)
  • experienced with riding a variety of motorcycles
  • comfortable with any terrain and weather conditions

Location

The scenery you'll be seeing is a marvelous mixture of lively Mediterranean areas and silent and solemn mountain views, sure to provoke awe and introspection.

The region is known for its turbulent history full of brutal conflicts, but today, the populations of these closely cooperate in creating better lives for everyone living in this truly exceptional part of the world.

The differences resulting from their traditions are still present, but instead of presenting a threat to their coexistence, they bring vividness and color to this region of exceptional natural beauty.

Starting from Croatia’s capitol and riding all the way south to Montenegro, this tour includes a ride through Istria, a visit to the Plitvice Lakes, then passes through Mostar, Međugorje, and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It shortly returns to Croatia by running through Ston and Konavle, and passes right above Dubrovnik, only to enter Montenegro and ride through Boka Kotorska, the one of the world’s most beautiful bays.

On the way back, the route runs back to Bosnia and Herzegovina and heads towards Sarajevo - the very essence of the Balkan world. From there, it enters Croatia through its most eastern region of Slavonia and passes through Vukovar and Osijek on the way to Zagreb.

Food

The offer is based on the concept of holistic and authentic experiences. This means that Adventure Roads Limited paid special attention to providing a perfect balance of different experiences included in each of the tours: high-quality motorcycles and the best scenic roads are paired with the best of the local cuisine and the exclusive and unique accommodation.

The regions that you will ride through we're carefully selected to offer not only natural beauty and pleasant roads, but also to enable you to experience the related social, cultural, and traditional aspects of the areas you will visit.

Since all of these aspects are best presented through the local cuisines, Adventure Roads Limited have made their best efforts to partner with the restaurants, guest houses, and family farms that are widely known for promoting the concept of the top-quality, local, and home-made specialties.

The true experience of any location cannot be achieved by merely enjoying the view from the comfort of your bike.

It is necessary to step down once in a while and immerse yourselves in the local culture by tasting the products of the land you have enjoyed watching, and by feeling the comfort of the accommodation style typical for the area.

Whenever possible, the meals and accommodation arranged by Adventure Roads Limited will reflect this philosophy.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Airport transfers upon your arrival and departure
  • Experienced guide on a motorcycle
  • Top model motorcycle with hard / lockable case(s) including a third-party liability insurance and a comprehensive vehicle insurance
  • Support van for the luggage and 1 or 2 passengers is provided with minimum of 4 motorcycles or 6 participants
  • 15 nights accommodation during the tour in high-rating (four-star) hotels or private accommodation.
  • 15 breakfasts during the tour
  • 12 lunches during the tour except on free/rest days
  • 15 d inners except on rest days; in authentic local restaurants whenever possible
  • One drink per person during lunches and dinners
  • Fuel for your bike during the tour
  • Entrances to national and nature parks
  • Tolls, transfers, and ferry rides
  • Tour description booklet with maps and highlighted routes

What's not included

  • Airline tickets
  • Additional drinks
  • Personal spending
  • Speeding and traffic violation penalty tickets
  • Tips
  • Anything not listed under What is included
  • Security deposit of 2,000 EUR (it can be lowered by the VIP or Super VIP insurance)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG). Transfer from and to this airport is included in the price. Adventure Roads Limited will pick you from the airport. Upon your arrival to the starting point of the tour (Zagreb), Adventure Roads Limited will arrange a pickup for you at the airport and a transfer to your hotel.

You can reach Zagreb from all the major Central and Western European airports (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt). Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG) is well-connected with all the major European airports through flights operated by the best airlines.

As of June 2020, a direct flights from Philadelphia (US) to Dubrovnik (HR) will be introduced on daily basis, which will also be an option to consider when booking a flight to Zagreb. Dubrovnik and Zagreb are connected via daily flights operated by Croatia Airlines.

When traveling to Zagreb via airports in Venice (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia) or Vienna (Austria), Adventure Roads Limited can arrange a private (usually shuttle) transfer. Feel free to contact Adventure Roads Limited in case you would need such an assistance and they will be happy to arrange it.

Supplementary charge of such additional shuttle service will be applied - usually between 130-150 EUR for a car for one to three persons and 150-200 EUR for a van for four to eight persons (this is a total cost, shared per person).

Arrival by shuttle

When traveling to Zagreb from any other European airport, you can look for Go Opti or a similar shuttle service offering a transfer to Zagreb (Adventure Roads Limited can assist you with that, if needed).

Airport: Franjo Tuđman Airport Airport transfer included: Franjo Tuđman Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 12.1% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
16 days / 15 nights
from --

Pricing information

  • Pillion price: 3,990 EUR
  • Single supplement: 790 EUR
  • Tour cancellation insurance: 7.5 %
  • VIP insurance: 280 EUR
  • Super VIP insurance: 420 EUR​
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

Monday May 17, 2021
(16 days / 15 nights)

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