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The Balkans

Balkans Balkans Ardent Off Road Adventures

The road trip of all road trips takes you through six countries, including a drive through the Tara Canyon, one of the deepest river canyons in Europe, that stretches into the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro. This hotel-based adventure starting in Ljubljana and finishing in Trieste, covers 600 miles of trail out of 2,000 miles.

This is an excellent driving adventure taking us through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, finishing in Italy. We will pass through many villages, towns and cities that are steeped in culture and history, some still bearing the scars of war, making this a trip like no other.

PLEASE NOTE, if you choose to travel with us from the UK, we will be departing on 11th July 2019 from Dover to Calais and will be returning on 29th July; please therefore allow a total of 19 nights for this trip.



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The Balkans


STANDARD PRICE£ 3,750 per vehicle
ACCOMMODATIONHotel
START DATE + NO. NTS11 Jul 20 - 14 Nights
GROUP SIZEMaximum five vehicles
VEHICLE TYPEAll 4x4s with a low-range gearbox & good tyres
SUITABILITYAdults & children 16+
TERRAINHuge variety from rolling hills and river plains through to epic gorges, mountains and a terrain shaped by recent conflict
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YOUR ADVENTURE
AT A GLANCE



  • Explore six countries and four capital cities!
  • Unique tracks with amazing views and photo opportunities
  • Visit the biggest canyon in Europe - second only in the world to the Grand Canyon
  • A rural and urban landscape changed by recent conflicts
  • Dine by the Danube
  • Quirky hotels and a chance to sample the local cuisine
  • We organise everything for you so you don't have to
  • Lead by professional 4x4 instructors with expert knowledge of routes
  • Fully equipped lead vehicles to ensure you and your vehicle stay safe


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The Balkans
ITINERARY - CLICK ON THE DAY FOR MORE DETAILS


DAY 1 - LJUBLANA TO ZAGREB - TWO CAPITALS IN ONE DAY!

We leave Ljublana and travel via Novo Mesto, Netroci and Samobor to arrive at the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, in the late afternoon. Zagreb is distinguished by its 18th and 19th century Austro-Hungarian architecture. You can choose to visit the Gothic Zagreb Cathedral and 13th-century St. Mark’s Church, plus the main square, Ban Jelačić, as well as the shops, museums and parks.

DAY 2 - ZAGREB TO LONJA

A shorter day, but one with incredible sights and beauty. We cross Croatia’s National Park. characterised by its wooden houses, rivers and storks. This is a stunning area on the Bosnian border and there are plenty of opportunities to stop, go for a walk and take in the landscape. We end the day with our first evening in the countryside.

DAY 3 - LONJA TO BELGRADE

Travelling through the countryside we pass through many villages that seem to be frozen in time, such as Stara Kapela. We leave Croatia and head into Serbia and towards our third capital city, Belgrade where we spend the evening on a river hotel on the Danube. Belgrade is famous for the Beogradska Tvrđava, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and Sava.

DAY 4 - BELGRADE TO POZAREVAC

Today we head towards Romania and the Danube, which forms the border with Serbia for a significant distance – as we drive along the banks of the river Danube you can watch the shipping, and people fishing off their verandas. We overnight in Serbia’s smallest city, Požarevac which is located between three rivers; the Danube, Great Morava and Mlava.

DAY 5 - POZAREVAC TO KOPAONIK

The terrain changes as we head towards the central part of Serbia and the largest mountain range in the country. The highest point is the Pančić's Peak which rises to 2,017 metres. Our stop for the night is Kopaonik which is a major ski resort in Serbia and the largest in south-eastern Europe.

DAY 6 - KOPAONIK TO SJENICA

We head west and through the southern sections of the Golija National Park, an area of stunning beauty and home to a number of historical monuments and monasteries.

DAY 7 - SJENICA TO ŽABLJAK

Our destination is Žabljak in the Montenegro Durmitor National Park, where we stay for two nights to explore the park and the Tara canyon or just relax by the Black Lake. The area includes the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara Sušica and Draga rivers and part of the canyon plateau. This is the largest protected area in Montenegro and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DAY 8 - ŽABLJAK DAY OFF

After a week of driving you can take a day off or explore the Durmitor National Park with us, which is home to bears and wolves and encompasses many limestone peaks and glacial lakes. The Tara Canyon is the deepest in Europe and the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. During WWII, Žabljak was burnt to the ground but was rebuilt and became Montenegro's winter sports centre.

DAY 9 - ŽABLJAK TO SARAJEVO

We head towards Canyon Nevidio, travelling through a landscape that could be the Russian steppes but is in fact the Durmitor Mountain range. The pastures are lush as we weave along the River Piva where the water is an amazing light blue. As we leave Montenegro and enter Bosnia, the landscape changes and evidence of war is everywhere; ruined buildings and hardly any industry as we continue to Sarajevo.

DAY 10 - A DAY IN SARAJEVO

A change to explore our fourth capital city, Sarajevo. There is much to see here including the museum “Sarajevo 1878–1918”, which covers the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and landmarks such as the Ottoman-era Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque.

DAY 11 - SARAJEVO TO MOSTAR

We leave Sarajevo via the Olympic games winter village and then travel into forests and through the medieval village of Lukopmir, where you can still find spent AK46 cartridges from the war. From Lukopmir we make our way past Lake de Boracko and head into the hills to travel through old ski resorts, before winding down the mountain trails and into Mostar.

DAY 12 - MOSTAR TO LIVNO

This area still shows many signs of the Balkans conflict with burnt out houses, riddled with bullet holes that remind us of a dreadful era. A day of varied landscapes ranging from stunning lakes and forests to areas where agriculture is from a time long forgotten.

DAY 13 - LIVNO TO BIHAC

We cross the Plateau de Krug before entering the national park. The scenery and landscape are spectacular, particularly the imposing waterfalls. Leaving the park we head towards the river Brod which is both the border between Croatia and Bosnia and our route towards our destination for the day, Bihca.

DAY 14 - BIHAC TO TRIESTE

We leave Bosnia and head alongside minefields and war-torn villages before dropping down to the stunning Croatian Adriatic Coast which we we wind along towards the Italian border and Trieste. Trieste is a wonderful place to explore, with many sights both in the city and surrounding area. We’ll enjoy a meal together to celebrate the end of our adventure.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS THINK


ALAN SAID:

“This trip felt like a true adventure. To see the remnants of war was fascinating and to look at the agriculture in the region was like stepping back in time. A great trip, and thanks to Russ for looking after everyone so well."

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The Balkans
KEY POINTS


WEATHER

 

Different terrains means temperatures can vary, however generally the weather is good. Light clothing for the day with something warm for the evening. There can be storms at altitude, so be prepared in case of rain.
 

TERRAIN AND DRIVER ABILITY

 

Tracks are a mix of forest, farm and cross-country generally with a rock, shale or gravel solid base. Driving will suit all abilities - some tracks ascend high into the mountains so a head for heights is useful!  
 

VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS

 

Low-box and recovery points along with all terrain tyres.

 

YOUR SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY

 

We carry medical kits, our guides are all first-aid trained and we have emergency beacons to hasten location and evacuation in emergency situations. Lead vehicles have full recovery equipment which is tested before departure and we also carry a range of tools and spares.
 

FULL EQUIPMENT AND REQUIREMENTS CHECKLIST

 

A detailed requirements check-list will be sent to you six weeks before your departure date.

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WITH ARDENT, ANYTHING
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  • Bespoke dates and duration
  • Private 1:1 or group adventures
  • Tailored accommodation options
  • Recce routes to discover uncharted territories
  • And much more!


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RECCE ADVENTURES

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BOOKING AND PRICES


STANDARD PRICE £3,750 per vehicle DEPOSIT £938 per vehicle


PRICE INCLUDES:

 

  • Accommodation and breakfast
  • Driver and one passenger
  • Professional instructors in fully equipped lead vehicles
  • All paperwork, including border control documents
  • Expert route knowledge
     

PRICE EXCLUDES:

 

  • Enroute accommodation to Ljubljana - option to add
  • Ferry Dover to Calais - option to add
  • Lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks
  • Fuel
  • Motorway tolls
  • Plateau de Krug National Park fee
  • Vehicle insurance and recovery
     

BOOKING OPTIONS

 

You can pay a deposit or the full amount securely online via PayPal with a debit/credit card (no account necessary), via your PayPal account or if you prefer you can contact us to pay via BACS.


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