Montenegro & Albania
Explore the Bay of Kotor by speedboat, raft through Europe’s deepest canyon & taste wine at a vineyard by beautiful Lake Skadar
Montenegro & Albania
ABOUT THIS TRIP
Jagged mountains perfect for outdoor adventure, lakeside vineyards full of sunshine and wine, and a riviera to rival Italy…embark on a soul-stirring 10-day adventure through these burgeoning Balkan nations.
Meet Montenegro: rising star of the Adriatic, where you’ll speedboat across the stunning Bay of Kotor and navigate the cobblestone maze of the Unesco-listed Old Town. In Durmitor National Park, you’ll conquer Europe’s deepest canyon with exhilarating rafting and ziplining, before journeying to Lake Skadar where kayaking and family-run wineries await.
Then, there’s under-the-radar Albania – touted as the next Croatia – where you’ll be hiking through pristine Alpine scenery to swim in a turquoise spring, visiting local crafters in medieval hilltop Kruje and discovering Tirana’s vibrant history in a communist-era bunker.
This is a trip full of local characters who will warm your heart with their kindness, hospitality and incredible home-grown food – and you’ll share the experience with a group of adventurous solo travellers, just like you.
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 4-star hotels
- Private minibus & speedboat
- Arrival airport transfer
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 A Montenegrin welcome
Your journey begins in the majestic Bay of Kotor, a Unesco-listed fjord shielded by thousand-metre cliffs that rise almost vertically from the sparkling cobalt water. Touching down at the airport, a private Flash Pack transfer will be waiting to whisk you to your boutique hotel in the heart of Kotor’s medieval Old Town, a maze of cobbled alleyways and secluded plazas encircled by imposing stone walls. Here, you’ll meet your Pack Leader and group for an orientation tour and drink before getting to know each other over a traditional three-course Balkan dinner. Enjoy your first taste of local wine and raise a shot of rakija to the adventures to come.
Day 02 Kotor Bay by private speedboat
After breakfast, prepare for a thrilling speedboat excursion to explore the islets, tunnels, caves and beaches of the Montenegrin coast. Your first stop is the mesmerising Blue Cave, a secluded sea grotto where you can hop overboard to swim in the clear, iridescent water. Next, you’ll visit the quaint harbour town of Perast, home to just 300 residents yet composed almost entirely of grand Venetian palaces and churches. Dine at the water’s edge in one of the excellent seafood restaurants before visiting the picturesque island sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rock. Back in Kotor, there’s a tasty afternoon in store as you take in the Old Town’s highlights, stopping off at a farmer’s market to sample some delicious regional produce.
Day 03 A taste of highland hospitality
Keep your camera handy: you’re in for some mind-boggling mountain views as you tackle the white-knuckle Serpentine Road to Lovcen National Park. Looping up through hairpin bends to nearly 1800 metres, the panorama expands to take in the entire Bay of Kotor. You’ll climb the steps to Njegoš mausoleum, before being welcomed for lunch in the garden of a local family. Relax and enjoy some true Montenegrin hospitality as you learn about their way of life and taste homemade prosciutto, cheese and honey. Descending to the riviera, you’ll explore the well-heeled town of Budva, known as the ‘Montenegrin Miami’ for its buzzing shops, restaurants and bars, before ending the day with sunset cocktails by the beach. Bliss!
Day 04 Durmitor Ring by Jeep
Today, Durmitor National Park beckons and the scenery ramps up even further with dizzying canyons, glacial lakes and towering limestone peaks around every bend. You’ll transfer from your minibus to a fleet of 4x4s to drive the rugged ring road that circumnavigates the park. Traversing pine-cloaked valleys and Alpine pastureland – a carpet of wildflowers in spring – you’ll stop off at a local farm to meet the animals, see how cheese is traditionally made and prepare a rustic rural lunch with fresh veg from the garden. Breathing in the fresh mountain air, you’ll continue your circular route, marvelling at the breathtaking landscapes and stopping off to wild swim at one of the mountain lakes (beware the water can be chilly!).
Day 05 Raft & zipline in Europe’s deepest canyon
A playground for outdoor adventures (think skiing in winter; canyoning, hiking and rafting in summer), Durmitor is home to the spectacular Tara Canyon, a 1300-metre tear in the earth bisected by a vibrant turquoise river. The best views are from the water and this morning you’ll be riding the rapids with your group on an exhilarating rafting trip. Refuel at a mountain restaurant with a menu of typical seasonal dishes, such as local lamb or fish, before your next dose of adrenaline: a zipline next to the dramatic Djurdjevica Tara Bridge. Back at your highland guesthouse, slow the pace with a gentle afternoon hike down to the mirror-still Black Lake, where you can bathe and relax surrounded by natural forest beauty.
Day 06 Kayaking & lakeside wineries
Back on the road, you’ll travel south to beautiful Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. Straddling the border with Albania, it’s a haven for birdlife (including the Dalmatian pelican), dotted with tiny fishing villages and stone island monasteries. Take in the famous river loop view from pretty Rijeka Crnojevica before a tranquil kayaking excursion across the lily-covered water. Having worked up an appetite, you’ll be treated to lunch at one of the area’s family-run vineyards. With fertile land and a sunny Mediterranean climate, wine-producing dates back here for thousands of years. Sample deep ruby vrnac, black wine and grape brandy, with a side of cold cuts and cheeses, before bidding farewell to Montenegro as you cross the border into Albania.
Day 07 Hike the Albanian Alps
Fuel up with a traditional Albanian breakfast ready for your foray into Theth National Park. Characterised by deep valleys, natural spring waterfalls and jagged mountain wilderness, the whole area feels untouched and pristine, with some of the best hiking in the country. Together with a local guide, who will tell you about local customs and traditions, you’ll follow a trail through forests, across rivers and up into the foothills. Your destination is a small cascade that tumbles into a crystalline blue pool, known as the Blue Eye. It’s an exceptionally scenic spot for a picnic and a shot of Skanderbeg whiskey (Albanian brandy) as you contemplate a dip in the deceptively icy water.
Day 08 Meet the crafters of Kruje
Continuing south, your first stop today is the hilltop town of Kruje. Synonymous with Albania’s national hero, Skanderberg – who led the resistance to the Ottomans some 500 years ago – the town is something of a holy site for Albanians. Visit the Skanderberg Museum, explore the crumbling castle and meet local filigree crafters in the bazaar, who will be all too happy to show off their skills and let you try your hand. Then, it’s on to the historic port town of Durres, where you’ll discover an ancient Roman amphitheatre, spend some time on the sandy beach and sample the delicious spicy food for which this coastal region is known. Finish your day in the bustling capital, Tirana, with a free evening to explore.
Day 09 Explore Tirana’s bunkers
Spend your final full day exploring Tirana’s lively centre, with its colourful buildings, public squares and pedestrianised streets. Pay a visit to the House of Leaves – a notorious interrogation centre under the communist regime – and check out the excellent Bunk’Art II museum, built within a converted Cold War nuclear bunker, for a fascinating insight into the country’s political past. You’ll have the afternoon free to relax and explore. We recommend checking out in the hipster neighbourhood of Blloku: once restricted to high-level communist party members, it’s now one of the city’s most vibrant areas, filled with trendy bars and cafes. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner – a true Albanian feast accompanied by live local music.
Day 10 Farewell, Albania
After breakfast, your Balkan adventure has come to an end and it’s time to bid farewell to your new Flash Pack friends and make your way to Tirana Airport for your onward flight. If you’re not ready to head home, why not soak up more of the Adriatic in Croatia or Italy? Our Trip Experts are ready and waiting for your call.
OUR FAVOURITE HOTELS
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
HOTEL VARDAR, Kotor
Ideally located in the Kotor’s Unesco-listed old town, this elegant 4-star hotel puts you right in the heart of the action. The classical exterior dates to 1750 and rooms overlook the city’s main square. From your doorstep you can explore the cobblestone streets, walk the fortress walls or relax with a drink on the hotel’s shady terrace.
SOA VILLAGE, Zabljak
Breathe in the fresh mountain air from these modern 2-bedroom lodges, equipped with comfy beds, balconies and a fully fitted kitchen. Just a stone’s throw from Durmitor National Park, you’ll wake up to incredible mountain views all around, plus the Black Lake is within walking distance for an early morning or evening dip.
Vila Gjeçaj, Theth
You’ll be immersed in Albania’s glorious scenery at this beautiful rural guesthouse. The traditional stone building, complete with hardwood floors and locally made artisan furniture, is set within spacious gardens overlooking the valley. The owners are passionate cooks, so expect generous portions of rustic local food.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Tivat Airport (TIV) in Montenegro, and out of Tirana Airport (TIA) in Albania.
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Please try to arrive in Tivat before 2 pm on Day 1, although we will arrange a group transfer whatever time you arrive.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no planned activities on Day 10, so you can leave any time you like. We recommend taking an afternoon flight so you can relax in Tirana before you fly home.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- Do I need a visa?
You do not normally need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
From 2024, ETIAS travel authorisation will be an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to European countries https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias/what-etias_en.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission is to create 1 million friendships, so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends.
Want to know more about your group?
Get in touch.
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account, meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled.
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