The adventurer’s version of the Riviera awaits on this unforgettable, active exploration of Croatia and Montenegro that combines sea kayaking, rafting, and hiking.
From the sandy beaches, turquoise bays, and ancient towns of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast to the mountains of Montenegro, we’ll sea kayak the most breathtaking coastline in the Mediterranean and raft the cold, green waters of the Tara River Canyon. Guests will feast on local seafood and rich ethnic cuisine; discover the cultural textures, lush landscapes, and unique history of the region, and sleep in quaint guesthouses and charming cabins. This journey is a sea kayaker’s dream and explorer’s delight—the perfect blend of relaxation, cultural immersion, and adventure.
What to Expect
Itinerary & Map
Itinerary at a Glance
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every Croatia adventure is different depending upon the group, other trips in the area, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:
Arrive in Dubrovnik / Ferry to Lopud Island / Welcome Dinner
An OARS representative will meet you at the Dubrovnik Airport and bring you to the Old City. You may have time to sightsee before we meet again late afternoon to board the ferry to Lopud Island. Lopud is a quaint island with a single village (population roughly 150) tucked into a horseshoe bay, with no roads or cars. Lopud is in the middle of the three inhabited Elafiti Islands and is the perfect base for sea kayaking and exploring the Elafiti Archipelago.
After checking into our private guest house, there will be time for a swim or perhaps a short hike to explore this peaceful island.
Enjoy a welcome dinner at one of Lopud’s charming restaurants, while you soak in the lovely setting as the group gets to know one another and learns about the plan for the coming days.
Explore Lopud’s Coastline / Sunj Beach / Paddle to Sv Andrija (St Andrew) Island
After breakfast, we will outfit everyone with a paddle, PFD, and spray skirt and go over basic paddling and rescue instructions in the calm, warm waters of Lopud Bay.
This morning we’ll paddle the outer side of Lopud Island along limestone cliffs to Sunj Beach, a shallow bay with warm crystal waters (approximate 4-mile paddle). We will have lunch at the beach bar among the colorful umbrellas and inviting sun lounges.
After lunch, we can relax on the beach, swim, or roam the hiking trails to a hilltop fortress. For kayakers seeking a longer paddling day, there is an optional paddle to the uninhabited Sv Andrija Island (approximately 9 miles).
Lopud’s waterfront promenade features stone houses surrounded by palms, cypress and citrus trees, and subtropical gardens. We may visit a Franciscan monastery dating from 1483 with a cloister and defense tower, housing 16th and 17th-century works of art. Afterward, leaving our kayaks and paddling gear at Sunj, we’ll stroll 20 minutes across the island back to our guesthouse.
Circumnavigate Kolocep Island / Snorkeling / Blue Cave
Today we begin our longest paddling day (approximately 9.5 miles) with an early breakfast. After the short hike back to our kayaks at Sunj Beach, we set off for Kolocep Island.
Our circumnavigation of the dramatic, wind-carved coastline is broken up with snorkeling at the local “Blue Cave” and swimming in a secluded cove surrounded by towering cliffs. For the daring, cliff jumping is possible from the steep cliffs that rise abruptly from the sea. Lunch is at a charming little restaurant that we can paddle right up to in the smaller of the two villages on Kolocep Island.
We arrive back at Sunj Beach on Lopud Island, then on to our guesthouse to prepare for a well-earned dinner featuring local fare.
Paddle to Mainland / Trsteno Arboretum
We begin the day with our familiar morning hike to the boats at Sunj before we begin our paddle to the mainland.
We’ll visit Trsteno Arboretum – the oldest Renaissance garden in Dalmatia – rich in exotic plants with its massive plane-trees (over 400 years old), palms, eucalyptus, and camphor. The protected park includes a villa, pavilions, an aqueduct, beautiful fountains, an olive mill, and exquisite garden architecture. Trsteno and its gorgeous stone villas also served as a filming location for “Game of Thrones.”
After our return paddle (approximately 5.5 miles round-trip), we’ll take in the sunset as we enjoy our final dinner on Lopud.
Ferry to Dubrovnik / Kotor / Tara Canyon
An early morning ferry takes us back to Dubrovnik, as we begin our journey on to Montenegro and the remarkable Tara Canyon. The transition from Adriatic coastal life to the alpine rivers, canyons, and peaks of northern Montenegro is an adventure in itself! The 4-hour drive* is a wonderful look at this beautiful interior landscape, highlighted by a series of narrow switch-back roads and natural stone tunnels that provide for a scenic journey to the inland mountains.
Along the way, we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of The Walled City of Kotor, with its dramatic fjord-like bay. Kotor is locked between the blue sea on one side and a dramatically steep cliff on the other. A challenging (and optional) two-hour climb up and down the fortress steps affords us beautiful panoramic views of this unique area.
Upon arrival at our riverside camp, we’ll make ourselves at home in the log cabins before a welcoming dinner by the bonfire.
*Travel time is subject to the border crossing from Croatia to Montenegro
Tara River Rafting in Durmitor National Park
Today we will raft the final 11 miles of the Tara River Canyon before it enters Bosnia. This is one of the last wild rivers in Europe, as well as the longest and deepest river gorge (approximately 4,300 feet). With pristine, clear waters and 23 splashy Class III-IV rapids, don’t forget to take in the exceptional flora and fauna of this special canyon.
On returning to our camp, we have plenty of activities to choose from for those with any energy left! Hiking, cliff jumping, mountain biking, and hydrospeed (also known as river-boarding) are all available to finish off a fun-filled day.
Please note: hydrospeed and mountain biking are available at an additional cost.
Our layover day provides a fantastic opportunity to further explore this amazing region surrounding the Tara Canyon. An a la carte menu of activities includes more rafting, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, hydrospeeding, biking, canyoneering, lake cruises, photo safari or just relaxing at the camp. Activities are available for an extra cost.
Return To Dubrovnik
A short distance away, just beyond the alpine village of Zabljak, you can choose to visit Durmitor National Park, a spectacular park with hiking trails to high alpine, glacial lakes. Alternatively, the group may choose to visit the alpine village of Trsa for some horseback riding (additional cost). We then say goodbye to the dense pine forests, clear waters, and striking mountains of Montenegro as we head back to Dubrovnik. The drive is primarily through rural Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country that bore the brunt of the fighting during the Homeland Wars of the 1990s. The region is home to many rural stone villages and agriculture. We pass through Trebinje, the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a well-preserved old town center, then stop for lunch at a typical Bosnian restaurant, known for its grilled meats and vegetables.
We arrive back in Dubrovnik in the late afternoon, which may provide some free time to explore this ancient city. Also known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, Renaissance parks, flowering gardens of medieval stone palaces, and unobtrusive monasteries harbor centuries of heritage. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow city streets, visit the shops, galleries, and coffee bars, or take in a street performance – the history and beauty of the old city never fail to astonish its guests. Our farewell dinner will be hosted at a local iconic restaurant featuring delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
Return Flights Home
Our last morning is yours to enjoy. Follow your nose to find breakfast at one of the many street cafes, restaurants, or taverns. The inviting aromas spreading throughout the narrow city streets will let you know when you have found the right place! After filling our bellies and saying goodbye to this beautiful city, we will transfer back to the airport in time for the outbound flights.
Meeting Time & Place
Dubrovnik Int’l Airport for arrivals on Day 1
3:30 PM (your flight should arrive no later than 2 PM on Day 1)
Anytime on Day 9 to the Dubrovnik Airport
- Destination River
- Meeting Parking
- Point of Interest
- Take Out
Dates & Prices
|June 3, 17||$2,999|
|July 1, 22||$2,999|
Price per person based on double occupancy.
• Mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
The Need-to-Know Info
Included in Your Trip Cost
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Flights and other transportation to and from Dubrovnik
- All beverages – bottled water, alcoholic beverages, and sodas
- Single supplement fee
- Optional activities at Camp Grab, Montenegro (Day 7)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
We will generally kayak 4-5 hours per day. There is plenty of time to explore the coastline, paddle in and out of sea caves, and jump in the water to cool off. We generally begin paddling at 8:30 each morning. We stop for lunch and other activities and usually reach our guest house between 4 to 5 in the afternoon. Distance traveled varies each day, ranging from 5 to 13 miles. Once we reach our destination, you will have time to shower, relax, and/or explore before dinner.
We will provide a kayak, paddle, spray skirt, PFD (personal flotation device), and a dry bag for all participants. We have a combination of double and single kayaks to suit paddlers of beginner, intermediate and advanced abilities. Snorkeling gear is also provided.
Group Dynamics & Safety
On the water we will travel close together, mindful of the water and wind conditions. The trip leader will make decisions with your comfort and safety in mind while trying to maximize the experience of the trip for each participant.
All guides are Croatian natives with expert knowledge of the area. Skilled kayakers and nature guides, well versed in local history, culture, and folklore, they all speak fluent English among other languages.
Accommodations in Lopud and Dubrovnik are in privately-owned guest houses. Houses are chosen for their local character and convenient locations. Rooms are simple, comfortable, and clean with private bathrooms. Rooms are double occupancy, however, a single room can be requested (single supplement applies).
Accommodations in Montenegro are in enclosed log cabins, bunk rooms, and private rooms. Bathroom facilities are located nearby in a separate cabin.
Food is one of the highlights on this trip! The cuisine is Croatian Mediterranean and features fresh seafood, Dalmatian hams and cheeses, garden-grown fruits and vegetables, and superb Croatian beer and wine (available for purchase). All meals are sit-down and leisurely – Mediterranean style. Breakfast is family-style at your guest house. Lunch is either a sit-down restaurant meal or a picnic lunch while touring. Dinners are pre-arranged in private homes or restaurants chosen for their ambiance and fresh, high-quality food.
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we must consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or necessary restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
The weather around Dubrovnik in early fall is generally around 70 degrees with lots of sunshine. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, including lip protection. A broad-brimmed hat that secures on your head can be very helpful. Water temperatures in fall tend to be in the mid to upper 70s. Air temperatures cool off at night to the point you may want a light jacket. Rain is unusual but does sometimes occur. A light rain jacket is recommended.
Temperatures on the Tara River will be cooler, in camp and on the water.
Average Air & Water Temperatures in Dubrovnik
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Water °F|
Average Air & Water Temperatures on Tara River
|Air (Day) °F||Air (Night) °F||Water °F|
Before booking your trip with OARS, there are a few important considerations we’d like you to know about.
Reservations and Deposit
A deposit of $800/person is required at the time of reservation. Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|Date of Cancellation||Cancellation Fee|
|90 or more days before your trip||$250/person|
|89 to 60 days before your trip||50% of the trip price/person|
|59 to 0 days or less before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
Requests to transfer a date will be treated as a cancellation, per the terms above.
OARS International and the outfitter Adriatic Kayak Tours reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Our Croatia & Montenegro Multi-Sport trip is run by an affiliate company and arranged through O.A.R.S. International, Inc.
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