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After an interruption in our offroad tours that lasted for a year and a half, in July 2021 our tours finally resumed. We had a really wonderful second part of the year – many tours, many happy people, great weather and unforgettable memories from some fantastic places. The Balkans is still the last remaining true wilderness in Europe, an exciting, dynamic landscape to explore, offering you true freedom to go anywhere and camp in the wild. So better enjoy it while it lasts!
Unlike the 2021 half season, in 2022 we have a dense portfolio of tours, starting already on January 3rd with our (decently booked) winter tour in the serbian Carpathians, and ending in mid October with an attempt to prolong the summer in the south, in the wild and striking mountains of Albania. Inbetween we have our well known, unique tours in Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria, where some have already been carved to perfection after many years of guidance, while others offer some exciting modifications, promising to make them real jewels of the overlanding tour market. Our GPS tracks database is closing in on 200.000 km, containing many exciting, secret shortcuts that you could never discover on your own. So lets take a look at every of the tours in detail!
As already mentioned, this tour takes place in the Homolje and Kučaj mountains in eastern Serbia, which are a part of the Carpathian mountain range. Always a struggle with the elements, year after year we can never be certain whether we’ll get stuck in enormous amounts of snow in the mountains, or struggle with decent mud on warmer winters. But whatever we do, fun is guaranteed, with one very welcome extra – after cold and wet driving through the wilderness, we end up in a nice cozy hotel with natural thermal waters every afternoon!
This is our traditional early springtime hotel tour through the Homolje and Kučaj mountains. Except exciting, muddy forest trails and river crossings, it also features the story about the hundreds of years of gold panning tradition on the Homolje rivers, with a demonstration of the technique by one of the legendary local gold panners. We also make a roundtrip of the biggest goldmine in Serbia (depending on the permits acquired from the mine management). In April weather is always uncertain, so anything is possible – from warm and sunny early springtime conditions, to rain, and even snow. This is the time of year when muddy conditions on forest trails are practically guaranteed, so get your MT tyres ready!
A new tour that we’ve premiered in 2019, it turned out to be a great way to introduce the participants to the beauty of central and western Serbian mountains. Digging out some long forgotten ridge trails, it cunningly wiggles between the densely populated towns and villages of western Serbia, to show the participants true wilderness, not any inferior in beauty of landscape and stunning vistas to our well known eastern serbian tours. For someone who has previously taken the Secret Carpathians (or some other tour of eastern Serbia), this is a logical step further in discovering the hidden jewel of the Balkans.
This is our oldest and best known summer camping tour in Serbia, practically offering the participant to dicover all of the most striking features of the vast wilderness area in eastern Serbia, consisting of the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. Both low and high mountains (reaching higher than 2000 m in altitude), beautiful forests, striking canyons, dynamic ridgeways and great wild campspots (often on rivers and lakes) make this a real legendary tour, that makes many people repeat it more than once. Because, no two instances of this tour are exactly the same – we make some minor improvements every season, bringing it a step closer to perfection! Except for the summer camping tours, there’s also a hotel version of the tour in October, known as the Indian Summer tour.
Maybe the most picturesque tour that we organize in the Balkans. In average altitude the highest of our tours (most camps being at the altitude of 1400-1800 m), it takes you across montenegrian highlands for hundreds of kilometres, seldom reaching any signs of urban life. The rocky Dinaric mountains of Montenegro offer an alpine landscape, with lots of beautiful glacier lakes and huge stretches of grassland between the sharp ridges, making this tour a unique experience. And still, it is technically our easiest tour, very well suited for absolute beginners in the offroad driving world, allowing you to relax and fully enjoy the striking landscape.
By starting this tour back in 2019 we wanted to introduce the wonderful world of Bulgarian mountains to the european overlanding enthusiast. A landscape very similar to that in Serbia, Bulgaria offers even higher mountains and larger stretches of completely uninhabited wilderness, so if you’ve for example, liked Stara planina in Serbia, you’ll love this Bulgarian tour even more. It actually starts on the bulgarian side of Stara planina, following the highest ridges of bulgarian mountains all the way to the huge highland plateau of the Rhodopeans in the south. And I’m particularly excited to guide this tour in 2022, because we’ve finally perfected the itinerary to completely avoid the boring, urban flatlands of central Bulgaria around Plovdiv. We connect Sredna Gora with the southeastern slopes of Rila and the Rhodopeans completely through the mountains, visiting just a few smaller towns for resupplying and refueling during the entire tour! Furthermore, in 2022 we get more days in the Rhodopeans, featuring some fantastic new lakeside camps. So hurry to reserve your booking, because this tour is goint to be a true hit in 2022!
Although we’ve driven Albania many times in previous years, it was always derived from tours featuring the neighbouring countries. So in 2021 we finally decided to make a pure albanian wilderness tour, and it turned out to be an instant hit! With our Albanian guide who is definitely the biggest expert on Albania, knowing the most hidden secret spots in this rugged, mountainous country, we made an unforgettable adventure for the participants, featuring all of the most exciting and picturesque places in albanian mountains, from north to south. Exciting, rocky trails, sleeping almost every day at some river or lake, the 2021 tour had only one downside – scorching heat of 35+ degrees every day. So we decided to move this tour from August to October, the time of year when the temperature down south in Albania is just right for pure enjoyment. Elsewhere the winter may already be closing in, but not in Albania – there it’s still summer by central european criteria 🙂