It’s been almost 10 years since we’ve started offering offroad / overlanding tours in the Balkans under Rustika label, and in that time we’ve become best known for our total wilderness tours. These tours feature some incredible wild campsites far from civilization and major roads, often in deep forests with no mobile signal, in places where we would probably be undisturbed for as long as we decide to stay there. Serbia is especially famous for such abandoned places deep in the wild, but Bulgaria, with an even lower population density than Serbia, isn’t short on them either.
Lets start with the hotel tours this time
However, not all of our customers are fans of the jungle adventure survival style, that sometimes includes a fierce struggle with the elements. We are well aware that there are people who prefer to have a warm bed, a restaurant, hot spa and sauna after a day on the trail, and that is why we are offering three hotel tours in Serbia too. But due to a lack of demand lately, it seems that our potential customers aren’t aware of that fact. So we will start the overview of our 2024 offerings with those three hotel tours.
Although we are best known for our legendary total wilderness tours, we also make hotel accomodation offroad tours, at least in Serbia. And some very good ones! But that lately seems to be slipping the attention of that large offroading population who prefer hotels to camping. What could be the reason? Maybe we have shifted our focus off those tours? Maybe you can’t believe that Serbia could possibly have decent hotels?
That is what this video is intended for – to give you a picture what our hotel tours actually look like (including the impressions of some participants), and to draw your attention to the dates of those tours.
Every year we try to enrich our portfolio of offroad/overland tours in order to meet the expectations of both old and new customers, and 2023 could easily be the biggest move forward so far. All of our traditional tours are still there for those who haven’t tried them yet, with one exception – since Homolje Goldrush has lost momentum in a way, we decided to replace it with an all new hotel tour season opener in Western Serbia – much better hotels, with a picturesque pinetree scenery of national and nature parks, not inferior to that in the east, guarantees an overwhelming experience to all those who have booked this new tour.
Our 2022 season is at full pace. We’ve had 7 fabulous tours in the Balkans countries so far, and 4 more are awaiting us in the second part of the season. We have just managed to put a few more photo albums online, which cover the Ancient Trails tour (June), as well as the two Montenegro Highlands tours (July).
We have just updated the photo album section of our website by publishing 4 new galleries with selected images from season 2021 tours. Although a short season (which started as late as July) consisting of only 6 tours, if was a feast of some great people in great places, and thousands of great images, which wasn’t easy to filter out leaving just some of them. Four tours (one three times) in four different Balkan countries – Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Bulgaria.
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!
We have reached the point when nothing is certain anymore. Right now we’re in the midst of toughest lockdowns Europe has seen so far. Travel is technically possible, but strongly discouraged by most governments, threatening quarantine upon returning. Well, actually not every European country has the same approach, so if you intend to travel we suggest that you examine the conditions set by every country that you want to pass through carefully. Continue reading Corona pandemic update / December→
We’ve completed the video from our premiere 2019 Ancient Trails tour, which took place in June 2019. Lots of rain and mud, struggle with the elements, but also enjoying the incredible scenery of central Serbia. Don’t miss our next Ancient Trails tour in May 2020!
Material from our 2019 season is starting to be added to our gallery – there are two new albums from some very inspiring tours that took place in the wilderness of Serbia in June and July. There is a widespread belief among overlanders that Serbia is the least interesting of the Balkan countries. We’re sure that, looking at these albums, you will get the opposite impression! Serbia has a broad diversity of different landscapes, probably being more diverse than any other of the Balkan countries, and offers fantastic possibilities for wilderness exploration, especially with some, in places quite demanding forest trails. However, if you take on Serbia, you’ll have to be ready to confront vegetation on a daily basis!
Ancient Trails is our brand new tour covering the mountains of central and southwest Serbia, and Secret Carpathians is our by far most popular tour, covering the serbian part of the Carpathians in eastern Serbia, continuing into the awe inspiring Balkan mountain range along the bulgarian border. Pictures speak much louder than words in both cases!