About us

Hello and welcome (or should we say dobrodošli!) to Undiscovered Balkans, your go-to activity holiday specialist in the Balkans.

We’re Ben and Emma Heywood, the adventure-loving husband and wife behind this operation, and we’re thrilled to have you here with us in Europe’s most unexplored corner. 

When we landed in Montenegro in 2008 as frivolous travellers without kids, this beautiful country stopped us in our tracks. Its jagged mountains footed by blue and green lakes could easily be mistaken for the Canadian Rockies while miles of unspoiled wilderness resemble an African game reserve. 

Having visited more than 50 countries worldwide we’re not easy to impress, so you can trust we’ve selected only the most breathtaking locations for our holiday activities, with the help of our expert local guides. 

You won’t find big, brash resorts and double decker tour buses on our trips. We do small group travel, community tourism and family-run establishments – including our very own Villa Miela, where it all began. Sitting at the heart of Lake Skadar National Park, it’s the base for several of our holidays, from yoga retreats to kayak safaris.

Like our family, our holiday offering has expanded. We now run tours in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia.

We pride ourselves on being a small business and we personally handle all bookings, so rest assured you will never be on hold to an operator when you get in touch. 

When you travel with us, you’re officially part of our ever expanding Balkan family and as a family, we take care of one another. That’s why a percentage of our takings go back to the communities we work with. You can learn more about that here.

We look forward to seeing you in the Balkans soon!


Connect with us



4 days ago

🌟 "What an amazing trip!" 🌟A huge thank you to our lovely guest Susan for sharing her family’s incredible experience in Albania with us on Google. 🙏Susan writes:"As a family of 4 (with 2 adult children – one of whom has some physical limitations), we wanted an active holiday that would suit us all – and this ticked all the boxes.Stunning scenery, safe well-supervised activities, delicious local food, and clean, well-appointed accommodation throughout the trip!We were expertly guided and looked after by our guide Aldo, who is extremely knowledgeable about Albania and its culture, history, and geography – and couldn’t have been more helpful and attentive to our needs. Always willing to go the extra mile to make sure our holiday went smoothly.Albania is a lovely country with warm and friendly people. If you’re looking to explore new places whilst respecting nature and observing responsible tourism – don’t hesitate!"We're thrilled that our multi-active trip covering Albania's lakes, mountains, and sea was just the ticket for Susan and her family. Bookings are open for next year, and we still have some limited availability for this autumn. Discover more and book your adventure now at the link below! 👉 undiscoveredbalkans.com/tours/albania-multi-activity-holiday-7-days/#undiscoveredbalkans #Albania #travel #familyadventure #responsibletourism See MoreSee Less
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6 days ago

🎉 Huge congratulations to our group from England’s North for completing an epic cross-border trek from Montenegro to Albania last week! 🇲🇪 🇦🇱Despite facing unpredictable weather – from blazing sun to intense hailstorms – they powered through and embraced every moment out there on the iconic Peaks of the Balkans trail. ⛰️👏 Special shoutout to our amazing tour leader, Dino! Not only did he get our guests safely through the breathtaking Prokljetije mountain range, but he also made it back to his hometown, Gusinje, just in time to compete in the Prokljetije VK – a challenging 3.9k race with a 1,000m climb in the stunning Grebaja valley. 🏞️🏃‍♂️ Here's to big smiles, serious hiking, cold beers and celebratory rakija shots! 🥂🍻If this looks and sounds like your kind of adventure, get in touch at the link below to join one of our next Peaks of the Balkans groups, or form your own.👉 undiscoveredbalkans.com/tours/via-dinarica-hiking-montenegro-albania-7-days/#undiscoveredbalkans #PeaksoftheBalkans See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Shkodër is a North Albanian city beside Lake Shkodra, Southern Europe’s largest lake which Albania shares with Montenegro (and a lake we made our home).Read our guide to the best things to do in Shkodër, including a couple of hidden gems of our own – we are, after all, Undiscovered Balkans. 👇undiscoveredbalkans.com/shkoder-things-to-do/#undiscoveredbalkans #shkoder #albania See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Don’t be sad when storms hit your Balkan holiday. Be a wet day winner like we were, catching sight of Griffon vultures in Serbia! 🙌 Our visit to stunning Trešnjica Gorge 🦅 left us soaked and delighted. An absolute highlight for our group, and unexpected (we were supposed to be canyoning that day, but the weather wasn’t right). We were also utterly charmed by friendly locals like Baba Negosava, who was determined to shelter us and treat us to snacks and shots of homemade ‘rakija’ brandy. 🥃It’s the difference that travelling slow with an experienced local guide can make – having the flexibility to swap days and match adventures to conditions on the ground.Come to Western Serbia with us, and we promise you'll fall in love with its wonderful nature, landscapes and people in all weathers and all seasons. Full info and booking for our 7-day multi-active adventure at the link below. 👉 undiscoveredbalkans.com/tours/7-day-multi-activity-holiday-in-serbia/ #undiscoveredbalkans #serbia #adventuretravel See MoreSee Less
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Man on an activity holiday swimming in a crystal clear, bright blue rock pool near Lake Skadar

7 Day Activity Holiday at Lake Skadar

Our original adventure loved by everyone! Kayaking, hiking & wild-swimming…
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A girl sitting on a mule while trekking on Mount Tomorr in Albania

7 Day Multi-Activity Holiday in Albania

Discover Albania’s lakes, mountains & sea on this multi-active adventure!
£50pp off!

7 Day Multi-Activity Holiday in Kosovo

Discover the beauty of Europe’s newest and most fascinating country!
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7 Day Winter Activity Holiday in Montenegro

Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing on the alpine slopes of Montenegro!
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