ABOUT US

Undiscovered Balkans is a new venture from Undiscovered Montenegro, a UK-registered adventure travel company founded in 2008 by British husband and wife team and Balkans aficionados, Emma and Ben Heywood.

Between us, we have travelled to over 50 countries worldwide. We like to think that when it comes to taking the road less travelled in search of untouched, natural beauty, we’re hard to impress – so when we first visited the Balkans, our immediate impression was disbelief that such epic, African-style natural beauty had been hiding on our own doorstep in Europe.

From that moment, came our inspiration to bring a taste of safari to one of Europe’s wildest regions. We started out in 2008 by renovating our own property – Villa Miela – to become our ‘Activity Base’ for week-long hosted holidays at Lake Skadar – and have now expanded our group of specialist Tour Leaders to offer the same experience of adventurous activity holidays in the surrounding Balkan nations, too!

With the help of our team of expert guides, some of the best company you could hope to keep and with unrivalled knowledge and passion for the lesser-known gems, you can now discover some amazing, pristine locations in Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia as well as Montenegro!

We have been committed from the beginning to bringing a responsible, sustainable approach to tourism to the region. Our small group activity and nature holidays are high impact in experience but low impact on the environment – and also, crucially, are designed to give back to local people and wildlife. Undiscovered Balkans actively supports local conservation, environmental action and community regeneration, so when you choose us, you’re giving back too. Read even more reasons why to choose us.

Come on our amazing adventures and we’ll introduce you to a world undiscovered!


Emma, co-founder

A seasoned backpacker, Emma’s itchy feet have taken her across Africa, Asia, Australia and America in search of adventure and new experiences. She worked as a conservationist in Zambia, a press officer for the British Government and for the US oil industry before deciding her future lay in sustainable tourism in the Balkans. Inspired by this region’s incredible, ever-changing scenery, Emma is able to indulge her love of travel, yoga, art and photography to the full running Undiscovered Balkans’ Montenegrin adventures. In her spare time she volunteers her publicity skills to local conservation projects and initiatives and enjoys strong Turkish coffee. She speaks English, Serbian/Montenegrin and French.


Ben, co-founder

Born in Scotland, raised in Venezuela, Germany, the UAE and the UK, Ben speaks English, German, French and Serbian/Montenegrin, and is a BCU qualified kayak coach. Prior to setting up Undiscovered Montenegro and Undiscovered Balkans with Emma, he spent a 15-year career in international publishing – then a round-the-world trip back-packing with Emma convinced him that the world had more to offer than just a desk job! Lake Skadar’s incredible backdrop is now his office, where he can indulge his passions for snowboarding, kayaking, occasional carpentry and organic home-cooking, while also helping to organise holidays in our new destinations.


Gigo – Tour Leader, Montenegro

Gigo is probably one of the most intrepid and experienced adventurers in the whole of Montenegro!  Not content with running regular kayaking tours on the Tara and Morača rivers, as well as at Lake Skadar, he is also one of the prime organisers behind the annual Tara Kayak Fest and is Tour Leader for our other multi-activity holidays in Montenegro. He speaks Montenegrin, of course, fluent English and is a fully qualified kayaking, rafting and  mountain guide.

Alma – Tour Leader, Albania

Alma covers the second half of our activity weeks in Albania. She and her husband Zamo were among the first people in Albania to become qualified rafting and canyoning guides. When it comes to outdoor action, they have it all covered from their awesome family-run hotel in Berat! She speaks excellent English.

Andi – Tour Leader, Albania

Andi covers the first half of our activity weeks in Albania. His enthusiasm for his country and all outdoor pursuits is infectious! Whether hiking, kayaking or getting his hands dirty in the kitchen, he’s ready to go the extra mile to make sure you have a good time. He lives in Tirana and speaks superb English.

Vera – Tour Leader, Montenegro

Vera is one of the most respected hiking guides in the country, and has a passion for the outdoors and her roots in the north of Montenegro in particular. Popular with parents and children alike, the more remote the area, the more likely she is to be found exploring it! Vera speaks excellent English and is a fully licenced tour guide.

Nenad – Tour Leader, Montenegro

Nenad is an outdoor adventurer whose ambition is to visit every corner of this spectacular country – he is happiest when biking, hiking or kayaking, making him a natural fit for Undiscovered Balkans! He speaks excellent English and Montenegrin/Serbian.

Ana – Tour Leader, Montenegro

Ana has over a decades’ worth of experience guiding tour groups around her country, and has earned her reputation as one of the funniest and most quotable tour guides in Montenegro! She speaks near-native English and has full tour guide qualifications.


Fatos – Tour Leader, Kosovo & Albania

Fatos has over three decades of experience guiding guests around his native lands. He is a qualified mountain guide, loves caving, canyoning and hiking and is probably the most knowledgeable Tour Leader in the whole country! He speaks superb English.

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Holidays

Man on an activity holiday swimming in a crystal clear, bright blue rock pool near Lake Skadar

Lake Multi Activity Montenegro - 7 days

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

Multi Activity Albania - 7 days

Discover Albania's lakes, mountains & sea on this multi-active adventure!
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Multi Activity Kosovo - 7 days

Discover the beauty of Europe's newest and most fascinating country!
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Winter Multi Activity Montenegro - 7 days

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