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.

Milija – Tour Leader, Montenegro

Milija is one of Montenegro’s most experienced adventurers. Whether hiking, kayaking, biking or skiiing, he and his equally adventurous family are passionate about the outdoors and their spectacular country. Milija speaks fluent English + Montenegrin/Serbian.

Aldo – Tour Leader, Albania

Aldo is at his happiest outdoors – the further away from the crowds, the better! As a former Albanian Military Officer, he has been working as a guide in Albania since 2015 and particularly loves hiking, climbing & mountain biking. He speaks excellent English.

Arben – Tour Leader, Albania

Arben‘s enthusiasm for his country and all outdoor pursuits is infectious! As one of Albania’s most renowned licenced guides, he has stupendous historical knowledge and seems to have visited every corner of Albania! He lives in Tirana and speaks superb English..

Robi – Tour Leader, Croatia

Ston native Robi has over 15 years’ worth of experience guiding around his country – but it’s the Pelješac peninsula that he considers his home. You could not be in more knowledgeable hands! Robi speaks fluent English and has full adventure guide qualifications.

Skender – Tour Leader, Bosnia

Skender has over a decade’s worth of experience guiding tour groups around his country, and has earned his reputation as one of the funniest and most quotable tour guides in Bosnia & Hercegovina! He speaks near-native English and has full tour guide qualifications.

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.

Semir – Tour Leader, Montenegro & Albania

Semir has over twenty years of experience guiding guests around the Balkans. He is a qualified mountain guide and is probably the most knowledgeable Tour Leader in the whole region! He speaks superb English, as well as native Montenegrin and Albanian.

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.

Connect with us

Facebook Posts

22 hours ago

Ever watched the sun set in the mountains? 🎴There are few better places to experience it than Albania’s Accursed Mountains, home to myth, legend, otherworldly landscapes, and some of Europe’s most remote, isolated villages. We caught these magical mountain views while staying with our homestay partners in Thethi National Park. Their village is an authentic gem, secluded yet close to the main town that draws an increasing number of hikers, and visitors, as well as some serious media attention – Condé Nast, National Geographic Traveller and the Lonely Planet Best in Travel list, just in the last few weeks!Same mountains ⛰️, same sunset 🤩, but instead of other tourists, you’ll find authentic village life and the warmest of Albanian welcomes as you join a family living simply here for generations. Marash, Albina and Martina are the best.Whether you’re a family, couple or group of friends, our new North Albania holiday offers a mix of amazing outdoor adventures and a chance to get to know the real Albania. Find out more at: undiscoveredbalkans.com/tours/7-day-north-albania-activity-holiday/#undiscoveredbalkans #albania #visitalbania ... See MoreSee Less
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4 days ago

Yes, Yes, Yes! Or should we say, "Da, Da, Da!"? It makes us so happy to see Serbia’s beautiful Belgrade recommended for a visit in the UK press, and with a renewed flight link by British Airways. 🙌Travel writer, and our friend, Mary Novakovich, has written a wonderful guide to “Southeast Europe’s buzziest city” for Saturday’s 'i Paper', which you can read online here - inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/travel/belgrade-under-the-radar-city-break-2774214She remarks that “Keeping up with Belgrade’s dynamic restaurant and bar scene is an almost full-time job!” And it’s not just the dining scene. Belgrade has a wonderfully rich history and architecture, vibrant arts and culture, and nature weaves right through it, with parks a-plenty, and even a wild island within the Danube, offering a taste of wilderness, birds and wildlife in the middle of the city! We have exciting plans afoot for week-long adventures in Serbia, which improved flights to Belgrade can only help, along with all the faster train links across Europe. Watch this space and message us if you’d like to go on our Undiscovered Serbia wait-list for next year! 🙋‍♀️Photos from our explorations of Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress, trendy Zemum district and dreamy Danube riverbank from this time last year. We took the overnight train there by accident - but that's another story! 😆#undiscoveredbalkans #undiscoveredserbia ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Who else spends these November days dreaming of big adventures?We’ve got some great ones planned for 2024 with new dates available – all in Europe’s sexiest bit, the beautiful Western Balkans!From mixed adventures SUP-boarding, glamping and trekking in Albania 🇦🇱, or white-water rafting, waterfall chasing and pottery-making in Bosnia and Herzegovina! 🇧🇦 To single activity outdoor challenges, like kayaking and wild camping at Southern Europe’s largest lake, or hiking the incredible peaks of Europe’s most mountainous country – Montenegro 🇲🇪.We get rave reviews because the Western Balkans is a dream travel destination for anyone who loves the road less travelled, the outdoors, untouched nature, and intriguing traditional cultures. And you get to avoid a long-haul trip too, while knowing your trip supports the people and places you're visiting!So don’t just dream. Book and look ahead to your Balkan adventure with us today! Hit the following link to learn more 👉 www.undiscoveredbalkans.comPic 1 - Kayaking & Wild Camping, Lake SkadarPic 2 - North Albania Activity HolidayPic 3 - Bosnia & Herzegovina Activity HolidayPic 4 - Montenegro Mountain Hiking HolidayPic 5 - Bosnia & Herzegovina Activity HolidayPic 6 - Montenegro Mountain Hiking HolidayPic 7 - Albania Multi-Activity HolidayPic 8 - Bosnia & Herzegovina Activity Holiday #undiscoveredbalkans ... See MoreSee Less
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Happy Archangel Michael's Day! 🎉Did you know that Orthodox Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians, Macedonians and actually Orthodox Christians everywhere, like to throw epic parties called "slavas" to celebrate their family saint? And today, it's all about the big boss - Archangel Michael!🥘 Picture this: homes filled with tasty treats like baklava and ‘sarma’ (stuffed soured cabbage leaves), and everyone's invited! It's basically an excuse for a mega-feast and fiesta with family and friends. What a great way to cheer everyone up on these shortest, darkest and wettest of days!Slavas are a beautiful peek into the warmth and hospitality at the heart of Balkan culture, and while you might not get to party with the saints on our holidays, you will walk away enchanted.Srećna slava Arandjelovdan svim koji slave!#undiscoveredbalkans ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Discover the fascinating communities and culture of the Balkans with us! 🌎When we arrived in this region some 15 years ago intent on setting up a holiday business, it was obvious to involve our local community (friends!) in our tours. They are simply some of the most interesting, entertaining and hospitable people you could hope to meet. Plus you’ll learn about a ton of practical life skills (making your own alcohol, furniture, bread, honey, fruit cordials, the list is endless...). These meetings are so often the stand-out moments for our guests, and we slice them into each adventure! Whichever tour or country you pick, you'll get to experience the vibrant local culture, as much as you will the incredible scenery and nature. From honey and wine tastings in Croatia and Montenegro, to pottery-making in Bosnia, silver-jewellery workshops in Kosovo, or hat-making in Albania, the connections you’ll make will leave you as hooked on the Balkans and its people as we are. Active adventures can be anywhere. Authentic active adventures are with us! Dive into our 2024 activity holidays now to seize our exclusive early bird offer. Learn more and secure your spot by visiting our website today! 👉 www.undiscoveredbalkans.com#undiscoveredbalkans #activityholidays #authentictravel ... See MoreSee Less
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Man on an activity holiday swimming in a crystal clear, bright blue rock pool near Lake Skadar
£100pp off!

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
£50pp off!

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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£50pp off!

7 Day Winter Activity Holiday in Montenegro

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