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Croatia and Montenegro: Balkan Comeback

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui   Photograph by Veliko Vujanovic
Photo: Paddling Tara River Canyon
Paddling Montenegro's Tara River Canyon

WHAT'S NEW: In the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro was once known as the Adriatic's St. Tropez, a beach-studded playground attracting movie-star luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. War ravaged the Balkans a decade ago, but Montenegro's dense pine forests, craggy granite peaks, and steeply cut river canyons survived unscathed. This May, Mountain Travel Sobek co-founder John Yost leads a rafting-and-hiking romp that takes in the sandy beaches, stalactite-crowded caves, and thunderous waterfalls of the world's youngest nation. 

 You'll begin in the coastal city of Dubrovnik, in neighboring Croatia, and move inland to the wilds of Montenegro's Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Trekking along high, rocky plateaus that lead to panoramic views of glacier-formed kettle lakes, you'll also explore tiny villages built in the Venetian style. The centerpiece of the excursion is a 20-mile (32-kilometer) white-water rafting trip down the Tara River's pulsing Class III-IV rapids through one of the deepest and longest canyons in Europe. "People always think of Europe in terms of cities," says Sobek spokesperson Kim Beck. "In Montenegro we've found a true wilderness, undiscovered by most."

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Outfitter: Mountain Travel Sobek (

Length: Ten days

Price: $2,990

Difficulty: Moderate

Departs: May

Cover: Adventure magazine

Our November 2006 issue features the best new adventure travel trips; an exclusive look inside Iran; a Greenland global warming report; backcountry spas; digital cameras; travel Web sites; weekend getaways; and more.

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