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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. 

ONE THE GROUND:
 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."

See incredible Croatia photos >>

Vitals

Outfitter: Mountain Travel Sobek (www.mtsobek.com)

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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