Activity vacation in Montenegro

“A week to kayak on Lake Skadar, hike in surrounding hills and valleys, go wild swimming, discover village vineyards and seek out secret waterfalls. What’s not to love? ”


Lake Skadar National Park | Kayaking on Lake Skadar | Vineyard tours | Waterfall walk in Walnut Valley | Wild swimming | Hike to Upper Godinje | Free day to explore the coast | Hike to Žabljak Crnojevici

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Check dates

2018: 15 Apr, 22 Apr, 29 Apr, 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, 27 May, 3 Jun, 10 Jun, 17 Jun, 24 Jun, 1 Jul, 8 Jul, 15 Jul, 22 Jul, 29 Jul, 5 Aug, 12 Aug, 19 Aug, 26 Aug, 2 Sep, 9 Sep, 16 Sep, 23 Sep, 30 Sep, 7 Oct, 14 Oct
Our top tip:
Don’t even think about buying bottled water. Bring a refillable. The mountains are brimming with purest spring water.
Trip type:
Small group, max 10 people.
Activity level:
Easy-moderate. Very adaptable.
Renovated traditional farmhouse. Terrace with plunge pool/hottub.
Self-catering accommodation, one dinner, some lunches, 4 activities, bikes.
Artisan producers & local restaurants.
Solos welcome. Surcharge for own room.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Activity vacation in Montenegro


We want our vacations to be high impact in experience but low impact on the environment! Once you are at Villa Miela, transport will be mostly on foot, kayak or bike, with car transfers provided to starting points for excursions or restaurants if needed.

Lake Skadar is a National Park and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. As such, our tour guides will ensure you pay all relevant National Park fees and encourage you to behave in an eco-friendly manner at all times by supporting the Leave No Trace principles –traveling on marked paths, disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find (unless it’s other people’s rubbish!), respecting wildlife and being considerate of other visitors and the local community.

We are committed to local conservation projects and have contributed actively as well as financially to local initiatives, most notably a CZIP (Montenegrin RSPB) project to help repair and maintain nesting rafts for the local, endangered Dalmatian Pelican colony. As the leading sustainable tour operator in the country, it is up to us to lead by example, protecting the National Parks from over-development and ensuring their beauty can be enjoyed by the next generation.

Your accommodation also respects the environment. With metre-thick stone walls, built before air-conditioning was invented as the traditional Mediterranean way of keeping cool, air-conditioning is neither needed, nor provided. Instead, electric fans are available for occasional use if the naturally cool interior needs a little help in the hottest weeks. To keep emissions down, guests are asked to turn off all electric fans/lights on leaving the room. Guests are also requested to keep water use to a minimum, especially important during the dry summer months. The village has no mains water connection and Villa Miela's water reservoir, fed by mountain-spring, needs careful management during the long dry summer.


We've built strong links with local communities at Lake Skadar and support their maintenance of historic traditions, from bee-keeping, fishing and carp-smoking to the making of wine, cheese, olive-oil and flavoured brandies. By visiting home-producers and buying their wares, you will build pride, contribute to the local economy and encourage the development of and investment in sustainable agro-tourism. Along the way, you'll meet local people like Ivo Ukšanovic and his wife Radmila who produce award-winning wine, just 1000 barrels a year, using traditional techniques and no artificial additives. English isn’t widely spoken around the lake, but your guides will be able to translate to make each interaction memorable and meaningful for you and your host community. Your visit, and National Park fees, really count in a remote, beautiful and unknown Balkan destination which is still suffering from decades of impoverishment caused by urban migration and the 1990s Yugoslavian war.

Every year we are actively involved in clean-up operations both on the lake and in the National Park at large. We have campaigned for and obtained several large refuse containers for villages that had previously had no way to dispose of their garbage, and every spring we help to clear hiking trails so that remote villages can also benefit from the growing tourism industry.

Your accommodation at Villa Miela has also been sensitively restored to conserve an example of traditional local architecture, drawing praise from the local community (and many visitors!). Historic features have been preserved, such as the solid stone archway in the "konoba" (ground floor), once used for storing wine and smoking hams and carp, or the tiny original windows which help maintain a naturally cool interior. As the first such renovation in the area, it is hoped that the Villa will encourage more regeneration along these lines and deter less scrupulous investors from knocking down such buildings and replacing them with cheaper concrete structures.

66 Reviews of Activity vacation in Montenegro

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2017 by

The kayaking trip around Lake Skadar was beautiful and due to tandem kayaks, hilarious! Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2017 by

This was a fantastic vacation with many memorable moments! We loved the beautiful scenery; the walking, wild swimming and kayaking. It was wonderful to be somewhere so peaceful and so stunningly beautiful and to be able to experience the country with such dedicated and enthusiastic people. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2017 by

Being in an amazing part of the world, with a group of like-minded people, hiking through woods, wild water swimming, swimming in a waterfall, visiting an island monastery. My son and daughter both loved the off-road trip with the land rover, jumping from a village bridge into a river, seeing Golden Orioles and Hoopooes was another highlight. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2017 by

The memorable parts were hiking, wild swimming and kayaking. And seeing bats! Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2017 by

The kayaking trip across the lake. The stunning views over glass like water were fantastic. Not to mention the wonderful lunch half way through to give us the energy we needed to get back! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jul 2017 by

I loved the kayaking trip and all the wild swimming. The lakes and the plunge pools were all so beautiful. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jul 2017 by

This vacation was made especially special by the warmth, enthusiasm and local knowledge of Ben and Emma. Their choice of itineraries are varied and fun, from kayaking to hiking. My son even got to drive their defender (magic moment for him!), while I saw lesser horseshoe bats in the most beautiful setting! Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2017 by

AMAZING!!! was the best vacation I've ever been on! We loved the activities, the sense of being off the beaten track, the hikes, the jumping into waterfalls and rivers, the people - Ben & Emma are brilliant hosts; the local food and wine from local families/producers is incredible. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jun 2017 by

Stunning scenery and wildflowers, so unexpectedly green end of May. Kayaking on the stunning Lake Skadar, almost had the lake to ourselves. Hiking through the hills, jumping in refreshing water pools. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2017 by

The gorgeous unspoilt landscape. A fantastic opportunity to relax, explore, play, savour,enjoy and learn in Montenegro. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 May 2017 by

The most memorable was the views. Amazing Emma and Ben do amazing job. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2017 by

Kayaking through the paths on the stunningly beautiful Lake Skarda. Wonderful trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2017 by

Kayaking and eating local food was memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Apr 2017 by

Too many memorable parts. The whole vacation was a great experience. The hosts, Ben and Emma were excellent. Very friendly and with incredible local knowledge on just about anything we asked them. A most memorable vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2016 by

We were the only tourists we saw all week, apart from a day we went to the coast which wasn't arranged by the hosts we were taken to hidden gems all week long, we would never have discovered these places without our fantastic hosts. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2016 by

Montenegro is only 3 hours away from UK and yet a world apart It gave our children a distinct feeling that they had gone further off the beaten track than we had seeing new animals and having exciting experiences the views of mountains and lakes at various times of the day were never something we stopped loving looking at . Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2016 by

I loved the opportunity for wild swimming in Lake Skadar and surrounding rivers in the area. The National Park is outstandingly beautiful, and at times we felt like the only people there. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2016 by

There were so many highlights of the vacation: the breath-taking scenery around Lake Skadar which is totally unspoilt and so truly spectacular (a boat trip is highly recommended); all of the guided activities ‘off the beaten track’ with Ben and Emma (including hill walking, kayaking, swimming in secluded rivers and pools; rock scrambling to the bat cave – particularly enjoyed by our 12 year old son. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Aug 2016 by

We loved it. We were just the right kind of busy and were taken on some truly memorable trips, it was quite a privilege to be part of it. I'm not reborn, but this was one of the better vacations that I've been on. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2016 by

Brilliant vacation -Bens local knowledge and contacts brings extra dimensions to the vacation that no Hotel or Commercial Travel Agency could ever start to replicate. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jun 2016 by

Best bit: Going to find the Pelicans, we kayaked to a secret location and found over 80 Pelicans flying, swimming and resting. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2016 by

Best bit: Variety of activities (never bored) Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Oct 2016 by

The vacation definitely benefited local people, respecting the environment of the beautiful Lake Skadar National Park. Equally importantly, it benefited us as well: this experience enriched us both beyond words. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Sep 2016 by

Without Emma and Ben's enthusiastic and knowledgeable input we feel sure we could not have experienced and enjoyed Montenegro as fully as we did. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2016 by

My 7 and 9 year old loved it and so if you are are wondering if the trip is appropriate for children then let me say a definite YES IT IS! Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

Lived up to all expectations. We've done a few activity weeks and this was certainly one of the best Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2016 by

marvellous. A real privilege to gain an insight into a country that might be inaccessible to me as an independent traveler. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2016 by

Great, very enjoyable, it was so calm and peaceful around the lake you felt miles away from everything else and the activities were very manageable making it a lovely relaxing vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2015 by

Difficult to pick one [best bit] from a week of fabulous experiences. Lake Skada is stunningly beautiful, Villa Miele is very comfortable, the hiking and kayaking are both great and over a week you get to really experience the area through the eyes of people who know and love it. It is a fantastic vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Jul 2015 by

Everytime you thought you'd seen the best Emma or Ben managed to show us something even more jaw droppingly beautiful. Every day was different, from the amazing wild life and birds, to the glorious hidden water pools high in the hills, to the monasteries in the lake, this vacation had everything. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Jul 2015 by

This vacation has got it all. If you love nature in all it's aspects and you love to put your own effort into getting to know the scenery, this is your vacation! Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2015 by

It was all exciting Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2015 by

Excellent, would certainly recommend. Montenegro is a stunning country. Jaw dropping views at every turn. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2014 by

The trips took us to amazing places we would never have found on our own and we saw and did things we haven't done before. A fab trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Oct 2014 by

The best vacation we've had for quite a while. Montenegro is a beautiful country, well worth exploring, Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2014 by

Top marks and I hope Ben & Emma who clearly have a long term plan are successful....The whole experience was fabulous. The highlight was spotting a Horned Viper whilst out on a trek with Emma ! Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Sep 2014 by

Excellent!....We had a beautifully sunny day - perfect for kayaking! We did a 8km kayak on Lake Skadar and had a lovely lunch with a couple of trips to the lake Monasteries. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2014 by

A fantastic vacation, great scenery, very nice excursions, great food (try the fried carp!). Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2014 by

The area was completely unspoiled by tourism and very beautiful. If you love exercise and doing things together as a family you cannot go wrong with this vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2014 by

The most memorable part was the hike through Walnut Valley! The views were absolutely breath taking and the hike through the forest was really something special - the hiking trail is a bit of a secret so it was really of the beaten track - the road less travelled, so to speak. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2014 by

Everything was excellent! The countryside is beautiful, I really enjoyed all our activities. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Aug 2014 by

Most memorable were the stunning views and unspoilt scenery...This is a great experience. Ben and Emma go out of their way to ensure the vacation is as good as it can be. Highly recommended. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 May 2014 by

Something that will stay with me always was the silence, peace and tranquillity whilst kayaking around Lake Skadar, as well as the stunning landscape of the area. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 May 2014 by

Environment was covered with green different shade and no concrete around. Swimming in the river and fall was a dream come true. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 May 2014 by

We had a great time. Perfect activities for families with teenagers and a beautiful setting. It's also great to be somewhere that's such good value for money. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2013 by

Excellent....the accommodation was lovely and we felt that we got privileged access to genuinely unknown parts of Montenegro. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2013 by

Hard to praise it enough. It kept three teenagers completely happy which is no mean feat. It was beautiful, active, very comfortable and highly informative - what more could you want? Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2013 by

Fabulous...The location, visiting areas where only the locals know. Ben and Emma's knowledge of the area, their obvious love of nature and Montenegro made this a really memorable vacation. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2013 by

Brilliant!!....It's adventurous AND do-able! Ben is encouraging and flexible. There's also plenty of time to relax in the sun. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2013 by

Active, at times challenging and consequently one of the best experiences we have had as a family. With Ben and Emma in the background, you always feel that you are in safe hands. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jul 2013 by

There are so many good things... Being taken to heart by the local family we were staying with... Wild swimming in rivers and waterfalls... Delicious organic food. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Jul 2013 by

A fantastic active vacation. The days sped by but it felt like we had been on vacation for weeks! Ben and Emma were great hosts who did everything to make your stay enjoyable and unique. Go there before the crowds catch on to what they are missing. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jul 2013 by

An excellent vacation, a good mix of activity and relaxation...The whole trip was fabulous. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Jul 2013 by

Excellent. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone that is looking for an active vacation, stunning scenery and great fun. Your hosts will go out of their way to ensure you have a great time. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jul 2013 by

Lake Skadar and Montenegro are really beautiful and it was lovely to be out and about there in beautiful surroundings. Ben and Emma were great hosts Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2013 by

It was much better than I expected. I had a blast with the travel agent and the other people who joined. The country I never thought of visiting before has become one of my favorites. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jun 2013 by

We had a very interesting and varied week; just what we like when we go away. It was a good mixture of structure and freedom, activity and local culture. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2013 by

All I expected and more. Outstanding...The whole thingwas memorable... jumping under waterfalls, kayaking to island monasteries, hiking up hills, eating amazing food with local families, Local wine tasting... Read full review

Reviewed on 21 May 2013 by

The vacation was fantastic...It is hard to choose our favourite moment. Between the two of us, it is jumping off the Kayaks for a gorgeous swim in the really warm lake Skadar. There are moments, even in the middle of the day, when the lake is a giant mirror, because there are no boats or traffic. We also loved visiting the various islands and meeting resident Monks and Nuns. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2012 by

So many wonderful memories: Hikes, wild water swimming, stunning water Lilly pad strewn lake kayaking... Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Jun 2012 by

All very memorable. However the kayaking around and to a monastery and convent on Lake Skadar probably has the edge. We were the only ones actually on the Lake which is 27 miles long...All very memorable. However the kayaking around and to a monastery and convent on Lake Skadar probably has the edge. We were the only ones actually on the Lake which is 27 miles long. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2012 by

Swimming in refreshing ice cold water, in pools below waterfalls with emerald green and dark turquoise beautiful demoiselles (a type of dragonfly) landing on your head and arms and surrounded by lush green vegetation and grey/white rocks under a blue sky was the most memorable part of the vacation Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jul 2012 by

The wild swimming in the lake, rivers and springs was fantastic!...Thoroughly enjoyable and memorable for all of us, including a 16 year old and a 10 year old. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Jun 2012 by

One of the most memorable days was hiking on the mountain, stopping to swim in the cool streams, eating a wonderful lunch with a local family and going to another local family in the evening to have a meal. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Sep 2011 by

We were really pleased and felt the vacation we had a good balance of relaxation and stimulation. We feel very fortunate to have seen the advert on the responsible travel newsletter. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2011 by

Excellent vacation, one of the best ever and we've been on some amazing vacations. I would give 5 stars if it asked was it one of the best ever. The scenery was amazing and spectacular but without the crowds to share it with. Read full review

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