THE HOPE ROUTE: BOSNIA BIKEPACK

Our four-night/five-day bikepacking trip through the remote Bjelašnica Mountains of Bosnia. Expect secluded gravel roads, an eye-opening modern history, hearty meals, gritty coffee, pita and rakija … Balkan style.

Tour Rating
Location

Bjelašnica Mountains (BOSNIA)

# Nights

4 NIGHTS

Distance / Climb

180KM / +3800M

Group Size

10-14

Join

£595 (DEPOSIT £297)

Starting in the vibrant yet battle-scarred capital city of Sarajevo, we follow the hope route out of the city and up into the mountains – through spectacular wilderness areas, pausing for Bosnian coffee at abandoned 1984 Winter Olympic venues, and staying in isolated mountain villages. In typical Pannier style we lift the lid on this destination, learning from the locals and enjoying traditional food and drink, whilst putting our own twist on things with wild cookouts and brews with views…

2019/2020 DATES
TOUR SCHEDULE
DAY I

0km // +0m
0% tarmac / 0% gravel

MEET 16.00
Congregate in the courtyard of our Sarajevo old town accommodation. We then explore the city and go for a traditional Bosnian evening meal, and drinks, with the group in the heart of the city.

Accommodation: Guesthouse

DAY II

40km // +900m
49% tarmac / 49% gravel / 1% Bobsled Run / 1% Cable Car 

As all good touring mornings start, we head out for a hot drink and load the bikes in the Old Town, before taking the cable car up to the start of the 1984 Winter Olympic Bobsled run. We ride the snaking concrete run through forest, back down into the outskirts of town, visit the Tunnel of Hope, and then head on up into the mountains…

Accommodation: Mountain Hut

DAY III

50km // +1000m
25% tarmac / 75% gravel

A proper escape into the Bosnian wilderness. The day’s ride takes us through the Bjelašnica Mountains, past ski towns, derelict ski jumps and stations, and onto the highest, most secluded village in Bosnia for a traditional hearty evening meal, drinks and stay…

Accommodation: Mountain Hut

DAY IV

65km // +1500m
75% tarmac / 25% gravel

We spend the day riding secluded mountain roads through rural villages across three mountain ranges – fuelled by local food, coffee, tea, and the promise of an afternoon wild swim and communal dinner…

Accommodation: Hotel

DAY V

20km // +400m
100% tarmac / 0% gravel

We climb back into the mountains on quiet singletrack roads, for the last time, before descending along the Neretva River to Tito’s Bunker for a fascinating short tour. Lunchtime transfer back to Sarajevo where the tour ends…
LEAVE 14.00-15.00

JOINING

*Please see Trip FAQ/Field Notes for more info, and note about booking travel before a tour is guaranteed*

>> FLY

Nearest Airports: Sarajevo International

Sarajevo Intenational Airport is well connected. If flying from the UK we would recommend traveling with either Turkish Air (via Istanbul) or Austrian Air (via Vienna). Travel time is, on average, six hours from the UK.

HIRE OPTIONS

>> Adventure bike (Specialized Diverge, or similar)
>> Bikepacking bags

TOUR INCLUSIONS

>> 3.5 days adventure cycling with Pannier guides
>> Accommodation in mountain huts, guesthouses and hotels
>> Food and soft drinks throughout
>> Short Tour of Tito’s Bunker
>> Return transfer to Sarajevo
>> Pannier Tourer Pack Goodies

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

>> Travel to and from Sarajevo/Bosnia
>> Riding/travel Insurance (required)
>> Alcoholic drinks and souvenirs
>> Bike / equipment hire – available at time of booking

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24/07/2020 - 28/07/2020

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FAQs / Field Notes

FAQ / Field Notes
Hope Route: Bosnia Bikepacking Tour

Joining instructions >>
This tour starts at a hotel in central Sarajevo on the evening of day 1, the hotel is only a short taxi ride from the airport. Full joining information, times and locations will be sent to tourers 6 weeks before the tour start date.

There is no set itinerary on day one of this tour apart from the evening meal, which we will head out for at around 17:00pm.

We recommend you arrive at the start hotel by 16:00 at the latest on day one to allow time to check in, sort kit out and meet the Pannier team before heading into town.

If you are bringing your own bike we recommend you allow more time to receive the bike from the airline and build it on day one as there will be limited time to build bikes on the morning of day two. Once booked we will send you the start hotel information/location. If you wish to arrive a few days early to see more of Bosnia/Sarajevo we recommend staying here as it’s a good base to see the city from.

Please do not book non refundable travel before a tour has been guaranteed to go ahead [see our general FAQs]

Getting there >>
Sarajevo Intenational Airport is well connected within Europe. If flying from the UK we would recommend traveling with either Turkish Air via Istanbul or Austrian Air via Vienna. Travel time is on average 6 hours from the UK.

Food & drink >>
All meals, riding snack and soft drinks are included on this tour. Bosnian food is very hearty with lots of cheese, bread, and meat. Vegetarians are well catered for but please bear in mind that vegan options can be limited in places.

Alcoholic beverages are available on all nights of the tour, our accommodation will not accept card payments for drinks so please make sure you have some cash if you wish to purchase alcohol. Expect regular offers of the traditional drink Rakija, from hosts and people you meet along the way!

Accommodation >>
On this tour we send two nights in hotels and two nights in basic mountain huts. Hotel nights are on a twin share basis, if you have booked solo you will likely be sharing with another member of the group. The mountain huts have communal sleeping areas and share facilities. They are warm and cosy and all bedding is supplied though we recommend you bring a sleeping bag liner for use on these nights.

What to bring >>
Adventure bike (unless hiring)
Bike packing bags (unless hiring)
Sleeping bag liner – available to purchase on booking
Cycling kit, shoes, helmet
Off the bike clothes – warm layers for mornings and evenings + clothes for travel days
Waterproof jacket
Head torch

Bike details >>
The hire bikes on this tour are Specialized Diverge gravel/adventure bikes.
If bringing your own bike please make sure it is suitable for the tour. You will need a bike with a minimum tyre width of 38mm to handle the gravel sections. Please note that this tour is not suitable for road bikes.
If hiring bags you will receive a full set of Ortlieb Waterproof bags for the duration of the tour.

General information >>

Visa >>
UK passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Other nationalities should with the Bosnian Embassy before travel. It is your responsibility to obtain the relevant visa’s (if needed) before travel.

Vaccinations >>
There are no specific health risks or required vaccinations for Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Passport >>
Passports must be valid beyond the intended length of stay and have clear pages for arrival and departure stamps. It is your responsibility to make sure your passport is valid before travel.

Weather >>
Average temperatures in Bosnia from June to October range from highs of 26degC – lows of 5degC. The evenings can be cold when we are in the mountains but we would expect to be cycling in shorts and single layers during the day, at the times we run these tours.

Money >>
Local currency is BAM, The Bosnian Convertible Mark. The current exchange rate is roughly 2.2BAM to 1 GBP£.

Meals and soft drinks are included throughout the tour. You will need cash for alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, and any extra shopping you wish to do. On average one beer costs around 2BAM.

Local time >>
GMT +01.00

Route info >>
The route is roughly 50% on paved roads and 50% on gravel/unsurfaced roads. The unsurfaced sections are pretty rough so some previous experience of cycling on gravel would be recommended. The roads we use on this tour are very quiet and mainly free from vehicle traffic. However, cycling through Sarajevo on day 1 is like riding through any other city – it will be busy, but we aim to use dedicated cycle paths where possible.

Health and fitness >>
Please read the full tour information regarding distances and elevation before booking. The route is undulating with some long climbs and descents, previous cycling experience is required.

You will need to inform us of any ongoing injuries or health issues once booked, this information will be requested before departure. It is vital for us to know about anything before traveling into remote areas.

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