Undiscovered Montenegro is 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 saw Montenegro – and Lake Skadar in particular – 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 countries. 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 since branched out to cover more of this incredible country and even into Albania and Croatia with the help of our small 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.

We have been committed from the beginning to bringing a responsible, sustainable approach to tourism to Montenegro’s national parks. 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 Montenegro actively supports local pelican 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!



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 Lake Skadar’s incredible, ever-changing scenery, Emma is able to indulge her love of travel, yoga, art and photography to the full running Undiscovered Montenegro’s 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.


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 with Emma, he spent a 15-year career in international publishing – the renovation of an old stone house on Vis Island, Croatia and 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.

Tobi & Adel

Tobi and Adel are our newest team members, and managers of Villa Miela Lake Retreat! Nature lovers and veteran travellers in the Balkans, they make all the magic happen at our Lake Skadar activity base. Whether guiding tours, preparing healthy guest breakfasts, managing the retreat or researching new outdoor experiences, this charming couple have already made a massive difference to our Montenegro operation. They speak fluent English, German and Hungarian!


Gigo is probably one of the most intrepid and experienced adventurers in the whole of Montenegro!  Not content with running regular kayaking tours on the Tara and Morača rivers, as well as at Lake Skadar, he is also one of the prime organisers behind the annual Tara Kayak Fest and is Tour Leader for our other multi-activity holidays in Montenegro. He speaks Montenegrin, of course, fluent English and is a fully qualified kayaking, rafting and mountain guide.


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! She speaks excellent English and is a licenced tour guide.


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 Montenegro! He speaks excellent English and of course, Montenegrin/Serbian.


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.


Connect with us

Facebook Posts

1 day ago

We have an introduction to make, to our new team members Tobi from Germany & Adel from Hungary!Anyone coming to Villa Miela Lake Retreat will meet this charming couple, who fell in love with Lake Skadar when staying with us four years ago. Joining as adventure hosts, they are possibly the kindest people in the universe and already making a big difference to the smooth running of our operations, from flinging kayaks on top of our Landies (it helps that Tobi’s super tall!), to preparing healthy guest breakfasts, managing our ecolodge and researching new outdoor experiences (the two-wheeled kind especially).We’re so happy to have them with us and wish them luck with the mountain of Montenegrin and Balkan history books we’ve challenged them to read.😁Photos from recent adventures together exploring our beautiful backyard, a.k.a. Lake Skadar National Park. #undiscoveredmontenegro #VillaMiela #activityholidays #hostedholidays ... See MoreSee Less
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3 days ago

Did everyone make sure to get a slice of nature this bank holiday? Our wild spaces are so precious, worth fighting for - and here in Montenegro, a battle is taking place to save one of the most beautiful and biodiverse of all – the magnificent ‘Unseen’ canyon & its Komarnica river. Just look at these pictures shared by our packrafting partner Gigo, and good friend Kirsi – and then imagine Nevidio Canyon's incredible ecosystem, home to bear, wolf, lynx and a myriad of aquatic species, dammed, drowned and destroyed. Crowds of Montenegrins and international nature lovers, including us, gathered at Komarnica this weekend to send a strong message to Montenegro’s Government – it’s not too late to reverse the concession for a hydropower plant and protect the Unseen Canyon forever. Bravo Spasimo Komarnicu / Save Komarnica @crnogorskodrustvoekologija Centar za zaštitu i proučavanje ptica Crne Gore! Read more about the fight to save Komarnica in the article below by Katy Ellis for SUSTON - Sustainable Outdoor News and follow #SaveKomarnica Spasimo Komarnicu / Save Komarnica 👇sustonmagazine.com/2023/03/17/saving-the-next-river/#undiscoveredmontenegro #montenegrowildbeauty #CanyonNevidio #savetheblueheartofeurope ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Spring in Montenegro brings lots of sunshine, but we definitely get the odd colder day - and we know just how to use them. 😀A cloud-covered day earlier this month was the perfect opportunity to surprise our Lake Skadar guests with a cooking class hosted by our friend Tanja. Together, we learned to make Montenegrin doughnuts called 'priganice', and we were even able to make a version with gluten-free flour, delighting our 10-year-old guest George, who is celiac. From culinary skills to creating unforgettable memories, this cooking class was an experience to savour, and so much fun. 😋If you'd like to try making Montenegrin doughnuts too, check out our blog post below with Tanja's recipe - or join one of our Spring or Autumn multi-day adventures. 👇undiscoveredbalkans.com/a-recipe-for-priganice/#undiscoveredmontenegro #activityholiday #cookingclass ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

Introducing the Miela (Mijela) Trail! 🥾We’re lucky to have some fabulous hiking trails right from our door at Villa Miela Lake Retreat, including the newly marked Mijela Trail to reach Lake Skadar’s stunning shore. Trying it out yesterday, it’s gone right to the top of our local things-to-do list - a perfect “nature fitness” route to start the day, offering 1.5-2 hours of glorious cycling, hiking and trail running, with gorgeous woodland and lake views, wildflowers and our lovely dogs, Coco and Nora for company. 🐾Not only that, the trail shares its name with our guesthouse. Why? Because Miela/Mijela is the old name for this location, inspiring us to name our villa ‘Miela’ all those years ago.😄#undiscoveredmontenegro #villamiela #hikingadventures ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Tomorrow marks Earth Day and what better way to celebrate than by reflecting on the breathtaking beauty of nature? 🌎Recently, we had the pleasure of hiking through the lush forests of Virpazar, where we were treated to a stunning display of the first wild orchids of the season, including the captivating Bee Orchid. As we wandered along mossy trails, we were reminded of the delicate balance of nature, seeing Swallowtail butterflies in abundance, and knowing they are battling to survive in countries like the UK, due to habitat loss and climate change.Let's come together to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of nature and do all we can to preserve it for future generations!☀️#undiscoveredmontenegro #EarthDay #montenegro ... See MoreSee Less
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Man enjoying Multi activity holiday swimming in a crystal clear, bright blue rock pool near Lake Skadar

7 Day Activity Holiday at Montenegro's Lake Skadar

Our original adventure loved by everyone! Kayaking, hiking & wild-swimming...
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7 Day Kayak & Wild Camp Holiday: Lake Skadar, Montenegro

Paddle closer to nature on this unique kayak & camp
Happy family laughing as they walk through an isolated waterfall we have found on our guided tours.

7 Day Family Adventure Holiday in Montenegro

A multi-active summer adventure for families with super-active younger children!

7 Day Birdwatching Holiday in Montenegro

Enjoy an incredible week bird-watching in Montenegro's untamed nature!
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