Autumn/Spring family adventure week
“We booked 7 nights in October. The weather was perfect, we all came home with a healthy glow. The whole week was memorable! The warm welcome from Ben and Emma, hiking without seeing another soul just lots of beautiful scenery, picking (and eating) wild pomegranates, swimming in rock pools and under waterfalls, toasting marshmallows in the fire pit, encountering a wild boar not far from the villa, taking endless photos of the children diving into the lake….” – Rachel Carter, October 2022
Departure dates: w/c 31st March, 8th April, 20th and 27th October 2024
Featured by The Times & The Guardian, our week-long multi-activity holiday at Lake Skadar has been our best-selling package for years. We often get asked by families if it’s suitable outside of summer – “is it warm enough to swim?” – to which we can now answer – yes!
Based on the principle that there’s no such thing as poor weather – only poor planning – we have made this week more or less weather proof for an action-packed half term activity holiday for Easter, May or October dates that will keep the kids busy, maybe wear them out a little (!) and give a taste of adventure for those parents who still refuse to properly grow up!
Hiking, kayaking, canyoning, bushcraft lessons, wild swimming, caving and cooking on the fire are the activities on offer. Each has a specialist guide and with wetsuits packed and ready to go, you can swim at a moment’s notice even in the cooler temperatures of early spring and late autumn (air temperatures range between 17-27 degrees).
Your base for the week is the picturesque village of Virpazar with accommodation provided at Villa Miela, our family-friendly activity base, or in our top choice of local lodgings once Villa Miela is full (our groups number up to 14 in size with up to 10 guests based at Villa Miela and the rest at our neighbour’s family lodge; facilities like Villa Miela’s fire-pit and swimming pool are shared).
Make new friends and discover world class natural beauty as you enjoy five expertly guided family adventures spread out over the Easter holiday, May and October half term weeks. You also have a day completely free to explore amazing Montenegro by yourselves or simply kick back and relax!
The itinerary for this holiday is fixed – that is to say that other then the order (which depends on the weather), what you read is what you’ll get to do. This holiday is suitable for families with a reasonable level of physical fitness and adventurous spirit! Click here to read more about our activity levels.
Book to Give Back – every booking sparks a donation to our chosen local environmental and community causes!
Your Tour Leaders:
Tobi and Adel are the 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. They speak fluent English, German and Hungarian and are learning Montenegrin!
UM Founders Ben and Emma have been running Undiscovered Montenegro together for 15 years, committed to providing top quality sustainable adventures based on their extensive local knowledge and global know-how. They both speak near fluent Montenegrin/Serbian as well as English.
Want to see more? Watch our video!
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival at Virpazar from your chosen airport. There is a 3-course welcome dinner on Villa Miela’s terrace around 6pm so that we can all get to know each other.
Day 2 – Explore & Discovery
An unforgettable car and hiking combination tour. We will drive past breathtaking views, hike to rock-pools for wild swimming (bring those wetsuits!), visit bat-inhabited caves before lunching at a former royal residence in historic Rijeka Crnojevića. We then jump back in the 4×4 for more stunning views, some extra wild river or waterfall swimming and then heading across a magnificent plain that would not look out of place in Africa. The breathtaking view from the ancient fort of Zabljak Crnojevića is our final stop before returning to Virpazar.
Day 3 – Bushcraft skills day 1
Want to make the most of your days out in nature? Then let Lake Skadar National Park ranger Kristijan introduce you to some of the essential bushcraft skills! Starting a fire, without matches, building a bivuac out of available materials, whittling a spoon – if you or your children are into getting close to the natural world (and we’re pretty sure you are), this day out is is a pretty good way to ensure that come the zombie apocalypse, your family will be one left standing! We camp overnight.
Day 4 – Bushcraft skills day 2
Your first day was about survival techniques – your second is about thriving in the outdoor environment! Navigation, fishing, foraging for and preparing food in nature, safe use of tools – it’s all about putting your new skills into practice in the setting of this stunning National Park. Dinner is a “peka” back at Villa Miela – a delicious, slow-cooked stew cooked over our fire pit, where all guests are encouraged to muck in and help prepare and cook the meal!
Day 5 – Kayaking safari
Suitable for all levels of fitness, this 4-5 hour kayak trip will take you across stunning mirrored waters from Murići on the southern shores, (also home to the lake’s best freshwater beach), with views up to the fabled peaks of Albania’s Accursed Mountains. You’ll have the lake all to yourself as you swim in crystal clear waters and visit the lake’s renowned 14th century island monastaries, all the while taking in the awesome views, varied bird-life and glorious solitude.
Beginners are welcome – your guide is a UK qualified instructor!
Day 6 – Rikovac Canyon
Our next adventure will start with a half an hour ride through the longest tunnel in Montenegro, reaching Stari Bar – an ancient place near the Adriatic Sea whose remains convey the long and turbulent history of the local community. Nearby is Rikavac Canyon, a child-friendly rappelling and abseiling course which contains about 1.5 hours of canyoning through the waterfalls and jumping into deep natural pools. Highly experienced guides make this trip 100% safe and enjoyable! After this adventure, we’ll come down to the village under the old fortress to enjoy local delicacies for lunch – a mix of local and eastern styles.
Day 7 – rest day
There’s so much to discover at Lake Skadar National Park! Take the complimentary bicycles out for a spin, try out some of the self-guided walking trails, head out to see the coast (only 30 minutes away), chill out and play some boules in Villa Miela’s garden – or practice those fire-starting skills roasting some marshmallows in our fire pit!
Day 8 – Departure
NB., in case of rain or poor weather, bushcraft lessons can take place under our covered yoga deck. There is also the option of visiting the famous Lipa Cave, a staggering underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites suitable for visitors of all ages.
Prices are in £ Sterling per person per week and include 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation at Villa Miela, 2 dinners, 4 standard activities (some lunches included, some extra) and complimentary use of mountain bikes. Flights are not included.
Please note that all parties may share Villa Miela with other independent bookings.
The activities run by us include all transport, translation, equipment and packed lunches where offered. Please note that all third party providers of food are to be paid direct by the guests as part of our “no commission” policy to support the local economy.
A beautifully renovated farmhouse with swimming pool, Villa Miela is the ideal base for guests on our Lake Skadar multi-activity holidays. With panoramic views and a prime location offering easy access to the lake’s southern and northern shores as well as Virpazar’s restaurants and shops, it’s the perfect place to stay for families, couples and groups of friends. Make new friends as you share the well stocked kitchen, gorgeous outdoor terrace, gas BBQ and swimming pool, or take over the whole complex if your group numbers 6 or more (a supplement may be charged).
At a glance
Sleeps 8-10 with 2 double rooms, 1 twin and one 4-bed dorm room, each with private bathroom
Modern kitchen with all amenities
Open-plan living room with TV, DVD player and library of books and films
Large terrace with gas barbecue, loungers, hammocks, boules court, swimming pool; incredible views over lake, valley and mountains
Extensive grounds with natural orchard and wild tortoises
Two minutes from the lake shore, 30 minutes from the Adriatic coast
Free use of mountain bikes
Exposed stone details and wooden ceilings and floors add to the charm, with locally produced, handmade bedspreads and bathroom soaps also handmade from olive oil. Stunning views are offered up by each bedroom and the open-plan living area.
The modern kitchen comes equipped with washing-machine and dishwasher.