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Peaks of the Balkans – Why ROW in the Balkans?

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Editor’s Note: Row Adventures was recently featured in the New York Times Travel Section. Please read the well-written piece by Tim Neville. 

In 1974 ROW Adventures’ founder Peter Grubb spent the summer living with a French family and during their summer holiday, visited mountainous Montenegro, then part of Yugoslavia.  Peter still remembers costumed natives walking the roads with donkeys, ploughs pulled by oxen through fields of grain and a sense of times past. Fourteen years later, in 1988, ROW offered its first trip to Yugoslavia – a yachting trip along the Dalmatian Coast – that we still offer to this day, in Croatia.  Peter has led many tours in the region over the past twenty years including a pilot group on the hiking trails of the Peaks of the Balkans in 2012. It is with great pleasure that we now introduce this new tour where new nations and an emerging peace have taken root.

Here’s an excerpt from Neville’s article in the New York Times:

Aid money, remittances and relative stability have helped create a middle class, and tourism in the region is beginning to boom. Guides take groups kayaking under stone bridges in Montenegro, hiking around Albanian archaeological sites and even skiing in Kosovo. New hotels are pumping fresh life into stale Communist hangouts, even if the water isn’t always hot.

“If you want luxury, sorry, go to Paris or New York,” Kela Qendro, a 33-year-old Albanian working for a small tourism company, told me later. “You come here to see the real stuff. The shepherd. The old woman picking pomegranates. You go up to villagers and they will invite you inside their home for the joy of meeting you.”

Mr. Grubb, who runs about seven trips a year to Croatia, had long been fascinated with this less-developed region of the Balkans. About a year ago he learned of an intriguing new way to explore it — on foot.

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