Day 1: Belgrade (city tour) – Topola - Belgrade.
Get acquainted with the capital city of Serbia through a morning city tour including a panoramic drive through town and a guided walk of Kalemegdan fortress. In the afternoon, visit Topola (with the memorial house of Karadjordje - legendary leader of first Serbian uprising against the Ottomans and also St George Church – mausoleum of the Karadjordjevic dynasty – beautiful church whose interior is covered in mosaic frescoes). Overnight in Belgrade, at local hotel.
Day 2: Belgrade – Full day trip to Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci and Krusedol Monastery – Belgrade.
Take a full day trip to Vojvodina region – the autonomous province that is such a melting pot of cultures, religions and ethnic groups. In Novi Sad (the administrative capital of Vojvodina) visit the Old Town and also Petrovaradin fortress – dubbed as the Gibraltar of the Danube. Continue to Sremski Karlovci (nice Baroque city center) and take a city walk there. Also on the list for this day: Krusedol Monastery (16th century) – most famous of all monasteries of Fruska Gora mountain region (known also as the Serbian holy mountain due to many monasteries here). Overnight in Belgrade, at local hotel.
Day 3: Belgrade – Viminacijum – Iron Gates area.
Leave Belgrade for your Balkan adventure. Visit Smederevo and its the medieval fortress on the Danube, then see the ruins and museum of Viminacijum (near Kostolac) – ancient Roman city, former capital of the province of Moesia Superior. Continue to the Iron Gates area and see Golubac Castle. Overnight in private home/ethno house in Iron Gates area.
Day 4: Iron Gates area – Zajecar.
Spend the entire morning driving along the Danube through the Iron Gates area, all the way to the Iron Gates Dam I (Kladovo). Spectacular picture opportunities. Overnight in Zajecar, at local hotel.
Day 5: Zajecar – Nis/Mediana.
Morning visit to Felix Romuliana/Gamzigrad (UNESCO Heritage, ancient Roman complex of palaces built by Emperor Galerius). Continue to Nis, birth place of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and visit Mediana – Roman archaeological site and former imperial residence. Overnight in Nis area, at local hotel.
Day 6: Nis – Djavolja Varos (Devils’ Town) – Skopje.
Morning short tour of Nis, with views of well known Skull Tower and Nis Fortress. Continue with a visit the impressive natural site “Djavolja Varos” (Devils’ Town). Then, travel to Macedonia. Overnight in Skopje, at local hotel.
Day 7: Skopje.
Full day in Skopje (Macedonia’s capital), with morning city tour with local guide and afternoon free time in the afternoon. Overnight in Skopje, at local hotel.
Day 8: Skopje – Ohrid.
Drive to Ohrid – city by the well known lake with the same name. Walking tour of Ohrid with local guide and free time. Overnight in Ohrid, at local hotel.
Day 9: Ohrid – Tirana.
Transfer to Albania’s capital Tirana. Afternoon city tour of Tirana with local guide. Overnight in Tirana, at local hotel.
Day 10: Tirana – Durres – Shkoder – Podgorica.
Drive to the Durres – city with troubled history of over 2500 years - to see the Albanian coast. Continue to Shkodra – old town with dramatic setting by Balkan’s largest lake with same name. City visit, then continue to Montenegro’s capital city, Podgorica. Overnight in Podgorica, at local hotel.
Day 11: Podgorica – Niksic – Kotor.
Short panoramic drive of Podgorica. Continue then towards Niksic, visiting along the way the monastery Vasilje Ostroski (17th century) – a place of pilgrimage for all orthodox Yugoslavs, known as a miracle working place. From Niksic, head to the Adriatic coast and Kotor – a town with ancient history, rightfully placed on the UNESCO World heritage list. Overnight in Kotor, at local hotel or private apartment.
Day 12: Kotor and surroundings.
Spend this day in the surroundings of Kotor. Drive to Njegus – place of origin and production of the famous Montenegrin specialty Njeguski ham (tasting included) and drive up to Lovcen mountain and visit the mausoleum of Peter II Petrovic Njegus (Montenegrin ruler and man of culture) – if weather is good, you can see all of Montenegro from the top – locals claim even Italy is visible! Overnight in Kotor, at local hotel or private apartment.
Day 13: Kotor – Mostar.
In the morning, finally get acquainted with Kotor’s Old Town through your guide’s explanations. Then it is time to discover a new destination – Bosnia and Hercegovina. Visit Medjugorjie – famous Catholic pilgrimage site. Afterwards head for Mostar. Overnight in Mostar, at local hotel.
Day 14: Mostar – Sarajevo.
Spend the morning in Mostar – largest town of Hercegovina area, famous for its old bridge over Neretva river, built during the Turkish domination, destroyed during the recent civil war in Yugoslavia and rebuild now – excellent picture opportunities in this quaint little town. Transfer to Sarajevo in late afternoon. Overnight in Sarajevo, at local hotel in the historical quarter of town.
Day 15: Sarajevo.
Half day city tour of Sarajevo, including Avaz Twist Tower, Tunnel Museum, Gazi Husrev Mosque and old town quarter (Bašcaršija). Free afternoon. Overnight in Sarajevo, at local hotel in the historical quarter of town.
Day 16: Sarajevo – Visegrad – Mokra Gora.
From Sarajevo take a scenic route through the mountains towards Serbia. Short stop in Visegrad for photos of the Bridge on the Drina (made famous by the book with the same name by Ivo Andric – Nobel prize winner). The last stop of the day is Drvengrad, the ethno-village of movie director Emir Kusturica. He had it built for his film “Life Is a Miracle”, but it is now open for visitors. Overnight in an ethno house in Drvengrad.
Day 17: Mokra Gora – Ovcar Kablar Gorge - Gornji Milanovac area.
Ride on the Sargan 8 train - a narrow gauge heritage railway in Serbia, running from the village of Mokra Gora to Šargan Vitasi station. Then, while enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Ovcar- Kablar gorge and with tow stops at medieval monasteries St John and St Nicholas, drive to Gornji Milanovac. Dinner and overnight in private home/ethno house in Gornji Milanovac area.
Day 18: Gornji Milanovac area – Zica Monastery - Studenica Monastery.
Say good-bye to your host family and continue with the visit to two of Serbia’s best known landmarks: Zica Monastery (originally dating back to the 13th century and the first seat of the Serbian Archbishopric in the times of St Sava) and Studenica Monastery (UNESCO heritage site dating back to the 12th century, burial place of its founder, the first king of Serbia’s most significant medieval royal dynasty, Stephan Nemanja). Dinner and overnight in Studenica Monastery dormitory.
Day 19: Studenica Monastery – Novi Pazar – Kosovo (end of services)/Belgrade (end of services).
Drive south towards Kosovo area with visits to Novi Pazar area (St Peter and Paul’s Church – 9th century, considered to be the oldest church on Serbian territory and Djurdjevi Stupovi – 12th century Serbian monastery, UNESCO heritage site), then Sopocani Monastery (UNESCO heritage site dating to 13th century, famous for its beautiful original fresco art) and end by Kosovo border. Optionally, transfer to Belgrade can be arranged instead.
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Europe Serbia Albania Montenegro Local Culture Sightseeing Cultural Journey
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