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Have you heard about Balkan? What did you hear? What about Serbia & Montenegro? Never thought about visiting this part of the world? Well, we are sure that you heard about former communist country Yugoslavia, famous by its leader Tito, yugo car and many more things from former country. Today, we want to present you 2 of its republics with all its natural, raw beauty and heritage from rich and tempestuous history. There is so much to experience and explore around here. Beside beautiful landscapes, mountainous countryside, you will find very hospitable, humble people with unique sense of humor and at the end of the tour you will ask yourself – how didn’t I know about these hidden gems before.
On this tour we will start from Serbian province of Vojvodina and its capital Novi Sad, down to capital of Serbia – Belgrade and will go south and southwest to see many beautiful nature scenery, rivers, mountains, lakes, monasteries, cities and then continue to Montenegro, famous by its high snowy mountains, lakes and seaside.
In these countries, history is everywhere. You will learn and experience a lot and will come back home really enriched.
Pick up at Nikola Tesla airport. transport to hotel, free time.
On this tour you’ll get to know Serbia’s northern province. We will see its three different faces– a medieval monastery, a baroque small town, and its charming metropolis.
We start with an hour-long drive through the seemingly endless plains that characterize Vojvodina. As the scenery gradually changes to mildly rolling hills, and corn and wheat fields give way to apple and pear orchards, we are arriving to our first stop – the famous Serb Orthodox monastery of Krušedol. Established in the early 16th century by the last dynasty of medieval Serbia, the Brankovićs, for centuries it served as a burial church for the most illustrious Serbs of the Habsburg Empire – patriarchs, dukes and even an exiled king. Inside the monastery church you will see a stunning late medieval iconostasis and several layers of frescoes but, most importantly, will feel the air of past times and of Orthodox Christian monasticism.
Just a few minutes drive away lays Sremski Karlovci, a historic town well-known for its baroque churches and excellent wine. Today quiet and provincial, for over two centuries the town has been an unofficial capital of Serbs in the Habsburg Empire and as a result the town center boasts several nice palaces and churches, including the grand Orthodox Cathedral. After sightseeing, we continue to a local wine cellar where you will be treated with tasting of local wines among them also bermet, the much cherished specialty of Sremski Karlovci, which spread its fame to Vienna and beyond.
Not far away is a totally different historic monument – the Petrovaradin Fortress. The cliffs of steep hill above the Danube have been fortified by the Habsburgs for over a century in order to make it their strongest point of defense towards the Turks. The final result is the mightiest fortification on the Danube with dozens of bastions, trenches and gates, today fully enjoyed by locals and visitors. This citadel is also know for its stunning view over the whole of the city of Novi Sad as well as for Exit Fest, for years one of the best music festivals in Europe.
On the other side of the river spreads Novi Sad, the capital of Vojvodina. Though not as old as its neighbors, the city boasts a lovely 19th century center teeming with stylishly dressed youth, many churches of its ethnically diverse population and museums and galleries packed with history and art, from Roman helmets to modernist paintings. After a lunch in the city center you will have time to explore Novi Sad on your own.
After breakfast we will take you to all the most important spots in Serbia’s capital and give you a different perspective of this dynamic city. After being picked up from your hotel, we will drive you to Zemun which until a century ago used to be a part of Austria-Hungary and which still retains much of its separate identity. We will walk its picturesque side alleys from the famous farmers’ market to the top of Gardoš Hill, crowned by the 1896 prospect tower, to enjoy one of the nicest panoramic views with the Danube and whole of central Belgrade laid out in front of us. Afterwards, we suggest taking a break in one of the cafés by the Danube, just like the locals do. Driving back to the other bank of River Sava where our next stop will be the quarter of Vračar and the imposing Church of Saint Sava, one of the three largest Orthodox Christian churches in the world. After admiring its size and stories of its origins and controversies surrounding it, we go to see the city center, its very heart – the green Kalemegdan Park and the historic Citadel rising above the confluence of River Sava into the Danube. Here we will take a stroll to admire most memorable views and see the Citadel’s many historic monuments, gates and towers.
After a short free time we depart from Belgrade to Arandjelovac, a place in the heart of Šumadija which is known after the benefits of the mineral water, in whose healing properties once had enjoyed Prince Miloš Obrenović, and now numerous tourists enjoy in it. It is a town on whose doors stands the fascinating Risovača Cave, and in whose heart lays one very beautiful park. Free time for sightseeing, or optional lunch in an ethno restaurant Brestovi.
After we rested, it is time to know “rebellious Serbia” and it’s path of establishing modern state while visiting Topola and Oplenac hill complex, dedicated to Karadjordević dinasty.
Topola served as Karadjordje campaign headquarters during the First National Uprising and today this area is famous as wine region.
After visiting Topola you will continue to Oplenac hill complex where you will visit several sites. First of them is King Peter’s House with thematic exhibitions dedicated to the Karadjordjević Royal Family. Exhibitions includes numerous relics and symbols of artistic and material value. The second stop is Church of St. George which is the mausoleum of the Serbian and Yugoslav Royal house of Karadjorđević. Decorated entirely with spectacular mosaics, church is sort of a museum of reproductions of the most beautiful frescoes of the medieval Serbian art. Then you will continue to Royal wine cellar– on the hills of Oplenac, where King Peter I planted vineyards, from which they made superb wine. Wine from this region was well known for it’s quality among major European royal courts. The last stop is Karadjordje’s konak, once fortified residence of Djordje Petrović – Karadjorđe during First Serbian Uprising (1804.) now stands as a museum dedicated to him.
Our next place is Gornji Milanovac where we will see an unusual building shaped like a Viking ship, better known as a Norwegian House. As such, it has long been one of the favourite spots for tourists and especially Serbian youth going on school excursions. They have been coming there for years to learn more about the Yugoslav Prisoners of War during the Second World War in Norway, as the House is also home to unique museum, but also a restaurant.
Overnight in a hotel in Gornji Milanovac.
Departure from Gornji Milanovac, after breakfast.
Travelling to Zlatibor mountain with an optional excursion to Mušvete village for the prosciutto, pancetta, brandy and wine tasting… An unusual thing is that one Dalmatian discovered that the best place to make prosciutto is on Zlatibor mountain – far from the sea coast of Dalmatia. Visit the company “Aćim” engaged in production of dry meat products and wine. Tasting of Dalmatian smoked ham from Zlatibor, Dalmatian bacon, sausage and wine.
Arrival in Zlatibor, free time for sightseeing, an optional lunch.
Tour to Stopića cave ,The open-air museum of Sirogojno, Gostilje waterfall (included).
Stopića cave ranks among the most beautiful caves in Serbia and features the deepest limestone pool in Serbia and is designated as the Monument of Nature of the first category. You will be amazed with an extensive entrance and dimension of the halls, as well as with the beauty of the cascades and waterfalls.
Visit of the open-air museum of Sirogojno where you will learn about traditional life of Serbia’s peasants in previous centuries. Covering nearly 5 hectares with authentic elements of ordinary life collected from all over the Zlatibor region from the 19th century, the ethno-village displays a set of traditional wooden buildings, all in authentic form.
The third attraction we are planning to visit is the Gostilje waterfall. It is located in a remote place in the forest surrounded with beautiful untouched nature. The stream is coming on a 20 meters rock here and falls down along mossy stones spraying cold water around.
Overnight in a hotel in Zlatibor.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Mokra Gora is located on the northern slopes of mountain Zlatibor, a popular tourist destination.
Mokra Gora has become popular after a reconstruction of a narrow gauge railway called Šargan Eight. Ride with the train “The Shargan 8”. Duration of the ride is around 3 hours.
Its route viewed from the sky, looks like the number 8 and it is running from the village of Mokra Gora to Šargan Vitasi station.
You will experience the ride in this train while listening to interesting stories about this region and railroad’s history. This line has a large number of bridges and 19 tunnels ,which makes it unique in Europe.
During the journey there are several breath-taking spots where we can make stop for short break and taking photos.
Transfer to Drvengrad in Mokra Gora.
When approaching Mokra Gora, you will notice the outline of a traditional-looking village.
This is the village of Drvengrad also known as Kustendorf or Mećavnik.
After drive along Šargan Eight railway through beautiful sceneries you will visit Drvengrad ethno complex. This traditional village was built by Serbian film director Emir Kusturica (who won twice Palm d’Or on Cannes film festival) and it is a place where winter film festival Küstendorf is held every year. Drvengrad was constructed as a set for his 2004. release “Life is a Miracle”.
You will enjoy traditional ambient by walking through Drvengrad’s streets.
Optional lunch at the restaurant “Lotika” in Drvengrad.
Visit the famous Kremna, village known for the Serbian prophets of family Tarabić.
In late afternoon we will be back in Zlatibor.
Overnight in a hotel in Zlatibor.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure to Sjenica, the ranger’s camp on the river at the entrance to the nature reserve Uvac River Gorge.
Boarding the boat and ride through the meanders of the river Uvac.
Visiting the griffon vulture nests.
Entry into the ice cave directly from the river.
The return with optional swimming in the canyon below Medieval Fortress Klek (depending on weather conditions).
Upon arrival awaits you grilled meat with the famous Sjenica cheese.
Optional – 20 minutes safari in one direction over meadows and rough trails of Zlatarska plateau.
Arrival at the “Prayer” lookout, where the giant vultures flying below you, and meanders of Uvac
will be seen in all its glory.
Return to the beach by jeeps.
Central morphological entity represents the canyon valley of the river Uvac with the valleys of its tributaries. Special site of the canyon valley are curving meanders. Capes of meanders have relative heights of up to 100 m. The environment is made up of lime rocks and fields. Caves are numerous and vary in size from rock shelters to the largest known cave system in Serbia, such as Ušac cave system (6185 m long). Caves are very rich in speleothem deposits left by dripping water to form stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, transparent needles etc.
Special Nature Reserve Uvac distinguishes the presence of 104 bird species. The greatest attraction in the reserve is griffon vulture (Gyps Fulvus). Griffon vulture is a vulture species, impressive size and a has wingspan of up to 3 meters which makes it a powerful flier whose flight has been studied by scientists – aeronautic engineers and applied in aircraft construction.
Overnight in a hotel in Sjenica.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leaving the hotel. Coffee break at Zlatar.
Visiting of Monastery Mileševa (spiritual trip in one of most beautiful monastery of Serbia).
Mileševa Monastery was built between 1218 and 1219, and frescos were painted from 1222 to 1228. It was founded by King Vladislav, son of the King Stefan Provovenčani (eng. First-Crowned), and grandson of Nemanja. Vladislav built Mileševa to be his legacy and a place where he would be buried.
One of the most famous frescoes in the Monastery Mileševa is “White Angel”. It is considered as one of the most beautiful works of Serbian and European medieval art.
The medieval city Mileševac, situated on the very beginning of the canyon of the river Mileševka – represents a very well preserved and significant natural area, a heaven for many rare and old species.
The name Kamena Gora (eng. Stone Mountain) was given after the landscape in which it is located – a forest on a rocky mountain, i.e. “a mountain on a stone”. The oldest inhabitant of Kamena Gora is an old pine that was estimated to be 400 years old.
Lunch break or coffee break at Kamena Gora.
Arriving in Žabljak, a beautiful little town located in mount Durmitor at altitude over 1400 meters.
Being practically in the middle of Durmitor National Park, Žabljak is the perfect place for deep relaxation and pleasant hiking.
If we have time, we will visit the Black Lake and take a bathe in it. A walk around the Black Lake takes about 2 hours and it is a very pleasant experience. The site of Celina, Tito’s cave and Nikolina’s chairs are places where we need to stay a little bit. As far as bathing is concerned, it is important to take a towel and dry costume with you, because of possible wind. In addition to walking, it is not bad idea to rent a boat on the oars and ride along the lake. In addition to this, there is also an Adventure Park.
Or we will have to leave it for tomorrow, and that day we will be satisfied with the shortened version of a tour around.
For those in a need for a more active holiday, Žabljak also offers more adventurous activities such as mountain climbing, whitewater river rafting, horse riding, base jumping, zip lines..etc.
Overnight in a hotel in Žabljak.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Durmitor is the most beautiful mountain in Montenegro; crown in the Montenegrin mountain range, surrounded by glacial emerald lakes.
At the foot of Durmitor is the highest city in Montenegro – Žabljak, surrounded by 23 mountain peaks.
All this landscape enriched with freshness and color numerous mountain lakes of glacial origin, spacious forest of softwoods, relic beech trees, dark green colonies, as well as many canyon valleys of wild rivers.
Durmitor has 48 peaks over 2,000 meters, 18 mountain eyes – beautiful glacier lakes, 5 canyons and over 500 km of marked trails and it is among the best marked mountains.
If we do not visit the Black Lake then we will go to Ćurevac, and get to know the most beautiful canyon of Europe, the canyon of the Tara River. It takes some 30-45 minutes of mild climbing.
When we climb up, we will have a divine view of the canyon and mountains in Bosnia.
The option is also a tour of Lake Jablan.
We can spend the day on a tour of the Black, Zminje and Barno Lake.
Or, climbing Savin Kuk, which we can do easy with the cableway.
Some other options: the Circular Road around Međed where we can climb to the Međed, but it is not binding.
It is worthwhile to climb on Međed, because there is a unique view of the Black Lake and Žabljak plain.
Or we could go to Škrčka Lake to get to know the other side of Durmitor.
Instead of Lake Škrčka, we can go to the Ice Cave, Prutaš, …
Durmitor offers a handful of options, so we can choose a specific one.
There is also a possibility for Red Rock Zipline, Kayaking and canoeing, Paragliding…
After Žabljak we are going to the seaside and Kotor. We will need more than 3 hours to go there, including breaks.
Overnight in a hotel in Kotor.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Kotor tour begins at the main gate of the Old Town, also known as the Sea Gate (Morska vrata).
The tour will take you inside the city gates, and you will visit: The Square of Arms, Clock Tower, Flour Square with Pima and Buca Palaces, St Tryphon Cathedral, with short guided tour of the Cathedral, The Bokelian Navy Square with Karampana, The St Luke Square with St Luke and St Nikola churches, St Mary of the River (The Blessed Ozana), Northern Gate with Skurda river.
Kotor is situated in the most secluded part of Boka Kotorska (The Bay of Kotor). Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is home to several sights of interest, including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (1166), and the ancient walls which stretch for 3 miles on the steep hillside directly above the city. Many empires battled for control over the city throughout the centuries: from being an autonomous city of the Byzantine Empire, free city of medieval Serbia, then under Venetian or Hungarian states, gaining independence and then returned to Venetian control once again, just to be occupied by France and then Austria, until Kotor finally became part of Yugoslavia.
Free time for exploring the city, lunch, rest …
Tour Kotor – Perast old town – Islands Our Lady of the the Rock
The Bay of Kotor (Boka) will fascinate you! It looks as if the mountains have cracked and let the sea in.
This is the southernmost fjord in Europe. The high mountains bend over the thin coastline thus protecting it from the severe climate from the north. That is why Boka is an oasis of Mediterranean vegetation: agave, palm, mimosa, oleander, kiwi, pomegranate, medicinal herbs. When its peaks are covered with snow, the roses bloom in the foothills. The church Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rock) was raised in 1630 on an artificial island, which was built by fishermen from Perast, a beautiful, small and peaceful town located across the island. The old city does not have a defensive wall, but instead it has nine defensive towers, the most important of which is the tower of the Holy Cross. These were built by the navy of the Venetian Republic in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Return to Kotor where we will have a farewell dinner in the evening.
Last day of our Balkan trip, we will transfer you from hotel in Kotor to airport in Podgorica, capital of Montenegro.
The rest of the content according to the available free time (depending on the arrivals/departures of the aircraft).
End of the tour.
Passport and visas
Your passport should be valid for six months after the date of your scheduled return home. Full passport details are required at the time of booking. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
Visa’s are not required for citizens of most countries in America and Western Europe. However, it is the responsibility of the individual traveler. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Also, remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
Make sure you have Travel Insurance and that you are adequately covered for Cancellation, Curtailment and Medical Insurance prior to your holiday departure. Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. When traveling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in the country.
Couple of rules
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
We like to call them “Leaders” and not “Guides” because they are essentially your well traveled, experienced friends! While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. Our Leaders main goals are to ensure everyone on the trip is having the best time possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. They know the trip locations well and have great relationships with all our contacts in each destination. Not to mention they are all extremely fun and easy going people who continue to showcase the essence of what makes us Eco Explorer!
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns. While traveling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Our holidays are renowned for being friendly, fun experiences, and our small groups frequently include a significant number of single travelers. You’ll feel very welcome amongst people who share a passion for seeing the world on foot and the outdoor life.
Minimum group sizes
As with all group tour operators, we require a minimum number of participants to operate each holiday. Should this number not be reached, the holiday will not be commercially viable and we reserve the right to cancel it. This will be done reluctantly and an offer of a suitable alternative holiday will be provided wherever possible.