Serbia

Serbia is a landlocked country in the centre of the Balkans, sitting at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe.  To the north is Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria sit to the east, Macedonia is south and to the west are Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. The capital city, Belgrade, is one of the largest in south-east Europe.

Serbia offers a varied holiday to the traveller with many prehistoric sites and medieval monasteries to the ancient and modern sides of Belgrade and peaceful national parks. It has had it’s culture mapped over the years from many different influences as religions and regions have overlapped. The people are made up of Serbs, Croats, Hungarians, Romanians, Gypsies, Germans and Bulgarians who all live together, many in the villages along the shores of the Danube.  Tour the country meeting the locals and enjoying their music, food and wine on the way.

There are several natural history, walking and cycling tours available in Serbia, but I can tailor a holiday to meet your needs if you want to do your own thing. Below is an example of an 8 day self-drive itinerary which takes in the main highlights of Serbia.

Serbia Fly-Drive

Fly to Belgrade and transfer to a hotel for two nights. Sightseeing tour of the city including Belgrade Fortress and Kalemegdan Park, optional tour to Novi Sad, capital of Vojvodina. Collect your car on the second morning and drive to Avala Mountain, the most northerly peak of the Sumadija Ridge. There is the Monument to the Unkown Hero to be found here. Travel through the wine area of Sumadija and Topola and drive to Arandjelovac for an overnight stop. Driving the Zlatibor Mountain pass you with see magnificent gorges with 14 ancient Serbian monasteries from the 13th-16th centuries. On to Mokra Gora and Sarganska Osmica, better known as the Sargan Eight Railway, it passes 5 bridges and 20 tunnels in just over 13 kilometres!  Visit an ethnic village and drive to Vrnjacka Banja, a pretty mineral spa resort. Next day visit Studenica Monastery from the 12th century, the largest Orhodox monastery in Serbia. Visit other historic sites and fortresses and the complex of palaces, summerhouses and gardens at Mediana. Onwards to Smederevo, a medieval city full of hospitable people, history and grapes! After the last night hear, drop off the car and fly home.

Prices from £975 per person based on two sharing with return flights, 7 nights accommodation B&B, some sithgtseeing fees and a Group A car.

Here is an example of a twin centre holiday combining Bosnia-Hertegovina with Serbia and travelling by train:

Train from Sarajevo to Belgrade this is a fascinating trip using the train line which historically was one of the few physical links that bound Muslims, Serbs and Croats.  The network in Bosnia was unusable through the war but it is now running again and this holiday allows you a few nights in each capital city with a train journey joining them. It is a bit of an adventure though … this region of former Yugoslavia means that it requires four different locomotives from four separate rail companies, two passport checks and more than eight hours to cover about 300 miles!

Fly to Sarajevo and three nights in a character hotel.  Two days in the city to explore the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Train to Belgrade in Serbia, departs late morning and arrives mid-late evening.  Three nights in Belgrade with free time to explore or book optional excursions. Belgrade is a mix of architectural history and fascinating culture. Cars are banned so you can walk around the streets easily. Transfer to the airport in Belgrade and fly home.

Prices from £695 per person including return flights, airport transfers, train tickets, 6 nights B&B accommodation.

 

One of the things I have come to love about you, Jules, is that you listen and take on board what makes me tick, and then tailor the holiday to fit me, not just try to convince me to fit a holiday in a brochure!
Ian Furbank
June 30, 2011

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Former Yugoslavia Rail Adventure

On this 16 day adventure you will visit Europe's newest countries and travel by rail through some of the Balkan's most inspiring scenery. Visit 7 capital cities & travel by rail.

Cycling in Serbia

A cycling tour through Serbia following the path of the River Danube through traditional villages and hills, meeting local people and enjoying quiet countryside.