Serbia - Gem of the Balkans

9 days
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£1,349
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
ADJ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–18

Discover the rich culture, long held traditions, fascinating history and natural beauty of Serbia

Serbia is one of Europe’s most culturally rich and proud nations, and for centuries has been influenced by both the east and the west in equal measures. Often misunderstood, it is a land of long held traditions, with a strong national identity and a complex, yet fascinating history. On this cultural highlights trip, we delve right into the country’s heart to uncover the diversity of the ‘real’ Serbia. This trip contrasts vibrant Belgrade and historic Novi Sad with visits to wine cellars and traditional wineries, UNESCO heritage sights and monasteries, the stunning Uvac Special Nature Reserve and the chance to ride the famous Sargan 8 train.There's also plenty of opportunities to experience the warm and heart felt hospitality of the Serbian people as well as their delicious cuisine.

Highlights

  • Vibrant Belgrade and historic Novi Sad
  • Wine tastings, warm hospitality and delicious Serbian cuisine
  • Classic Sargan 8 train
  • Uvac Special Nature Reserve
  • Visit Serbia's most sacred monasteries; Ravanica and UNESCO listed Studenica

Key information

  • 8 nights comfortable hotels, all rooms en suite
  • Cultural discovery trip of Serbia
  • Group normally 4 to 18 plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private air conditioned minibus

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners 
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Belgrade; wine tasting in Sremski Karlovci; onto Novi Sad

    Arriving in Belgrade in the afternoon, we will then transfer by minibus (approx 1 hour) to the picturesque town of Sremski Karlovci, known as the cultural, historical and educational centre of the Serbs.

    We will be visiting one of the most famous wine cellars of Sremski Karlovci. Here we will have the opportunity to taste 3 sorts of the famous Fruska Gora wines, followed with a short introduction to the rich traditions of wine production and Vojvodina lifestyle. This wine cellar displays antique furniture and traditional agricultural tools.

    We will then take a short transfer to Novi Sad, the capital of Serbia's northern province of Vojvodina. After arriving at our hotel, we will enjoy a welcome dinner.
    Fontana Hotel, City Hotel Veliki or similar

     

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Sightseeing tour of Novi Sad including a visit to the City Tunnel Museum. Transfer to Jagodina in central Serbia.

    This morning after breakfast we will enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Novi Sad visiting sights such as the city hall, the cathedral, Liberty Square, the historic centre of town, as well as the Petrovaradin Fortress to enjoy the best panorama views of the city. We will also have the opportunity to visit the City Museum of Novi Sad, including its impressive tunnels.

    We will then transfer (approx 2-3 hours) to Jagodina in Central Serbia.
    Hill Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Visit to the famous medieval Ravanica Monastery before travelling to the Zupa wine region. Enjoy lunch and wine tasting at the Nikolic Winery then transfer to the Queen of all Serbia's spa towns, Vrnjacka Banja.

    This morning we will take a short transfer (approx 30 minutes) to the nearby Ravanica Monastery and explore one of the most famous mediaeval monasteries of Serbia. Completed in the 1370's, this orthodox monastery still remains a pilgrim's destination today. It is considered a cultural monument of exceptional importance due to the monastery being the final resting place of Prince Lazar, who died in the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 and is highly regarded in Serbian history, culture and tradition of the Serbs.

    We then transfer (approx. 1- 1.5 hours) to the gentle hilly Zupa wine region, one of Serbia's most important wine production areas. Wine making in Serbia spans back more than 1000 years and it has been an important part of Serbian culture through the ages. Here we will be welcomed by our hosts in traditional costume at the winery of the Nikolic family. There will be an opportunity to walk through the vineyards and then enjoy a wine tasting and traditional meal.

    Later in the afternoon we will drive on to Vrnjacka Banja (approx 1.5 hours) to the Queen of all of Serbia's spa towns where we will stay overnight in a hotel.
    Otava Lux Villa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Drive along Ibar River Gorge and visit the UNESCO Studenica Monastery complex including a monastic lunch. Afterwards drive along the wilderness of Serbia to Zlatar Mountain.

    After breakfast we will drive along the Ibar River Gorge (approx 1.5-2 hours) and visit the Studenica Monastery complex, a UNESCO Heritage site. Founded in 1190, the Studenica Monastery is the magnificant mother church of all Serbian shrines as it is the mausoleum church of Stefan Nemanya who was the most powerful and prominent ruler of the Serbian Mediaeval State. Here we will have a sightseeing tour of the well-preserved 13th century monastic complex and will enjoy a special lunch accompanied by a glass of their red monastic wine.

    In the afternoon we will drive (approx 2.5-3 hours) along the wilderness of Central-Western Serbia to Zlatar Mountain, known for its flowering meadows, pine and birch forests and medicinal herbs. Here we will stay overnight at our hotel in the deep pine forest.
    Zlatarski Zlatnik Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Half day visit to the Uvac Special Nature Reserve and enjoy a boat ride along the lake. Visit the Zlatar cheese producer for tastings of homemade buckwheat pie and honey. Transfer to Zlatibor Mountain.

    This morning we will transfer (approx 45 minutes) to the Uvac Special Nature Reserve for a half day visit. Here we will enjoy a boat ride along the lake while observing the nests of Griffin vultures set on the high cliffs within their pure environment. This colony is the largest colony of Griffin vultures in the Balkans.

    Our visit to the Uvac Special Nature Reserve will be followed by a visit to a famous cheese producer in Zlatar where we will enjoy a lunch and tasting of homemade buckwheat pie and natural honey. From here, we can enjoy a spectacular view of the Uvac river and its surroundings.

    We will then drive (approx 1 hour) onto the most famous mountain tourist centre of Serbia, Zlatibor Mountain where we will spend the next 2 nights.
    Iris Spa Hotel Zlatibor, Idila Spa Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    In the morning drive to Mokra Gora and take the Sargan 8 Train ride. In the afternoon drive to the Staro Selo Sirogojno open air museum. Return to Zlatibor Mountain.

    After breakfast we will drive (approx 30-45 minutes) to Mokra Gora where we will take the Sargan 8 Train ride through the well-preserved environment of the Mokra Gora Nature Park. The Sargan Eight is a narrow-gauge heritage railway in Serbia, running from the village of Mokra Gora to Sargan Vitasi station. From Sarajevo to Belgrade, the railway with a gauge of 760 mm (2 ft 5 15⁄16) originally ran from 1925 to 1974 and was an important connection. The route goes from Mokra Gora to Sargan Vitasi passing through 22 tunnels, over five bridges and climbing 300 metres.

    We will then drive (approx 1 hour) to visit the Staro Selo Sirogojno open air museum where we will get the chance to tour the museum and see the best representation of the Dinaric highlander's heritage and way of life. Here we will also eat a traditional lunch before returning to our hotel in Zlatibor for the evening.
    Iris Spa Hotel Zlatibor, Idila Spa Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Transfer to Belgrade visiting Potpec Pecina Cave or the nearby Zlakusa village and pottery manufacturer along the way.

    After breakfast we will transfer to Belgrade (approx 4 hours not including stops) with a stop along the way at either the Potpec Pecina Cave or visit the nearby village of Zlakusa to see a pottery manufacturer.
    Excelsior Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Enjoy a half day Belgrade city tour and then free time to explore the city before the final group farewell dinner.

    This morning we will take a half day city tour of Belgrade including sights such as the National Theatre, Parliament, Saint Sava Orthodox Cathedral (the 2nd largest Orthodox church in the world), Republic Square & Kalemegdan Fortress.

    The rest of the day will be free for you to explore the city. We will then meet for a special final farewell dinner.
    Excelsior Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    End Belgrade. Fly to London.

    Transfer to Belgrade Airport; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Serbia

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Serbia

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 2 dinners are included on this trip. Drinks with dinners and some lunches are not included.

Breakfast in Serbia usually consists of bread and pastries, dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, cereal, eggs cooked in a variety of ways, smoked meats, honey, tea and coffee, milk and juices. On this trip you will have the chance to try homemade breads and cheese and buckwheat pies.

Food in Serbia is quite varied and meal sizes tend to be large thanks to the many influences on the region from the Mediterranean, Middle East and Europe. Pork and veal are very popular meats. Soups, pies and dairy products are staple items and salads are typically eaten with main courses. Sweets and pastries are much loved in Serbia as well.

Vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, but options are limited throughout Serbia - please inform the office of any specific requirements upon booking.

Weather

Serbia enjoys a similar climate to most of Central Europe - hot summers, cool springs and autumns and cold winters with considerable snowfall. We visit from May to October, when temperatures will be generally warmer during the height of summer (20-35 degrees). However these temperatures will be a little cooler in the mountain areas. It is here that we are right in the middle of the Central Dinaric Alps, a rough and unpredictable place where Mediterranean and Continental Alpine Climates vie for supremacy. The result is an extremely unstable climate even in summer. Rain can fall at any time of the year, although in mid-summer it is more likely to come as short, sharp thunderstorms.

Belgrade

Is this trip for you?

This trip is Activity Level 1- Leisurely.

This is a cultural trip exploring Serbia's capital Belgrade, picturesque towns and villages, monasteries, nature reserves and wineries. We visit the main highlights of Serbia with a focus on history, culture and cuisine. This is not a particularly active trip, though there is some walking in Belgrade and in the towns and villages.

Please note: The start point for this trip for Land Only clients is Belgrade Airport. Land Only clients should meet the group flight at Belgrade Airport where the trip will then commence. The group flight will be arriving at Belgrade in the afternoon. This will ensure the whole group can travel to Sremski Karlovci together to enjoy the wine tasting and then travel onto Novi Sad.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

We use a mix of 3 and 4-star hotels during our trip, chosen for comfort and convenience. All hotels have en suite facilities and offer free Wi-Fi. 

Fontana Hotel or City Hotel Veliki- Novi Sad

Hill Hotel- Jagodina

Otava Lux Villa- Vrnjacka Banja 

Zlatarski Zlatnik Hotel- Nova Varos, Zlatar Mountain

Iris Spa Hotel Zlatibor or Idila Spa Hotel- Zlatibor

Hotel Excelsior- Belgrade

Single supplements are available on request.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed September 2017
    Vittoria Doyle

    Excellent overview of Serbia.

    Excellent tour around this little known country. Included are many varied activities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Eating lunch with the local family. Touring Novi Sad and Belgrade.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Snejzana was one of the best leaders i have ever had. Her local knowledge was outstanding. Her english was excellent and as she has travelled widely her knowledge of our needs as travellers was exceptional. Her patience and people skills were amazing too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You have some long days travelling but you have plenty of different activities to keep you occupied. Nice hotels and lots if meals provided. Its a very cheap destination. You can change pounds, euros or dollars very easily.

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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