Begin your Balkans adventure in the amazing city of Belgrade, Serbia’s capital – and one of the oldest cities on the continent. Uncover some of Serbia’s cultural treasures as you go sightseeing, admiring the striking fortress, the regal palaces and the ornate orthodox churches. Visit the Nikola Tesla Museum, then take a break on the splavovi: fun-loving floating lounges, moored on the Danube and Sava rivers. Get a flavour of Serbia by enjoying a traditional dinner and live music in the Skadarlija Bohemian Quarter, or more modern local and international cuisine in the Beton Hala area of Belgrade waterfront.
The following day, set off for a day of horse-riding at the scenic Sunčana Reka Sports Centre, whose charms include several sports terrains, a restaurant and a private beach on River Drina. Take a peaceful boat trip along the river.
The liquid thrills continue on day three: cruise down the River Drina to the pretty village of Bajina Bašta, before getting a transfer to the Uvac Special Nature Reserve, famous for its successful griffon vulture conservation project. Spend the night in the popular Hotel Zlatnik on the Zlatar Mountain, where you’ll sample delicious local treats.
Wake up early the next day to visit the 13th-century Mileševa Monastery, home to the most beloved Serbian medieval fresco: Beli Anđeo (White Angel). Beli Anđeo was used as a symbol of hope and peace in the first satellite signal sent from the European nations to North America, back in 1962. In later years, White Angel fresco was chosen once again for its symbolism to be sent to space, in hopes of establishing communication with aliens. No response has been recorded – yet...
Next up, combine city and coastal thrills in Montenegro. Begin in Tivat, admiring the seaside town’s recent makeover, and spend a couple of days exploring the local beaches. Discover the Luštica Peninsula, where you'll experience an authentic local lifestyle that hasn't changed in centuries, before heading on to the UNESCO-listed Venetian Old Town of Kotor. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, Kotor is backed by jagged mountains and steeped in tradition and history, with remarkable scenic views.
Climb the fortress of San Giovanni and soak up the astonishing allure of Boka Bay (Boka Kotorska), the only fjord in the Mediterranean. Explore the tiny village of Perast, where you’ll sit down for an unforgettable feast, with traditional entertainment. Drive to beachy Budva, 39km away, known for its sea, sand and buzzing nightlife. After a day spent soaking up the sun, enjoy refreshing drinks and a traditional dinner, plus live entertainment and folklore performances.
From Budva, go on a day trip to off-the-radar Bar and Ulcinj. Wander around Bar’s Ottoman-influenced Old Town, explore King Nikola’s Palace (now a museum) and visit Stara Maslina: one of the world’s oldest olive trees. Join the kite surfers over in Ulcinj, the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast. Ulcinj is home to Velika Plaza: the longest beach on the Adriatic sea. Other charms include Ada Bojana – a river island with sandy beaches – and Valdanos: a picturesque bay, fringed by ancient olive trees.
Visit the nearby wildlife sanctuary of Solana, a resting place for protected bird species on the Adriatic flyway, and a winter or breeding spot for others. (Famous visitors include the Dalmatian Pelican and the Greater Flamingo.) On your last day, head back to Podgorica and enjoy a final night of Montenegrin hospitality before you fly home.
Perched at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, soulful Serbia will wow you. From its meadow-wrapped mountains and crystalline lakes to its charming cities, fascinating culture and tempting cuisine, Serbia has surprises galore...
Meet the little country with a very big heart. This characterful charmer in Southeast Europe rewards visitors with dramatic mountains, Adriatic coastline beaches, rugged national parks, delicious food and wine – and much, much more...