YUGOSLAVIA - LONG TOUR - 9 DAYS – 8 NIGHTS

1. DAY - BELGRADE

Arrival to Belgrade airport by scheduled airline flight and gathering off the passengers. After checking in to the selected 4* category hotel, a sightseeing tour of Belgrade is planned. We start at the Nikola Tesla museum, the greatest Serbian scientist. It is not an overstatement to claim Tesla is one of the greatest scientists the world has ever seen. There’s a one hour presentation of some of Tesla’s greatest inventions for the visitors. Afterwards, we depart for the museum complex ,,25th of May’’. This is the place where Josip Broz Tito is buried. Tito was the creator and the leader of communist Yugoslavia. He was credited with making this, now defunct, country quite powerful and for being one of the more liberal communist dictators in history. After the visit to Tito’s museum we drive down the Knez MIloš (Prince MIloš) street, through the wealthier part of the capital from the XIX century. There are a lot of old houses from that historic period, which are a bit run down but still have an aristocratic air about them. On this street we will come across two buildings that were destroyed during the NATO bombing of Serbia of 1999. After this we move onto the most beautiful buildings that are also the symbols of the state capital and Serbia itself. Temple of Saint Sava, Students cultural center, House of Parliament, Moskva hotel, Palace of Albania. On arrival to the Republic square we continue our tour on foot. A walk through Knez Mihailova street, the heart of Belgrade takes is to Kalemegdan. A medieval fortress Belgrade is world known for which is the place of the famous vista from which visitors enjoy the iconic view of the confluence of the two great rivers, Sava and Danube. Our next activity takes us to exactly those two great rivers, where we descend from the city for boat cruise after the visit to the Belgrade fortress. We will set sail to Ada Medjica, a river island unique to Belgrade, and make a stop for lunch at one of the many lovely river restaurants. After lunch we leave, by bus, for one of the most beautiful and oldest parts of the city, Zemun. After a visit to the Millennium tower and Gardoš hill, which dominate this landscape, we walk down of the oldest Belgrade streets to the river bank of Danube, the longest European river, where, after having free time, we conclude this days exciting activities. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.

2. DAY – NOVI SAD – SREMSKI KARLOVCI - BEOGRAD

After breakfast an hour and a half drive to Novi Sad. Upon arrival to Novi Sad a 45 minute sightseeing tour is in order. Tour will include visiting the Danube park, the Danube street (the oldest street of the city), building of the Patriarchate, one of the oldest cultural institutions, Matica srpska, Zmaj Jova street, the Freedom square. After the sightseeing of Novi Sad, the road takes us to Sremski Karlovci, one of the places that are considered to be historically important for the development of the modern Serbia state. The visit to this picturesque town will include seeing the first Gymnasium in Serbia, Patriarchate building, one of the oldest pharmacies in Serbia, one of the most expensive hotels in the region, as well as the ,,Chapel of peace’’(a place where the round table was used for the first time in the history of world diplomacy). After this we continue towards Belgrade. A stop for lunch is planned on the way at a place called ,,Stojšić salaš’’, an example of a typical northern Serbian ethnic home. After lunch we will have the chance to visit the vineyard and winery ,,Milanović’’, one of the more famous ones in this part of the country, widely famous for it’s great wines. In the evening, we arrive back to Belgrade. Overnight. DAY – SMEDEREVO – MONASTERY MANASIJA - NIŠ – DEVILS TOWN – MACEDONIA (SKOPLJE) In the early morning hours, after breakfast, we check out of the hotel and depart for the southern part of the country. First stop on the way is at the right river bank of Danube, 50 kilometers downstream from Belgrade, a town called Smederevo. The first human settlements here date from ancient times, since before the Roman rule. The most important contribution to the history of Serbia is signified by the remains of the medieval fortress, which dates from the time Smederevo was the state capital. While we continue towards the city of Niš, we will make a stop over at the monastery of Manasija, a pearl of Serbian medieval architecture. This monastery is a legacy of the last great Serbian medieval ruler, despot Stefan. It used to be home to ,,Resavska škola’’ (the Resava school), one of the first centers of academics and literacy in this part of the world. We arrive to Niš, one of the largest cities of Serbia, in the afternoon hours. After a brief tour of the important historic places in Niš (like the medieval fortress and ,,Ćele kula’’ – a structure made of human skulls), we will make a break to enjoy lunch. After lunch we continue our journey towards Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic. About 90 kilometers from Niš we make a stop to visit something truly remarkable, a place called ,,Djavolja varoš’’ (Devil’s town). This place is a rather specific geomorphological phenomena under state protection as a valuable natural monument. 200 structures, known as the fairy chimneys, that vary in height, from 2 to 15 meters, form a landscape that looks like it does not belong on our planet. After this visit we continue to Skoplje, Macedonia capital, where we shall check into a 4* hotel, enjoy dinner and spend the night.

4.DAY – MACEDONIA – ALBANIA - MONTENEGRO

The fourth day begins with a sightseeing tour of Skoplje dominated by the city fortress in the old part of town. There are several monuments of people that were important for the history of Macedonia in the modern part of town. After leaving the capital we head to the so called Macedonian ,,sea’’, the truly wonderful lake of Ohrid. We will make a few short stops, photo breaks, in the national park of Mavrovo. The stunning Ohrid lake is surrounded with high mountains and is home to numerous cultural monuments. The legend has it that there is 365 monasteries and churches in the area of the lake, which is the reason this region is also known as the ,,Jerusalem of the Balkans’’. Upon visiting the old town of Ohrid, we will enjoy a cruise on this amazingly beautiful lake. Ohrid is also world famous for the pearls that are produced here and can be bought as a truly unique souvenir. The road then leads us to the neighboring country of Albania where we will make a brief visit to Tirana, the state capital. Tirana is specific for its mixture of architectural influences, oriental and Italian. After this we move onwards to Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic, and its largest harbor city Bar. Old town of Bar is a place where the influence of the Ottoman Turkish rule is still visible. We will make a lunch break here. After lunch we take the scenic route along the stunningly beautiful coast of the Adriatic. We will briefly pause on the vista above the famous island of Saint Stefan, which is a symbol this entire region. The days’ journey ends in the state capital, Podgorica, where we check into a 4* hotel, enjoy dinner and spend the night.

5.DAY – MONTENEGRO

After breakfast we depart for Cetinje, the old state capital of Montenegro, a town with rich ,,aroma’’ of history is in the atmosphere. We will visit an interesting royal palace called ,,Biljarda’’ (pool hall), built in the shape of a pool table. This is not at all strange once we learn the fact that the first pool table was brought to Balkan peninsula by the Montenegrin ruler who built this palace. The man who created this palace, Petar II Petrović Njegoš, a monarch and at the same time a member of the clergy, is also recognized as the first modern philosopher of the entire Balkans. After visiting Cetinje we will also stop by the Njegoš mausoleum and the village of Njeguši, the birth place of all the Montenegrin rulers. Upon passing through the village of Njeguši we come by a worldly unique site, a vista of unparalleled beauty. From this highpoint we can indulge in the view of the town of Kotor and the Boka Kotorska bay, which is, officially, known as one of the five most beautiful sea bays in the whole world. A truly breathtaking and unique experience. After a ,,mandatory’’ photo break, we begin our descend towards Kotor town by way of a winding road with its 27 curves, which was projected in the XIX century. Upon arrival to Kotor, whose harbor hosts over 500 large cruise ships in a year, we will have free time to enjoy the historic town and shop for souvenirs. After leaving Kotor and driving along the sea up the Boka Kotorska bay we arrive to the next stop, a vivid, historic town of Perast. Perast was known through the centuries as being a home for some of the best and the wealthiest seamen of this part of the world. The wonderful ambience of this town, that was ,,frozen in time’’, will be a perfect setting for our lunch in one of the traditional restaurants that are serving sea food specialties. After enjoying lunch we travel to the coastal town of Budva, the most famous holiday destination of this region. Upon a visit to this beautiful place we conclude the days’ journey by returning to Podgorica and to our hotel where we have dinner and spend the night.

6.DAY – MONASTERY OSTROG – BLACK LAKE – DURMITOR – BIOGRADSKA GORA - ZLATAR

We leave Podgorica early in the morning, after having breakfast at the hotel. First place we visit on this day is a truly remarkable one. It is the most famous Montenegrin monastery, as well as one of the most interesting monasteries of the Balkans. Monastery of Ostrog is built on an incredible location, literally inside of a vertical cliff and it is not that easy to even reach this place. The effort put into arriving to this unusual location surely pays off, not only because of a stunning sight of the monastery and the valley that stretches far beneath it, but because of a truly unique energy that this sacred place possesses. This Orthodox Christian monastery is a place of pilgrimage not only for Christians but for people of all the different religious beliefs from all around the world. From Ostrog we head to the beautiful mountain lake called ‘’Crno jezero’’ (the Black lake). This lake has the nickname ‘’eyes of the mountain’’ is a part of Durmitor national park. We then continue to national park of Biogradska gora, home of the only rainforest on the territory of Europe. On our way there we shall make a photo break on an impressive place, a bridge over the wild and beautiful river Tara called ‘’Djurdjevića Tara’’, a truly breathtaking view. At the national park of ‘’Biogradska gora’’ we will make a stop for lunch and refreshments. After lunch we head directly to Serbia and the mountain of Zlatar. Allegedly, Zlatar mountain is the place with the cleanest air in whole of Serbia, and some say probably in hole of the Balkans as well. Once we arrive to Zlatar we check into a 4* hotel, have dinner and overnight.

7. DAY – TARA – ZLATIBOR – MEĆAVNIK – VIŠEGRAD - SARAJEVO

After breakfast we start a journey that will be a real treat for everyone, but especially for those who prefer and enjoy the nature and the outdoors. We will have the chance to visit the most beautiful locations on the Tara and Zlatibor mountains. First stop are the beautiful waterfalls in the village of Gostilje after which we visit world famous ethnic village Sirogojno. This mountain village is an open air museum where visitors can learn more of how people used to live in this mountain region back in the day. Also, Sirogojno is famous for its old ethnic crafts, the most famous one being knitting. Here the passengers can purchase these unique handmade authentic objects such as wonderful sweaters made from 100% natural wool. The road then takes us to ‘’Stopića pećini’’(Stopić cave), a magnificent creation of nature. All the fresh air makes people hungry, so naturally the next stop is for lunch at a restaurant of traditional cuisine, which this part of the country is widely known for. After enjoying lunch we head for the slopes of Tara mountain where we will enjoy a unique railway journey. A train ride on the railway shaped like the number 8, built in the XIX century. Next stop is the nearby town of Mećavnik. This ‘’wooden’’ town is comprised of old houses typical for this mountain region made of wood, and is the brain child of the world famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica. After a visit to this place from a fairy tale, we depart for Višegrad. This is a place where Ivo Andrić, the greatest Serbian writer grew up. There, on the river Drina, is a bridge of which Andrić wrote in his novel for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. A mere few hundred meters from this bridge there is a place dedicated to this writer called Andrićgrad, a unique monument complex built from stone in the honor of this great author. From Višegrad we move onwards to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, where we check into a 4* hotel upon arrival, have dinner and spend the night.

8.DAY – SARAJEVO – MOSTAR – BLAGAJ - TREBINJE

We begin our day with a sightseeing tour of Sarajevo. This is a city in which the First World War practically started. Its rich multi ethnic background was often a cause for conflicts, but it also contributed to the humorous and lively spirit of the people who live here. Several bridges that bare funny names, a blend of Turkish Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architectural influences, the old authentic city center – Baščaršija are the main details that make this city beautiful. The road then takes us to the source of the Bosna river on the outskirts of Sarajevo. On the way to the town of Mostar we will stop over for a tour of the largest atom bomb shelter in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. This atomic shelter was built by Josip Broz Tito, the president of socialist Yugoslavia, to protect him and the most important people of the government in case of a nuclear disaster. Luckily this shelter was never put to its true purpose, so now it represents a reminder of the days gone by and a touristic attraction for many visitors. Once we arrive to Mostar we find a town that is similar to Sarajevo in its structure of the old town center. The famous bridge, for which the town itself was named, and the emerald green river that runs under it dominate the landscape. After a stroll through Mostar we move onwards to a place called Blagaj, an old dervish assembly point at the source of a river, where we will enjoy lunch in a beautiful ambience. We then depart for the town of Trebinje and on the way we stop over in a village called Počitelj. During the Turkish Ottoman rule this village had strategic importance but as the time passed it lost this function gradually. In the middle of XX century a group of Yugoslavian artists started to organize art colonies in this village and by this they gave it an entirely new and different purpose. We arrive at Trebinje in the evening hours where we have dinner and stay for the night in a 4* hotel.

8.DAY – ZAGREB – PLITVICE

On this day we will have a chance to sleep in a while longer, and after a good night’s sleep, well rested we move onwards to Zagreb, the state capital of Croatia. Half way to Zagreb we arrive to a truly special place of stunning natural wealth and beauty. It is the national park Plitvice (Plitvice lakes). The tour of this magnificent place will take at least several hours, because it is not possible to see all of the 16 lakes, that are connected, the source of the river Korana, the cave called Šupljara and the ancient forest Čorkova uvala in a short period of time. But the time spent here will be well worth it and will surely become one of the most treasured memories of this unforgettable trip altogether. After a visit to this vivid natural phenomenon, we move on to Zagreb, with a visit to a national restaurant for lunch, on the way. In the evening we arrive to Zagreb where we check into a 4* hotel, enjoy our dinner and spend the night.

9. DAY – TREBINJE – DUBROVNIK – KORČULA

After breakfast and a brief tour of the serene town of Trebinje, we depart for Dubrovnik, the most important and well preserved city of such character of the entire Adriatic region. Dubrovnik, which had a status of a sovereign city-state for long time, has a history so rich that rarely any place in the world can boast. Once a wealthy maritime city-state and a powerful trading center, today Dubrovnik is a world famous tourist destination. The houses and the buildings that wealthy traders and aristocrats built through the centuries attract numerous visitors to this unique point of world heritage. After a walk through the city we will ascend by a cable car to a vista that provides an unforgettable view of this city of unparalleled beauty. After this we continue onwards to the beautiful Adriatic island of Korčula, where we shall visit the uniquely shaped medieval town in which we will visit the home of the famed explorer Marco Polo. In the evening we check into a 4* hotel, have dinner and overnight.

10. DAY - KORČULA – SPLIT – TROGIR - ZADAR

After breakfast and our, surely, wonderful time spent on the island of Korčula, we depart for Split, the second largest city of the state of Croatia, as well as the center of the Dalmatian region of the Adriatic. Upon arrival to Split, we begin our sightseeing tour on the Marjan hill which is the point from which we can enjoy a stunning view of the city below. After a photo break we descend to Split and visit places of interest. Our itinerary will include the remains of the magnificent palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian, the central city square Peristil, house of the National theatre and the Prokuratio square. Afterwards we cross a short distance to the historic town of Trogir, an old Venetian settlement which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Practically this whole town is a one big museum. Here, we will enjoy lunch and the famous fish specialties of the Adriatic culinary tradition. After departing from Trogir, the road takes us to the city of Zadar. When we arrive to this seaside place we will enjoy a brief tour of its old town enclosure and its most prominent points of interest ( ‘’Land’’ city gates, Kalelagra, People’s square, The Arsenal…). In the evening we check into a 4* hotel where we spend the night after dinner.

11. DAY – ZADAR – ZAGREB – PLITVICE - ZAGREB

On this day we will have a chance to sleep in a while longer, and after a good night’s sleep, well rested we move onwards to Zagreb, the state capital of Croatia. Half way to Zagreb we arrive to a truly special place of stunning natural wealth and beauty. It is the national park Plitvice (Plitvice lakes). The tour of this magnificent place will take at least several hours, because it is not possible to see all of the 16 lakes, that are connected, the source of the river Korana, the cave called Šupljara and the ancient forest Čorkova uvala in a short period of time. But the time spent here will be well worth it and will surely become one of the most treasured memories of this unforgettable trip altogether. After a visit to this vivid natural phenomenon, we move on to Zagreb, with a visit to a national restaurant for lunch, on the way. In the evening we arrive to Zagreb where we check into a 4* hotel, enjoy our dinner and spend the night.

12.DAY – ZAGREB – LJUBLJANA – LAKE BLED – BOHINJ - MARIBOR

On this day we will have a chance to sleep in a while longer, and after a good night’s sleep, well rested we move onwards to Zagreb, the state capital of Croatia. Half way to Zagreb we arrive to a truly special place of stunning natural wealth and beauty. It is the national park Plitvice (Plitvice lakes). The tour of this magnificent place will take at least several hours, because it is not possible to see all of the 16 lakes, that are connected, the source of the river Korana, the cave called Šupljara and the ancient forest Čorkova uvala in a short period of time. But the time spent here will be well worth it and will surely become one of the most treasured memories of this unforgettable trip altogether. After a visit to this vivid natural phenomenon, we move on to Zagreb, with a visit to a national restaurant for lunch, on the way. In the evening we arrive to Zagreb where we check into a 4* hotel, enjoy our dinner and spend the night.

13.DAY – MARIBOR – BELGRADE

The last day of our trip is reserved for transfer to the Belgrade airport. After checking out of the hotel the group will have a bit of free time to take a stroll through Maribor and perhaps do some last minute souvenir shopping. From there we head for Belgrade, where we should arrive in the late evening hours, with a break for lunch included in the itinerary, and also a few other stops for eventual photographs or souvenir shopping. Upon arrival to the airport the passengers are to check in for their flight. This concludes our wonderful time together with hopes that the passengers enjoyed traditional hospitality of the Balkans, and that they take with them only the fondest memories of this amazing journey.

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