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Archaeology of Serbia

Follow the path of countless invaders

    • Price £ 1,595 I
    • Please contact us for flights from your nearest airport
    • Single sup. £ 400 I
    • Duration : 8 days
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INTRO

Delve into this ancient country, discovering prehistoric sites, Roman settlements, Byzantine fortifications and orthodox monasteries. Explore the homeland of Constantine the Great, with numerous archaeological sites illuminating the importance of the area within the Roman Empire. Overnight in Serbia's UNESCO World Heritage monastery and discover its long religious history. Follow the path of countless invaders, along the majestic Danube, passing castles and towns right through the heart of Serbia.

DATES

  • 20 May 2017 to 27 May 2017
  • 10 Sep 2017 to 17 Sep 2017
  • 19 May 2018 to 26 May 2018
  • 08 Sep 2018 to 15 Sep 2018

If these dates do not suit you but you are interested in this tour, please contact us for alternative dates.

HIGHLIGHTS

Visit Belgrade and Serbia’s Monasteries

Drinking with locals in the rustic wine cellars of Rajac

Roman and other ruins of Serbia

Ghoulish Skull Tower

Serbia’s ancient yet living Orthodox monasteries & churches

Soak up Belgrade's cosmopolitan atmosphere

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transport
Accommodation
Entrance fees to sites
Breakfasts and some meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
Drivers and guides

PLACES VISITED

Belgrade - Novi Sad - Sirmium - Viminacium - Kladovo - Niš - Rajacka Pimnice - Gamzigrad and Felix Romuliana
Belgrade
Novi Sad
Sirmium
Viminacium
Kladovo
Niš
Rajacka Pimnice
Gamzigrad and Felix Romuliana

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ACCOMMODATION



Contact us for a full accommodation list.

ITINERARY

Day 1 : Arrival
On arrival in Belgrade you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city. Overnight in Belgrade.

Day 2 : Belgrade
All day sightseeing tour in Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

Day 3 : Petrovardin - Sirmium - Novi Sad
In the morning you will drive north to see Krusedol, Patriarch's Palace the Cathedral. Stop to visit Petrovardin before a tour of Novi Sad. Visit Sirmium, before returning to Belgrade for the night.

Day 4 : Smederevo - Viminacium - Lepenski Vir
Visit Smederevo before arriving to Viminacium. Next you will visit Golubac and Lepinski Vir. Overnight in Kladavo.

See all days >>

ITINERARY

Short | Detailed | PDF

Day 1 : Arrival

On arrival in Belgrade you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city. Overnight in Belgrade.

On arrival in Belgrade you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan : n/a


Day 2 : Belgrade

All day sightseeing tour in Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

City tour of Belgrade taking in Vinca (will be visited if open), Zemun, the old Gardos Tower and the Memorial Complex of Josip Broz Tito, the legendary president of Former Yugoslavia. End the day with a visit to the fortress of Kalemegdan. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan : Breakfast & dinner


Belgrade has been the capital of Serbia since 1403, when Despot Stefan, son of Prince Lazar, moved his palace here. Walk through the elegant Republic Square and pay attention to its architectural monuments, such as the National Theatre and the National Museum. Stroll along Knez Mihajlova Street, the main shopping street and meeting place, to see a few other masterpieces of Belgrade architecture. 

The Fortress of Kalemegdan, which is the symbol of Belgrade, is where the River Sava flows into the Danube. The Upper fortress area includes well-preserved artillery structures dating from the 18th century, as well as a medieval fortification - an acropolis with original or partly reconstructed ramparts, gateways, towers and the excavated ruins of a 15th century castle. A few Turkish monuments and some ancient Roman remains also lie in this area. In this section of the fortification complex you’ll see the elegant 18th century Baroque Clock Tower and the Roman Well. The Eastern Ward features the Rose Church of Our Lady, along with a panoramic view of the Lower fortress and its monuments - the Nebojsa Tower, the Baroque Gate of Karl VI and the remains of the medieval metropolitan palace.

Day 3 : Petrovardin - Sirmium - Novi Sad

In the morning you will drive north to see Krusedol, Patriarch's Palace the Cathedral. Stop to visit Petrovardin before a tour of Novi Sad. Visit Sirmium, before returning to Belgrade for the night.

This morning you will drive north to see Krusedol monastery and the Patriarch's Palace, as well as the Cathedral from the mid-18th century. You stop to visit the famous fortress of Petrovaradin before a walking tour of Novi Sad. Finally you will visit archaeological site of Sirmium, before returning to Belgrade for the night.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Novi Sad is one of Serbia's biggest cities and is the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Vojvodina. It is a modern, lively city with many growing businesses. At the same time, it maintains a beautiful flavour of its past. Walk through the centre of Novi Sad to visit the main Orthodox Cathedral and the main Catholic Cathedral, then continue walking along the famous Dunavska street.

Visit the Fortress of Petrovaradin, once called 'Gibraltar on the Danube'. This Austrian artillery fortification is situated above the river and represents the second largest structure of its kind preserved in Europe. Built by Austrians in the 17-18th centuries at the spot of former Roman, Byzantine and Hungarian settlements, the fortress plays a very important role in the life of the town even today, as many cultural events are organized there. It also features 16km of underground tunnels.

As a Roman settlement, Sirmium developed very rapidly and in the period of the Flavian dynasty the town was granted the status of a colony. Several rulers, such as Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus and Maximinus visited Sirmium. Its importance was elevated when the Illyrian Caesars, born near Sirmium, came to the throne of the Roman Empire. In 294, it was made one of the capitals of the Empire. A military fortress in the beginning, Sirmium was transformed into an opulent and luxurious imperial residence, with the institutions accompanying the Roman administrative apparatus as well as the economical, religious and cultural life. 

Day 4 : Smederevo - Viminacium - Lepenski Vir

Visit Smederevo before arriving to Viminacium. Next you will visit Golubac and Lepinski Vir. Overnight in Kladavo.

First you will visit Smederevo before arriving in Viminacium, which was once a capital of Roman Province Moesia Superior. Next you will arrive at Golubac, one of the best preserved medieval towns in Serbia. A short drive down the Danube will take you to Lepenski Vir. Overnight in your hotel in Kladavo.

Meal plan : Breakfast


The imposing 14th Century Golubac Fortress is a particularly impressive stronghold along the Serbian bank of the river. 

Viminacium was a very important military camp in the 1st and 2nd centuries, housing Legio VII Claudia & IV Flavia. It had the status of “Municipium” in II century during the ruling of Imperator Hadrian and status of “Colony” in III century during the ruling of Imperator Septimius Severus.  

Day 5 : Rajac - Zajecar

Visit Rajac, ruins of Gamzigrad and Zajecar. Overnight in Nis.

Today you will visit the village of Rajac before arriving in the ruins of Gamzigrad including the Felix Romuliana temple. You will also visit the museum in Zajecar. In the evening you will check into your hotel in Nis.

Meal plan : Breakfast


The wine cellar village of Rajacka Pimnice, near the actual village of Rajac, consists of 270 stone and wood cellars built between 1750 and 1930. Far off the tourist map, this quaint village is a fantastic opportunity to taste (and buy) the delicious local wine, eat traditional regional food and meet the friendly locals, who are not averse to a glass or two themselves! For those inclined to explore further, Rajac’s unique 3rd century graveyard with its highly unusual gravestones is also worth a visit. 

The Roman site of Gamzigrad & Felix Romuliana is a palace and memorial complex dating from the late 3rd century. It was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Caius Galerius Maximianus as his Imperial Palace. There have been no attempts to rebuild or replicate any of the buildings, other than to conserve the ruins at their current level, making this site famous for its authenticity and integrity.

Day 6 : Nis - Zica

Explore Nis including the Nis Fortress and Mediana Palace. Then continue to Western Serbia and pay visit to Zica. Overnight in the Studenica Monastery.

Today you will explore Nis including the Nis Fortress. You will visit the Mediana Palace before continuing your journey through Western Serbia and (time permitted) pay a visit to Zica, a 13th Century monastery. In the evening you will be taken to your overnight accommodation in the Studenica Monastery.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Niš is the second largest town in Serbia and is most famous as the birthplace of Constantine the Great. It is situated in the Nišava valley, near the spot where it joins the Južna Morava River. This is one of the most important Balkan and European traffic lines along which people, goods and armies moved. Known as the 'Via Militaris' in Roman and Byzantine periods and the 'Constantinople road' in the Middle Ages and the period of Turkish rule, these roads still represent major European traffic arteries. Niš is one of the oldest cities in the Balkans, and has been considered a gateway between the East and the West since ancient times. There is abundant archaeological evidence that Niš was inhabited even in prehistoric times. The city was named after the Nišava River, which was called Navissos by the Celtic inhabitants of the town. Each new conqueror gave the town a new name: Roman Naissus, Byzantine Nysos, Slovene Niš, or German Nissa.

The history of the Skull Tower of Niš: At the beginning of the 19th century, during the Second Serbian Uprising, it was crucial that the Serbian state liberate Nis from the Turks. The battle lasted the whole day and the Turks eventually overran the main trench on Čegar Hill after this fierce fighting. The Serbian General, Steven Sindelic, realising he was on the point of defeat, blew himself up alongside 3,000 Serbian soldiers and about 6,000 Turkish soldiers. The Turks built the grisly Skull Tower ("Cele Kula" in Serbian) with four walls - each containing eleven rows of seven Serbian skulls - as a warning against further Serbian resistance. Many of the skulls were removed - at great danger - by Serbian families and buried, but many remain there to this day. In 1892, a chapel was built over the skulls, which now protects the 58 remaining skulls.

Žiča Monastery, built in the early 13th century and over 800 years old, is a Serb-Orthodox monastery near Kraljevo. In 1979 it was declared a Cultural Monument of Exceptional Importance, and is protected by Serbia.

Day 7 : Studenica & Sopocani Monasteries

Morning visit to Studenica Monastery. Drive south to the Peter’s Church. Your final port of call will be the Monastery Sopocani. Overnight in Belgrade.

In the morning you will visit Studenica Monastery and then drive south to the oldest Christian temple, Peter’s Church (Petrova Crkva). Your final port of call will be the Monastery Sopocani. For your final evening you will return to Belgrade.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Studenica monastery, a UNESCO Heritage site, was founded by Stefan Nemanja, the Grand Prince of Serbia from 1166 to 1196, and one of the most famous and beloved figures in Serbian history. It is considered to be the crowning achievement of medieval culture and art in Serbia. The monastic complex consists of the fascinating Church of the Virgin (1183 - 1196), the Church of SS Joachim and Anne (also known as the King's Church) and the Church of St. Nicholas, a simple single-nave building. The monastery circle contains monuments constructed over a period of 130 years, and several Serbian rulers had a hand in their construction. At the start of this period, the young Serbian feudal state under Stefan Nemanja was consolidating its independence, and by King Milutin's reign it had reached the height of its political, cultural and economic power. The strengthening of the medieval state and of its ruler's might is naturally reflected in these monuments.

The Monastery of Sopocani was built in 1260 by King Uros I as the resting place for the ashes of his parents and his own tomb is now in its vault too. Its mural paintings rank among the most magnificent and beautiful in European medieval art. The monumentality of Sopocani frescos, the harmony of colours, and the refinement of expression were all responsible for it being granted a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The unique quality of these compositions, mostly from the 13th century, testifies to the vitality of Byzantine art at a time when Constantinople was in the hands of the Crusaders. 

Day 8 : Belgrade - Departure

The final day arrives as you are transferred to Belgrade airport for your flight home.

The final day arrives as you are transferred to Belgrade airport for your flight home.

Meal plan : Breakfast


ENQUIRIES






















TELEPHONE
020 7183 6371
POST
Riverbank House
1 Putney Bridge Approach
London SW6 3BQ
EMAIL
info@traveltheunknown.com
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