A Taste of Serbia

Serbia

Culture | Culinary

Discover the unique culinary heritage of Serbia

6 days £1,095 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

Experience the rich and flavourful culture and heritage of Serbia, Europe`s forgotten culinary giant. Taste the local rakija spirit and try different wines in ancient, authentic wine cellars. Discover the picturesque architecture of Serbia in St George`s Church and Nis. Stay in the home of a local family and learn to cook traditional dishes. This is a true hands-on food tour that you won`t forget.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Soak up Belgrade's cosmopolitan café culture
  • Traditional rakija tasting
  • Learn to cook Serbian food
  • Drinking with locals in the rustic wine cellars of Rajac
  • Discover the Roman history of Serbia at Viminacium
  • Explore the ancient remains of Lepenski Vir

Places Visited

Belgrade - Krusevac - Niš - Topola - Mali Izvor - Rajacka Pimnice - Kladovo - Lepenski Vir - Viminacium

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights (if relevant - refer to itinerary)
Accommodation
Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Itinerary
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Day 1 : Belgrade

On your arrival in Belgrade you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the evening you will go to some Rakija (Serbian plum brandy) bars and enjoy some local food and drink. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan: 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. 

Rakija is a traditional Serbian strong alcoholic drink. There are over 100 kinds, made from all possible combinations of fruits and healthy herbs. It is no wonder that the first Serbian patent was a kettle for making rakija! In these areas, due to terrain, altitude and ground quality, there are many high quality fruit types grown. Naturally, the rakija that is produced here under the watchful eye of an experienced master is of high quality.

The most famous and best types of rakija are shljivovica (plum), komovica (apricot) and vilijamovka (pear). There is also grape rakija, mulberry rakija, juniper rakija, cherry rakija, quince rakija and many others made of various healthy herbs. The percentage of alcohol varies from 20-55%. Those containing 20% of alcohol are usually used for making liqueurs and 'Shumadija tea' (caramelized boiled brandy). Those containing 40-55% alcohol are called prepechenica or 'chilly rakija' - double distilled rakija. Rakija is popular to drink for health or joy, and is an excellent choice for colder weather in Shumadija tea. Yet all Serbian's know, it is important only to drink it in good company.


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Day 2 : Topola - Krusevac - Nis

After breakfast you will begin to drive south through Serbia, stopping at Topola and St George Church before enjoying lunch in a typical Sumandija household. Next you will proceed to Krusevac and finally arrive in Nis, where you will stay the night.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Krusevac was the medieval capital of Serbia during the time of Prince Lazar in the second half of the 14th century. Here you will see the Lazarica Court Church, founded by the Serbian Prince Lazar in 1380. The church represents a fine architectural achievement, adorned with rich carved stone decoration on the arches, rosettes, windows and portals. As one of the earliest monuments of the Morava school, it long served as a model for Serbian builders.

Topola sits in  the hilly Šumadija region,  the heart of central Serbia known as the cradle of Serbian uprisings against Ottoman rule in the 19th century. It boasts the Residence of Karadjordje (now a museum dedicated to the leader of the First Serbian Uprising); the Church of Our Lady, built by Karadjordje (1811-1813); and two stone towers which are left from what was once a mighty fortification. Nearby is St. George Church, built after WWI by the King of Serbia, Petar I, on top of Oplenac. This church is unique among all the monuments in Serbia, with columns made of marble, an iconostasis of local marble and stunning mosaics covering almost 3,500 sq. meters, which include 725 scenes and 1,500 human figures that chart the history and the extent of Orthodox Christianity in Serbia. 

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Day 3 : Nis - Mali Izvor

Visit the Mali Izvor village, where you will have a cooking class and lunch with the Zeleni Zec household. You will spend the night in their home.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 4 : Mali Izvor - Rajac - Kladavo

Drive to see Gamzigrad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and see the Felix Romuliana temples. Continue on to Rajac for lunch and a wine tasting. Finally, drive to Kladavo for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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.

Kladovo is a town situated  in the Bor district of eastern Serbia. Positioned on the banks of the Danube River and surrounded by beautiful hills, the town is home to the biggest gorge in Europe. The geography of the region supports its main industries of hydro-electric power and agriculture. Kladovo tells a very rich cultural story and has been shaped by the many different civilisations that have occupied the town throughout history, including the Celts and the Turks.
 


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Day 5 : Lepenski Vir - Golubac - Viminacium - Belgrade

Today you will continue your journey alongside the Danube, visiting the Neolithic site of Lepenski Vir, the fortified town of Golubac and the Roman site of Viminacium. After lunch, you will embark on a walking tour of Belgrade. Overnight in Belgrade.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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

Dated to 6000 years BC, Lepenski Vir is the settlement of one of the oldest Neolithic civilizations in Europe and a whole era was named after this site. In mythology, it is said to have been founded by Noah’s son after the great flood. The intricate architecture and sculptures are evidence of the advanced culture and religion of the early Europeans that lived here. 

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.  

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Day 6 : Belgrade

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Accommodation

Accommodation

All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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Hotel Majestic

The Hotel Majestic is situated right in the centre of Belgrade, very close to the main shopping street Knez Mihailova. The bedrooms are all decorated in an elegant style with air conditioning and cable television, some also featuring balconies. The hotel restaurant serves a range of food including Serbian and international cuisines in it's cafe and bar. The Hotel Majestic is a mere 500 metres from the Kalemegdan Fortress in the old Bohemian Quarter of Belgrade. 

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The Regent Club

In the heart of Nis, The Regent Club Hotel has rooms featuring all modern amenities but also equipped with traditional antique furniture. All bathrooms have hydro massage showers, and there is also wifi available in all rooms.

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Zeleni Zec Homestay

You will stay with a Serbian household in their traditional home.

Visit hotel's site
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Aquastar Danube

The 4* Aquastar Danube Hotel has modern rooms which all look over the Danube River. They are air-conditioned and equipped with direct phone line, satellite TV, internet connection, mini bar, safe, hair dryer and shower cabin.

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Extensions

Balkan Explorer (20 days)

Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro & Bosnia

Archaeology of the Balkans (19 days)

Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians & Ottomans

Balkan Odyssey (15 days)

Discover Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro & Bosnia

Highlights of Serbia (10 days)

Historic monasteries, striking valleys and Roman ruins

Devil's Town & The Danube (9 days)

Uncover the hidden gems of Europe's best-kept secret

Archaeology of Serbia (8 days)

Follow the path of countless invaders

Festivals of Serbia (8 days)

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Serbia's Remoter Trails (8 days)

Hiking and cycling in remote Southeast Serbia

A Taste of Serbia (6 days)

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Belgrade & Vojvodina (4 days)

Discover Europe's coolest capital and the history & nature of Vojvodina

Reviews

Enjoyed travelling with Travel the Unknown. They were most helpful and filled in as much as possible on our trip.

Declan Cloonan , Archaeology of Serbia

I had the pleasure to be on the "Archaeology of Serbia" trip in May, which although only 8 days long was packed with fascinating insights into the complex history of the land. Not (yet) on the main tourist routes, there are many sites dating from stone-age, through Roman times to the many monasteries of the Middle Ages, some of which retain beautiful frescos, despite a turbulent history. The people here are friendly and the food served in hearty portions, plenty for meat lovers and vegetarian alike. I thoroughly recommend visiting Serbia before it becomes mainstream.

Nigel Denney , Archaeology of Serbia

Have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Serbia with David Lindo, the Urban Birder, and local wildlife expert, Milan Ruzic. Truly a privilege to have been with leaders whose knowledge of birds - their identification and calls - was quite outstanding; their sense of humour would also take some beating. Serbia - a birdwatching destination with more bonuses than the average City banker.

Dennis Buisson , Northern Serbia - Owls & Raptors, Serbia

Simply, a wonderful experience. There`s a special kind of relaxation that`s achieved when you know that you have none of the stress of organizing a trip, driving, navigating, travel, booking, etc. Thanks so much for an excellent experience.

Milojko Dobrijevich , Festivals of Serbia, Serbia

Was well thought out and the experience was absolutely GREAT!!!!!!

Gerald & Ann Diamond , Tailormade Serbia

The Balkans is a fascinating part of the world to visit with such complex histories. Wonderful scenery, great food, terrific variety of accommodation and especially loved the vineyards and wine tastings! Albania was such a surprise package! So much more than we anticipated and so much to see and do in this small country. Stunning scenery and roads generally better than we expected. Go before the rest of the world discovers this gem.

Laurel & Paul Smallwood , Balkan Odyssey & Albanian Odyssey, Balkans

We were looking for a land tour in the Balkans and contacted Travel The Unknown. The staff were very responsive in setting up a private tour schedule for us that proved to be perfect and reasonable in cost. We have just got back from our travels and can say that it was certainly a good choice The itinerary was varied and interesting and the accommodation well chosen. The quality and price of the food and wine in the region were an added bonus. Our drivers/guides were friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. They went out of their way to accommodation our interests and preference.s Highly recommended!

Raymond & Janet Sterling (USA) , Tailormade Balkans

Thank you so very much for organising our trip. It went swimmingly, Dejan is super cool, the house was fab, the people lovely and strange, the rakjia insane. Memories of river swimming, spit roast pigs and lambs, urns of beans and cabbages, gallons of cheap beer and craze-inducing rakia with a massive dose of incomprehensible contemporary Serbian music , a modern take of Balkan brass orchestras, some tiny glimpses into Roma life, and rackety fair rides, along with beautifully grown organic vegetables and perfect skinned youth ...with not so many tourists. Plus a sand blast of the fascinating Balkan history with which the Belgrade fortress bulges, a clean and safe city … I`m a little overstuffed with roast pig but am thirsty as ever to find out more about the Roma and their music. All that history was what I found the most fascinating. Crazy stuff!

Cerys Matthews , Tailormade Guca Festivals Tour

I am delighted to see that Travel The Unknown have started to run tours to Serbia - it is time that someone did as the country has plenty to offer for all tastes. Looking at their itineraries for both North and South Serbia, it is clear that they manage to visit some of the more out the way places and lesser known sites that few know about. They offer a good degree of variety too, and their tours should give potential visitors a really good taste of this often overlooked destination.

Laurence Mitchell (Author of Bradt Guide: Serbia) , Tailormade Serbia

I have been extremely well looked after and am grateful to Dejan for showing me his wonderful country.

Adrian Mourby (Travel Writer) , Devil's Town & The Danube, Serbia
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