The ultimate journey across former yugoslavia and its spomeniks
Bosnia-Herzegovina – Republika Srpska – Croatia – Serbia – Montenegro
Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will give you a wide range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Day 1/2 - Sarajevo
In the morning you will meet your tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in the Balkans.
We'll spend two days touring both the classical sights and the off-beat-the-path attractions of Sarajevo, the Jerusalem of the Balkans, an incredibly diverse and compelling metropolis of Habsburg grandeur, Ottoman heritage, Socialist shapes and post-modernist chaos.
Lunches, dinners and overnights in Sarajevo.
Day 3 - Mostar
We’ll leave Sarajevo in the early hours and head down south to Mostar, arguably the most iconic city of Bosnia-Herzegovina and - to a greater extent - of the entire former Yugoslavia and its recent troubled past.
On our way to Mostar, we’ll stop in Konjic, one of the oldest permanent settlements in Herzegovina, extends on both sides of the green-turquoise stream of the Neretva River.
We’ll spend the rest of the day exploring this ancient town of Bosniak mosques, Croatian churches, ancient Ottoman architectures and Socialist glories.
Dinner and overnight in Mostar.
Day 4 - Banja Luka
From Mostar we’ll move north again and, after a lunch stop in the quintessentially Bosnian town of Travnik, continuing along an extremely scenic mountain road, we’ll eventually reach Banja Luka, the second largest city in the country and the de facto capital of the Republika Srpska, a Serbian-dominated largely autonomous geopolitical entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Republika Srpska can, in fact, be considered (and it feels like) a completely separate country with its own distinctive culture, language, religion, police and government structures: this wanna-be-country is, indeed, the result of the Dayton Agreement, the extremely controversial and one-sided peace accords that put a NATO-shaped end to the 3 1⁄2-year-long Bosnian War.
We’ll devote our afternoon to Banja Luka, touring both its pretty old downtown and the Socialist outskirts, where we’ll also admire the imposing Spomenik to Fallen Krajina Soldiers, in the War for Liberation (1941-1945) against nazi-fascism.
Dinner and overnight in Banja Luka.
Day 5 - Vukovar
From Banja Luka we’ll make a short detour west to Kozara, to admire a curious brutalist Spomenik dedicated to the partisan fighters, fallen soldiers and civilians victims, who perished in the bloody Kozara Offensive in the spring of 1942.
We’ll then move straight eastwards, enter the former Socialist Republic of Croatia, and head to Vukovar, theatre of one of the longest sieges and bloodiest battles fought during the Yugoslav Wars by the Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Eastern Slavonia along with the Yugoslav People's Army on one side and Croatian nationalists and separatists on the other.
We’ll spend a few hours touring Vukovar and particularly focussing on its glorious socialist heritage (such as the cone-shaped Dudik Spomenik) and somber war scars (i.e. the notorious bullet-ridden water tower).
Dinner and overnight in Vukovar.
Day 6/7 - Belgrade
We’ll soon leave reactionary and revisionist Croatia and head to good old Serbia, Russia’s little brother in the Balkans.
Our first stop will be the elegant town of Novi Sad, capital of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Europe, home to 25 different ethnic groups, including some truly obscure ones such as the Rusyns, the Bunjevci and the Gorani.
After lunch we’ll then move onto Belgrade, the country’s capital and largest city, a resilient metropolis of Socialist glory, brutalist forms and Slavic heritage, where we’ll spend two days hunting for Yugoslavia’s heroic past.
Socialist highlights of our stay in town will be: the touching atmospheres at Josip Broz Tito’s Mausoleum (House of Flowers), the gargantuan raw-concrete power of the Genex Tower, the Blade-Runner-style dystopian cityscapes in Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) and Konjarnik, the bombed-out buildings (eerie reminders of the shameful and illegal NATO-campaign) still towering over the city centre and plenty of communist Spomeniks (glorious reminders of better years).
Dinners and overnights in Belgrade.
Day 8 - Mokra Gora
From Serbia we’ll head back towards Bosnia making a longish detour for a full spomenik day in the Yusgolav countryside.
First we’ll visit the Spomenik to the Fallen Soldiers of the Kosmaj Detachment, a giant asterisk-shaped concrete affair erected to commemorate the local partisan regiment, then we’ll move further south to Kragujevac to pay our respects at the Interrupted Flight Spomenik, dedicated to the hundreds of women, elders and children murdered here by German soldiers.
After lunch we’ll stop at Čačak to visit the cathedral-shaped Spomenik of Struggle and Victory, built to homage the partisans fallen during the liberation of Čačak, and the Spomenik to the Courage, a 10-metre-tall stalagmite of poured concrete, steel frame and aluminum panels violently erupting from the soil as a powerful reminder to the heroic deeds of the Yugoslavs.
Last but not least we’ll tour two of the largest spomenik complexes in the country: the Kadinjača Spomenik, built to commemorates the fallen heroes of the Partisan Republic of Užice, and the Šumatno Spomenik, which reminds its visitors about the war crimes committed by the Wehrmacht once they overran the partisan forces at Užice.
In the evening we’ll eventually arrive in Drvengrad, aka Küstendorf, a mock-up traditional village built ad hoc by world-famous Yugoslav filmmaker Emir Kusturica, a unique and slightly bizarre place that is a living homage to Yugoslav heritage and world cinema with streets, squares and buildings named after eminent personalities like Ivo Andrić, Diego Maradona, Stanley Kubrick and Federico Fellini.
Dinner and overnight in Drvengrad.
Day 9 - Tjentište
After a lazy morning in Drvengrad we’ll enter again the Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina and head to Višegrad, famous for it Ottoman-era Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, a UNESCO world heritage site popularised by Ivo Andrić in his novel The Bridge on the Drina, and Andrićgrad aka Stonetown, a newly built pedestrian area dedicated to Andrić.
From Višegrad we’ll drive down south and reach the Tjentište, home to the Spomenik to the Battle of Sutjeska in the Valley of Heroes, a massive wing-shaped poured-concrete-and-rebar memorial representing the flight to victory, which is overcoming the oppression and hate forced upon these hills by the German and Italian occupying armies.
The landscape surrounding the memorial is idyllic sceneries and will get the best out of this gorgeous natural setting by staying in one of the few traditional guesthouses dotting the area.
Dinner and overnight in Tjentište.
Day 10 - Durmitor National Park
Today we’ll leave the Republika Srpska and enter Montenegro, a newly independent country famous for its breathtaking mountainscapes and paradisiac - if a bit overcrowded - coastlines.
We’ll first head to the mountains and precisely into the Durmitor National Park, a natural area of stunning gorgeousness that was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites back in 1980 and not without a reason: deep gorges, high rock cliffs, gentle green slopes, thick forests and crystal-clear water streams.
We’ll spend the day in the park and base ourselves in the hamlet of Rasova, a bucolic place of few households scattered next to the Tara Canyon and with a view over the namesake impressive Đurđevića Bridge, a 1940 marvel of Yugoslav engineering.
Dinner and overnight in Rasova.
Day 11 - Budva
From the mountains we’ll descend onto Nikšić, the second largest city of Montenegro, where we’ll admire the highly complex and slightly bizarre Stargate-shaped Spomenik to Fallen fighters of WWII, which sits at the footsteps of the Trebjesa Hill overlooking the whole town.
Finally we’ll head down to the coast and, after a walk down the lovely esplanade of Perast and a seafood lunch in the world-famous old city of Kotor, surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period, we’ll eventually move to the postcard-like seaside town of Budva for the night.
Dinner and overnight in Budva.
Day 12 - Podgorica
From Budva we’ll travel further south towards the Albanian border, stopping en route to snap epic pictures and to take a plunge in peaceful coves, before eventually reaching the chaotic Albanian-dominated city of Ulcinj, where we’ll have a late seafood lunch and visit the Freedom Spomenik, commemorating the fallen fighters and civilian victims from the city during the National Liberation War (WWII).
In the afternoon we’ll eventually head to Podgorica, the nitty-gritty Montenegrin capital, where we’ll spend our last evening gorging ourselves with ćevapčići and beer surrounded by concrete monsters and kitschy bars.
Dinner, party and overnight in Podgorica.
DAY 13 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Montenegrin-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Podgorica International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
3 to 6 participants: 1750 €
Are you interested in only one segment of this trip?
Please contact us for individual quotes and further details.
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
Please note: It’s advisable to arrive in Sarajevo one day before the actual tour begins. You should notice, however, that you’ll have to take care of your accommodation for any day and night preceding the actual start date of the tour. Without any additional charge we will readily and gladly reserve a room for you at our hotel of choice and you’ll be able to pay for it by cash or credit card once you check-in. If your flight lands on the same day as the tour begins and you prefer to rest a bit before going out sightseeing, you will then meet your tour guide and the rest of the group at the designated hotel in the late afternoon.
Airport pickup/transfer in Sarajevo and Podgorica is available for just 35 euros per ride.