Serbia: Land of the Iron Emperors
Situated on the mighty Danube and stretching into the Balkans, this land is one of the cradles of civilisation. One of the earliest flowerings of community can be seen at Vinc?a, where Neolithic farmers and traders exploited the Danube’s banks. We also visit castles and fortresses, discover the old town at Nis, and delve deeper into the incredibly rich history of Serbia.
This tour is a little off the beaten track, but the country’s wealth of evocative sites will ensure our days - and minds - are filled with wonder. Join us as we uncover the story of Serbia & the Balkans, alongside our expert guide, Oliver Gilkes.
- Explore Vin?a, the Danube-side cradle of European civilisation
- Late Roman grandeur at the fortified palace of Emperor Galerius
- Visit castles on the banks of the mighty Danube
- Slocbik Lazarica monastery, set among forested hills in the south
- The old town at Nis, a typical Medieval trading city of the Balkans
- Historic Churches
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We fly into Belgrade and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
A morning exploration of Belgrade awaits, including a visit to the impressive collections of the Serbian National and Historical Museum. We look into the past of this Danubian citadel with a visit to the Belgrade fortress, where the remains of Roman Singidunum have been excavated.
A day of imperial connections. We drive to Sirmium, one of the capitals of the Late Roman world. Three emperors, namely Galerius, Severus II and Licinius, used it as their convenient base on the Danube to intercept barbarian raids and to dominate the road network. In the afternoon, we cross the river to Novi Sad and visit the Serbian Petrovaredin fortress.
We make our way out of the city this morning, to Vinča. One of the most important sites of European prehistory, occupation here from c. 5700 BC produced one of the first great settled farming communities, which subsequently saw an explosion in both human population and in settlement. We visit the famous river bank site and then move on to Golubac, to tour a striking Medieval, Turkish and Serbian fortress whose iconic curtain walls cascade dramatically down the side of the river.
This morning, we set out for the south and head to Gamzigrad. Here, at a place named Felix Romuliana, Emperor Galerius built himself a retirement villa, much like that of his mentor Diocletian at Split. Set in rolling countryside, a huge walled enclosure once contained this majestic country villa, but its ruins now are just as impressive. Nearby is the specially built funeral pyre where Galerius was cremated. We drive to the town of Nis, claimed to be one of the oldest cities in the Balkans and the gateway between the East and West.
Into the hills today to Caricin Grad, where we visit the ruins and archaeological site of Justiniana Prima. The 6th century emperor Justinian the Great ordered the reconstruction of his home village into a model ‘city’ of his era. After discovering the story here, we return to Nis and visit the Roman villa at Mediana with its impressive mosaics. There will also be a chance to explore the old town and fortress.
Constantine the Great was born at Nis and, interestingly, sections of the walls from this era remain. This city also boasts a great archaeology museum, which we will explore before departing. Later, we stop at Krusevac. Here, the hero Prince Lazar, last of the great Medieval monarchs, had his capital and he commissioned a Byzantine-style brick church.
Today we transfer to the airport and catch our return ight back to the UK, where we bid farewell to marvellous Serbia.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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