Serbia: Land of the Iron Emperors

Felix Romuliana, Gamzigrad
Felix Romuliana, Gamzigrad
Felix Romuliana, Gamzigrad
Felix Romuliana, Gamzigrad
Medieval fortress in Golubac, Serbia
Medieval fortress in Golubac, Serbia
View of the Serbian City
View of the Serbian City
View of Belgrade, capital of Serbia
View of Belgrade, capital of Serbia
Belgrade Fortress
Belgrade Fortress
Novi Sad
Novi Sad
Caricin Grad
Caricin Grad

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
  • The late retirement palace of Emperor Galerius at Gamzigrad
  • Visit castles on the banks of the mighty Danube
  • Krusevac Lazarica monastery, set among forested hills in the south
  • The old town at Nis, a typical medieval trading city of the Balkans

Themes

  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly into Belgrade and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
Hotel: Royal Inn
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

A day of imperial connections. We drive to Sirmium, one of the capitals of the Late Roman world. Numerous emperors, from Marcus Aurelius onwards, used it as their convenient campaign base on the Danube to intercept barbarian raids and to dominate the road network. Later, under the Tetrarchs, it became an imperial capital. In the afternoon, we cross the river to Novi Sad and visit the Austrian Petrovaredin fortress.
Hotel: Royal Inn
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

We will begin the day by driving to the great Neolithic tell (one of only 2 in Europe) at Vinca. The material culture first identified here was crucial to developing an understanding of the first settled agriculture in Europe. In the afternoon we return to Belgrade for a walk through the city to trace the remains of Roman Sigidunum and Belgrade’s medieval past in the great fortress overlooking the rivers Sava and Danube.
Hotel: Royal Inn
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

A long day as we will drive along the Danube to Viminacium, the Roman capital of Moesia, to see the excavations. The amphitheatre, part of an extensive necropolis, the public baths and a mammoth have all been uncovered. Then on to Golubac, the great medieval and Turkish castle guarding the entrance to the Iron Gates gorge. This fortress has curtain walls cascade dramatically down the southern bank of the river. In the afternoon we will stop at the extraordinary Mesolithic settlement at Lepenski Vir, and finally a drive along the Danube gorge to Kladovo where we will spend one night.
Hotel: Royal Inn
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

This morning, before heading south we will stop briefly at the ruins of the great bridge over the Danube built by Apollodorus of Damascus for Emperor Trajan. We then 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, and his mausoleum. 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.
Hotel: New City Hotel, Nis
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

A morning visit to 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. Later view the finds from the site on display in Zajecar before returning to Nis to see the Archaeological Hall of the Museum.
Hotel: New City Hotel, Nis
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Constantine the Great was born at Nis and, interestingly, sections of the walls from this era remain. We pay a quick morning visit to the fortress, and then we hope to visit the Constantinian imperial villa at Mediana. We drive on to Krusevac for lunch and then a visit to the church and town built by the heroic, doomed, Price Lazar in the fourteenth century. Then back to Belgrade.
Hotel: Royal Inn
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

Today we transfer to the airport and catch our return flight back to the UK, where we bid farewell to marvellous Serbia.
Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2019 Tour Details

Thu 2nd May - Thu 9th May

Available

Guaranteed Departure

£2,360

inc.

sgl supp: £250

SER19A

Led By: Oliver Gilkes

Guide Lecturer

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