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Balkan Trilogy Founder's Tour

9-18 May, 2025

Discover the Western Balkans

Explore the Western Balkans with Greg and uncover its rich history and cultural tapestry. From the vibrant streets of Belgrade, shaped by empires, to the melting pot of Sarajevo with its Ottoman and European influences. Witness the resilience of Mostar’s Old Bridge and end your journey in Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. Travel with Exeter for an unforgettable experience in this captivating region.

Highlights include:

  • Private boat tour on the Sava & Danube Rivers.
  • Curator-led tour of the National Museum in Belgrade.
  • Private tour of the Royal Palace in Belgrade.
  • Private sevdalinka music performance in Sarajevo.
  • Private pre-opening tour of the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo.
  • Private oyster & wine tasting in Dubrovnik.
  • Private boat tour in Dubrovnik.

See our post-tour to Montenegro HERE.


Cost per person in double accommodation: $11,500

Single Supplement: $3,400

Belgrade Serbia

Friday, May 9

Individual arrivals into Belgrade. Your private driver will greet you outside of customs for your private transfer to the St.Regis Hotel.

Our journey begins in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. The city lies on the confluence of two powerful rivers, the Sava and the Danube. The site of the city was settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts before becoming a Roman settlement. The Slavic name Beligrad (literally meaning White City)  was first recorded in 878 AD. Belgrade first became the capital of the Serbian Kingdom in the 13th century, and the Ottoman Turks ruled from the 14th century to the mid-19th century. After World War I, it was the capital of Yugoslavia from 1918 until 2006.

Private Boat Tour on the Sava & Danube Rivers

We will meet in the lobby at 5:30PM and will enjoy a boat tour along the Sava and Danube rivers before dinner at one of Belgrade’s best
restaurants in the charming district of Zemun.

Meals: Dinner 

Hotel: St Regis

Saturday, May 10

Curator Led Tour of the National Museum

Today we will have a curator-led tour at the National Museum. Housed over three floors of a neoclassical former bank building on Republic Square, the museum has a 400,000-piece collection. The museum was closed for 15 years and has just re-opened. The first floor covers prehistory and classical antiquity, as well as an abundance of Roman material (18 emperors, including Constantine the Great, were born in what is now Serbia). The second floor has a collection of Byzantine Serbian exhibits, and the top floor is devoted to paintings with a focus on Yugoslav and European art. The Impressionist collection is impressive, with works by Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cézanne.

Lunch will be in Kalemegdan Park, close to the Belgrade Fortress.
After lunch, we will visit the fortress and enjoy a walking tour of
the Old Town.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Hotel: St Regis

National Museum Belgrade
Violin experience Belgrade

Sunday, May 11

This morning, we will have a curator-led tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art. This stunning modernist building, located in Usce Park in New Belgrade, contains more than 8,000 works. It was first opened in 1965. The building consists of six jutting concrete cubes that seem to float on top of glass walls. Inside, the five-story space is filled with light. The collection includes important Yugoslav works
from the 20th and 21st centuries.

After a casual lunch in a charming local restaurant, we will drive to Kovacica, 35 miles from Belgrade. This area of the countryside has been a Slovakian enclave since 1802. Today we will meet some of the
artists at the Gallery of Naïve Arts. The gallery was established in 1955 by self-taught artists, 18 of whom remain. They are all in their late 70s and 80s and still paint prolifically. Today their main purpose is to pass down and preserve the tradition of Naïve painting to the next generation.

Later, we will visit the workshop of a master violin maker and restorer. Jan’s son and granddaughter both have learned this artisanal skill, and it is wonderful to hear their story.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

Hotel: St Regis

Monday, May 12

This morning, we will check out of our hotel and depart for Sarajevo.
Before departure, we will have a Private tour of the Royal Palace complex. There are two palaces: the Royal Palace, built in the Serbian- Byzantium style in the 1920s, and the White Palace, built a decade later. The Royal Palace is unique as it is the residence of the Royal Family HRH Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Katherine. During the Socialist period, both palaces were closed to visitors and were used by Tito to entertain visiting dignitaries.

We will then transfer to the airport for our short flight to Sarajevo, where we will transfer to the Swissotel Sarajevo which offers
panoramic views of the city. The cost of the flight is included in the program.

Tonight, we will enjoy a traditional Bosnian dinner to officially welcome us to the city!

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Hotel: Swissotel Sarajevo

Sarajevo Bosnia
Coppersmith Sarajevo

Tuesday, May 13

This morning, we will meet our guide to start our exploration of the city. The compact Old Town makes for easy and enjoyable exploration on foot, and the Ferhadija pedestrian street is lined with architectural monuments, cafes, and shops. We will stroll along the Miljacka River and see the bridges built during Ottoman times. One of these, the elegant stone Latin Bridge, is where the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Nowadays, a plaque commemorates the place of the assassination, and a small museum stands on the northern bank of the river.

Later, we will also visit the Jewish Museum, housed in the oldest synagogue in the region, before some free time for lunch and exploration of the old town independently.
Next to the Coppersmith Street, you can see the Marketplace Mosque. Erected in the 16th century, it is still a functioning temple, and calls to prayer can still be heard several times a day.

Later this afternoon we will visit the National Museum, which is close
to our hotel and where the highlight is the Sarajevo Haggadah.

Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Swissotel Sarajevo

Wednesday, May 14

Private Pre-Opening tour of the War Childhood Museum

This morning, we will have a special pre-opening visit to the
extraordinary War Childhood Museum, recipient of the 2018 Council of Europe Museum Prize. The museum came into being after its founder, a child during the conflict, asked other children who survived the war to explain what the war meant to them. It is a powerful, nuanced, and very moving experience that will be impossible to forget.
Lunch today will be at a wonderful local restaurant.

Private Sevdalinka Performance

As a finale, we will visit the Bosniak Institute. Founded by a wealthy Bosnian intellectual who lived in exile for many years, the institute is partly located in a renovated hammam and serves as a fascinating museum of Bosniak culture and art. We will enjoy a private tour of the institute and have a performance of traditional Bosnian Sevdalinka music. This evening will be at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Hotel: Swissotel Sarajevo

War Childhood Museum Sarajevo
Mostar, Bosnia

Thursday, May 15

This morning, we will check out and drive to Dubrovnik via Mostar,
the unofficial capital of Herzegovina, which is situated on the Neretva River. It also has a micro-climate and is usually significantly warmer than Sarajevo!
Mostar was named after its famous UNESCO-protected Old Bridge (Stari Most) and the towers on its sides, known as the bridge keepers’ (mostari). On arrival, our guide will meet us, and we will enjoy an overview walking tour of Mostar’s Old Town. Walking along the Old Bridge, we will enter Mostar’s cobbled Ottoman Quarter, which still houses the shops of many local artists and craftsmen, as well as beautiful 16thcentury mosques, museums, and cafes.

A late lunch will be arranged before we continue our journey to Dubrovnik, where we will check into the Villa Dubrovnik for an evening at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

Hotel: Villa Dubrovnik

Friday, May 16

This morning, our guide will meet us for an overview walking tour of the historic center of Dubrovnik, which is a UNESCO Heritage site. After our tour, you will have some free time to explore on your own.

This evening at 6 PM, we will depart the hotel for a one-hour private boat tour on the bay of Dubrovnik to view the town from another perspective.

Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Villa Dubrovnik

Vedrana- Traditional boat in Dubrovnik
Ston Croatia oysters and wine

Saturday, May 17

Private Oyster Tasting

This morning, we will depart Dubrovnik at around 11 AM for the Peljesac peninsula, which, was first colonized by the Greeks, later by the Romans and Byzantines, and in the Middle Ages often changed
hands between the Venetian and Ragusan Republics. The peninsula is known for its fine vineyards and the best oysters in Dalmatia farmed in the town of Ston. We will join the oyster farmer on his private island for a picnic lunch hosted by his family. We’ll have an oyster tasting and a light lunch of local specialties, along with local wine.

Private Wine Tasting

Our next stop will be at the Vukas vineyard. Vukas’ forefathers started growing the wine Plavac Mali on the inaccessible grounds of the Crnjova hill steep slopes. We will return to Dubrovnik and enjoy our evening at leisure

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Hotel: Villa Dubrovnik

Sunday, May 18

Individual departure transfers for your onward flights.

Our process is high-touch, and extremely personalized. Let us walk you through the steps when you decide to travel with Exeter.