Past Future Monuments of the Balkans - April 14, 2020 - Atlas Obscura Trips C1FEBA7D-E5F8-4E43-97C6-9A1EFCDF1BF9 Created with sketchtool. F14FCE3B-EF06-411C-95BE-B33AF2E5F507 Created with sketchtool. 74A7FA94-1BB9-47D5-8B14-2D37611D2AFC Created with sketchtool. E627592D-2A42-4495-A796-CCDF7535B7B9 Created with sketchtool. 28C201CB-2EF4-42C4-9F73-1C505BA26AFF Created with sketchtool. 1CC841F9-78D8-4D09-A414-538DA9B893AE Created with sketchtool. 6A84E8F7-BB4F-441B-AA3A-76277FBA39EC Created with sketchtool. BCB685E1-E0B3-4823-8AC0-8CD25044A525 Created with sketchtool. C110AEA3-1199-4E8A-9446-98B3330BB278 Created with sketchtool.
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter
Photo Credit: Darmon Richter

Past Future Monuments of the Balkans

from $4,215 per person for 13 days, 12 nights
See Dates and Prices
  • Max Group Size: 10
  • Easy
  • Road Trip

On this dramatic road trip across Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, we’ll explore the Balkans in search of Yugoslav memorial sites. Scores of these wonderfully bizarre monuments lay scattered across the hills and mountains of the region, vast Modernist effigies raised to commemorate the deeds of anti-fascist partisans and revolutionaries. Once upon a time, these striking sites were busy with tour buses and school children, but ever since the collapse of Yugoslavia, the visitors have dwindled. Over the course of this one-of-a-kind adventure, we’ll visit more than a dozen of these remarkable monuments—known locally as spomeniks—and treat them to the well-deserved attention that they’ve been largely missing for these past few decades. We’ll honor them not as political symbols, but rather as extraordinary works of art commemorating events that should never be forgotten. However, it won’t just be concrete and steel we’re looking at—along the way we’ll see mountains and lakes, explore underground tunnels, stay in Brutalist hotels, dig into local cuisines, and get to know the people who make up this diverse region of Eastern Europe.

Highlights
  • Otherworldly monuments
  • Complex geopolitical history
  • Capital city explorations
  • Lakeside relaxation

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
9ECDBEFF-DEE8-4174-AF7A-D35769890567 Created with sketchtool.
I was beautifully bombarded with history, architecture, religion, art, politics, poetry, and meat every day.
—Eric B. (April 2018)

Additional Info

Activity Level

This tour is suitable for guests of all ages (18 and above) and is not very physically strenuous—just be sure to pack your walking shoes, your flashlight, and your sense of adventure. Be aware that this tour also involves a good amount of driving time, so dress for comfort.

Accommodation

Sometimes we’ll stay at modern 4-star resorts, while other nights we’ll be immersed in retro hospitality at Brutalist 1970s hotels. Some of these buildings are as interesting as any monument we’ll see. 

Transportation

Over the course of these 13 days we’ll travel more than 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles), and through three very different countries. We will have our own private bus for the journey, a modern, air-conditioned vehicle with a professional driver.

Arrival & Departure

Belgrade has one of the best-connected airports in the Balkans. You should plan to arrive by 4 p.m. on April 14 and depart anytime on April 26. If you plan to arrive early or stay later, we’re more than happy to help in arranging your accommodation and suggesting activities in Belgrade.  

Dates and Prices

Apr 14–Apr 26, 2020
The total cost of this trip is $4,215. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space. The deposit is non-refundable after three days. The final payment of $3,715 will be due by January 15, 2020. All reservations will be final after this date and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip's Terms & Conditions. For travelers wishing to have single accommodations during the trip, an additional $765 will be due at the time of the final payment.
Included
  • Twelve nights of hotel accommodation.
  • Daily breakfast and four group dinners.
  • All activities and entry fees.
  • The company of two guides on hand throughout: one local expert, and a PhD scholar who specializes in the monuments of Southeast Europe. 
  • Private transport in a modern, air-conditioned bus.
Excluded
  • Transportation and flights to and from Belgrade, Serbia, including airport transfers.
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including all lunches, eight dinners, and all alcoholic beverages.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • If applicable, applying for visas.
Shared Room
$4,215 per person
Single Room
$4,980 per person

Additional Dates

Trip FAQ

Funny you ask—turns out, no one can really agree on the exact answer to that question. (See: What Language Do People Speak in the Balkans, Anyway?) Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are all recognized as distinct and separate languages, though in practice they are more similar to one another than some dialects of the English language are (say for example, English as it is spoken in Texas vs. Scotland). Croatia uses the Latin alphabet, Serbia primarily uses Cyrillic, and Bosnia uses a mixture of the two. We’ll share with travelers a set of Serbian phrases that will prove useful in all three countries.