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Roadtrip across Serbia

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Spain
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Roadtrip across Serbia

Hello,

With my family we plan to pass 6 days driving from Montenegro to Serbia in july. Our idea is to start in Kotor then Kraljevo, Nis, Despotovac, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci and finally Belgrade.

Do you think this is a good idea? We are interested not only in big cities and monasteries but also in visiting the "deep Serbia".

Are we forgetting something really important? Unfortunatly we have not time to visit Ostrog and the Durmitor National Parc but somehow we have to choose...

Do you have any idea about where we could sleep in our way from Kotor to Kraljevo? I saw that it's about 6 hours driving and I think the best is to sleep in the middle but we don't know where it can be interesting. I suppose we will pass the border near Bijelo Polje

Thanks a lot for your help. I really need help for the organization of this trip....

Belgrade, Serbia
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1. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

My idea would be to stay over night on Zlatibor, have lunch there, than head to Uzice and then to Kraljevo.

Or when you leave Kotor, go over Cetinje, have a stop there, than head to Zlatibor.

Hope this hints are helpful.

london
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2. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

hi Nadiejda,

July is a high season in Montenegro and road from the see side to the mainland is very difficult with lots of bends. In Serbia roads are not very good ( except in some parts) and there a lots of accidents on the roads ( new traffic law just been passed in Serbian government ) and you would have to be very careful when driving.

I would suggest you to try and stay in places around big cities as summers are very hot and humid. Instead of staying in Kraljevo try to stay in Vrnjacka Banjs which is nearby spa. You can stay in nice guest house and have spa facilites there but also do some sightseeing from town itself. There are lots of Monasteries around: Zica, Ljubostinja but there are a lots of concerts, theatre plays, exhibitions etc happening in spa itself during summer.

I think you have order of the cities wrong as after Despotovac comes Belgrade then Sremski Karlovci which is situated just outside of Novi Sad. Are you going to Exit festival?

Spain
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3. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Thanks for the suggestions!

Since we are early travellers, after leaving Kotor the lunch in Cetinje will probably be breakfast, do you think that is possible too?

I guess sleeping at Zlatibor seems about in the middle of this route between Kotor and Kraljevo. Is there any place in specific which is suitable to stay the night? Did you mean Uzice for this, because a closer look to the map made us think it would be too far in our route from Kotor to Kraljevo.

Another thing we were wondering is if it would be a big loss too miss Nis during our trip. We added it in our original planning, but considering the long distance from Nis to Novi Sad (passing the Monastery of Manasija around Despotovac) and our tight schedule it could mean travelling too much on a single day. We guess Novi Sad is more important to visit than Nis, but maybe this is not the case!?

Well.....a lot of questions, but we hope you'll be able to ''guide'' us some more ;-)

Spain
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4. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Hi ''readyclickandgo'',

Thanks for your reply! Good to know that the roads are a bit dangerous and bad. And, due to your suggestion we'll probably change our original planning of staying in Kraljevo. Instead, we will probably sleep in Vrnjacka Banjs. Do you have any place in particular you can recommend us to sleep at in Vrnjacka Banjs? Zica was indeed already in our planning and we will stick to that, but we also started to wonder if Studenica Monastery is not something which can not be missed. What is your opinion?

About the order, i can understand your thought, but the reason we organised it like that is because we want to finish in Belgrade in any case. It will not be possible to go to the Exit festival, since we will unfortunately not be there yet.

Like we asked on this forum before, we are wondering if Nis can be skipped in our planning in total in order to substiute it for other sights, what do you think? (in that case we might pass Kragujevac instead).

We are curious what you think about all of this!

Greetings,

Nadiejda

london
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5. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Dear Nadiejda,

I can recommend an agency from Vrnjacka Banja - the guy speaks good English and he organises local trips from Vrnjacka Banja itself to surrounding Monasteries: Zica, Studenica, Ljubostinja, Sv Petka…His email address is : mdturs@ptt.yu and his website address is : www.mdtours.com I would even organise a one day trip with him and his car instead of driving around myself. You can ask him for accommodation too. Don’t go for the hotels as they are expensive and not good value. Try small independent bed and breakfasts. Here’s a list, have a look what to expect (it’s not in English unfortunately) http://www.vrnjackabanja.co.rs/hoteli.html

I would reccommed the BelI Bor. I didn’t stay there but I heard good reports - it’s new and clean. They will probably offer you half or full board but just go for b&b as food is cheap and there are so many places to eat out. Somwhere on this site you can find a map of Vrnjacka Banja with the list of all hotels.

I would recommed a visit to the Studenica and Zica Monasteries, both were established by King Stefan Prvovencani, the First-Crowned King of Serbia. The Studenica Monastery is under UNESCO protection and you can find frescoes dating from the 13th century. Seven kings of Serbia have been crowned in Zica monastery, the latest in 1940 just before WWII when this monastery was badly damaged. Today it’s a is womens’ monastery with the nuns working in nearby fields producing honey and herbal teas which they sell. Even if you are not particularly into religion I would suggest you stay on for a service which takes place every day at 5pm. It’s unbelievable - I never heard nuns singing before but also the whole atmosphere is almost mystical as they close the entry doors and it’s very mysterious.

I did submit a post about Vrnjacka Banja on tripadvisor and it’s still pending. Once it’s up and running you can read more about it.

Now if I have to choose between Kragujevac and Nis I would always choose Nis, the birthplace of Constatine the Great, founder of Constantinople - today known as Istanbul. There is much more history in the city of Nis than in Kragujevac which is a more industrial city - a famous car factory is situated there.

Are you flying back from Belgrade? If you need more info please fell free to ask. Its very frustrating if you don’t speak Serbian. Most websites don’t have an English version and if they do it’s only with a very small amount of info. Uf, one very important thing - try to get city maps printed from the internet - once you are in Serbia everything is in the Cyrillic alphabet (which is the official alphabet) and it’s so difficult if you are not already familiar with it.

readyclickandgo

U.K.
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6. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

I won't comment on tours as I have little experience.

I agree with the above to favour Nis over Kragujevac, in Kragujenac there is little of interest for tourists.

Stoofer

Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

To see the monasteries near Kraljevo (Lopatnica, about 12 Kms), try

http://www.agritur-milojevic.com/ or at book.visitserbia.org/tohotel.php?ID=279&L=SR

From there you can visit Zica, Studenica, Gradac, Kalenic and even Sopocani. It is a very simple place but the owner is really nice.

We did not find anywhere to stay near bijelo Polje and went all the way to Kolasin once and stayed in a very pleasant small hotel http://www.brile.info/?lang=en

Soy espanola pero vivo en Serbia, no dudeis en poneros en contacto si necesitais mas informacion!

Belgrade, Serbia
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8. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Holla Nadiejda,

think that I share the same feeling with others who have a good will in giving advices. Not clear what do you expect from your trip?

Think...you will pass by Ostrog (not inetrested in monasteries),Durmitor (not interested in nature)...and what is interesting in Despotovac or Kraljevo fe.?

Don't make me wrong, just explain what are you asking for more specific?

Spain
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9. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Hi Readyclickandgo,

First of all, thank you very much for your answer. I appreciate a lot the big effort you did to give me good advices!.

I am especially interested in the idea of contacting the agency in Vrnjacka Banja for having a one-day trip fully organized instead of driving ourselves. I tried to enter in the website you gave me but I couldn’t (www.mdtours.com); later I will probably send them a mail to see if it is possible.

About the monasteries, Zica was already in our list and the reason for going to Kraljevo and now it’s clear to me that Studenica is a must. We will do our best for staying for a service, I am sure it will be impressive!

The question about Nis or Kragujevac is solved: we will not have time to visit Nis despite our interest for that city and Kragujevac is not in the way to Despotovac so we will also skip it… I am sorry for my father who would have loved to visit the birthplace of Constantine the Great but there is not time for everything…

Yes, we fly back from Belgrade and this is why we will visit that city at the end of the trip.

Thank you for the tip about the maps, I will prepare everything in advance but it should not be a big problem for us since a read Cyrillic alphabet (I have been living a few years in Russia). Do you know if it is possible to rent a GPS?

Thanks a lot for your useful answer.

Nadiejda.

Spain
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10. Re: Roadtrip across Serbia

Hola EstiBilbao!

Que placer comunicar con una espanola!

Thanks for your useful answer.

To visit Zica, Studenica readyclickandgo recommended us to stay in Vrnjacka Banja. What do you think? I can not evaluate if it is better than to stay in Lopatnica but what I like in his idea is the possibility of contacting an agency who will organize us a one-day trip to visit the surrounding monasteries…We will try to contact that agency and if we can not, maybe we will follow your advice about Lopatnica.

About Kolasin, this is the main question: we have to go from Kotor to Lopatnica or Vrnjacka Banja, but because is too long, we will sleep somewhere in the middle. What is the best option? Don’t you think that Kolasin is too close to Kotor and far from Lopatnica ? What do you think that prijepolje or Nova Varos are more in the middle?

We are desperately looking for an idea about how to do this part of the trip. We have little time and we have to optimize the maximum… And of course we would not like to miss anything important...

And for Kotor, do you know any good place for sleeping in the center of the city?

Thanks again,

Nadiejda