Orthodox Easter in The Balkans
£2,155 excl. flight
- A rich variety of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- The tranquil beauty of Lake Ochid, Macedonia
- The incomparable frescoes of Decani, Kosovo
Spend Orthodox Easter in the Balkans on a tour through the region’s rich historical and religious heritage. The dramatic scenery of Serbia hides UNESCO World Heritage Orthodox monasteries and churches. Kosovo boasts the impressive UNESCO Decani and Gracanica Monasteries and Patriarchate of Pec, while in Macedonia enjoy Mount Galicica National Park and the country’s historical treasures at UNESCO Ohrid, Skopje and Roman Heraclea Lyncestis.
Day 1 London/ Belgrade – Arrive in Belgrade.
Day 2 Belgrade – Explore Belgrade’s elegant palaces, Republic Square and impressive fortress of Kalemegdan, the symbol of Belgrade.
Day 3 Belgrade, Novi Sad - Drive to Fruška Gora, home to 17 medieval monasteries. Visit historically important Krušedol Monastery and Baroque Sremski Karlovci. Explore the famous fortress of Petrovaradin before reaching Novi Sad.
Day 4 Belgrade, Niš - See impressively preserved Manasija and Ravanica Monasteries with fine frescoes and relics. Explore the lavish remains at the UNESCO Roman town of Gamzigrad before arriving in Niš, birthplace of Constantine the Great.
Day 5 Niš, Krusevac - Visit the luxurious royal residence at Mediana and Niš’ grim Skull Tower, built out of 952 skulls of Serbian heroes. Continue to medieval Kruševac, the fine Lazarica Court Church and the beautiful 14th-century Monastery Ljubostinja.
Day 6 Kraljevo, Novi Pazar - Explore Žiča Monastery and UNESCO Studenica Monastery, the crowning achievement of medieval culture and art in Serbia. On to Sopoćani Monastery with its magnificent mural paintings. There is opportunity to celebrate Orthodox Easter this evening.
Day 7 Kosovo, Skopje - Cross the border to Kosovo to impressive Dečani Monastery, which boasts the best preserved Romaneque-Gothic sculpture. On to the Patriarchate of Pec whose four churches date from the 13th-century. Tour Priština, capital of Kosovo before visiting the Monastery Gracanica, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8 Skopje, Ohrid – Explore Skopje, capital of the Republic of Macedonia, its Stone Bridge, Old Bazaar and beautiful Mustapha Pasha Mosque. Later visit the scenic Mavrovo National Park and the mountain Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski, before arriving in Ohrid.
Day 9 Ohrid – Head to the UNESCO old town museum, known in ancient times as Lychnidos, the City of Lights. The cradle of Slavic written language and literature, it is also called the ‘City of 365 churches’.
Day 10 Ohrid, Bitola - Explore St. Naum Monastery, then on to Mount Galicica National Park with a drive around beautiful Lake Prespa.
Day 11 Bitola, Skopje -Tour Bitola, ‘City of the Consuls’, a meeting point of different cultures and civilizations, with its well-preserved Old Bazaar. Then Heraclea Lyncestis, with its Episcopal residence, basilicas, theatre and mosaics. Continue to Stobi for its mosaics.
Day 12 Skopje/ London – Return to London.
William Taylor is a writer and broadcaster on the Islamic world and Orthodox Churches. He has travelled extensively throughout the Balkans, Middle East and Central Asia and speaks Syriac, Arabic and Turkish.
His publications include Light from the East, Christians in the Holy Land and Antioch and Canterbury. His PhD was on Orthodox Churches in the late Ottoman period.
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