On this tailored Balkan holiday, take one of Europe's most spectacular train rides from Belgrade to Bar.It is a feat of engineering with 435 bridges to cross, 254 tunnels to pass through and 475 kilometres to travel from the Serbian capital of Belgrade to the port city of Bar on Montenegro's Adriatic coast.
Construction of the line started in the 1950s, and was only completed in 1976 when it was opened by President Tito himself. Nowadays, there is one day time departure and another travelling overnight, both taking up to 12 hours. Use that time wisely; relax, unwind and drink in those incredible Balkan views! Train stock is a little tired but this is one train ride which is much more about the journey than the vessel itself.
This is a tailor-made itinerary which can be altered to suit you. Please speak to a Balkans specialist about adding on alternative parts of Montenegro.
Arrive in Belgrade and transfer to hotel. Check in for 3 nights.
Today explore Belgrade on a half day city tour. One of the most lively and vibrant capitals in Europe, located on the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, the city is well known for its nightlife and many floating bars and restaurants can be found along their banks. Visit the impressive St Sava Orthodox Cathedral, Kalemegdan Fortress and the city's main shopping area along Knez Mihailova Street, where many impressive historical buildings stand beside buzzing cafes and cultural institutions. (B)
Today you may like to venture out of Belgrade and visit Novi Sad and Fruska Gora region on an organised excursion (not included). Novi Sad is Serbia’s second city and capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina. Set to be the European capital of Culture for 2021, the heart of this laid-back city is the pedestrian thoroughfare Zmaj Jovina, with its many shops and cafes. The city is presided over by the Petrovaradin Fortress, also known as the ‘Gibraltar of the Danube’. Continue on to the Fruska Gora National Park, where the rolling landscape is dotted with 16 medieval monasteries which were built to safeguard Serbian culture and religion. The nearby town of Sremski Karlovci is rich with Baroque and neo-classical buildings and was the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Habsburg Monarchy. Alternatively, spend the day further exploring Belgrade at your leisure. (B)
This morning transfer to Belgrade Train Station for the day train to Bar (Tara) or spend the day further exploring Belgrade before boarding the overnight train (Lovcen). The Tara mainly consists of older 2nd class carriages. There is a cafe-bar wagon usually attached to the train, selling hot drinks and snacks but do make sure you take your own as it is not always there. Seat reservations are not often taken notice of, so for the best scenery sit on the right hand side of the train going south. Your eyes will be thoroughly treated to some exceptional views and many a sheer drop. For the best views of the entire journey, passing between Podgorica and Bar in daylight, opt to take the overnight train. The sleeper train is made up of a mix of 6 and 4 berth couchettes and 1,2 and 3 berth compartments with wash basin. We will endeavour to book the compartments whenever possible. On arrival in Bar, transfer to your hotel. Check in for 4 nights. (B)
If taking the sleeper train, arrive around 08:00 and transfer to the hotel for a 3 night stay. Free day to relax at the hotel, on the beach or further explore the area. (B)
Free day to relax or explore the surrounding area. The old town of Bar (Stari Bar) is located a few miles from the coastal city, at the foot of Mt Rumija. There are fortress ruins to explore and one of the oldest olive tress in the world to discover, as well as some quaint shops and restaurants. (B)
Free day to relax or explore the coast further, perhaps hiring a car or driver to head up the coast to popular Budva and the riviera or further south to Ulcinj and the Ada Bojana delta. (B)
This morning, transfer to Podgorica Airport for flight back to the UK. (B)
*As of 2023, the Tara day train is due to operate from mid June to mid September. The Lovcen sleeper train operates year round.