THE BEST PRIVATE DAY TRIPS FROM BELGRADE TO THE NORTH OF SERBIA - TOURS OF VOJVODINA
The best day trips departing from Belgrade feature the two most interesting and biggest towns in Vojvodina: Subotica and Novi Sad.
VOJVODINA province in the North of Serbia is a predominantly agricultural area with many villages and only a few other larger towns like Apatin, Sombor, Zrenjanin, Kikinda, and Vrsac. It has been home to more than 20 different nations that have lived here since the 18th century.
When the Habsburg Empire defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Pannonian Plain, it settled large groups of colonists in deserted and devastated marshlands. Some were soldiers like Serbs who fled from the Ottoman Empire, settled along the Danube and other rivers, and defended the new borders between the two empires. Others were German colonists known as hard-working peasants. Colonists from different parts of Europe followed them. Over time the plains became a fertile breadbasket of the empire.
After World War I, Vojvodina became a part of Serbia, and this area continued to be a melting pot of different ethnic groups speaking their languages and confessing different religions.
Vojvodina has several wine regions and viticulture is well developed. Should you want, we could add a visit to one of the wineries in any day tour described below. You would taste wine in one of the small family-owned wine cellars with tradition, a passion for wine, and superb wines. Meeting people who make wine and hearing their stories adds to the experience of wine tasting.
Your professional Serbian Heritage Interpreter and official Tour Guide guides in English or Spanish all tours to the North of Serbia - Vojvodina. Tours are organized from Monday to Sunday. All private day trips start at 8 a.m. from your hotel in Belgrade or any other place of your choosing within the town area and end at 8 p.m.
PRIVATE DAY TRIP TO SUBOTICA AND NOVI SAD
We will first head to the extreme north of Vojvodina and the Pannonian plain's sandy area. SUBOTICA is a multi-confessional, multi-linguistic, and multi-ethnic city, a genuine "city of minorities" that belonged to Austro-Hungary until World War I. The old town with more than 400 buildings - real architectural gems has received protection and recognition as an area of historical importance.
As the 19th century was drawing to a close a luxurious new style, Art Nouveau was taking Europe by storm. Art Nouveau developed as an opposition to the existing, officially recognized forms of arts, crafts, and architecture. Subotica became a keen convert to the Hungarian version of Art Nouveau called Floral Secession. In forty years, the majority of Subotica's most beautiful buildings, in what is now a protected area of the old town, were built. Today, 400 buildings are under state protection.
We will visit the most outstanding Secession-style buildings, including Ferenc Raichle Mansion, a uniquely spectacular residence decorated with wonderful blue glass mosaics, green wooden bay windows, as well as an abundance of curved, glazed pyrogranite elements. In the Town Hall, a building of exceptional beauty, we will see its finely decorated and intricately hand-painted interior.
The affluent Jewish community built the Synagogue, one of the most outstanding Art Nouveau religious buildings in Central Europe. We will step inside and admire the recently restored interior and its wonderful multi-colored stained-glass windows.
We will continue straight to NOVI SAD and walk through the old town and the main square in the afternoon. Although far smaller and with a rather modest architecture compared to Subotica's old town, it has a delightful lively atmosphere.
Alternatively, we can go to a Stud Farm to see its sixty Lipizzaner horses and enjoy the ride in the woods. Or we could visit a local wine cellar to taste their award-winning organic wines and go to Palic Lake for a pleasant walk through the park and along the lake shore.
PRIVATE JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR - DAY TRIP TO NOVI SAD AND SUBOTICA
Our day trip features two major Jewish communities in Vojvodina Novi Sad and Subotica.
In NOVI SAD, Serbia's second-largest city, there once lived a smaller, but well-organized Jewish community before World War II set in. The Jews of Novi Sad played a vital role in the city's administration and industry. Lipót Baumhorn, a leading synagogue architect in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, designed the SYNAGOGUE, a Jewish school with a community center in Novi Sad and some of the most beautiful buildings in Novi Sad.
SUBOTICA is an architectural treasure and a town of cultural significance. It is located right in the heart of the fertile plains of Southern Pannonia and is Serbia's northernmost substantial town. At the end of the 19th century, hundreds of beautiful buildings were built in different architectural styles during the city's stunning success and economic development. It was a time of Jewish entrepreneurs' intense activity that was behind the town's economic progress. Many buildings are a visible reminder of the long and prominent history of Jews in the area.
Prosperous Jewish citizens and entrepreneurs lived in a multi-religious but predominantly Catholic city. They built one of the most innovative fin de siècle Jewish temples in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Subotica SYNAGOGUE showcases the Hungarian-Jewish identity of its builders, and the beauty of its interior and exterior decoration is exceptional. Today, it is the only surviving Hungarian Art Nouveau Jewish place of worship in the world.
We will also visit the TOWN HALL's impressive interiors and admire its fine hand-painted walls and handmade decoration. These two buildings are the most remarkable among many beautiful buildings in the old town designed by Jewish architects. They feature fine Art Nouveau paintings, carved and molded finishes, and famous Zsolnay ceramics.
During the walk through the old town, you will see many other wonderful buildings designed by Jewish architects and notable Jewish families' homes and hear their life stories.
Although about 4000 Jewish citizens perished in the Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II, and the Jewish community now is only a fraction of what it once was, we can see Jewish architectural heritage at every step in the town.
PRIVATE DAY TRIP TO NOVI SAD, BAC, BODJANI AND FRUSKA GORA
After traveling via the rolling hills of the western side of Fruska Gora, dotted with villages of different religious and ethnic communities, we will stop in a beautiful village on the Danube banks and visit the oldest family home building preserved in Vojvodina.
The house, built for a Slovak soldier and his family, represents a rare example of rural architecture from the 18th century. Not far from the house is a charming Orthodox church with a fascinating history and beautiful icons created by some of the most prestigious Serbian painters in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Our next destination is BAC, the town surrounded by fertile land, beautiful orchards, and vineyards. It rose to prominence in the middle ages when it served both as the Archbishopric and a district seat.
In the FRANCISCAN ABBEY, founded by the Knights Templar in the 12th century, we will see recently discovered Gothic frescoes and the country's oldest library.
BAC FORTRESS, erected on an islet carved out by the Mostonga River, a tributary of the Danube in the 11th century, was entered over pull-bridges. The donjon tower built in the middle of the fortress dominates the former courtyard and represents one of the best examples of a late-medieval donjon in this part of Europe. Bac Fortress has been included in UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites.
Our next visit is the BODJANI MONASTERY, founded in the 15th century and centuries later painted by Christifor Zhefarovic, a painter, engraver, writer, poet, and notable proponent of Pan Slavism. Biblical scenes in the Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin are certainly the most unusual paintings in any Serbian monastery. Biblical characters dressed in 18th-century costumes and other eccentric visions mark the beginning of Baroque art in Vojvodina.
In NOVI SAD, we will see its historical buildings and enter the Synagogue, the Catholic Church, and the Orthodox Church during our walk through the narrow side streets.
After sightseeing the PETROVARADIN FORTRESS, built by Austrians for over 90 years as a military fort to reinforce their defense against the Ottomans, we will descend to WASSERSTADT, its administrative center, for a pleasant walk.
Before we return to Belgrade, we will stop in the tiny town of SREMSKI KARLOVCI. In this prosperous cultural and commercial center of Serbs in the 18th century wealthy Serbian merchants built numerous luxurious residences and a large central square with beautiful baroque buildings of impressive size for such a small city.
PRIVATE DAY TRIP TO NOVI SAD, SREMSKI KARLOVCI AND FRUSKA GORA
Leaving Belgrade, we will cross both the river Sava and the river Danube as we travel northwards to the NATIONAL PARK OF FRUSKA GORA.
We will travel to the eastern end of the mountain and first visit the HOPOVO MONASTERY and its 16th- century Church of St. Nicholas, the largest church built in this area. Then we will continue to the KRUSEDOL MONASTERY, considered one of the most important Serbian spiritual centers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first king of modern Serbia, King Milan, was buried in the Church of the Annunciation. Both monasteries have fresco paintings painted by provincial painters and represent only a distant echo of the mesmerizing religious art found in the monasteries in the south of Serbia.
We will stop in SREMSKI KARLOVCI, a small baroque town built on the bank of the Danube. Once, it was the Serbs' spiritual, political, and cultural center in the Habsburg Empire. Wealthy Serbian merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries erected large buildings that surround the main square. We will enter the Church of Saint Nicholas to admire its interior. In the Patriarchs Court, we will see an impressive collection of religious objects from many Serbian Orthodox churches. In this tiny, charming town, you will see the second oldest Orthodox seminary in the world.
SREMSKI KARLOVCI is also a center of wine production in this part of Vojvodina. During the Habsburg Empire, Sremski Karlovci used Bermet, sweet dessert wine produced here, as a bribe to soften Austrian authorities. Bermet was also found in the Titanic's wine list.
Later we will head to NOVI SAD to enjoy a pleasant walk through the old town. The city center abounds with multi-colored buildings built in different styles, including Baroque, Secession, and Neoclassical. We will step into religious temples of the three main confessions in the town, stroll through lively narrow streets, and go to Liberty Square.
After crossing one of the bridges over the Danube, we will reach the PETROVARADIN FORTRESS built on the hill above the river bank. Due to its impressive size and strength, it has been called Gibraltar on the Danube. It is now in an excellent state of preservation and features 16 km of underground galleries, 12,000 gun holes, and 13 gates.