East Bosnia and West Serbia, two regions enriched with numerous cultural, historical and natural wonders, are simply not to miss when passing near or traveling around these regions.
This fantastic UNESCO off-the-beaten-path tour is created with a focus on absolutely beautiful yet remote parts of East Bosnia and West Serbia which will quickly make this trip a highlight of your entire Balkan travels.
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By far, per listed itinerary (7 stops), this is the most diverse connecting day tour between Sarajevo and Belgrade. Having tons of beautiful stops and outbound costs, always aiming at great travellers experiences, this tour in comparison to other means of travel, is the best optimised cost-benefit service you can get on the market. We guarantee it.
Among other outbound costs mentioned, such as Šargan Eight train ride or visit to Drvengrad village, we can’t pass by and skip beautiful Drina river cruise or visit National Park Tara.
Simply, perception of grandiosity of the UNESCO site of Mehmed Paša Sokolović bridge, can’t be experienced by just walking across it, and taking few photos from a side. You must go under it. In the same time, at Višegrad, we enjoy to help local boat businesses thrive.
National Park Tara’s most beautiful viewpoint is not accessible by asphalt road, part of it is macadam. We don’t mind detouring several tens of kilometre, and putting bit more amortization on our vehicles and gas costs, for our guests, to probably once in the lifetime, enjoy the amazing views from Banjska Stena.
If you ever get into situation where you are comparing products on the market, please don’t judge them by the price only, take a deeper look into what you get in return, aka: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Departure Times Daily at 7.45 AM.
Pickup Locations If you are staying in the old town of Sarajevo, meet us at our office. If you are a bit away from us, please let us know, and we can organize advance pickup.
Activity Note: The tour is adapted to all ages and is not physically demanding. Due to the distance of the locations, we use vehicles during the tour.
Meet our team at the office or your preferred pickup location. Your guide will introduce you to cultural, historical and natural diversity of these two regions and will make sure no questions remain unanswered, even of personal nature, so don’t refrain from sharing your thoughts and opinions at any moment of time.
After departing Sarajevo in the morning at 7.45 AM, we’ll take approx. 45min ride to reach Rogatica and the first stop of the day, Borak Stećci necropolis near the Burati village. This hidden gem deep in the misty forests of East Bosnia was recently inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage. We will discover the unique history of the Medieval Bosnian Kingdom and figure out why these blocks of limestone are scattered all around Bosnia and Herzegovina. The cemetery is hidden in the forest, so a bit of hiking is required to find them. Read more about the Stećci phenomenon in a BBC article.
Later, we ride for one more hour through mountain parts of Bosnia before we meet up with the turquoise Drina river canyon and arrive in Višegrad.
Višegrad is home to UNESCO Heritage, an Ottoman time bridge built in 1577. by the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasa Sokolović. The UNESCO summary: “The unique elegance of proportion and monumental nobility of the property as a whole bear witness to the greatness of this style of architecture.” is definitely a reason to visit such a beautiful place.
The book: “Bridge Over Drina” by Bosnian and Travnik born, World famous Nobel Prize winner, and Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić, has given most of the glory to this fantastic place and we surely recommend you to read this novel before coming to this region and for this tour. This way, you can better understand the historical importance of this area in regard to a local as well as a global aspect.
As soon as we see the Bridge and take the river cruise through the amazingly green Drina River, we’ll explore the stone town of Andrićgrad (eng. Andrić town). Small, stone-made town, recently built, named, and dedicated after novelist Ivo Andrić. The site also interprets the story of once glorious and very successful Yugoslavian cinematography from the perspective of one of the best local directors – Emir Kusturica.
As soon as we finish the story of Višegrad, we’ll continue driving towards the east Bosnian border and, on the way, will pay a visit to one of the most important Serbian Orthodox monasteries, Dobrun Monastery. Initially built in 1343 with frescoes preserved until today is an ideal stop to learn more about local history and enjoy the fantastic nature surrounding it.
Later on, time to cross the Bosnia to Serbia border, and as soon as we do, we will enter the fantastic area of the nature park of “Šargan-Mokra Gora”.
The first stop (for lunch possibly) will be the ethno village of Drvengrad (eng. Timber Town) also known as Küstendorf and Mećavnik. Village-town was designed by the movie director Emir Kusturica for his movie “Life is Miracle” and the design won the “Philippe Rotthier European Architecture Award” from the Brussels Foundation for Architecture.
Why the place looks out of this world? Why it won one of the most prestigious awards in the world of architecture? The best is to come with us and see it for yourself.
After lunch, at Drvengrad, we are about to take a train ride, but not just any train ride, we will do the famous “Šargan Eight”.
The Šargan Eight is a narrow gauge (760mm) steam railway built in 1925., famously called Ćira (Chira). Once, it used to connect Sarajevo and Belgrade, and the name “eight” origins from the pure shape of the track, which, if looked at from the sky, looks like the number 8.
It was famous for its impressive engineering, which enabled it to rapidly climb a height of 300m over a short distance of 3.500m, whereas the total length of the railway today is 15.440m. Stunningly, all of that was achieved by passing through 22 tunnels and five bridges. Quite fantastic stuff even on the global scale of rail and train engineering at the time, but the most amazing for us is that we are going to experience this story. Today the train, after it was closed in 1974, is again reopened for tourist reasons, but also for true lovers of old-school steam train engineering. Simply exciting and stunning.
Read more about Bosnian Gauge also known as “Bosnaspur” or “Bosnische Spurweite”.
As soon as we end the train ride, we’ll continue, and on the way, we will stop to explore the fantastic region of one of the most beautiful National Parks in Serbia – National Park Tara.
National Park Tara (declared in 1981.), with its biological diversity, is one of the most amazing areas in the whole of Serbia, offering great nature experiences, stunning views, hiking and trekking opportunities, unique Picea Omorica, vast animal diversity, and many other ways to fully enjoy life.
One of the most important stops will be the stunning viewpoint of “Banjska Stena” which offers a fantastic panorama of Perućac Lake on the Drina river, which naturally borders Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Return to Sarajevo is planned in the very late evening, around 8-9 PM.
What Do I Need to Bring?
Bridge over the Drina
Our guide Ajla was great, knowledgeable and pleasant, highly recommended this tour to all who had read book of the bridge over the Drina.
I did two day trips with Funky Tours earlier this month. One to Srebrenica and another to eastern Bosnia and Western Serbia. Firstly, Funky Tours might be the best tour company I have ever used, without exaggeration.
Our guide for Srebrenica, Almir, was super friendly and offered a perfect mix of objective information along with his own personal experience. I really feel I learned a huge amount.
The second trip to Western Serbia was equally excellent and our guide, Enis (apologies if I misspelled his name), was friendly and attentive in equal measure.
It’s hard to describe accurately but on both tours I really felt looked after and as though I was among friends rather than just tour guides.
The company was also offered hugely helpful advice for the rest of my travels in Bosnia and beyond, replying to any of my emails very promptly, no matter the time of day. 10/10 experience.
I will definitely return and make use of them.
We did two absolutely fantastic tours, both the East Bosnia and West Serbia tour and the half day Siege of Sarajevo tours were fascinating and included the most amazing stops.
Overall this was one of the best tours we’ve ever done.
Our guide Adnan and his drivers were absolutely brilliant and knowledgeable and easy to get along with, they knew so much and went above and beyond to make our holiday really special and were so patient and kind as I was on crutches.
The girls in the office were so helpful and reassuring in the planning of our trips too, and did everything possible to help us.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Funky Tours, and I can only say thank you for helping us to squeeze so much in just a couple of days.
Eastern Bosnia and Serbia was a great tour! Tara National Park was amazing!
Adnan was my guide and he was great company. He is knowledgeable and will answer all your questions, and was s lot of fun to tour with.
Ema in the office was also amazing emailing me and answering questions I had about the tours, as well as taking her time to answer other questions about the city that I had.
I have never been with such a great tour company!
I highly recommend using them when you are in Sarajevo, I have never worked with such a great tour company!
Going on a tour with Funky Tours (in persona: Adnan our guide and Senat our driver) was just beyond perfect. Right from the beginning we got on so well and we (2 girls) felt safe and welcome. We had so much fun on our 12hour-“East Bosnia & West Serbia Off the beaten path tour” from Sarajevo to Visegrad, Dobrun Monastery, Sargan Eight and Tara Nationalpark etc. (tour incl. UNESCO World Heritage Sites).
(my personal highlight was the train ride and the Nationalpark – just WOW!)
The communication with the agency and the booking process was just perfect, fast and very very friendly.
Adnan and Senat are super nice, entertaining and we learned so much about the history of the 2 countries we’ve visited.
If you visit Sarajevo, go and book a tour with them! They are the perfect tour agency.
We were sad to leave, we wanted to do more tours with them, so we gotta come back. And let me say one word about Sarajevo and the parts of Bosnia we were lucky to visit: it’s such a welcoming and warm country, people were so friendly and attentive.
We highly recommend traveling to Bosnia!
And yes, it’s safe. It was no problem for the 2 of us to get around. I traveled to more than 80 countries and I have to admit, that Sarajevo is very high on my list when it comes to safe travels for women. Well, that’s at least what we experienced.
So, dear reader – give the country an chance, visit Sarajevo and book Funky Tours! 🙂