Serbia has several UNESCO sites and four of those are concentrated in West Serbia. If you are UNESCO sites fan this tour will give you plenty of reasons to feel happy. We will visit monasteries Žiča, Studenica, Sopoćani, Đurđevi stupovi (Tracts of St. George) and St. Peter’s and Paul’s Church, where only Žiča is not on UNESCO’s list, but it’s not diminishing its beauty and importance.
What to Expect From the UNESCO Sites in the Valley of Kings Tour in 2023
Expect to visit all the monasteries and churches in the valley or river Ibar which are on the UNESCO’s WHC list. With this tour you’ll understand better the medieval history of Serbia, its architecture and culture. This will be an ideal way to spend two days exploring Western Serbia and the roots of Serbian medieval state. If you just want to see the highlights of this area on a day trip, try the Monasteries Žiča and Studenica Tour.
#YourSerbiaHost will pick you up at your Belgrade address (usual pickup time is 9am) and you’ll travel to Western Serbia through the picturesque Šumadija region.
First stop for the day will be Monastery Zica. During the visit you’ll learn from your guide how important Žiča was in Serbian medieval life. You’ll get to explore its main church, side chapels and hear about the most valuable frescoes. But you’ll also hear about the destruction which the monastery faced during the 7 centuries long history. You’ll hear about a belief that a king was not a king unless he was crowned in Žiča.
After Žiča we will take you to a nearby village where an old restaurant „Kod Mira“ has operated for the last 200 years. The same family runs it for the entire period and they nurture traditional hospitality. Local and homemade specialties are waiting for you to energize.
Along the route from Monastery Zica you’ll travel through the Gorge of River Ibar. The gorge holds a beautiful medieval Fortress Maglič, but it’s only possible to see it from the road.
The road continues through the valley of river Ibar, which is known as the Valley of Kings, thanks to significant number of endowments established by medieval Serbian rulers. One of those is our next stop. After a short drive, in an isolated mountainous location the Monastery Studenica will welcome you in all its glory. Regardless of your religious beliefs the sight won’t leave you indifferent. We’ll take you through the complex starting with the main church of Holy Virgin. Here you’ll see the most beautiful frescoes from the XII century, including the most famous one Crucifixion of Christ. You’ll also get to see other parts of the monastic complex during the visit.
You’ll spend the night in the Monastery’s guesthouse and you’ll share the experience of the monastic life.
In the morning of the second day you’ll have a monastic breakfast and you’ll continue with the exploration of the UNESCO sites. Next one is St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church in the town of Novi Pazar, dating back from the X century.
From the church you’ll move on to the Monastery Đurđevi Stupovi (Tracts of St. George), from the XII century, founded by the same founder as Studenica. The position of the monastery is breathtaking, you’ll admire the views overlooking the whole area above Novi Pazar.
Following destination is the Monastery Sopoćani from the XIII century, which was built by another Serbian medieval ruler, King Stefan Uroš the First. In this monastery you’ll witness a true miracle, the frescoes which were exposed to the climate influences for 200 years, during which the church was roofless, kept their original appearance and look like those were painted recently.
After the visit to these three UNESCO sites is finished, you’ll stop by at the place which once was the frontier between the Byzantine Empire and Serbian Kingdom. Today at this point there is a local restaurant where we’ll have a lunch break before we take you back to Belgrade.
On the way back the drive goes through Novi Pazar, so if you are interested to have a walk through the town’s center and to have a coffee in one of the cafes we will make a short break.
You’ll reach Belgrade in the late evening.
Good to Know
- Please respect social distancing rules all the time (at least 1m, or 2m when possible)
- Please wear face cover while in the vehicle or other closed space (if you don’t have your own, we will provide)
- If you develop any respiratory infection symptoms before, during or after the tour, please let us know.
- When coughing or sneezing please use tissues or your elbow as cover
- Wash hands with soap and water whenever possible, but especially after use of toilet, before and after meals.
Details on prices and services
|Pickup and drop-off|
|Single-use surgical face mask if you don't have your own|
|Lunches ~15€ per person*|
|HB in Studenica guesthouse ~20€ per person|
|Personal expenses and gratuities|
|* Price shown is an average price for lunch per person based on restaurant’s menu, but it can vary depending on guest’s demands for food and drinks.|