A Journey through Kosovo and Montenegro22 - 30 May, 2018

Kosovo and Montenegro
Trip Dates:
22 - 30 May, 2018
Trip Price: £1670
Single Room Supplement: £140
Trip Length: 9 days

Kosovo and Montenegro have long been an important cultural crossroads and coveted prizes in the ebbing and flowing of empires and kingdoms. For millennia, the peoples from all over the Balkans – and further afield – lived, traded and fought in this area. Today, both countries are calm, and remain stunningly beautiful and intriguing as they face the challenges of the 21st century. Once again, their peoples need to reinforce their independence, rebuild economies and sooth the tensions embedded in a very complex history.

This nine- day journey distils the essence of both Kosovo and Montenegro. It will uncover the layers of cultural and natural history that explain their identity as an incredible crossroads of northern and southern as well as western and eastern cultures – from the Greek and Roman eras, early medieval kingdoms and Venetian, Ottoman and Habsburg conquests to the brief, ill-fated Yugoslavia and beyond, to the present day. The two countries have always tottered on one of Europe’s great historical fault lines, where the Catholic West meets Orthodox East and the flow of Islam reaches into so much of the region’s history. The multiculturalism and the complexities will be clarified not only through visits to the magnificent historical sites of incredible variety but also through distinctly regional food, wine, flora and geology as well as conversations with the local people.

The history of Kosovo and Montenegro is as much about the local peoples as the numerous invaders and occupiers over the centuries each of which has left an indelible imprint. Kosovo’s Serbs and Albanians, in particular, are still trying to resolve issues triggered off by the Slavic migrations in the 6th and 7th centuries. Four centuries of the Ottomans left an Islamic legacy still evident in many mosques, cobbled bazaars and walnut baklava. The Venetians controlled much of the coastal region of Montenegro leaving their mark on the fine Baroque churches and palaces along the Adriatic seaboard and this Mediterranean influence is also evident in the olive groves and vineyards of the beautiful countryside. The Orthodox Faith arrived with the great medieval dynasties of the Serbs who bequeathed a wonderful ecclesiastical heritage of monasteries with beautiful frescoes and glittering iconostases.

Please note this visit has been organised exclusively for the Friends of the Whitworth Art Gallery. However, all are most welcome to become Friends where annual membership is £30 per person or £50 per couple per annum.

Maximum Party Size: 26

Trip Leader: NIrvana Romell

The journey will be accompanied by Nirvana Romell who is a born and bred Dalmatian. After graduating from the University of Zagreb with a degree in History of Art she moved via South Africa to England, arriving in October 2003. Since then, she has been working as a freelance lecturer on history of Western art, including Balkan art and culture, giving numerous talks, leading workshops and accompanying tours of permanent and temporary exhibitions for organisations such as the Manchester City Art Gallery, The Walker National Gallery in Liverpool, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS). Nirvana is currently giving a series of lectures on the ‘Roots of Modernism’ to the Friends of the Whitworth. She has accompanied four previous Friends of the Whitworth visits also organised by Distant Horizons.

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A Journey through Kosovo and Montenegro Trip Comments:

We really enjoyed travelling to a region almost unknown to us under the imaginative planning of Distant Horizons and the academic rigour, yet amusingly accessible day-to-day guidance of Nirvana Romell with her depth of knowledge and clarity of expression.
'Nirvana will seek out astonishing places which few 'ordinary' travellers have seen. The same goes for many of the dazzling mosaics she took us to.'
The pre-departure information was excellent and probably the most comprehensive we have ever received. Nirvana Romell was the best leader we have ever encountered. An absolute star!
Nirvana was a wonderful guide with a fascinating depth of knowledge which made the trip quite special