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Bosnia & Serbia Tour

Mladic's Legacy - A tour of Bosnia and Serbia 

Louis Sell, the former State Department diplomat and author leads our new tour with contributions from leading correspondents and analysts.

 

Dates: Sat. 18 - Sun. 26 July, 2015

Cost: £2900.00

Single Supplement: £250.00


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Sarajevo Under Siege - A slideshow by: Rikard Larma

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Book your Bosnia & Serbia Tour

Tour Itinerary

“An extraordinary new guided tour… giving visitors an inside view of both nations.”
The Sunday Times

One hundred years since the outbreak of World War One our Bosnia and Serbia Tour looks at where both countries are headed today.

With insight experts on the region, our travel tour is designed to explain the recent history of the region and look at how the lives of Bosnians and Serbs have changed since the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Leading international and local analysts examine where both Bosnia and Serbia are headed today. The trip comes as the region marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war, and relations between former adversaries come under the spotlight.

Participants will also see Bosnia’s stunning countryside, enjoy wonderful local cuisine, as well as visit key sites in Bosnian and Serbian history. The tour ends in Belgrade, the capital of former Yugoslavia and home to some excellent dining and nightlife. This is set to be a fascinating and highly rewarding tour.

Other highlights include:

A tour of Sarajevo’s former front lines, and the tunnel that acted as a conduit for goods in and out during the siege, which is now a popular museum.

A visit to Tito’s bunker complex outside Sarajevo, and only recently opened to the public.

Briefings from leading international officials and local politicians on Bosnia’s constitutional crisis, and Serbia’s handover of key war crimes suspects including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the two principle architects of the Bosnian Serb war campaign.

Briefings on the Srebrenica massacre, including accounts by survivors, and how it ultimately prompted an end to the war.

A visit to the war crimes tribunal where Mladic was held before his transfer to the Hague – the same court has tried numerous other Serb war crimes suspects.

Meetings with nationalist groups critical of Serbia’s co-operation with the tribunal.

This tour will number between 8 and 14 persons. If we do not meet the minimum required number we may cancel the tour and your money will be returned.

Day 1: Saturday – Sarajevo

Arrival in Sarajevo

Dinner and Introduction to tour by Political Tours staff.

Day 2: Sunday

Sarajevo – Modern History and Under Siege

Brief walk through old town with our guides who lived and worked in Sarajevo during the siege.

Tunnel Museum and Bus Tour of Front Lines: A former Bosnian soldier and now journalist gives guided tour of the former front line. Includes a visit to the tunnel under the airport that acted as a conduit for food and supplies into the besieged city. Today it is a small museum owned by the Kolar family whose backyard was used for tunnel entrance.

Late Lunch in hills overlooking the town – From here one can see how easy it was to besiege Sarajevo.

Return to hotel – Time off to explore old town. Optional guided tour of old town.

Dinner - An American political analyst based in Bosnia. He and Louis Sell look at the legacy of the Dayton Peace Agreement, and its impact on Bosnia.

Day 3: Monday – National Library & Vitez

Visit to National Library – Destroyed in December 1992 by Serbian shelling. The library was a symbol of multi-ethnicity in Bosnia and housed collections of Bosnian, Serbian, and Croat literature and records dating back to early Ottoman times. It is now finally being restored 16 years after the wars end.

Departure for Vitez - Scarred by fierce inter-ethnic conflict during the war – we look at how the two communities have reconciled, and the important role of the economy in rebuilding ties. Lunch in Vitez/Gorazde with local guests. We meet with same communities to see how their lives have changed since.

Return to Sarajevo and rest. Then dinner with local guests.

Day 4: Tuesday – Bosnian Parliament

An overview of Bosnia’s complex governing structure and introduction to the current political crisis.

Briefing at Office of the High Representative – In Grbavica with an OHR representative, the main body that has overseen the Dayton Peace Accords and Bonn powers.

Short Lunch in Old Town.

War Crimes Court – visit State Court and Prosecution, war crimes departments. Meet with court and the prosecution officials, possibly president of the Court and one prosecutor, visit courtroom possibly during a hearing.

Research & Documentation Centre – The RDC, an NGO that made database about victims of war, giving exact number of war victims (very interesting presentation when they explain the method they developed for this purpose).

Day 5: Wednesday – Free Day

Free Day - or visit Mostar and possibly visit Tito’s bunker – a nuclear shelter that has been left unchanged since it was first constructed in the 1970s.

Day 6: Thursday – Srebrenica

Early departure for Pale – the wartime capital of the Bosnian Serbs. Picnic in mountains en route to Srebrenica.

Srebrenica - Visit to Potocari memorial centre and cemetery. Meet with Director of the Potocari memorial site and Hatidza Memedovic. She survived Srebrenica but lost almost all family members: Presentation of film. A broader talk on impact of war and forced movement of populations.

Dinner at ‘Omer’s’ restaurant run by Omer and Dzemila Spahic. Guests include survivors and current residents of Srebrenica.

Departure for Belgrade by bus/overnight in Srebrenica. (TBC)

Day 7: Friday – Belgrade

Briefings – on Serbia’s progression towards EU membership as well as co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Lunch at Writer’s Club with correspondents in Belgrade.

Brief political tour of Belgrade – highlighting the key events in the last decade. Includes visit to Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) where both Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic hid while on the run from the ICTY. We visit Ludo Kuca, or Crazy House, the bar where Karadzic used to drink.

Dinner in Zemun with invited guests fro NGO community a small town with views across the Sava to Belgrade.

Day 8: Saturday – Novi Sad

Visit to Novi Sad – the provincial capital of Vojvodina, and home of the Exit music festival. We meet with the former mayor, and organisers of the festival. There is also time to visit local cultural sights including nearby Sremski Karlovci.

Farewell dinner.

Day 9: Sunday – Leave

Breakfast and departure for airports.

If you would like to book a tour please click here to fill in our booking form. Or call us on 0843 289 2349 or email us at info@politicaltours.com to find out more.

Essential Information

How to make your Bosnia & Serbia Tour booking

You can make a booking by contacting Political Tours directly by phone on 0834 289 2349, email info@politicaltours.com or click here to fill in our booking form.

To confirm your booking you need to send a non-refundable deposit of 15% of the total holiday cost or £250 per person (whichever is the greater) made payable to Political Tours Limited.

If you are booking less than 8 weeks prior to departure the full cost of the tour is payable.

If you would like to contact Political Tours’ Director, Nicholas Wood, he can be reached by email at nicholaswood@politicaltours.com or by mobile phone on +44 7855 266 151.

What is included in the Bosnia & Serbia Tour?

The price includes accommodation in 3-4 star hotels in Sarajevo as well as all meals during the visit. All the accommodation includes private bathrooms.

Please be aware that Political Tours is a land-only tour operator. Our clients travel from many countries and the costs of flights to and from the destination are not included in the price.

How to reach Bosnia & Serbia

There are regular daily flights between Sarajevo International Airport and Vienna, Istanbul, Zagreb, Budapest, Munich, Belgrade and Ljubljana, and twice a week to Frankfurt, Köln, Goteborg, Amsterdam, and Zurich. During summer, regular weekly flights operate to Oslo, too.

Climate & Clothing Suggestions

Bosnia and Herzegovina has hot summers (over 25C) and cold winters (under -5C). There is occasional rainfall during the summer and more frequent rainfall during the rest of the year.

Passports, Visa & Health

All clients are personally responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport, relevant visa's and conform to the health regulations required by the country's that will be visited during the tour.

No visa is required for citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and European Economic Area countries, as well as most of the Balkans region, with the exception of Kosovo. Please check with Bosnia’s ministry of foreign affairs website for further details:

http://www.mfa.ba

Advice on health requirements may be obtained from your GP, or alternatively from the Department of Health leaflet Advice on Health for Travelers, which may be obtained from us, or the Department of Health in the UK. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the NaTHNaC or NHS Scotland’s Fit for Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Personal Safety

Bosnia and Herzegovina is regarded as the most mine-contaminated country in Europe and one of the worst in the World. Most of the places are marked. However, one should not go into abandoned houses or walk off footpaths or tracks, unless accompanied by someone familiar with area. For further information see click here.

Recently, Bosnia has experienced an increase in theft and street crime, especially in the cities, and it is advised to be vigilant and not carry large amounts of money, visible jewellery or electronic equipment.

For further information check the Foreign Office’s travel advice website before departure.

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/europe/bosnia-herzegovina

Insurance

Appropriate and adequate travel insurance is essential and is a condition of travelling with us. Your policy must include comprehensive medical cover including the cost of evacuation and repatriation from the remote destinations included in your tour in the event of illness or accident in addition to other medical requirements.

Please provide us with confirmation of the name of your insurance company, the policy number and the insurers’ emergency contact telephone number for use in a medical emergency no later than 8 weeks prior to the tour departure. If you fail to do so, we are entitled to cancel your booking and apply the cancellation charges shown below.

You must also ensure that the policy will protect you in the event that you travel to an area against the advice of the Foreign Office.

Hazards Inherent in Our Tours

It is in the nature of the itineraries we offer that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office may have issued advice against all travel or all but essential travel in relation to the country or parts of the country we are intending to visit prior to confirmation of your booking. Where the FCO issues such advice, we may, as a result, cancel your tour or make changes so as to avoid the area concerned (see clauses 10 and 12 of our Terms and Booking Conditions). Alternatively, we may ask you to sign a form confirming you wish to proceed with the tour notwithstanding the FCO advice.

Our Cancellation Charges

If you feel you need to cancel a tour before departure we reserve the right to make the following charges.

Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us, and charges per person cancelling.

Up to 56 days                                                             Deposit

55 to 28 days                                                              50%

27 to 15 days                                                               75%

14 days or less                                                            100%

On receipt of your booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking in writing, then approximately 8 weeks before departure we shall send you further information relevant to your tour together with a final invoice.

Please pay the invoice within 10 days of the invoice date otherwise we reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled and apply the cancellation conditions as set out below. Your travel documents are dispatched about 7/10 days before the tour departs.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Full details of our terms and conditions can be viewed by clicking this link.

Further Reading

Constitutional Reform

The European Stability Initiative
For an altervative view see Kurt Basseuner's articles e.g. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/deadline-looms-for-bosnia-to-reform-constitution

General History

Bosnia, A short history. Noel Malcolm Pan; 3rd Revised edition edition (9 Aug 2002) ISBN-10: 0330412442

Srebrenica

Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, Europe's Worst Massacre Since World War II (Paperback) by David Rohde, Publisher: Basic Books (16 Oct 1998) ISBN-10: 0813335337

Under The UN Flag: The International Community and the Srebrenica Genocide (Paperback) by Hasan Nuhanovic (Author) DES Sarajevo; First edition (1 Dec 2007) ISBN-10: 9958728877

More Titles on the War

Love Thy Neighbor, A story of war. Peter Maas Vintage (February 25, 1997) ISBN-10: 0679763899

Sarajevo: A Biography by Dr. Robert J. Donia University of Michigan Press (May 16, 2006) ISBN-10: 047211557X

The Death of Yugoslavia, Allan Little and Laura Silber, Penguin; 2Rev Ed edition (27 Jun 1996) ISBN-10: 0140261680

Unfinest Hour, Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia, Brendan Simms, Penguin; New Ed edition (4 July 2002), ISBN-10: 0140289836, ISBN-13: 978-0140289831

Websites

www.balkaninsight.com for recent news on Bosnia.

International Crisis Group Views on constitutional reform and reports dating back to war's end.

www.esiweb.org - The European Stability Initiative - Analysis and research on Bosnia since the war.

Public International Law and Policy Group - produces a twice monthly review of key events in the former Yugoslavia and the ICTY.

www.transconflict.com - focuses on Serbian issues - This article suggests the international community should accept secession by Republika Srpska

Further information on War Crimes Trials

ICTY - www.ICTY.org and the war crimes tribunal in Sarajevo. Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.