Serbia and Montenegro still suffer an ignominious reputation as Balkan bullyboy cultivated by former leader, Slobodan Milosevic, but this does coutry a great injustice. The heart of former Yugoslavia has another history, an alter ego that reveals a widespread passion for the virtues of high culture, recreation and having a damn good time. Montenegro is a feast of beautiful Adriatic beaches set against spectacular coastal mountains, Kosovo serves up a dish of traditional Ottoman villages, while Belgrade is a multicultural hotpot of architecture and refinement, leaving Novi Sad as a jazzy brew of pedestrian promenades and outdoor cafes along the Danube.
August to October (summer)-or any time before the hordes the Euro hordes rediscover this land that tourism forgot
Dancing at dawn in Novi Sad’s baroque citadel during the Exit music festival Wandering around the Old Town in Kotor’s walled medieval city Taking in the stunning views of Kotor Jord on the hairpin drive to Cetinje Sunbaking with the beautiful people on any of Budva’s fine beaches Basking in views of the Danube from Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Citadel
Read Tim Judah’s The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, a comprehensive and thoroughly readable account of Serbia’s part in Yugoslavia’s demise lvo Andric’s novel Bridge on the Drina foresaw the region’s disasters of the 1990s
Listen to Blehmuzika-brass music influenced by Turkish and Austrian military music. Darkwood Dub provides more contemporary electro-fusion styles
Watch Emir Kusturica’s Underground-a heady, chaotic film dealing with Yugoslavia’s history. Danis Tanovic’s superb satire No Man’s Land spotlights the absurdity of Yugoslavia’s internal warring
Eat a mesano meso (mixed grill)-a mountain of grilled meat for the carnivorously incline. lt comprises cevapcici (mini sausages made from minced pork, beer or lamb), pljeskavica (large, spicy hamburger steak) and ra njici (pork or veal shish kebab with onions and peppers)
Drink the terribly good Montenegrin beer brew, Niksicko Pivo. Local cognac, vinjak, and the ubiquitous plum brandy, sljivovica, are good for stripping your throat lining
Nema problema (No problem)
Piano accordions; eastern-bloc hairstyles; nationalist fervours; meat…meat and more meat; Soviet fashion; war-torn countryside
Europe’s deepest fjord; widespread Turkish (Ottoman) influences; loads of jazz; gorgeous beaches; superb lakes and National Parks
Novi Sad’s attractions are simply wandering the pedestrian streets, such as Dunavska, with their strings of smart boutiques and lively outdoor cafes, and visiting Petrovaradin Citadel.