Travel Feature

A Blind Trip to Pulga, Kasol and Kheerganga

Would you be ready to go on a blind trip? They are also called surprise trips and mystery trips. I have always been excited about the possib...

Travel Guides

Discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night. Our guides will help budget travelers to travel more, and explore more destinations.

10 Best Places to Visit in Serbia

Regardless of the season, Serbia is one of the best tourist destinations to visit in Europe on a budget. Serbia should be on your must-see travel list, starting from the legendary nightlife in the capital Belgrade, music festivals, to breathtaking landscapes in the north and dramatic mountains and gorges of the national parks once you head south.

This country is really beautiful with an amazing capital city! It has abundant cafe houses spread across! The cafe culture is amazing here! This country is a lot cheaper too compare with its European neighbors! But its a lot rich in history, culture and is a gem of the Balkans! Serbia remains underrated considering the options for nature, events such as the Guca Festival, and Belgrade is more vibrant than you imagine.

Aside from the stunning areas, what amazes every tourist is how friendly and hospitable people are. Therefore, if you'd like to see a country of majestic beauty with a blend of cultures, here are the best places to visit in Serbia. This country has well-preserved its beauty, despite many challenges during the centuries. Today, it represents a place where East meets West, with all the medieval cities, fortresses, and charming monasteries.

So, if Serbia sounds like an appealing place to visit, be sure to take notes. After that, you'll just need to make your travel arrangements and book your accommodation. However, we feel obliged to warn you that you might fall in love with the place and people. Therefore, it would be wise to look up smart ways to fold clothes when packing and make sure you have enough outfits for your stay, which might end up being longer than expected.

places to visit in Serbia

So, without further ado, here are the best places to visit in Serbia:

1. Belgrade

Travelers keep flocking to Belgrade due to numerous reasons. However, nobody fails to mention the courteous and supportive locals. The capital of Serbia is awake 24/7 and undoubtedly has something for everyone. In addition, it has a vibrant coffee culture, and you can find many coffee shops in Dorćol, one of the most attractive neighborhoods.

Furthermore, the nightlife in the floating nightclubs on Danube and Sava rivers and the buzzing nightspots at Savamala is something everyone has to experience. Make sure to visit Skadarlija, too, for the ultimate traditional music and Serbian experience.

Skadarlija is good, but only if you're specifically going to a restaurant, and you want to expirence old Belgrade food and music. But if you think you're gonna explore some kind of Montmartre you're soo wrong. Only the upper part of the street is somewhat interesting, because it contains old kafana's and houses.

But the lower part is utterly boring- it's just the wall of a brewery and a middle school. Not to mention that you've got 80% chance to fall because of the bad cobblestone, which is actually called Kaldrma (Shaky stones).

The Belgrade Fortress is the most famous historic site of the city. Kalemegdan fortress as one of the best places to visit in Serbia. Additionally, the city center's sites everyone should visit are the Belgrade fortress nested on the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers, Knez Mihailova pedestrian street, National Museum, Nikola Tesla Museum and Saint Sava Temple (located a bit further but worth seeing).

2. Novi Sad

You also have Vojvodina - in the northern part of the country. You can easily visit cities such as Novi Sad (the biggest city), Subotica, Sombor, Sremska Mitrovica, Apatin, Senta, Vršac etc. Novi Sad is another city to visit. Novi Sad is a city that has Austro-Hungarian charm and where everything is more calm and slow compared to the capital city rush.

You can start your tour at Miletić square and appreciate the breathtaking Cathedral. From that point, you can enjoy having lunch at two main pedestrian streets - Zmaj Jovina and Dunavska streets. After that, you can take an idyllic stroll at Dunavski park and indulge in the tranquility.

Finally, don't forget to visit Petrovaradin Fortress and get a magnificent view of the city. Also, we need to mention the two nearby places worth seeing: the city of Subotica and Fruška Gora National Park.

Kablar Mountain is located 13 km in the air route (23 km via) from Čačak, and 155 km from Belgrade via the road and exactly 100 km in the air line.

If you thought of the place as a city, the advantage of Šumadija lies not in the cities but in nature, green forests and mountains.

In the summer, you can go to the city of Bela Crkva (near the border with Romania) and visit the lakes which are located near it. They are usually full during the summer since they are clean and fit for swimming.

3. Zlatibor

One of the favorite winter vacation destinations in Serbia is definitely Zlatibor. It has numerous facilities for skiing, hiking, and swimming. Therefore, it's no wonder this destination is famous throughout the year, so be sure to follow the traveling during pandemic tips.

The region itself is very scenic with historic villages and huge meadows. After you explore the wonderful nature, be sure to try the traditional Zlatiborian prosciutto and rakija šljivovica, a plum brandy.

4. Tara National Park

Again in western Serbia, you have the Tara mountain and the Tara river. You can go for a rafting on the river (there are camps there in which you can stay) and they have a website for the rafting - but you can also go for a safari, canyoning and hiking besides the rafting.

The Tara national park offers truly dramatic wilderness where the scenic views of the Drina river represent a natural border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. This national park is home to 53 species of mammals and 153 bird species. Additionally, its unspoiled landscape consists of nature's most beautiful tree families like pine, juniper, and birch forests.

Nearby attractions are the unique Drvengrad and Mokra Gora. Drvengrad is a small wooden village created by Serbia's most famous film director Emir Kusturica. Drvengrad is one of the best places to visit in Serbia as it has as little as possible to do with the modern world.

Drvengrad is an ethnic village with a small wooden church, a square paved with wooden cubes and surrounded by wooden houses. The wooden houses are authentic, and were brought from various parts of Serbia and Bosnia. There is also a gallery of paintings, a library, a cinema called "Underground", a bakery with homemade biscuits, a national restaurant and a local craft shop.

Finally, Mokra Gora offers a unique 16km train ride of the slopes of Šargan with views of several most breathtaking destinations in Serbia.

5. Studenica Monastery

Serbian tourism greatly consists of its most important religious and cultural heritage sites, churches, and monasteries. Therefore, if you are here for only a short time, make sure you visit the Studenica monastery, the very soul of Serbia. This Monastery is on the list of UNESCO's world heritage sites.

Also, if you do some research and reading beforehand, or your tour guide describes the history to you, you will enjoy your visit even more. The Eastern area is one of the best places to visit in Serbia.

The Eastern part of the country has several gems you should see if you visit this area. Those are Krupajsko vrelo - hidden deep in the woods, with turquoise water and mysterious caves. Gornjak gorge is located in the magical Homolje region, where you can explore the silent water spot of river Mlava, visit the Monastery, and relax in the Terme Ždrelo facility, which has multiple types of medicinal waters;

In Manasija monastery, find out its beauty and rich history as it's one of the most significant monuments in Serbia. Lisine waterfall is a well-known pitstop destination. The Resava cave is known to be the portal to the ice age. It's one of the oldest and most beautiful caves in Serbia.

Another area that's abundant in religious and historical sites is the city of Prizren and the medieval monuments located in Kosovo. Monasteries Patriarchate of Peć, Visoki Dečani, and Gračanica are also on the UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The Patriarchate of Peć is one of the medieval and most respected monasteries in Serbia, dating back to the XII century. The Monastery of Gračanica was built on the ruins of an XVIII century church and a VI century church site. Visoki Dečani was built in a romantic gothic style and is decorated with more than 1000 frescos.

6. Devil's Town

One of the most majestic rock transformations is Devil's Town in Serbia. It's located in the south of the country, and it's a unique geological phenomenon. Legend has it that the rocks were actually the members of a wedding petrified by the Devil with highly acidic water, also known as Devil's water. This area is nominated to become one of the Wonders of the World.

7. Djerdap National Park

One of the best places to visit in Serbia is the Đerdap National Park, with four gorges stretching 115km. Interestingly, one gorge has one of the deepest rivers in the world. Đerdap National Park in eastern Serbia is located on the border with Romania, on the Danube river. It is beautiful in the spring and summer with the colours that appear and the nature is absolutely marvellous.

You have a lot of activities you can spend your time on - but the most famous choices are either hiking or going for a cruise on the Danube. Depending on your abilities, you can hike for 3 to 6 hours (and less). The view when you get to the top is very well worth the effort and time - you can see the whole park and its surroundings.

8. Lepenski Vir

You can also visit the Lepenski Vir - if you are into archaeology.

9. Golubac Fortress

The cities of Golubac and Donji Milanovac are not too far from the park. In that part of the country you have the Silver lake. It has a beach (if you can call it like that) and you can swim in it (however, it’s not very clean) or you can just visit it on your way to the Đerdap NP.

The Golubac Fortress is one of the most visited sites in Serbia. The park is located near the famous and glorious Golubac Fortress. Once you are in the area, it would be a great experience to visit the Tumane Monastery and dine in their tavern.

10. Uvac

Uvac Canyon in western Serbia is one of the most beautiful places in the country. While getting there might be a bit complicated due to the horrendous condition of roads, the trip is worth it. Spring/summer are the best options since that is when the colours show themselves in the fullest and when you’ll be able to enjoy the nature.

Finally, lake Uvac is one of the most popular destinations in Serbia due to its breathtaking environment. In addition, there are fantastic boat tours you can go on and explore the area from up close. Also, this region is the Special Nature Reserve which protects magnificent birds of prey.

From there you can visit the cities which are nearby or continue to the Golija Nature Park, located to the east from Uvac.

Stara Planina in eastern Serbia, located near the city of Pirot is also not a touristy place. If you go there doing the winter, you can pick any winter sport that suits you, and if you visit it during the spring/summer, you have the options to hike or just have very long walks during the day.

And the Zavoj lake is located just as you get down from the mountain. It is one of the least contaminated lakes in Serbia, and you can easily swim in it (during the summer) or just camp there/visit to see how it looks. If you stay around the south and go to the west, near the city of Kuršumlija you have the Đavolja Varoš.

The Zagaj Hills are a region on the northeast rim of the Deliblato Sands. They cover just over 250 ha. The Zagajicka Brda represent the highest region of the Deliblato Peščara. The Zagaj hills are ancient sand dunes, partly forested and partly covered with steppe vegetation. The highest peak is 256 m above sea level.

The highest point of the Zagajicka Brda is marked by an obelisk built during the Austro-Hungarian period. A tall meteorological pole was also placed next to the obelisk to measure the wind speed.

Finally, if you want to explore Europe, you should include Serbia on your must-see list. Make sure you keep our list of the best places to visit in Serbia nearby because it won't let you down. On the contrary, we are sure you'll be amazed by the eager hospitality, fantastic food, and breathtaking destinations.

10 Best Places to Visit in Guatemala

Travel enthusiasts are always looking for a new country to travel to and explore its every corner. With that in mind, if you still haven't been to Guatemala, it's high time you added it to your bucket list. This country is a true paradise for nature lovers while it also offers several interesting cities for you to roam through. Moreover, you can also familiarize yourself with the unique Mayan culture while there.

Home to the two highest volcanoes in Guatemala, Tajumulco (4,220 m) and Tacaná (4,093 m) and border with Mexico, San Marcos has valuable ecotourism destinations. San Marcos also offers the beaches of the Suchiate and Naranjo rivers, the Ixiama, Shula, Mopa and Cabuz rivers, with places authorized for hunting and fishing.

You can visit the waterfalls and caves of La Castalia. In the municipality of Río Blanco are Los Tres Chorros and the Tibia Water Falls. In Tacaná there is La Cueva del Negro, the Piedra Movediza and the volcano that bears the same name.

places to visit in Guatemala

Without any further ado, here are the best places you should visit when you go to Guatemala.

1. Visit Tikal National Park

When you see postcards, commercials or commercials referring to Guatemala, at some point you will have to run into the famous Tikal ruins. Every traveler who goes to Guatemala and leaves the country without having visited them is like saying that they have not seen Guatemala at all.

While you will probably look for accommodation in Guatemala City once you first arrive in the country, you can start your adventure by visiting Tikal National Park, located some 303 kilometers from the capital. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest ruins of the pre-Columbian Maya and once one of the most powerful Mayan cities called Yax Mutal.

Even though only a small part of this 60-square-kilometer area has been excavated, it’s easy to see what life was like in this city. You can certainly spend a day or two here, exploring the ruins and trails and encountering the wildlife that resides in these parts. The North Acropolis, The Plaza of Seven Temples, and Tikal Temple I are some of the best attractions you don't want to miss out on.

2. Go hiking at Semuc Champey

If you're looking for a nice hike, visit one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Guatemala – Semuc Champey. As this spot is located deep in the jungle, it can be a bit difficult to reach but the effort will be worth it when you see the brightly colored pools that cascade down until they reach the Cahabón River.

In addition to hiking and exploring the area, you can also take a dip in the pools of Semuc Champey. Some are even deep enough for diving so feel free to jump off a cliff for a memory you will never forget. Hike to El Mirador to stand in awe of the pools, mountains, and green rainforests below you and take some stunning photos.

3. Swim in Laguna Lachua

You can also go swimming in Laguna Lachua. This lake is located in the middle of Laguna Lachua National Park and a four-kilometer-long path is the only way to reach it. During the hour it will probably take you to reach it, you can enjoy the flora and fauna you spot along the way. Swimming in the bright turquoise lake is a great way to relax and take your mind off other things.

Keep in mind that you can’t use soaps, shampoos, and other liquids here in order to preserve the lake.

4. Witness the majestic Acatenango Volcano

Guatemala is home to 37 volcanoes, four of which are active. If you’d like to see them in person, plan a trip to Fuego, Pacaya, Tacaná, and Santiaguito. However, you can also hike to the top of Volcano Acatenango and enjoy the sunrise over Volcano Fuego. Although Acatenango is one of the most popular to climb, it's also quite tough due to its steepness so remember to be careful.

5. Explore the caves of El Boqueron Canyon

Many individuals prefer off-the-beaten-path spots and if you’re one of them, put a trip to El Boqueron Canyon on your itinerary. An hour from Rio Dulce, this canyon is an impressive sight with its 180-meter steep limestone cliffs. Seeing as how it's not quite popular with tourists, you might have it all to yourself during your visit.

You can go on a boat tour offered by the locals but you can also swim through the shallow waters to experience it in a unique way. Be mindful of rocks and currents, however. Moreover, you can also explore the caves around the area and see some impressive stalagmites and stalactites.

6. Relax on the beaches of Monterrico and Paredon

In case you’re combining your travels to Guatemala with your trip to Mexico, make sure you save some space for Guatemalan beaches as well. For example, you can head to Monterrico, a beach on the Pacific coast. Just two hours away from the capital, you will enjoy the lapping ocean waves made for surfing and relaxing on the black sand.

Moreover, you can also go to Paredon, north of Monterrico. If you choose to surf in Paredon, keep in mind that it's not the best option for complete beginners.

7. See the authentic Guatemala in Quetzaltenango (Xela)

Quetzaltenango, also known for its Mayan name Xela, is the second-largest city in the country but it feels much more quiet and authentic than the capital. This city located high in the Sierra Madres is the perfect place if you want to interact with lovely and lively locals, eat some delicious local dishes, and go to street fairs.

It's also more affordable than the cities further south. Moreover, it is a bit cooler due to its 2,300-meters altitude but it also means that you can enjoy multi-day treks and hot springs.

8. Volunteer in Antigua Guatemala

Another city you should visit while in Guatemala is Antigua. This Spanish colonial town is full of Baroque architecture that will leave you speechless. As a matter of fact, the entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While many consider Antigua a great place to learn Spanish, you could actually lend a helping hand yourself.

For example, you could volunteer with children and teach them English. Opportunities to volunteer in Guatemala abound, you just need to know where to look.

9. Atitlán Lake

A trip to Guatemala must include a stay of several days in Atitlán Lake. Located 4 hours by bus from the capital, Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. In the morning, the immense volcanoes are reflected in its blue waters. Its reputation as the most beautiful lake in the world is well deserved.

10. Shop at Chichicastenango Market

If you're looking for some souvenirs or gifts to take back home, you don't want to overlook Chichicastenango and the market that occurs every Thursday and Sunday in the middle of the city center. This is actually the largest market in Central America and you can find everything from groceries to crafts and vibrant textiles.

While exploring these cobblestone streets situated high in the Guatemalan Highlands, don't skip the Chichicastenango Regional Museum and Iglesia de Santo Tomás. Don't skip the bustling Guatemala City center. Lastly, even though you will never be done exploring everything that this country has to offer, you also don't want to neglect the Guatemala City center. It is a historic part of the capital, known for its architecture.

At night, this already bustling center becomes even more hectic as you can find full cocktail bars and nightclubs. A few highlights to not overlook include Catedral Metropolitana and the Guatemalan National Theater.

If you're thinking about visiting Guatemala any time soon, make sure you plan your trip properly. There are so many interesting things to see and you don’t want to leave out anything breathtaking.

10 Best Road Trips in Australia

Lush rainforests, stunning beaches, glistening coastlines, and the deep red Outback make Australia an incredible place to explore. And the best way to explore the unimaginable beauty of Australia and make the journey memorable is to take a road trip in Australia. Grab your 4WD or caravan, pack your stuff, and hit the open road!

In general you have to leave the main roads and drive a few miles away from it to find the interesting stuff. Where paved highway is the norm, then they are largely very safe. With the proviso that if you are a long way from a major city you should be careful about planning your fuel stops.

There will be adequate fuel supplies on most paved roads as long as you plan to refuel at regular intervals taking the fuel consumption of your vehicle into account. Some of the truck-stop meals may be expensive and basic and the suggestions of taking water are sensible. There can be unexpected holdups even on good roads and having water available can make these more bearable.

Consider if you will really need a Four Wheel Drive vehicle. For example, you could go from Cairns (or any other major city) to Ayer's Rock and travel around Uluru and Kata Tjuta without leaving the bitumen. In other words a 4WD vehicle may be an unnecessary expense. You may not even need one if your excursions on to dirt roads are going to be limited such as in the Kalbarri National Park.

Best Road Trips In Australia

Wondering which way to go? We have listed below some of the best road trips in Australia for you.

1. Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Stretching along the southern Australian coast from Torquay to Allansford in Victoria, Great Ocean Road is not just a famous road trip but one of the best drives on the Earth. While you are on the way to this iconic stretch, take it slow and enjoy the unforgettable views of the coastline, sunburnt cliffs, shipwrecks and the famous Victorian splendour - 12 Apostles. These are the limestone rock formations that rise from the Southern Ocean alongside the Great Ocean Road.

2. The Big Lap

It is one of the best and epic Australian road trips you will ever take in your life. From big cities to coastal towns, you get to experience everything on a single road trip. The route takes you around Australia following the 15,000 kilometers of Highway one linking some major cities like Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Brisbane, Broome, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Esperance. Not days or weeks, but you will require months for this road trip.

3. The Great Barrier Reef Drive, Queensland

Is the thought of a long drive scaring you? Don't let it. Not every amazing road trip is a long drive in a big country like Australia. Just 140 kilometres drive from the tropical city of Cairns to the Cape Tribulation is the Great Barrier Reef drive. You would be surprised by the wonders at the two World Heritage Sites - Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Forest. You can even relax under the palms, snorkel, and spot the tree kangaroos in Port Douglas on the reef.

4. The Nullarbor, South Australia

If exploring wide-open spaces is on your bucket list, plan your road trip to the Nullarbor Plain in Southern Australia nestled in the middle of the Eyre Highway. This straight, treeless plain is a fascinating 146 kilometers long stretch of land. You can connect to the road via Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne easily. It is also home to the world's longest golf course, prolific wildlife, and unique caves.

5. Great Alpine Road, Victoria

This road trip extends over 500 kilometers through the Victorian High Country to the Gippsland lake area, starting from Wangaratta. The Great Alpine Road offers some amazing scenic views as it is lined up with historic towns and villages, including Beechworth, Bright, and Omeo. Victoria's Mt Hotham is truly a treat, offering horse riding, fishing, downhill skiing, and trekking in the warmer months. If you are traveling during winter, make sure to pack skis and boots and fit wheel chains to your car.

6. Great Beach Drive, Queensland

A Road trip to Great Beach Drive in Queensland is literally like no other. It offers you truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience of driving through stunning beaches, national parks, and world heritage-listed sites.

7. Outback

If you break down in the Outback, STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE. When driving in the Outback be sure to have at least 20 litres of water, 20 litres of fuel, 2 spare tyres and some canned food. AT LEAST. Travelling in remote areas is made very much safer if you carry a SPOT or an EPIRB or a satellite phone that can be rented from camping stores.

If you are going to travel the road less travelled, then you should not be considering doing this on your own at your current apparent level of experience. There are tour companies doing ‘tag-along’ tours and you will be able to travel some Outback tracks while being supported and assisted. Admittedly you will pay for the privilege but it may be a life or death decision. When things go wrong in the Outback they can go very wrong very quickly.

Make sure that your vehicle is in good condition. If you own it, join one of the programs that provide roadside assistance if you break down. If driving a hire car, find out what arrangements will apply if the car breaks down. Check what accommodation and fuel services are available on the route you are going to take, and what this will mean in terms of the number of kilometres you will need to cover each day.

8. East Coast, Tasmania

Tasmania is one of the most amazing destinations with abundant natural beauty. Experience it yourself by taking the scenic road trip from Hobart to the Bay of Fires via St Helens, Swansea, and Bicheno. Extremely beautiful Tasmania's east coast boasts stunning white beaches, views, walking tracks and wildlife. The road trip also allows you to take a detour to Freycinet National Park, a destination with granite mountains, prolific birdlife, soothing bays, and so much more.

9. Gibb River Road

Where paved road is not the norm, it is not a good idea for tourists to travel without a decent amount of research. The exception to this is probably the Gibb River Road in Western Australia which is a reasonably popular tourist road. But even there if you didn't research in the rainy season you could find the road impassable.

10. Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales

New South Wales' Grand Pacific Drive is one of Australia's most breathtaking and scenic coastal drives you should not miss. It's a 140 kilometers long road trip from the south of Sydney in Royal National Park to the Shoalhaven region. The drive takes you along the rainforests, beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, mesmerizing views, cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, and the Shoalhaven, and over the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge.

Conclusion

A road trip in Australia is on the bucket list of millions. Fulfill it by driving to these Australian routes in your 4WD or caravan. Whichever you travel from, make your road trip extra comfortable and convenient by adding the latest 4WD and caravan accessories from Xtend Outdoors.

About Author: Danny Smith is CEO and Founder of Xtend Outdoors Australia which manufactures and sell caravan annexes, awnings and accessories. He just love caravan holidays and frequently blog about caravanning trips, parks and tips.