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EXPLORE bosnia-herzegovina

SARAJEVO | SREBRENICA | TRAVNIK | JAJCE | MOSTAR | BLAGAJ | DUBROVNIK

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May 24 - June 3, 2023 9 Nights

Bosnia-Herzegovina has a complex, multi-layered history. The Ottoman era gives today’s Bosnia much of its cultural and religious character. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the Bosnian genocide ensued. The inspiring resilience of Bosnian Muslims against Serbian aggression reminds us of the dangers of ultra-nationalism and the need to uphold pluralism and coexistence. We will visit a number of important sites in Sarajevo, from the historic center with shops and cafes, to the location of the flashpoint for World War I, to the tunnel that provided a lifeline when the city was besieged from 1992-96. Day trips will include the memorial near Srebrenica, unique vistas including waterfalls, rivers and lakes, and ancient ruins that reveal a fascinating history. We will encounter the remarkable people, appreciate the local cuisines and handicrafts, and be enchanted by the stunning natural beauty of this region.

faculty guide

Dr. Ingrid Mattson

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Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a Muslim religious leader, a professor of Islamic Studies, and an interfaith activist. She is the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and is a visiting faculty member at Bayan Islamic Graduate School. Dr. Mattson earned a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1999. From 1998 to 2012 she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in CT where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America, and served as Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. Mattson is a former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). She is the author of The Story of The Qur'an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). She is a director and founder of the Hurma Project, which is committed to upholding the sacred inviolability of each person by elucidating the special responsibilities of those holding power and authority and by educating those who are vulnerable about their God-given dignity and rights.

ITINERARY IN bosnia-herzegovina

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Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with previous tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia & Singapore, Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tours to new destinations are being planned to satisfy the interests of our community of fellow travelers. 

 

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is generally kept to 20-30 participants.

TOUR information

 

pricing - land package only

All pricing is double-occupancy, airfare is not included.

 

Adult                                      $ 2,495

Additional Adult                   $ 2,295

Minor (8-17)                          $ 1,995

Single Supplement              $.  400

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

  • Airport transfers on May 25 and June 3

  • 9 nights hotel (4*)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • All entrance fees for sites

  • Daily breakfast + lunch or dinner (2 meals/day)

  • Gratuities for group transport, meals, activities

  • Daily commentary/discussions with faculty guide(s)

  • English speaking local guide(s)

 

EXCLUSIONS

  • International airfare to Bosnia (budget about $1,300 round-trip per person from US gateways) and applicable baggage fees

  • Travel insurance

  • Tourist visa if required (US and EU citizens do not need a visa)

  • Additional meals/beverages

  • Porterage (hotel luggage assistance)

  • Personal items

  • Incidental charges (telephone bill, mini bar, room service, laundry, etc.)

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required for entry or return to country of origin)

international travel arrangements

Arriving to Bosnia (Sarajevo)

Numerous airlines provide service to Bosnia, with Turkish Airlines being a preferred carrier. Participants should book “multi-city” flights arriving in Sarajevo (SJJ) and arrive on Thursday, May 25. The tour program officially begins at 3:00pm on that day with a group orientation meeting in the hotel, an evening walk around the city center, mosque visit / prayer, and group dinner. For travelers from the US, this would mean departing from your city of origin on Wednesday, May 24. You can plan your travel to add extra days in transit before reaching Sarajevo.

 

Departing from Croatia (Dubrovnik)

The tour concludes on Saturday, June 3 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Depending on your departure time on that day, you can continue sightseeing or plan to head to the airport. Your outgoing flight can be back to Sarajevo, Istanbul (recommended), or any other destination of your choice. You may also consider spending more time in Croatia after the conclusion of the tour, and plan your flights, local transportation and additional hotel accommodations accordingly.

 

Booking Your Flights

Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to try and obtain well-priced airfare with suitable flight timings and layovers. You can use your own travel agent, check airline websites, or use other booking sites to select the flight legs that are best for you. We recommend that you choose routes with layovers of not less than 90 minutes. 

hotels

  • Sarajevo: Courtyard by Marriott - 4*  (4 nights)

  • Mostar: Eden Hotel & Spa - 4*  (3 nights)

  • Dubrovnik: Grand Hotel Park - 4*  (2 nights)

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

 

Sarajevo

  • Historical center and old bazaar

  • Alija Izetbegovic Museum, Svrzo House, City Hall

  • Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque (Jumah prayer)

  • Emperor's Mosque (Careva)

  • National Museum, Jewish Museum

  • Kovači Cemetery

  • Trebević mountain / Cable Car

  • Tunnel of Hope

  • Vrelo Bosne (spring of the river Bosna)

Srebrenica

  • Potočari memorial

 

Travnik / Jajce

  • Kraljeva Sutjeska Monastery

  • Sultan Mehmed El Fatih Mosque

  • Travnik fortress

  • Sulejmanija Mosque (colored mosque)

  • Pliva Waterfall / Mlincici water mills

  • Temple of Mithras

 

Blagaj

  • Blagaj Tekke (Dervish House)

  • Stecci tombs at Radimlja

 

Mostar

  • Stari Most (famous restored bridge)

  • Turkish House

  • Karadjoz-Bey Mosque

  • Walled town of Počitelj

  • Kravica Cascade Waterfall

Dubrovnik (Croatia)

  • Old town including Luza Square

  • Lovrijenac Fortress and medieval city walls

  • Central Mosque (Jumah prayer)

  • Žičara Dubrovnik Cable Car

  • Stradun shopping area

  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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