Olja Nicholl, Lala Vineyard Glamping Resort’s founder, believes that glamping is not just about providing accommodations but also experiences. As a manifestation of this belief, Serbia’s first-ever glamping resort has partnered with Balkan and More to accommodate guests participating in wine tours across the region.
While under the umbrella of camping, glamping proves to be an entry-level form of outdoor recreation that goes beyond just staying in luxurious tents in the middle of nature. More than providing outdoor hospitality, some glampgrounds are evolving to offer experiential hospitality for a truly unique experience.
Lala Vineyard is one such glamping business that aims to provide unforgettable experiences to guests. This year, the glamping spot is partnering with newcomer tour operator Balkan and More in hosting Glamping & Fine Wines Tour.
The seven-day tour package will take participants through Belgrade and three more destinations in Serbia.
The tour already includes meals, transport, an expert guide, and a glamorous stay at Lala Vineyard.
On the very first day, guests will receive warm Serbian hospitality as they are transported from the Nikola Tesla airport to their hotel. The coach ride from the airport itself is an experience as travelers can enjoy the sights of Belgrade along with the noteworthy architecture that surrounds it.
Day 2 is a driving and walking tour around Belgrade where guests will visit various spots such as the Museum of Yugoslav History, the FC Red Star Stadium, Temple of Sant Sava, Republic Square, the Serbian National Parliament, Knez Mihailo Street, Kalemegdan Park, and Belgrade Fortress.
Still on the second day, tourists will stop by the Belgrade Urban Distillery for some rakija tasting. Known for its high alcohol content, tasting the fruit liquor can be considered a right of passage for tourists that want to truly immerse themselves in the cultural experience.
The following day marks the beginning of the glampcation.
On this day, tourists will depart for Vojvodina where they will drive through Serbia’s wine region and into the Krušedol Monastery before finally stopping at the town of Sremski Karlovci and checking in to Lala Vineyard Glamping Resort.
Lala Vineyard Glamping Resort is Serbia’s first-ever glamping resort and features amenities that are ideal for rest and relaxation. Take, for example, the saltwater pool overlooking a breathtaking view where glampers can soak their stresses away.
As a business that promotes sustainable agritourism, Nicholl said that Lala Vineyard’s partnership with Balkan and More is one way of promoting the local wine industry and giving a platform to local wine producers to showcase their products.
The efforts also paint a bigger picture of contributing to Serbia’s tourism industry by developing a destination.
“Serbia has not been on the radar of major international travel agencies or not even travelers,” Nicholl told Modern Campground.
“But we are really hoping to use our efforts and our knowledge and our connections to change that and help the guys who are putting their effort, time, and money into developing not only tourism products, but the ones who really have a nice, authentic product to offer to come and be visible to the international travelers,” she added.
In the true spirit of promoting wine tourism, Lala Vineyard will welcome tour participants to an exclusive wine workshop with sommelier Aleksandar Marinković on Day 4. During the session, participants will get to know four wine varieties from Fruška Gora wine region.
After the afternoon workshop, the tour continues with a visit to Kiš, the oldest boutique winery, and Djurdjic, the newest, where guests will partake in a traditional dinner.
More architectural sightseeing and wine tasting are to be expected on Day 5, and both experiences will seamlessly blend together at the Zvonko Bogdan Winery. The building that features traditional architecture is where some of the top-quality local wines are produced.
Before the final day of the tour, participants will continue visiting the fine wineries of Fruška Gora including Erdevik Winery on the western slopes of Fruška Gora Mountain whose first cellar dates back to 1826, and Kovacevic Winery with a cellar built in 1930.
After another fulfilling day, travelers will be driven back to Lala Vineyard Glamping resort to recharge and relax for a final night before being transferred back to the Belgrade Airport the next day for their departure.
And for a take-home souvenir from the wine and glamping experience, tourists can purchase a bottle of wine from any of the wineries they visit as well as Lala Vineyard.
In her conversation with Modern Campground, Nicholl said that Glamping & Fine Wines Tour will have five guaranteed departures for up to eight-member groups throughout the year, beginning April until September.
And for couples, the tour could prove to be an option for a romantic Serbian getaway.
“[W]e can only have up to eight people joining the tour at the same time, but we can also start a tour from as little as two guests,” Nicholl said.
She also looks forward to a long-term relationship with Balkan and More as they are working into hosting the tours annually.
“[T]this is just the start of it because Balkan and More has a menu of different tours for not only Serbia, but the Balkan countries as well,” she said.
“[C]onsidering our expansion plans with our agritourism sustainable brands called ‘Lala Vineyard’ and ‘Lala Glamping’, we’ll be looking into working with them potentially in other countries as we expand our resort’s reach as well,” the businesswoman added.
The common denominator for glamping and wine tasting lies in the experience both want to deliver to guests. With the local winery scene’s focus on sustainability and glamping’s agritourism facet, both share a connection in striving to provide a relaxing experience.
As an owner of a business in the outdoor hospitality industry, Nicholl emphasized that a successful glamping resort should offer unique experiences and involve the local community.
“A proper glamping concept is much more than just a fancy unit. Travelers are looking for an added value. They’re looking for an experience. They’re looking for unique traits that they can’t find elsewhere,” said the operator of Serbia’s first-ever glamping resort.
“[W]ithout those and without the involvement of the local community, I’m afraid we can’t really be talking about glamping. So it’s not just the accommodation, it really is about experiences and all the local traits that are unique to a destination that glampers are really going to […] pair with the really high hospitality standards,” she added.
Featured image courtesy of Lala Vineyard Glamping Resort.