This is a journey to a part of Europe that few travelers have visited, yet it is an area with a long and eventful history, magnificent cultural monuments and old towns, many of them UNESCO World Heritage sites, a vibrant and flourishing contemporary culture and lifestyle, and stunning scenery. Parts of the former Yugoslavia, now independent countries, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro are a fascinating microcosm of Western and Eastern, European and Ottoman Turkish, Christian and Islamic influences. Their architecture, art, customs and cuisine reflect this rich diversity. Located in the western part of the Balkan peninsula, a strategic position that was throughout history a crossroads between Europe and the East, this territory became the home of Slavic tribes, starting in the 6th century AD. But before and after the arrival of the Slavs, the area was coveted and occupied by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottoman Turks, Venetians, Austrian, German and Hungarian magnates.