Have you ever visited Serbia? Why not?
Do you live in Serbia, and if so- have you travelled around your own country?
Seems like a perfect time than ever to do so, since travel around the globe has been put on pause. I personally think that traveling will never be the same- which is good. It shouldn’t feel like a given, it’s a big privilege, and in the past years, with such vast movements, we have taken it for granted. The Planet in general, but that’s another topic. For me, traveling has always felt like a huge privilege, even though I’ve traveled a lot. It’s always months of planning, saving money, carefully picking the route, the place we stay in and always, always trying to blend in as much as possible- do what locals do, eat local, walk as much as possible and avoid transportation, sometimes even avoid the biggest tourist attractions, because they feel too “touristy”, if you know what I mean. I am dedicating this year to seeing Serbia and if you live here, you should too. For the rest of you- save the date for next year, you simply must!
My first suggestion to visit is Tara Mountain- whether in spring, summer, fall or winter, it’s beautiful all year round. We have visited it at just the beginning of December and had the perfect little weekend getaway. Ask my dog, she really loved it.
We wanted to go somewhere for the long weekend and celebrate Filip’s birthday and by accident ( or Internet is listening to me) I stumbled upon an add for renting a really cozy cottage in Tara mountain, located in Kaludjerske bare, near Bajina Bašta. For anyone interested in renting it, you can search it under the name “Šumska kuća Tara” either on Airbnb or Instagram. It’s perfect for two people, but it could fit four. The cottage is a perfect mix of wooden mountain houses and modern-industrial design, which creates such a cozy atmosphere, that we might as well just stayed in it the whole time, it would be as amazing. Its backyard looks at the endless, tall trees that were covered in a little bit of snow- such an idilic image. To top it all of, we were greeted with a small jar of homemade berry jam, that was so delicioussss ( we had to buy more when we were leaving home). Oh, and I almost forgot the best part actually- the bedroom is a cave! Queen bed is cozied up in a little cave and honestly, I have never slept better.
Tara mountain is located in the west Serbia and it is part of Dinaric Alps. It’s a perfect combination of dense forests, meadows, steep cliffs, deep ravines curved by a river Drina, which is nearby and many limestone caves. It’s got it all, along with amazing local food and art crafts. The spirit of Serbia lives in those forests and mountains peaks. We didn’t get to climb the highest peak- Zborište ( 1, 544m), but we did walk about 20km to climb all the way to the peak Crnjeskovo ( 1,035m). And yes, the doggie climbed with us too. The view and the feeling were amazing. We got lucky and got the place to ourselves, since beginning of December is not an attractive date to come to Tara for some reason, and we chilled up there for at least half an hour, enjoying apples and dried cranberries, watching eagles fly around while the Sun was caressing the mountain cliffs.
Thank you Mother Nature ❤
Kaludjerske Bare is nearby Drvengrad, another attraction, that is not to be avoided whatsoever. Drvengrad, or also knows as Mećavnik, is a traditional Serbian village that the famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica built for his film Life is a Miracle ( also a must see). Drvengrad, is actually located on the slopes of another mountain, called Zlatibor and it is also nearby Mokra gora and Višegrad ( best known for Ivo Andric’s Nobel-winning novel The Bridge on the Drina ( also a must read)). We didn’t have enough time to go to Višegrad, but we did stop by Mokra gora ( Wet Mountain) and visited its most famous attraction – The Šargan Eight railway, which is famous and unique in the world because its route, watched from the sky, looks like a number eight.
We had a delicious, traditional, goulash for lunch in Drvengrad restaurant ( dog friendly) , bought some local rakija ( traditional Serbian drink) and enjoyed the all-wooden village that has a really special vibe. It’s a perfect one-day trip that you won’t regret. The plus was that everything was gloomy that day and a little bit of rain/snow was falling, so it added that extra mountain feeling to the day, which I personally really liked. It actually did feel a little bit like we were in a movie.
As far as the transportation goes- we went with our car, so reaching places was very easy, the roads were cleaned and easy to drive on. If you decide to go with other means of transportation I don’t know much about busses going around or if they are frequent, unless you go with a travel group and have your own bus. I know that Serbian tourist agencies have a lot of good offers all around Serbia. From Drvengrad, we ventured home, it is a 5 hour drive to Sremski Karlovci. We stopped by lake Perućac, near Bajina Bašta, on the way back as well, which was beautiful, but because of a very heavy wind, we didn’t want to stay for long- so I believe the lake and the cute, little town is better in the spring or summer.
Oh, another things you MUST try over there is the tradional komplet lepinja meal, which is a crispy bun filled with delicious cream ( and there’s different variations also with meat, etc). It’s to die for, I swear!
There you have it- Tara in a nutshell.
I will definitely go back, because the mountain air and long walks through the forests of Tara are indescribable. It’s perfect for everyone, family, couples, friends, New’s Years eve celebration, birthday celebrations, winter or summer vacation- all year round.
So- #SeeSerbia, what are you waiting for?