Zlatibor is a mountain region situated in the western part of Serbia, and one of the most important tourist areas of Serbia, with resources for health tourism, skiing and hiking. it is located in the very heart of Serbia, in its western part, 230 km from Belgrade and 300 km from Novi Sad. The main city of the region is Uzice, located at the foothills of the mountain, while most of the area belongs to the municipality of Cajetina and Uzice, both in the Zlatibor District. The name Zlatibor probably stems from the Serbian words Zlatni (golden) and bor (pine).
This is a perfect mountain for those who are great nature lovers and craving for relaxation, but at the same time are going crazy after two days away from civilization. You will be surprised how urban and touristy are some parts of Zlatibor, so basically there is an option to dine in the best restaurants, go out in the biggest clubs and simply enjoy the crowd.
Zlatibor has a unique blend of rural and urban, interesting places with rich culture and spiritual heritage, colourful scenes and hearty, direct people, all with good home cooking cuisine, that will leave you fulfilled. This mountain beauty is characterized by a pleasant, mild climate, spacious slopes, and lush pastures with mountain streams. Mild winters and snow cover from October to May made it possible for the most popular air spa to become a healing and recreational centre, a ski resort, and a centre for cultural events and gathering people from all over the world. Its favourable position at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level, where mountain and marine currents collide, greatly favour and accelerate the treatment of several diseases, as well as the perfect place for relaxation and detox.
The hospitality of Zlatibor and its locals is shown in the numerous hotels, villas, restaurants, open swimming pools and other sports facilities. Rest assured you would be greeted well, with a three-course meal and warm rakia.
Even though this might not be the first choice of the avid practitioners of winter sports, but more picked as perfect spring, summer and fall destination, Zlatibor still offers a Tornik ski resort, named after its highest peak, Tornik. The ski resort has several tracks, four being covered by artificial snowing systems, with a total capacity of about 5,400 skiers per hour. Apart from this ski resort, other mountains in Serbia such as Kopaonik and Stara Planina, indeed offer way more for the ski lovers, but Zlatibor simply cannot leave you disappointed.
Gorgeous nature, urban side, warm and lovely locals, amazing spots, rivers, lakes, great cuisine and good connection with all the surrounding tourist destinations such as Drvengrad, Visegrad, Tara, and Tornik are more than enough reason to visit Zlatibor.
The Tara Mountain endows its visitors with the power of nature and inspiration. The generations of people have found their peace right here, between the shadows of evergreen trees and Tara’s rocky slopes overlooking the mighty Drina River and Perucac Lake. Located at the very west of Serbia, Tara Mountain is a natural border with neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina.
For its outstanding natural properties, many protected species that inhabit the area, and clean, fresh water and air, the Tara Mountain is a protected National Park in Serbia.
City people will find here a perfect easily accessible nature. Hikers will find an array of well-marked trails suitable for both beginners and professionals. Adrenaline addicts will discover many adventure sports spots.
The must-do for anyone visiting Tara is to check its fantastic viewing points overlooking dreamy forested hills, and nearby lakes and rivers. One with the best views and quite easily accessible, by taking a relaxing 2-hour walk through the woods, is Banjska Stena. The views from there take you straight overlooking the course of the Drina River, with Serbian hills on the left and Bosnian on the right side of the stream, looking like they just separated recently to make space for a tiny, deep blue river course to pass through.
The landmark of the Tara Mountain National Park is the Drina river. It served as an inspiration for songs, poems, even a novel by a Nobel prize-winner Ivo Andric. The Drina River is home to an interesting annual festival “Drina regatta” that includes rafting, live music, lots of happy faces, and local traditions. The Drina is also a place where, you can find one internet sensation, a small house on the rock, in the middle of the river.
The Perucac Lake is an artificial lake of the river Drina, and it is close to the town of Bajina Basta. There is a touristic complex on the lake, securing its mark on the touristic map of Serbia. Visiting the Perucac Lake offers the same amount of amazing scenery and unique sights towards the Tara Mountain, only this time from the other perspective – from the down up.
The Zaovine lake is unique. With its water tentacles going deep into the land and in between modest Tara hills, it hides some of the most scenic views that you will find across Serbia and the Balkans.
Have you heard of a small, wooden town in Serbia, graciously built by human hand, that became the spot where all the biggest names of the film industry are gathering for seminars, shootings and just a pleasant talk with a warm drink and unforgettable night out? If you want to know about this glorious place with an inexplicable vibe and soul, where you can go and who knows, even bump into Johny Depp, Monica Bellucci or Anthony Hopkins, then keep reading.
Drvengrad, meaning Wooden Town in Serbian, also known as Küstendorf, as a wordplay on German “Dorf” (village) and Kusturica’s nickname, “Kusta” and Mećavnik, is a traditional, ethnic, film village build by the Serbian film director Emir Kusturica for his film Life Is a Miracle in 2004. The wooden town is located in Serbia, in the mountain Zlatibor District, near the mountain Tara and city of Užice, two hundred kilometres southwest of Serbia’s capital, Belgrade. Drvengrad is also famous for its incredible proximity to Mokra Gora and Višegrad, best known for Ivo Andrić’s Nobel-winning novel, The Bridge on the Drina.
In 2010, it was visited by actor Johnny Depp. During his stay, a statue dedicated to him was unveiled.
Drvengrad is indeed an ethnic village but in the city shape and structure of a rectangle. The biggest church of the town was built and dedicated to Saint Sava. In the central part of the village, the square is paved with wooden cubes and cut wooden thresholds and surrounded by log cabins. The log gates are authentic and transmitted, mostly coming from Serbia and Bosnia, in the form of skeletons and placed on stone posts. In each of them, there are characteristic features of the city, such as picture gallery, library, cinema, candy shop, homemade cakes and natural, organic juices, national restaurant, as well as folk art shop of that region.
Most of the streets in the village hold the names of various renowned individuals that Kusturica finds to be personally significant such as Nikola Tesla, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Diego Maradona, Miodrag Petrović Čkalja, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Joe Strummer, Novak Đoković and of course, Ivo Andrić, after whom the main street is named. Drvengrad also has Ivo Andrić Library; an art gallery named Macola in honour of sculptor Dragan Jovićević, Stanley Kubrick Cinema; the main house with a cinema-hall in the cellar, a living room, a guest room, a closed yard, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a sauna and private rooms for the Kusturica family; a sports hall; a restaurant; a cake shop, as well as a souvenir shop.
Another amazing thing about Drvengrad is that, since 2008, the town hosts the annual Küstendorf Film and Music Festival, which showcases films and music from all around the world.
The latest movie shot in Drvenrgrad, called On the Milky Road in 2016 was with Monica Bellucci. The story of the movie stretches across war and blossoming love, which earned many prestigious film awards such as Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
The Uvac is an international trans-boundary river, rising under Golija mountain and Pešter plateau, then flowing through southwestern Serbia and cross into eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina where, after 115 km, it finally meets the Lim river from the right, however, before it empties into the Lim, for a 10 kilometres Uvac forms the border between two countries. Also, while meandering through Serbia, Uvac loosely makes the northern border of the Raška region, too.
The curves that the river makes seem too perfect and too complex to be true. The meanders were formed by powerful water of river Uvac, patiently sculpting through the limestone rocks over the millennia, creating looping arches and deep cut-in canyon. The canyon walls rise to 100 meters above the swirling waters that, in some places, turn at an angle of 270 degrees.
This results in a magnificent view that looks equally amazing from any elevation, even while exploring the canyon from a canoe or a boat.
Although breathtaking views don’t have much merit when it comes to nature conservation, the canyon of Uvac is a protected nature reserve for its famous rare inhabitant, the legendary griffon vulture. Only 20 years ago, the population was almost extinct in this region, counting only three couples of the grown birds. Luckily, with much dedication and preservation, the vulture population today consists of more than 300 of these birds, that fly freely over the canyon and add-up to the scenery.
The nearby mountains of Zlatar, Zlatibor, and Tara make for an adventurous tour of Western Serbia. Numerous lakes, several national parks, and special nature reserves are easily reachable within a 60 km radius. Visiting the swirling meanders of the Uvac River is not reserved only for the bravest, it’s for the most curious ones.