WESTERN SERBIAGo Back
A backpacking destination in Serbia!
If you looking for beautiful pure nature destination of backpacking with amazing landscapes where you can do a bunch of outdoor activities – Western Serbia is definitely a peace of globe that you’ll love! Here you’ll find some of the sets from Kusturica’s movies and hospitable people that will make you feel like home. Local food is something special. Homemade dairy and dried meat products are delicious local specialties; lovers of Serbia’s cuisine from all around the world come here just to enjoy it!
FESTIVALS– During the summer season here is a destination of popular festivals such are Guča (trumpet festival), Park Fest (music festival in Užice) and Rafting on Drina river that starts from the town of Bajina Bašta. Those are the big international festivals that attract heaps of travelers from all around the globe. Entrance for the festival of Guča is free of charge and you can get there by local bus from Požega, Čačak or Užice. The entrance fee for the other festivals is not more than five euros.
LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS – There are few dishes that you should try while be¬ing there because nothing can beat Western Serbia’s food. Kaymak, prosciutto and bacon from Zlatibor, jagnjetina (lamb roast), komplet lepinja from Užice, cheese from Zlatar and trout fish from Drina river. All barbecue meat and roasted meet are delicates as well as homemade sweets.
WHAT TO VISIT
UŽICE: In pure nature between two beautiful mountains of Tara and Zlatibor, this city is set in serbia’s mountain area with easy access to Mokra Gora, Sirogojno, Šargan Eight, Tara national park, waterfalls, lakes and many biking and hiking trails. Here you can go biking, hik-ing, paragliding, kayaking, rock climbing, rafting… This is a perfect destination for backpacking to get closer with local traditions, craft¬man works, enjoy nature or feel adrenaline rush. Exploring this pretty mountain town will bring you more surprises then you can imagine. The building of National Museum was a head quarter of the first liberated area in WW2, self-proclaimed Užička Republic. There’s a massive underground complex built in the hill which used to hold an ammunition factory during the 67 days of Užička Republic. Walking through these tunnels is like a time travel – they will bring you back in time when Tito was running Partisan resistance in WW2. Entrance fee for this museum is one and a half euro. The ticket price also includes visit to the permanent exhibition about history of this region, underground ammunition factory and Lapidarium underground exhibition of monuments from Roman times. The name of this city used to be Tito’s Užice; this was one of the seven Tito’s towns in ex Yugoslavia. Close to the museum you will find the biggest statue of Tito ever made. This statue was placed on the public square but when Yugoslavia fell apart, the monument was moved behind museum. If you ask any local fellow here what else to see, the answer will be ‘city beach’ for sure. A beautiful walking path through city beach on the river Đetinja will lead you to a power plant that was built just four years after Tesla made his first power plant on Niagara Falls. For¬tress ‘Stari Grad’ stands high above the river on a prominent rocky ridge on three sides surrounded by the river Đetinja ever since 14th century. It is definitely a favorite picnic destination for locals because of its beautiful view of the city. Embraced by nature, this destination in Serbia will give you a small introduction of what you can expect when it comes to all the riches of this city. A walk around the city can be done in four – five hours, or even longer, if you enjoy beautiful view spots or secluded places in nature. Great quality touristic maps provided by touristic info center or hostel receptions can help you get around easily.
Mokra Gora Natural Parkis easy accessible by local transportation system or sharing cab in about 45 minutes ride from Užice. When you get in Mokra Gora the first thing you should do is to take a ride with famous narrow gauge railway train called Šargan Eight. Cost of the ride is about 5 euros and the ride takes about two hours. Train starts from the train station Mokra Gora and it will take you to the Šargan. The Šargan Eight train line is specific engineering solution for passing high altitude difference in very short distance. This difficult terrain was conquered by making a line of tunnels and bridges in shape of a number eight all the way to the train station Šargan. From there train is coming back to Mokra Gora with 10 to 15 minutes stops on all train stations in order to make pictures and to enjoy amazing views of Mokra Gora landscapes. After this train ride you can take a walk to the Wooden Town Drvengrad made by famous Serbian movie director Emir Kusturica. This place is great for a drink or lunch in the restaurant and also you can watch a short movie in cinema. These are 15-20 minute movies, and all you have to do is to ask at the entrance of Drvengrad when is the next one. This small village is made in architectural shape typical for the region of Mokra Gora and Tara mountain. All that small cottages were brought from surrounding villages and reassembled again in Drvengrad. This wooden complex is actually hotel and home of movie director Emir Kusturica.
Sirogojno is a lovely ethno village lo¬cated in Zlatibor mountain. It is actually an open air museum which represents typical household from the beginning of the 20th century characteristic for Zlati¬bor region. To get to the Sirogojno you can take a local bus from Užice which goes once a day, or you can even take organized tours, which is probably the best solution. That way you can see Stopića Cave, Gostilje waterfall and Ribaševina village which are not close to each other enough to go by foot.
Zlakušavillage is famous for their soil pots. You can see skillful crafts¬men making pots manually. Not far from the village you can walk all the way to Potpeće cave with very nice cave pearls stalactites and sta¬lagmites. To get to Zlakuša you can catch a local bus from Užice every half an hour and the ride distance is just 9 kilometers which is also very convenient for a bike ride. Tara National Park is a destination which leaves you speechless. Pure wilderness that is still not explored enough will be a perfect hint for na¬ture lovers. The best hiking and bik¬ing trails will take you to the view spots on canyon of Drina river, which is the third largest canyon in the world. You can reach Tara with local buses from Užice or from the town of Bajina Bašta.
Kadinjača is 14km far from Užice half way to Bajina Bašta and its easy accessible by local buses. Kadinjača is a memorial complex dedicated to the fallen warriors from WW2 who were the last standing soldiers pro¬tecting Uzička Republic in a fall of 1941. Five working battalions lost their lives in this place so the ex-Yugoslavian president Tito made huge complex of monuments on the top of the hill on the place where battle was hap¬pened, dedicated to the memory of them. Uvac canyon and White Griffon Vulture watching in nature park Uvac is around 15 euros per person and you can reach Uvac from city Nova Varoš. The bus connection from Nova Varoš doesn’t exist so you have to think the way to get there. If you decide to walk from Nova Varoš to Uvac you have 8 kilometers but maybe the best way will be to look for organized tours. Drina river with lake Perućac is very popular summer destination for fishing lovers and people who like easy going recreation rafting. Rafting prices are around 25-30 euros with includes lunch – fish from Drina river off course.
HOW TO GET THERE
By train: from Belgrade and Montenegro come to the city called Užice and from there you can catch local buses to Mokra Gora, Sirogojno, National Park Tara…
By bus is easy accessible from most of the big cities in Balkan: Bel¬grade, Podgorica, Nis, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Budva, Vrnjacka Banja… From Belgrade there are buses every hour and from other cities you have at least three buses per day.
Hitchhiking can also be a good option considering that lots of traffic is going through this region from many countries such are Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia.
Coming here by bicycle is a great option for those bikers who like to enjoy beautiful sceneries, swimming in the lakes on their way in sum¬mer and warm welcome from local people anywhere they stop. Local buses are pretty cheap but they don’t go as often and that can be a problem. However, always ask around for sharing taxi, because taxi there is really cheap if you use it for local rides. Entrance fee for mu¬seums, ethno villages, caves etc. range from 2 – 3 euros except train ride to Mokra Gora which is 5 euros. Rent a bike is 5 – 6 euros for a whole day. Paragliding is quite affordable comparing to the other countries. Tandem flight is 70 euros and small school of paragliding with first flight is around 260 euros. Rock climbing is around 10e per hour. Rafting is 25 euros, same as kayaking. A decent size meal in the restaurant is around 6 euros. Which make a perfect destination for backpacking in Serbia!