Serbia is landlocked in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula. The basis for Serbia’s tourism is due to its varied relief, beautiful scenery and numerous rivers. The high mountains offer wonderful conditions for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. The mild climate allows swimming in the rivers, and the unique nature and rich wildlife are ideal for hunting. Whatever activity you choose, it will surely be a delight for all the senses.
Skiing has long been a tradition in Serbia, dating back to the beginning of the 20th Century. The snowy winters guarantee excellent conditions for skiers throughout the season, which lasts from December through March. Over the last few years, the infrastructure and facilities in many Serbian resorts have been dramatically improved. Kopaonik is the most developed ski resort in Serbia and is situated in the Kopaonik national park in the massif of the same name. The resort offers more than 44 kilometres of ski pistes and 22 ski lifts, as well as beautiful views and a bustling nightlife. Extensive information about everything concerning Kopaonik can be found at www.kopaonik.net. Another popular skiing destination is Zlatibor in the southwest part of the country. In the newly established winter centre, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and biathlon can be practised. Another advantage: the prices are still a bargain compared to the rest of Europe.
There could hardly be a more suitable place for hiking than in Serbia. Many marked routes lead throughout all regions of the country, allowing tourists not only to be physically active and spend their holiday in a healthy way, but also to discover the unique culture – monasteries and archaeological sights are to be found along the routes. Furthermore, hikers have the opportunity to become acquainted with the local customs, way of life, cuisine and the incomparably delicious wines. All seasons except winter offer great conditions for exploring the country on foot. Some hiking centres deserve special mentioning: the climate haven of Divcibare, the Homolje Mountain Range (with organised walking tours to historic sites), the Golija route (through UNESCO protected natural reserves) and many others. A hiking holiday in Serbia promises to be a pure pleasure.
Those who like to enjoy nature on bicycle will find a real paradise in the Serbian mountains. There are numerous mountain biking tracks of all levels of difficulty with differences in altitude. The regional tourism organisations offer special packages and tours, and provide bikers with everything they need such as rental services, repairs and accommodation. There are some especially appealing routes, for example: Uzice – Mokra gora – Mitrovac – Uzice and Belgrade – Prijepolje.
The diversity of Serbia’s terrain offers a variety of possibilities for fresh challenges. Fans of climbing can choose from a number of natural climbing sites in Belgrade, Vrsac, Borski Stol, Sicevo, Jelasnica, Valjevo, Prijepolje. Additionally, there are some well-equipped climbing walls in Belgrade, Novi Sad and other cities, as well as in the winter resort Kopaonik. There are a few local tour operators that organise this type of activity as well as several climbing clubs.
In Serbia aerial sports are relatively new, but they are rapidly gaining popularity as a leisure activity primarily among young people. The mountain summits and slopes are a perfect setting for paragliding flights. Experienced visitors can make a solo flight, while novices must fly tandem with a qualified instructor. Other aerial sports that are available through specialised agencies are parachuting, ballooning and gliding. Most clubs offer special training courses for tourists.
Rafting is another popular extreme activity that guarantees tourists an adrenaline rush. In Serbia, rafting is possible in one of the following rivers – Drina, Lim, Uvac and Ibar. The most popular is the 25 kilometre-long Perucac – Rogacica route in the turbulent waters of Drina. Every year in July, a recreational and a competitive regatta are held here, and it is an unforgettable experience for both participants and spectators. Information about how to participate in this as well as other rafting events can be obtained through the local municipalities and rafting clubs. Near most routes, there are additional attractions like cultural monuments and nature parks for a holiday of full value.
Horse riding is one of the most nature-friendly leisure activities. In Serbia, horse-breeding is very well-developed and provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. There are four horse farms in the country: Zobnatica, Karadjordjevo, Kelebija and Ljubicevo. Most of them have riding schools and also provide recreational riding for tourists. The Zobnatica farm deserves special attention, as it was established in 1779 and includes a museum of horse breeding. As most leisure activities, horse riding is also recommended to be combined with sightseeing or exploring local customs.