Serbia’s undiscovered wild spaces are calling out to thrill-seekers in search of new places to experience fast-paced adventures like free climbing, rafting, caving, skydiving and paragliding.
Whilst Serbia is a country steadily developing a reputation as a cycling and hiking destination, offering top experiences like the Danube Bike Trail, these activities represent only a small sample of the adventures an adrenaline junkie can expect to find.
Serbia offers a variety of hiking options for walkers of all aptitudes. Some of the top destinations include the National Parks of Fuska Gora, Djerdap, Zlatibor & Tara and Kopaonik.
from sedate to challenging, Serbia offer this and everything in between. Options for the more sedate cyclists include the famous Danube Bike Trail, 660 kms of which are to be found in Serbia. Road cycling and mountain biking options meanwhile include the Beast From The East, or more formerly the Euro Velo 11.
Serbia has more than 4,000 caves including the 9,818 meter Lazareva Cave near Zlot, the longest in Serbia, or the famous 775 meter Ceremošnja Cave near Kučevo. For lovers of more ‘unregulated’ caving, potholing guides can be hired to explore wilder caves such as the Ušac Cave System near Sjenica, an incredible 6,185 meters long.
Serbia has a long tradition of aerial sports. Travellers can choose from gliding, paragliding, microlite flying, ballooning and tandem skydives. Many resorts and spas are now offering paragliding adventures under the guidance of experts from local clubs.
If you like to find yourself in a remote spot with little more than a map and a compass ticking off control points in the right order in the shortest possible time, then Serbia will greet you with open arms. This sport is phenomenally popular in Serbia with around 180 specialised orienteering maps covering many tourist locations as well as the area around Belgrade. The added attraction of night orienteering, ski orienteering and MTB orienteering make this a year-round activity.
Serbia, being dominated as it is by wild, rugged mountains, is home to many sports climbing centres across the country including Borski Sto, Gornjačka Gorge, Jelašnička Gorge, Ovčar and Kablar Gorge, Sićevo Gorge and the Valjevo mountains. Not to be left out, urban areas, such as in Belgrade, Kladovo, Kikinda, Novi Sad, Niš and Kopaonik, have an ever-growing number of modern, artificial climbing walls.
Serbia’s most developed and popular ski resorts are Kopaonik, Tornik on Zlatibor and Stara Planina. The beautiful Mount Kopanoik was a popular destination for British skiers before the nineties and is on the rise again. Its 70 kms of pistes cater for all levels from beginner to expert, are set between 1,650 meters and 2,017 meters and are served by 24 ski lifts. Skiing in Serbia is on a par with many smaller alpine resorts with gentler slopes and cross-country skiing on offer at Zlatibor.
8. White Water Rafting
Hot spots for rafting include:
- Lim is one of Serbia’s most exciting rivers, it is powerful, fast and cold offers plenty of challenges, all of which can be sampled during the three-day Lim Regatta, held the last week of May.
- Ibar – This river offers many thrills on its 25 kms long route, including rapids and waterfalls. One of the best times to visit is the last week of June for the Veseli Spust (Joyous descent) event.
- The Drina river is a powerful, emerald beauty that’s suitable for dinghy rafting.
- The Tara, one of Serbia’s most beautiful and interesting rivers, offers 100 kms of rafting descents. Starting in Splaviste, near Djurdjevic Tara in the upper canyon, rafting tours go along the entire Tara canyon. In the lower canyon, the 25km stretch from Brstanovica is famous for its high-adrenalin wild rapids.
A comparatively new sport for Serbia, key locations for canyoning include:
- The Tribe Canyon, the second highest canyon in Serbia
- Dabrova Canyon in the Valjevo mountains
- Trešnjica Gorge near Ljubovija
- Seoski Potok and Brusnice Canyon in the Tara National Park
Canyoning reaches the parts of Serbia’s mountain rivers that ordinary hiking can’t. Most canyoning adventures take place in the period from May to late September with participants receiving neoprene suits and all the necessary equipment, whilst beginners receive a short training session.
10. Water Sports
Whilst the fast-flowing rivers are great for rafting, dinghy sailors, rowers and flat-water kayakers head for the wide waters of the Danube, Lake Sava at Ada Ciganlija, Lake Palić, Bela Crkva lakes or Silver (Srebrno) Lake.
Several tour operators feature activity holidays to Serbia including:
Flights to Belgrade can be booked with:
- Air Serbia from Heathrow and from Manchester via Amsterdam (KLM codeshare)
- Wizz Air from Luton
- British Airways from Heathrow via Frankfurt
To get more information about travel to and around Serbia visit www.serbia.travel.