Road Trip In Serbia: 6 Hidden Gems I Discovered In The Postcard-Perfect Balkans

by Nancy Johri

I went on a road trip across Serbia and the last few days were the most unforgettable ones due to many reasons. I drove across the snow-clad Tara National Park, Zlatibor, Potpeće, and some cute villages. Also, I said ‘Hi’ to Bosnia and Herzegovina while standing at the Serbian land, visited one of the shortest rivers in the world, enjoyed the view of snow-clad roads, spotted a red deer and a fox on the road while driving at night, saw gorgeous sunsets, sipped aromatic wines, and a lot more.

Serbia is not as touristy as its other neighbors but is undeniably a globetrotter’s dream. The country is popular for its rich history, outdoor adventures, and fabulous natural treasures. Here’s what I saw in the Balkan beauty during the last days. 

My road trip involved leaving Banja Koviljača, driving across Drina River (border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), spending time at Vrelo River (one of the shortest rivers across Europe), cherishing the beauty of serene lakes, and finally reaching Zlatibor. 

1. Drina River

346 kilometers long River Drina forms a large portion of the border between the two countries—Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It means that the other side of the river is Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you can look at it from Serbia. 

The best part of a road trip is that you can stop anywhere and anytime to soak yourself in beauty. I didn’t miss a single chance to take quick breaks every now and then because the whole route was so beautiful. The blue-green water, the sound of ripples, the sky, the sunshine, the clouds, the trees, the mountains, the breeze—all these natural marvels gave a magical and peaceful feeling to my heart. 


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2. Vrelo River

Some places feel like love to me, and this river is exactly that. 365 meters long river Vrelo is one of the shortest European rivers. It is also called the “Year River”. It is a transparent stream that runs into the Drina with a 10-meter high waterfall. Huge mountains in the backdrop, lush green trees everywhere, and the calming sound of the flowing water make this place a must-visit in the Balkan country. An interesting fact is that the tourist organization of Serbia selected the Drina with the River Vrelo as the first natural attraction of the country in a contest of seven natural wonders. 


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3. Tara National Park

Tara National Park, or the lungs of Serbia, has mighty mountains, clear lakes, and stunning viewpoints. This natural paradise was the highlight of my road trip. Along with the snow, I was amazed by the magnificent natural beauty and myriad of sights. There is a lot to see—mountains, hiking trails, lakes, meadows, forests, and waterfalls. I also saw there a few villages with traditional houses.

You will come across so many spots on your way that you would want to admire. And that is why renting a car and driving around is the best way to experience this natural paradise. But every signboard here is in Cyrillic. So, you need to take the help of Google Maps. Just mark the places that you want to visit and follow the directions. Otherwise, it is quite sure that you will get lost in the wild.


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4. Perućac Lake

This lake is the result of a dam that is built on the Drina River. The river bends and voila, you are looking at the Perućac Lake! There is a viewpoint from where you can see the lake on one side and the Drina curving like a snake on the other.

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5. Zaovine Lake

This lovely lake is on the border of Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The view was simply awesome—a clear lake with snow around, under the blue sky. Such a tranquil spectacle of nature is indescribable. You yourself have to go there and see that in reality. 

On the last day of my road trip, I had to return to Belgrade from Zlatibor. But I still managed to see a natural cave and a monastery on my way back. The weather was very pleasant that day and it was raining lightly.  


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6. Potpeće

This small village is popular for Potpećka Pećina—a spectacular erosional cave with a 50 meters high entrance. It is not very difficult to find your way inside as it is marked properly. The part open for visitors is only 555 meters but there is a lot to see. Can you believe there is a lake inside this cave?   


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This road trip has given me incredible travel experiences. Let me know if you have any queries regarding Serbia in the comment section below.

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