Banja Koviljača lies on the right bank of the river Drina, at thr foot of Gucevo mountain, at the altitude 125 m above sea level, 6 km southwest feom Loznica.
The main natural and helaing resorce of the settlement are minetal and thermal springs and peloid containing sodium, mahnesium, calcium, sulphur-hydrogen, carbonic acid, etc.The temperature of the spa wather 15-32 degrees of Celsius.
Banja Koviljaca is famous with one of the biggest parks in the country.Among the other facilities there are:banajs hall „KUR -salon”, sulphurs bathroom of King PetarI, peloid bathroom and villas: Belgrade, Bosnia,Koviljaca, Hercegovina, Dalmatia etc. Banja has a large accomodation capacity- over 2500 beds in hotels, resting places, specila hospital , wellness , villas and private accomodation.
In the alluvial plain of the Danube, along its left bank, in the area known as Begečka Ada, 18 km west of Novi Sad, lies the Begečka Jama Nature Park. The Jama is an oxbow lake joined to the Danube eastwards via the Begej canal. Of irregular crescent shape, with elongated ends extending north and east and with a wider middle section, the Begečka Jama is 379 hectares in area. It is 1500 m in length, but the eastern part is 300 m longer than the north ern part. The lake has a maximum width of 400 m, while its average depth is 4 m.
The Begečka Jama is fed with water via surface flow from the Danube and the Tatarnica canal , from precipitation and from ground waters. Water is lost through surface and subterranean drainage and evaporation. Of greatest importance for water levels in the lake is the Begej canal which has a lock that regulates water traffic. During the summer when temperatures are high, large quantities of algae multiply in the water creating blooms that give the water a greenish-yellow colour.
Typical of this area is swamp and meadow vegetation, together with poplar plantations. Important plant specimens in this area are a single white poplar and four black poplar, very rare examples of alluvial vegetation , today protected as natural monuments.
Also worthy of mention are the 100 or more plant species, especially macrophytes that are an integral part of the swamp and pond ecosystem, some of them even remnants of subtropical vegetation from the pre-glacial period. The most important macrophyte species, proposed for entry into the Serbian Red List of endangered vegetation, are the white water lilys. Begečka Jama harbours 27 fish species, including Prussian carp, perch, catfish, carp , pike and bream, as well as crayfish, snails and shellfish.
There are also some 150 bird species to be seen in the Begečka Jama Nature Park, most of which are transitory, wandering or wintering species. During the migration of birds from the north, up to 1000 different species stop off here. As many as 90 of the bird species that can be seen at Begečka Jama are candidates for the Serbia Red List, while 55 of them are considered natural rarities in Serbia. On the international and European Red Lists is the Ferruginous Duck.
Of the nesting species there is the Mute Swan, Common Coot, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe , Northern Lapwing , White and Black Stork, Great Cormorant and Little Bittern.
Also occasionally seen in this area are the Great and Little Egret, Purple Heron and Black-crowned Night-heron.
Song birds seen here are the Collared Flycatcher, Icterine Warbler and Wood Warbler.
Birds of prey which have survived in the Begeč area are the Common Buzzard , Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Hobby and Common Kestrel.
Otters are also present in Begečka Jama.
The nature park also has two archaeological sites, Kuva and Acke . Within the park are the remains of a Roman fortification from the time of Diocletian, Castellum Onagrinum. It was the only fortified complex on the left bank of the Danube in ancient times. There are also remains of the original village of Begeč from the first half of the 15th century, which was moved due to frequent heavy flooding.
The Cave of Petrlas is actually a system of caves on the southern edge of the karst field of Odorovce, in the region of Zabrdje. It is about 12 km north from the town, and 10 km of the road are covered with asphalt, whereas the remaining 2 km are covered with soil.
The karst field of Odorovce is the largest karst field in eastern and south-eastern Serbia . It is 7 km long, and about 4.5 km wide. It is a spacious and relatively flat field which is circled by lower limestone ranges and Vidlic. The field leans towards the south and south-west. The Odorovacka Reka river, which is a lost river, flows off by the bottom of the field. Part of the field is bounded by a karst surface where typical karst forms can be found, especially spacious depressions and valleys. That karst surface extends to the west as a long karst valley Tepos, which continues as the ravine of Pirot after 10 km. The neogenic lake of the field of Odorovce probably flew off by the valley. The water course through the field has been maintained ever since. The waters of the field of Odorovce emerge in the valley of the Nisava river even today.
On the southern edge of the field of Odorovce there are some underground karst forms, which had been created during the lake phase towards the end of the Pleistocene. Among these forms, the most famous and the most important one is the Cave of Petrlas . It is a pearl of nature, rich in cave jewellery, but, unfortunately, it has not been sufficiently explored and exploatated. With minimal investment, this site could become a meeting place of speleology and natural beauties devotees, The lakes of Smilovci, as well as the monasteries of Sveta Petka and Sveti Kirik i Julita are situated near the cave (about 2 km away).
Sicevo Gorge represents a fascinating part of the canyon of the Nisava river, located on the road to Sofia, at the end of the final slopes of Mt. Svrljiske Planine and Mt. Suva Planina. Situated 14km away from Nis, it is 17km long and divided into two parts: the higher and lower gorge.
The gorge also boasts two hydroelectric plants constructed in the early 20th century. One of them provides electricity for Nis even today. Additionally, in the nearby village of Ostrovica there is the Church of St. Petka and, in Sicevo proper, on the main road to Sofia, St. Mother of God Monastery (built in 1644 and renewed in 1875, as it was pulled down by the Turks).
If you visit the village of Sicevo, you may enjoy the breathtaking view of the gorge below. This village is also famous for good wines, and every summer the oldest art colony in the Balkans is organized here. It was first established by the painter Nadezda Petrovic.
Having in mind numerous natural beauties and rare flora available only here, in 2000 the authorities proclaimed Sicevo Gorge a special nature reserve. Sage, a precious medicinal herb, which otherwise grows only in the Mediterranean conditions, has its only natural location in Serbia here, in Sicevo Gorge.
Sport lovers may enjoy mountaineering, walking in nature, fishing, paragliding and rafting (in 2009 the World Rafting Cup was organized in this part of the Nisava).
Bojanine Vode (Bojana’s Waters) excursion site is located 25 km from Nis. Situated 700-1300m above sea level, on the northern part of Mt. Suva Planina, this venue is an ecological oasis offering fresh mountain air and sunlight.
The name of the site comes from the nearby fresh spring of mountain water Bojanine vode. Directly next to the spring, there is the Mountaineering Boarding House “Studenac” (55 beds) at 860 meters above sea level and Ski-house “Nis” (20 beds) at 810 meters above sea level with an attractive “Orlova cesma” (“Eagle drinking fountain”) and a lighted basketball court.
On their way from Bojanine vode, mountaineers can choose from among a few well-marked tracks, which will take them to wonderful nearby peaks, such as Sokolov kamen (1523 m), Devojacki grob (1317m), Mosor (984m), and the highest peak of Mt. Suva – Trem, 1810 meters above sea level. In wintertime, the ski track Sokolov kamen at Bojanine vode is available for skiing. The cableway (tanjiraca) is 900 meters long, the height difference is 320 meters, and the capacity is 1,100 skiers an hour. The track is 1000 meters long. The milder and shorter track “Pantina staza” with ski-lift (vucnica) of 250 m length is intended for older school children and for recreation, whereas there is a track “Studenac” (100m) with motor ski-lift for the youngest. Both children tracks are lighted.
4% of the total area of the Municipality of Bečej consists of watercourses. The most important of all is certainly the river Tisa which forms the eastern border of the municipality 23 km in length, which represents 14.02% of its course in the territory of Vojvodina.
The river Tisa on the territory of Bečej Municipality is rich in 22 species of fish from 7 families. The most numerous are Cyprinidae (the carp family 14 species) and Percidae (the perch family 3 species). The fish that should be mentioned as interesting for fishing tourism are the families Siluridae (catfish) and Esocidae (pike), which have one species each. A definite contribution to the richness of the river is the existence of the ancient water flower insect – “Tiski cvet” (The Flower of Tisa), which appeared again in 2000, after long time. Since then it has been present on the river in the second half of June.
The river Tisa (Hungarian: Tisza) is the biggest tributary of the river Danube. It flows through the Panonian lowlands. Its spring is in Ukraine, in the area of Bukovina, and after that flows through Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. It empties into the Danube opposite Stari Slankamen. The river Tisa is formed by joining of the Black and White Tisa.
The length of Tisa is 1,358 km, and the watershed area is 157,186 m². In Vojvodina Tisa divides Bačka (the right bank) and Banat (the left bank).
The biggest tributaries are Begej, Bodrog, Zlatica, Moriš (the biggest), Samoš and Šajo.
The navigable part of Tisa is 532 km in length.
The Bačka Canal connects Tisa with Danube and Begej Canal with Tamiš.
The towns of importance on Tisa are: Tokaj, Solnok, Čongrad, Segedin, Senta and Bečej.
In the mountain part of the course, Tisa is a rapid and clear river. The effect of the lack of lakes in the area of Carpathian Mountains is that the water level of Tisa is very variable, with typically three flood periods. If the water level of Tisa matches the one in Danube, Tisa will start flowing upstream, which causes great floods. Such a situation devastated Segedin in spring 1879.
Between 1846 and 1880, the Hungarian authorities organized the regulation of the Tisa course (Hungarian: a Tisza szabályozása) and shortened its length by 450 km. The built flood protection system is the biggest in Europe. Today there are 3680 km of canals that control Tisa.
During 1980s a large artificial lake was made on Tisa (Hungarian: Tisza-tó) with the intention to help the regulation of course and especially floods. Soon this lake became a popular tourist destination of Hungarians, almost like the lake Balaton.
Tisa is navigable in the larger part of its course. The river has been opened for the international navigation just recently. Before that Hungary made the distinction between so called “state rivers” and “international rivers”, by which it was determined whether a navigation was allowed or not. After Hungary joined the EU this regulation was abolished and all vessels are allowed to navigate on Tisa.
The possibility of navigation is often determined by natural factors. In the period of high water level and flood the river is most often not navigable.
The site of a strange name “Devil’s Town” is located near an also strangely named village Djake (comes from a Turkish word “gjak” – blood), at an altitude of 660-700 m, situated in the municipality of Kursumlija. Earthen figures or “towers” as the locals call them are located in the watershed between two gullies, whose sources joined together create a unique erosive formation, tremendously demolished by the erosive processes. The gullies also have strange names: “Devil’s Gully” (“Djavolja jaruga”) and “Hell’s Gully” (“Paklena jaruga”).
There are 202 earthen figures of different shape and dimension, from 2 m to 15 m in height, and from 0.5 m to 3 m in width, with stone caps on the top. They are an outcome of a specific erosive process that lasts for centuries. When figures are formed, they grow, change, shorten, gradually (very slowly) disappear and reappear. The loose soil is dissolved and washed away by the rain. However, the material under the stone caps is protected from the “bombardment” of the rain drops and washout, and remains in place in the form of the rising earthen pillars – figures.
The height of the pillars is increased by a quick linear and directed erosion of water which flows away around their feet, washing out the material. Due to the steep incline of the terrain where figures are formed, vertical erosion prevails over the lateral one, which accelerates the washout of the material and the creation of the pillars.
Formed in this way, the earthen pillars are shaped into earthen figures of strange shape and appearance by various environmental factors (wind, sun, changes of temperature, etc). When observed for a long time, the figures appear unreal, both in their shape and dimension, as well as in their incredible static perseverance. It seems unreal that an earthen figure which is 3 m wide in its foot and more than 10 m tall becomes 20-30 cm wide at the top and endures for decades and centuries under the weight of more than 100 kg heavy stone block…
This geomorphologic phenomenon is a unique occurrence in our country and very rare in the world. In Europe, there are similar occurrences in the Alps (on both sides of the Brenner Pass in Austria and in Italy, near Bolzano, then in the province Haute-Savoie in France, etc). In America, there is a significant occurrence “Garden of the Gods”. However, the Devil’s Town towers are greater in number, larger and much more stable.
26km away from the tourist centre Zlatibor, in the village Siirogojno there is the only open air museum in Serbia “Staro Selo”. Works on construction of this museum started in 1979. On a 5 hectare location beside St. Peter and Paul’s church, old log houses were brought from all parts of Zlatibor to be here presented and preserved.
The museum has got two entireties. The first is a group of houses which have kept initial look and purpose and they make a museum display formed into two Zlatibor farmsteads. The second whole is a group of houses that have preserved their original look but their purpose has been changed; they have been adopted for tourist needs. They are a hall, a souvenir shop, an inn, apartment buildings…
As we have already mentioned, the two Zlatibor farmsteads in the permanent museum display are testimony of living culture in Zlatibor region at the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th century. The way of life in these houses was specific because they lived in extended family groups (cooperatives) with up to 50 members. The museum has been made of Zlatibor log cabins that belong to Dinara-type log cabins. Farmsteads were always built on the slope turned towards the sun. The houses were square shaped; the walls were made of level water surface logs bound in “ćetr” (four) in the corners. The roofs were covered with shingle, stone tiles or straw. On the roof there were openings “bađže” for air circulation, and on the very top of the roof there was a chimney called “kapić” Characteristic for Zlatibor farmstead was a great number of smaller objects all around “the main house”.
Central place of the farmstead belonged to “the main house” (it was the highest object in the household). The main house has got two rooms-“the house” and “the room” and there was a cellar under the room. On this log house there were two doors, the eastern and the western, which except for the function also had a symbolic meaning (all that was good and beautiful entered the eastern door- the new born baby, the bride,the godfather, guests…, and all that was bad left the house through the western door – the diseased person, garbage,…). Open fire place occupied the central part of “the house”. The fire was away burning, food was prepared there, and in the evenings members of the cooperative (big family) used to gather together making plans for next day’s work and then sleep around the fireplace. The house was a room without floor or ceiling except for the “floor” above the fireplace that was used to preserve fire and prevent smoke to go directly to meat hanging and drying under “rogovi” (the horns). “The room” always used to be on a little higher place then “the house” and it had wooden floor and a ceiling. There was only one bad in this room where the oldest members of the family slept, meaning the master of the house and his wife, and in the cradles little babies born during winter period. In this room a formal dinner took place in case some important guests came during some important occasion or big holidays. The room was heated by the stove in the partition wall between two rooms.
“Vajat” was a building used as a sleeping quarters usually for newlyweds and was given to each son of the master of farmstead when he got married. These houses were very poor with furniture. At the beginning there was only one bed in the house, latter chests (boxes) for clothes were added, “lenke” – poles to hang over clothes and bed linen and even later a loom for weaving. In these houses there was no fire. In case smoke was seen through the chimney of the “vajat” it meant that the son had separated from his father. In one household number of “vajats” depended on the number of married sons of the family head.
Dairy was an object for producing and keeping milk and milk products. Within the family one woman was determined to take care of milk and make milk products. She was called “planinka” and she only was allowed to enter the dairy for hygiene reasons. It was a small building with shelves on the walls where wooden troughs, buckets and tubs were kept.
Bakery was beside the house and bread was baked there for the whole family to eat for several days.
Barn and “salaš” were the objects built near the main house. In the barn grain was kept in special compartments, while in “salaš” corncobs were kept, it was thatched of switches, which enabled air to stream and dry corn quicker. These objects were lifted from ground to be protected from moisture.
“Mišana” was the object built for drying fruit, mostly apples and plums. It worked on the principle of drawers in which there was one wattle where fruit was put to dry.
Stable was built far from the main house. They always had two levels, on the lower one there were cattle, while sheep were on the upper one.
Within the permanent museum display there is also a shepherd’s dwelling, a special part of a household built in the mountain. It included a hut, a pen and “kućer”. A hut is a small log house just to make fire in it and keep milk products while staying on the mountain, and “kućer” is a movable bed on some kind of a sledge to enable shepherds always to be near their animals.
Another part of the museum display is formed by the objects which look like the original ones but their purpose has been changed. In the hall and the summer stage exhibitions, seminars, literary meetings, theatre performances and concerts are organized. In one of the objects there is an exhibition and selling place for the old handcraft products and copies of museum exhibits made by village craftsmen.
In the Museum inn visitors can be served with Zlatibor special dishes, prepared in the ancient way. Near the inn there are objects for overnight stay and visitors’ holidays. The Museum programme is also preserving old trades so there are cooper’s, blacksmith’s and potter’s workshops equipped and during summer there are lectures organized in these handcrafts’ skills.
St Peter and Paul’s church was built in 1764. Its founder was Georgije Smiljanić, the founder of famous clergyman family that produced 16 generations of priests. Great value of the church represents the iconostas, the work of Simeon Lazović also from the year 1764. Originally it was a wooden object but in the middle of 20th century it was walled in and a two store bell tower was added to it. The church is a part of the open air museum today.
The Morava, or Velika Morava river originates with the merging of the Zapadna Morave and Južna Morava (Western Morava and Southern Morava) at the town of Stalać. It flows into the Danubein the area between the towns of Smederevo and Kostolac. Together with the Zapadna Morava, the Morava is the longest Serbian river – 185 km long just counting the Velika Morava, or 493 km including the Zapadna Morava.
This river was once many times longer but was shortened by river engineering and land reclamation works. The farthest headwater of the Morava basin is the river Ibar, a right tributary of the Zapadna Morava, and the largest. Taken as a whole, the Ibar-Zapadna Morava-Velika Morava system forms a river system 550 km long, the longest in the Balkans.
The Velika Morava basin is 6,126 km2 in area, the entire Morava system 37,444 km2, which is 42.38% of the size of Serbia’s territory. The Velika Morava flows through the most fertile and most densely populated area of central Serbia known as the Pomoravlje, which was formed from a bay of the former Pannonian Sea which dried out some 200,000 years ago. Approximately halfway along the valley is the Bagrdanska Klisura gorge.
The tributaries of the Velika Morava are the Jovanovačka Reka, Crnica, Ravanica, Resava and Resavica, Kalenićka Reka, Lugomir, Belica, Osaonica, Lepenica, Rača and Jasenica rivers. Before it flows into the Danube, the Velika Morava forks, creating a 47 km-long arm named the Jezava, which flows separately into the Danube after first merging with the river Ralja.
The Velika Morava is an example of a meandering river and it is common for the Morava to change its course after flooding, leaving lakes in place of its former bed. Today the Velika Morava is navigable for only 3 km from its mouth, but in former times was navigable as far as Ćuprija. In the early 19th century its valley became the birthplace of the modern Serbian state, then called Moravian Serbia. Many songs have been sung in honour of the Morava and its fertility, but also of its ill-tempered nature and tendency to flood.
Legendary Mountain Cer, 25km far from Sabac, is a favourite resort of Sabac citizens. Not too high (the highest peak is at 689 meters above sea level), it offers possibilities of walking along marked mountainous paths that will direct tourists to significant locations nearby: the memory charnel-house in Tekeris, built in honour of killed Serbian soldiers in Cerska battle in August 1914, Radovasnica, Petkovica and Cokesina monasteries.
There is a mountain lodge called ‘Lipova voda’ that offers accommodation and a restaurant.
From Cer, you can see mildly hilly landscapes of Pocerina and Macva plain all the way to the Sava and Drina rivers.