The time spent outside of Belgrade was so refreshing and a part of Serbia I never knew existed. It was a few days packed heavily with adventure, and I recommend trying to do as much as you can if you’re going to visit western Serbia.
A boat ride down the Drina River leads us to the infamous House on the Rock. Such a cool house that was built 45 years ago on a rock in the middle of the river. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Serbian rakia (or “rakjia”). It’s a plum brandy that’s offered at almost every meal or social gathering. It’s a pretty strong drink that is pretty close to moonshine here in the states. We got a tour and private tasting of the oldest distillery, BB Klekovača. As a parting gift, they gave us a bottle to bring back to the states, since you can’t purchase it here!
Two very important monasteries that we visited shed light on the historic tensions between the Slavs and the Ottoman Empire. Monastery Rača is a 13th-century monastery that is secluded high in cliffs. It has housed monks who translated and wrote ancient religious and scientific texts. The church on the grounds was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, and where the original body of St. Sava was buried before being taken by the Turks and burned in Belgrade. The second was that of the Mileseva Monastery, home of the most famous “White Angel” fresco that was actually the first satellite broadcast from Europe to the USA, a symbol of peace.
A full day of adventure can be had the Uvac Nature Reserve. We started the day taking a boat up the winding river until we arrived at the Ice Caves. These dark and cool ice caverns were found in the 13th Century and have large magnesium and calcium deposits throughout the caves. Not far from the ice caves, A 30-45minute trek up to the viewpoint was one of the most rewarding things all trip, and I’d highly recommend it. The view really was one of the most breathtaking things I’d seen – the winding Uvac river snaking through the canyon was captivating!
If you’re interested in traveling to Serbia, I hope this guide helps! Please reach out if you have any questions about my experience or would like to know more. One of the best resources for the trip was the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, and I recommend you check it out if you’re looking into planning a trip!