Attractive trails, authentic culture and meeting a traditional way of mountain life
October 14-21st 2017
A picturesque journey offering moderate offroad challenges, with a primary focus on the dramatic landscape and famous landmarks of western Serbia. Covering Povlen, Tara, Zlatibor, Zlatar, Jadovnik and Golija mountains, as well as Drina river and Uvac lakes. Suitable for all 4x4 vehicles with MT tyres and minimum 20 cm of ground clearance. Accomodation in 3 and 4 star mountain hotels on HB basis. Lunch provided either in restaurants, or as a picnic lunch package where restaurants not available.
Duration - 8 days / 9 nights (14. to 21. October 2017.)
Price - 560 € per vehicle + 410 € per person (accomodation)
Hotel accomodation (3 and 4 stars)
Approximate length - 1.100 km (incl. pavement)
Technical difficulty - moderate
MT class tyres recommended (autumn season can be muddy)
Registration deadline for 2017 - August 15th 2017
Approximate area of the tour(precise track available to participants)
Videos of the tour area
Day one – arrival and first offroad (about 190 km)
Participants shall arrive in Belgrade, Serbia by Friday evening, where we will book a hotel for them. We shall start our journey next morning at 9:00 from the hotel pariking lot. You will receive precise waypoint and approach instructions and map through e-mail. From that point we will proceed in the direction of Valjevo, stopping by at a supermarket to get supplies.
First 100 km of our daily journey will be on-road. But after that we’ll make the transport to the attractive parts of western Serbia where all the action will take place less boring by taking an offroad detour over Valjevo mountains, ascending Divčibare in the Valjevo mountains, then continuing over a nice ethno-pansion Gostoljublje, where we’ll have lunch. Afternoon drive brings us to our first accomodation point at Kaluđerske Bare on Tara mostly using offroad trails of various difficulty. That is where the real dreamscapes start.
Day two – over and around Tara (about 80 km)
This is the day devoted to experiencing the full beauty of the Tara national park. We will start in the morning from the Tara appartments at Kaluđerske Bare and proceed over a number of scenic viewpoints, cultural and historical points and over a series of technically challenging forest trails to the westernmost part of Tara. There we’ll visit the village Jagoštica, surrounded on three sides by vertical cliffs of the Drina canyon and Bilješke Stene, the highest viewpoint over the Drina river, almost 1000 m above the water. In case all the vehicles in the group are capable enough, before we head off to sleep at the Predov Krst mountain house, we’ll take a short, but slightly technical and mud-challenging circle around Galinik peak and accross Brusnički stream.
Day three – Crossing to Mokra Gora (about 70 km)
It’s time to go back from the isolated, remote and wild part of Tara around Predov Krst towards the Drvengrad ethno-village of the famous director Emir Kusturica, situated in the little town of Mokra Gora. On our way there we’ll take the forest roads through the highest parts of Tara, and see a big and beautiful lake – Zaovine, after which we’ll have a mud-challenging ascent towards Kršanjska glava. Early afternoon, right after lunch, we will take a break from driving to embark on a 2 hour journey on the Mokra Gora – Šargan scenic railway, which has the most incredible route up the mountain. We will end the day in the Drvengrad (Mećavnik) ethno hotel of Emir Kusturica, comprised of traditional Serbian mountain houses transported from their original locations.
Day four – journey to Vraneša (about 100 km)
A very dynamic journey takes us from Tara over the wild part of Zlatibor mountain all the way to ethno-village Vraneša, which will be the base for our next night. We can either take the ridge crossing over Šargan pass to Zlatibor, or from Mokra gora following either Krsmanski stream or the Obešeni Hrast ridge (a much more technically demanding trail, that makes sense oniy in dry weather). Either way we take, we’ll have some magnificent views and cross several rivers and streams, sometimes descending into deep canyons. We’ll visit the wooden church in the Jablanica village, as well as the famous medieval Uvac monastery. We’ll also climb to Tornik, the highest peak of Zlatibor, and see the Dobroselica natural stone arch.
Although quite a long daily drive, with average easy trails, there will be several moderately hard tests, just to spice up the ride. We’ll make a stop for a picnic lunch either by the Jablanica church, or on Tornik peak.
Day five – Uvac lakes adventure (about 90 km)
Fifth day of our journey takes us through the Uvac natural reserve, the home of the biggest protected population of Griffon vultures in Europe. They nest in the cliffs above Uvac and Zlatar lakes. First part of the day will be a picturesque ride that will include Štitkovo, an authentic village with preserved houses from the 19th century, as well as several attractive scenic views above the lakes, topped by the grand view of the winding Uvac river from Molitva peak.
In early afternoon we descend to the campsite at the beginning of the Uvac lake, where we’ll have a domestic lunch with the locals. After lunch we embark the boat, for a ride to the Ice cave, which is one of the largest cave systems in Serbia (and we will be able to see the Molitva viewpoint we visited previously, from the river below). After the boat ride we shall make a scenic drive through dynamic terrain, plunging into deep pine forests of Zlatar mountain and arriving to the Zlatarski Zlatnik hotel for the night.
Day six – the Jadovnik summit and Sopotnica falls (about 100 km)
We will start the day with an attractive drive through the dark, engaging pine forests of Zlatar mountain, descending to Mileševa monastery. After a short visit, we’ll climb to the stunning Sopotnica waterfalls on the southeastern slopes of Jadovnik. From there we have a fine, active climb to Jadovnik mountain, finally reaching the the 1732 m high Katunić peak, a great scenic view from where we can see half of Serbia. We continue through the highland plains at an average altitude od 1600 m, from where we’ll slowly descend to an authentic mountain ethno-village, Tičje Polje, where we’ll have a break for another photo session. We end the day with an attractive trail following the ridge of the Ozren mountain, reaching the mountain town of Sjenica at 1000 m altitude for the night.
Days seven and eight – crossing the Golija moutain and return to Belgrade (about 100 + 250 km)
The last offroading day of the tour brings a real treat – the huge Golija mountain, with it’s forests that are especially beautiful in autumn, colours ranging from green, through all shades of yellow to red. It also offers some quite demanding forest trails, on which mud challenges can be found everywere. Golija will give us the highest peak on this tour, the 1833 m high Jankov Kamen. We’ll visit all the attractions of Golija, before we settle for the night at the cosy Golijski konaci bungalows near Ivanjica.
Day eight is the day for on-road travelling to Belgrade (we may take a very brief offroad shortcut), where we’ll have a sightseeing afternoon tour of the fortress at the confluence of the Sava and Danube river, before our farewell dinner. The last night for the participants on the tour will be in a Belgrade hotel.
The mountain hotels we will be sleeping at offer 3 and 4 star comfort levels. Fully equipped to modern standards, in most places free wi-fi internet access is available, and some also have pools, spa & wellness facilities. All have separate bathrooms for each room, except in two places where we’ll be using bungalows which have two bedrooms each with a shared lobby and bathroom.
Dinner and breakfast are served inside the hotels or in nearby restaurants, and for lunch we will either go to some fine restaurants along our route, or make picnics in memorable places in the wild (on scenic viewpoints with tables and benches, by lakes and on riverbanks, etc.) where no nearby restaurant is available.
Equipment of your vehicle for Western Serbian Dreamscapes tour should include
- AT tyres (MT optional)
- a shovel
- 1 or more snake-ropes for recovery
- CB radio
You should also consider
- Protective sheets over your paint (in case you mind contact with branches)
- A moderate lift – makes you more relaxed over obstacles
(vehicles with low gear are preffered, but others are still welcome )
Tour preparation and execution
For this tour you’ll meet your guide in Belgrade, the capitol of Serbia, from where you’ll head off together in a convoy. We’ll timely supply you with a GPX track to the meeting point, as well as numeric coordinates, and the phone number of your guide. Please secure that you have your travel insurance before starting the tour. We expect you to arrive with a vehicle in good technical conditon, which can endure a week of easy and moderate offroading. In case of a serious malfunction which renders the vehicle stationary, we’ll organize the handling of the problem with the nearest service, and go on with the tour programme as soon as possible. You can rejoin us as soon as the defect has been repaired. This tour will require average offroad experience and skills, and is suitable for families. During the tour a chance to refuel will be available each 200-250 km (petrol, diesel, LPG). All major credit cards (Visa, Master, Maestro, etc.) work in Serbia (both on ATM machines and for paying goods), but it’s advisable to have a small amount of cash for small expenses in the mountainous areas.
For more details please consult the 4×4 addendum to the Terms and Conditions of Rustika Travel.
Tour price covers
- one adequately equipped guide vehicle with our guide
- all fuel and other expenses for the guide vehicle
- personal counceling before and during the tour
- appropriate GPS maps and data, that can be made available to the participants, if they have compatible hardware
- accomodation costs on HB basis
- lunch at restaurants, or picnic lunch packages
- farewell dinner
- tickets for caves, boat and train rides, museums
Tour price does not cover
- individual fuel and toll costs
- individual food and drink expenses outside those listed above
- servicing expenses by third parties
- individual accomodation expenses before and after the tour (on your way to Serbia and back)
- other individual expenses