Spring awakening of western Serbia

Serbia
April 2nd to 8th 2023

Duration – 7 days (6 driving days)
Hotel accomodation (HB)
Approximate length – 700 km
Technical difficulty – 1-5/10
Scratching rate – 1-3/10 (occasional light scratching)
AT tyres minimum, MT recommended

Tour price
1400 € per vehicle and driver
+ 400 € per every extra passenger

Western Serbia has some truly impressive landscape, featuring several natural reserves, national, and nature parks. This very dynamic, mountainous terrain, holds many deep canyons and beautiful lakes, glorious ancient mixed forests, and unique ethno architecture of wooden houses, in an area where local people have lived in accord with nature for centuries. Among these mountains lay some of the most joyful and picturesque routes for offroad driving in Serbia, meeting the expectations of both passionate travellers seeking a layed back drive through picturesque vistas, and ambitious offroad drivers in search for excitement and fun. And, at the end of the day, every of the mountains in this area has an exquisite place for you to take a good rest – beautiful little mountain hotels, which offer you all the luxury and comfort you’re expecting, not any less perfect than hotels in western Europe.

The Tara House hotel in the Tara mountain

Where?

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This tour starts with a section through Valjevo mountains, a huge area of relatively low (up to 1300 m), but beautiful and diverse mountains south of the town of Valjevo. We will pass along the most picturesque trail connecting Ravna Gora and Divčibare first, over a narrow, rocky ridge offering views over half of western Serbia, before we reach our magnificent 4-star hotel in the tourist resort of Divčibare.

On day two we will have a dynamic and diverse, relatively long route of the rest of the Valjevo mountains, ending in the arrival to Kaluđerske bare, a holliday resort which is the gateway to the spectacular Tara national park. On this itinerary muddy forest passages will frequently mix with gravel, and shorter sections of tarmac road.

Tara mountain is mostly covered by pinetree forests, with peaks reaching 1500-1700 m. It is surrounded by the breathtaking Drina river canyon, which we will be able to see from two spectacular scenic viewpoints. In the midst of Tara, at an altitude of about 1000 m, lies the Zaovine lake, which is also a beautiful sight with it’s five parts reaching deeply into the surrounding valleys covered by thick forest. To the south, Tara mountain is connected to Zlatibor (another big and very diverse highland area) over the Šargan pass.

Both Tara and Zlatibor feature an extensive network of good quality gravel roads, but as soon as you venture off the main roads you easily find some more challenging forest trails. Beginning of April is the time between winter and spring at those heights (mostly above 1000 m), so our tour will also be an exploration with alternating freshly green, and snow passages. Constant light challenges will guarantee that it never becomes boring, and the beautiful sights will bring us to spontaneous photo stops.

Progressing over Zlatibor highlands slowly raises our average altitude, but we also enter an area where mountains are quite densely inhabited, with people living in accord with the nature. So we will pass by many small mountain villages with the traditional architecture of wooden houses, for which western Serbia is especially known, bringing the tour a strong cultural experience.

Streams and waterfalls everywhere

Finally the tour reaches the area of the Uvac lakes and Pešter highlands, which is surrounded by several of the highest mountain ridges in the area – Zlatar, Jadovnik and Golija. While the attractive peaks of these mountains are unreachable until mid May because of the huge snowdrifts, we will make some very interesting itineraries through the lower slopes of these mountains, where spring is already awakening in the beginning of April, offering us beautiful opportunities to enjoy the lakeside scenery with some truly spectacular scenic viewpoints, and maybe even approach the griffon vultures at close range (the Uvac reserve hosts one of the biggest collonies of griffon vultures in Europe).

Last tour day traditionally offers a shorter and easier trail, leaving enough space to depart home in the early afternoon hours, or directly from our last hotel early in the morning, if you prefer to do so.

Accomodation

As practicaly every mountain in western Serbia is a popular tourist resort, finding good quality hotels and making a skillful selection for your maximum satisfaction is easy. The six hotels that will be featured in this tour will be a combination of high luxury, big 4 star hotels offering every content that you might expect from such a place (including wellness and spa facilities), and some small, atmospheric hotels built in the traditional local style, which won’t mean any compromise when it comes to quality of service and contents. We take special care to choose hotels which are deep in the nature, away from bigger towns, in order to secure your contact with the pristine nature 24 hours a day.

The four star Crni Vrh hotel on Divčibare

On all days we will have half board service (included in the tour price), meaning that breakfast and dinner will be provided in the hotels, while for the picnic lunches along the way we will have to take care of ourselves with the food that we’ve brought along in our mobile cooler boxes (or stop for lunch in local countryside restaurants, on days when we pass by some). All of the hotels have sufficient parking space, and you can also count on free wi-fi access in every one of them.

Drvengrad – a hotel that consists of old, traditional houses

We recommend that you do the shopping for lunch supplies before we meet on day one, or upon arrival to Divčibare resort at the end of the trail planned for that day, as there are several food markets in the vicinity. During the tour there are possibilities to replenish food supplies near most hotels where we stay. Therefore having a compressor refrigerator is not cruicial to your tour satisfaction, as it will be possible to buy the food which you need for next day’s lunch almost daily. In the email that we send one month prior to the tour start, we will inform you in greater detail about this subject.

The daily lunchbreaks will be sometime between 12:30 and 14:00 lasting for about 30 to 40 minutes. As traditional meals in Serbia are quite heavy, with a decent breakfast and dinner every day we don’t think you’ll be in a mood for some substantial lunch.

Tour requirements

Equipment of your vehicle for the tour should include

  • AT tyres as minimum, but MT recommended for the muddy springtime conditions
  • basic tools for your vehicle and 4×4 recovery in forest areas (like shovel, handsaw, etc.)

We also recommend

  • protective foil over your paint (if you’re sensitive about vegetation contact)
  • winch (it will make recovery in hard situations a lot simpler)
  • a moderate 2″ lift on your vehicle (will make conquering trails with deep ruts a lot easier)

Low gear capable transfer case vehicles are advised

Tour price coverage

Tour price includes

  • our guide in own guide vehicle, and tour guidance during 7 days
  • all fuel and other expenses for the guide vehicle
  • personal counceling before and during the tour
  • GPS tracks for the tour, in case you wish to have them in your navigation devices
  • a handheld radio for communication during the tour (with charging station)
  • hotel accomodation on HB basis

Tour price does not include

  • individual fuel and toll costs
  • individual food and drink expenses
  • mechanical servicing expenses by third parties
  • individual accomodation expenses before and after the tour (on your way to Serbia and back)
  • other individual expenses

What else you should know about the tour?

For this tour the meeting point will be at a big petrol station about 100 km southwest of Belgrade, near the A2 motorway (you’ll be supplied with detailed access instructions, coordinates and GPX/KML tracks to reach the meeting point). Final details will be emailed to you about one month prior to the tour start. 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 offroading in moderately muddy conditions of early springtime. This tour will require average offroad experience and skills. During the tour a chance to refuel will be available in the vicinity of most hotels (petrol, diesel, LPG), so you do not need to carry extra fuel cans. 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.

Tour booking form

If you have any more questions,
ask your guide!

Invoice and payment instructions will be e-mailed to you upon filling out and sending this registration form

Image gallery from the tour area

Extra galleries from the area (Serbianoutdoor 4×4 blog)