A personal encounter with natural beauties is the fastest way to recover from obligations, stress, city life and everything that everyday life brings with it. The image, the word, the impression of the other cannot completely convey all the emotions that a green landscape illuminated by the last rays of the sun can evoke in us. Such moments can be called a holiday in the mountains. And Zlatibor, the most visited mountain in Serbia for several years in a row, offers you just such moments. I don't want to write the most attractive here, because it immediately associates with luxury buildings that are rapidly emerging from the ground, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and even boutiques, bookstores. I will write about the richest tourist, because it means that it offers different contents, and it is up to us to choose the ones that suit us the most and that will influence us to really relax during our stay on the mountain. Since I am writing about my personal experience of Zlatibor, I will present what conveyed the real mountain atmosphere to me and influenced my weekend on the mountain to turn into a perfect experience. I will write about the nature of Zlatibor.
Natural beauties of Zlatibor - the most beautiful moments on the mountain
After three and a half hours of driving from Belgrade, when you finally see the pine trees and reach the roundabout that leads to the center of Zlatibor, you get the first opportunity to decide what kind of vacation you want. Will it be an escape to the pine forests or enjoying some of the modern facilities around Zlatibor Lake. I am the first type of tourist. The one who will be accommodated in one of the excellent apartments in the Zlatibor accommodation category, take a blanket and run to the first mountain slope. Turn off your phone, laptop, tablet and indulge in a view of the sky filled with coniferous tops. And that is my first destination.
Mountain slopes and idyllic views
If you have decided to stay in a facility located in the center of Zlatibor, you will absolutely be able to find the ideal place for an outdoor vacation, where you will hear only the chirping of birds and the sound of trees. A warm recommendation is to cross to the left side of the Lake and head uphill towards the trail that leads to Dino and Adventure Park. Passing by these spaces, you enter a part that is less urbanized and visited, and quiet and beautiful. The further you go, the more the doors of mountain beauties open for you, and your lungs fill with sharp mountain air. As you climb to the top, a kind of reward awaits you - a beautiful view of the green areas, the horizon connected to the mountain slope and the sun's rays that illuminate parts of nature. I saw it with my own eyes, not through a camera lens. I allowed nature to bring the necessary serenity into me. Those three hours on the blanket were the best used moments. And then came new beautiful landscapes and moments.
After slopes and views, the water surface will best relieve us of stress. But by that I don't mean swimming pools and bathing areas. If we are looking for a peaceful, untouched nature that contains a water surface, then the perfect place for us is Ribnica Lake. On the way to Tornik and the Uvac Monastery, eight kilometers from Lake Zlatibor, there is a jewel of untouched nature, the blue waters of the lake and pine forests. This lake was created in 1971, on the dam of Crni Rzav. Its length is 2000 meters, while the area is 0.4 km2. When you arrive at the parking lot located right next to the bay where the Lake is located, in front of you is a perfect view full of blue-green shades. The water surface is surrounded by pine forests, where you can find perfect shade. Settle down and leave it to nature. Officially, swimming in the Lake is prohibited. Unofficially, a certain number of tourists bathe in the lake, while the other half sunbathes on the green slopes. Another advantage of this space is that it is not very popular, and it has still been preserved intact. This does not mean that it is an unorganized space. The whole part around the lake is mowed, arranged and clean. What is most famous for is its richness in different species of fish, and it is a favorite place of passionate fishermen. If you want to enjoy fishing, it is best to provide a permit that costs 1000 dinars for one day, 2000 dinars for a week, while the annual price is 6000 dinars.
This part of Zlatibor is a real oasis, which is located in a perfect location, but which has not yet reached the direction of urbanization. It is the same when it comes to the entire settlement of Ribnica, to which the Lake belongs. The settlement boasts preserved authenticity, part of which consists of real mountain houses, fast streams, as well as this stunning blue lake. A place of true rest, relaxation, peace, silence, gentle breeze and beautiful colors is the best possible choice for all those who love the mountain because of its nature.
Another perfect place for all those who came to Zlatibor to enjoy the richness of natural beauty. At the top of the Gradina hill there is a decorated summer house with a telescope, which allows you not to miss any detail from the crowd that is in front of you. The altitude of 1164 meters allows visitors to cover even parts of Montenegro and Bosnia. On one side of the lookout, there is the town of Cajetina, on the other everything that makes up the modern tourist settlement of Zlatibor - on one side there are gentle wooded slopes and hills, on the other side there are mountain bare and pastures the color of gold. At about 5 kilometers drive, a perfect corner awaits you, which will rest and refresh you in a way that no jacuzzi can. If you have the time and opportunities, the Gradina Lookout Tower should be an indispensable part of your Zlatibor excursions.
Monument on Šumatno brdo
An ideal choice if you do not want to get too far from the center, and again get the perfect connection with nature, sunsets, beautiful views, but also the history of the Serbian people. On the way to the above-mentioned mountain slopes, there is one of the greatest symbols of Zlatibor - a monument that reaches to the sky and there defies the injustice and terror that the Serbian man went through in the past. This Memorial Obelisk was erected in memory of the partisan wounded on King's Waters and Palisade in 1941, and it was made so that it can be seen from all parts of Partisan Waters. The data show that the top of the hill is 5 kilometers away from the center of the mountain, and that it takes about 40 minutes of walking to conquer it. Personal experience shows that the time spent on the climb is the best possible way to renew your energy and fill your lungs with clean mountain air. The path to the monument is arranged and lit, and along it you will come across sellers of fresh juices, jams and balms, made from vegetables, fruits and herbs grown in local gardens. At the beginning of the trail there are horsemen, who offer to take you to the top of one of the elegant crows. Whether walking or guided by a horse trot, it will be a good mountain climb. And then at the end of it, a reward awaits you. View of green, yellow, copper natural areas, pastures, forests, bays and slopes, with the foundation located in the center and on top of everything. The verses of the poet Vasko Pope are written on it: I do not give this to the Sun in my eyes, I do not give this to the bread on my palm, which hit the essence so hard that they touch the heart. It is a warm recommendation to go to the Monument at sunset. This way, you will provide yourself with another additional convenience - the reflection of the sun's rays that merges with the sky and the mountain.
Center of Zlatibor - from my perspective
When you descend from the hill and reach Zlatibor Lake, the most central part of the urban zone of Zlatibor, there is a complete change in climate, atmosphere, type of content. The crowded promenade and restaurants, music from nightclubs, the smell of food and open catering facilities, in which you see long lines, are the determinants that describe the night in the center of Zlatibor. However, it should be noted that this situation is characteristic primarily for July and August - the months when Zlatibor is especially sought after and visited. The situation is undoubtedly calmer during May, June and September. Winter is already different and provides indoor fun. What is the sum of my impressions derived from all the above in combination with the center of the mountain - Zlatibor is the perfect place to relax. Why? Because it offers you a choice. If you love the city, modern facilities, enjoying restaurants and tasting food and drinks, Zlatibor offers you everything, and top quality. If you are the type of tourist looking for hidden areas for vacation, you get a lot of opportunities of this kind on the mountain. So, the center of Zlatibor was not created for no reason. Most tourists ask for it. And that's perfectly fine considering the time we live in. Especially when we keep in mind the accommodation in the mountains. As much as we are in love with peace and nature, the vast majority still want to have all the amenities, comfort and convenience in their apartment. Zlatibor will very well manage to give that to us all.
The apartment I stayed in
The proof of the above statement is my weekend on Zlatibor. It is true that I wanted to be alone and enjoy moments with nature, but at the same time I have accommodation available that will meet all requirements and be close to shopping malls, cafes and restaurants. This is definitely one of the very important categories, which greatly affects the quality of vacation. My choice was the studio apartment Aura - a modern building located in the village of Golija, just 500 meters from the center. What is a great advantage of the facility is that it is retracted and isolated from the crowd, so that in addition to the proximity to all amenities, you also get the necessary peace. The apartment is ideal for two people, who have a large room with a sofa bed, table and chairs, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, hallway with wardrobe. The best part of the building is a furnished terrace, which offers a perfect view of the mountain greenery. It makes a small paradise, an ideal place to relax, tucked away, warm, and yet modern, new and equipped with everything without which we could not survive during our stay. Despite all the advantages, you can rent this accommodation unit for a very decent price. For a night in the building it is necessary to set aside 30 €, or 1800 dinars per person. This brings us to break another stereotype - Zlatibor is expensive, more expensive than Greece and Egypt. We are convinced that this is an absolute untruth. You get a lot of amenities, apartments of excellent quality and in great locations for a very decent price. So, Greece is not everything that exists during July and August. Serbia has a lot of beauties, waiting for us to meet them.
These were personal impressions. It is true that everyone has their own impressions, desires and expectations. Regardless of all that, Zlatibor is a space where each of us can find something for ourselves. A weekend spent on it can be a perfect experience. It is up to us to make the right choice and to indulge in enjoying what suits us best. Zlatibor and the whole of Serbia are full of beautiful places. Something colossal had to happen for most of us to understand. I admit, I was part of those. After spending the weekend on the mountain, I really am no more. Now I am more in the category - a nature lover of Serbia.