Did you know that Serbia has a desert? Yes, a real, sandy desert? Deliblatska Peščara (in English: Deliblato Sands) is a natural asset of the first category, and as such, it is still in pristine condition. It is a place off the beaten path and not many tourists have heard of it. So today, just for our guests, we will introduce this interesting place and let you know how to reach it.
The Deliblato Sands is only 80 kilometers east of Belgrade, and as such, it is a perfect destination for a day-trip. The easiest way to get there and around is by car, even though there is limited public transport to the nearby village of Deliblato. Obviously, the entire reserve got its name after that village. The area spreads on over 300 square kilometers, and it is the largest sandy terrain in Europe. It is located in the proximity of the Danube, so there are several wetlands in the range as well.
The area itself is a combination of the steppe, desert, and grassland, and interestingly – it is surrounded by forests as well. The winds used to be so strong that they carried the sand all the way to Vienna! That is the reason why the forest engineers strategically forested the area around the desert, creating the landscape we can see today. So in one place, you can see different geomorphological features.
Wildlife of Sands
This might come as a surprise, but the desert is not actually deserted. In fact, it is full of life. Different endemic and endangered species live in this place. To be precise, around 1,000 plant and 200 animal species call this place home. Besides different insects, bats and birds, here you can see a mole rat, steppe polecat, birch mouse, and squirrels. If you are lucky, you might even spot a deer, boar, or even a wolf! But do not be afraid, as unfortunately, the population of local wolves is in decline. They are under protection and not likely to come in touch with humans. So here, the eastern imperial eagle is the real “king of the steppe.”
Fish, reptiles, birds, and amphibians inhabit the wetlands. Controlled hunting and fishing are also possible, but please have in mind that permits are required. Fines for poaching or endangering the wildlife are high and not worth the risk. Please remember – while in sands, take only pictures, leave only footprints. Make sure you care for the environment and wildlife.
Tourism in Deliblato Sands
There is a big chance that you will be the only tourist at this place, so you do not have to worry about crowds. Here, it is possible to keep up the social distance. If you decide to let us take you there, we will make sure to follow all the required measures for COVID prevention.
Generally, there are no tourist facilities in the sands. However, the school-recreational center “Čardak“ can host groups on a limited basis. They usually host school excursions or organized groups of sports players. If you want to rent the space there or stay in one of the nearby villages – let us know, so we can help you arrange it. Of course, you are always welcome to stop for a coffee or lunch in Čardak or other traditional restaurants in villages. The sands are in province Vojvodina, which is a multicultural place. So, besides Serbian, you can also enjoy specialties of Hungarian or Romanian cuisine as well.
There are several well-marked trekking paths. Don’t forget to walk over the dunes – they can be up to 200 meters high! Of course, take some pictures of Europe’s last desert! You can even find the designated places for barbecue, so feel free to enjoy it as well. Of course, it is forbidden to light the fire outside of designated places. Generally, Deliblato Sands is a safe place, but do not forget to follow the hiking safety advice and be aware that the weather conditions can quickly change. Wear appropriate clothes, as winds here can be pretty strong. Don’t forget the water, too!
We are looking forward to showing you the beauties of our country!