It is time to continue our virtual travel through Serbia. This time we are visiting one of the most beautiful mountains – Golija Mountain. Golija is a place that is very hospitable and if you know how to enjoy it, it will show you all its faces. What will surely delight you are the kind hosts with the manners of nature lovers.
This beauty was declared an air spa and the first category Nature Park in 2000. Also, Golija Mountain was declared by UNESCO in 2001 as the Biosphere Reserve. It is the first and the only one in Serbia. Due to its mysterious beauty, preserved natural wealth, and numerous cultural and historical sights, it is one of the most important mountains in our country.
Let’s meet Golija Mountain
Golija Mountain is the highest mountain in southwestern Serbia, one of the most beautiful and heavily forested mountains in this region. Over 90% of the territory lies at an altitude of more than 500 m above sea level. That is why Golija is the area with the snowiest days in Serbia. The snow lasts close to five months and reaches an average height of 105 cm.
Mountain’s highest peak is Jankov kamen (in English: Janko’s rock) with its 1833 m. There is a story about how it got its name. Once upon a time, there were brothers Janko and Ranko, who fell in love with the same girl. In order to decide who gets the girl, they came up with the competition. The first one to bring one huge rock all the way up the mountain is to be a winner. Janko got there first, obviously.
Due to the impermeable geological base and the abundance of precipitation, the mountain is rich in water. Summers are fresh, and winters are cold with a lot of snow that stays here for a long time.
We should also mention that Golija’s plants account for 25 percent of Serbia’s flora. The jewel of the mountain and its symbol is the mountain maple, a species that survived the ice age. Golija is also one of the important mountainous European ornithology reserves, with 95 registered bird species. The mammal species include the rare and protected wolves, brown bears, least weasels, and red squirrels.
A paradise for adventurers
Golija Mountain gives fantastic, still unexplored possibilities for tourism and recreation. In the last 10 years, the mountain has received some well-maintained ski slopes, cable cars, and accompanying ski facilities. Its slopes, abundant in the snow in winter, are ideal for ski sports. Skiing down the slopes of Golija is a true joy as they are thick with snow in the winter. Visitors have easy access to modern and maintained lifts, too. Due to the favorable wind flow, Golija Mountain is also an ideal location for paragliding enthusiasts. At the site of Odvraćenica, the former mountain hut has been converted to Golija hotel, where you can enjoy a game of snooker, table tennis, and table football.
On the other hand, in summer the mountain turns into lovely pastures and sunny slopes. It is ideal for recreation in the form of gentle walks and hiking in almost untouched nature. Do not worry, Golija is full of well-marked hiking trails. However, the hikes are challenging so should only be tackled by those with a good level of physical fitness.
One of the most beautiful adventures for children and adults is an all-day walk through the thick forests of Golija Mountain. Visitors can gather wild strawberries and blueberries and encounter wild horses on the green pastures. That is not all. For lovers of hunting, commercial hunting and growing of fallow deers give the possibility of another leisure activity.
Golija Mountain nearby attractions
The following sites should be visited while in this part of Serbia:
- Studenica Monastery, a 12th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery, one of the largest ones;
- Gradac Monastery on the slopes of Golija Mountain, built in the late 13th century on the ruins of an earlier church;
- The village of Rudno is an air spa with an altitude of 1100 m;
- Kosanin lakes, in which the water level drops and they dry up on rainy days, and when it is sunny, the lake returns;
- The village of Kumanica with rural accommodation facilities.
Everyone who visited Golija Mountain admires its almost impenetrable forests, lush pastures, frequent and clean springs, inhabitants, and other rarities that it contains. If you want to be part of a story full of the Serbian spirit, culture, and tradition and to isolate yourself from the city, there is no better place than this.
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