Zlatibor is a mountainous region of pine forests and rolling meadows in western Serbia. Famed locally for its health benefits and spread over an area of about 300 square kilometres it provides a truly different environment for hiking.
The resort of Zlatibor is not in itself beautiful but offers plenty of accommodation as is a great base to explore this spectacular countryside. We stayed in the Mona Hotel.
We chose to double back on ourselves to spend a couple of nights here which gave me the chance to have a tramp in a kind of landscape which someone pointed out to me looks not unlike Tibet or Mongolia. Although it doesn't reach heights beyond 1496 metres (Tornik; the height peak).
Here is a video I shot early one morning, profiting from the soft glow of the morning sun which turns the grasslands a rich golden colour. As I mention in the video information is tricky to come by for any longer walking but I have put a few links below as well a information on other places of interest in the vicinity.
Hike details: This walk was around an 11km roundtrip, from Zlatibor resort to the top of a mountain called Crni Vrh, which is 1177 metres above sea level, so a total ascent of around 35 metres.
Hiking Trails in Zlatibor region
I will do some more research and attempt to put together a better resource for hiking trails in the Zlatibor region but for the time being the bets place seems to be to follow what others have tracked.
What else can you do?
Zlatibor is not far from other areas of interest that I have spoken about such as the Tara National Park, which affords much more rugged mountainous terrain, but if you want to mix up your trip with some non-physical activities here are my top four:
1. Sirogojno: An Open-air Museum
A 30 minute drive from Zlatibor resort is the old village of Sirogojno. This perfectly preserved display of traditional Zlatibor living (largely 19th century although the neighbouring church dates from the mid eighteenth century) is essentially and open-air museum.
2. Šargan Eight: Enjoy an Old Narrow Guage Railway
Šarganska Osmica is an old narrow gauge railway that traces a figure of eight in the mountains. Built in 1925 it is a spectacular ride as well as seriously feat of engineering. When we stopped in this area a few days ago we stayed in Mokra Gora, which is just over 30 minutes down the road from Zlatibor and the main stop on this train line.
3. Stopića Cave
Between Zlatibor resort and Sirogojno is Stopića Cave. The cave entrance is 18 metres high and 35 metres wide with bats flitting about near the entrance. Its is made up of a number of large halls and a spectacular waterfall. The highlight of this vast chasm is a series of pools which have formed in a staircase-like cascade, which at some time of year can be filled with water. Th deepest of these is seven metres. Our experience of this is that you will be pushed to join a tour but it is not compulsory, especially given the fact that it is in Serbian! Once you have your ticket you can just walk in.
4. Drvengrad: a Living film set
Also known as Kustendorf, this is essentially a fake village built by Emir Kusturica (for his film Life is a Miracle) in a traditional style with timber framed buildings, restaurants a theatre and of course holiday lets. Every year it hosts the Kustendorf Film and Music Festival as well s other events and you will notice that each street bears an interesting name - below is my favourite I spotted.