Zlatibor at winter
A favourite holiday destination for Serbs since the late 19th Century, Zlatibor is a both a town (actually called Partizanske Vode on most maps) and a plateau region of about 200 sq km in Southwest Serbia, 230km from Belgrade and 25km south of Uzice. Buses travel between Belgrade and Zlatibor several times each day and there is a good regular train service between Belgrade and Uzice.
At an elevation of between 1000m and 1400m, the snow usually arrives in mid November and remains until March while the spring, summer and early autumn months are warm, sunny and mostly delightful. The mountain meadows of the serpentine and limestone plateau provide opportunities for almost unrestricted cross-country skiing in winter while during the snow-free months, the hills and valleys are carpeted with an extraordinary profusion of wildflowers. Among the local wildlife there are wolves, deer, fox, badger, wild boar and perhaps a few European Brown Bears and for birders, there are Griffon Vultures, European Eagle Owls, Golden Eagles and many more interesting and sometimes unusual species to be seen.
The 'contrived' but generally tasteful tourist attractions (for all the family!
) are almost all confined to the town which is well-served by very reasonably priced hotels and hostels and also by a good selection of self-catering apartments and houses. There are some excellent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants and a wonderful Green Market full of delicious local foods. Locally produced preserved fruits, fruit wines, rakia (beware!), dried meats and cream cheeses (kajmak) are especially good while a non-edible speciality of the district is the exquisite 'Sirogojno' knitwear, available in the market direct from the makers and often at very reasonable prices (do feel free to haggle). If you want to try some of the excellent local fresh meat, look no further than any one of the three restaurants in the village of Mačkat, a few kilometers outside town. Mačkat is where the traders from much of Serbia go to buy their meat, so high quality is guaranteed.
'Village Tourism' is a feature of the Zlatibor district and there are some very worthwhile attractions as well as good accommodation in several of the local villages including Ljubis and Gostilj. Sirogojno, as well as being a centre for hand knitting, offers a very well-presented and informative 'ethno-village’ Star Selo, where buildings characteristic of rural Serbia have been reconstructed and appropriately furnished. There is an excellent shop, a restaurant, an open-air 'theatre' and also, some small traditional houses are available for hire as holiday accommodation.
Mokra Gora is a village at one end of the Šargan Eight railway and the opportunity to take a trip on this extraordinary and inspired little train is not to be missed. The station at Mokra Gora also boasts one of the best restaurants in the region - meat lovers must not miss their very generous and succulent Mešano Meso, ideally washed down with a glass or two of Montenegran Vranac ‘Pro Corde’.
Those who appreciate the films of Emir Kusturica may recognise Mokra Gora from the movie, ‘Life is a Miracle’. Kusturica built the village of Drven Grad (Wooden Town) on Mećavnik Hill above Mokra Gora, as a home and also a film 'location'. However, 'Wooden Town' is much more than just a film set and a visit will offer many delights including a wonderful view, an exquisite little orthodox church and an inspired picture gallery.
More information about Zlatibor can be got from the local tourist office on +381/(0)31-841-686. Useful websites include:
And for weather forecasts and weather statistics: