Drina regattas

drinska regata

None of the rivers in Serbia is as attractive to the regatta lovers as the moody green Drina. That’s why from spring until late summer regattas are organized on this wild river with tens of thousands of people participating.

If you find summer, nature, fun and an adrenaline rush on your mind then one of your associations will certainly be a wild river. And if you think of something like that is Serbia then, the road is clear – straight to the river Drina. During July on the Drina you practically can’t miss one of the regattas which aren’t just about going down the water but, are crazy parties with trumpets, socializing and side concerts.

drinska regata 1These unique parties start already at the end of June, one the first regattas which proves nothing is impossible on the Drina stars – the Regatta for people with disabilities.

This is one of the rare events of this kind in Europe. In this event 200 people go by boat from Lake Perućac to the estuary of Rača into the Drina and this boat trip is followed by sports events as well as hanging out by the campfire with grill and music.

The regattas and fun on the Drina continue in the first week of July with the Loznica regatta which has you sailing down a 17km navigable path from Mali Zvornik to Gornja Koviljača.

The second Saturday in July is reserved for the Regata in Ljubvoija for a decade. The merry crews go down the 40kilometers from Rogačica to Ljubovija followed by the sounds of trumpets this lasts for nine hours.

As an overture for the grand “Drina Regatta” a student regatta which lasts 3 to 5 days is organized in mid July.

The floating caravan with hundreds of students is probably the cheeriest of the regattas that pass down the Drina during the summer. After the descent, the swimming in lake Perućac and the games without borders in the nature the unforgettable student parties continue and the environment provides extra charm.

Within this student regatta field trips are organized to Mokra Gora and Višegrad in which you can find the famous stone bridge of Mehmed Pasha Sokolović (Sokollu Mehmed Pasha) from the end of the 16th century.

This structure which is protected by the UNESCO organization was immortalized in the novel by Ivo Andrić “The bridge on the Drina” for which he got a nobel prize for literature in 1961.

Only a few days of silence announce the most exuberant event – the big and most crowded “Drina regatta” in Bajina Bašta that usually takes place within the last ten days of July. In those days around 20.000 enthusiasts from all over the world go down from Perućac lake to Rogatica in the most diverse vessels. In the 3 days of this regatta all kinds of “boats” can be seen on the river, many of which are made of old things, beds, car tires…

However, the river doesn’t seem to care what the vessels of the regattas are made of, all you need is your imagination and positive energy. The “sailors” of the merriest Drina caravan in the five hours of sailing pass by the Vrelo river, the shortest river in Europe only 365 meters long, and they have the opportunity to see an unusual sight – a house on a rock in the middle of the river! The whole event is followed by the “Most fest” (Bridge fest) in Bajina Bašta which features famous Serbian bands and performers.

During August many local regattas are organized on this river, and the Drina is always ready to carry you on its waves through the forests and cliffs of western Serbia.

How to get to all the regattas on the river Drina?

When you are already here dont miss…

Going to Mokra Gora, a train ride on the old “Ćira“, the tour around the “Šargan Eigth” rail and the ethno village Drvengrad (Wooden town) in which the famous director Emir Kusturica organizes a film and music festival “Kustendorf“.

If you are in Bajina Bašta during the regattas, don’t miss the Tara National park, where you can breathe in the fresh and sharp air of this mountain and enjoy the hospitality of the locals, try their mountain products and homemade rakija (a kind of brandy). Take the opportunity to visit “Carpet valley” which deflects under your feet because of what the earth is made of.

In the first half of august you cant miss Guča brass festival, one of the most visited and most famous events in Serbia. Guča is 100 km from Bajina Bašta.

Drina River

Drina river 1

For centuries a place where the East and the West clashed, today the unusually green, clear, winding and powerful Drina river carries the merriest regattas on its waves through exciting nature, for which it became the favorite destination of bohemians and adventurists

Once it was an important battle site that divided the Eastern and the Western Roman Empire, later the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia, and today the Drina is the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Almost along its entire course the Drina cuts through mountain ranges creating gorges, only to enter a valley quite unexpectedly and change its character like a skillful actor. Its moodiness manages to trick even the most cunning ones, while its beauty will soften even the cruelest hearts.

And the beautiful lake Perućac, even the pickiest fishermen find it a true fishing paradise where they can enjoy the scenery and relax looking at the crystal clear emerald water while catching another spectacular trophy fishing from the river bank or a raft.

On the other hand, brave participants of the regattas claim that the best experience ever is to feel the waves splashing, while the river tosses you from side to side through narrow gorges.

And then the adrenalin rush and awe would leave you breathless while facing up to one kilometer high cliffs that barely reveal the blue sky and eagles flying freely.

After the exciting race, regatta competitors will camp on the Drina river banks, party with a barbeque, drinks and a brass orchestra, sleep under the clear night sky and breathe fresh air coming from the forests of Mt. Tara.

The always exciting Drina is created by joining the cool and swift mountain rivers Tara and Piva near Šćepan Polje, in Montenegro. From there with all its strength it curved its path towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, and gave the towns sprouting on its banks the particular historical importance.

One of the most famous towns on the Drina isVišegrad, where a special ornament made of white stone rises over the river – the famous old bridge of the Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolović. The writer Ivo Andrić celebrated it with his novel “Na Drini ćuprija” (The Bridge on the Drina), for which the author was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Drina river 2The Drina enters Serbia strengthened by the force of the Lim river that flows into it just before the border creating the Medjedjanska gorge, one of two largest gorges on this river.

From here the river continues to flow along the winding border, through the parts of Serbia in which the beauty of nature is exceptional, flora and fauna are very rich and versatile and the Drina itself is the most beautiful.

Here lies, surrounded with dark steep cliffs, the largest gorge on the Drina, the 38 km long Klotijevačka Gorge.

The gorge leads towards Perućac lake that was created after the mighty Drina was dammed. Despite being an artificial lake, it is still one of the most beautiful lakes in Serbia. Mt. Tara rises almost vertically over the lake thus making the color of the lake more intensive and the lake more beautiful.

The Drina continues to wind through amazing landscapes all the way to the city of Loznica where it transforms into a calm lowland river and somewhere near Sremska Rača, in a transparent mystical mist, it slowly flows into the Sava river, as if it has never been that wild, uncontrollable river.

Larger cities through which the Drina flows are Foča (Srbinje), GoraždeVišegradBajina BaštaLjubovijaZvornikLoznica.

The river’s major left tributaries are the Sutjeska, the Bistrica Prača, the Drnjača and the Janja, while the right tributaries are the Ćehotina, the Lim, the Rzav, the Ljubovidja and the Jadar.

There are three hydropower plants built on the Drina: in Višegrad, in Bajina Bašta and in Zvornik.

Today lakes cover one third of the Drina which partially transformed its natural appearance, but still these are exceptionally beautiful lakes. The lakes are the Višegrad lakethe Perućac lake and the Zvornik lake.

The Drina in the tradition of the people

The Drina has always significantly shaped the lives of people who settled on its banks. It influenced various customs, inspired the creation of numerous songs and other art works.

And its unpredictable and winding relief was immortalized in a saying “Ko će krivu ispraviti Drinu?!” (Who can straighten the winding river Drina), meaning that something is in vain.

The folk tradition highlights another important characteristic – its unusually green color. It used to be called “Zelenika” (Green river) once due to its intensive green color, as if some dedicated painter keeps pouring his tempera into the river.

Once you are here, don’t miss…

The Drina regattas in summer: in the late Jun the regatta for the disabled, during the first weekend of July starts the Loznica regatta, the second Saturday in July is reserved for the regatta in Ljubovija, in mid-July is Students’ regatta, and the biggest and the most visited great Regatta in Bajina Bašta is organised during the last ten days in July.

During the regatta that leads to lake Perućac you will see the Vrelo river, one of the shortest rivers in the world, that is only 365 m long and that’s why people say it is “long as a year”.

Mt. Tara, that is, the Tara National Park, will leave you breathless with its magnificent nature any time of the year.

Visit the Rača monastery from the 13th century, King Dragutin’s endowment.

Mt. Tara almost touches Mt. Zlatibor, and on your way there you will see Drvengrad (The Wooden Town), an ethno village built by the concept of the famous film director Emir Kusturica. Here you shouldn’t miss the ride along the Šargan Eight railway on the old “Ćira” train.

Let your senses enjoy the traditional Serbian cuisine while visiting these mountains.

“Lažijada”, surely an unusual manifestation, organized in Drlače near Ljubovija, is a competition is telling lies that takes place in the first half of July.

Mokra Gora

mokra-gora

Lush nature of Mokra Gora merges the spirit of old times and modern era: the old “Šargan Eight” railway, Emir Kusturica’s ethno-village “Drvengrad” and a modern ski center with artificial snow cannons

Steep, exciting relief covered with dense pine forests between Mt. Tara and Mt. Zlatibor was once known as “Markovo polje” (Marko’s field), a place where Marko Kraljević, a Serbian medieval knight and a hero of epic poetry, threw maces from one hill to another, according to traditional folk stories.

Today, however, Mokra Gora (eng. Wet mountain) is better known for its tourist attractions and breathtaking nature surrounded with valleys and gorges of the White and the Black Rzav and the Kamiška River.

drvengrad mokra-goraOld mountain cabins are scattered across meadows between streams and numerous mineral springs. And contrasting them, new cabins were built in the old traditional style on the hill Mećavnik that dominates in Mokra Gora. Set in a line in cobbled streets cabins create “Drvengrad” (eng. Wooden town), the famous ethno-village of the film director Emir Kusturica.Drvengrad-Kusturica-traditional-ethno-village-wooden-stairs

While filming the “Life is a Miracle”, director was so enchanted by the beauties of Mokra Gora that he decided to come to live here, build a unique village and start a film festival “Kustendorf” that takes place in January.

At that time of the year, Mokra Gora is the perfect destination for skiers as the ski resort “Iver” is located only 10 km up the hill from Drvengrad. New modern ski center is fully equipped for spending a perfect day out in the snow: four ski tracks, ski lifts and artificial snow system.

Nevertheless, the most beautiful way to experience this lush landscape is to take a train ride on old “Ćira” on the “Šargan Eight”, a truly unique narrow railway track.

8-shaped railway cuts through steep and rocky landscape and passes through 22 tunnels and crosses over a dozen of bridges, making passengers unaware of having crossed this unusual winding track from Mokra Gora to Šargan.mokra-gora 2

At the stops along the way pride of green pines and amazing viewpoints will leave you breathless, with sounds of the nearby waterfalls.

Mineral waters spring out deep in forest, and the best known spring is “Bele vode” (White water). It is said that its miraculous water cures eye diseases, therefore once at Mokra Gora numerous tourist will also come here to invigorate their eyes.

Covered with mountain flora, the “Hajdučka” and the “Crvena” (Red) caves treasure the secrets of hajduci (hero freedom fighters in the Balkans) while the remains of a Roman road and cemeteries indicate that in the time of the Roman Empire a significant road was leading through this area.

This landscape isn’t appealing only to humans, but also to numerous rare animal species that found their home in these forests. CapercaillieShort-toed Snake Eaglebrown bearwolf and wild cat are just some of them.

All these beauties of Mokra Gora won’t leave anyone indifferent as the landscape connecting two nature’s perfections, Mt. Tara and Mt. Zlatibor, must truly be something outstanding.

How to get to the mountain with the winding Šargan railroad?

The nature park Mokra Gora is located about 210 km from Belgrade and 290 km from Niš. Google maps >>HERE<<

If you’re using your own transport, it is best to take the highway from Belgrade to Montenegro.

If coming from Niš, the road to Mokra Gora leads across Kruševac, Čačak, Požega, Užice and Zlatibor. In Zlatibor the road separates leading to Nova Varoš and Višegrad. You need to take the road leading to Višegrad in order to get to Mokra Gora.

When you are already here, don’t miss…

Be sure to visit the National Park Tara and enjoy the beauties of Zaovine Lake and Perućac Lake.

If traveling in summer, you shouldn’t miss rafting on the Drina River at some of famous Drina regattas.

if you are looking for a vacation or an overnight stay, open the biker friendly page >>HERE<<

Location of Mokra Gora

location of Mokra Gora on map of serbia
location of Mokra Gora on map of serbia