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.
The 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), Goražde, Višegrad, Bajina Bašta, Ljubovija, Zvornik, Loznica.
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 lake, the 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.