• near Zaovine Lake, Perućac Lake and Drina River
  • on Tara Mountain
  • in Western Serbia
  • near Serbia-Bosnia and Hercegovina border
  • in the neighborhood of towns of Uzice, Bajina Bašta and Višegrad
  • next to the other tourist destinations of Zlatibor Mountain, Mokra Gora and Šargan Mountain
  • about 200 km far from Belgrade and Sarajevo

Tara Mountain

Tara is a mountain located in western Serbia. It is part of Dinaric Alps and stands at 1,000 to 1,590 m (3,280 to 5,220 ft) above sea level. The mountain’s slopes are clad in dense forests with numerous high-altitude clearings and meadows, steep cliffs, deep ravines carved by the nearby Drina River and many karst, or limestone caves. The mountain is a popular tourist centre. Tara’s national park encompasses a large part of the mountain. The highest peak is Zborište, at 1,544 m (5,066 ft).

Tara National Park

Tara National Park was established in 1981 and it encompasses Tara and part of the Zvijezda mountain, in a large bend of the Drina River. The area of the park originally was 191.75 km2 (74.04 sq mi) with altitudes varying from 250 to 1,591 m (820 to 5,220 ft) above sea level. On 5 October 2015, the National Assembly of Serbia adopted the new law of national parks which enlarged the Tara National Park to 249.92 km2 (96.49 sq mi), by adding to it the protected area of “Zaovine Landscape of Outstanding Features”. The park’s management office is located in nearby Bajina Bašta. The protective zone of the park, which encircles it, is much larger and spreads over the area of 376 km2 (145 sq mi).

Zaovine Lake (1 km far from our cottages)

The lake covers an area of 15 square kilometres (5.8 sq mi) and has five branches, or bays. When the Drina river has a high water level or during the rainy seasons, water from the Drina is pumped into the Zaovine Lake through an 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) pipeline. During converse conditions, water runs back from the Zaovine Lake into the Drina, producing electricity by turning the turbines inside the pipeline. There are also five mini-lakes in the area (Spajića – near our cottages, Malo Zaovinsko, etc.) from which the water is also pumped into Zaovine Lake. At full capacity, stored water in the Zaovine alone allows for the Bajina Bašta hydro to operate for 20 days.

The road connecting Zaovine and Mitrovac bounds the northern side of the lake. The shores of the lake are seeing increasing numbers of visitors, fishermen and campers as summer houses are being built.

The maximum depth of the lake is 110 m (360 ft). The water is of such good quality, that it doesn’t need the full industrial purification in order to be used for drinking.

The lake is surrounded by vast woods as forestation of Tara mountain is 75%. Zaovine is the area where Josif Pančić, a leading Serbian botanist, discovered the endemic Serbian spruce in 1875 on the nearby Kik hill. The hill was destroyed in the early 1980s and material was used for building the dam that created Zaovine Lake. There are over 600 plant species in the area surrounding the lake, of which 15 are protected by law, including the Serbian spurce and edelweiss. Wildlife includes chamois.

There are 14 species of fish living in the lake, including nase, rainbow trout, European chub, Danube Roach, common barbel and European perch.

Perućac lake

Lake Perućac is an artificial lake on the Drina River, on the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It was created in 1966 and occupies a natural bend of the river, which encircles the Tara mountain, between towns of Višegrad in Bosnia and Bajina Bašta in Serbia.

The lake is situated at an altitude of 290 m (950 ft) and the majority of it, some 5/6 is within Bosnia and Herzegovina, while 1/6 in Serbia, as the border between the two countries takes the route of longitudinal axes of the Drina river at the section within the canyon where the Brusnička river enters the lake, some 20 km (12 mi) upstream from the dam and Peruća village. The lake occupies a natural bend of the river, between Višegrad and Bajina Bašta, which bypassing Tara mountain from left to right.

Fish species living in the lake include wels catfish, huchen, common barbel, European chub, common nase, tench and cactus roach.

Drina River

The Drina is a 346 km (215 mi) long international river, which forms a large portion of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest tributary of the Sava River and the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps which belongs to the Danube river watershed.

Rača Monastery

The Rača monastery is a Serbian Orthodox monastery 7 km south of Bajina Bašta, Serbia. The monastery was built by Stefan Dragutin (1276-1282). The monastery became a place where Serbian rulers, nobles, and church dignitaries were buried. The monks translated texts from Ancient Greek, wrote histories, and copied manuscripts (the most famous scriptorium was in Rača, known as the School of Rača, which flourished from the sixteenth- to the eighteenth-century); they translated and copied not only liturgical but scientific and literary works of the period. History of Serbian literature owes most of the creativity to the Račanska škola (School of Rača) and its alumni, Kiprijan, Jerotej, Čirjak, Simeon, Teodor, Hristifor, etc. Like the monks of Rača, it not uncommon for anonymous writers to be referred to by their first name and the name of the place with which their life or work is connected.

Turkish travel writer, dervish Zulih, also known as Evliya Çelebi noted in his travelogue of 1630 that in Rača Monastery there were 300 monk scribes, who were served by 400 shepherds, blacksmiths, and other staff. The security guard included 200 armed men.

During the Great Turkish War in 1689 the monastery was partially destroyed by the invading Turks. In 1826 it was reconstructed due to being burned down several times while Serbia was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.