The Balkan Peninsula’s Synapse
Located in the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, it is little wonder that all roads pass through Serbia. The complex story of the country follows the ebb and flow of the region. The documented history here reaches back to the Paleolithic Period. Over the last millennia, Serbia has watched empires, kingdoms, political systems, unifications, and liberations come and go. Between periods of autonomy and independence, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians, and Yugoslavia have all left their mark on this stretch of land that is today bordered by eight countries: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
The country—once one of six republics within Yugoslavia and then one of two within the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro—is marked by several regions with specific personalities. In the far north, the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina is famous for wine and its fertile plains crossed by the Danube River. The central and southern areas have hills, farms, and welcoming villages. The Dinaric Alps roll into the country from the west.
Tourism here leans heavily on landscape but also culture. Serbia is famous for its Orthodox monasteries dating to medieval times. The country is also famed for its natural food, wine, and schnapps (called rakija), as well as its warmth toward visitors and love of celebrations. Art lovers will marvel at the area’s monuments, which connect Serbia to the post-World War II, Yugoslavian era.
*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
How to get there?
Visitors can reach Serbia by car, plane—with Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport being the main international airport—bus, and train. Active travelers can also pedal through the country by bicycle, which crosses the border through the EuroVelo 6, 11, and 13 routes, or trek on the Via Dinarica hiking trail, which traverses the entire Western Balkans region.