Eastern Serbia offers a unique combination of unspoiled nature, a centuries-old cultural centre and the centre of the gastronomic and wine heritage of the Danube-Old Mountain region. Many agencies organize weekend trips, most often to the Rajko Cave, which is an exceptional monument of nature. Both horizons - both dry and river - are accessible by well-maintained footpaths inside the cave. They are decorated with sparkling white cave jewelry and interesting travertine bathtubs of the most varied sizes, colours and shapes. Ravništarka, a hydrologically active cave known for the Ponorac stream, is also located in this area, which is a real attraction for speleologists. On this trip, you should also visit the Gornjak monastery, an endowment of Prince Lazar from 1379.
If you are going along the Danube Highway, through the extraordinary canyons right next to the Romanian border, stop in the town of Štubik in the pub of the same name for mutton specialties. An unavoidable stop on this route is the Golubački Grad fortress, built at the very entrance to the Djerdap Gorge, at the place where the Danube is at its widest in its course and crosses into the gorge of the Carpathian Mountains. The fortress was an important medieval military border fortification and as a cultural asset is of exceptional importance, it also belongs to the Golubački grad Fortress Nature Reserve, an area that represents the entrance to the Đerdap gorge and at the same time the entry point to the Đerdap National Park.
One of the many reasons for traveling to eastern Serbia is the gold-bearing river Pek. Tourists can have an unusual and unrepeatable experience - searching for gold particles using traditional wooden probes. Majdanpek is a typical mining town where mining has a tradition of 7 centuries. The attraction is a tour of the copper mine, where you can learn everything about the modern methods of obtaining copper and gold. In the centre of Majdanpek is the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, which, due to its architecture, is classified as an unusual Orthodox shrine. It was built in 1856.
The magic of Eastern Serbia does not end there, because the Rogljevče pimnice are also one of the most interesting attractions. However, Rajački pimnice, which are located halfway between Negotin and Zaječar, are much more famous. The construction of wine cellars in Rajac began in the 19th century and today represents a unique architectural and cultural heritage.
Rajac is a narrowly built village with about 100 inhabitants, built between hills full of vineyards on one side and the Timok river on the other. Locals use this beautiful river as a location to gather and have fun together throughout the summer. In the past, Rajac had a cinema, a pastry shop, a butcher, a bakery... and all the land was in vineyards. Today, there are much fewer Rajčans, but most of them are still engaged in traditional viticulture and every house in the village has its own winery on the hill.
There is a saying in this area that there are two villages in Rajac, one where people live and the other where wine lives. Wine lives in wine cellars, houses that are centuries old and built of special stone from the Jurassic period, and whose construction method and history belong to the cultural heritage of this region. Wine tourism is one of the most important sources of income in this region. In Rajac wineries you can taste, buy wine, and see how it is produced according to traditional methods, without the use of electric machines, only with the power of your own hands and the skill known to the old masters of this craft. Here, it is not unusual to welcome the dawn and send the sun away with good food and excellent wine. You can find out more about the cellars, their history and purpose under the column of the same name on our website.
Above Pimnica, at 160-250 meters above sea level, there are the famous Rajac vineyards. The specific climate of this region, with very hot summers and cold winters, favours the cultivation of fruit crops, and especially viticulture, for which this region is widely known. The climate has the greatest influence on the quality of the wines from Rajac and Negotin, and the wines from this region have a unique taste and as such can be compared to the best European wines. Visitors can walk along the vineyard trails, tour the vineyards and participate in the grape harvest. The tourist offer is completed by the event 'Saint Trifun', which takes place on February 14. On the day of St. Tryphon - the patron saint of winegrowers - in Rajac, for centuries, all business on this day began with the consecration and cutting of the vineyards.
Going through eastern Serbia, you will have the feeling that you are traveling through time. Wherever you go - from the mighty Djerdap to the beautiful villages around Lake Bujanovac - some interesting things await you. More than anywhere else in Serbia, reality and legend mix here. Large rivers have always determined people's lives with their flows. The natural terraces by the Danube, as well as the fertile and healthy land, caused communities to settle along its banks, engaged in fishing, planting orchards - and especially vineyards. The story of this part of Serbia begins a long time ago with Lepenski Vir where prehistoric people built their homes. And the archaeological sites of Eastern Serbia, like this one, are the most significant sites in our country - Lepenski Vir, Trajan's Tablet and Trajan's Bridge, Diana, Felix Romuliana, Viminacium, Soko Grad, Fetislam. In Roman times, Viminacium was the capital of the province of Upper Moesia from the 2nd to the 4th century, and Felix Romuliana (today under UNESCO protection) was the residence of the Roman emperor Galerius. Trajan's road ran along the Danube, and this Roman emperor also built a stone bridge over the Danube, the remains of which, as well as Trajan's tablet, are located near Kladovo. As many as 17 Roman emperors were born or lived on the territory of today's Serbia. Among them was the famous Emperor Constantine. The Romans also discovered a wealth of mineral water sources in this area, so they started building pools, wells and sanatoriums for their legionnaires. Medicinal springs and medicinal herbs, together with the nature that surrounds them, enabled the treatment of the sick, which is how the Soko Spa (along with the Vrnjačka Spa, the largest spa in Serbia), as well as the smaller Ždrelo Spa, were created. From the medieval period, the fortresses Ram, Smederevo Fortress (in the 15th century the capital of Serbia), Golubačka (at the very entrance to Đerdap) and Fetislam remain on the Danube. Findings from the excavations of Timacum Minus in the immediate vicinity of Knjaževac indicate that viticulture in this region was nurtured even in Roman times. A statue of Dionysus, the god of wine in ancient Rome, was excavated in this locality, while in the records of ancient writers from the 3rd and 4th centuries, the Knjaževci region was described as a area of wine-growing. There are also testimonies related to the stay of the Romans in these areas: Trajan's tablet and the remains of Trajan's bridge, Viminacium near Kostolac, Felix Romuliana's palace near Zaječar. The Golubac fortress will introduce you to the Middle Ages, and the Fetislam fortress to the time of the Ottomans.
The mystique of Eastern Serbia attracts visitors, especially in autumn, because this region is known for its good wine, cultural and historical sights, and natural beauty. And all this seasoned with the mystique of Wallachian magic, legends, unusual customs such as gold panning in Pec and kitsch houses of residents who moved to Western Europe in the second half of the last century in search of a better life make this region unique in Serbia. It is difficult to say whether eastern Serbia is richer in cultural and historical monuments or natural beauty. The Danube River with the Djerdap Gorge, one of the most beautiful in Europe, gives this area its stamp. Caves open for tourist visits, Silver Lake for hot summer days and, of course, the still undiscovered pearl - the canyon of the Vratna River - complete the treasury of natural beauties. Numerous rural households in the vicinity of Donji Milanovac, Kladovo, Golupec, Majdanpek and Negotin that deal with rural tourism will make sure that you are comfortable as well as entertained.
Eastern Serbia is a unique training ground for adventure and active tourism, thanks to the excellence of its mountain landscapes and its numerous watercourses, which also have numerous spas where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of untouched nature.
Of the natural beauties of eastern Serbia, you should definitely pay attention to the fascinating Vratnjanska kapija (with a hunting reserve where fallow deer, mouflon and wild boar are bred), Mokranjska rocks and Paradise Cave.
The waterfall on the Mokranjski rocks is a favourite picnic spot. The waterfall is ten meters high, and at its foot is a lake formed by erosion, which is used as a swimming pool in the summer. The Vratna River, which flows into the Danube, created in its catchment a valley with gorges and canyon sections with overgrowths - arched stone bridges that cover the river. There are three of them, they are called the Vratna gates, and they are a must-see tourist destination.
Paradise Cave is known as an outgrowth of Zamna. The cave in the valley of the river Zamna is actually a grandiose underground tunnel through which the river of the same name flows. It is a unique form of the underground karst morphology of eastern Serbia, a specific initial phase of the evolution of a tunnel cave into an overgrowth, and therefore has a distinct scientific significance.
In addition to the above-mentioned destinations in the immediate vicinity of Rajac, there are also the Đerdap gorge - Gvozdena vrata, Lepenski vir, Gamzigrad, Soko Banja, Srebrno jezero, Felix Romulijana, Rajačke Pimnice from the 18th century, a settlement for wine production (see PIMNICE), the village Rajac, Jerma River Canyon, Vlasine, Pčinjska River, Manasija and Ravanica monasteries with the Resava Cave - these are all more or less well-known secrets of this region that should definitely not be missed. A special challenge is the ascent to the top of Rtanj mountain (Siljak peak at 1560 m above sea level), from where the view reaches as far as the confluence of the Sava and the Danube. Rtanj is also known for its endemic herbs that grow only on this mountain and are protected by law, of which the Rtanj tea (Saturea montana) is certainly the most famous.
Pairing food and wine at the Raj Winery is a special culinary delight, for all the details and reservations, clickhere
On Rajački Pimnice itself, there are restaurants Sv.Trifun i C’est la Vie. Little-explored cuisine from Timocka Krajina, habits and customs related to food preparation, ritual behaviour at the table and ancient recipes passed down from generation to generation are attracting more and more attention from lovers of nature, history, healthy food and drinks. Eastern Serbia is finally establishing itself as a true cultural phenomenon and a gastronomic PARADISE. The mystique of the environment, healthy and high-quality drinking water and thermal springs used for centuries, combined with old recipes of traditional Wallachian, Torla and Old Mountain cuisine, form the backbone of the natural gastronomic offer that intrigues an increasing number of Europeans, but also residents of other continents. Eastern Serbia is an old wine region, active since ancient times. Timochka wines were and remain famous all over the world. The combination of tradition, culture and quality of this heavenly drink can best be seen in the example of Rajački Pimnice. Old recipes, seasoned with natural, exotic components, which are jealously guarded and passed down from generation to generation, leave everyone who has tried them breathless - shepherd's pies with greens, nettles and mushrooms; dandelion and sremusha salad; natural juice of old mountain blueberry; lamb cooked in milk; sarma simmered all day on low heat or grape leaf sarma; janija of three types of meat and varieties of proje and kačamak - from the one with cheese, to the one with crackling - specially made fried from a dozen types of vegetables that are served together with the famous Wallachian or Old Mountain cheese... This series of delicacies is simply endless, as is the enjoyment you will feel when you sit down at the table in Eastern Serbia. When you combine these specific foods with soul food in the form of untouched nature, folklore, and specific culture - created in these areas since ancient times, through ancient times and the Middle Ages to modern cultural achievements - you will achieve an exquisite pleasure of all the senses.