Close as we imagine it to be far away, Serbia attracts the French for the idea of a largely unknown and supposedly different land. A key axis of the Balkans, located at the centre of the main roads leading to Athens, Bucharest, Istanbul and Sofia, Serbia has built a strong identity over the centuries, marked by various influences linked to invasions and migrations. Thus, as South Slavs, the Serbs also benefited from Latin and especially Ottoman Turkish influences. The rich and complex history of the Balkans has brought to the country a rare ethnic mosaic. Among the 37 nationalities that make up the Serbian human landscape, you may encounter Ruthenes or Vlachs. By the same token, all monotheistic religions are represented there, and this cultural and religious diversity will be the starting point for a walk between folklore, traditions, gastronomy and architecture.History, which has often been made in pain, has left many traces here: prehistoric and Roman sites among the best preserved in South-Eastern Europe, medieval fortresses that are Serbian, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, and of course the famous monasteries, certainly the most beautiful in the Balkans.
The beautiful Danube :
Serbia is undoubtedly an ideal destination for lovers of holidays in the heart of nature, on the banks of rivers and lakes and more generally for lovers of rural tourism. The Morava, Drina and Tisza rivers alone have more than 1,000 km of waterways: stretching between canyons and gorges, or along wheat plains, they offer the possibility of fishing, canyoning or simply camping in the heart of nature. The Danube, with its 588 km crossing Serbia from west to east, is still the best solution for those who want to discover the country and have a panorama of its riches. At the confluence of Austro-Hungarian and Slavic civilization, the Danube has given rise to many architectural treasures: the Neolithic site of Lepenski Vir, Roman castrums, medieval fortresses and baroque town centres from the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire, especially in Sombor, Subotica, Novi Sad and Apatin, the city of national beer (Jelen)... It crosses regions of different cultures, each with its own folklore and traditions well rooted and carefully preserved by Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians and Slovaks, among others.They are also the major cities of historical Serbian culture, with Belgrade, Ni, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci (honey museum, vineyards, etc.) and Vrac, from which many cultural movements and institutions have developed. Finally, the largest hunting grounds in the Balkans, such as the famous Karadjordjevo, and the famous Djerdap parade, Golubac, Kladovo offer more sporting activities. You can organize cruises there through an agency or with your own boat.The wealth offered by the Danube has increased the number of tourists in recent years. It is now possible to do large or small cruises on the river and sports such as regattas.www.serbie.travel
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette