01 Nov The Holy Pine and Kamena Gora
Head to Serbia’s deep south-west and treat your inner adventurer to untouched nature, featuring the country’s oldest pine tree. The 500-year-old Holy Pine has served as a meeting point, was a place for Holy Communion, and is deeply entrenched in local culture and folklore. According to legend, former residents of Kamena Gora left a letter inside the pine some years ago, explaining why they left the village. The tree has since then absorbed the transcript, leaving its details a secret forever.
The Holy Pine is located in the village of Kamena Gora, situated on its eponymous mountain, near Prijepolje. Sitting at 1,496 m above sea level, Ravna Gora is the highest point of the mountain. To be clear, this isn’t the same Ravna Gora associated with the WWII Chetnik movement associated with Dragoljub Mihailovic. That Ravna Gora is located on a different mountain further north.
The vast sloping landscape of Kamena Gora is home to vivid scenery created by the centuries-old thick forestry. Visit during spring or summer to properly experience the array of bright colours on offer and to treat your nostrils to the refreshing fragrance of mountain air. Along the way, you will witness local livestock grazing along the meadows, completing the peaceful setting. Though, allow your inner adventurer to take over and a few more exciting treats await.
One of the hidden gems on offer in this area is Kurtova Jama, a vastly unexplored speleological phenomenon, considered so as the cave descends vertically just like a pit. Hidden in the village of Gojakovici near Brodavero, the cave is as inaccessible as it is marvelous. The only way to get here is by foot and even when you reach the cave, your only way in or out will be with the help of experienced guides completely equipped with speleological equipment. Dragan Nesic and Milan Rabrenovic explored the cave to a depth of 77 m in 2005, though since then about 660 m of its depths have been uncovered. Speleologists have described Kurtova Jama as one of the most beautiful caves in the country, with large blocks, stalagmites and columns adorning its interior.
Adventuring further throughout the mountain, you will come across numerous vantage points from which to take in expansive views of the pristine scenery on offer. The canyon of the Lim River will also be of interest to you, which makes its way through Serbia between the villages of Dobrakovo and Gostun. Should you wish to reward your hiking with some relaxation in the clean water of the Lim River, then head to the part passing through Brodarevo, where you will find Becova Stena, a rock from which locals dive into the water.
Heading back to the village of Kamena Gora, be sure to check out the Guvniste Ethno Village. The small open-air museum features old authentic ethno houses and cabins. Though, for the best proper five-star experience amidst the surrounding scenery, the Kovacica campground is undoubtedly the hotel of choice. Small wells can be found in the vicinity of the campground and help make it all the more attractive option when visiting.
Tips & Essentials:
- Spring and Summer are the best time to visit the Holy Pine and Kamena Gora.
- Should you wish to try your luck at entering Kurtova Jama, contact the Kamena Gora Mountaineering Club on +381 64 8289 888. There’s no guarantee you’ll get in as the area is protected, though it’s always worth a shot.
- Use the local campground to stay for more than one day. The adventure options here are inexhaustible.
How to get to the Holy Pine and Kamena Gora:
Use Prijepolje as your gateway to Kamena Gora, wherever you’re travelling from. If Belgrade is your starting point, you may catch a train or bus to Prijepolje, from which you may take a taxi to Kamena Gora. Travel time to Prijepolje will be at least 6 hours and quite possibly longer, so consider opting for an overnight service. Expect your taxi to Kamena Gora to cost roughly 600 RSD – the ride is roughly 15 km. Ask your driver to take you to the Holy Pine (Sveti Bor).
Travelling with your own transport, from Belgrade get onto Route 22 via Bulevar Patrijarha Pavla and Patrijarha Dimitrija. Then take the E763 to M8 in Prijepolje. Travel along the M8 to Kamena Gora. Check the map on this link.
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