Tara National Park: My Favorite Place in Serbia

 

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We spent four glorious days in the Tara National Park. The park is in the Dinaric Alps, a limestone mountainous area with deep ravines, rocky outcrops, turquoise rivers, and thousands of tall pines. It is only a three-hour drive from Belgrade and we rented an apartment in KaluńĎerske Bare (Monk Pond), a small town inside the park. The peaks get up to around 5,000 feet and the park is located on the border with Bosnia i Herzegovina.

The kids had a wonderful time and each day we went hiking. The views are spectacular and the kids just love running in the meadows and picking up sticks and rocks under the towering pine and beech trees. I love the mix of farmland and wilderness of the park. The distinctive haystacks and Serbian traditional wooden farmhouses with green meadows of rolling hills, make for a idyllic, bucolic setting. I am also impressed with the amount of old growth trees all over the park. Big trees are one of the few things I feel spiritual about, and the mountain air, the quietness, and green, really refreshes my psyche.

I am trying to instill in my children a love for wilderness and an interest in natural history and ecological field studies. We identified many flowers, insects, birds, and trees and descriptions of these can be found on my Serbian Nature web site.

This was the first time we spent significant time inside the park. In previous visits, we stayed outside the park in the town of Mokra Gora. We will definitely go back.