In the old times, Golubac Fortress, impregnable from the three sides and surrounded by the Danube, used to guard the people living on its banks. Today, it’s more of the opposite: the Danube guards the fortress and welcomes the curious tourists who decide to enjoy the stunning views from the river, while on a picturesque boat tour of Golubac Fortress.
The remains of an ancient town Golubac and the mighty fortress lie on the right bank of the Danube, in the east of Serbia. The location is the most inaccessible in the Danube Gorge, at the very very beginning of the gorge. The location belongs to the National Park Djerdap and is surrounded by amazing nature and interesting sights. This place is also iconic in the sense that right here the Danube is the widest in its entire flow. For the nearby picturesque rocks, forests, and the fortress itself, people love to dedicate the stories of life, death, love, and glory.
Even though Golubac fortress was for the first time mentioned in history in 1335, it’s not officially defined who and when built it. Even the etymology of the name doesn’t tell much - except that the root is a word “golub” (en. pigeon).
In order to catch the best views towards Golubac fortress and enjoy the landscapes of the Djerdap National Park in 360 degrees, it’s best to join a small group boat tour. The tours last from 2-4 hours, depending on the route, and showcase the best of Danube. While you enjoy the spring breeze and explore the surroundings that tickle our eyeballs with beauty, you will forget that you are on a river, as the 6-kilometer wide Danube and romantic Golubac create an atmosphere of a small, distant coastal town, hidden somewhere in an unknown sea. During the tour, the boat reaches the fortress, and you can get a good glimpse of the walls and bastions of the mysterious fortress, that cannot be seen from the ground.
The longer tours include a cruise through the Iron Gate, whose wild beauty only enhances the sense of exclusiveness of this area. Right there, you’ll be witness to a place where the Danube, shifts down to the narrowest part in its flow, and therefore the deepest.
The neighborhood of Golubac Fortress has many sightseeing opportunities that tick all the boxes for a great vacation of curious travelers. Aside from the Danube Gorge and the largest National Park in Serbia, you’ll encounter several medieval monasteries, an archeological wonder of Lepenski Vir, the remains of possibly the oldest European civilization, Rajko’s Cave, and many of the smaller, but equally amazing sights. The cultural richness of the place makes it an obligatory school trip for Serbian children, and the legend has it that many teenagers experience their first kiss right here, with the romantic views towards Golubac Fortress in the background.
Golubac Fortress is unquestionably worth visiting, and joining a small boat tour grants for an unforgettable experience that in the past was reserved only for the intruders or optimistic traders who decided to approach this mighty guardian of the Danube.
Cover photo © Credits to iStock/RussieseO
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