Exploring Gradac River, a scenic adventure by the unpolluted river

Exploring Gradac River, a scenic adventure by the unpolluted river

2 minutes to read

Can you distinguish that certain smell of nature, when you just know you are hours away from civilization, and your senses open up to the outside stimuli in a prolific and undiscovered way? That is exactly what exploring Gradac River in Western Serbia smells like. The nature so unpolluted and the river so clean that you can just drop down every time you are thirsty and have a sip of rejuvenating water straight from the source. You can't resist but like the Gradac River

Picture © Credits to iStock / SStajic
Picture © Credits to iStock / SStajic

A walk by this unpolluted river contains all the elements of a scenic adventure: crossing improvised wooden bridges, holding on the tree roots while hiking, awakening the inner Robinson Crusoe.

One of Europe’s cleanest rivers

Gradac River was recently internationally acclaimed as one of the cleanest rivers in Europe at the Congress of Ecologists in Perugia. The river gorge sprouts with diverse plants and animals, many of which are protected or endangered. Originating from the clean and powerful mountain streams of Povlen mountain, the river paves the way through forest and rocks creating breathtaking views and an attractive gorge decorated with many caves. The geomorphology of the area is not uncommon for Serbia, but no other place in the country hides as many caves as the Gradac Gorge - 69 known to this date! 

Picture © Credits to iStock / petarlackovic
Picture © Credits to iStock / petarlackovic

Exploring Gradac River Gorge

Walking upstream the river, following the marked trails, or asking the locals for their favorite place by the river will take you to the equally beautiful places in the area. The numerous cascades, refreshing turquoise waters, or picturesque rock formations, that at first seem impossible to pass, guarantee an unforgettable scenic adventure. The largest part of the area is covered in woods, providing shade and the meditative relief to our eyes - far from electronic devices, traffic jams, and crowds. Don’t fret if you stumble upon more turtles or hedgehogs than people. They are just a few of the regular inhabitants, that make us feel breathing in unison with nature - much like in those memorable Disney cartoons from our childhood.

Gradac River Gorge, Valjevo
Gradac River Gorge, Valjevo
Gradac, Serbia

Where is Gradac?

The river Gradac is located just a few kilometers from Valjevo, and it’s easily reachable by the main road. The best way to get there is to stop at the old monastery Celije (also known as Gradac Monastery), that gives the feeling of astonishment even to those who are not really religious. Built in the 13 century, it was repeatedly burnt, destroyed and rebuilt throughout the history, and now stands tall in remembrance of all the hardships it pertained much like it bigger sibling Zica Monastery. Additionally, there is a big parking lot and a small restaurant nearby, as well as marked hiking trails starting from here.

Picture © Credits to iStock / IgorDymov
Picture © Credits to iStock / IgorDymov

A visit to the monastery can be a good way to finish your scenic adventure by the unspoiled and unpolluted Gradac river - a historic topping to the true natural delicacy.

Gradac Monastery, Stara Raska
Gradac Monastery, Stara Raska
Градац, Србија

Cover photo © Credits to iStock / SStajic

The author

Milena Mihajlovic

Milena Mihajlovic

I am Milena, and enjoy traveling, hiking and everything coffee-related. Through my writing, I want to inspire fellow travelers about Serbia, my dear country.

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