Even though the Danube creates many of the most significant natural and historical attractions in Serbia, not many tourists decide to go further east from the capital to explore it. For those who choose to spend a day or two longer and get a grasp of the cultural and historical diversity that my country offers, a sightseeing ride following the Danube through Serbia could be a delightful experience. The road along the Danube is considered one of the hardest but the most beautiful roads in the country, due to the swirling way that follows the hills and valley of the Danube Gorge.
However, the road is safe and offers an all-day sightseeing experience from the comfort of your car. There are many opportunities to stop, get out of the car, take photos of charming landscapes, eat a freshly caught fish in one of the taverns and meet the friendly and proud locals, that will do their best to promote their region.
Danube Gorge at Djerdap National Park © Credits to Mirjana Ristic
The part of the Danube flow where it sturdily cuts through the Carpathian Mountains is widely known as “The Iron Gates.” The Djerdap Gorge is gripping in size and hides many interesting and underrated tourist spots. Around 100 km long, it represents a compound river valley, full of ravines, mountains, protected natural areas, and stunning viewing points. The nature reserves of Veliki Strbac and Mali Strbac are the places of utmost protection within the Djerdap National Park.
If interested in history, make sure to visit Lepenski Vir, one of the oldest urban settlements in Europe. This unique archaeological site consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages and many artifacts dating back to 9.500 years BC.
For those praising more the Ottoman and Roman architectural skills, and wanting to discover the epic sensations of knights, warriors, and soldiers of the medieval times, you can do so in one of the seven fortresses located on the Danube route in Serbia. Entering Serbia from the north, the first one is Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, one of the most important city landmarks and a unique art hub. Following the Danube flow, we reach the capital, and it’s stunning Kalemegdan Fortress, a symbol of Belgrade and a legacy to freedom.
Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade © Credits to David Djordjevic
Following the river, we arrive to Smederevo Fortress, which is actually a lot more than a fortress. It’s a best-preserved medieval fortified city, and a real adventure to explore. The most peculiar of all is the next fortification on the way: Ram. Even though, the fort has the unquestioned feeling of old, no one really knows how, when and why it was built.
Furthermore, we come to the guardian of the Danube - Golubac Fortress guarding the very entrance of the Djerdap National Park. Going more down-flow, we reach Diana Fortress, ruins from the ancient Roman castrum built in 100 AD. The last stop on the tour of the Danube fortresses is the Fetislam in Kladovo, an old military fort, that was a strategic center of the clever Ottoman army for centuries.
Smederevo Fortress © Credits to Jovana Kuzmanovic
On the exciting road from Novi Sad to Kladovo, in a little more than 330 km following the Danube flow, you get Serbia in small. Considering all the stops, you can complete the tour in roughly one day. The sightseeing ride following the Danube in Serbia is a mix of many different historical influences, present in the mysterious medieval ruins and local legends, dreamy landscapes, perfect for spicing out any traveler’s Instagram account and various natural and prehistorical curiosities.
The ride is so rich, you wouldn’t believe you saw it all in just one day.
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