Sokobanja – You get old, you go young.
The famous mystical mountain Rtanj on one side and the Ozren Mountains on the other surround of Sokobanja, the most famous Serbian spa, which is located at an ideal altitude of 400 meters. This, more popularly known as the air spa, is located in Southeast Serbia about 250 km from Belgrade.
The indelible trace of Sokobanja left for Branislav Nusic, whose statement served for us the title itself, which once stated: “Sokobanja, Sokograd, you come old, you go young! And many other famous people were treated in the spa: Miloš Obrenović, Ivo Andrić, Stevan Sremac, Isidora Sekulić … As it used to be, so today Sokobanja is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Serbia, which is considered to be the second most important and visits right after Vrnjacka Banja. In the “Moravica” hotel in which Nobel laureate Ivo Andric was staying, he was decorated as a mini museum setting, and his impressions once translated into words: “I do not know what he really has here, but I know that after 15-20 days of staying in I have been working in Sokobanja for the whole year in Belgrade as a rejuvenated one. I have no problems, whether it’s air or people, or Moravice staff, sour milk from Lake Jezero or these doctors … I can not explain it. “
For lovers of active tourism Sokobanja is idyllic because it is surrounded by beautiful nature and clean air with a high concentration of oxygen and negative ions. There are numerous excursions in the surroundings of Sokobanja, and everyone offers the opportunity for full-day stay, sightseeing, walks, enjoying nature and air. From the picnic we recommend the following: Lepterija, Kalinovica, Borici, Ochno, Vlasina, Moravica Source, Sesalac cave, Banja Josanica. Spacious meadows, caves, lakes, waterfalls, animals are definitely a guarantor of an interesting day at some of the Sokobanja picnics.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Serbia is on Ozren, on the river Gradašnica, 5 km from Sokobanja. A waterfall called Ripaljka is 17.5 meters high, and like all waterfalls, it is the richest water in spring. The waterfall is all nicely decorated, marked, and the curiosity is that this is not just a waterfall but a series of several smaller and larger waterfalls in a very small area. You can visit the largest natural pyramid in the world, the famous mountain of Rtanj, if you decide to stay in Sokobanja. The epithet “The Roof of Serbia” deserves this mountain because it is precisely during the rainy season that the whole of Serbia can be seen from the top of Rtanj. At the foot of this mountain there is the village Vrmdža, which in the last few years has become a real tourist attraction. Here, there is an increase in the number of inhabitants and investments, and people from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, abroad are settling there … Healthy home-made food, picturesque landscapes of untouched nature, clean water and air are just part of why this place is inhabited. The village is rich in numerous sources, and the ideal place for rest and excursion is the Vrmdanski Lake, rich in forest fruits, medicinal herbs and mushrooms.
One of the most beautiful picnics in Sokobanja, Leptery, is only a few kilometers away from Sokobanja, which is protected by the state because of its natural beauty. This resort is most visited in Sokobanja, and can be reached by car or by walking along the river Moravica. Walking to Lateria you will notice beautiful panoramas that are abundant with greenery, and on that path, the restaurant “Cave” is located beneath a wall on the bank of the river. Just a picnic is by the river, and there are barbecue facilities as well as several tables and benches as well as bathing and sunbathing areas. There is also a peculiar attraction on this excursion – a wall in which the character of the Virgin with Jesus Christ is naturally depicted, and the road leads you further to Sokograd.
Sokograd is a medieval fortress in the Moravica canyon about 2 km south of Sokobanja located on a steep and almost inaccessible elevation. Although it is certain that it is a medieval fortress, there are no reliable data on its occurrence, and the visit to Sokobanja does not miss the majority of tourists in Sokobanja. Even on the way to Sokograd there are many places for hikers, and you can find fireplaces where you can burn a barbecue or eat at the decorated tables enjoying the thick shade and the forest of water. For those who are not an adventurous spirit and active tourism lovers Sokobanja provides a lot of content in the center. Park “Banjica” is a beautifully decorated green area with benches and trees that provides good shade even in the hottest days. There are also the best Sokobanja beaches: Župan (the favorite beach of Hajduk Veljka), then Tesnac, Šest Kaca, Tri Kace and the famous Dzentlmen beach where they liked to swim known celebrities, hidden from curious swimmers.
In the center of Sokobanja there is a Turkish bath, Amman, which was renovated in recent years, and today’s tourists can use it in the same way as their medieval predecessors. In the time of the Turks, Sokobanja was a town with baths, which is said to be: “nicely built, marbled with marble and kept very clean.”
Numerous legends are related to Sokobanja, and if you’re in a mood, get some older townsman for one of them, because his story will surely complete your experience of Sokobanja.