Uvac Canyon and its meanders are located in the southwestern part of Serbia and are one of the most fascinating landmarks in the country. No wonder, they were declared one of Serbia’s natural wonders. For thousands of years the Uvac river carved this magnificent creation, creating a path through the dramatic karst massive Pešter plateau. In this area the walls of the canyon can reach up to 100 metres. The area is picturesque with the towering mountain peaks, caves and the Uvac river.
Uvac Canyon – Special Nature Reserve Uvac
Special Nature Reserve Uvac is a protected area, famous for trying to preserve the Griffon vulture species. Besides this rare bird, the preserve is home to unique plants and animal species. Here is located the biggest cave complex in Serbia. The rock system in the valley of Uvac is about 6000 metres long. The lowest point of the reserve is 760, and the highest – 1322 metres above sea level.
The griffon vulture, the caves, and meanders of Uvac, are just some of the places you can see during a tour of the natural reserve.
The Griffon vulture is another good reason to visit the Uvac reserve. Nature lovers and ornithologists come here every year, to see and capture on film this specie going on extinction. The spread of its wings is the impressive size of 2.3 to 2.8 metres. It is one of the two species of vulture left, which nest in Serbia. The Uvac reserve is home to the biggest population of these rare species of birds in the Balkans. The role of the Griffon vulture in our ecosystem is unique and irreplaceable, because as it feeds on dead animals, preventing the spreading of diseases and infections.
How to Get to Uvac Canyon?
The big cities in the area are Nova Varoš and Novi Pazar, both about 50 km away.
Access can be gained on both sides of the river depending on where you are located. Bear in mind, that if you are coming from Nova Varoš you will be able to see the lake only by boat. To see the meanders from the best place you will have to go to the other side, where the “Molitva” platform is located. For this, you will need to go forward by boat and then get to the other side, from where you can get to the top.
We got from Novi Pazar to Sjenica and we saw many picturesque sites on the way to Golija Mountain.
After passing by Sjenica, you take an unpaved road, which is in a very bad condition. The best option is off-road car or renting a taxi. We got to a place in the beginning of the road with the car and parked there. The hike was about 6 km one way, but it was worth the effort. Just follow the “Vidikovac” signs, which are placed everywhere and you will get to the Uvac meanders’ observation platform.
The nature park is accessible by many organized tours, but it can also be accessed privately.
Read more → Kravice Waterfalls – All You Need to Know
Viewpoint Molitva is located 10 km away from the small town of Sjenica. The view of the meanders from this place is one of the best in Serbia. Once, you reach the platform, you will see what a masterpiece the nature has created. The view is mind-blowing, especially when the river is at its full capacity. Initially during our visit we encountered only 3 people, however, a few hours later it was apparent, that we had escaped the numerous tourists.
There is another observation platform called Veliki vrh viewpoint, but it is not as attractive as Molitva.
Besides, the short hike to Molitva, you can get on board on one of the passing boats on the river and visit the Ice Cave (Ледена пећина). As the canyon of the Uvac river is protected, you can gain access and take a boat trip, but only with an organized tour. The price is about 1100 RSD (9-10 €), including a trip of Usac Cave System (Ушачки пећински систем). The tours start at Nova Varoš’s side and continue for about 3-4 hours. However, for those who want to hike to the Veliki vrh platform, a booking combining the hike and a boat ride is required. Albeit this tour will be longer roughly 5-6 hours, but its worth it.
If you need more information you can contact local authorities or check the reserve’s official website.
What to Bring?
- Waterproof jacket;
- Food and water;
When to Visit Uvac Canyon?
The best time to visit the meanders of Uvac is from the middle of May to the end of September, when the weather is warm and great for walks. In May the waters are at their peak, the foliage is blooming and the animals are the most active. During the warm months of July and August, it can be overcrowded with tourists.
Where to Stay Near Uvac Canyon?
There are many accommodation options in the Uvac national park area. The closest to the park, where you can spend the night, is the small town of Sjenica. A large number of accommodation options are guest houses and apartments. Make sure you have cash handy, because card payments are not accepted almost anywhere.
One of the best places here is Apartmani Hia, which has a high rating, but are suitable for 4 people. Another option is the Dobrila guest house, which is a suitable option for 2.
Here, you will find more accommodation options. Apartments Beli offer comfortable apartments, suitable for 2 to 4 people. This is one of the top places in Novi Pazar at an attractive rate.
Apartman Marija has been rated as the best deal and with the highest rating according to Booking. It is located just a kilometre away from the center and there is a free parking in the vicinity.