Special Nature reserve Uvac is protected natural good of the Republic of Serbia. If you are a nature lover this is a perfect place for you. Magically carved meanders, the biggest cave complex in Serbia, 3 lakes, natural habitat of rare species of vulture. This piece of art made by nature is the first thing that is being mentioned when it is spoken about the tourism of Serbia. Uvac is on brochures, main pages of the domestic and foreign world know tourism sites like Lonely Planet. If you still did not visit this beautiful place I hope that this text, my photos and impressions will lead you to it.
ABOUT THE SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC
Special nature reserve Uvac covers the surface of 7543 hectars. He is located on 760 meters above the sea level, which is his lowest point, while highest is on 1322m. It is paced in the Nalazi se u south-west part of Serbia within Starovlaško – raška highland. Uvac is tucked away between several mountains – Zlatar, Muternica, Čemernica, Jadovik and Javor, and takes about 2/3 surface of the municipality Nova Varoš and 1/3 of Sjenica. The other nearby cities are Prijepolje, Novi Pazar, Ivanjica, and mountains are Zlatibor and Golija... Special nature reserve Uvac is a complex which is made from cave system, lakes and canyon of the river Uvac. Only one part of the gorge was placed under the protection of the state in 1971, and then in 2006. the whole surface of reserve has been under protectorate. This is what special nature reserve Uvac consists of:
Uvac is the river which springs at the foothill of mount Jadovik and it is the biggest affluent of the river Lim. This river makes a canyon valley by sloping into the mountains Zlatibor and Zlatar, which with her affluence makes the whole reserve. Canyon meanders have special beauty because the make a turn under 270 degrees even, and have a height of 100m. Within the reserve on Uvac canyon there are 2 hydroelectric power plants: Kokin brod and Uvac, and 3 lakes: Uvačko (Sjeničko), Zlatarsko (Kokin brod) and Radoinjsko lake. There are 12 beautiful viewpoints out of which 3 are most famous: Ravni krš (Flat krast), Veliki vrh (Big peak) and Molitva (Prayer).
CAVE SYSTEMS OF SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE
Reserve has a lot of karst surfaces such as pits, coppies, coves and caves. There is lot of caves here and the biggest is system of Ušačke caves, which is 6185m long, and it consists of 2 caves and one pit. The largest part of the system is Ušačka cave, then somewhat smaller is Ledena (Ice) cave, and the smallest part is Bezdan pit.. Also worth mentioning are Tubićka (selo Tubići, Baždarska (selo Ursule) and Javorska cave. Caves in this area are full of cave jewelry like stalactite, stalagmite, pillars and draperies.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC
Special nature reserve Uvac is the habitat of 130 species of birds, out of which most important and rare species of eagles vultures is Eurasian griffon, vulture whose range of wings is up to 3 meters, and his sight is 8 times better than humans. Two more species that have recently returned to this area are Cinereous vulture and Egyptian vulture. Except from the fore mentioned species, this area is also the habitat of Golden eagle, Snake eagle, Common buzzard, as well as different species of owls and hawks. As for the mammals the most common are bats and otters, but also there are wolves, bears, foxes, … Also the water parts are habitat of 24 fish species. As for the flora, there are forests of spruce, birch, and around 50 pieces of herbs.
HOW TO GET TO SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC?
In the case you are going with a car, I would suggest to thoroughly check roads and as much info as possible. I would also advise to be in contact with people from the camp. At one point you cannot go further with a passenger car, but you need to take terrain vehicle or go on foot. No matter if you are going by car or bus, best option is to be accommodated in some of the places nearby that I have mentioned like Sjenica, Nova Varoš, Zlatar, Zlatibor, and then to make an excursion to Uvac.
When we are speaking of the road itself there is 2 ways to get to Uvac. One is the road Ivanjica – Sjenica over village Kušići, where you will see macadam going into the left. On the same road when you are going from Sjenica to Ivanjica this turn is on 6th or 7th kilometer. As soon as you see the lake you can park the car and head on foot to the camp. Of course, unless you already have a deal with them to give you a ride with the jeeps. You can get to Uvac from the side of Nova Varoš across village Božetići, but in that case you are going to the opposite side of the lake where the dam is placed. There is also another camp that is organizing boat rides and hiking to the viewpoints.
IMPORTANT INFO FOR SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC
- Check accommodation here, it will show you all the closest places to Uvac. My suggestion is also to get accommodate in Sjenica if your main goal is Uvac, becasue she is closest to the camp I am telling you about. If you would rather see severeal things like Uvac and the mmountains then you can stay in Nova Varoš.
- Contact of the camp Markova Ravan is ovde. The best way to get to the camp Markova Ravan and viewpoint Molitva is from Sjenica. No matter which way you choose you should be in contact with someone from some camp or tourism organization from this area because they have the best info about this place. They can also take you around canyon at least if you visit it for the first time. As I mentioned before, if you are going on the other side of the lake you need to contact the other camp. You can find them on the dam.
- Experiences from the hiking routes you can find here and here. The video how to get to the Big peak you can find here.
- Different options for boat rides and hiking routes check here
- The best time to visit Uvac is definitely when the weather is not extreme. So when is not too cold or too warm, and without precipitations. Wear some light sports clothes and shoes, prepare for mountain hiking because it is steep and slippery all over the place, so you need to be cautious. Anyway, just be prepared for boat rides, hiking, mountaineering, etc..
SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC – WHAT TO SEE?
One day is enough to see the viepoints and to have some boat rides. If you want Uvac and the places around it, I suggest 2 days. That is because 2 days are perfect for enjoying and all other activities. Anyway when you are nearby and you parked your car, you will see the house with the swing and that is the first beautiful viewpoint here. After that you will see the base camp.
RANGER CAMP AND SUSPENSION BRIDGE
RANGER CAMP is located on Sjeničko lake, 10km from Sjenica. They are organizing boat rides, hiking etc, and even tourist guides from travel agencies are in contact with them. You can have an agreement with camp to have a boat ride and/or rides with terrain vehicles to some or all of the viewpoints etc… If you did as I said you can take a walk from the camp to the suspension bridge placed in village Družinići. Also you can just sit in the restaurant and enjoy in the nature, food and drinks. Anyhow, you need to let them know you are coming so they can prepare food, boats and everything else needed.
BOAT RIDES AND MEANDERS OF UVAC
The duration of boat rides is around 2 to 3 hours, and length of the cruise is 16km in one way. During the beautiful boat rides you will see the magical meanders and maybe even the nests of the birds or vultures flying over the meanders. After you will also maybe see them while going to the viewpoints. And when we are speaking of meanders – that unreal nature looks even more magical from the water so do not miss this part.
CAVE SYSTEM AND 1ST VIEWPOINT
During the boat rides you will have the opportunity to visit Ice cave, and the entrance is from the river. Main canal goes parallel with the canal of Ušačka cave for about a 100m. This cave is, you can say, really Ice cave because it has a constant temperature of 8 degrees during the whole year. 12 beautiful ice halls are waiting for you, so make sure you do not miss it!
Ice viewpoint better know as Big peak can also be visited during this excursion since he is above the Ice cave, but the climb is very steep and you need around 20 to 30 minutes from the cave to the viewpoint. Also, same as to the other viewpoints, you can go here with terrain vehicles from the village Gornje Lopiže and viewpoint is far away around a kilometer. He is right across the viewpoint Prayer, but it will give you a completely different perspective. It also has an OPEN AIR platform same as on the Prayer viewpoint.
If you chose to go with jeeps you can also include visiting Ušačku cave and Bezdan pit. Ušačka cave has 2 entrances: one is from the village Gornje Lopiže at the end of blind valley of Deep stream, and the other one is in the Uvac canyon. Bezdan pit consists out of 6 pars: Bezdan pit, Big hall, Gallery and canal with baths, Narrow canal, Core canal, Canal with pillars. The entrance to the pit is at the blind valley Miletin Do, nearby the first entrance of Ušačka cave. Both are very near to the Ice viewpoint and the Ice cave, but from a different side of the lake oppose to viewpoint Molitva.
RIDE ON WITH SAFARI JEEPS OR WALKING TO THE SECOND VIEWPOINT
Viewpoint Prayer is placed at the hill with a same name, and the distance from camp is around 5km. There is a chance to go with terrain vehicles to this viewpoint, but also you can go on foot. Just follow the right side of the lake and explore the nature and viewpoints. In that case you are going left from camp, crossing the stream and getting to the drinking fountain where you can fill you water supplies before you start heading forward.
After you will go across the suspension bridge in village Družinići and after you will see Girls rock which got its name by the legend that a girl jumped from there because of the unhappy love. Before the rock there is one way to the lake and it is being said that it is amazing for taking photos. After the first rock, you will get to the first viewpoint, then one more, and finally you will see amazing viewpoint Prayer.
Eventhough it is only 5km from the camp to the viewpoint you need around 2 hours in one way to get there on foot. But that view when you get to your final destination… That is really priceless. I can bet you would wanna come back just for this view.
WEEKEND GETAWAY SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC
So as I said before if you want to see more thing around Uvac, 2 days are enough for it. So I went on an organized excursion with travel agency, because I do not have a car. However, I would gladly go in my own organization, but this was ok for the first time. We spent saturday on Uvac, then went to out accommodation in Sjenica. Sunday we spent on mountains Zlatar and Zlatibor. This is what you can visit besides Uvac:
- SJENICA– 10km away from ranger camp Markova Ravan and Sjeničko lake and15km away from Prayer and Ice viewpoints
- NOVA VAROŠ – close to Zlatar lake, from this camp is about 50km away, so maybe the other one on the dam is closer
- Cheese and cheese cream from Sjenica
SPECIAL NATURE RESERVE UVAC – IMPRESSIONS
So if you are going for the first time, maybe it is best to go with a travel agency. Although after this text, I really think you can do it on your own. If you do not have a car like me, you can do this also, or just take a local bus from any city nearby. The impressions of going by car in your own organization you can also see here. I can only say the nature is really amazing, the lakes and mountains are a dream. Uvac itself is so magical that I said I already want to go back. But next time definitely I am going by car to stay on Uvac for 2 full days.
I really hope this text will help you to organize your trip to Uvac. Also if you want to see where else can you travel in Serbia check this page.
Happy travelling my dear adventurers!