in the middle
Serbia is a lush landlocked sovereign state situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. Serbia's idyllic landscape is blanketed with deep green forest, studded by rocky waterfall-drenched hills and pockmarked with clear, fresh lakes.
Across the country, there are several small, quaint spa towns offering rejuvenating spa resort getaways. Meanwhile, Serbia's snow-capped mountain ranges – particularly central Kopaonik – are flush with buzzing ski resorts. Serbia's larger cities, like the sprawling capital of Belgrade, boast stately Neo-Classical architecture, high-end restaurants and plenty of art galleries and heritage museums.
The Tara mountain area is a popular spot in summer for outdoor adventurers. The slopes of this rugged mountain are dotted with fragrant pine forests, and give way to rocky ravines, roaring rivers and flower-sprinkled meadows. The area is cut through with hiking and biking trails, and there are plenty of rock climbing and wild swimming opportunities, too.
Winter sports enthusiasts flock to the small town of Zlatibor, in the southwestern Cajetina municipality. This ski resort town is strung with chalets, lodges and cheap hotels – just search on dealchecker to find the best deal. Its surrounding snowy slopes and pistes are suited to novice skiers and experts alike.
The Zlatar Mountain is another top holiday spot, popular in both winter and summer. Depending on the season, this region offers up skiing, hiking, rafting and fishing. The region is also home to a series of tiny villages hosting wellness spas.
There are plenty of luxury, mid-range and cheap hotels in Serbia's capital of Belgrade, a city suited to both short breaks and longer stays. Here, architecture addicts can admire the epic orthodox Church of Saint Sava – a modern neo-Byzantine build – while hip cocktail drinkers and coffee sippers explore the bohemian, cafe and bar-covered Skadarlija neighbourhood. The modern neighbourhood of Savamala, meanwhile, boasts upscale clubs, restaurants, and shopping.
The Danube-front city of Novi Sad is another cultural Serbian core, crowned by the Petrovaradin Fortress, an enormous waterfront 17th-century stronghold, and bursting with museums and galleries. In July, the buzzing EXIT music festival is held here.
For a quieter city break, visit Nis in southern Serbia, which boasts a remarkable spread of relics, monuments, museums and architectural marvels – suited to the city's proud status as one of the oldest in the Balkans. Unwind in the restorative waters of the natural Nis spa, and dine in the rustic Tinkers Alley central area.