20160630_142323Good morning fellow readers! I am back in Serbia for the summer and have been spending my time with family, friends and of course, exploring beautiful places. One of my oldest friends visited us for a week and we couldn’t resist taking him to enjoy the beautiful nature of Serbia.

I am pleased to share today’s postcard from Avala – Belgrade’s only mountain, and the perfect escape during the hot summer months.Located just 16km away from the city centre, the mountain’s history can be traced back to the Middle Ages when the settlement was called Zrnov (or Avala town). Avala has been a protected landmark of Belgrade since the 1800’s and is home to over 600 plant species.

Driving up, the winding roads of the mountain welcomes its visitors with countless shades of lush greenery and pure crisp air. The first monument which visitors will come across is “Monument of Soviet War Veterans”, dedicated to members of the Soviet army delegation who died on Avala in 1964 in a plane crash, while flying to Belgrade to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade during World War II.  Visitors can take a moment to appreciate history, and enjoy the beautiful view of the distant landscape.

Continuing further to the top of the mountain, we parked the car upon arriving to the visitors’ area and then hiked to the peak of Avala to visit the “Monument of the Unknown Soldier”, a mausoleum built to commemorate the unknown soldiers of World War I.  Eight impressive female figures stand guarding the entrance,  each one representing a different historical region of Yugoslavia. Taking a short break from our hike, we admired the picturesque view before being escorted down by a dog, no doubt, a resident of the mountain.20160701_102803Hiking down to the southern part of the mountain, we caught a glimpse of Avala Tower – Belgrade’s symbol and pride. The TV tower was initially built in 1965, measuring 202 metres in height however, was destroyed during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. It was fully restored in 2010 and serves today not only as Belgrade’s most important telecommunications tower, but also as the tallest tower in the Balkan region.  We purchased a ticket to visit the 360-degree observation deck, which is perfect as you can notice the diverse landscape of Belgrade. The tower also has a café on the upper level, where visitors can enjoy a refreshment while taking in the beautiful scenery.20160630_144952 20160630_150208 20160630_150450

We decided to hike back to Hotel Avala for lunch, and took a few “off road” trails – and while I am not a regular hiker, I did feel a pang of anxiety trying to imagine what kind of animals we would encounter. Luckily, like a saint from Heaven, we were joined by another canine resident of the mountain who happily guided us through all the trails, until we eventually reached our destination. Avala has approximately 10km of hiking trails, spanning different terrain and is a perfect work-out for both body and mind.

Hotel Avala was built in 1928, for the purpose of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and was the first location to receive a TV signal in all of Yugoslavia in 1959. While it has functioning overnight rooms available and a catering division for special events and weddings, most Belgradians and tourists visit Avala for the day.  The hotel has a beautiful restaurant located on the terrace area, which to me resembles a fabulous villa, overlooking the lush greenery. We ordered delicious Serbian specialties, so succulent and tasty – I could explain the dishes, but I would rather let the pictures speak for themselves! 🙂

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For Belgradians, Avala is not only a place of historical and cultural importance, but also the perfect escape from the bustling city, where one can admire the beautiful views, relax in the countless shades of the forest and indulge in fresh air!

Enjoy all of our photos right here!

Visit information:

Belgradian: http://www.belgradian.com/sightseeing/avala/

Hotel Avala: http://www.hotel-avala.com/english/index_eng.html

Avala Tower Ticket Cost:

  • RSD 200 (adults)
  • RSD 400 (including drink in the café)
  • Opening time: Every day from 09:00 – 19:00 (summer) & 09:00 – 16:00 (winter)

Getting there:

  • Public bus lines: 400, 401, 402, 403 (or by car of course 🙂 )