Tara National Park is situated in western Serbia between the river Drina and mountain Zlatibor. Mount Tara is breathless for visitors to its beauty and many hiking routes. For this reason, it is ideal for hiking beginners but also for those with more experience.
It was declared as a national park in 1981 because it had real nature monuments. Its interesting fact that some parts of Tara were on the shore of the now-defunct Pannonian Sea. Tara is home to relics and endemics – Picea omorika, named after the Serbian botanist Josif Pancic.
The average altitude of the mountain is about 1200m. The highest peak Kozia is 1591 meters above sea level. The ecologically preserved natural environment, and the very geological position of Tara, have enabled extremely favorable development of tourism.
Hiking and other outdoor activities on Tara
Tara National Park is a true paradise for tourists looking for new and exciting adventures. Camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, kayaking are just some of the activities that this pearl of nature offers. The fresh, clean mountain air is there, and if you just want to walk through the numerous meadows, through the woods, or while enjoying some of the beautiful sights. One of the most beautiful is Banjska Stena, as it offers a spectacular and amazing view of the Drina Canyon and Lake Perucac.
5 Essential tips for hiking beginners
If you have a desire for adventure and nature, hiking is right for you. You need to know that hiking is not like a walk in the park, but staying on the mountain requires you some physical fitness as well as an experience that will gradually gain you. So we are going to give you some tips that you should take if you are a beginner in hiking.
Choose a route according to your hiking skills
All beginners in hiking are advised to choose shorter routes that go through forests and pastures. To begin with, the routes you choose do not have too many climbs and obstacles to overcome. For this reason, beginners should choose routes that have a maximum climb of up to 2000 meters.
Prepare appropriate hiking equipment
Under basic mountaineering equipment, we mean clothes, shoes, walking sticks, backpack with small equipment, food, and water. Depending on the weather conditions, it is necessary to choose the appropriate clothes before departure, where they should not be too warm and incomplete because they will make it difficult for you to move. Also, the footwear must be comfortable and of good quality, because it is the most important for hikers. The sticks will allow you to move more easily and reduce the load on your spine and legs. You also need to choose a quality backpack. The basic contents of a backpack should consist of food, drink, first aid kit, flashlight, and orientation accessories. The further equipment you want to bring with you is your choice.
Listen to your body
Conditioning is vital for hiking. Gradually build your condition, thus extending your movement route. Drink water often, even though you do not feel thirsty to not be dehydrated. Food should be consumed more frequently but in smaller quantities.
Think about safety
Before you go hiking, take a good look at the area you will be moving through. If you didn’t know by now, be sure to learn to use a compass. Feel free to use some of the current navigation devices, but be sure to bring a compass and a map as a backup option. Before going hiking, be sure to tell one of your friends about the time of your departure and the time when you planned that you should return. Take a good look at your surroundings and watch where you stand.
Protect nature and respect rule of hiking
Before going hiking, read the basic rules for mountaineers. One of the basic rules is that climbing hikers take precedence over downhill climbers. If you are hiking in some of the national parks or reserves, familiarize yourself with the rules of behavior in them and obey them. If you come across animals, do not touch or disturb them or feed them with human food. Your negligence can damage the ecosystem. It is not advisable to start a fire without need.
Best hiking trails on Tara
There are 18 official hiking trails on Tara, the total length is about 290km.
Raca – Hiking for beginners
The Raca trail is about 2km long and is in the category of easier hiking trails perfect for beginners. The starting point is from the Raca Monastery, which has been there since the 13th century and is the most valuable historical monument in the park. You pass through a beautiful forest, which ends at the source of the Ladovac River, near the waterfall.
Banjska Stena – Medium difficulty hiking trail
Banjska Stena trail in about 7km long, it is a medium difficulty hiking trail. It starts at the entrance to the Crveni Potok Reserve and leads through the forest and ends at a beautiful Banjska Stena viewpoint.
Throughout the trail, you can see the signs with information about various plants and animals species on Tara.
Mitrovac “Luke” – Hard difficulty hiking trail
Hiking trail Mitrovac – Luke is one of the most demanding on Tara. The route is 12.8 kilometers long. The starting point is near Lake Lipovica. The route runs past the Zaovine lake where you can enjoy the fantastic view. There are some more challenging ups and downs so this trail is recommended to more experienced and prepared hikers. The end of the route is in Mitrovac, where you can find dozens of apartments and cottages for rest.
Tara is a place for all hikers to enjoy, do not miss to visit this beautiful mountain that with its preserved nature will attract you to come again.
One of the famous sentences among mountaineers and nature lovers is “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but impressions and memories, kill nothing but your time”. Respect nature and it will return that respect to you. Enjoy hiking!