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A HIDDEN PLACE IN SERBIA

People say that Taorska springs could easily be compared to Plitvice Lakes,in Croatia. The photos of Taorska springs graced every travel brochure of  the former  Yugoslavia, SFRJ.
However, this gem of nature was almost completly destroyed in the 80s, when the government decided that the springs had to be shut down, for allegedly a village named Kosjeric needed more water. Water was withdrawn from the springs, but it didn’t  take out all the beauty of this place. Also, due to non-implementation of protection, this natural resource is left at the mercy of careless citizens who have for years been devastating this spring and its surroundings. Taorska springs are located on the territory of the city of Valjevo in the place Donji Taor, not far from the road to a place called Makoviste.
 If you want to find out more about hidden and beautiful places in Serbia, be sure to check out  15 Best Places to Visit in Serbia

HOW TO GET TO TAORSKA SPRINGS

It is not easy to get to Taorska springs, especially if you do not know this place. We set off from Belgrade route to Valjevo, and passed Lelic monastery and continued straight until we didn’t come to the place called Mravinjci. When you see some hills you will also see a small dirt road going through Bele vode before turning to Donji Taor and Taorska springs. (Note that this dirt road and a short climb are in bad road conditions, so drive carefully and a bit slower). After the short climb – you will reach your destination. You will see also road sign „Tarska spring 2km“. Going down this road will take you all the way to the river Skrapez.
From this bridge you should go 500 meters straight to reach the spring. You will see one lonely red house and a couple of barns. From here your adventure may start.
This road is shorter than the rest and it leads through the forest and meadows, though, you’ll pass by some hard-working locals, who will gladly, with big grins on their faces, help you find your way through their raspberry fields.

TAORSKA SPRING TOUR

The first little waterfall we encountered was almost imperceptible.
However, knowing what kind of pictures you can see on internet, we didn’t want to believe that we have traveled nearly 3 hours for this little waterfall.  While we were looking around i have noticed only one little red house in this wilderness. We went straight ahead and knocked on the door to get more information about this place, but, unfortunately no one was there. A cat and a dog carefully guarded this territory. By noticing we are just some lost travelers, these cute animals decided to be friendly and we had no problems as we set our feet on their area while landlords were absent. People here work during the day. Their main job is agriculture.  They have raspberries, potatoes and corn, so they process it before sunrise. We had tired to find some more info on the internet but there is no wifi here and the mobile connection was very slow. On one side, it is great because you can get in touch with pure nature engaging all your senses and on the other side if you want to check some more info – where to find huge hidden spring for example – you are on your own there. Accidentally,  while we were debating on which side to go, an old fisherman was passing by near the river. We ran to him thinking that he could provide us with some more information about the mysterious springs. And we have succeeded in our intention! He explained to us in details where we should go. Below this secluded red house, is a narrow path and we should turn left, than right and in the end, about 800m uphill more, is the main spring. However, somewhere at the 400m we have found one more spring, which is no less negligible than the main one.
When we got to the top we were amazed by the view. Like the history has been appeared in the presence. Two water mills as authentic objects of Serbian old architecture were in the center of the spring. Although, this water mills are on their way to collapse because no one takes care of it they still look amazing and return you in the past for a moment. In the past decades here you could find eleven watermills and nowadays only two of them resist the ravages of time.
Finally, we have seen a fascinating waterfall. We were alone there with the harmony of flows, birds and the pure, wild, nature. No people, no internet, no vehicle. Complete nirvana. Water was our host and it flowed peacefully between our feet while we were slowly walking towards the cave where is the main spring. Water path and several hundred meters long stream of spring, tiny droplets that float in the air and meditative sound of waterfalls that gushes to the next waterfall, which branches out into two vertical leg, looking like a water lace, made us to forget how human hand neglected this miracle of the nature.
The true beauty of the waterfall stays in our minds forever because as someone said:
Slight noise of the waterfall is like the smell of bread that is baked, indescribable in its innocence and joy.
The water from the springs contain high amounts of limestone substances which are making large quantities during its flow. The whole area is rich with limestone which mercilessly digs, cuts and than sells as details for decoration. Mainly for restaurants, as well as private buildings. Good to mention, that capped waterfall is the source of hot water, thats why is called “spring”. And now look at this rock and imagine how it used to be a powerful scene while a large stream of water was crumbling down it’s cliffs.
If your travels take you near this forgotten place, push on a bit to find it… We would strongly recommend to visit it in the early spring (March or April) because that’s the watery season and there’s a lot of water sliding down the cliffs so the whole scenery is even greater.
Perhaps, one of the obstacles is the lack of good transport, roads and  communications. And there is certainly a negative impression because of the fact that there are no investments in this area tho it could become alive as a new tourist and ecological destination.

 

WHERE YOU CAN STOP BY TO EAT

After several hours of traveling time had come to fill our stomachs with some quality meal. Our recommendation is caffe-bakery-confectionery ZAM. On first level it is a fast food service, where you can have some pastry, sandwiches or so, eat it quicky and go on. On the second level there is a small cafe. Here you can sit and order irresistible beef salad, chicken in zucchini sauce (5€), or any kind of meal which you would order in some average restaurant. In the end, if you think you can handle something sweet like a treaty dessert, treat yourself with not so small pancake for 120 rsd.
Advice plus: Before you arrive at your final destination, you can take half an hour to visit two beautiful monasteries, Lelic and Celije. Anyone who has some time and good will to help with working in the field, may come, and good monks will provide you with bedding, food and beverage in one of the guest houses. Nuns say that there’s always plenty of choirs and things to do in here, because the monastery is under reconstruction. There is also an ethno restaurant, located near-by Ćelije, in which we stopped and had an awesome lunch, so we have to say that the food is really delicious and it’s a good place for taking a short break from driving.

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