We continued our adventurous path to one of the most beautiful mountains in Serbia. By mysterious and magnificent beauty, preserved natural wealth and numerous cultural and historical sights, many people thinks of Golija as the most beautiful mountain of Serbia. It’s almost unbelievably beautiful and suprising at its every step. Everyone who visited it admires its almost impenetrable forests, lush pastures, frequent and clean springs, inhabitants, and other rarities that it contains. In July 2001, the Government of the Republic of Serbia passed the Decree to place the Golija Mountain area under the protection of the “Golija Nature Park” and classified it as the 1st category of protection as a “natural good of exceptional importance”.
The route from Kopaonik to Golija is simple and most importantly well lit for evening driving. The inhabitants of Golija welcomed us from the streets, as well as our new friends – a ghee, owl and a wild boar.
We arrived at Raska around 10 pm until our lodging – Hotel Golija. At the entrance to the hotel we came across a prepared eagle and a range of its wings of two meters. Immediately on the right side were prepared prepared wolves, foxes and various other hunting equipment. The owner of this facility is Mr. Golub, who has been hunting for a hunter and therefore stores his trophies exactly in this small room, on whose walls there are photographs from his hikes when organizing hunts for wolves and other hunting adventures.
At the reception of the hotel we were greeted by a young married couple with a smile on their faces. They gave us the keys from our room, and we paid 10 euros per person for a night. Service that includes bed and breakfast will cost you 15 euros. We had to get up at 6 in the morning to start with the detail discovery of the mountain, and the breakfast was planned to be in the pastures of Golija, so we did not have time to try delicious home-made breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we were greeted by our host, Vlada. His wife, Neda, prepared a warm “turkish” coffee for us, and then we had the opportunity to hear a little about history of the oldest hotel on Golija. Isolated from the main road and surrounded by greenery, all built in an ethno, bohemic style with a view that expands on the thick forest, it represents a true mountain home. Hunting dogs, bubbly jumped all around us, full of energy and fond of socializing. Our hosts have many years of experience in working with children and athletes, both in winter and spring and in summer (recreational classes, nature lessons, excursions, sports preparations) as well as with individuals and families who come here to rest and become closer to nature. The price of all services that ski school for children here provides, is five times lower than the price of that similar ski school at Koponik mountain, and there is no difference in quality because they are real professionals. Safari tours with jeeps and squads are also organized here. Routes over Pešter to Uvac provide top enjoyment, socializing and unforgettable adrenaline rush while exploring the beautiful regions of western Serbia on these four-wheelers. For all information, reservations and benefits contact us via e-mail.
After a quick coffee and a pleasant conversation, we went to further research. Firstly we climbed to to the top of the highest peak of Golija, called Jankov kamen (1833m). Since we were thirsty and Golija is rich in waters – around 100 springs are layed all over it – we stopped at one to extinguish the thirst we saw a big cardboard warning sign next to it: “CAUTION, THERE ARE BEARS IN THE FOREST”. The inscription itself awakened fear and excitement (perhaps even curiosity) because we were just walking down that same path. My friend Bojan, a passionate admirer of Mother Nature, who enjoys the most sleeping under a clear sky with his companion Coli, was with us the whole time, so we felt safe. He taught us how to behave if that unusual encounter with a bear happens to us. The path to Jankov kamen expands through the thick woods, and slightly rises near the top. According to the folk tradition, as the inhabitants told us, once upon a time, two brothers, Rajko and Janko bet on who will put the stone on the top of Golija. Rajko quickly carried his stone and jumped up near the top and dropped it and the stone fell into the brook below. Janko slowly carried his stone, but he reached the top. That is why the top of Golija is called Jankov kamen, and the stream in which Rajko’s stone fell, residents call Rajkov potok.
As we enjoyed the view, from Janko’s peak, there was a medicinal herb kantarion in abundance all around us. My sister, as a real housewife that she is, has gathered a lot of wild flowers to make essential oils and on this occasion I tell her that she should bring me that oil she promised me ASAP because I did not forget about that! ?
Wherever you go around Golija, you will see beautiful panoramas and viewpoints. In addition to the highest peak, there are also: Bojovo brdo (1748 m), Pašina Česma (1725 m), Radulovac (1725 m), Odvraćenica (1674 m), Tičar (1492 m) and many others.
Just 20 minutes by car when heading towards Ivanjica, on the left, spreads a beautiful oasis where the Dajić lake is shed. Don’t miss it! It was educated from the atmospheric waters, and the lake water eventually dissolved the walls at its bottom, so that the basin of the lake was pulled up until it got released from where it still gets water and is maintained. It is located on the north-western side of the mountain, at the place called Dajići, and below the hill Tičar. Many legends and lectures are connected to this lake, but also scientific works. The name Dajićko lake was first mentioned in the files of Josif Pančić, Nedeljko Kosanin and Jovan Cvijić, while the residents of Tičar had the same name. Nedeljko Kosanin is one of the first scientists to study this lake. According to one legend, one upon a time, all the guests who were marching in one wedding parade, have been drowned in the lake, and so it is also called “Svatovsko” (“nuptial lake”would be a literal translation from Serbian language). According to some stories, mountain fairies also gather here. Our dog Koly walked out of the car frantically for the first time to duck a little and spread his legs, since his passion is fast running. As he performed his well-known sprint, he burst into the overgrown grass and barely noticeable lake. After that we gave the lake a new name – lake Koly. ?
It was time for us to visit our friends in Đokovići, which is a small village at the highest point on Golija mountain. We parked the car somewhere on the clearing, and in the distance we saw our host – Blagoje skillfully operating a necessary farm machine called “tractor” while he was moving closer and closer. Sometime later, our hosts had to go to the nearby village to complete some work, but they left us their biggest treasure – three of their children. Janko, Danilo and Miljan were making us company until their parents came back. Playful boys with smiling faces, infected us with positive energy. They were wearing woolen socks and rubber blankets, and eagerly waited for us to take us through the woods to their home. We walked about 4 kilometers with them and asked Janko what he would like to be when he grows up. He answered with a strong attitude:
“Farmer, when I grow up I will be a farmer!”
They love to guard the sheep, take care of the house, do almost all the hard farm work, and help their parents. They have about seven years and a sincere, clear glance in their eyes, which remained deep inside our minds and hearts long after we’ve returned to Belgrade. They ran around us and they praised that they sold one cow and bought an aggregate so that their grandfather Milan and their grandmother could have electricity in their house.
Word by word, step by step, and we got to their home. It was just like time has stopped. Modest little houses, no electricity with sources of drinking water around the house. A stool of sheep running around in a meadow, a stable, a lot of hay and a charming view …
Grandfather Milan is a special story. He greeted us while sitting on his benches, in front of the house, with a traditional Serbian hat called “shajkacha” on his head and a real home-made brandy made from quince. His gentle gaze and the face on which the steps of our strict history and farm work had strayed, had a unique value for us. Our host also told us that this beautiful village is a real birthplace of the Djokovic family name and our famous tennis player – Novak Djokovic, but that he never visited him. Novak, If you are reading this story, come and visit your relatives from here, they are eagerly waiting to meet you and to share their homemade brandy and bacon with you, tho it is not gluten-free. ?
Hospitality, sincere smiles, cordiality and good mood are just some of the features that our hosts presented us. They simply enjoy getting to know new people and exchanging a few sentences with them. There are no better guests for them than uninvited ones, and the story and socializing, along with local cuisine and drinks, continued late into the night. The plan was to go straight to Pešter from Golija, but these people have provided us with so much energy that we decided to stay and that Peščarska skela would have to wait for a little bit. Big thanks to our hosts for a wonderful welcome and indescribable energy that they unselfishly gave us!
If you want to be part of a story full of the Serbian spirit, culture and tradition and to isolate yourself from the city and it’s chaos, let us know and become richer for an unforgettable experience with these glorious, warm people who are genuinely honest to each guest hearts rejoice.