Camping is still wildly popular all over Europe, but even the most intrepid of outdoor sleepers are a little reticent to pitch their tent up in Serbia. Why? Assumptions built up from bad press in the ‘90s are the most likely culprit, but the time has come for that to change. These are the best camping spots in Serbia.
The western Serbian mountain of Zlatibor is home to a number of official campsites, each offering a variety of amenities for the prospective camper. The main campsite here is beautifully hidden among the pine forests of the park, with 60 spaces for campers and tents of all shapes and sizes. Avid lovers of sitting by lakes and waiting for fish to bite will be enraptured by Ribničko jezero, and if there is a better mix than camping and fishing, then we simply aren’t yet aware of it.
On the opposite side of the country to Zlatibor lies Bela Crkva, a town and municipality on the border with Romania. The town has a decidedly multi-ethnic history, but most people know it for the nearby lakes and campsite. The water is clean and massively popular with swimmers and fishermen alike, while the plains around them are ready and waiting for prospective campers to stop and pitch up.
We’ve covered the west and the east, but what about the south? Vranje gets short shrift from most in Serbia, especially when it comes to its reputation for lazy builders. The ‘Enigma’ campsite is located a short walk from the city, and the two kilometres may as well be a thousand miles. The campsite is accentuated by swimming areas, and is a renowned lazing spot for bikers and cyclists alike.
Apatin may be best known for the wildly inexpensive beer that is brewed there, but the small town on the border with Croatia is surrounded by no small amount of gorgeous nature too. The campsite in town is run by a multi-lingual group of tourism experts, making it a place that undoubtedly earns the ‘for tourists, by tourists’ descriptor. The team makes no secret of its adoration for nature, doing everything in their power to keep Apatin’s surroundings as unspoilt as possible.
There are many reasons to camp, but the immersion in nature is arguably the number one thing that convinces people to sleep out under the stars (well, a roof of thin fabric). Perućac offers everything in this respect. The Vrelo waterfall is nearby, the dramatic end of one of Europe’s shortest rivers, as is the powerful Drina river and the eponymous lake. Bajina Bašta and the iconic House on the Drina are just a short ride away.
Those hoping to camp in Belgrade would be well-advised to go back and read our many articles on the city. In short, it isn’t going to happen. There are options just outside the city, however, and Camp Danube is the best of the bunch. The camp is located in Zemun (okay, so technically this is in Belgrade), and while it may not be the biggest, it is absolutely the best option within the city limits.
Camping isn’t exactly big business in Serbia, so it probably doesn’t represent the best value for money. Fees for pitching tents are often a little more expensive than taking a cabin or a bungalow, so doing that is wholeheartedly recommended. Like many others in the Balkans, the Serbs sometimes have a block between logic and request, and will be surprised as to why anyone would choose to sleep in a tent instead of an actual structure.